Republican Nationalism: The Lewis and Clark Expedition
Overview: The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803- 1806 provided the country with its first western heroes and revealed a land so bounteous and alluring that nature itself appeared to have smiled upon the American republic. This essay explores the planning and the course of the expedition with particular attention to the personnel of the Corps of Discovery and the peoples and landscapes they encountered along the way.
1. Planning the Expedition: Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson, many nations, unknown lands, Thomas Jefferson and the West, Notes on Virginia, John Ledyard, "commercial intercourse," fur trade, Hispaniola, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Meriwether Lewis, Monticello, blazing the trail, gathering scientific information, amateur scientist, Dr. Benjamin Rush, list of questions, recruiting good men, William Clark, amateur naturalists, choosing equipment, Kentucky rifle, Harpers Ferry rifle, a tape measure by another name, scientific tools, Corps of Discovery, Rush's constipation pills, collapsible canoe, sturdy barge.
2. From Pittsburg to Saint Louis: Builders frequent drunkenness, floating down the Ohio river, good testing ground, horses or oxen as last resort, Shannon, Big Bone Lick, mammoth bones, 138-pound catfish, Saint Louis, Louis Lorimer, Cape Girardeau, Wood River, George Drouillard, Pierre Cruzete, Patrick Gass, William Warner, William Bratton, Silas Goodrich, Black York, Governor Don Carlos Dunhault Delassus, North West Company, English traders, abortive Spanish expedition.
3. From St Louis to Fort Mandan: Saint Charles, Daniel Boone, Discovery, river challenges, shallows, riverbanks suddenly collapsing, hidden logjams, excited by their journey, Great Plains, French trappers, somewhat solitary pensive man, walking alone, prairie dog, nomads, Indian and French-Canadian trading parties, Oto and Missouri Indians, Council Bluffs, Great Chief of the Seventeen Nations, Statistical View.
4. From Fort Mandan to Fort Clatsup: "The leaves are falling fast," Mandan country, Hidatsas, eight log huts, Fort Mandan, northern heights, Christmas Day, Le Borgne (One Eye), John Shields, French-Canadian and Scottish traders, British Northwest Company, Alexander Mackenzie, Sacajawea, Shoshone tribe, Touissant-Charbonneau, Baptiste, White House, sending aticles to Washington, "This little fleet," "zealously attached to the enterprise," "the most perfect harmony," "this moment of my departure," Yellowstone River, grizzly bears, "I do not like the gentlemen," Rocky Mountains, snowy barrier, Sacajawea as "guide," two forks in the river, true Missouri, Great Falls, "foaming billows," Cameahwait, the portable canoe, Jefferson, Madison and the Gallatin, Shoshones, her brother, Bitterroot Mountains, Nez Perces, Clearwater, horsemeat and dogmeat, Cascade Mountains, "O, the joy."
5. Returning Home: Fort Claston, Judith Hancock, lost only one man, friendly relations, extensive records, go west again, John Colter, territorial governor, Jeffersonian America.