In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark
by Snyder, Gerald S.
pub by - National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, USA, 1970 - - ISBN 87044-087-x - - - LCCN = 77-125338 - heavily illustrated with copies of artwork, color photos and maps - Index p. 212-215 - - 216 p.
Gerald Snyder takes his family along with him on a trip, mostly by automobile, following the route that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the - Corps of Volunteers for Northwestern Discovery - more commonly known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition took on their historic trip. Snyder is well prepared and provides many interesting details at all levels. These are verbally illustrated by his eyewitness description of what he and his family saw on their travels, which seem to have been done about 1965.
President Thomas Jefferson had considered sending an expedtion to discover what was between the known west up to the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean.
After the USA made the - Louisanna Purchase - and nearly doubled the size of the nation it was more necessary to examine what was there. The set-up, planning and beginning (starting down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh and officially starting from St. Louis) is covered. Then folllowing up the Missouri the trip starts in earnest. They followed the Missouri to its source. They spent the first winter among the Mandans and were joined by a trapper Charbonneau and his Shoshoni wife Sacagawea, who delivered her child during the expedition. Having a woman and child along helped prove that the expedition was peaceful, as none would have a woman (and mother) along with a war party.
From the souce of the Missouri they traveled across the Rocky Mountains through Lemhi pass (some miles west of the Yellowstone River), then followed down the Snake and Columbia rivers to the coast. In mid-November 1805 they arrived at Cape Dissapointment on the Pacific Coast. They erected a small fort there, spent the winter, then retraced their tracks and explored more on the way back, arriving in St Louis 23 September 1806.
Snyder finishes out by following each of the participants with as much information is known on each of them.
This is a good short read. Perhaps a good preparation for reading - Undaunted Courage - by Stephen E. Ambrose, the much more developed book on the expedition, which I hope to read some time.
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