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Describe The Lewis And Clark Expedition. What Were The Problems Encountered? How Did Lewis And Clark Prepare For It? What Were The Results Of The Expedition?

1741 words - 7 pages

THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITIONThe Lewis and Clark Expedition was a result of the Louisiana Purchase. Thomas Jefferson, the president of the United States in the early 1800s, bought this territory from the French in 1803. It was a huge piece of land that Jefferson wanted to get explored. Thus he planned the first exploration by the United States government of the Northwestern Wilderness. To lead this expedition into the wilderness, Jefferson appointed Meriwether Lewis, who was his personal secretary. Lewis picked William Clark as his co-leader for the expedition, which came to be known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This expedition lasted from May 1804 to September 1806.Thomas Jefferson had many expectations from Lewis and Clark, which he expected to be fulfilled by the end of this expedition. The main one was to seek and pursue the shortest route from the Missouri to the Pacific Ocean. Other expectations included finding out the new territory's geographical features such as the type of soil, the type of weather, and the length and location of its waterways. He even wanted Lewis and Clark to find out information about the Indian tribes out in the wilderness. For the scientific part, Jefferson told them to write reports on the plant and animal life in the Louisiana Territory. For future development, they were told to look for possible sites for forts and trading posts and to find out the territory's suitability for human settlement and economic and agricultural growth. To maintain all the information they collected and the things they saw, Lewis and Clark were told to keep a journal in which everything seen should be written down, complete with sketches and detailed descriptions. These were tough requirements that were to be fulfilled and Lewis and Clark had to prepare themselves well for the expedition.Reading books on various topics was the main thing Lewis and Clark did to be well prepared for the expeditions. They read books on botany, medicine, natural history, navigation, astronomy, geology, mineralogy, foreign relations, Native American affairs, cartography and meteorology. At the same time, to be able to use the knowledge they had attained from reading these books, they had to purchase a lot of equipment, and they did. This included artificial horizons, quadrants, sextants, compasses, most modern and astronomical equipment, tents, cooking utensils, and such tools as hammers and nails.Now they were prepared to start the expedition, and in May 1804, they left the Mississippi River town of St. Louis. The explorers first headed up the Missouri River. By winter, the expedition had crossed more than 1000 miles of wilderness. The explorers camped for the winter of 1804-1805 near an Indian village. There, they hired a French Canadian fur trader, Toussaint Charbonneau to serve as an interpreter. Charbonneau's wife Sacajawea, a Shoshoni Indian woman, also joined the explorers and agreed to help guide the expedition. When spring arrived, they...

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