The LEWIS And CLARK Expediton

Read to discover Lewis and Clark's journey over new land.

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Fisher Arrowood

NWR series


On May 14, 1804 President Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark to begin an expedition. this expedition would bring many challenges such as native american tribes, dangerous animals and tough terrain to cross over. The encounters with native american tribes added one more person to the expedition, this person was Sacagawea.

Lewis and Clark's early life

on August 1, 1770 William Clark was born in Virginia. Clark was the ninth out of ten children. Clark joined the Kentucky MILITIA(a type of military) at the age of nineteen. After the MILITIA he joined the united states army. Clark became the captain of the chosen rifle company (a group of SHARPSHOOTERS). When Clark was captain he met Merriwether Lewis.

Merriwether Lewis was born on August 18, 1774 also in Virginia.

At the age of five Lewis's dad died. Lewis's mother remarried, when Lewis was eight teen Lewis's step father passed away. In 1794 Lewis joined the united states army, Lewis later ended up in the chosen rifle company.

Before the great adventure

In 1801 President Jefferson offered $10 million for New Orleans. The french then later offered all of Louisiana for $15 million. President Jefferson accepted the offer on April 30, 1803. This purchase became known as the Louisiana purchase.

At this time though maps of the land were not correct so Pres. Jefferson looked for the right man to explore the new land. The man that was chosen had to be able to make friends with the NATIVE AMERICAN tribes, he also had to able to write about the plants and animals. President Jefferson asked Merriwether Lewis. Lewis agreed as long as William Clark could go to.

Planning and Preparing

Lewis and Clark had to find about thirty other men who knew something about the wilderness. Lewis and Clark took many supplies such as guns, LEAD, medicine, food, compasses and clothing. Lewis made plans for a boat that could be taken apart if needed, this boat was called a KEEL BOAT.

Lewis and Clark took many gifts for Native Americans such as 144 pocket mirrors, 4,600 sewing needles, 144 small scissors, 10 pounds of thread, ribbons, combs, 288 knives, 8 brass kettles and 33 pounds of beads.

New Lands, New People

Lewis and Clark first met with native Americans on August 3, 1804. Lewis and Clark had an interpreter help them understand the native Americans. The youngest man on the expedition, George Shannon didn't return from hunting. Near the end of September the men of the expedition shouted with joy, they found George Shannon walking along a river bank.

On November 4, 1804 sacagawea and her husband joined the expedition. During that winter sacagawea's son, Pomp was born. Later in the expedition sacagawea saw a mountain called beavers head and told Lewis that's where the Shoshone lived.

On August 17, Lewis, Clark and sacagawea met with chief cameahwait. sacagawea was explaining what the chief was saying, then she suddenly stopped. She gave the chief a hug, this was her brother. The Shoshone agreed to sell 29 horses because of sacagawea. Lewis and Clark's journey ended on September 23, 1806.

Lewis and Clark's Later Life and Accomplishments

The Louisiana purchase doubled the size of the US. The expedition lasted two years and four months from May 14, 1804 to September 23, 1806. Lewis and Clark returned with the first correct maps of the Missouri river. Lewis and Clark's journey proved that there was no all water route from the Missouri river to the Pacific ocean. Lewis and Clark also returned with the first maps of the Rocky mountains and the Columbia river. Lewis and Clark found a land route that went over the Rocky mountains to the Pacific ocean. Lewis and Clark encountered 24 American Indian tribes. They brought back information about the customs and languages of the tribes. Lewis and Clark brought back information on 178 plants and 122 animals that were undiscovered. Animals such as Pronghorn antelope, bull snakes, terns, Prairie dogs, jackrabbits, grouse and pelicans.

The expedition opened up the frontier for hunters and trappers. People decided to settle in the path of Lewis and Clark, Many settlers brought


superintendent- someone who manages an activity

Shoshone- a group of Indians

interpreter- a person who speaks two languages and explains what someone else says

Keel boat- a boat used for hauling goods

lead- it is used for hunting

native Americans- a type of Indian

militia- a type of military

sharpshooters- a group of people that are good with rifles

works cited

  • Oregon Trail Mural Lewis and Clark at Rock Fort by Robert Thomas in The Dalles Oregon
  • The White House Government Website