The Importance Of The Lewis And Clark Expedition

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In 1804, two men, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were sent out by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the land of the Louisiana Purchase. The two men were to determine if the new territory actually had something that could contribute to America, or if there was nothing new or of importance. They were told to study the plant life, animals, and the geography of the region, to map out the borders of the land. In addition, they were to discover if the area had any natural resources which could make the land beneficial to the economy. What they discovered in the Louisiana Purchase was massive; numerous Indian tribes, plant and animal species, and the Rocky Mountains. Thomas Jefferson had long wanted to explore the western lands. The Lewis…show more content…
On May 14th at four o’clock, “under a jentle brease” the Corps of Discovery started the expedition (Ambrose 137). Through the first few days of the journey were far from easy. Bad weather, bugs, and travel problems plagued the crew for weeks. On June 1st, the group had reached the Osage River, and set up camp. In order for Lewis to collect samples, he demanded that all surrounding trees be cut down. In addition, in true scientist form, Lewis would also walk around collecting samples of both animal and plant species, and making note of the physical aspects of the land (Ambrose 141). Though, because this was now more of a diplomatic expedition, the other important aspect was to befriend the Indian tribes that resided in the western lands. Jefferson attempted to contact the Sioux Indians, but had no such luck. Multiple times the Corps of Discovery passed through territories of the Kansas Indians, Pawnees and Otos, only to find no Indians present. Only when one George Drouillard, one of the translators of the group, find a lone Indian and persuade him to bring the group back to his tribe, did they have their first encounter with Indians. Lewis and Clark then used a technique that would be used with all future Indian encounters. They showed the tribes examples of their military power and advanced technology, such as…show more content…
There was no direct water way to the Pacific, like Jefferson had hoped. He did highlight instead on another finding, saying “we view this passage across the continent as affording immence advantages to the fur trade…The Missouri and all its branches from the Cheyenne upwards abound more in beaver and common otter, than any other streams on earth” (Lewis, 200). The government could cut out the British almost completely, cut the distance traveled, and have the furs arrive earlier and in better condition, leading to an increase in price. Lewis believed that he had been the first to explore the American West, that he should be the one to exploit it. Over the next few months, Lewis and Jefferson had many different meetings with all political figures trying to get this new form of fur trade to happen. In addition, Lewis traveled across the east coast, to Philadelphia, Virginia, and St. Louis, where each city insisted on throwing him a ball or feast in his honor. Over the course of almost two years, Lewis and Clark with the Corps of Discovery explored the Louisiana Territory, and returned with both good and bad news. While there wasn’t a direct water route to the Pacific Ocean, there were numerous animal species that could be used to benefit the fur

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