Lewis And Clark – Journal Entry 1-June 11th, 1804
It was the fall of 1803, when I, Meriwether Lewis, was chosen by President Thomas Jefferson to lead an expedition into the wilderness to explore the new lands we have acquired. So I soon asked William Clark to accompany me on this expedition. Our goal of this expedition was to make an accurate map and route to the Pacific Ocean. One of our primary goals was to learn about the Indian Nations and to convince them to trade with us, as our wish is to be neighborly, friendly, and useful for them.
Many volunteers were willing to join us on this once in a lifetime expedition. Since there were many volunteers, from all over the country, Clark and I had to judge the volunteers on certain characteristics. We judged them on their character, strength, hunting skills, and their ability to survive in the wilderness. Once decided on what lucky men would join us, we set out. We were the 50 men, called the Corps of Discovery. We travelled up the Missouri River from St. Louis, Missouri in May 1804. At first we made very slow progress up the Missouri because of the River’s swift current. One night, at our camp, the current tore away the riverbank at the camp and we all had to scramble to our boats, hoping to be spared for the rest of the night. This was a very dangerous start to a long travel ahead of us. Hopefully my team will stay safe for the rest of this long journey, and hopefully we will achieve greatness and glory when we arrive at the Pacific.
Lewis And Clark – Journal Entry 2-March 14th, 1805
We travelled through the plains on our journey and we saw plenty of wildlife. We saw herds of buffalo, deer, elk, and antelope. We had met many different Native tribes on the way. We had gifts for them such as peace medals with the U.S. seal on it. Our gifts were also needed supplies, such as mirrors, knives, beads, blankets, and thousands of sewing needles and fishhooks. During the winter nights a tribe took us in. Their names were the Mandans. They were very kind and nice enough to let our expedition stay on track while we were visiting.
There was another girl who was from a different tribe. Her name was Sacagawea, and her tribe lived in the Rockies. She was staying with the Mandans during the winter of 1804-1805 as well. Her native tribe was named the Shoshones. Her French-Canadian husband and she agreed to accompany the team as translators for us. I was very pleased that someone would do this for us. Our group was ecstatic with joy. The winter was long and harsh winds would hit the village until spring. It was very cold and there was much snow. We learned that the snow was harder to get food and supplies from than it was in the United States. It was a very different lifestyle out here in the West. Before spring hit, there was a game the Natives liked to play called the Netted Hoop and Pole game. It was played by using long darts and a hoop made from branches and rawhide. They could also be made from corn husks, cedar bark, or other plants. I found it enjoyable to pass the time in the winter. The object was to throw the dart through the hoop for points. Most of us caught on quick, except Caleb whose dart went everywhere but through the hoop. He even hit Jonah in the buttocks. Everyone kept laughing, even the Chief of the Mandans.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
Lewis And Clark – Journal Entry 3-April 29th, 1805
In early spring of 1805 the expedition started again. There was new geography and life that was seen. We saw life such as bighorn sheep, pear cactus, and even grizzly bears. One of the bears chased me when I was wondering alone. I was a little shaken up by the experience but I still stayed strong for my team. Soon we met the Shoshones and Sacagawea’s brother. She hadn’t seen him in a long time. She danced and showed every emotion of extravagant joy when reunited with her tribe. I felt lonesome when I realized that it has been a year since we set out on this expedition, and I’m beginning to miss my family and friends back home even more than usual. Luckily for our group, the Shoshones supplied our expedition with food, horses, and they told us the best route over the Rockies. It was great! I couldn’t have been more excited. I was so excited that we were so close to victory, that I found it hard to sleep.
On the way over the Rockies it was cold, harsh, and the winds were brutally fierce. The ground was freezing with ice, snow, and rocks all over the place. By the time we got close to crossing, most of us didn’t have footwear because it was torn apart or damaged in other ways. At least 30 of my team, including Clark, were walking without footwear. I was lucky mine weren’t as bad as some others. We tried to keep our minds off of how bad we were hurting by telling stories of what we were going to do when we reached our destination. We also talked about our families, that kept us going. We soon crossed the Continental Divide. I was so glad we made it across. On the way down, it wasn’t nearly as cruel as the way up. First off, we were going downhill, and it wasn’t as rocky luckily. We were so close we could taste it. It was an amazing and exhilarating feeling of pride and joy.
Lewis And Clark – Journal Entry 4-November 10th, 1805
We were so proud of ourselves that we crossed the Rockies. We soon built canoes to help us along our way. We headed towards the Columbia River into the Pacific Northwest. It was the fall of 1805, more specifically November 7, 1805 and Clark saw the ocean first, when he told us we looked at him with confusion. He told us to look over towards the west and there it was! We just caught sight of the Pacific and it was amazing! The team was overwhelmed with joy. We were all just standing and enjoying the view. All that was possible was to just stare with our jaws dropped open. Nobody expected it to come so easily after we crossed the Rockies.
We finally reached our goal and we hurried along towards the ocean. When we arrived there we just sat and stared at the beautiful sun setting down over the horizon. We all went in the water and just cooled off. The smell of the ocean was a strong sea salt scent. The entire view was beautiful. We spent the day first setting up camp and then playing games that we learned from the Native Americans. We all enjoyed the day and we made some games up ourselves. Soon I split the 50 men into 5 groups of 10. We had a sand castle competition. Everyone could vote for a castle, just not your assigned team’s castle. It had to be the best day I’ve had since we set off from St. Louis. We have to now go back home. It will be a long journey. However we learned a lot about the Native Americans, the landscape, and what the Louisiana Purchase will mean for us. Our fellow Americans will be very proud of us.