Key Players In the Expedition
- Captain Meriwether Lewis- Lewis was a well disciplined man who was in the army. He was a captain in the expedition and a good leader. He knew how to navigate by the stars using astronomy. He was a very detailed writer and described new discoveries in great depth.
- Captain William Clark- Clark is a very strong and lean man who was a lieutenant in the army. He learned how to quickly build temporary camps during his service. He also learned to draw detailed maps and how to get information from Indians. He had a slave named York.
- Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor- Pryor often took over responsibilities of others. For example, when many were drunk, Clark gave him a lot of responsibility because he was trusted. He was a squad leader known for having a lot of character.
- Joseph Field- Joseph Field was a private in the expedition. However, he was a good hunter. This was a important job because of how much food the group could eat in a day. He was also a trusted scout by Lewis and Clark. He often accompanied them in small group trips.
- John Collins- John Collins was the chief hunter. He would need to provide for a large group in the expedition. He also provided hides for clothing and bags. He got animals not only for food but for scientific research.
Tools They Used
One of the most important tools they had was a compass. They needed the compass to make maps for later explorers. They had twenty five hatchets and 35 oars for the journey. They also brought a total of 20 pounds of plastic beads and 5 pounds of glass beads. These were for trading with Indians.
They also carried 28 gallons of salt with them. Once they got to the Pacific, they boiled water to get even more salt! They brought syringes and a lot of medicine. If a fight broke out, they had 176 pounds of gunpowder! Many of the less important tools were lost when a boat tipped over.
The Route taken By Lewis and Clark
The Expedition started at St. Louis heading up the Missouri River. They traveled Northwest upriver. After a while the reached some high plains. They made their camp in winter a little while later. This was after they had traveled 1,600 miles. They were held back when it took them nearly a month to get around the "Great Falls."
After going around the falls, they split up and looked for the Northwest passage. The Northwest passage was a route through the Rocky Mountains. However, because this is not real, they did not find it. They spent a long time crossing the Rocky Mountains. The terrain was so rough, they only traveled a few miles in a day. Later on, Lewis and Clark found a tropical rainforest. These are very dangerous and tough to travel through. They finally saw the ocean after a whopping 4,118 miles. The trip in total took about 7,700 miles.
Hardships They Faced
The expedition may have sounded great, but it was certainly not all fun. Lewis, Clark, and the crew faced many near death times. Indians and Grizzly bears were constantly attacking these explorers throughout the trip. Mosquitoes also infected and annoyed these travelers through this journey. Wildlife seemed to hate the explorers.
However, wildlife was not the only problem. While traveling, the explorers had to portage (Carrying boat over water) and pole (Using sticks to push the boat through water) their boats. They also faced rapids and shifting sandbars. These made travel by water harder, sometimes even rolling over boats. Finally the crew faced many cold blizzards and snowstorms.
The Expedition also had many positive outcomes. Lewis and Clark opened trade with many Indian groups. They also got many groups to stop trading with enemies to America. As they mapped land, they discovered a lot of really good agricultural land. They even discovered new geologic features.
Finally, they did what most thought was impossible. They made the journey all the way to the pacific. This paved the way for future explorers, such as the Mountain Men.
Plant and Animal Species
Some of the discovered species seemed to not even want to be found. In fact, one specie, the prairie dog, had to be flushed out with five barrels of water. Unfortunately, they also discovered Grizzly Bears. These would be attacking the explorers later. Lewis and Clark were even stabbed in the feet by prickly pears. These sharp fruit cut through their shoes easily.
They also discovered big leaf maple trees and curly cup gumweed. In total, They discovered 178 plants and 122 animals. This adds up to 300 new species.