Lewis and Clark Project

By: Erin Stevens

Meriwether Lewis

Lewis was born on 1774 near Ivy, Virginia. In 1801 he was asked by Thomas Jefferson to become his private secretary, and in 1805, Lewis was asked to conduct an expedition into the Louisiana Purchase. Before he joined Thomas Jefferson, Lewis was part of the state militia of Virginia. As a part of the militia, he helped fight against the Whiskey Rebellion and late joined the regular army. As part of the regular army, he met and served William Clark, who he would later ask to join him on the expedition of the Louisiana Purchase.

Once Lewis returned to Jefferson after the exploration, he was appointed to govern the Louisiana Purchase and was payed with 1,600 acres of land in the new area.

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William Clark

Clark was born in 1770 near Caroline County, Virginia. Clark was a younger brother to the war hero George Rogers Clark, so William joined the militia at age 19 and then joined the army. He befriended Meriwether Lewis when they served in the army together and in 1803, he got a letter from his friend asking Clark to join an exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. As an experienced solider and outdoorsman, he accepted Lewis's request. Clark was mainly used to keep the expedition moving and since he was an experienced map maker, he mapped their trip and helped to decide where the group should go next.

Along the trip, they met an indian woman named Sacagawea, who was pregnant with a son. Clark helped deliver the baby and was the one who gave the child the nickname Pomp.

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Sacagawea was born in the Shoshone indian tribe in 1788. At the age of twelve she was captured by indian rivals and sold to a French-Canadian trapper who made her one of his wives. In 1804, The Corps of Discovery came through the land that Sacagawea and her husband lived on. Lewis and Clark hired her husband as an interpreter, and they brought Sacagawea along with them even though she was pregnant with her first child, since they thought she would be useful later in the adventure.

During the adventure Sacagawea helped the men find edible plants, saved some important document when one of their boats tipped over, and helped the men talk to other indian tribes. Sacagawea was the only woman on the expedition.

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York was Clark's slave. York was mistreated and had little to no food while living under his previous owner, but when William Clark bought him, his life greatly improved. York's wilderness skills he learned while being a slave greatly helped the expedition and he saved the entire group many times. York earned Clark's respect quickly and became a scout for the expedition and was even allowed to carry a gun.
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Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was the third president of The United States and the author of The Declaration of Independence. He also came up with the idea for Meriwether Lewis to explore The Louisiana Purchase.
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The Louisiana Purchase

Thomas Jefferson made The Louisiana Purchase in 1803, for 15 million dollars from Spain. This doubled the size of America. Jefferson was able to purchase the land since Spain had recently gotten out of a difficult war, and they needed money to rebuild.
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The Corps of Discovery

The Corps of Discovery was a special section of The US Army chosen to explore The Louisiana Purchase with Lewis and Clark. The group was made up of Meriwether Lewis, the War General at the time, and other members chosen by Lewis himself.
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Fort Mandan

The Corps of Discovery stayed at Fort Mandan during their first winter. They named the fort after The Mandan indians, who were very kind to them, and helped them survive during the winter. During the winter men were given specific jobs to complete, like how 16 of the men were ordered to hew 6 new canoes by the end of the winter.
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Sergeant Charles Floyd

Floyd was the only death of the adventure, which was caused by a ruptured appendix. He lasted about 3 months on the adventure, and kept daily record of the groups activities until his death.
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Shoshone Indians

The Shoshone Indians traded horses with the Corps, when Sacagawea found out that the tribes leader was her brother. When the Corps found the indians, they had been hiding in the mountains after an attack with Canadian men.
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