The Journals Of Lewis And Clark

1273 words - 5 pages

The Journals of Lewis and Clark are actual accounts taken from the text of their original journals. The accounts begin at the River Dubois near the mouth of the Missouri and end in St. Louis. They traveled to the Pacific Ocean and back. I found that even in the condensed form this is a very thorough account of their journey. Their observations of plants and or animals seen are so descriptive and detailed it is as if I were there. Measurements of distance and location were also as carefully documented. It is amazing to me what these men as well as the woman and child endured. Their journey was filled with adversity , yet, by their accounts they forged on, mostly in good spirit. I would like to know what kind of person it would take to be that dedicated to endure these challenges. Some of the extremes were heat and freezing temperatures with inadequate clothing. The moccasins they wore did not keep the prickly pears from poking through to their feet. They were at times near starvation, settling to eat roots, berries as well as dogs. Which in fact they did grow to like. They slept with fleas in their bedding and clothe and they were plagued with boils and abscesses. A small example of how stoic and strong was in one entry Clark had become very ill and only did twelve miles on that day. There are other examples that display the bravado of character. There are several entries where the men had fallen off of ledges or banks or their canoes overturned into the rivers. Close calls with several wild creatures such as bears and snakes. Through this all they endured. I also found humor, mostly in the writings of Lewis. He tells of an adventure that almost cost him his life. He shot a buffalo and was gazing at it bleeding and dying. Before reloading his gun he found himself being chased by a bear and ended up in the river and pulling out his espontoon before the bear retreated. That was not the end of the story. Shortly after he encounters what he thinks is a wolf or a cat. He shoots at or towards this animal and it scurried into its den or hole. He goes to investigate it further and finds that he about to be trampled by three buffalo! The other account might possibly not have been humorous to Lewis but I found it so. He states that when he was offered to ride with one of the Indians on the back of a horse he found it more tiresome to ride without stirrups than to walk. The most curious aspect of the travels of Lewis and Clark to me appeared to be their relationship with the various tribes of Indians. Their first meeting documented in the book on August 2, l804 is with representatives of the Otos and Missouri Nations. Lewis and Clark gave them gifts of medals, flags, powder, whiskey and some clothes. They gave them a speech or"Diplomatic Communication," as they called it. They let the Indians know they had fathers whom they could depend on.The Indians were happy to know this and agreed to pursue the advice given to them.On August 29,...

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