The Lewis and Clark expedition is rightly considered one of the great American stories. In May of 1804 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set off by keelboat up the Missouri River with thirty-one men, the “Corps of Discovery,” on an expedition authorized by Congress at the request of Thomas Jefferson. The expedition’s grip on the popular imagination is understandable. It features adventures and trials, close calls and improbable coincidences, exotic encounters and fascinating personalities.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark explored the territories gained through the Louisiana Purchase. The Corps of Discovery set out from St. Louis and explored 8,000 miles along the Missouri and Columbia Rivers and reached the Pacific. The expedition returned in 1806.