Lewis and Clark Expedition

NHD Competition Information

Process Essay

Annotated Bibliography


Process Essay

Lewis and Clark's Route

        The Lewis and Clark expedition was a mission sponsored by President Thomas Jefferson in an attempt to explore and chart the Pacific Northwest of the United States.  The vast, dangerous area of natural lands had been purchased by Thomas Jefferson from Napoleon, and immediately Captain Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were ordered to embark upon the difficult journey.  The two captains selected trustworthy and experienced members, along with a dog named Seaman, to join in the enterprise.  These brave souls then prepared and checked their supplies and health until the departure.  On May 14, 1804, Lewis and Clark entered a frontier of discovery as they explored and developed peaceful relationships with Native Americans, changing the course of history by expanding the knowledge of U.S. lands west of the Continental Divide.  Their inspirational trek over unknown lands was the topic of our research and work.

      We spent weeks gathering information on the Lewis and Clark expedition; we looked through many books, encyclopedias, websites, and etc. in hopes of finding anything to aid us in our analysis in the end.  We found primary sources in books and also on the Internet concerning the expedition's purpose, and the feelings and reactions of members in situations they had to face, giving us an insight of the journey. During research, we found the necessary information about the voyage, which helped with our analysis about the significance of this event, its toll upon history, and its relationship to the NHD theme.  Afterwards, we searched for graphics and pictures on the expedition, which also gave us some statistics about events of the mission that took about 28 months to complete.  All these helpful resources, both primary and secondary, assisted us in developing our entry, which included all the information from our investigation of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

        The Lewis and Clark expedition was truly a great achievement in the 1800s because of the courage and determination shown by the members of the Corps of Discovery during the harsh, long trip.  At that time, little was known about the American west; explorers were needed to discover the dangers and wonders of this wild frontier.  Captain Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took the risk of life, limb, and liberty to bring back the precious and valuable information of the Pacific Northwest of the United States territory.  Their accomplishments of surviving the trek and delivering the data to the U.S. government of 1806, altered the course of history.  President Thomas Jefferson and the government officials soon realized the opportunities that the west presented to them after researching through the expedition's notes and maps.  Thus the U.S. soon expanded into the great country in which we know today.  Because of their bravery and will to survive, the Lewis and Clark expedition conquered all difficulties presented to them and crossed over from the boundary of fearing the unknown into the world of enlightenment.