The Louisiana Purchase
Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Lewis and Clark Expedition
Meriwether Lewis, Captain
Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18, 1774 in Albemarle County, Virginia.
His father died when his horse fell into a stream. Meriwether was 5 years old at the time.
His mother married an Army officer named John Marks.
They lived on a plantation that was only ten miles from Thomas Jefferson's home.
Meriwether joined the Army in 1794.
Meriwether was just over 6' tall.
He first met William Clark while he was in the Army. He later served under Clark in the "Chosen Rifle Company."
In 1801, President Jefferson made Lewis his personal secretary.
Before the Louisiana Purchase President Jefferson developed a plan for studying flora and fauna of the western U.S.
Jefferson asked Congress for $2,500 for the expedition.
Lewis was put in charge of organizing the expedition. The goals were to make friends with the Western Indians (Native Americans), establishing fur trading routes down the Mississippi, and mapping the area and routes.
Lewis invited Clark to be his co-captain of the expedition.
There is debate whether Meriwether Lewis committed suicide or was murdered. On October 18, 1809 Meriwether Lewis was found dead of several gunshots wounds in Grinders Inn, Natchez Trace, Tennessee.
Last Modified: May 14, 2012
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