Meriwether Lewis

Leader of The Corps of Discovery

Thesis Statement

Meriwether Lewis was an explorer on the expedition to the West Coast of the now United States, known as The Lewis and Clark expedition, he was the main leader of this expedition. That expedition helped people move West by making maps and defining plants and animals in the area.

The Backstory

Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18, 1774, near Ivy,Virginia. As he grew up he became a member the state militia. One of the most memorable moments while he was there was when he helped the farmers win the Whiskey Rebellion, which was a group of farmers trying to stop unfair taxing in Virginia. Lewis would then join the U.S. army and got as high of rank as captain. Then in 1801 he got the opportunity of a lifetime. Lewis was asked by president Thomas Jefferson to be his private secretary. However Lewis turned that down. President Jefferson then had another idea for Lewis. He asked Lewis to go on an expedition to the newly purchased area known as the Louisiana Purchase along with an one other person. That person's name was William Clark and he picked him to go because they were good friends in the U.S. Miltary.

The Expedition

Lewis, Clark, and a few others that were on the expedition started it all at St.Louis, Missouri in May of 1804. This group, known as the Corps of Discovery, thought they wouldn't have such a difficult time. But as they found out, this trip would not be easy.

Dangers Along the Way

The expedition held a lot of dangerous situations for the Corps of Discovery. One problem was Native American troubles. Lewis and The Corps of Discovery had a few run ins with Native American tribes, usually involving territory guarding. None were too serious, except for one. One of the crew members in the Corps got a little frustrated about how the expedition was going and yet again Native Americans were not so happy about these uninvited visitors. This time the man threatened the native Americans to let them through, which led to both sides drawing weapons. One Native American got injured in the very small battle.

Finally Reaching The Goal

The Corps of Discovery ended up reaching the West Coast after all of those hardships. But they realized they'd have to make a whole trip back. They took a much less dangerous route on the way back and reached St. Louis on September 23, 1806, more than two years later.

After The Expedition

The corps ended up separating after it was all over. William Clark would live a long happy life married to Sacagawea. However Meriwether didn't exactly have that. Meriwether Lewis died 3 years after the expedition on October 2, 1809 at an inn in Nashville, Tennessee. His death isn't entirely known however, many speculations say he committed suicide, but others say he was murdered. Either way it was tragic.

Meriwether Lewis: The Legacy

Meriwether Lewis made one of the greatest marks on history. He led a group of men through treacherous mountains, hot deserts, and cold weather, just to develop this country. If you think about it, there might not be a United States of America if it weren't for Lewis and Clark's expedition to the west. And while I think William Clark gets more attention than Meriwether Lewis, I remember Lewis is the one who led it all.

Why Did I Choose Meriwether Lewis?

I chose Meriwether Lewis as my topic because I've always been very interested in expeditions and adventures, and I thought "what has to be the one of the most well known expeditions of all time?" Lewis and Clark! Then I decided which person I would focus on. From personal experience I knew that a lot of people did William Clark so I decided to do Meriwether Lewis.

Credits

Bodden, Valerie. Through the American West. Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 2011. Print.

Domnauer, Teresa. The Lewis & Clark Expedition. New York: Children's, 2013. Print.

"Meriwether Lewis Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 29 Jan. 2015. Web. 25 Mar. 2015.

Morley, Jacqueline, Mark Bergin, and David Salariya. You Wouldn't Want to Explore with Lewis and Clark!: An Epic Journey You'd Rather Not Make. Marlborough Place, Great Britain: Salariya Book, 2013. Print.

Sapp, Richard. Lewis and Clark on Their Journey to the Pacific. Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac Library, 2006. Print.

Woodger, Elin, and Brandon Toropov. Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. New York: Facts On File, 2004. Print.