TimePage Spotlight

The Lewis and Clark Expeditions

"Trailblazing America"

In 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began a journey that was to become the symbol of America's next century. They were the first United States citizens to cross the North American continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and the last to cross it without knowing what was there. Although they didn't accomplish their original goal of finding a water passage across the continent, they obtained a wealth of biological, geographical and cultural knowledge and proved a crossing could be done. The United States would never be quite the same.

Meriwther Lewis and William Clark were members of the Compromise Generation (the adaptive generational type) and were raised in the heat of the Revolutionary War. Both of these men considered it a solemn duty to carry out the difficult tasks that were assigned to them and never questioned their need to do it. Lewis did not recover from the strain that this great achievement placed on him and died a mysterious death in 1806. Captain Clark went on to a long distiguished service in the West as an Indian Commisioner.

The following text is a timeline of the Journey. It is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment, only a reminder of the deed. There are many books about the Journey and I think anybody would find it worthwhile and inspiring to spend a few nights reading Lewis and Clark's story and going over the Journals. It isn't often that one event can capture the pulse of a country at a moment in time like this one did.

As with most of the information on the TimePage, I am building this page out in the open. I know there are a lot of Lewis & Clark fans out there. Join with me and tell me about your favorite events.

PBS Online - Lewis and Clark: The Archive

The Journey West

Preparing for the Journey

12/1803 to 5/14/04 - Wintering in St. Louis

Up the River to the Mandan Villages

5/14/04 to 5/21/04 - From winter camp to St. Charles
A rendevouz with Capt. Clark
5/21/04 to 7/21/04 - Up the Missouri River to the Platte
7/21/04 to 8/24/04 - To the Vermilion River
First encounter with the Native Americans
8/24/04 to 9/24/04 - To the Teton River
Encounter with the Sioux
9/24/04 to 10/24/04 - Arrival at the Mandan villages
10/24/04 to 4/7/05 - Wintering at the Mandan villages
Meeting Charbonneau and his Native wife Sacagawea

To the Great Falls of the Missouri

4/7/05 to 6/11/05 - Up to the Marias River
Looking for the Missouri
6/11/05 to 6/22/05 - From the Marias River to the Great Falls of the Missouri
Preparing for the Great Portage
6/22/05 to 7/14/05 - Preparing for the Upper Missouri
Completing the Portage of the Great Falls
The failure of the iron-framed boat

On to the Great Pacific Ocean

7/14/05 to 7/27/05 - To Three Forks
7/27/05 to 8/12/05 - Searching for the Shoshones
Discovering the source of the Missouri
Reaching the Continental Divide
8/12/05 to 8/31/05 - Meeting with the Shoshone
Camp Fortunate
8/31/05 to 9/9/05 - Approaching the Bitterroot Mountains
Meeting the Salish (Flatheads) at Ross Hole
Traveler's Rest
9/9/05 to 10/6/05 - Crossing the Bitterroots
Meeting the Nez Perce
Canoe Camp
10/6/05 to 10/23/05 - Down the Columbia to the Deschutes River
Celilo Falls and The Dalles
10/23/05 to 11/5/05 - To the Pacific Ocean
"Ocian in view! O! the joy."
"Ocian 4142 Miles from the Mouth of Missouri R."
11/5/05 to 12/7/05 - Searching for a place to stay
Cape Disappointment

Fort Clatsup

12/7/05 to 3/23/06 - Wintering over at the mouth of the Columbia

The Return Journey

Return to the Nez Perce

3/23/06 to 4/23/06 - Paddling up the Columbia to the Dalles
Starting out in a stolen canoe.
Trouble with the local inhabitants
4/24/06 to 4/30/06 - Marching overland for a visit with Chief Yellept
4/30/06 to 6/9/06 - Waiting for the snow to melt with the Nez Perce

The LoLo Trail

6/10/06 to 6/23/06 - A false start and a call to the Nez Perce for guides
Holding at Weippe Prairie
6/24/06 to 7/2/06 - Final assault on the Bitterroots
Bathing at Lolo Hot Springs
Arrival at Traveler's Rest

The Marias Exploration

7/3/06 to 7/15/06- The Party splits up as Lewis heads for the Great Falls
Capt. Clark retraces the route back to the Yellowstone River
Ordway leaves Capt. Clark to meet Lewis at the Missouri
Stolen horses
Damaged specimans at the Great Falls cache.
7/16/06 to 7/28/06 - Exploring the Marias River
Camp Disappointment
Encounter with the Blackfoot
Meeting Ordway at the Missouri

The Last Leg

7/29/06 to 8/12/06 - Rendevouz with Captain Clark
Lewis is wounded in hunting "accident"
8/13/06 to 8/16/06 - A Return to the Mandan Villages
8/17/06 to 9/23/06 - Return to St. Louis
Saying farewell to Charbonneau and Sacagawea
Encounters on the River and news from home.

Reporting to the President

9/24/06 to 12/31/06 - Frustrating delays, notariety and red tape.

Links to Lewis and Clark
Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America (Library of Congress Exhibition)recent addition
Lewis and Clark - from National Geographic PBS Online - Lewis and Clark [*,POW,06] Journals of Lewis and Clark
The Lewis and Clark Trail from the National Park Service "Exploring the West from Monticello: A Perspective in Maps from Columbus to Lewis and Clark" - (Resources) PBS Online - Lewis and Clark: Native Americans
The Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation Book
"The Journals of Lewis and Clark" by Meriwether Lewis, Bernard Devoto (Editor), William Clark, ber De Voto, Bernard De Voto, Stephen E. Ambrose
Lewis and Clark's Historic Trail recent addition

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