• The Corps of Discovery
• “The object of your mission is to explore
the Missouri River” Thomas Jefferson
• Thirty-three individuals - only one death.
“York” slave of Clark
Newfoundland Dog - Seaman
Lewis and Clark Expedition
Corps of Discovery
At Fort Mandan they meet Charbonneau and Sacagawea (who Clark called “Janey.”)
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau
• She was Shoshone - at 11 or 12 she was
captured in a raid by Hidatsas – she became a
slave and was sold/married to Frenchman
• Charbonneau showed up at the Mandan village
with two wives and offered his services as a
translator. Only one wife could go, he chose
Sacagawea - even though she was 17 years old
Jean . . .
• Learned to speak (in addition to English and several Native
American languages) Spanish, French, and German.
• At age 18 he met the nephew of King Fredrick I of Prussia
and traveled with him across the US, Europe and Africa.
• Jean returned to the US and worked with explorers and
mountain men like John C. Fremont, Jim Bridger, Joe Meek,
• He also guided the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War
• The longest Infantry march in US history!
• Gene became a miner in the California
Gold Rush – one of the 49ers!
• At age 61 he died of pneumonia in Daner
Oregon - on his way to new gold fields in
Virginia City, Montana (1866)
The Corps of Discovery
Lewis and Clark
True or False
• 1. Lewis and Clark fought many Indian
battles during their trip.
True or False
• 2. They explored wilderness which was
completely unsettled and undiscovered.
True or False
• 3. Their trail become the main gate to the
West, the Northwest Passage that
Jefferson had hoped for.
True or False
• 4. Jefferson believed they might find
dinosaurs, Welshmen, or the lost tribes of
• 5. Venereal disease was unknown in the
Indian tribes that Lewis and Clark had
• 6. Lewis and Clarks men were happy to
find an abundance of the great delicacy of
Salmon, in the lower Missouri River.
• 7. The Congress was unanimously in favor
of spending $15 million dollars to purchase
Louisiana from Napoleon AND for funding
Lewis and Clark’s expedition.
• 8. After their return, Congress
enthusiastically paid the debts incurred by
Lewis and Clark on the expedition.
• 9. Lewis was criticized in the press after
his return and died under unexplained
circumstances - most likely the result of
• 10. Lewis and Clark had men whipped for
infractions of discipline during the trip.
• Spain: Mexico 1519 and S. America
• France: Canada, Saint Laurence River,
• Great Britain: Pacific northwest, Hudson Bay; Sir
Francis Drake up west coast 1579; 1776 Capt.
James Cook stops at today’s Anchorage, Alaska;
Capt. George Vancouver up Columbia for 100
• Russian: Peter the Great sent Vitus Bering along
Aleutian Peninsula – arctic fox fur!
Early River Explorations
• 1673: French: Louis Jolliet and Father
Jacques Marquette ( Fox and Wisconsin
rivers, down Mississippi to Arkansas River
- passing by the Missouri R.)
• 1682: La Salle down Illinois River to
Mississippi to Gulf of Mexico
• French explorers were told of the “Pettikanoui
River” (Missouri) “which lead to lakes where the
water could not be drunk”
• 1712: Etienne Veniard de Bourgmont, A French
soldier, traveled up the Missouri 600 miles to the
Platte River – soon the French and British were
trading with Mandan villages hear Bismarck N.
Dakota (nearly 100 years before Lewis and
Clark showed up)
Thomas Jefferson’s Idea
• Jefferson’s teacher, Rev. James Maury,
attempted to organize an expedition to
explore the Missouri River
• 1783: George Rogers Clark was offered
opportunity (Jefferson was Rep. from
Virginia) to explore land west of
Mississippi but declined
• 1790: Gen. Henry Knox, Sec. of War,
planned exploration of Missouri – Lt. John
Armstrong started out but couldn’t find
“four or five hardy Indians”
• 1793: Am. Philosophical Society
(Jefferson belonged) planned expedition,
George Washington contributed money
but the plan was not successful
• 1793: Alexander Mackenzie canoed and
walked across the Rockies to the Pacific
with nine men (including two Indians) His
route was not practical for trade but in
London he wrote of book about his
adventure - which Jefferson read.
Jefferson President 1800
• Meriwether Lewis became Jefferson’s personal
• Jefferson planed to explore Louisiana but it is
French (1762-1800 it was Spanish)
• Slave revolt in Haiti – Napoleon needing money
- Jefferson offers to by New Orleans – Napoleon
offers all of Louisiana for $15 million!
• $2,500 for trip – need training and education, trade
items, scientific instruments, muskets from Harper Ferry,
learn secret cipher for messages
• Pittsburgh, collapsible boat
• Philadelphia, Dr. Benjamin Rush (who gave them list of
questions to ask Indians “do the have bilious fever
attended with a black vomit” “what affinity is their
between their religious ceremonies and those of the
Jews?” “how do they dispose of the dead?”
Supplies – 170 items
• 32 medications (wintergreen, nutmegs,
magnesia, laudanum, ipecac, opium, mercury
• 4 Penis syringes
• 120 gallons of whiskey
• Soup made from cow hooves and vegetables,
(men ate 3-5 pounds of meet a day, sometimes
as much as nine pounds!)
Supplies – 170 items
• Jefferson Peace Medals
• Chronometer to calculate longitude
• Muskets, lead, gun powder,
• Air powered rifle!
Dr. Benjamin Rush
• “Rush’s Thunderbolts!” a mixture of potent
laxatives – good for everything!
• Rush taught Lewis how to bleed people,
and that malaria (or “ague”) was caused
by perspiration of the body attaching itself
to the linen clothing and mixing with the
Early 19th Century Medicine
• “half of what you know today will be discarded
fifty years from now. The trouble is, we don’t
know which half.” Sir William Osler
• Medicine is a “craft”, physicians are not trained
as scientists, not licensed, formal education not
• Basic model “Balance of Humours”
19th century N. America
• 19th century Americans were:
• “plagued with a devil’s cauldron of diseases –
measles, diphtheria, trachoma, whooping cough,
chicken pox, bubonic plague, malaria, smallpox,
yellow fever, cholera, amoebic dysentery,
dengue fever, typhus, leprosy, hookworm,
mumps, and venereal disease.”
– Dr. Bruce Paton, MD.
– “Lewis and Clark doctors in the Wilderness”
(“great pox” was syphilis)
• Fever, pain in chest and cough
• Vomiting and rash – soon oozing pustular sores
all over body, severe itching causes patient to
scratch causing infections, fever increases – as
patient coughs they infect those around them
• 40% die – if live, then scarred for life
• 18th century London, 1/3rd of the people carried
• Documented human population for 10,000
years – eradicated in 1979 (only exists
today in weapons labs!)
• In 1777 George Washington
had Colonial Army at Valley
Forge vaccinated for
• One Indian tribe had
members vaccinated – the
Sioux – one reason they
• They found little evidence of mental illness
in the Indian Tribes –
– Less stress?
– No lawsuits?
– Not burdened with many possessions?
– Support in family and tribe?
• Indians used snakeroot to relieve childbirth
pain (Puritan settlers believed childbirth
should be painful)
• Most tribes didn’t have alcohol
before Europeans arrival –
disastrous for their society – some
tribes (Arikaras, Chinooks, and
Clatsops) wisely refused!
• Lewis and Clark commented that
the tribes most difficult to deal with
were the ones with the longest
exposure to Anglo-Americans
• On first contact most tribes were
friendly, didn’t steal from them,
traded for goods and presented
August 30, 1803
• Lewis starts down the Ohio River from Pittsburg with a keelboat and
• Well wishers stop them three miles
downstream and some wanted to
see the gun that fires without
• Mr. Blaze Cenas picked up
(loaded) air gun and accidentally
fires it –hitting a woman in the
head, from 40 yards away!
(Superficial wounds only. Soon
they back on their way.)
Gateway Arch – St. Louis
630 ft tall technology of the 1960s!
Old Court House – St. Louis – Dred Scott Case 1846-
Lewis and Clark
• Meet up at Clarksville (across
the Ohio River from
Louisville). Examined men
willing to go and enlisted
them in the Army.
• 55ft Keel boat and two
“pirogues” (“pee – ro”)
• Dec. 12, 1803: stay winter
north of St. Louis where
Missouri and Mississippi
• Lost control of his pirogue – he could not swim
and was crying to his God for mercy – while
Lewis and Clark yelled at him from shore
• “The Indian woman to whom I ascribe equal
fortitude (with Cruzatte) and resolution with any
person onboard at the time of the accident,
caught and preserved most of the light articles
which were washed overboard.”
• M. Lewis
Lewis and Clark
• Record 150 species of fish – nine cat fish
weighted in at 300 pounds total
• Men eating 6,000 + calories a day and yet
undernourished much of the time
• Sentences for being absent without leave, being
drunk on duty etc. = 50 lashes, 100 lashes –
running the gantlet (whipped with steel ramrods)
Lewis and Clark – medical
• Bowel complaints! Diarrhea
• Lewis almost dies tasting a rock (arsenic)
• Sore eyes
• Venereal disease (Sacagawea nearly died of a
fever thought to be pelvic infection / gonorrhea
• Grizzly bears (Indians called the White bear) that
took ten shots to bring down!
• Only one of the group to die along the
way. – dies August 19, 1804 – appendix?
“Ocian in view! O! the Joy.”
• Fort Clatsop
• Vote: Stay on north or south side of
Columbia – York the slave and
Sacagawea both get to vote! First African
American and Native American allowed to
vote in the US!
Fort Clatsop – 50 ft square
• Fort Clatsop offered, “mildew, spoiled
meat and numbing boredom.”
– James Ronda, Un. Of Tulsa
• Elk meat, roots, berries, whale blubber,
pounded dried salmon
• Only gave them jurisdiction to the Rocky
Mountains – not to the Pacific where the
British claimed and traded since 1792
• Candle fish: put a wick through them and
they worked as a candle!
Lewis is shot
• August 11, 1806
• Shot in the thigh and buttocks by Cruzatte
• The bullet was found in his breeches
. . . said one of these men, long past seventy
year of age, “I could carry, paddle, walk and sing
with any man I ever saw . . . No portage was
ever too long for me.
Fifty songs could I sing. I have saved the lives
of ten voyagers. I have had twelve wives and six
running dogs. I spent all my money in pleasure.
Were I young again, I should spend my life the
same way over.
There is no life so happy as the voyageur’s
James H. Bakker.
Sept. 23, 1806 Thursday
• Corps of Discovery reached St. Louis
• Failed to find major route to Pacific
(Oregon Trail 1842)
• Paton, Bruce. Lewis and Clark, Doctors in
the Wilderness, Fulcrum Pub. 2001.
• Stephen Ambrose. Undaunted Courage,
Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and
the Opening of the American West, Simon
and Schuster, NY.1996.