Lewis and Clark: A Timeline of the Extraordinary Expedition
The “Corps of Discovery,” led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, were sent by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803, to find a passable water route west to the Pacific Ocean. Below is a timeline of Lewis and Clark’s extraordinary expedition.
Lewis and Clark’s Journey Begins
In 1804 the Corps of Discovery sets out on a westward journey up the Missouri River, with Patrick Gass as part of the 41-man crew of volunteers, soldiers, and one African American slave. Sergeant Charles Floyd, the expedition’s youngest member, dies near modern-day Sioux City, Iowa.
A Tense Encounter With the Teton Sioux
The explorers exchange angry threats and boasts through nervous interpreters near modern-day Pierre, South Dakota, during their encounter with the Teton Sioux (Lakota). After three restless days, Chief Black Buffalo breaks the tension and calls for peace.
Lewis and Clark Meet Sacagawea
Lewis and Clark hire Sacagawea, a 17-year-old pregnant wife of Toussaint Charbonneau, a French Canadian trader, as a Hidatsa interpreter. She quickly proves to be an invaluable member of the expedition, assisting the men with their diet and finding edible plants to improve their health. Lewis and Clark discover the Great Falls of the Missouri in 1805.
The Expedition Finds the Shoshone
Sacagawea lived among the Shoshone people near the modern-day Montana-Idaho border, where she was kidnapped by the Hidatsa when she was 12 years old. Her childhood memories provide valuable clues that Lewis and Clark are on the right track, and she reunites them with her brother Cameahwait, who is now chief, in August of 1805.
Crew Gets Lost in Snow, Nearly Starves to Death
Lewis and Clark were snowblind when they crossed the Bitterroot Mountains and were taken in by the Nez Perce Indians, who treated them well until they became ill from eating piles of dried fish and boiled roots.
They Reach the Pacific…or Not
The canoes are swamped and paralyzed by powerful waves and strong winds, so local Clatsop Indians use their large ocean-going canoes to ferry the men across the estuary.
Lewis and Clark Reach the Pacific Ocean
With historic votes from York, an African American slave, and Sacagawea, an Indian woman, Lewis and Clark voted to build Fort Clatsop, their home for the next five months.
Long-Needed R&R With the Nez Perce
Men and Indians played boyhood games like “prison base,” a type of tag, and stayed up late dancing and playing the fiddle during Lewis and Clark’s last month with the Nez Perce, one of the most leisurely periods of their two-year journey.
Lewis Kills a Blackfoot Brave
In 1806 Lewis and his men came face to face with a small band of Blackfeet warriors, and after killing a young brave, Lewis and his men rode for 24 hours straight to escape the Blackfeet. “That was the only native death on the entire expedition,” historian John B Buckley says.
Lewis and Clark Arrive Back in St. Louis as Heroes
On September 23, 1806 in St. Louis, Missouri, Lewis and Clark complete their final journey, which Buckley describes as “America’s odyssey.” The Corps of Discovery returned to the land of their birth, where they were greeted as heroes.
How many days was Lewis and Clark’s journey?
The Corps of Discovery, as the expedition company was known, traveled nearly 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers) from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Ocean and back during the trip, which lasted from May 14, 1804, to September 23, 1806, from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Ocean and back.
How many miles a day did Lewis and Clark travel?
They traveled anywhere from 5 to 20 miles per day – a distance of 14 miles per day was considered adequate – with Clark frequently staying in a boat and Lewis walking along the shore.
How long did it take Lewis and Clark to reach the Pacific Ocean?
Lewis and Clark, along with the Corps of Volunteers for Northwestern Discovery, arrive at the mouth of the Columbia River on November 15, 1805, one year, six months, and one day after leaving St. Louis, Missouri, in search of the legendary “Northwest Passage” to the sea.
What was Clark’s slaves name?
York, William Clark’s lifelong slave, is one of the most fascinating members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition; his role was remarkable throughout the expedition, and he appears to have been treated similarly to the other men.
Who helped Lewis and Clark survive on their journey?
Despite Lewis’ tragic death, his expedition with Clark is one of America’s most famous, as the duo and their crew strengthened America’s claim to the West with the help of Sacagawea and other Native Americans, and inspired countless other explorers and western pioneers.
How did Lewis and Clark decide to spend the winter?
The expedition overwhelmingly decided to follow the advice of the local Indians and investigate the possibility of spending the winter on the southern bank of the river. Lewis, however, decided to scout the area first, leaving Clark and the rest of the group behind.
Did Lewis and Clark walk the whole expedition?
The expedition traveled over 8000 miles in total over the course of two years, four months, and ten days, estimating that they had traveled 4,162 miles from the mouth of the Missouri to the Pacific. Thomas Jefferson paid $15 million for the Louisiana Territory, which encompassed 820,000 square miles.
What happened to Lewis and Clark’s dog?
Seaman, Capt. Lewis’s dog, pursued them, caught one in the river, drowned and killed it, and swam to shore with it,” Clark wrote. Seaman continued to hunt in this manner until he was severely injured by a beaver in mid-May 1805.
How many animals did Lewis and Clark discover?
However, Lewis and Clark discovered 122 animal species on their 8,000-mile journey from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean and back in 1804-1806, including iconic American animals like the grizzly bear, coyote, prairie dog, and bighorn sheep.
What are three facts about Lewis and Clark journey?
The Lewis and Clark Expedition: 10 Little-Known Facts
- After being court-martialed by the Army, Lewis met Clark, who had previously served as Thomas Jefferson’s secretary.
- Thomas Jefferson feared the expedition would come across wooly mammoths, so the Spanish sent soldiers to arrest the expedition.
What was Lewis and Clark’s salary?
Meriwether Lewis was paid a total of $2,776.22 (including his allowance) for 47 months of service, plus 1,600 acres of land*, while Captain Clark was paid a total of $2,113.74 (including subsistence allowance) for 47 months of service, plus the 1,600 acres of land.
What did Lewis and Clark spend most of their time doing?
What did Lewis and Clark spend the majority of their time doing? Clark spent most of his time on the keel boat charting the course and making maps, while Lewis spent much of his time ashore studying the rock formations, soil animals, and plants along the way.