Lewis and Clark Expedition

By tbdews
  • The Expedition Begins

    The Expedition Begins
    The Lewis and Clark expedition begins from Camp River Dubois. It was the spot where the Missouri River and the Missippippi River come together. Lewis joined the expedition a week later in St Louis. William Clark wrote: "I Set out at 4 oClock P.M, in the presence of many of the neighboring inhabitents, and proceeded on under a jentle brease up the Missourie...a heavy rain this after-noon."
  • The First Casualty

    The First Casualty
    On this day, the Lewis and Clark expedition experienced its first and only death. Sergeant Charles Floyd got really sick and died. Historians think he died of a burst appendix which was untreatable back then. They named the hill where he was buried Floyd's Bluff. Joseph Whitehouse wrote: "we Sailed on verry well till noon when we landed for to take Dinner. Sergeant Charles Floyd expired directly after we landed. he was layed out in the most decent manner possable."
  • Threatening Encounter with the Sioux

    Threatening Encounter with the Sioux
    The expedition reached a spot in South Dakota where a Sioux tribe lived. They were called the Lakotas. They demanded a boat as a toll for the expedition to continue up the river. Swords were drawn, arrows were notched, but a Cheif named Black Buffalo stopped the fight. John Ordway wrote in his journal: "the chief then let go the Cable, and Sayed that he was Sorry to have us Go for his womena nd children were naked and poor and wished to Git Some Goods..."
  • Lewis and Clark Spend the Winter at Fort Mandan

    Lewis and Clark Spend the Winter at Fort Mandan
    The members of the expedition built a fort called Fort Mandan to live in during the winter. It was by the Mandan Indians who were nice and helpful. While they were there many got frostbite because it was so cold. Lewis even had to amputate the toes of an Indian boy without anesthesia or a saw. Joseph Whitehouse wrote: "... killed one buffaloe a wolf & 2 porkapines, & I got my feet So froze that I could not walk to the fort."
  • Birth of a Baby

    Birth of a Baby
    Lewis helped in the difficult delivery of a baby to an Indian girl named Sacagawea. The baby was a boy and his name was Jean Baptiste. The birth was going bad until Lewis gave Sacagawea a concoction made from rattlesnake coils. The baby was born 10 minutes later. Lewis wrote: "about five Oclock this evening one of the wives of Charbono was delivered of a fine boy."
  • The Grizzly Bear

    The Grizzly Bear
    There was an enormous bear that took Lewis and another hunter 10-15 shots to take down. It chased some men back into the river and Lewis up a tree. After a few encounters the men of the expedition started to respect the giant Grizzly bear. Lewis wrote: "... the other after my firing on him pursued me seventy or eighty yards, but fortunately had been so badly wounded that he was unable to pursue so closely as to prevent my charging my gun; we again repeated our fir[e] and killed him. ... "
  • The Prickly Pear Cactus at The Great Falls

    The Prickly Pear Cactus at The Great Falls
    The expedition finds the Great Falls and do not realize how hard it will be to portage the falls. There were actually 18 miles of waterfalls to portage. A plant severly hindered their progress. It was called the Prickly Pear Cactus. It actually took them a month to portage the falls when they thought it would only take half a day. Lewis wrote: "the prickly pears were extreemly troublesome to us sticking our feet through our mockersons."
  • Sacagawea Finds Her Brother

    Sacagawea Finds Her Brother
    The expedition finds the Shoshone Indians. They really needed horses from the Shoshone so they could cross the mountains. Lewis went to negotiate a trade for horses when Sacagawea realized that the Chief, Cameahwait, was her brother. Of course, the Indians traded with them because they had brought back Sacagawea. Lewis named the spot Camp Fortunate. Clark wrote: "The Great Chief of this nation proved to be the brother of the woman with us and is a man of Influence..."
  • Sickness from Salmon

    Sickness from Salmon
    The expedition came out of the Bitteroot Mountains starving. The Nez Perce fed them Salmon and Camas Root. It made the members of the expedition really sick. They probably got sick from bacteria in the fish that the Indians were immune to. Joseph Whitehouse wrote: "Several of the men Sick, by eating hearty of the Sweet food and Sammon."
  • The Nez Perce Offer Valuable Knowledge

    The Nez Perce Offer Valuable Knowledge
    The Nez Perce Indians did not know what to do with the expedition when they first saw them. They decided to kill them but then an old Indian woman named Watkuweis saved them by her telling of the goodness of white people toward her. A cheif named Twisted Hairs taught them how to hollow out the Ponderosa Pines by fire to make canoes so they could carry on in their expedition. Patrick Gass wrote: "To save them from hard labour, we have adopted the Indian method of burning out the canoes."
  • Riding with the Current in Idaho

    Riding with the Current in Idaho
    The expedition pushed their five new canoes into the Clearwater River. This is where Orofino, Idaho is currently located. This was the first time since starting their expedition that they had the current to help them. The real problem though was the rapids especially when they got to the Snake River. Patrick Gass wrote: "This river in general is very handsome, except at the rapids, where it is risking both life and property to pass..."
  • Stuck at Grey's Bay

    Stuck at Grey's Bay
    The expedition thought they found the ocean but actually they were just at Grey's Bay - miles from the sea. Really bad weather and fierce storms pinned them down for over three weeks. So after all that they had been through they had to wait through the storms to get to the ocean. Clark wrote: "At this dismal point we must Spend another night as the wind & waves are too high to proceed."
  • The Ocean!

    The Ocean!
    Joseph Whitehouse wrote: "We are now in plain view of the Pacific Ocean, the waves rolling, & the surf roaring very loud. ... We are now of opinion that we cannot go any further with our Canoes, & think that we are at an end of our Voyage to the Pacific Ocean" They finally reached the Pacific Ocean. They were so glad to have made it to the end of the exploration. Now they had to decide where to stay for the winter.
  • Decision to Stay

    Decision to Stay
    Lewis and Clark left it up to a vote to decide what to do at this point. So everyone got to vote. Even Sacagawea and York. John Ordway wrote: "our officers conclude with the oppinion of the party to cross the River and look out a place for winters quarter Some where as near the ocean as possable on the account of makeing Salt."
  • Fort Clatsop

    Fort Clatsop
    The expedition built a fort named Fort Clatsop where they stayed through the winter until they started their journey back. They run out of whiskey and tobacco. So, they start using Crab Tree bark insted. The winter was very wet and dull and all they had to eat was Elk meat. Patrick Gass wrote: "Among our other difficulties we now experience the want of tobacco, and out of 33 persons composing our party, there are but 7 who do not make use of it: we use crab-tree bark as a substitute.
  • Indians are Killed

    Indians are Killed
    Lewis and three other members woke up one morning to find Blackfeet Indians trying to steel their horses and guns. They fought back to stop them. Two Indians were killed. One was shot and one was stabbed. Lewis wrote: "... being nearly out of breath I could pursue no further, I called to them as I had done several times before that I would shoot them if they did not give me my horse and raised my gun...and I shot him through the belly..."
  • The Expedition Passes by the Sioux on Their Way Home

    The Expedition Passes by the Sioux on Their Way Home
    As they were speeding down the Missouri on their way home they passed the place where the Sioux tribe lived. Some warriors started coming down the hill. Lewis told them:"...that they had been deef to our councils and ill treated us as we assended this river two years past, we had not forgot their treatment to us as we passed up this river &c. that they had treated all the white people who had visited them vry badly; ... and to keep away from the river or we Should kill every one of them..."
  • They're Home

    They're Home
    Patrick Gass wrote: "we arrived on the 23rd and were received with great kindness and marks of friendship by the inhabitants, after an absence of two years, four months and ten days." The expedition made it home after more than two years of exploration, hardship, and discovery. They had gone where no American had before. They did a good job.