Lewis and Clark 1804-1806



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When President Thomas Jefferson completed the Louisiana purchase in 1803 he sent a team to explore and map it. Lewis and Clark led an expedition with 30 men. Some historians called this group the Corps of Discovery.  Their goal was to find a water way to the Pacific ocean.  This was called the northwest passage. The expedition started in May of 1804 in the city of St. Louis from the Mississippi River up to the Missouri. When Lewis and Clark explored the Missouri river they had  help from a Native American woman named Sacagawea. She was a translator and their guide because she knew the land.

During the expedition Lewis and Clark collected over 300 examples of new plants and animals.  They also were making a map of the territory that they were exploring. The main idea of this expedition was to find a water route to the Pacific.  By November 1805 they reached the Pacific Ocean but not after going over the western continental divide of the Rocky Mountains.


When they were coming back home Lewis and Clark decided to take different routes and so they divided into two groups. Lewis and his group were attacked by a group of Blackfeet Indians.  Later on Lewis got shoot by one of his men but he survived. Lewis and Clark met up again in St. Louis.  All of this was the beginning of the manifest destiny of the American white man who believed that it was their right and destiny to govern the land and people from the Atlantic to the Pacific..  Today we call this “America the beautiful from sea to shining sea” but we forget the sacrifice of those many people who were not included in the destiny of the white settler.

The Lewis and Clark expedition inspired people to move west to look for a better life in this new land, it was the beginning of manifest destiny. Lewis and Clark added to the study of science and geography in america but they were also the spark of western settlement.