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William Clark was half of the famous exploration team Lewis and Clark, who explored and mapped the unknown lands west of the Mississippi River.
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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Clark married Julia Hancock in 1808. Along with his own family, he cared for the children of Sacagawea after she died in 1812. The next year, he served as governor of the Missouri Territory, a position he held for seven years. Once the territory became a state in 1820, Clark ran for governor but lost the election. He continued his work in Indian affairs and was known for his fair treatment of Native Americans.
Clark died on September 1, 1838, in St. Louis,
Missouri. He has been remembered as one of the country's greatest explorers. The maps he drew helped the U.S. government—and the rest of the nation—understand the geography of the west. His journal also provided insights into the lands, peoples and animal life of the region.
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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 Mississippi, known as Louisiana 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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