About the Expedition
Rivers, Forests & Prairies
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Book: Adventuring Along the Lewis and Clark Trail
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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
"It was the first report on the West, on the United States over the Hill and beyond the sunset, on the province of the American future. There has never been another so excellent or influential." -- Historian Bernard DeVoto
In 1803, shortly after the Louisiania Purchase was finalized, President Thomas Jefferson ordered 45 men -- Captains Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and their Corps of Discovery -- to "find the shortest and most convenient route of communication between the U.S. and the Pacific Ocean." Jefferson instructed the exporers to map "the face of the country," make contact and peace with the Native peoples they encountered and to be naturalists, recording species of plants, birds, reptiles, insects and mammals, "especially those not known in the U.S..."
By boat and on foot for the next three years, Lewis and Clark navigated and named two-thirds of the American continent. They traveled 8,000 miles hauling 3,500 pounds of equipment, guided for part of their expedition by Sacagawea, a Shoshone woman. By journey's end, they had written the first scientific descriptions of 178 plants and 122 animals.
Find out more about the expedition:
Sierra Magazine: Lewis and Clark issue
PBS: Lewis and Clark, Journey of the Corps of Discovery
For more information about the Sierra Club's Lewis and Clark campaign or to find out how you can help, contact email@example.com.