Corps of Discovery

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Thomas Jefferson had a certain curiosity about the vast region west of the Mississippi. He wanted to know all about the geography and how well the prospects were for trade and agriculture. In 1803, Congress approved his proposal to finance for a mapping and scientific expedition to the far Northwest, beyond the Mississippi, which was foreign territory. In May, 1804, Jefferson assigned as commanders, Meriwether Lewis his personal secretary and William Clark, to set out on an amazing expedition across the Louisiana Territory. Lewis and Clark succeeded in many areas: Opened the U.S. from the Missouri River north to the Pacific Ocean, mapped and described the areas in detail, discovered many previously unknown species of fauna and established contact the Indians. Lewis could be descried as an expert woodsman. He knew much about many various things including: classifying plants and animals and how to determine geographical position by observing the stars. Now being knowledgeable in these areas Lewis took a large flat-bottomed boat called a keelboat near Louisville, Kentucky where he would meet up with Clark. Clark has recruited only a few men, but Lewis and Clark wanted to choose very skilled woodsmen and hunters who were accustomed with manual labor. Now, they were ready to begin there journey from the Mississippi all the way to the Pacific coast. On May 14, 1804 a large keelboat and about fifty men got the boat moving down the river through the current carrying large amounts of supplies, including: food, medicine, scientific instruments, weapons, and presents for the Indians. Traveling up the Missouri River Lewis and Clark were astonished at the beautiful scenery along the way. One of the first tense encounters was with the Sioux Indians, but luckily they had brought gifts along with and were able to communicate, and the Sioux refused to allow to return to the boat. Luckily, Clark had a strong backing with his crew members preparing to fight to get him back on the...
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