Lewis And Clark Expedition: The Corps Of Discovery
Topics: Lewis and Clark Expedition, Native Americans in the United States, Thomas Jefferson / Pages: 8 (1994 words) / Published: Dec 8th, 2016

In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson sent an expedition to explore land obtained through the Louisiana Purchase. The group sent was called the Corps of Discovery, unearthing miles of land and discovering what they held. Ecologically, Lewis and Clark made countless discoveries regarding the flora and fauna of the land. Geographically, they were revolutionary in mapping and journaling. Socially, the expeditions of Lewis and Clark's interactions with the Native Americans greatly impacted the success of their journey. The Corps of Discovery, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, was revolutionary in increasing America's ecological, geographic, and social knowledge and understanding of the environment and who and what inhabited it. One of …show more content…
Lewis, having the aforementioned training, served as the main field scientist, but Clark also kept careful journals chronicling the journey. Lewis and Clark's detailed journals were able to give the first written descriptions of 178 plants and 122 animals ("Science"). What they were able to bring or send back, they did; what they couldn't bring back, they logged in their journals. One of the most famous discoveries that Lewis and Clark sent back took place in 1805. They sent a live prairie dog to President Jefferson from Fort Mandan ("Black-Tailed"). Lewis and Clark noted the habitat, range, and physical description of this species in their exploration journals, as well as actually sending the animal to the president. Jefferson displayed in his home many of the items that Lewis and Clark sent back to him, including plant and animal specimens. They also sent back artifacts acquired from the Native American tribes with which they came into contact (Fanselow 8). This shows the extent that Jefferson encouraged the journey. He had long been intrigued by the West and began devising a plan for exploration in 1802 (Fanselow 2). After building the plans for exploration and building the ideal team for exploration, Jefferson sent them on their way with the promise that he would be kept in the loop. In fact, the name of the exploration group, the Corps of …show more content…
The Corps of Discovery came into contact with almost 50 Native American tribes ("Native"). These interactions fostered relations, mainly positive with few negative relationships. Lewis and Clark "got along best when they respected and participated in the established trade economies" (Josephy 71). With foresight, a major part of Lewis and Clark's planning consisting of gifts for the tribes they encountered. The trip was granted $2,500 from Congress, and the single most expensive item amounted $696 and was used to buy presents for the Native Americans (Fanselow 5-6). These items were used for trade and thus established diplomacy with the Native Americans. Upon speaking with Indian tribes, Lewis and Clark would "explain to the tribal leaders that the their land now belonged to the United States, and that a man far in the east – President Thomas Jefferson – was their new 'great father' ("Native"). This allowed them to work toward another goal of the expedition: to maintain good and clear relations with tribes. After this explanation, they would gift the tribe with both a peace medal that showed the president on one side and two people shaking hands on the back and some sort of presents" ("Native"). Lewis and Clark were instrumental in fostering diplomatic relationships with many Native American

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Lewis And Clark Expeditions: The Expedition Of Lewis And Clark
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • Lewis And Clark Expedition
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • Meriwether Lewis And Clark Expedition
  • The Importance Of The Lewis And Clark Expedition
  • The Success Of The Lewis And Clark Expedition