The Journals of Lewis and Clark
The roots of the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were already lengthy by the time of the Louisiana Purchase in April Thomas Jefferson's curiosity about the West was lifelong, sustained by his broad scientific interests and his hopes and dreams for the future of the United States. For at least twenty years before he launched Lewis and Clark across two thousand miles into immortality, Jefferson had planned for a transcontinental expedition starting up the Missouri River. In , while serving in Congress, he asked the frontier Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark the older brother of William to consider leading a privately sponsored expedition to explore the West. Then, as later, he feared that Britain might secure a foothold west of the Mississippi then the western boundary of the United States and forestall American expansion. George Rogers Clark declined the offer.
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For such an iconic American subject, the literature of the Lewis and Clark expedition is surprisingly sparse, probably because the journals themselves, until the Moulton edition made them widely available, were so difficult to find in a complete authoritative form. We do not have too many books about Lewis and Clark; we have too few. Here are the 10 best. Gary E. Moulton, ed. If you want Lewis and Clark whole, this is the edition to buy.