Lewis and clark trail

The Lewis and Clark Anchor-Kailee Medina

  • Pre Planning stages

    Pre Planning stages
    After President Thomas Jefferson appoints Meriwether Lewis as his personal secretary, he establishes an expedition to go beyond the western boundary of the United States, beyond the Mississippi River. In the spring, Lewis is sent to study many navigational skills and begins buying supplies for the journey. He then invites William Clark as his co-commander for the expedition.
  • A ceremony and then the journey begins

    A ceremony and then the journey begins
    Both Lewis and Clark are present at the ceremony in St. Louis when the Lousiiana Territory was handed over from France to the United States. By May 14th the expedition begins from Camp Dubois with Clark in control. Lewis joins the group of recruits a few days later.
  • The Keelboat and men

    With close to 50 men from all walks of life, they load the brand new keelboat and the pirogues. Loaded with supplies weighing tons, the men and Lewis' Newfoundland dog, they sail up the Missouri River. The journey is slow, with only a few miles progress per day.
  • Western Indian Encounters

    Western Indian Encounters
    The first encounter with the Oto and Missouri Indians was peaceful. They traded goods and showed off their technology. Their attemps at promising peace were successful as the Indians promised not to make war with the white men.
  • The first death on the trail

    The first death on the trail
    Sergeant Charles Floyd was the first man to become sick and die on the expedition. It is believed that his appendix ruptured and he died near Sioux City, Iowa. Floyd's Bluff is named after him, as well as the Floyd River.
  • Yankton Sioux

    The men encounter the Sioux near what is now Yankton, South Dakota. It is a friendly meeting. The oral tradition of the people states that if a baby was born when Lewis was there, he would wrap it in the flag and declare him an American.
  • Animals and plants discovered

    The Corps of Discoverys' men discover many animals they had never seen in the East. A prairie dog was shipped back to President Jefferson as well as many journal entries that were helpful to the scientists. 178 plants were recorded in the journals as well.
  • Fort Mandan

    The expeditiion reaches the area of Bismark, North Dakota where they meet more than 4500 people living in earth-lodge villages. They are known as the Mandans and the Hidatsas. The captains of the Corps of Discovery start the building of Fort Mandan across the river from the main village.
  • An interpreter hired

    A French Canadian man named, Toussaint Charbonneau from the Hidatsa's was hired by the captains as an interpreter. His wife Sacagawea, a young Shoshone woman, would be a most valuable escort and interpreter as well. She knew about her Shoshone tribe's location near the headwaters of the Missouri River and the many horses they have available.
  • The bitter cold

    In Clarks journals he states that this day was "colder than I ever knew it be in the States". A temperature of 45 degreees below zero was recorded. Soon Fort Mandan was complete and the men made this their comfortable winter home.
  • Buffalo Calling

    The men learn of the Mandans sacfred ceremony of "buffalo calling". Within a week, a herd arrives. The men hunt in the bitter cold, but are joyous with their catch. The hides are used for warmth and the meat for food.
  • A new life

    Sacagawea gives birth to a baby boy named Jean
    baptiste. Lewis assists in the delivery and offers her a potion of rattlesnake powder. This is the first birth within the expedition.
  • A Separation

    A few men board the keelboat and head back toward Missouri,carrying many artifacts, maps, samples and animals for President Jefferson to view. The main party with Lewis and Clark heads west to discover lands that no one had ever seen. In his journal, Lewis states, " I could but esteem this moment of my departue as among the most happy of my life."
  • Grizzly

    Grizzly bears and buffalo are numerous. The men kill them for food and describe them to scientists. They learn respect for the large herds of buffalo and learn how best to get away from the enormous bears.
  • The Great Falls of the Missouri

    The information given to them by the Hidatsas about the big waterfall was correct. They reached the great falls with four more waterfalls upriver.For nearly a month, they portage over eighteen miles of rough terrain in scorching heat and hail stroms.
  • Sacagawea a huge help

    Sacagawea begins to recognize the territory and landmarks near the three forks of the Missouri. She sees the place where the Hidatsas captued her many years earlier. The expedition heads southwest up the, now named, Jefferson River. She sees Beaverhead Rock and shows that they are near to headwaters of the river and the village of the Shoshones.
  • Lemhi Pass

    Lewis reaches the final ridge of the Continental Divide and enjoys the fresh waters of the ice cold spring. The top of the ridge is named Lemhi Pass on the Montana/Idaho border. Disapointed to see more mountain ranges ahead he turns back to the Shoshone village to negotiate the need for horses.
  • Over the Mountain

    Over the Mountain
    With many horses a mule and a new Shoshone guide, the expedition heads north over the mountains. They reach the valley where the Bitterroot River is located.
  • The trials of the journey

    The journey is long aned hard as Old Toby, their guide, looses his way. They have to kill a horse for food and their supplies are running low. There doesn't seem to be an end to the mountains and it begins to snow. The journey ends near Weippe, Idaho 11 days later.
  • The Nez Perce

    The expedition encounter the Nez Perce tribe in the new land who are friendly and helpful to them. The men become sick after gorging themselves on the salmon and camas roots. They learn how to make canoes by using fire to burn out the centers of the pine trees.
  • To the Columbia

    To the Columbia
    They finally reach the Columbia River after the current sent them through the Clearwater River easily. Salmon doesn't look appealing to the men after their encounter with the last village and they are hungry for meat. The Indians sell them dogs for food.
  • A vote

    A vote
    A vote is taken of where to spend the winter. York, Clarks slave who has been with him since the beginning of the journey and Sacagawea were both allowed to vote. The majority votes to cross the Columbia and stay for the winter.
  • Fort Clatsop

    Fort Clatsop
    Their winter home, Fort Clatsop, named after the nearby tribe, is comfortable for the Christmas celebrattion. They exchange gifts of handkerchiefs and tobaco. A home far, far away from where they began.
  • Tobacco gone!

    Tobacco gone!
    After a long month of rainy weather, the men become homesick. The whiskey is gone and now the tobacco is gone. The bark of the crab tree is used as a replacement for tobacco. Toward the end of March, the expedition heads toward home.
  • A split

    A split
    After meeting up with the Nez Perce again during the month of June, they wait for the snow to melt to cross the Bitterroots. They decide to split their group of men so they can explore more of the lands. Clark goes down the Yellowstone River and Lewis takes a shorter path toward the Great Falls.
  • Bloodshed

    On the journey home, Lewis catches some Blkackfeet warriors trying to steel their horeses and guns. A battle is begun. Two of the warriors die during the fight. Lewis attaches a peace medal to one of the dead mens neck in hopes that their people would know who the attack was against. They travel many hours without stopping and meet up again with Clarks group.
  • A reunion

    A reunion
    The groups are joined together again along the Yellowstone River. A couple days later they reach the Mandan villages. One man, John Colter leaves the group to live as a mountain man and catch beaver for a living. Lewis and Clark also say good-bye to Sacagawea and her son.
  • Home Again!

    The day of arrival back home. Their expedition lasted 2 1/2 years. The people of their home had thought they were dead and were very happy to see them return. They are recognized as heroes and are given many rewards.