After the uprising in Santo Domingo, Napoleon wanted to concentrate his
forces on gaining land and power in Europe. Napoleon had used both manpower and
resources to destroy the revolt in Santo Domingo. He needed to find a money source to
back his plan in Europe. Napoleon then offered Louisiana to the Americans for 15 million
President Jefferson loved the idea and the United States Purchased Louisiana
from France in 1803 for 15 million dollars. The Louisiana Purchase became a hot topic in
the America. The only exploration of this land had been done was by outlaws and fur
traders. Jefferson decided to send his private secretary Meriwether Lewis and a small
party to look at the new land. Jefferson sent Lewis on a fake scientific exploration, the
party was to actually record the number of French and Spanish soldiers or agents. The
President also wanted Lewis to create a direct line of trade with Indians.
Lewis and his co-commander William Clark set out in the spring of 1804.
Lewis and Clarks first encounter was with the Mandan Indians, in what is now the state of
North Dakota, while traveling up the Missouri River. With winter starting Lewis and Clark
decided to stay among the Mandan's. The Mandan's were Native Americans who did not
stray from the planes to hunt like many other tribes. The Mandan chose to stay on the
plains and become an agricultural society. They were a friendly tribe that offered shelter
and food to nomadic tribes. They also helped the trading and raiding system of the
plains tribes evolve. Staying with the Mandan Indians also allowed Lewis and Clark to
interact with many different Indian and European groups that engaged in the western
economy and trade. Lewis and Clark consumed all of the knowledge...