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Lewis and Clark Expedition

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1 Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Beginnings

2 Thomas Jefferson Jefferson took office in 1801 and during the time most of the United States lived 50 miles from the Atlantic Ocean Americans only knew about the West from fur trappers and British and Spanish Explorers Jefferson decided to form an expedition on a budget of $2,500 to explore the West In order to form the expedition he needed to get permission from Congress and January 18, 1803 he sent a confidential letter to congress requesting the expedition to be formed. Congress granted his request and the idea for the expedition was formed.

3 Reasons for Exploring Jefferson wanted to find a water route that lead to the Pacific Ocean. He hope to establish relationships with Indian tribes of the West in hopes establish trade Jefferson also wanted to see what could be learned about the geography of the West, the lives and languages of Native Americans, the plants and animals, the soil, the rock, the weather, and how they differed from those in the East.

4 Louisiana Purchase The expedition was founded before the Louisiana Purchase was bought and Jefferson was going explore the land even though the French owned it. Jefferson wanted the territory but mainly he wanted control over the port town of New Orleans. The land was purchased from France who was being ruled at the time by Napoleon Bonaparte. They agreed to purchase the Louisiana Territory which included New Orleans. In the end the acquired more land that they had originally hoped for. The purchase from France cost $15 million and was 827,000 square miles of land. The new territory gained doubled the size of the United States.


6 Meriwether Lewis Meriwether Lewis was one of Thomas Jefferson’s childhood friend. He served six years in the Frontier army and rose to the level of a Captain. In 1801 Lewis was appointed as Thomas Jefferson’s personal secretary and aid. Lewis was named the commander of the expedition created to explore the lands gained during the Louisiana Purchase. He was given the task of finding a co-commander to help him lead the expedition.

7 William Clark Clark was a Virginia native just like Meriwether Lewis.
All of Clark’s brothers were Revolutionary War veterans and he started his military career at the age of 19 by joining the Virginia Militia. He reached the status of a lieutenant in the regular army and later moved up to the position of a Captain. Twice Clark was used to spy on the Spanish to monitor their building of forts and explorations.

8 Reasons the leaders were chosen
Meriwether Lewis Brave, practical and careful Familiar with the woods Knowledgeable with Indian manners and character In great physical condition Took courses in astronomy as well as cartography. Sharp eye for details about plants and animals William Clark Learned how to build forts Knew how to draw maps Could lead pack trains through enemy country Had fought the Indian’s on their ground.

9 The beginning of the Expedition
Lewis and Clark were responsible for choosing the men to accompany them on their journey. They started preparing and gathering people and supplies to take with them on the trip. The men had an keel boat crafted so that they could travel up the river. The keel boat was useful because it could be rowed, sailed, poled like a raft, or towed from the riverbank. Two wooden Pirogues were taken along as well to hold men and supplies.

10 Types of Supplies Brought
Mathematical instruments Camp supplies Presents for Indians Clothing Arms and Ammunition Medicine and medical supplies Books and resources

11 Mathematical Instruments
Surveyor’s compass Hand compass Quadrants Telescopes Thermometers Sextants Plotting instruments Chronometer

12 Camp Supplies 150 yards of cloth to be oiled and sewn into tents and sheets Pliers Chisels Steels for striking fire Hatchets Mosquito curtains Fishing hooks and line Soap Portable soup Salt Writing ink , paper and crayons

13 Presents for Indians Pocket mirrors Sewing needles Scissors
Sewing Thread Ribbons Combs Handkerchiefs Tobacco Tomahawks that served as pipes Knives Kettles Beads

14 Clothing and Ammunition
Flannel shirts Coats Frocks Shoes Woolen pants Blankets Knapsacks Stockings Caliber riffles Knives 420 pounds of sheet lead for bullets 176 pounds of gunpowder 500 rifle flints 1 compressed air rifle

15 Medical Supplies 50 dozen of Rush’s pills Lancets Forceps Syringes
Tourniquets Doses for physic, emetic, diaphoretic Other drugs for blistering, salivation, and increased kidney output

16 Library Resources map of the Great Bend of the Missouri River
Barton’s Elements of Botany Antoine Simon Le Page du Pratz’s History of Louisiana Richard Kirwan’s Elements of Mineralogy A Practical Introduction to Spherics and Nautical Astronomy The Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris a four-volume dictionary a two-volume edition of Linnaeus (the founder of the Latin classification of plants) tables for finding longitude and latitude map of the Great Bend of the Missouri River

17 Corps of Discovery The Corps of Discovery was the name given to Lewis and Clark and the members of their expedition. The corps consisted of many different types of people and it was Lewis and Clark’s job to decide what types of men they needed for the job and who was best suited.

18 Translators Lewis and Clark needed translators of many Indian languages to help them along their journey. They often hired men who spoke multiple languages and help them with many Indian tribes. Some translators did not know English and Lewis and Clark had to go through a line of many translators just to communicate. Verbal Indian language, while useful was not the only form of communication the explorers needed to use. Sign language was an important aspect in Native American culture, so Lewis and Clark brought translators along who could sign as well. They also needed translators who were familiar with the unknown territories of the west.

19 Toussaint Charbonneau
Charbonneau was a French fur trader who lived amongst the Hidatsa and Mandan Indians. He spoke French as well as Hidatsa and was chosen to be a translator and to also bring his one of his wife’s Sacagawea along on the trip. At first Charbonneau rejected the offer because he did not want to have to perform regular duties of other men on the trip, but he apologized and the Captains signed him onto the trip.

20 George Drouillard Drouillard was helpful to Lewis and Clark because he knew the Indian character and sign language. He had a French Canadian father and a Shawnee Indian mother. He was one of the only non-military men to complete the trip from camp Dubois to the Pacific and back

21 Sacagawea was a Shoshone Indian girl who was taken from her people by the Hidatsa Indians.
She was then sold to Toussaint Charbonneau as a slave who then later took her as one of his wives. Charbonneau and Sacagawea were a translating team because she knew how to speak Shoshone as well as Hidatsa. She remembered trails from when she was a child and proved to be very valuable on the trip

22 Jean Baptiste Sacagewea was the only woman on the expedition and she was also pregnant at the time. She had a baby boy and named him Jean Baptist Charbonneau. Clark too great favoritism to the little boy and foundly referred to him as little pompy or pomp. This nickname was created because he was a little boy who was always showing off and dancing. Clark carved his name into a tower of sandstone in a river bend and called it Pompy’s tower. Today you can still see the name and it is the only evidence of the explorers that is still left on the trail.

23 York York was Captain Clark’s slave and he is the only other non-military man besides Drouillard to complete the whole trip. He helped the explorers wherever needed and was said to be a hunter and also concerned with the safety of the camp. The Indians often took interest in York because he was the first black man that they had ever seen.

24 Seaman Lewis brought along his Newfoundland dog on the trip with him.
The dog’s name was originally thought to be Scannon do to historians misreading the journals written by the men on the trip. Seaman was a great companion and would often help the explorers by barking and warning them of up coming dangers.

25 Military Officers Lewis and Clark took many military officers with them along the trip. They were used as protection as well as man power to maneuver the boats and supplies. The men ranged in rank from captains to sergeants and privates.

26 Charles Floyd Floyd was a sergeant on the trip.
He wrote journals along the way that were later published along with another Corps member. He died unexpectedly on the trip and was the only reported causality. Medical professionals believe that he died of a ruptured appendix.

27 Francois Labiche Labiche was a private on the trip, but he became very useful to Lewis and Clark. He was useful in the train of translation because he could speak French which enabled him to talk to Charbonneau who could speak to Sacagewea. Labiche was also a skilled boatman and frontier trader and knew several lower Missouri Indian languages.

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