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  Lewis and Clark Expedition
Category:  St. Louis and the West
Brief Description:  At the request of President Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out from a point just north of St. Louis to explore the Louisiana Territory after its purchase by the US government. The two men and their "Corps of Discovery" embarked from the St. Louis area in May 1804, planning to follow the Missouri River all the way to the Pacific Northwest. By late fall, the explorers reached what is now North Dakota and spent the winter there. The following spring they continued along the Missouri and in late summer crossed the Rocky Mountains. They obtained horses, supplies, and valuable information from the Native American tribes they met on their journey. Following the Clearwater, Snake, and Columbia Rivers they made their way to the Pacific coast, which they reached in November of 1805. The party spent the winter on the coast of what is now Oregon and began the trip home in March of 1806. The explorers returned along nearly the same route by which they had come, reaching St. Louis in September of 1806 after traveling a total of 8,000 miles. In addition to demonstrating that a passable route existed all the way across the country, the expedition resulted in greater knowledge of and rewlationships with Native American tribes along the way. Meriwether Lewis also documented much of the various plant, animal, and mineral specimens that were collected during the trip.
Year:  1804
Decade:  1800 - 1809
Beginning Date:     Mar. 24, 1804
Ending Date:     Sep. 23, 1806



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