The Lewis Clark Expedition William Clark: military captain, superintendent of Indian affairs after expedition Meriwether Lewis: Jefferson's secret secretary, previous soldier, Virginian frontiersman, appointed governor after war

Starting around St. Louis the Lewis and Clark expedition started up the Missouri on keelboats.

Route Taken

After continuing north on the Missouri River, the expedition headed west towards the Great Plains, Sioux territory. The Sioux Indians were a powerful tribe that Lewis and Clark were warned about. They reached the Mandan tribes before the Missouri River froze.

The route west after winter.

After winter, the members of the expedition went further west to approach the Rocky Mountains. Later, the expedition came to a fork in the Missouri River. Lewis and a few other men took the southern fork in search of the falls. Previous Indian tribes had assured them that the fork that contained the falls would take them to the Rocky Mountains. Lewis found them in the southern fork and met Clark to get by what is now called the Great Falls of the Missouri River.

The Great Falls

When the expedition reached the Rocky Mountains, the continental divide, they crossed with horses from a trade with the Shoshone tribe. They passed through the Bitterroot Mountains. Then the expedition was directed to the Clearwater River, then the Snake River, and then the Columbia River which leads to the Pacific Ocean. The estuary of the Columbia RIver was mistaken for the Pacific Ocean. Finally the Pacific Ocean was reached.

The Clearwater leads into the Snake River and the Snake River leads into the Columbia RIver.


The Lewis and Clark expedition mapped a route to the Pacific, made good relations with the Indians, and brought back information on the new land west and the people there.

Clark's map


The expedition came close to starvation in a land of plenty. Their camp got raided by a grizzly bear. Lewis and Clark had to row upstream tiring their crew out and slowing them down. The Missouri River was also shallow and unpredictable resulting in the crew spending hours pulling keelboats over sandbars. The expedition came upon conflicts with Indians where weapons were drawn such as raids or the Indians not approving the peace offerings.

The coin would have been used to show peace on the expedition.

Key players:

  1. William Clark: army captain, superintendent of Indian affairs after expedition, previous friend of Lewis, called upon to go on expedition
  2. Meriwether Lewis: Jefferson's secretary, soldier, Virginian frontiersman, appointed to governor after expedition
  3. York- Clark's black servant, had his own rifle, got to vote
  4. Toussaint Charbonneau- interpreter, husband of Sacagawea, French fur trapper
  5. Sacagawea-Native American, guide/interpreter, Shoshone, Hidatsa, sold to Charbonneau


Black Hawthorn
Desert Cottontail

Bear grass: 4-5 feet tall, tough, wiry, grass-like leaves grow from the bottom of the plant

Items taken:

  • silk ribbons were used for trading
  • 30 steels were taken to strike fire
  • 150 yards of cloth was taken to oil and sew into tents and sheets

Works Cited

  • Google Classroom Explorers Reading
  • The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Bernard DeVoto


Created with images by bsabarnowl - "3104 Lewis and Clark with Sacagawea"

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