Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Feb 15, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 511 pages
92 Reviews
From the bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day, the definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson’s. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century.

High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.
  

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Review: Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

User Review  - Brad - Goodreads

Well researched and well written, but I could have done without the speculation. There was no need for Ambrose to try to fill the blanks with conjecture. Otherwise, a complete account of the expedition and a worthwhile read. Read full review

Review: Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

This is an awesome book! So exciting to read and so detailed. Highly recommend it. Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
13
Planter 17921794
30
Thomas Jeffersons America 1801
51
The Origins of the Expedition 17501802
70
Washington to Pittsburgh
93
Down the Ohio
108
Up the Mississippi to Winter Camp
122
Up the Missouri
137
Over the Continental Divide
268
The
284
Down the Columbia
302
Fort Clatsop
317
The
340
Return to the Nez Perce
353
The Marias Exploration
380
The Last Leg
396

Entering Indian Country
152
Encounter with the Sioux
165
To the Mandans
181
Report from Fort Mandan
204
From Marias River to the Great Falls
232
Looking for the Shoshones
251
Washington
422
Virginia
439
St Louis
460
Aftermath
476
MAPS
515
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Stephen E. Ambrose is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller D-Day and multi-volume biographies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. He is founder of the Eisenhower Center and President of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. He lives in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and Helena, Montana.

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