Lewis and Clark
By Teresa Pham
Meriwether Lewis was a military man that grew up in the country. When he was a young man, he joined the Virginia militia to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion, a rebellion against the alcohol tax, that grew in Pennsylvania. After that, Lewis decides to join the Continental military. Shortly during his time, he meets William Clark in his chosen Rifle Company, the company Lewis was appointed to. After that, he moved up from solider to captain in a few years.
In 1801, Thomas Jefferson asked Lewis to be his secretary and Lewis agrees, quitting the military at a high position.
William Clark spent his childhood on a tobacco plantation, the ninth child in his family of 10 children. William was swept up into the Indian conflicts in Ohio, soon joining the militia then enlisting into a real army. He later oversaw the Chosen Rifle Company where he met his later exploration companion, Meriwether Lewis.
Thomas Jefferson, the current president at the time, had purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. He appointed Meriwether Lewis, his secretary, as captain of an expedition to explore the new territory and others to the west. Jefferson's main goals for the expedition were:
1. Establish the fur trade with The Native Americans
2. Find a new water route for easier trade
Lewis takes about 8 men and appoints William Clark unofficially as the co-captain.
They travel in upper America from St. Louis to modern Fort Clatsop. They traveled up the Missouri river, split at the first fort, and met many tribes of Indians on the way.
Lewis Clark, and a few of the men kept journals to note the wildlife and important geographical features. They had documented over a two hundred species of plants and animals, which had helped grow the science spectrum of the Americas.
They didn't achieve any of Jefferson's goals, but what they did achieve helped settlers settle and unveiled many of the mysteries surrounding the west.