I apologize for being tardy in my replies but with heat raging here in the South and my A/C craps out I have been in no mood to sit and type.
News these days is boring at best….so why not learn something?
Part 3–the Lewis and Clark Expedition
We have been taught from our early years about the history of this country….problem is most of the stuff taught has been sanitized…..I try to teach some of the stuff that has been left out of our history instruction.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition began in 1804, when President Thomas Jefferson tasked Meriwether Lewis with exploring the lands west of the Mississippi River that comprised the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis chose William Clark as his co-leader for the mission. The excursion lasted over two years: Along the way they confronted harsh weather, unforgiving terrain, treacherous waters, injuries, starvation, disease and both friendly and hostile Native Americans. Nevertheless, the approximately 8,000-mile journey was deemed a huge success and provided new geographic, ecological and cultural information about previously uncharted areas of North America.
The rest of the story…..
As Lewis and Clark prepared for their expedition into the western territories, the United States government gave them numerous goals to accomplish. Foremost, they were to find a “Northwest Passage” of water that connected the rivers of the Atlantic to the rivers of the Pacific, allowing for continuous water travel across North America. (The men would fail this mission, as the Northwest Passage turned out to be a myth.) Furthermore, they were to keep detailed records of the plants and animals of the West and to map out as much of the territory as possible.
But an often-ignored goal of the Lewis and Clark expedition was to gain the loyalty of the Native American tribes of the West. As the Corps of Discovery encountered new tribes on its push to the Pacific, they informed the Native people that they were living on land that was now part of the United States. According to the University of Virginia, Lewis and Clark would offer gifts to the tribes — from knives to peace medals — and encourage the Native people to obey their new “Great Father” in the East (a patronizing reference to President Jefferson). But the Corps of Discovery also demonstrated the steep price of disobeying the United States: In front of each tribe, they would fire off their guns in a display of military power.
There was so much more to this expedition than taught…..the trip was not as successful as Jefferson had wanted….but it was a great PR opportunity but sadly it did not last very long.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”