Lewis and Clark By Arnav Bal and Sushant Sharma

St.Louis, Missouri; Lewis and Clark expedition starts at the Missouri River

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark started their expedition at St Louis on the Missouri River. They were on a mission to explore the land Northwest of the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

Key Players of the Expedition

On the Lewis and Clark expedition, there were many different people that were important in the successes of the expedition.

Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18, 1774 near Charlottesville. When he was a little boy, he was the neighbor of Thomas Jefferson. He had joined the militia around 20 years old, and was attached to a sub legion that was commanded by Lieutenant William Clark. When Thomas Jefferson was president, he was offered a position of the president's secretary-aide.
William Clark was born on August 1st, 1770 and was a native to Virginia. He had many of the same qualities as Lewis. William Clark was also a military leader, and he was a good one too. He was very intelligent, courageous, and adventurous.
Sergeant Charles Floyd is the only member of the crew to die during the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the first United States soldier to die west of the Mississippi. Floyd was born in Kentucky around 1782. In 1803, he joined the Corps of Discovery, the military expedition that would explore the Louisiana Territory. He died on August 20, 1804
York became the slave of William Clark at about the age of 15, who was about the same age. Clark would later lead the Lewis and Clark Expedition west. Clark inherited York, along with a couple believed to have been York’s parents (Old York and Rose). They accompanied the Clark family when they moved to Kentucky in the late 1780s. Clark eventually freed York sometime after 1815 and gave him a wagon and horses for a freight-hauling venture. But the business failed, and York eventually died of cholera, probably between 1822 and 1832.
There were many hardship faced during the expedition.
  1. Lewis and Clark were constantly attacked by Grizzly bears and in Meriwether Lewis's journal entries he says that the grizzly is a very tremendous animal and very hard to kill.It took about ten shots before it would fall to the ground
  2. They were also constantly pestered by disease transmitting mosquitoes. In the journal entries by Meriwether Lewis he said we could not even aim a gun without the mosquitoes stinging us in the face, we just fired. We could not eat without getting a mouthful of mosquitos.
  3. They also constantly faced bad weather especially in the winter.Clark and his wife Sacagawea even had to flee a flash flood.
  4. Even with the medications, the diseases mainly malaria and cholera, did not stop.
Plants and Animals discovered on the journey


  • Bear Grass
  • Blue Huckleberries
  • Camas
  • Snow Berries


  • Blue Catfish
  • Coyote
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Mountain Goat
  • Mountain Lion
  • Pacific Loon
  • Mountain Fox

The route taken by Lewis and Clark

  1. Summer, 1803 - Large keelboat constructed in Pittsburgh, overseen by Lewis. After construction Lewis takes it down the Ohio River picking up Clark and recruits along the way.
  2. Fall/Winter, 1803 - Camp Wood established upstream from St. Louis.
  3. May 14, 1804 -Expedition begins.
  4. July 4, 1804 -Expedition marks first 4th of July west of the Mississippi by firing the keelboat's cannon, and naming Independence Creek.
  5. August 3, 1804 - Corps of Discovery meet with representatives of the Oto and Missouri Indians, give peace medals, 15 star flags and other gifts.
  6. August 20, 1804 - Near present day Sioux City, Iowa, Sgt. Charles Floyd dies. Captains name hilltops where he is buried Floyd's Bluff and a nearby stream, Floyd's River.
  7. August 30, 1804 - Friendly council with Yankton Sioux held.
  8. September 7, 1804 - All of the men attempt to draw a never-before-seen prarie dog out of its hole for shipment back to Jefferson.
  9. September 25, 1804 - Confrontation with Teton Sioux, who demand one of the expedition's boats as a toll to travel farther upriver. Chief Black Buffalo resolves situation before any fighting. Expedition stays with tribe for 3 more days.
  10. October 24, 1804 - Expedition discovers earth lodge villages of the Mandan and Hidatsa Indians. The captains decide to build Fort Mandan across the river from the main village.
  11. November 4, 1804 - Toussaint Charbonneau, is hired as an interpreter. His wife, Sacagawea, is also considered helpful as the Shoshones are said to live at the headwaters of the Missouri.
  12. December 24, 1804 - Fort Mandan completed, expedition moves in for the winter.
  13. February 11, 1805 - Sacagawea gives birth to baby boy, Jean Baptiste.
  14. April 7, 1805 -Lewis and Clark send the keelboat and approx. a dozen men back downriver, with maps, reports, Indian artifacts and other scientific specimens for Jefferson. The remaining party heads west.
  15. April 29, 1805 - Lewis and another hunter kill a large grizzly bear, which had never before been described for science.
  16. May 29, 1805 - Clark names the Judith River in honor of a girl back in Virginia he hopes to marry.
  17. June 2, 1805 - The expedition comes to a fork in the river. Lewis and Clark believe the south fork is the Missouri, while all of the other men believe it is the north fork.
  18. June 13, 1805 - Scouting ahead of the rest of the expedition, Lewis comes across the Great Falls of the Missouri. He also discovers four more waterfalls farther upstream.
  19. Late July, 1805 - The expedition reaches the three forks of the Missouri River, and name them the Gallatin, the Madison, and the Jefferson,
  20. August 8, 1805 - Sacagawea recognizes Beaverhead Rock and says they are nearing the headwaters of the Missouri, and her people, the Shoshones. Lewis and three others scout ahead.
  21. August 12, 1805 - Lewis ascends the final ridge toward the Continental Divide expecting to see plains and a river flowing to the Pacific, but he finds even more mountains.
  22. August 17, 1805 - Lewis discovers a village of Shoshones and tries to negotiate for horses.
  23. August 31, 1805 - The expedition sets out with a Shoshone guide called Old Toby, along with 29 horses and a mule.
  24. September 9, 1805 - The expedition camps at present day Missoula, Montana, a spot Lewis and Clark called Travelers Rest to prepare for the mountain crossing.
  25. September 22, 1805 - After nearly starving in the mountains the expedition emerges near present-day Weippe, Idaho.
  26. October 16, 1805 - The expedition reaches the Columbia River.
  27. October 18, 1805 - Clark sees Mount Hood in the distance, named by a British sea captain in 1792, proof that they are near the ocean.
  28. November 7, 1805 - Clark, who believes he can see the ocean writes his most famous journal entry: "Ocian in view! O! the joy."
  29. November 24, 1805 - By majority vote the expedition decides to cross to the south side of the Columbia River to build winter quarters.
  30. January 4, 1806 - President Jefferson welcomes a delegation of Missouri, Oto, Arikara, and Yankton Sioux chiefs who had met with Lewis and Clark more than a year earlier.
  31. March 7, 1806 - The expedition runs out of tobacco. They had run out of their whiskey ration the previous fourth of July.
  32. March 23, 1806 - Fort Clatsop is presented to the Clatsop Indian, for which it was named, and the expedition begins the journey home.
  33. May - Late June, 1806 - The expedition reaches the Bitterroot mountains, but must wait for the snow to melt before crossing them. During this time the expedition again stays with the Nez Perce, Lewis describes them as "the most hospitable, honest and sincere people that we have met with in our voyage."
  34. July 3, 1806 - Having crossed the Bitterroots again, the expedition breaks into smaller groups in order to explore more of the Louisiana Territory. Clark and his group head down the Yellowstone River, while Lewis takes the shortcut to the Great Falls.
  35. July 25, 1806 - Near present-day Billings, Montana, Clark names a sandstone outcropping Pompy's Tower, after sacagawea's son. On the rock face Clark inscribes his name and the date.
  36. July 26-27, 1806 - While making their way back to the Missouri, Lewis' party encounters eight Blackfeet warriors. During a fight two of the Blackfeet were killed.
  37. August 12, 1806 - All of the parties are reunited downstream from the mouth of the Yellowstone River.
  38. August 14, 1806 - The expedition returns to the Mandan village. Charbonneau.
  39. September, 1806 - With the current of the Missouri behind them, they are able to cover over 70 miles per day.
  40. September 23, 1806 - Lewis and Clark reach St. Louis.
  41. Fall, 1806 -Lewis and Clark are treated as national heroes. They return to Washington, D.C. The men receive double pay and 320 acres of land as reward, the captains get 1,600 acres. Lewis is named governor of the Louisiana Territory, Clark is made Indian agent for the West and brigadier general of the territory's militia.
Supplies taken on the trip
Transport supplies

55-foot (17-meter) Keelboat, 2 Pirogues (open boats), Square sail (also called a broad sail), 35 Oars, 2 Horses

Camping Equipment

150 Yards (140 meters) of cloth to be oiled and sewn into tents and sheets, 6 Large needles, Pliers, Chisels, Handsaws, Oilskin bags, 25 Hatchets, Whetstones, 30 Steels for striking or making fire, Mosquito curtains

Food related supplies

Iron corn mill, 2 Dozen tablespoons 10.5 Pounds (5 kilograms) of fishing hooks and fishing lines, 193 Pounds of "portable soup", 3 Bushels (106 liters) of salt

Personal supplies

12 Pounds of soap, Clothing, 45 Flannel shirts, 20 Coats, 15 Frocks, Shoes, Woolen pants, 15 Blankets, Knapsacks, 30 Stockings, 15 Pairs wool overalls


50 Dozen Dr. Rush's patented "Rush's Thunderclapper" pills, Lancets, Forceps, Syringes, Tourniquets, 1,300 Doses of physic, 1,100 Doses of emetic, 3,500 Doses of diaphoretic (sweat inducer), Additional drugs


15 Prototype Model 1803 muzzle-loading .54-caliber rifles "Kentucky Rifles", 15 Gun slings, 24 Large knives, Powder horns, 500 Rifle flint, 420 Pounds of sheet lead for bullets, 176 Pounds of gunpowder packed in 52 lead canisters, 1 Long-barreled rifle that fired its bullet with compressed air, rather than by flint, spark, and powder

Mathematical Instruments

Surveyor's compass, Hand compass,1 Hadley's quadrant,1 Telescope,3 Thermometers, 2 Astrolabe, 1 Set of plotting instruments, 1 Chronometer (needed to calculate longitude), 1 Portable microscope, 1 Tape measure

Presents for Indian Tribes Encountered

12 Dozen pocket mirrors, 4,600 Sewing needles, 144 Small scissors, 10 Pounds of sewing thread, Silk ribbons, Ivory combs, Handkerchiefs, Yards of bright-colored cloth, 130 Rolls of tobacco, Tomahawks that doubled as pipes, 288 Knives, 8 Brass kettles, Vermilion face paint, 20 Pounds of assorted beads, mostly blue, 5 Pounds of small, white, glass beads, 288 Brass thimbles, Armbands, Ear trinkets

Books, Tables, and Maps

Writing paper, ink and crayons, A Practical Introduction to Spherics and Nautical Astronomy, Antoine Simon's Le Page du Pratz's History of Louisiana, Barton's Elements of Botany, Dictionary (4-volume), Linnaeus (2-volume edition), the Latin classification of plants, Richard Kirwan's Elements of Mineralogy, The Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris, Tables for finding longitude and latitude, Map of the Great Bend of the Missouri River

All of these add up to over 3500 pounds!


  1. www.lewisclark.net/journals
  2. www.nationalgeographic.com/lewisandclark
  3. https://prezi.com/iwz-uakokrfr/the-top-6-achievements-of-lewis-and-clark
  4. www.nationalgeographic.com/lewisandclark/resources_discoveries_animal.html
  5. Book-Where did sacagawea join the corps of discoveries
  6. Book-The journals of lewis and clark
  7. lewisandclarktrail.com
  8. https://prezi.com/2p8_t-lkq5_t/the-hardships-of-the-lewis-and-clark-expedition/
  9. http://siouxcityhistory.org/notable-people/11-sergeant-charles-floyd
  10. http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/york-valuable-black-explorer-lewis-and-clark-expedition

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