May 14, 1804: Lewis and Clark depart to discover the Louisiana territory
The Louisiana Purchase was a major deal for the United States in 1803. President Thomas Jefferson was eager to check out this brand new land under his control. Fortunately, two plucky guys from Virginia were available for this intriguing mission.
That’s what friends are for
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark came from different backgrounds. Lewis was a Private Secretary to Jefferson while Clark served in the military. The one thing they had in common was exploring. Jefferson placed Lewis in charge of this journey through the Louisiana territory. Not wanting to feel alone, Lewis asked his friend Clark if wanted to join the ride. With no hesitation, he agreed, and the two set off for an adventure on May 14, 1804.
Disaster at every mile
During the first year, things didn’t seem so grand for everyone involved. After gaining trust from the Sioux tribe, Lewis and Clark discovered one of their horses went missing. If that wasn’t enough, Lewis and Clark nearly had people crying “Worldstar” with near fights of their own. By the time they reached the Pacific Ocean in November 1805, things got worse. There was a lack of food, and they didn’t have money to buy more. Many of the people on the trek started getting sick due to lack of nutrients. It didn’t help that a harsh winter awaited them in the area.
The grand return
In the spring of 1806, Lewis and Clark decided it was time to head back home. After some long trekking, the two men decided to split off into two groups. As expected, they ran into some wild issues separately. Lewis’ team killed members of the Blackfoot nation after they caught them stealing equipment. Clark’s team managed to lose a slew of horses while stationed at the Crow tribe’s territory.
In the end, Lewis and Clark did what they were sent out to accomplish. They researched the land and learned new customs from the local tribes. They just didn’t expect to go through hell to do it.