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Meriwether Lewis teamed up with William Clark to form the historic expedition pairing Lewis and Clark, who together explored the lands west of the Mississippi.
Lewis & Clark - The Return (2:21)
In order to learn about the territory in the Louisiana Purchase, President Thomas Jefferson hired explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to map the land.
Perhaps one of the most important people Lewis and Clark would ever encounter was Sacagawea, a young Shoshone girl who helped them navigate the harsh lands of the Western United States.
After they returned from their two year journey, Lewis and Clark were national heroes.
When Thomas Jefferson wanted to unite the country from coast to coast, he chose two very qualified men, Lewis and Clark, to lead an expedition westward to find the best route.
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the team successfully reached the Pacific Ocean in November of 1805.
Jefferson made Lewis another offer - to lead an expedition into the lands west of the Mississippi. Already eager to know more about these lands, Jefferson's interest in the area increased with purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. Jefferson asked Lewis to gather information about the plants, animals, and peoples of the region. Lewis jumped at the chance and selected old friend William Clark to join him as co-commander of the expedition.
Lewis and his expedition received assistance in their mission from many of the native peoples they met during their journey westward. The Mandans provided them with supplies during their first winter. It was during this time that expedition picked up two new members, Sacagawea and Touissant Charbonneau. The two acted as interpreters for the expedition and Sacagawea, Charbonneau's wife and a Shoshone Indian, was able to help get horses for the group later in the journey.
Lewis and Clark split up to explore more territory and look for faster route home. Lewis and his men faced great danger when a group of Blackfeet Indians sought to steal from the corps in late July. Two Blackfeet were killed in the ensuing conflict. The next month, Lewis was shot in the thigh by one of his own men during a hunt. Lewis and Clark and their two groups joined up again at the Missouri River and made the rest of the trek to St. Louis together. In total, the expedition traveled roughly 8,000 miles by boat, on foot, and on horseback.
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Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, at the request of President Thomas Jefferson, led an expedition to survey the land West of the Missipppi, known as Louisana Territory, that had been purchased from France in 1803. Lewis, Clark, and the rest of their expedition began their journey near St. Louis, Missouri, in May 1804. This group - often called the Corps of Discovery by historians - faced nearly every obstacle and hardship imaginable on their trip. They braved dangerous waters and harsh weather and endured hunger, illness, injury, and fatigue. During their first winter, they recieved help and guidance from Sacagawea, a Shoshone Indian.
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