The Lewis and Clark Expedition Essay

1185 Words 5 Pages
In 1800 Thomas Jefferson was elected president. With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Jefferson had the vision of the United States growing from sea to sea. However, it was unknown what was out there. Jefferson planned an exploratory expedition and called upon Meriwether Lewis to lead it. Jefferson was very interested in what was in the west lands. Much was involved in the carrying out of this expedition; the preparations for this trip, what happened during their long journey west, and the return home. This expedition was very important in the development of the United States.

Lewis went to Philadelphia for short courses in medicine, celestial observation, botany, mapmaking, and fossils all to prepare for the expedition. He them
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Louis. From there they sailed up to the Wood River where they established Camp Dubois for the winter. Lewis and Clark completed their preparation during the winter by buying supplies, over hauling their boats, drilling their men, and completing their roster. A total of twenty-five soldiers and twenty civilian boatmen, guides, and hunters were selected for the expedition. Lewis estimated this journey would last at least two years. Finally on May 14, 1804 the expedition began.

They slowly made their way up river with their crew spread out on three boats at the start of this expedition. On slow days they covered four miles and on a good day they covered up to twenty miles. On an average it was about ten miles covered a day. The two captains divided their duties. Clark stayed on the keelboat and managed the men, compass readings, and the distance traveled. Lewis went ashore with his dog almost every day to gather plants, take soil samples, and taking note of the good sites for future settlements. By June 26th, they had traveled forty-three days and four hundred miles. By July 21st, they had traveled six hundred forty miles. One of the first Indian tribes they encountered was the Oto Indian tribe. Instructions from President Jefferson were that they would make friends with the Indians. Lewis and Clark were very careful in advising them that their land now belonged to the United States. After leaving the Oto Indians, the