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Lewis and Clark Expedition

  • The Preparation

    After preparing for their expedition since the fall of 1803, Clark and nearly 50 men met up wirh Lewis.
  • The Beginning

    The Beginning
    The two men and their entourage began traveling up the Missouri River on a keelboat and two pirogues.
  • The Greeting

    Lewis and Clark along with their men are greeted by a party of Oto and Missouri Indians. The encounter went well, with many gift exchanges and happy greetings.
  • A Soldiers Demise

    Sergent Charles Floyd became the first United States soldier that died west of the Mississippi River. He was be the only member to die to along the journey.
  • The Yankton Sioux

    Along their expidetion, the men met up with the Yankton Sioux Indians. The Indians were not happy with the gifts the men gave them and warned them about them about the other Indians up North.
  • Threatening Indians

    The men meet up with the Teton Sioux Indians, however they are much more hostile. The Indians not only demand one of their boats as a price for passage, but the reject their initial gifts as well.
  • Winter Preparation

    Lewis and Clark were tryng their best to travel a good distance before the upcoming winter settled in. The group makes camp at the Mandan tribe's villages and begins to build a shelter for protection against both the winter and the Sioux.
  • Winter Preparation Completed

    Winter Preparation Completed
    The expedition finishes their shelter just as the cold season kicks in. Food and supplies are beginning to run scarce. Lewis and Clark hired Toussaint Charbonneau as an interpreter, and along with his Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, and their baby son, Jean Baptiste, they would travel with the expedition when it left Fort Mandan.
  • First Report to President Jefferson

    Lewis and Clark dispatched a report on their findings in the new land so far and about a dozen expedition members—plus 108 botanical specimens, 68 mineral specimens, and Clark’s map of the United States—aboard the keelboat, which was bound for St. Louis and, eventually, President Jefferson.
  • The Grizzly Country

    On this day Lewis no longer remained unimpressed by grizzly bears or their ferocity. One of the two in a spotted pair of grizzlies began to charge at Lewis, chasing him some 80 yards before he and one of his colleagues were able to reload their guns and kill the bear.
  • The Rocky Mountains Preview

    In the last week of May, Lewis saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time. He was filled with joy, immediately tempered by a realization of the challenge that lay ahead. Since progress along the river was tedious and slow, it would take some time before Lewis and Clark along with their companions reach the land beyond them.
  • Two Paths Emerge

    The expedition comes across two equal sized branches of the river they had rode on thus far. Some were convinced the southern path was the correct choice while others disagreed and thought the northern path was the correct route. Not wanting to waste valuable time Lewis and three men took the southern branch in search of the Great Falls mentioned by the Indians of Fort Mandan. Once they were found, it was certain that the river they were on was indeed the Missouri River.
  • The Great Falls

    Lewis had become the first White Man to see the Great Falls of the Missouri River. He was surprised to see that it wasnt one fall like the Indians had mentioned, but five seperate falls. He knew that getting around these falls were now going to take much more time.
  • Navigating the Great Falls

    The men and their group started their trip to navigate the Great Falls. This would take more than a month to get past the falls and move on to the next part of their expidition.
  • The Shoshone Tribe and their Horses

    The men were in desperate need of horses to continue their navigation. Finally, Lewis spotted an Indian on horseback that led the men to the Shoshone Tribe. The chief of the tribe happened to be Sacagawea's brother. With Sacagawea's translating, the captains were able to bargain with the chief for some of their horses, but it came a hefty price. The tribe gave them the horses and valuable navigation information, and now the men had a way to get over the mountains.
  • Onto the Pacific

    Before the men could go into the Rookies's Bitterroots Valley, they bought more horses from Flathead Indians. After 11 days in the Bitterroots, both the men and the horses were near starvation. The met up with the Nez Perce received food from them once they made it out of the Bitterroots. The men made camp along the banks of the Clearwater River, but on October 7, broke camp and started down the river. The group is now able to start their journey to the pacific.
  • "Ocian in View"

    The men were so overjoyed that they had finally reached the Pacific. However, they were not at the Pacific. They were still in the Columbia, still 20 miles away from the coast.
  • The Pacific at Last!

    The Pacific at Last!
    By the middle of November, the group had finally made it to the gray ocean that was the Pacific. The men looked in the water and waited for a ship that would take them back home, but they eventually resigned on the coast for the winter.
  • Life at Fort Clatsop

    The men decided to make camp south of the Columbia River. The built what would be known as Fort Clatsop, naming it after the local Indians there. Life there was very gloomy as they eagerly waited for a ship to take them home. One ship did appear to trade with the Indians, but the Indians never told the men, and the ship left without knowing they were there.
  • Going Back Home

    The men got tired of waiting on the coast for a ship that would never come. They decided that they would leave immediantly once the snow melted and retrace their steps to go back home.
  • The Ride Home

    After battling several treacherous months of trying to get back home, the group finally reunited after spliting up during the trip home. Once they were all back together, they rode the Missouri River to get them back homewards.
  • Home at Last

    Home at Last
    After two years, four months, and ten days, the group had finally arrived at St. Louis. they were greeted by one thousand people with gunfire salutes and much enthusiasm. Lewis and Clark's expedition was over and they were finally home!