Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Jared_Runck - LibraryThing
It has been over a decade since I’ve read Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, which still resides in my “Top 5 Books Ever Read” list. This book has been on my to-read list for almost as long, partly because I ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ffifield - LibraryThing
It seems as much a biography of Merriwether Lewis as it was a story of the expedition. Some parts are in great detail and other parts of the trip seem to be glossed over. Read full review
Thomas Jeffersons America 1801
The Origins of the Expedition 17501802
Washington to Pittsburgh
Down the Ohio
Up the Mississippi to Winter Camp
Up the Missouri
Over the Continental Divide
Down the Columbia
Return to the Nez Perce
The Marias Exploration
The Last Leg
Other editions - View all
Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening
Stephen E. Ambrose
Limited preview - 2013