Lewis and Clark Expedition
 Lewis and Clark Expedition, Louisiana Purchase, Blackfeet Indians, Yellowstone River

Lewis and Clark Expedition

     President Thomas Jefferson authorized the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 through 1806 of the Louisiana Purchase.  The Lewis and Clark Expedition was sometimes called the Corps of Discovery.   The Lewis and Clark Expedition did explore, scout, survey and map the lands of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and meet the Indians that inhabit it

     As early as January 18, 1803, in a secret message to Congress requesting $2,500 Jefferson was laying the foundation for The Lewis and Clark Expedition of the Louisiana Purchase even before the Louisiana Purchase was signed later in May of 1803

     The Lewis and Clark Expedition of the Louisiana Purchase was underway August 31,1803 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark floated the Ohio River in the first step of their journey.   On May 14, 1804, Lewis and Clark left St. Louis on a keelboat and two pirogue boats with an expedition of 29 men  

     One of the men in the Lewis and Clark Expedition of the Louisiana Purchase was John Colter who would be remembered later as an explorer and trailblazer in his own right.   16 more men traveled with them as far as the Mandan villages located in current North Dakota before returning to St. Louis with specimens collected thus far

     The winter of 1805 was spent in North Dakota.   The Lewis and Clark Expedition of the Louisiana Purchase kept detailed maps and diaries, studying the animals, plants, terrain and the Indians that they encountered. The success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was due in part to the assistance that Sacagewea gave them after Meriwether Lewis assisted in the delivery of her child on February 11, 1805 

     On April 7, 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition set out in two pirogue boats and six canoes up the Missouri River.   By the end of April the Lewis and Clark Expedition had reached the mouth of the Yellowstone  River and by May had in their sights the Rocky Mountains   

     June 13th is recorded as the day the Lewis and Clark Expedition reach the great falls of the Missouri River and that on August 15th the Continental Divide was crossed.  The Lewis and Clark Expedition   traveled over 1200 miles from the mouth to the source of the Missouri River  

     As luck would have it the Lewis and Clark Expedition they were captured by Shoshone Indians on August 17th but the irony was that it was the long lost tribe of Sacagewea whose brother was now chief 

     The Snake River was discovered flowing west on October 10th and the Cascade Mountains were reached by November.   The headwaters of the Columbia River were obtained on November 7th and later in the month the Pacific Ocean was seen for the first time by the Lewis and Clark Expedition

     The winter of 1806 was spent in current Oregon in a makeshift fort that the Lewis and Clark Expedition built and named  Fort Clatsop.    Throughout the winter months, time was spent on the journals, maps and diaries recording and cataloging all of the specimens that had been collected thus far

     In March 1806, the Lewis and Clark Expedition broke camp and headed back east.   The Lewis and Clark Expedition split up so that Lewis could explore further the Marias River while Clark explored the Yellowstone River to the Missouri River

     It was here that the Lewis and Clark Expedition of the Louisiana Purchase rejoined and returned to St. Louis on September 23, 1806. Mission accomplished!   The final cost of the trip was close to thirty nine thousand dollars, a little more than the twenty five hundred originally requested for the Lewis and Clark Expedition of the Louisiana Purchase

     Only one man died during the Lewis and Clark Expedition which appears to have been due to an appendicitis attack 

     The Lewis and Clark Expedition did forever imprint one bad impression on the Blackfeet Indians.   Lewis regretfully tangled with Blackfeet Indians who were caught stealing some of the men's rifles and one Indian was shot another was stabbed to death. Throughout the settling of the West the Blackfeet Indians made war upon the mountain men the Army, and the pioneers due to this event

     The other incident also involved Lewis when another man in the party mistook him for an animal and shot him in the posterity.   For weeks, Lewis was carried due to the pain in his behind

     The success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was and is measured in its ability to create the enthusiasm of a nation to the dawning of a new era.    From it came the mountain men  the explorers   the gold miners, the stagecoaches   the pioneers   the transcontinental railroad and the great expansion of the United States into the West

      The Lewis and Clark Expedition was a great inspiration for the American Dream.  The Louisiana Purchase was a great resource giving fuel to a nation needing to grow

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