Lewis and Clark Expedition By: Tori Duvall

Introduction

The Lewis and Clark Expedition was a two year expedition westward towards modern day California and Oregon by using the Missouri and Columbia rivers. The expedition was 8,000 miles through the wilderness. The expedition was made up of two captains and 45 men. Along this journey these men encounter much, but also discovered a lot.

Key Players

Meriwether Lewis- One of the Captains who led the expedition. Catalog all the plants and animals from the expedition. Worked in the military and also worked with Thomas Jefferson before he led the expedition.

William Clark- A Captain that helped lead the expedition. Drew maps of the new territory they traveled. Worked in the military with Lewis prior to leading the expedition.

Thomas Jefferson- The third President of the United States who was President at the time. He pushed for the expedition and helped get it approved by congress. He thought that if we could find a water route to the west and made a claim it would scare off some of the other countries trying to take the territory.

Sacagawea- A native American woman who helped with the journey. She helped out the men many times some including when she saved important journals that had gone overboard into the river, and by helping them getting horses from another indian tribe. She also worked as a translator for the corps.

Toussaint Charbonneau- A French-Canadian interpreter they met while camping in the winter during 1804. Joined the men on the journey bringing his wife Sacagawea along with him.

Discoveries

Along the expedition they discovered 178 plants and 122 animals. They discovered the Plains Gray Wolf, which is now endangered, the Prairie Apple plant, the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog, and the Pacific Blackberry plant.

Plains Gray Wolf
Black-Tailed Prairie Dog
Pacific Blackberry Plant
Prairie Apple Plant

Hardships/Dilemmas

This expedition was not easy. These men went out into the wilderness having no idea what they would encounter. A couple of ways they struggled was they had troubled navigating the rivers and almost crashed their boats a couple of times. They also had to deal with strong thunderstorms that would damage the boats and they would have to fix them. The men also had to deal with sickness mostly caused from bacteria and their all meat diet.

Accomplishments

They accomplished a lot on the journey, which is why it's well known. Some of these accomplishments were they discovered 178 plants 122 animals, they mapped a broad path through the Rocky Mountains, mapped the Missouri and Columbia rivers, and found a water route to the Pacific Ocean.

Tools

In order to complete this journey they had to have lots of tools. Some of the tools they used were compasses, air rifles, telescopes, journals, and watches.

Compass
Air Rifle

Route

The Expedition started in May 1804 in St.Louis Missouri where the two captains, Lewis and Clark, met. From St.Louis the corps traveled upstream on the Missouri river. They continued on the Missouri river and at the end of August in 1804 they had reached the eastern edge of the Great Plains. In November 1804 they were forced to leave the Missouri river to set up camp for the winter, because the river would freeze over. In April 1805 they were able to re-enter the Missouri river when the first spring rains came and melted most of the ice away. In May 1805 the Captains were thrilled to finally be moving due west on the Missouri river. In the Middle of May they were able to see the Rocky Mountains coming into view, which told them they were getting close to the Pacific region. In June 1805 the group comes upon a fork in the river. The captains believe that the southern fork is the Missouri river, but the rest of the group believes that the north fork is. They send two parties on each branch in search of the falls that will tell them which branch is the Missouri. In mid june they find the falls on the southern branch. They were expecting to find a single fall, but instead found five separate falls that stretched 12 miles. When they discovered the falls they realised they needed horses to cross the Rockies to get to the Columbia River on the other side. In August 1805 they started the trek over the mountains. During the trek they ran low on supplies and had lots of problems. October 1805 they made it over the Rockies and started to sail down the Columbia River. In November 1805 they finally reached the Pacific Ocean. They then took the same route back, but the trip back took less time than the trip there.

Map of the route the expedition took

Resources and work Cited

"National Geographic: Lewis & Clark—Readying for the Return." National Geographic: Lewis & Clark—Readying for the Return. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

Schmidt, Thomas, and Jeremy Schmidt. The Saga of Lewis & Clark: Into the Uncharted West. New York: DK Pub., 1999. Print.

Credits:

Created with images by pinkzebra - "united states map north america map map" • Eric Fischer - "The World Showing British Empire in Red (1922)" • Ramdlon - "key success door" • brian.gratwicke - "Grey Wolf at the National Zoo, American Trail" • Just chaos - "Black-Tailed Prairie Dog" • molajen - "Hard as Blackberries" • BioDivLibrary - "n130_w1150" • Calsidyrose - "Compass Study"

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