History of the United States
Explorers and Expeditions
Lewis and Clark

What is the Louis and clark expedition?

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2010-05-14 22:08:38

Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803-06)

In January of 1803, Jefferson requested $2500 from Congress to

pay for the costs of the trip. Thomas Jefferson then commissioned

Capt. Meriwether Lewis (his presidential aide) to explore the newly

purchased Louisiana Territory. This territory is what is now the

northwest United States. Before Lewis met up with Clark, he began

the expedition on August 30, 1803 in Pittsburgh PA. Lt. William

Clark would offer to join Lewis on the expedition weeks later on

October 13, 1803 at Camp Dubois (in present-day Indiana). They then

named their team the "Corps of Volunteers for North Western

Discovery." At the time, Lewis was 29 years old and Clark was 33.

From there, they sailed down the Ohio River towards St. Louis.

The party of nearly 30 --including Lewis and Clark, three

sergeants, 22 enlisted men, volunteers, interpreters, and Clark's

slave -- departed St. Louis in May 1804 heading up the Missouri

River. They would spend their first winter at Fort Mandan at the

present site of Bismarck, North Dakota. It took about 3 weeks to

build Fort Mandan, which they named for the local natives, and they

settled in on Nov. 27, 1804. There, they acquired a guide and

translator, the Shoshone woman Sacagawea. In spring 1805, they

continued to the headwaters of the Missouri River, struggled across

the Continental Divide, and headed west along the Salmon, Snake,

and Columbia rivers to the Pacific. They returned to St. Louis the

following year.

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