The Lewis and Clark Expedition Essay by writingsensation

The Lewis and Clark Expedition
This paper discusses Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 1800s, a symbol of the expansion of America
# 67938 | 995 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2005 | US

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This paper explains that Lewis and Clark were not the first explorers to cross North America by land, but the Lewis and Clark expedition was monumental because President Thomas Jefferson arranged the journey, the expectations of the expedition, the members of the Corps of Discovery and the overall achievements. The author points out that some of the major achievements were knowledge gained about the Western lands through the maps of rivers, mountains and terrain, the discovery of almost 400 new species of plants and animals and the strengthening of the American claims on the territories of the West. The paper relates that not only are the names of Lewis and Clark famous from this expedition but also the names of York, a black slave, and Sacagawea, an Indian woman.

I. Why Jefferson wanted the West
A. It was a really long distance to travel
B. States allowed access to Louisiana
1. Louisiana obtained through Louisiana purchase
2. New Orleans had access to world through port
C. Land important status symbol
1. Jefferson and Washington both Virginia land owners
D. Vision of coast to coast land united
II. Preparing for the Expedition
A. Earlier explorer had made the journey
B. Congress made decision
1. Expedition would have twelve men
2. Would have budget of $2500
C. Group would need wide knowledge
1. Botany
2. Geology
3. Wildlife
4. Mapping terrain
III. Establishment of group
A. Dubbed "The Corp of Discovery"
B. Jefferson elected Captain Meriwether Lewis
C. Clark elected partner William Clark
D. Clark brought Black slave York
E. Joined later by Native American woman Sacagawea
F. Only member to die on trip was Sergeant Charles Floyd
IV. The Journey
A. Began May 14 from Camp Dubois
B. Followed Missouri River
C. Camped at Fort Mandan for first winter
D. Traveled west, crossed Rocky Mountains
E. Reached West coast in December 1805
F. Spent second winter at Fort Clatsop
G. Back home September 1806
V. Achievements
A. Knowledge of West
1. Rivers
2. Mountains
3. Terrain
B. New Species
1. Plants
2. Animals
C. Paved way for American expansion
1. Fur trade
2. Naive American contact
3. Claims on Western territories
D. Would guide Pioneers on part of Oregon Trail
E. Social Achievement through voting
1. Black slave
2. Native American woman
VI. Conclusion

From the Paper:

"The expedition would eventually be called the Corps of Discovery, and would have between thirty and forty members in total. Jefferson himself selected the leader for the group, a captain named Meriwether Lewis. Lewis was allowed to select his own partner, and chose William Clark. An interesting fact about Clark is that although he was known by the other members of the expedition, as well as by many history books, as a captain, he was in fact only a Lieutenant, apparently because of delays in Army paperwork. Also on the mission was York, who was the Black slave of Clark. Later on the journey, they would be joined by a Native American woman names Sacagawea, who was of the Shoshone/Hidasta tribe."

Cite this Essay:

APA Format

The Lewis and Clark Expedition (2006, July 25) Retrieved April 16, 2014, from

MLA Format

"The Lewis and Clark Expedition" 25 July 2006. Web. 16 April. 2014. <>