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Meriwether Lewis, History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark . . . , vols. 1 and 2, 1814

The Corps of Discovery reached the Pacific Ocean in November 1805, and in 1806 President Thomas Jefferson presented the expedition report to Congress. After Meriwether Lewis died in 1809, William Clark and others completed preparation of Lewis’s and Clark’s journals for publication. Issued in 1814, the official history conveyed a wealth of information about the Northwest.

Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Meriwether Lewis, History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark . . . , vols. 1 and 2, 1814 (Page 37) Meriwether Lewis, History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark . . . , vols. 1 and 2, 1814 (Page 38) Meriwether Lewis, History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark . . . , vols. 1 and 2, 1814 (Page 472) Meriwether Lewis, History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark . . . , vols. 1 and 2, 1814 (Page 473)

Recording the Lewis & Clark Expedition

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson proposed and Congress funded the first of several nineteenth-century expeditions to the American West. The “Corps of Discovery,” led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, was commissioned to chart the Louisiana Territory, find a water route to the Pacific Ocean, and establish trade with American Indians. Traveling the Missouri and Columbia Rivers and partially overland to the Pacific, the explorers gathered extensive information about the Northwest’s geography, geology, flora, fauna, and inhabitants. Their findings were published in a two-volume report to Congress in 1814.