FC: Lewis and Clark
1: Why? Jefferson originally sent William Clark and Meriwether Lewis to explore Western territory, conduct scientific experiments, and observe native cultures in the west. Their main goal was to make advances in geographical knowledge and prepare the way for the expansion of the American fur trade. They were required to note the possible resources they encountered which would later support future settlements.
2: Who? Thomas Jefferson appointed Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and a select group of United States army and civilian volunteers. | The group later encountered Sacagewea, who had been kidnapped by the Hidatsa Indians at the age of twelve. She served a useful tour guide and translator due to her knowledge of the land. | The group of thirty three members were known as The Permanent Party. Of thirty three, twenty nine of the individuals were active participants in the corps.
3: When? The expedition began on May 14, 1804. It lasted a total of 1,273 days, stretching further west 10-15 miles a day. Their journey began and ended in Washington D.C. at the White House.
4: What they discovered Lewis and Clark were sent to make scientific discoveries, observe new land, and study native cultures. They did just that. The two men are responsible for the discovery of 179 new plants and trees, 122 | new species of birds, animals, and fish and a total of 48 native American tribes. On their journey Lewis and Clark also recorded a series of routes and noted geographical features ultimately mapping out their geographical discoveries. Lewis and Clark' discoveries provided a dramatic leap forward in the subjects of science, ecology, geography and Native cultures.
5: The Native Americans Lewis and Clark were instructed to make positive relationships with the Indians to build their trust and encourage alliances with the U.S. rather than foreign countries. The relationships were mostly amicable, but in the long run the Natives suffered greatly. They were no longer off the maps. Their cultures had been adulterated by foreigners who lusted for their fur trade and resources. For the Americans, the Natives were simply another resource to help them get ahead. At the time however, the Indians saw no harm. They were charmed by the white man's gifts and kind words, but little did they know it was the beginning to the end.
6: Decisions The decisions by the Corp of Discovery were always made with the intention of keeping the crew safe while still achieving success on the journey. Decisions relating to weather, river conditions, and relations with Native Americans were made to protect Lewis, Clark, and the rest of the explorers on board. However, the decisions were also made with the intention of still successfully obtaining the information the expedition initially sought. | Difficulties Traveling up the Missouri was difficult due to extreme heat, injuries, insects, and the river itself. The unclean water was dangerous to drink and the rough water made traveling hard. The weather was too foggy to see, too cold to leave camp, and the rain damaged equipment. The death of Sergeant Charles Floyd also served as a difficulty since he played a key role in the expedition. Luckily, relations with Native Americans stayed essentially peaceful and they did not serve as an obstacle.
7: Journals Clark] 2nd of February Satturday 1805 "a find Day one Deer Killed our interpeter Still unwell, one of the wives of the Big belley interptr taken Sick— Mr. Larocke leave us to day (this man is a Clerk to the N W Company, & verry anxious to accompany us)" [Ordway] Saturday 2nd Feby. 1805. a clear morning. my hat got burnt exedantly this morning. the river raiseing one of the hunters went out a Short distance from the Fort and killed a Deer & packed it in. | Reading the journal entries from February 1805 gives the people of today a glimpse of what life was like on the expedition. People were constantly fighting disease and sickness. Food was scarce and deer were hard to find. The river's water level raised and dropped without warning. None of the explorers ever knew what to expect, as they were constantly surprised with new challenges and hardships.