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Timeline of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is the timeline of the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the American West, 1803-1806.

1803

  • May 14: Lewis leaves Lancaster and travels to Philadelphia to study medicine, anatomy and botany under the day's leading experts. During his three-week stay, he buys supplies and equipment as well as gifts for the Indians he expects to encounter.[7]
  • June 20: President Jefferson sends Lewis instructions for exploring the Louisiana Territory.[9]
  • July 18: Clark writes to Lewis accepting his invitation.[13][14]
  • August 31: After more than a month of delays, the keelboat is completed and immediately loaded. With a crew of 11, Lewis heads down the Ohio River.[15][16]
  • September 1: Lewis documents the first day of travel, beginning what becomes the Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.[17][18]
  • December 6: Lewis travels by horseback to St. Louis in present-day Missouri intending to spend the winter procuring more supplies.[25][26]
  • December 20: France transfers the Louisiana Territory to the U.S., which takes possession on December 30.[10]

1804

  • March 26: To his bitter disappointment, Lewis learns that Clark's commission has been approved but as a lieutenant rather than captain. Despite the difference in rank, a fact withheld from the men, the two share command equally throughout the expedition.[31]
  • March 29: Pvts. Shields and Colter are tried for mutiny following a fight in which they threaten Sgt. Ordway's life. Their pleas for forgiveness are accepted.[32][33][34]
  • March 31: Lewis and Clark hold a ceremony formally inducting 25 recruits into the Corps. Another five men are designated to return on the keelboat the next spring before the "permanent party" crosses the Rocky Mountains.[35][36]
  • April 7: Lewis and Clark travel to St. Louis by canoe to attend a dinner and ball.[37][38]
  • May 17: Pvts. Collins, Hall and Werner are court martialed for being AWOL. Collins, who is convicted of additional charges, receives 50 lashes. The other two have their sentences of 25 lashes suspended.[44]
  • May 21: With Lewis and Clark in command, the Corps embarks on the keelboat and two pirogues. During their 2,300 mile trip to the Rockies, the men struggle against the Missouri's current. While sails help when the winds are favorable, most progress is by rowing and either pushing or pulling the heavily-ladened keelboat.[45][46]
  • June 26: The expedition encamps at Kaw Point near the Missouri's confluence with the Kansas River in present-day Kansas, 400 river miles into their journey. As a precaution against a possible attack by the regions's Kansa tribe, the men build a temporary defense, but otherwise they spend several days resting and repairing their boats.[48][49]
  • June 29: During the Corps' stay at Kaw Point, Pvt. Collins is court martialed on charges of stealing whiskey while on guard duty. His sentence is severe, 100 lashes. Pvt. Hall, who is tried for drinking with Collins, receives 50 lashes.[50][49]
  • July 11: The Corps enters present-day Nebraska. Pvt. Willard is caught sleeping on guard duty, a capital offense. He is sentenced the next day to receive 100 lashes in four equal installments.[53]
  • July 30: The Corps camps near today's Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, on a hill they name Council Bluff.[57]
  • August 3: Lewis and Clark meet at Council Bluff with chiefs of the Oto and Missouri tribes. While the chiefs want weapons more than token gifts, the Corps' first attempt at diplomacy is for the most part a success.[58][59]
  • August 4: The party departs, but Pvt. Reed deserts. Two days later, the captains determine Reed is to be brought back dead or alive.[60][61]
  • August 18: Reed is captured and returned for trial. In addition to being sentenced to a flogging in which he is required to run the gauntlet four times, Reed is expelled from the Corps. Since banishment to the wilds would be a death sentence, he is allowed to remain with the expedition through the winter.[62][63]
  • August 30: Lewis and Clark hold talks with the Yanktons, who want rifles and whiskey. Instead, the tribe is invited to send a delegation to meet with the Great White Father in Washington, D.C.[69][70][71]
  • September 11: Pvt. Shannon is found on the bank of the Missouri starving and out of ammunition after being lost 16 days.[72]
  • September 20: They reach the Missouri's Big Bend in central South Dakota, nearly 1,300 miles from their starting point.[73]
  • October 13: Pvt. Newman is convicted of mutinous talk and expelled. As with Pvt. Reed, he is permitted to remain with the expedition until the spring.[75][76]
  • October 24: The Corps reaches Mandan Indian territory near present-day Washburn, North Dakota. Over the next few days, they meet with Mandan and Hidatsa chiefs and begin looking for a site for a winter fort.[77]
  • November 2: A location for their winter fortification is selected across the river from the main Mandan village. They name the encampment Fort Mandan to honor the tribe. Construction begins.[78]
  • December 24: Fort Mandan is completed.[81]
  • December 25: The Corps celebrates Christmas with special food, rum and dancing.[82]

1805

  • February 9: Pvt. Howard returns after dark and scales the fort's wall instead of asking the guard to open the gate. An Indian happens to see this and scales the wall himself. In the last disciplinary trial of the expedition, Howard is charged with a breach of security and is ordered to receive 50 lashes, but Lewis suspends the sentence.[83]
  • April 7: With the arrival of spring, the Corps resumes its journey. The keelboat is sent back down the Missouri with a crew of a dozen men and a shipment for President Jefferson. The "permanent party" travels west in the two pirogues and six dugout canoes.[85]
  • April 25: The expedition reaches the confluence of the Yellowstone River in northwestern North Dakota, the Missouris's principal northern tributary.[86]
  • April 27: They enter present-day Montana. In the ensuing days, the men sight herds of up to 10,000 buffalo. They also encounter and kill their first grizzly bear.[87]
  • May 14: A sudden storm tips a pirogue and many items, including the Corps' journals, spill into the river. Sacagawea calmly recovers most of the items, earning Clark's praise for her quick thinking.[88]
  • May 26: Lewis sees the Rocky Mountains for the first time. His initial reaction is joy, but he then considers the serious challenges the snow-covered mountains will pose for his men.[89]
  • June 1: In north-central Montana, the Corps comes to an unexpected fork in the river, with one branch flowing from the north, the other from the south. They take a vote on which is the Missouri. Only Lewis and Clark favor the southern route. After days of debate and explorations, another vote yields the same result. Despite their doubts, the men agree to follow the leaders.[90]
  • June 17: The men circumnavigate the falls, dragging their canoes and equipment across 18 miles (30 km) of rough terrain, a month-and-a-half ordeal.[92]
  • August 8: Sacagawea recognizes a natural formation from her childhood, Beaverhead Rock, indicating they are in the area where the Shoshone spend their summers.[94]
  • August 13: While Clark is on a scouting expedition, Lewis meets up with sixty warriors of the Shoshone nation. Once he establishes their peaceful intentions, he and his men are welcomed into the tribe's village.[96]
  • August 16: When the Shoshone become fearful of being led into a trap, Lewis lends his rifle to the Chief and his men follow suit. The gesture helps gain the Shoshone's trust.[97]
  • August 17: Sacagawea has a tearful reunion with her brother Cameahwait, now a Shoshone chief. Clark returns, and with Sacagawea's help, the Corps is able to negotiate for the horses needed to cross the Rockies.[98]
  • September 4: The expedition approached the eastern slope of the Bitterroot Mountains and entered a valley near Sula, Montana. They were met by a band of Bitterroot Salish also known as Flathead Indians and spent two days resting and trading for horses. The band consisted of 33 lodges, 80 men, and 400 total members. [99]
  • September 22: Emerging from the mountains on the Weippe Prairie, the expedition is taken in by the Nez Perce Indians. In the days ahead, everyone becomes sick from overeating the dried fish and boiled roots served by their hosts.[101]
  • October 7: The journey resumes.[103]
  • October 16: The Corps reaches the Columbia at present-day Tri-Cities. Several miles to the south, the Columbia turns west and is the modern-day border of Oregon and Washington.[105]
  • October 18: Clark sights Mount Hood through the fog, some 45 miles (72 km) in the distance.[106]
  • October 22: The Corps descends Celilo Falls, the beginning of a treacherous 55-mile (90 km) stretch of the Columbia.[107][108]
  • November 7: Clark writes in his journal, "Great joy in camp we are in View of the Ocian". His elation is premature. They have sighted the Columbia River's estuary and are still twenty miles (30 km) from the Pacific.[109][110][111]
  • November 8: The waves in the estuary become too hazardous for the canoes, so they set up camp.[112]
  • November 10: The men attempt to make progress by hugging the shoreline, but the dangerous conditions again force them to shore.[113][114]
  • November 12: A violent thunderstorm strikes with hail, heavy rain, and gale force winds. After burying all but one of their canoes under rocks to prevent them from being crushed by the waves and floating logs, they retreat by land to a cove up river. They are pinned down here for several days as the inclement weather continues.[115][116][117]
  • November 15: With a break in the weather, the estuary becomes navigable, enabling the Corps to reach the Pacific. The men land on a sandy beach that they name Station Camp. They spend the next ten days here hunting, trading with the Chinook and Clatsop Indians, and exploring the surrounding coastline.[118][119][117]
  • November 24: The Corps' members vote on a site for their winter encampment. Sacagawea and York, Clark's slave, participate in the vote. Following the recommendations of the local Indians, they pick a site on the south side of the river (Oregon), where game is more plentiful.[120]
  • December 30: The expedition's log fortress is completed, but the winter proves miserable as it rains during all but twelve days of their three-month stay.[122][123][124]

1806

  • March 23: The Corps departs Fort Clatsop, eager to begin their journey home.[125]
  • April 18: The expedition reaches the Columbia's Great Falls. They need horses for re-crossing the Rockies, but the Native Americans demand steep prices so they buy only four.[126]
  • April 28: They leave Oregon, following the Columbia to the Snake River in southeastern Washington.[127]
  • May 3: After enduring a heavy snow storm, the Corps meets up with a familiar Nez Perce chief and 10 of his men.[128]
  • May 5: The expedition reaches present-day Idaho, where they pick up the Clearwater River.[129]
  • May 14: Having started their journey too early, the Corps must wait for the mountain snows to melt. The men camp for nearly a month in what is now the Nez Perce Reservation.[130]
  • June 10: They pull up camp and four days later reach the Bitterroot Mountains.[131]
  • June 24: The Corps starts to cross the Bitterroots. With the help of three Nez Perce guides, they cut 300 miles off the journey.[132]
  • July 3: The Corps is divided in two to enable them to explore additional lands. Lewis leads one group down the Missouri, while Clark's takes a northern route following the Yellowstone River. Along the way, they break into smaller exploratory groups.[134][135]
  • July 25: Clark names a rock formation on the Yellowstone for Sacagawea's son, a site now known as Pompeys Pillar. Clark inscribes his name and the date on the rock face, the only remaining physical evidence of the Corps' journey.[136]
  • July 26: Traveling on horseback, Lewis and his men encounter a small band of Blackfeet warriors. They spend the night together, but in the morning two Blackfeet braves are killed while trying to steal the group's guns and horses. Afraid of reprisals, the men ride for nearly 24 hours.[137]
  • August 2: Clark's group reaches the Missouri and enters present-day North Dakota.[138]
  • August 11: Lewis is accidentally shot in the buttocks by one of his men.[139]
  • August 12: The Corps reunites on the Missouri in western North Dakota near the mouth of Knife River.[140]
  • August 14: The expedition returns to a warm welcome by the Hidatsa and Mandan tribes.[141]
  • August 17: The men continue down the Missouri, leaving Charbonneau, Sacagawea and their son with the Mandans. Clark offers to raise the boy, who is now 19 months old. With the Missouri's current in their favor, they are able to cover over 70 miles a day.[142]
  • September 23: The Corps arrives in St. Louis, successfully concluding their 8,000-mile journey after two years, four months and 10 days.[143]
  • December 28: Lewis arrives in Washington, D.C. At the end of February, Jefferson nominates him as Governor of Upper Louisiana.

1807

  • January 15: Clark arrives in Washington, D.C. He is appointed Agent for Indian Affairs in the Louisiana Territory.

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ Jefferson, Thomas (January 18, 1803). "President Thomas Jefferson's Secret Letter to Congress". house.gov. History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  2. ^ Ambrose, p. 59
  3. ^ "The Louisiana Purchase Legislative Timeline". Library of Congress. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  4. ^ Ambrose, p. 60
  5. ^ Ambrose, pp. 84-90
  6. ^ Ambrose, p. 79-91
  7. ^ Ambrose, pp. 87-92
  8. ^ Ambrose, p. 99
  9. ^ Jefferson, Thomas (June 20, 1803). "Transcript: Jefferson's Instructions for Meriwether Lewis". loc.gov. Library of Congress. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  10. ^ a b "The Louisiana Purchase". monticello.org. Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Ambrose, pp. 102-107
  12. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, Keelboats
  13. ^ *Clark, William (July 18, 1803). "William Clark to Meriwether Lewis, 18 July 1803". archives.gov. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Ambrose, p. 104
  15. ^ Ambrose, pp. 105-107
  16. ^ Cavendish, Richard (August 8, 2003). "Start of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: August 31st, 1803". History Today. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  17. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, September 1, 1803
  18. ^ Ambrose, pp. 108-110
  19. ^ "Falls of the Ohio". www.in.gov. Indiana Bicentennial Commission. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  20. ^ Ambrose, pp. 107-108
  21. ^ "The Senate Approves for Ratification the Louisiana Purchase Treaty". senate.gov. Art & History, United States Senate. October 20, 1803. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  22. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 15, 1803
  23. ^ Ambrose, pp. 107-108
  24. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 28, 1803
  25. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, December 6, 1803
  26. ^ "Lewis and Clark Timeline 1803". National Park Service. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  27. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, December 12, 1803
  28. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, December 12, 1803
  29. ^ Ambrose, p. 129
  30. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, March 9, 1804
  31. ^ Ambrose, pp. 134-136
  32. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, March 29, 1804
  33. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, John Shields
  34. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, John Colter
  35. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, March 31, 1804
  36. ^ Ambrose, p. 130
  37. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, April 7, 1804
  38. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, April 7, 1804
  39. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 14, 1804
  40. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, May 14, 1804
  41. ^ a b Roos, David (January 16, 2020). "Lewis and Clark: A Timeline of the Extraordinary Expedition". History. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  42. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 16, 1804
  43. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, May 16, 1803
  44. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 17, 1804
  45. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 21, 1804
  46. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, May 21, 1804
  47. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 25, 1804
  48. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, June 26, 1804
  49. ^ a b Sturdevant, Dan C.D. (February 2015), "The Threat on Kaw Point: Redoubt at the Kansas River" (PDF), We Proceeded on, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, 41 (1): 17–20, retrieved March 18, 2020CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  50. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, June 29, 1804
  51. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, July 4, 1804
  52. ^ Ambrose, p. 149
  53. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, July 11, 1804
  54. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, July 21, 1804
  55. ^ Moulton (Day by Day), Introduction
  56. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, July 21, 1804
  57. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, July 30, 1804
  58. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 3, 1804
  59. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, August 3, 1804
  60. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 4, 1804
  61. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, August 6, 1804
  62. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 18, 1804
  63. ^ Ambrose, pp. 158-160
  64. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 20, 1804
  65. ^ Garth, Gary (November 3, 2017). "The only death on the Lewis and Clark expedition". USA Today. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  66. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 26, 1804
  67. ^ Ambrose, pp. 160-161
  68. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 27, 1804
  69. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 30, 1804
  70. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, August 30, 1804
  71. ^ a b Tennant, Brad (January 2007), "Reading Between the Lines (Encounter with the Teton Sioux)" (PDF), We Proceeded on, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, 35 (1): 6–11, retrieved March 18, 2020CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  72. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, September 11, 1804
  73. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, September 20, 1804
  74. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, September 25, 1804
  75. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, October 13, 1804
  76. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, October 13, 1804
  77. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, October 24, 1804
  78. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 2, 1804
  79. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 4, 1804
  80. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, November 4, 1804
  81. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, December 24, 1804
  82. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, December 25, 1804
  83. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, February 9, 1805
  84. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, February 11, 1805
  85. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, April 7, 1805
  86. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, April 25, 1805
  87. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, April 27, 1805
  88. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 14, 1805
  89. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 26, 1805
  90. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, June 1, 1805
  91. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, June 13, 1805
  92. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, June 17, 1805
  93. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, July 25, 1805
  94. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 8, 1805
  95. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 12, 1805
  96. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 13, 1805
  97. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 16, 1805
  98. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 17, 1805
  99. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, September 4, 1805
  100. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, September 11, 1805
  101. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, September 22 1805
  102. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, September 26, 1805
  103. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, October 7, 1805
  104. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, October 10, 1805
  105. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, October 16, 1805
  106. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, October 18, 1805
  107. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, October 22, 1805
  108. ^ Topinka, Lyn (September 2016). "Celilo Falls". The Columbia River: A Photographic Journey. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  109. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 7, 1805
  110. ^ Rees, Mike (May 2009). "Ocean in View?" (PDF). We Proceeded on. Great Falls, Montana: Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. 35 (2): 22–30. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  111. ^ Ambrose, pp. 310-313
  112. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 8, 1805
  113. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 10, 1805
  114. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, November 10, 1805
  115. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 12, 1805
  116. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, November 12, 1805
  117. ^ a b Ziak, Rex (May 2005), "Seven Days on the Lower Columbia" (PDF), We Proceeded on, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, 31 (2): 10–19, retrieved March 18, 2020CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  118. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 15, 1805
  119. ^ Tate, Cassandra (March 6, 2003). "Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805". HistoryLink.org. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  120. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, November 24, 1805
  121. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, December 8, 1805
  122. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, December 30, 1805
  123. ^ Discovering Lewis & Clark, December 30, 1805
  124. ^ "Lewis and Clark temporarily settle in Fort Clatsop". History. December 9, 2019. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  125. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, March 23, 1806
  126. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, April 18, 1806
  127. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, April 28, 1806
  128. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 3, 1806
  129. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 5, 1806
  130. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, May 14, 1806
  131. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, June 10, 1806
  132. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, June 24, 1806
  133. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, June 29, 1806
  134. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, July 3, 1806
  135. ^ Rust, Thomas C. (February 2017), "Archaeological Findings of Clark's Yellowstone River Canoe Camp: A Final Assessment" (PDF), We Proceeded on, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, 43 (1): 11–24, retrieved March 18, 2020CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  136. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, July 25, 1806
  137. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, July 26, 1806
  138. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 2, 1806
  139. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 11, 1806
  140. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 12, 1806
  141. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 14, 1806
  142. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, August 17, 1806
  143. ^ Lewis & Clark Journals, September 23, 1806

Sources

External links

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