By Maurice Isserman, John S. Bowman
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Extra resources for Across America: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Discovery and Exploration)
Lewis and Clark also may have carried with them a copy of Alexander Mackenzie’s Voyages from Montreal, which they made references to in their journals. They even carried a history book, Antoine Le Page du Pratz’s The History of Louisiana, or the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina, first published in London in 1763. Lewis had borrowed the book from Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton of Philadelphia in 1803, and returned it to him in 1807, with an inscription noting it had been carried across the continent.
Congress, in some secret proceedings, have yielded to a proposition I made them for permitting me to have it done: it is to be undertaken immediately, with a party of about ten, & I have appointed Capt. Lewis, my secretary, to conduct it. 3 Preparing the Way March 1803 to May 1804 In spring 1803 Meriwether Lewis grappled with the daunting question of determining what a dozen or more explorers need to bring with them when crossing thousands of miles of wilderness on river and by foot, across plains, through forests, and over mountains, exposed to summer’s heat and winter’s cold, uncertain of the route and the reception they might receive from the Native inhabitants.
Leaders expected, the Spanish would inevitably be pushed aside in the Louisiana Territory by the pressure of migrating American settlers. Expectations that the United States would one day inherit the lands west of the Mississippi were badly shaken by events abroad in 1800–01, when Spain agreed to a proposal from French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to swap the Louisiana Territory for land he controlled in northern Italy. After a 40-year absence, it looked like France was coming back to North America.
Across America: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Discovery and Exploration) by Maurice Isserman, John S. Bowman