"My response; they do matter!"
Captain Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took the risk of life, limb, and liberty to bring back the precious and valuable information of the Pacific Northwest of the United States territory. Their accomplishments of surviving the trek and delivering the data to the U.S. government, have altered the course of history, but have some Historian's and author's stating, "It produced nothing useful.", and having "added little to the stock of science and wealth. Lewis and Clark's expedition is one of the most famous and most unknown adventures of America's frontier. What makes Lewis and Clark truly significant historical figures, or not? It depends on your perspective. To the Native Americans, it was the beginning of an end. Their lives will be changed forever by their contact with the fur traders, soldiers, and missionaries that followed in the wake of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Certainly the changes will be gradual, but changes none the less. The changes will be no less profound for European Americans. President Jefferson's orders were far-reaching. While Lewis and Clark did not discover a Northwest Passage or start the western fur trade or overland immigration, they certainly influenced the latter two movements. They provided valuable information about the topography, the biological sciences, the ecology, and ethnic and linguistic studies of the American Indian. The mysteries of the vast area known as the Louisiana Purchase quickly disappeared after Lewis and Clark. Geographic discovery was an essential goal that Jefferson set for the expedition. Lewis and Clark recorded a wealth of scientific knowledge as they noted significant geographic features, made detailed route maps, and recorded their observations of longitude and latitude. Lewis performed most the astronomical duties and Clark charted the course and drafted expedition maps. Jefferson was especially concerned that Lewis and Clark establish good connections...
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