The Journals of Lewis and Clark

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In 1803, when the United States purchased Louisiana from France, the great expanse of this new American territory was a blank -- not only on the map but in our knowledge. President Thomas Jefferson keenly understood that the course of the nation's destiny lay westward and that a national Voyage of Discovery must be mounted to determine the nature and accessibility of the frontier. He commissioned his young secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to lead an intelligence-gathering expedition from the Missouri River to the northern ...

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