Lewis and Clark

  • The Begianing of the journey

    The Begianing of the journey
    William Clark and nearly four dozen other men met up with Meriwether Lewis on May 20. The Lewis and Clark expedition—"the Corps of Discovery"—began making its way up the Missouri aboard a 55-foot-long (17-meter-long) keelboat and two smaller pirogues.
  • Standoff with the teton sioux

    Standoff with the teton sioux
    When the Indians became threatening, the expedition prepared to At the last moment both sides pulled back, and the crisis was over. Nevertheless, the expedition had failed to deliver on Jefferson's hopes for friendly relations with the Sioux.
  • The Winter in Mandan

    The Winter in Mandan
    The expedition members kept busy during the Fort Mandan winter, repairing equipment, trading with the Indians, and hunting for buffalo. Lewis and Clark learned much about the country to the west from the Mandan and their neighbors the Hidatsa.
  • Rockies in Sight

    By now Lewis and Clark were growing ever more anxious to catch sight of the Rockies, the mountain barrier they knew they would have to cross.
  • Around the Great falls

    Around the Great falls
    It was the hardest physical task of the trip so far. More than a month would pass before the expedition was around the Great Falls and onto the next stretch of navigable water. Beyond rose the Rocky Mountains.
  • Among the Shoshone

    Among the Shoshone
    Lewis spotted an Indian on horseback. It was a Shoshone at last, the first Indian they had seen since Fort Mandan.
  • Ocian in view

    Ocian in view
    he thought they had reached the Pacific: "Ocian in view! O! the joy," he wrote in his journal. But they were actually at the estuary of the Columbia—still 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the coast. Fierce Pacific storms, rolling waters, and high winds pinned them down for three weeks—"the most disagreeable time I have experienced," Clark wrote.
  • Getting ready to reture

    the expedition was ready to retrace its steps. The men loaded their three dugouts, purchased a fourth from the local Indians, and—unable to buy a fifth—stole one from the nearest village. The journey back across a continent was about to begin.
  • Among the Nez Perce

    Almost out of food, the expedition arrived back in Nez Perce territory, where it had to wait until the weather improved before trying to cross the snow-covered Bitterroots. Until their departure the men faced a diet of dried fish and roots, with occasional meat—deer, elk, horse, or dog.
  • Parting Ways, Skirmishing With Blackfeet

    Parting Ways, Skirmishing With Blackfeet
    Lewis and his group broke camp, crossing the Continental Divide and descending from the mountains near the Great Falls. The captain ordered his men to portage the supplies around the Falls, while he and three of the men went off to explore the Marias River
  • Returning to the Mandans, Running a Sioux Gauntlet

    Returning to the Mandans, Running a Sioux Gauntlet
    nearly a hundred armed and mounted Sioux warriors lined the banks of the Missouri. The Corps kept to the middle of the river, however, and the encounter was one of threats and taunts only.
  • Given Up for Dead, Hailed as Heroes

    the Corps of Discovery entered the Mississippi River and at noon disembarked at St. Louis—two years, four months, and ten days after they had left. Gathered along the shore, the one thousand people of St. Louis greeted the returned Corps with gunfire salutes and an enthusiastic welcome.