Lewis and Clark Indian Relations

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Lewis and Clark Expedition / Pages: 17 (4166 words) / Published: Apr 25th, 2006
One of the greatest American adventure stories started on February 28, 1803, when President Thomas Jefferson gained approval for his visionary project. This project was to explore the unknown West with a small expeditionary group. President Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to head this expedition. Both Lewis and Clark had close ties to Jefferson. Meriwether Lewis was one of Jefferson's secretaries and William Clark was a close friend. The initial idea of the expedition was to include scientific inquiry, geographic mapping, and clearing the way for commerce, but the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, on April 30 1903, changed this purpose. The new mission focused more on diplomacy, which required the crew to communicate the transfer of sovereignty to every Indian tribe and foreign interest occupying the lands along the journey. Thomas Jefferson believed that accurate information about Native Americans was essential in order to shape a peaceful environment for both groups of people. President Jefferson had always maintained an interest in Indian culture and way of life. He once stated, "In the early part of my life, I was very familiar with the Native Americans, and acquired impressions of attachment and commiseration for them which have never been obliterated." President Jefferson had different approaches for addressing Native Americans of each regions. When addressing the Native Americans of the Eastern, President Jefferson spoke of programs for civilization with land acquisition. When speaking to the Native Americans of the Western region Jefferson tended to focus on trade. President Jefferson wanted Lewis and Clark to organize trips of Native Americans chiefs and leaders to visit Washington D.C during their expedition.
Lewis and Clark's crew had preconceived ideas about the Native Americans that they would encounter along their expedition. "The best authenticated accounts informed us, that we were to pass through a

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