Basic Work Rough DraftBy: Luca Barbacioru President Jefferson sent an expedition because Born in 1774 in Virginia, Meriwether Lewis was asked by President Thomas Jefferson in 1801 to act as his private secretary.As a member of the state militia, Lewis helped to check the Whiskey Rebellion, a Pennsylvania uprising led by farmers against taxes, in 1794.Jefferson wanted to learn more about the lands west of Mississippi but especially about the Louisiana territory purchased from French in 1803.United States purchased Louisiana from France in 1803. A massive part of the Western land of Mississippi River was entirely unknown to the Americans, and they needed to examine the land before settling their. Jefferson chose to send an expedition to the west land. He decided to appoint his private secretary, Meriwether Lewis, as the leader of the expedition to the west. Lewis invited William Clark, a former officer from the Army, to become his Co-commander.Jefferson was interested in the plants, animals and peoples of the region. Congress allocated 2,500 dollars for Lewis and Clark expedition. Lewis purchased a large stock of supplies, including guns and ammunition, food, clothing, navigational instruments, and large numbers of goods to be used as gifts and barter for Indians. Lewis and Clark started their expedition in May 1804 west of St. Louis Missouri. Their mission was to explore the unknown territory, establish trade with the Natives and affirm the sovereignty of the United States in the region. One of their main goals was to find a waterway from the US to the Pacific Ocean. The Expedition Group was called the Corps of Discovery.The Lewis and Clark Expedition spanned 8,000 miles and less than two and a half years, taking the Corps of Discovery. The expedition party was known, down the Ohio River, up the Missouri River, across the Continental Divide, and to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis served as the field scientist, chronicling botanical, zoological, meteorological, geographic and ethnographic information. The group faced many obstacles such as dangerous waters and harsh weather, they faced hunger, extreme fatigue and many injuries. The group consisted in 59 people and a dog. Only 33 people and the dog left Fort Mandan, North Dakota and made the trip to the Pacific Ocean. The members were part military man, French men who were hired as boatmen or hunters, a slave, a Shoshone woman, a baby and a French trader. The Expedition reached the Pacific Ocean in November of 1805. The two groups met in August by the Missouri River. Traveling quickly, they reached St. Louis in September 1806.Lewis and the expedition received assistance from the Natives met along the way. During this time, the expedition picked up two new members: Sacagawea and Charbonneau. They acted as interpreters. On the more southerly route, Clark discovered a large stone formation on the Yellowstone river. He named it Pompy after Sacagawea’s two year old son. Among other Indian inhabitants,Lewis and Clark contacted the Missouris, the Omahas, the Yankton Sioux, the Teton Sioux (Lakota), and the Arikaras. The group would offer gifts and make speeches to encourage the Indian nations to make peace with one another.  Lewis took a more northerly route and it was during this part the expedition had the only violent encounter with the Indians. Apparently, a group of Blackfeet Indians tried to capture horses and guns and Lewis group killed two of them.The Expedition was very successful because they learn a great deal of knowledge about the territory west of Mississippi.  The Expedition also made extremely important geographic findings.  Lewis and Clark determined the true course of the Upper Missouri.  The explorers were found out that there were two major barriers the Rockies and the Cascades.  Clark made his discoveries known in the field of cartography. Lewis and Clark were the first explorers to cross North America. Their expedition though captured a vivid image of the life people lived in that part of the country and they made wonderful discoveries while enduring tough travel conditions.  They described in a very detailed manner the people, places and wildlife they encountered.

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