Lewis and Clark


These two gentlemen set out on an expedition where they wanted to explore the land from Washington across the Louisiana Purchase and end their expedition in the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and Clark traveled for an estimated distance of two thousand miles. They covered that distance within a period of two years and took back their report to Thomas Jefferson the then president of the United States.

Purpose of the expedition

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Lewis had been a long time friend of Thomas Jefferson long even before he became the president of the US. However when Jefferson was elected the president, he needed some people to do an expedition to discover new unexplored land. Since he knew Lewis as a person who had great interest and knowledge in expedition he appointed him as the leader of the expedition troop (Yenne 38).

When Lewis was appointed the leader of the troop he needed to have a trusted friend and a person he was free with to be the deputy leader. He suggested William Clark as his deputy and President Jefferson readily accepted the suggestion.

The United States president wanted to learn more about the Louisiana Purchase. Some of the things he instructed the expedition to explore were the waterways, the natural resources in the area, its inhabitants and the possibilities of Americans settling in the area. The expedition also wanted to map the area so that they could fill in the missing details in the maps that were in existence then.

The president also instructed Lewis and his team to look into the possibilities of using river transport in the Louisiana Purchase so as to assist in trading activities. He hoped that this would open up trade and make movement of goods and services easier.

Lewis and Clark were great friend but they displayed very different personal attributes. However, their personal attributes did not stand on their way to achieve what they had set out to do. This journey became a cultural phenomenon in the United States and they became respected members of the American community.

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When the Lewis and Cark expedition discovered the Louisiana territory they reported their discovery to President Thomas Jeffery and he was very excited by their discovery that he decided to buy the whole Louisiana territory


Their courage was so amazing because they braved the whole journey where they met new people endured the harsh weather and terrain but still continued with the mission. They were also faced with tough decisions and they always found a solution. They survived by feeding on game meat and other types of food. Lewis is believed to have bought a dog before the journey started and named it seaman. Seaman is said to have traveled for the entire journey although not mentioned in most of their journals.

Lewis and Clark will be remembered for their recognition of democracy and human rights long before it became a principality in the world. This happened when the expedition reached the Pacific and they had to vote on where to spend the winter. It is interesting to note that York, who was Clark’s slave, was allowed to vote on that important decision. This was about sixty years before the end of slave trade in the United States.

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Sacagawea a woman in the expedition was also allowed to vote on where they were to spend their winter which was a rare thing in those times. This was more than a century before women were given the rights to cast their votes. This was a great achievement in this expedition since the leaders of the expedition had foreseen what took the world many years later to see (Yenne 86)

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