Lewis and Clark A journey to explore the west

Key Players in the Corps of Discovery's expedition

From left to right top to bottom (Tomas Jefferson, Sergeant Charles Floyd, Sacajawea, Meriwether Lewis, William Clarke)

Key Players

Many people could have been considered key players in the Corps of Discovery's journey to explore and map the western portion of the United States. Five of those people that I thought were the most influential key players were Tomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, William Clarke, Sergeant Charles Floyd, and Sacajawea. These men were the most essential players in the expedition to explore and map the west because of their decisions that carved the course of the expedition. But behind their bold decisions was a past that influenced them as much as they influenced the expedition. First, Thomas Jefferson - the third president of the United States of America- was the man who made the whole journey a reality. Jefferson was also the Commander in Chief of the United States army. The second key player in the Lewis and Clark expedition was Meriwether Lewis. Meriwether Lewis was Tomas Jefferson's secretary before he was appointed leader or the Corps of Discovery. Jefferson pick Lewis because Jefferson knew he was intelligent and that he had common sense, all things you need if you want to explore and document an uncharted land. Lewis later recruited his friend, William Clark as a co-leader of the Corps of discovery. The third key player in the Corps of discovery's journey to explore the west was William Clark. Clark, as I said before, was chosen by Lewis to co-lead the expedition because Clark had leadership skills, and survival skills. Clark possessed these skills when he was an officer in the United States army. He was officially a Captain along with Lewis in the Corps of Discovery. The fourth key player in the Corps of Discovery was Sergeant Charles Floyd. Floyd died roughly 1 year after he joined the expedition with a ruptured appendix. Before his death, he had written a detailed journal of the quality of the land. This was extremely useful because now government officials knew were to direct farmers when they were looking to settle in the new territory. Sergeant Charles Floyd was the only fatality during the expedition. Lastly, the last key player in the Corps of Discovery was Sacajawea. Sacajawea was not of European descent, she was a Native American. Sacajawea acted as a translator, guide, and ambassador for the Corps of Discovery. She helped to keep the peace between Native Indian tribes and the Corps of Discovery.

Hardships and Dilemmas

The Corps of Discovery had very few mishaps on the journey to the west but there were still a few. The first hardship the Corps of Discovery had was when Private John Newman was talking about committing mutiny and other criminal activities. He was sentenced to be sent down river to the nearest settlement. But, it was winter so the Corps of Discovery let him stay for the winter in harsh conditions so he could think about his actions. The second event was a dilemma. Private George Shannon got lost on the river bank. He walked for more than two weeks on the shore because he thought he was behind the Corps boat but he was in front of it. When they Corps of Discovery finally caught up to him he was starving because he ran out of bullets to hunt with. The last hardship was when the Blackfeet Indians tried to steal the Corps of Discovery's guns because the United States gave guns and supplies to the Blackfeet's mortal enemy, the Nez Perce.

Charles Floyd

The Floyd River Named after Charles Floyd who had died near it

Expedition Accomplishments

amountThe Lewis and Clark expedition was an accomplishment in itself with President Jefferson, William Clark, and Meriwether Lewis having to organize the whole thing and look for people that could help and had the right skills and attributes to help. But aside from putting the whole expedition together, there were many other accomplishments. Here are three important ones. First, an accomplishment that was very important was the many treaties the Corps made with western Indian tribes and nations. This was an important accomplishment because Lewis and Clark didn't want to be cut off by hostile Indian tribes that they didn't make a peace treaty with because then their journals and specimens couldn't make it back to Washington and the whole expedition would have been in vain. Also the United States of America didn't want to go to war with Indians from the west. A second accomplishment of the Lewis and Clark expedition was that they made notes and maps of the topography. This might not sound like something that is special or influential but it was. These topographical maps were used by settlers, fur traders, mountain men, and gold seekers in California. If these maps were never made the journey to the west for these other people would have been extremely more dangerous and the rate of death would have been tremendously higher. Last but not least the last accomplishment of the Lewis and Clark expedition was that they made major leaps in the scientific field of biology. They noted a tremendous amount of new plant and animals species. This accomplishment also doesn't sound as influential as it is though. Since the government knew about these new species, they could advise settlers where to go and what to bring so the west could be settles safely and successfully. There were many more accomplishments but those were just three.

Pictured left to right (Tundra Swan, Pronghorn Antelope, Western Rattlesnake)

New species

Along side discovering new land was discovering new animal species. These discoveries were important so that these new specie could be studied for scientific advances and laws that need to be put in place to protect these marvelous creatures. Along with these three species The Corps of Discovery discovered 175 more plant and animal species.

Pictured here are some more species discovered by the Corps of discovery

Expedition route

The Lewis and Clark expeditions route was planned up until the Missouri river ended. The expedition didn't officially start until the Corps of Discovery left Saint Louis Missouri. They sailed down the Missouri river on keelboats. These boats were long and could hold a lot of cargo. These boats were also good because they could sail in shallower water. As I said before, the expedition officially started in St. Louis, Missouri. As far as the rest of the journey went, the Corps didn't encounter many cities but they scouted a few forts. Some forts that they

Keelboat

Tools taken on the expedition

Tools they brought along

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