Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark

Excerpt

Surprisingly little has been written about Capt. Meriwether Lewis of Albemarle, although this great pioneer of a great frontier had been locally prominent during the ten years preceding his death, and the successful completion of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Pacific made him nationally so. His country accorded him applause, homage, and tribute, for Meriwether Lewis was the most outstanding trail-blazer and hero of his day—the Charles Augustus Lindbergh of 1807.

I once knew a country newspaper editor who, in addressing college journalism classes, supplemented text-book instruction with very practical advice. He told them that instead of following complex formulas for prying out information, the best way to learn anything is to observe first, then to inquire; that if one wants to know about a person, it is best first to ask that individual, and if he won't talk, to get in touch with his closest friend.

I followed that advice in writing this book. I gave first attention to all Meriwether Lewis's own writings—his journals, diaries, and letters, many of which have been preserved. The late Charles Harper Anderson, of Ivy Depot, Va., a relative of the great frontiersman, succeeded in making a most valuable collection of Lewis's private letters . . .

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