When Meriwether Lewis began shopping for supplies and firearms to take on the Corps of Discovery's journey west, his first stop was a federal arsenal. For the following twenty-nine months, from the time the Lewis and Clark expedition left Camp Dubois with a cannon salute in 1804 until it announced its return from the West Coast to St. Louis with a volley in 1806, weapons were a crucial component of the participants' tool kit. In Weapons of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, historian Jim Garry describes the arms and ammunition the expedition carried and the use and care those weapons received.
The Corps of Discovery's purposes were to explore the Missouri and Columbia river basins, to make scientific observations, and to contact the tribes along the way for both science and diplomacy. Throughout the trek, the travelers used their guns to procure food--they could consume around 350 pounds of meat a day--and to protect themselves from dangerous animals. Firearms were also invaluable in encounters with Indian groups, as guns were one of the most sought-after trade items in the West. As Garry notes, the explorers' willingness to demonstrate their weapons' firepower probably kept meetings with some tribes from becoming violent.
The mix of arms carried by the expedition extended beyond rifles and muskets to include pistols, knives, espontoons, a cannon, and blunderbusses. Each chapter focuses on one of the major types of weapons and weaves accounts from the expedition journals with the author's knowledge gained from field-testing the muskets and rifles he describes. Appendices tally the weapons carried and explain how the expedition's flintlocks worked.
Weapons of the Lewis and Clark Expedition integrates original research with a lively narrative. This encyclopedic reference will be invaluable to historians and weaponry aficionados.
In 1807, a year after Lewis and Clark returned from the shores of the Pacific, groups of trappers and hunters began to drift West to tap the rich stocks of beaver and to trade with the Native nations. Colorful and eccentric, bold and adventurous, mountain men such as John Colter, George Drouillard, Hugh Glass, Andrew Henry, and Kit Carson found individual freedom and financial reward in pursuit of pelts. Their knowledge of the country and its inhabitants served the first mapmakers, the army, and the streams of emigrants moving West in ever-greater numbers. The mountain men laid the foundations for their own displacement, as they led the nation on a westward course that ultimately spread the American lands from sea to sea.
Robert M. Utley, former chief historian for the National Park Service and a founder of the Western Historical Association, is the author of fifteen books on the Western frontier, including Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life and Custer and the Great Controversy: The Origin and Development of a Legend, both available in Bison Books editions. After Lewis and Clark was originally published as A Life Wild and Perilous.
"The human aspects of the famed explorer, in a revised and expanded biography"
Meriwether Lewis commanded the most important exploration mission in the early history of the United States. Clay S. Jenkinson takes a fresh look at Lewis, not to offer a paper cutout hero but to describe and explain a hyperserious young man of great complexity who found the wilderness of Upper Louisiana as exacting as it was exhilarating.
Jenkinson sees Lewis as a troubled soul before he left St. Charles, Missouri, in May 1804. His experiences in lands "upon which the foot of civilized man had never trodden" further fractured his sense of himself. His hiring William Clark as his "partner in discovery" was, Jenkinson shows, the most intelligent decision he ever made. When Clark was nearby, Lewis's leadership was stable and productive. When Clark was absent and thus unable to provide a calming influence on his mercurial friend, Lewis tended to get into trouble. Jenkinson argues that if Clark had been with Lewis on the Natchez Trace, the governor of Upper Louisiana would not have killed himself. Jenkinson sees Lewis's 1809 suicide not as an inexplicable mystery, but the culmination of a series of pressures that extend back to the expedition and perhaps even earlier.""
"The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness" is a revision of an earlier book, greatly expanded with new scholarship and insights gained through Jenkinson's extensive participation in the Lewis and Clark Expedition Bicentennial. Jenkinson discusses Lewis's sense of humor, his oft-stated fear that the expedition he was leading might collapse, his self-conscious learnedness, and his inability to re-enter "polite society" after his return. The book attempts to reconstruct from Lewis's journal entries and letters his rich, troubled personality and his aspirations to heroism. When the American mythology surrounding him is removed and Lewis is allowed to reveal himself, he emerges as a fuller, more human, and endlessly fascinating explorer.
The story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition has been told many times. But what became of the thirty-three members of the Corps of Discovery once the expedition was over?
The expedition ended in 1806, and the final member of the corps passed away in 1870. In the intervening decades, members of the corps witnessed the momentous events of the nation they helped to formfrom the War of 1812 to the Civil War and the opening of the transcontinental railroad. Some of the expedition members went on to hold public office; two were charged with murder. Many of the explorers could not resist the call of the wild, and continued to adventure forth into America s western frontier.
Engagingly written and based on exhaustive research, "The Fate of the Corps" chronicles" "the lives of the fascinating men (and one woman) who opened the American West."
Lewis and Clark Journals (Abridged) : An American Epic: The Hardship and Medicine of the Lewis and Clark Expeditio
In 1803, Meriwether Lewis visited the U.S. Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry to obtain guns and hardware. He procured rifles, powder horns, pipe tomahawks, knives, and a collapsible iron-frame boat to supply his transcontinental expedition. This poster was printed to celebrate the 2003 commemoration of Lewis’ visit to Harpers Ferry. The approximate measurements of the poster is 14” x 20”.
In 1803, Meriwether Lewis visited the U.S. Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry to obtain guns and hardware. He procured rifles, powder horns, pipe tomahawks, knives, and a collapsible iron-frame boat to supply his transcontinental expedition. This poster was printed to celebrate the 2003 commemoration of Lewis’ visit to Harpers Ferry. Poster measures 16"x20". Includes a list of the inventory pictured such as tools for repairing the arms, fish gigs, etc.
From 1804-1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark conducted one of the best managed, most successful explorations in history. With President Thomas Jefferson’s instructions to examine the recently bought Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery set out on a peaceful expedition that was unparalleled in the information it brought back to the rest of the United States.
Emory Strong and Ruth Beacon Strong have used excerpts from the Reuben Thwaites edition of the Lewis and Clark journals that focus on the native population the Corps of Discovery came in contact with in their journey from the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean. To quote from the Strong’s preface, “the project originated with our interest in learning about the archaeological resources of the Columbia River, for which the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition are exceedingly useful. The accurate and detailed descriptions of places we know, and the explorers’ marvelous powers of observation under difficult circumstances so impressed us that we found ourselves following the route, taking notes and pictures.” Following their journey from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, the Strongs supplied this book with over 200 photographs, many of them sites that have been since consumed by geological, riverine or human forces. Paperback 383 pages.