The Story of Lewis and Clark for Young Americans (Download Now)
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This ebook publication is derived from an original book entitled Four American Explorers. Copyrighted in 1902. The original book includes stories of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, John C. Fremont, and Elisha Kent Kane.
This publication includes the story of Lewis and Clark Expedition, only. This story is an abbreviated account of the expedition of 1804-1805, and, as the subtitle indicates, is “A Book For Young Americans”.
The publication consists 132 pages of text, and approximately 28 black and white/gray scale images, and assortment of additional images that are part of the original book.
This is an ideal book for the first time exposure to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The book is short, and uncomplicated, so it doesn't have the same kind of detail, and background that a longer work would have; realistically, even a 600 page book could not tell the whole story, but it would have much more detail than this short work
Beyond grammar school, I never remember reading, or remembering much about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (or the Corps of Discovery). I think I envisioned it as being a very long backpacking trip. And I probably assumed that for the men of that day and time, it was just a picnic.
Only in my later reading, and study, have I learned that it was a monumental achievement. The physical strength, and endurance, the fortitude, and courage, intelligence, and common sense were all common attributes of all the members of the expedition. Not only did they have to battle the elements, from oppressive heat, to freezing cold, to dry desert, and flowing rivers, but they also had to contend with wild animals, especially the dreaded grizzly bear (whom the Indians also feared), and some hostile Indians (though some Indians were also friendly). It is amazing that only one man was lost during the whole expedition, and that was due to an acute case of appendicitis
I've read much more detail works, and I'm sure I've absorbed other details through the years, but I still found this book to be an interesting and compelling read. It is exciting, and definitely includes details, and stories that I'd never heard before; (perhaps this is true because of the age of the book, or because of my own age and memory.)
For example, in the following passage, I'd never heard of this initiation/custom; (in fact, I didn't realize that there were 'sailors' on the expedition), and the phrase 'equinoctial line'.
“At last the Platte River was reached. There the sailors carried out a curious custom. It seems that the passing of the Platte River is regarded by Missouri River boatmen just as the crossing of the equinoctial line is regarded by sailors on the sea. To mark the passing of it every man in the who had never been there before was caught and shaved, unless he could "stand treat" to his comrades.”
Or that the Kite Indians were “so called because they were always flying about”
This is an interesting one, though kind of bad for the horse:
“Early in August they came to the burial-place of a great and awful chief of the Omaha nation named
Blackbird…………. He was buried sitting erect on horseback.”
How about the “singing Indians”:
“No sooner were the explorers settled than a dozen Indians appeared on the opposite bank and began to sing. This was their sign of friendship, and their friendship was very genuine. “
I would be remiss not to mention Sacajawea. She, and her husband, were essential members of the expedition, of that there is no doubt. I myself did not know that during that time while she was traveling with them, she gave birth to a son, and carried him along with her. She was a tough lady !