Lewis & Clark


William Clark, Meriwether Lewis

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Tonight, we’ll read from The Journals of Lewis and Clark. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, from 1803 to 1806, was the United States expedition to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country. The Corps of Discovery was a select group of Army and civilian volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Lieutenant William Clark. This episode first aired in December of 2020.

President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to explore and to map the newly acquired territory, to find a practical route across the western half of the continent, and to establish an American presence in this territory before other powers tried to claim it. The campaign's secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and to establish trade with local American Indian tribes. The expedition returned to Jefferson, with maps, sketches, and journals in hand.