Summary and Analysis of Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage for AP US History Class

Essay by bluecavi00High School, 11th gradeA+, April 2004

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Undaunted Courage

Meriwether Lewis was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains on August 18, 1774. He had a sister, Jane, and a brother, Reuben. His father died of pneumonia. Lewis' mother married Captain John Marks six months after his father's death.

The new family moved to Georgia when Lewis was eight or nine years old. There he learned the ways of the frontier. As time passed, Lewis longed for the knowledge that he could not receive in Georgia. At the age of thirteen he returned to Virginia. Once he was in Virginia he was to receive a formal education and start learning the responsibilities he would later have. He was tutored by boarding with his teachers. Lewis discovered that he loved to "ramble".

After he had received his education, he left Virginia. At the age of eighteen, he was out on his own. His voyage took him throughout the southern part of the United States.

At this he also acquired two dozen slaves and nearly 2,000 acres of land.

Lewis began his responsibility soon after his "rambling" was over. The slaves planted on his land. He was successful at adding many more acres to his already enormous estate, Locus Hill. He was unhappy with his life as a planter at Locus Hill so he decided to join the army as a volunteer.

At the age of twenty, Lewis joined the army to help fight the Whiskey Rebellion. He also joined because of his love of adventure. After serving as a private, Lewis received an invitation to join the Virginia militia. Lewis met Clark in the army. After serving for nearly six years, Lewis was promoted to Captain on December 5, 1800.

In 1801 Thomas Jefferson was elected as President. He wrote to Captain Lewis and asked him to be secretary;...