Louisiana Purchase and Exploration
The American spirit is shown through not only Lewis and Clacks desire to discover, but also f Thomas Jefferson, who had the courage to make a heavy decision regardless of any obstacles. In April of 1 803, France offered the sell the Louisiana Territory to the Americans. Many historians believe that financial difficulties, the imminent War with the British, as well as the failure to Stop a slave rebellion in Haiti caused Napoleon to offer Louisiana to the Americans.At the end of April, the United States agreed to pay eleven million, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for Louisiana, which came out to be a little less than three cents and acre. The treaty was signed May 2, 1803, and on July , Thomas Jefferson announced the decision.
Thomas Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis to lead the expedition to travel the new territory. Lewis was born on August 18, 1774, and became a soldier. He helped subdue the Whiskey Rebellion, and eventually, in 1 801 , Jefferson asked Lewis to be his private secretary.Two years later, Jefferson asks him to lead an expedition to travel the newly purchased Louisiana Territory, and to take notes on all the different plants, animals, and people living there. Lewis learned about plants and herbal remedies from his mother, who was well known to be skilled in lath. Georgia Governor George Gilder said, “Meriwether Lewis inherited the energy, courage, activity, and good understanding of his admirable mother. ” As a little boy, his step-father took him into the wilderness for a few days, and the little boy greatly enjoyed camp life, perhaps prompting an older Lewis to accept Jefferson request.
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Lewis wrote to his old friend William Clark, who served in the army with him in 1795, to help command the adventure alongside himself. Born in 1770, Clark was the younger brother of the Revolutionary war hero George Rogers Clark. Clark joined the army when he as nineteen, and after a while he resigned to take care of his family’s estate. Clark was Lexis’s captain while they were in the army, and helped keep the Waupaca Lewis on track. As an experienced soldier and outdoors, Clark kept the men going, and figured out the best routes to take.His excellent making skills helped other mapmakers understand the geography of the west. The next two years of exploration were marked with hardship and trials for Lewis and his crew.
Beginning near SST. Louis, Missouri in May of 1 804, they defied dangerous waters, harsh weather, hunger, sickness, and fatigue. Lewis kept track of all occurrences and collected samples of plants and animals he came across. Many natives helped the expedition by providing supplies. They met up with Indians, who called themselves ‘Snake Indians’.At this time, fifteen year old Sewage became a part of the expedition, helping as an interpreter for future Indians. Later, Sewage was able to attain horses for the company.
Even through many trials, the team persevered, proving their great audacity and uniqueness. On their trip, Lewis and Clark found many strange and wonderful new things. Prairie dogs and grizzly bears were among he hundreds of new animals found. Around fifty different Indian Tribes were met along the way.Many were friendly, but others, like the Yankton Sioux, who threatened the company who turned and fled. Lewis became the first American to see the Great Falls of the Missouri River. In November of 1 805, the travelers reached the Pacific Ocean, where Clark wrote his most famous words, “Ocean in view! Oh joy.
” They spent the winter there after building Fort Scallops, which is in Oregon. Lewis kept samples of all their findings, even sending a prairie dog back to Jefferson. One the way back home, Lewis and Clark split up to look for a fast way home and to discover more territory.Blackest Indians tried to steal from Lewis and his men, and two Indians Were killed in the resulting conflict. Not long after, one of Lexis’s men accidental shot Lewis in the thigh during a hunt. Lewis and Clark met up again at the Missouri River, and continued the trip home together with their men. The crew traveled around eight thousand miles total by foot, boat, and horse.
After coming home, Lewis and his men traveled up to Washington and received a warm welcome at nearly every place they stopped at along the ay.Some towns even held special events in their honor. When they reached the capitol, Lewis was paid with not only money, but sixteen hundred acres of land and was made the governor of the Louisiana Territory. Clark became the Indian Agent for the West and the general of the Territory’s militia. The men received double pay as well as three hundred and twenty acres of land. Meriwether Lewis died on October 12, 1809, at an inn near Nashville, Tennessee. Most historians believe he committed suicide, as he was prone to drinking and suffered with depression.