The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Vol. 4

The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Vol. 4

The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Vol. 4

The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Vol. 4

Synopsis

Superseding the last edition, published early in this century, the current edition contains new materials discovered since then. It expands and updates the annotation to take account of the most recent scholarship on the many subjects touched on by the journals.

Excerpt

On April 7, 1805, the permanent party of the Lewis and Clark expedition set out up the Missouri River from Fort Mandan in present day North Dakota. They had spent the winter among the Mandan and Hidatsa Indians, waiting for the river's ice to break up and make travel possible. On the same day that they headed upriver, their keelboat which had brought them as far as the Mandan villages set off downriver for St. Louis with most of their French boatmen and a squad of soldiers under Corporal Richard Warfington. The boat carried dispatches and ethnological and natural history specimens which the captains were sending back to President Thomas Jefferson--the first fruits of the expedition.

The Corps of Discovery was now entering an area where there had been no previous white exploration, although they were informed about the country as far as the Continental Divide from the Mandans and Hidatsas. They also had with them the Shoshone woman Sacagawea, through whom they hoped to make friendly contact with her people living along the divide. Beyond that point they could only hope that with Indian assistance and guidance they could make a portage of the Rocky Mountains to some navigable stream flowing into the Columbia River, and thus reach the Pacific.

They would spend the rest of the spring and summer toiling their way up the Missouri to its headwaters in their two pirogues and six canoes. On April 25 Lewis with four men reached the Yellowstone River, near the present North Dakota-Montana boundary. Two days later, after taking astronomical readings . . .

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