Lewis and Clark For Dummies

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 22, 2011 - History - 412 pages
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The Lewis and Clark expedition was the greatest camping trip in history. It was one of those irresistible American adventures that many people dream of living. This book shares the delightful details of the journey that historians have gleaned from the group’s journals and maps, and also discusses what’s known of the Indian perspective of the expedition.

Throughout the book, you find out about Jefferson’s western exploration from his earliest efforts to see the Corps assembled through the aftermath for the explorers, the tribes, and the United States. But the focus of Lewis & Clark For Dummies is on the period between Jefferson’s confidential letter to Congress requesting dollars to mount a western exploration (January 18,1803) and the expedition’s triumphant (and improbable) return to St. Louis (September 23, 1806): forty-two months that changed the world.

Join Lewis and Clark as they recruit the Corps of Discovery, meet Sacagawea and various Indian tribes, and set off along the Missouri River on a thrilling, perilous journey. Lewis & Clark For Dummies also covers the following topics and more:

  • The expedition’s people and places
  • Jefferson’s fascination with the West
  • Final preparations of Meriwether Lewis
  • Weathering storms to launch the expedition
  • The discomforts and dangers of the journey
  • Making maps and writing reports
  • A first look at the Pacific Ocean

The story of Lewis and Clark doesn’t end with their return to St. Louis. This book will also lead you on an exploration of the fates and lessons of the Corps of Discovery. Find out what happened to Lewis, Clark, and many other key players after their famous journey. And examine the aftermath for the American Indians and the political and cultural ramifications for the United States. You’ll even find the resources you need to plan your own recreation of the expedition as you take the Trail yourself!


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Sailing Boats over the Prairie
Curing Sacagawea
Surviving a flash flood
Launching the Experimental Boat
Getting that sinking feeling
Chapter 11
Avoiding Assiniboines
Desperately Seeking Shoshones

Proving That Truth Is Stranger and Better Than Fiction
Accepting Mission Improbable
Exploring empty wilderness or inhabited civilized homelands?
Adding to scientific knowledge
Beginning Manifest Destiny
A century of conquest
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
The National Bicentennial Commemoration
Participating in Corps of Discovery II
Chapter 2
The Corps of Discovery
Meriwether Lewis
William Clark
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau
Toussaint Charbonneau
George Drouillard
Seaman coasttocoast canine
The privates
The American Indians
Otoe and Missouria
Brule Band of Teton Sioux
Salish Three Eagles
The Columbia River tribes
Piegan Blackfeet
Merchants and traders
The Land and the Rivers
The Louisiana Territory
The Great Plains
The Rocky Mountains
The Pacific Northwest
Chapter 3
Looking for a new Eden
Dispelling myths about the West
If at First You Dont Succeed
Crossing swords with Catherine the Great
Copying a Scot
Jefferson finagles Spain worries
Part II
Chapter 4
Kissing cousins
Becoming a rambling man
White House Calling
Meriwether Lewis presidential aide
Goading them on
Not perfect but close enough
Jefferson and Lewis MultiTask
Taking Science 101
Spending the cash
Considering the manpower
William Clark Kentucky frontiersman
At war with the British and then the Indians
The right man for the job
Chapter 5
Taking a Rush course in medicine
Getting a crash course in natural history from Barton
Preparing for sloths and mammoths with Wistar
Surveying the earth with Ellicott
Navigating by the heavens with Patterson
Buying scientific instruments and basic supplies
Giving Lewis His Marching Orders
Getting it in writing
Recruiting Two Good Men and a Great Dog
Drafting Seaman the sagacious
Doubting the drunkards
Swimming squirrels wandering men
Walking to a mammoth skeleton
Chapter 6
Rowing Against Time
Looking for a Few Good Men
Maintaining discipline sort of
Recruiting Drouillard the cream of the crop
Stocking Up on Supplies
Worrying about the American Indians
Just call me dad
Keeping Rank Secrets
The Expedition Begins
Chapter 7
Rowing Poling and Towing
Viewing the Vast Bountiful Prairie
Millions of buffalows
Getting Sick Lost Scared and Busted
George Shannon gets lost
The men face devil spirits
Chapter 8
Poling Past the Platte
Peddling Peace and Prosperity to the Otoes and Missouris
Trotting out the traveling military parade
Welcoming the elusive Little Thief and Big Horse
Wooing the Sioux
Hitting it off with the Yanktons
Confronting the Tetons at Bad River
Persuading the Arikaras
Going ahead with the plan
Cutting a rocky deal
Sharing in Arikara culture
Chapter 9
Promoting the American Trade Plan
Convening the council
Building Fort Mandan
Meeting Sacagawea
Hiring a sneaky scoundrel and a man of no merit
Trying to Manipulate Plains Politics
Dealing arms
Neutralizing British fur interests
Making Maps and Feeling Optimistic about the Northwest Passage
Writing reports and recording languages
Preparing the specimens and that poor pitiful prairie dog
Part III
Chapter 10
Closing Up the Fort and Sending the Keelboat Home
NeverEnding Enchantment on the Plains
Encountering tame wildlife
Exploring seens of visionary inchantment
Eating drinking and breathing sand
Dealing with troublesom musquetors
Harassing grizzly bears
Appreciating Sacagawea
Deciding Which River Was the Missouri
Standing at a fork in the river
Hearing the Roar of the Great Falls at Last
Throbbing feet and frayed nerves but no Shoshones
Dealing with illness noteeating beavers and a lost man but no Shoshones
Misunderstanding tabbabone
Scaring Away a Shoshone
Sending mixed signals
Realizing the Awesome Truth about the West
Chapter 12
Needing the Shoshones but the Shoshones Need to Leave
Hooking Up with the Shoshones
Resorting to promises and insults
Missing Clark
Celebrating the reunions
Returning from The River of No Return
Finding a guide and understanding why Lewiss River was called the River of No Return
Preparing for a Long Walk
Caching goods and leaving Camp Fortunate
Haggling for horses
Meeting Welsh Indians
Resting for the Next Climb
Freezing and Starving over the Bitterroot Mountains
Suffering terrain unfit for men or horses
Dining on colt and candles
Descending Joyfully to Level Ground
Chapter 13
Chowing down on Nez Perce food
Bonding with Twisted Hair
Lewis Joins Clark and the Nez Perce
Talking business and politics with the Nez Perce
Getting Back on the Water
Heading down the Snake River
Holding a grand council
Taking a rain check with the Walla Wallas
Going to the Super Market
Extreme Canoeing in the Columbia Gorge
Loving to Hate the Chinookan Tribes
Treasuring a Chinook canoe
Misunderstanding Chinook customs
Celebrating an Ocean View
Chapter 14
Waiting for the storms to clear
Voting and making history
Building Fort Clatsop
Picking a spot
Getting to Know Cuscalar
Being OutManeuvered in Trade and Diplomacy
Trading goods for food
Failing to cross the cultural divide
Oh How I Wanna Go Home
Lewis revealing his thoughts
Restricting the Indians
Waiting for their ship to come in
Laughing at McNeals folly
Part IV
Chapter 15
Fleeing the Columbia River and Its Peoples
Leaving Fort Clatsop and making the first portage
Looking for horses and portaging The Dalles
Seeking Respite with the Walla Wallas
One good turn deserves another
Breaking up a squabble
Passing the Time at Camp Chopunnish
Facing the Bitterroots Again
Hello hot tub
Chapter 16
Making Clarks todo list
Clark Leaves His Mark
Following Sacagawea
Christening Pompys Tower now Pompeys Pillar
Losing sleep because of bellowing buffaloes
Bringing Tragedy to Two Medicine
Dealing with spoiled specimens and stolen horses
Following the Marias to disappointment
Killing two Piegan youths
Taking a bullet in the buttock from a nearsighted oneeyed fiddle player
Reuniting the Corps
Chapter 17
Giving up a cannon and getting lectured by the Hidatsas
Failing with the Mandans
Deceiving the Arikaras
Coaxing the Cheyenne
Feeling relieved to see the Yankton Sioux
Returning to Civilization
Coming back from the dead
Reaching Cheering Crowds in St Louis
Writing to Clarks brother and the newspaper
Priming the press and lobbying for a reward
Chapter 18
Arriving in Washington
Reaping rewards and lobbying for land
Drifting drinking and descending into madness
Dying hard
William Clark
Serving as Indian agent
Publishing the journals
Losing a race for governor
Considering a happier fate for York
Jean Baptiste Pompy
Men of the Corps
Discovering more on the Corps
Breaking Promises to the American Indians
Altering the Land and Rivers
Threatening plant and animal life
Proceeding On
Part V
Chapter 19
Ten Places Unchanged
Chapter 20
Falls of the Ohio State Park
Joslyn Art Museum
Fort Mandan
Nez Perce National Historical Park
Columbia Gorge Discovery Center
Chapter 21
Lewis and Clark among the Indians
The National Bicentennial Exhibition
Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail
Part VI
Appendix A
Appendix B

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About the author (2011)

Sammye J. Meadows is the coordinator for the Circle of Tribal Advisors for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

Jana Sawyer Prewitt is a former director of external affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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