Lewis and Clark's Expedition in St Louis Near the Mississippi

Published: 2021-09-11 16:05:09
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Lewis and Clark began their expedition in St Louis near the Mississippi river and headed to the west in May of 1804. Both men grew up during the Revolutionary War, Lewis was born on August 18th, 1774, and Clark was born on August 1st, 1770. They would both serve in militias and then joined the U.S. Army where they would meet in 1795. Clark would leave the army just a year later and Lewis would remain in the army until Thomas Jefferson asked him to lead an expedition to the West. Lewis accepted and asked Clark to be co leader with him and Clark would accept. Thomas Jefferson had just purchased the Louisiana Territory off France for 15 million dollars which about doubled the size of the United States. Exploring the Louisiana Territory and learning what the land could be used for was part of what Lewis and Clark were to explore. The journey was not only to learn about the plants, animals, waterways, and the environment that the West had to offer, but also trade and getting better relationships with the Native Americans that lived in these areas. Another reason was to claim modern day Oregon and Washington before European countries could get there. The British and French already had a strong trade relationship with tribes on the Mississippi and Missouri River and Jefferson wanted in on it. The group also known as the Corps of Discovery started their expedition in May of 1804 and wouldn’t return until September of 1806.
Throughout the course of the journey there would be a total of 59 participants, in which surprisingly, only one died. One very important person to the exploration was Sacajawea. Sacajawea was kidnapped from her tribe (the Shoshones) and sold as a slave to a French-Canadian fur trader who would claim her as one of his wives. In November of 1804 the Corps of Discovery encountered Sacajawea and her husband Toussaint Charbonneau while building their fort in the Hidatsa-Mandan area (North Dakota). Combined this couple could speak a variety of languages, Sacajawea could speak Shoshone and Hidatsa while her husband spoke Hidatsa and French. So, when meeting up with the Shoshones, Sacajawea would translate Shoshone to Hidatsa to her husband, her husband would translate Hidatsa to French, then another person in the party would translate French into English. Sacajawea would become more than just a translator though, as when the group was crossing the Rocky Mountains. Lewis and a couple other men had been separated from the others, while Clark, Sacagawea, and the others went to scout out the Shoshones. Unfortunately, Lewis they encountered the Shoshone and lead to a few hairy days between the two groups. Evenly Sacajawea, and the rest showed up and she worked up a deal and the Shoshone and the Corps of Discovery and they got the horses that they desperately needed. Through the rest of the exploration Sacagawea helped the group come of friendlier and didn’t seem as much as a threat and helped guide them. When the group hit the Pacific Ocean, they voted to stay and make camp for the winter. On March 22nd, 1806 the Corps left Oregon and headed back home where it would take considerably less time to get back then it did to get there, arriving in Saint Louis on September 23rd 1806. My question is how did their journey impact the United States relations with Native Americans and was it positive or negative.

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