Presentation on theme: "The Lewis and Clark Expedition. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson bought more than 2 million square kilometers of land in North America from France."— Presentation transcript:
In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson bought more than 2 million square kilometers of land in North America from France. We call this land “The Louisiana Purchase.” It is located in the western part of the United States. Jefferson wanted to know about this new territory. He asked Merriweather Lewis and William Clark to explore it and report back to him.
On May 14, 1804, Lewis and Clark left St. Louis with about fifty men in three boats. They planned to follow the Missouri River to the place where it begins. No one in the United States was sure where that was.
At first, the Missouri River was very wide, but not very deep. Sometimes the men had to walk in the water and pull the boats.
The land next to the river was flat. There were not many trees. There was only grass. Lewis and Clark visited the hill in this picture because the Indians told them that “evil spirits” lived there. Lewis and Clark did not see any “evil spirits!”
Only one person, Sgt. Charles Floyd, died during the expedition. Today there is a monument to Sgt. Floyd in Sioux City, Iowa, the place where he died.
The first winter, they built Fort Mandan near an Indian village. This was the place where Lewis and Clark met Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau. Today it is in North Dakota.
The next spring on April 7, 1805, Lewis and Clark left Fort Mandan and continued to follow the Missouri River west. The land here was not flat. There were not many plants or trees. In June, Lewis and Clark had a problem. The Missouri River and the Marias River come together. Lewis and Clark were not sure which river to follow. They weren’t sure which river was the Missouri. It took them a week to decide, but they chose the right river.
Which way should we go? Which river is the Missouri?
Soon, Lewis and Clark had another problem. There were several waterfalls along the Missouri River. Lewis and Clark could not go up the falls in their boats. They had to carry all the boats and all the equipment for about 30 kilometers to go around the falls. Today, because of dams on the Missouri River, there are no waterfalls. But the city there is still called Great Falls, Montana.
It took Lewis and Clark and their men almost a month to move all their boats and equipment around the Great Falls.
Now Lewis and Clark were in the mountains. The mountains were getting higher and higher. Soon they couldn’t travel in boats anymore. The river was too small. They had to find some Indians to get horses and more supplies. Luckily, they met a group of Shoshone Indians, and their chief was Sacagawea’s brother. They got horses and supplies and continued to follow the Missouri River to its source.
Finally, they found the source of the Missouri River. Today this is located near the border between Montana and Idaho. It is also very near where Sacagawea was born.
The next winter was very difficult for Lewis and Clark. They were high in the mountains. There weren’t many wild animals, so they had to kill and eat some of their horses. There was also a lot of snow. They walked through the mountains on dangerous, narrow trails. Some of the horses died when they fell off the trail. Lewis and Clark also lost the equipment that the horses were carrying.
Finally, they were over the mountains and began to follow the Lochsa River to the Pacific Ocean. They built canoes and sailed down the river. The Lochsa flows into other rivers and also has some waterfalls, so the danger was not over yet for Lewis and Clark.
Finally, in November 1805, they reached the Pacific Ocean. They built another fort, Fort Clatsop, and spent the winter on the coast of Oregon. It rained all winter, and the men were not very happy. At least there was no snow!
The trip from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean took almost two years, but the trip home took only six months. When Lewis and Clark and their men arrived in St. Louis on September 23, 1806, the people cheered in the streets. Today people remember Lewis and Clark as explorers and heroes.