Having tried three times before to send expeditions across the continent, President Thomas Jefferson decided to try once more.
Jefferson asked Meriwether Lewis to become his personal secretary and help plan for the expedition of the west.
Lewis was chosen as the commander of this expedition of the west and was sent to Philadelphia for instructions on what to look for and how to record his information and findings. Lewis has also begun to buy supplies for the expedition. He has written a letter to his former Army Mate, William Clark, to share command with him on this expedition. Clark willingly accepts Lewis's offer.
As Lewis took the big Keelboat down the Ohio River, He picked up Clark and some other recruits. With Lewis, he took a dog named Seaman, and Clark took a slave named York he has owned since Childhood.
The expedition established Camp Dubois on the east bank of the Mississippi River, where more men were recruited and trained.
The expedition sets off from Camp Dubois, without Lewis. He is in St. Louis and was to meet up with the others in a few days elsewhere. They travel in a big keelboat (55 long, 8 feet wide, capable of carrying 10 tons of supplies) and two smaller boats called pirogues. Moving along the Missouri River involved sailing, rowing, using setting poles, and sometimes wading along the bank to pull the boats with ropes. To Lewis and Clark, 14 miles was a good day.
The expedition marked the first Fourth of July ever celebrated west of the Mississippi by firing the keelboat's cannon, drinking an extra ration of whiskey, and naming a creek, Independence Creek.
The expedition had its first encounter with an Indian tribe and has...