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The Expeditions of Lewis and Clark

Lewis & Clark

In this country's great history, there have been many important expeditions, discoveries, and wonders. One of the most famous and important expeditions in this country's history is that of Lewis and Clark. Within their great journey, the two men met countless obstacles, met many new and intriguing cultures, and saw some of the most incredible land that God had ever made.

After the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to lead an expedition on a journey to explore the headwaters of the Missouri River and find an overland route to the Pacific Ocean by way of the Columbia River. By August 31, 1803, Lewis and his party where under way down the Ohio River to meet up with Clark and his group. Together, their group, known as the Corps of Discovery, departed from Camp DuBois near Wood River, Illinois, on May 14, 1804, and proceeded up the Missouri River using a keelboat and two pirogues (Steffen 42).

By late fall, the party reached the Knife River Indian Villages near present day Washburn, North Dakota. There they built Fort Nandan and spent a productive winter gathering information about the Indian tribes and the lands to the west. Also at this time, they recruited two interpreters, the Frenchman, Toussaint Charbonneau, and his Shoshoni wife, Sacagawea (Ambrose 187). In the spring of 1805, the party continued up the Missouri River in the pirogues with their new friends. On April 26, 1805 the party came across an unexpected landmark. About 465 miles upstream from the mouth of the Yellowstone, they arrived at a major fork in the Missouri River. Now, the most important and significant question was asked - Which one of these rivers was the real Missouri Rivers? The group was split on their decision of the correct river. In order to remedy this situation the two captains sent patrols up each riv...

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