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Last Updated: May 14th, 2012 - 04:50:32 

Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark: The Basics
By Sarah Lane
May 8, 2012, 09:00 PST

The Basics

Who:  Meriwether Lewis & William Clark, about 33 Members of the Corps of Discovery, and various people who came and went.

What:  A scientific voyage with the purpose of charting the area between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast and discovering the Northwest passage.  

Where:  Between the Missouri and Columbia River systems.

When:  The story begins on January 18, 1803 with the secret letter sent to Congress by Thomas Jefferson requesting financial backing for an expedition to explore the Missouri River.  The story ends on September 23, 1806 when the expedition returns from the now charted West to St. Louis.

How:  Over land on foot and using tributaries and rivers when possible.  Members of the group collected plant and animal specimens, studied Indian cultures, conducted diplomatic councils, established trading relationships with tribes, and recorded weather data.

Why:  To open the unknown west for future development.

Source:  Time, Inc., PBS Online

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