Lewis And Clark Essay

Submitted By swimlover1317
Words: 881
Pages: 4

Lewis and Clark’s Expedition Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s expedition to the west truly changed American history as we know it. Without them, America wouldn’t have taken the shape we know today. Together, Lewis and Clark had many accomplishments. One accomplishment that they both completed was discovering the land west of the Mississippi, creating a better understanding of the geological features, and finding a way to use the natural resources available. “I walked out on the hills and observed great numbers of buffalow. (Lewis 1)” This quote was written by Clark on October 19, 1804 to describe what he saw in the west. Also Lewis and Clark were the first people in American history who were friendly to the natives in the Allowing settlers who migrated to the west to be at peace with the tribes. The first of two major accomplishments of Lewis and Clark was that they discovered the West with its geological features and new recourses. As Lewis had said, “On the acquisition of Louisiana, in the year 1803, the attention of the government of the United States, was early directed towards exploring and improving the new territory (Lewis 1)”, Thomas Jefferson asked Congress for $2,500 to pay for this exploration. The expedition started in May of 1804 when Lewis, the captain of the expedition, and Clark, his second in command, lead the group down the Missouri River (or “Big Muddy” as they called it). They followed the river up to North Dakota, and set up camp in present day Bismarck. They made a fort called Fort Mandan, where they spent the winter. However, there were some hostile natives. Thanks to Lewis’s thoughts and kindness, there were no battles. When spring arrived in April the next year the men continued on, and by August, the river dwindled down into a series of shallow tributaries. The men’s canoes could not navigate through them. Thankfully, Toussaint Charbonneau, whom Lewis hired as a guide and interpreter, was there. Though Charbonneau was nearly worthless to his wife Sacajawea, who was also the sister of the chief of Shoshone Indians. Thanks to her, Lewis got the horses needed to cross the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies were a big obstacle and without the guidance of the natives, they may not have been able to cross safely. Many new species of animals were found such as the grizzly bear, and black tailed prairie dogs. There are many other species discovered as well such as plants like blue flax and buffalo berry. These plants and animals created a better understanding of the land west of the Mississippi. The most important characteristic of Lewis and Clark, is that they were both friendly to the natives who lived in the land. This would help prevent another war with the natives, especially when settlers started to settle in the west. Sacajawea was one of the natives who helped Lewis and Clark on their expedition west. She is well known, and wasn’t even the first choice of Lewis and Clark. Originally, as previously mentioned, Toussaint was the original guide and interpreter that Lewis hired, but when he proved to be of no help, Sacajawea took over as the guide and interpreter. “The day cold and fair with a high easterly wind: we were visited by two Indians who gave us an account of the country and people near the Rocky Mountains where they had been. (Lewis 1)”