t3.lewis.txt - The Project Gutenberg EBook of History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark Vol I by Meriwether Lewis and

t3.lewis.txt - The Project Gutenberg EBook of History of...

This preview shows page 1 out of 250 pages.

Unformatted text preview: The Project Gutenberg EBook of History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, Vol. I., by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, Vol. I. To The Sources Of The Missouri, Thence Across The Rocky Mountains And Down The River Columbia To The Pacific Ocean. Performed During The Years 1804-5-6. Author: Meriwether Lewis and William Clark Editor: Paul Allen Release Date: August 20, 2005 [EBook #16565] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LEWIS AND CLARK, I. *** -------------------------------------------------------- | * Transcriber's Note: Every effort has been made | | to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, | | including obsolete and variant spellings and other | | inconsistencies. Where the text has been changed to | | correct an obvious error by the publisher, the word | | has been marked with an asterisk. Please note that | | as this ascii version of the text does not support | | the degree symbol or ligatures, these have been | | replaced with the appropriate word or letters. | -------------------------------------------------------- [Illustration: A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean; by Order of the Executive of the United States, in 1804, 5&6. Copied by Samuel Lewis from the Original Drawing by Wm. Clark.] HISTORY OF THE EXPEDITION UNDER THE COMMAND OF _CAPTAINS LEWIS AND CLARK,_ TO THE SOURCES OF THE MISSOURI, THENCE ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS AND DOWN THE RIVER COLUMBIA TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. PERFORMED DURING THE YEARS 1804-5-6. By order of the GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES. PREPARED FOR THE PRESS BY PAUL ALLEN, ESQUIRE. IN TWO VOLUMES. VOL. I. _PHILADELPHIA_ PUBLISHED BY BRADFORD AND INSKEEP; AND ABM. H. INSKEEP, NEW YORK. J. Maxwell, Printer 1814. DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, to wit: BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-second day of January, in the thirty-eighth year of the independence of the United States of America, A.D. 1814, Bradford and Inskeep, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit: "History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the Sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains, and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. Performed during the Years 1804-5-6, by order of the Government of the United States. Prepared for the press by Paul Allen, Esquire." In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned." And also to the act, entitled, "An act supplementary to an act, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned," and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints." DAVID CALDWELL, Clerk of the District of Pennsylvania. PREFACE. In presenting these volumes to the public, the editor owes equally to himself and to others, to state the circumstances which have preceded the publication, and to explain his own share in compiling them. It was the original design of captain Lewis to have been himself the editor of his own travels, and he was on his way towards Philadelphia for that purpose when his sudden death frustrated these intentions. After a considerable and unavoidable delay, the papers connected with the expedition were deposited with another gentleman, who, in order to render the lapse of time as little injurious as possible, proceeded immediately to collect and investigate all the materials within his reach. Of the incidents of each day during the expedition, a minute journal was kept by captain Lewis or captain Clark, and sometimes by both, which was afterwards revised and enlarged at the different periods of leisure which occurred on the route. These were carefully perused in conjunction with captain Clark himself, who was able from his own recollection of the journey, as well as from a constant residence in Louisiana since his return, to supply a great mass of explanations, and much additional information with regard to part of the route which has been more recently explored. Besides these, recourse was had to the manuscript journals kept by two of the serjeants, one of which, the least minute and valuable, has already been published. That nothing might be wanting to the accuracy of these details, a very intelligent and active member of the party, Mr. George Shannon, was sent to contribute whatever his memory might add to this accumulated fund of information. From these copious materials the narrative was sketched nearly in its present form, when other pursuits diverted the attention of the writer, and compelled him to transfer his manuscript, in its unfinished state, with all the documents connected with it, to the present editor, to prepare them for the press and superintend the publication. That he may not seem to arrogate any thing from the exertions of others, he should therefore state that, although the whole work was thus submitted to his entire discretion, he found but little to change, and that his labour has been principally confined to revising the manuscript, comparing it with the original papers, and inserting such additional matter as appears to have been intentionally deferred by the writer till the period of a more mature revisal. These circumstances, which would otherwise be indifferent to the public, are mentioned merely to account for imperfections, which are in some degree inseparable from any book of travels not written by the traveller. In a work of pure description indeed, like the present, where the incidents themselves are the sole objects of attraction, the part of an editor is necessarily subordinate, nor can his humble pretensions aspire beyond the merit of rigid adherence to facts as they are stated to him. This has been very diligently attempted, and for this, in its full extent, the editor deems himself responsible. The present volumes, it will be perceived, comprise only the narrative of the journey. Those parts of the work which relate to the various objects of natural history, observed or collected during the journey, as well as the alphabets of the Indian languages, are in the hands of professor Bartou, and will, it is understood, shortly appear. To give still further interest to the work, the editor addressed a letter to Mr. Jefferson, requesting some authentic memoirs of captain Lewis. For the very curious and valuable information contained in his answer, the public, as well as the editor himself, owe great obligations to the politeness and knowledge of that distinguished gentleman. PAUL ALLEN. PHILADELPHIA, January 1, 1814. LIFE OF CAPTAIN LEWIS. _Monticello, August 18, 1813._ SIR, In compliance with the request conveyed in your letter of May 25, I have endeavoured to obtain, from the relations and friends of the late governor Lewis, information of such incidents of his life as might be not unacceptable to those who may read the narrative of his western discoveries. The ordinary occurrences of a private life, and those also while acting in a subordinate sphere in the army, in a time of peace, are not deemed sufficiently interesting to occupy the public attention; but a general account of his parentage, with such smaller incidents as marked his early character are briefly noted; and to these are added, as being peculiarly within my own knowledge, whatever related to the public mission, of which an account is now to be published. The result of my inquiries and recollections shall now be offered, to be enlarged or abridged as you may think best; or otherwise to be used with the materials you may have collected from other sources. Meriwether Lewis, late governor of Louisiana, was born on the eighteenth of August, 1774, near the town of Charlottesville, in the county of Albemarle, in Virginia, of one of the distinguished families of that state. John Lewis, one of his father's uncles was a member of the king's council, before the revolution. Another of them, Fielding Lewis, married a sister of general Washington. His father, William Lewis, was the youngest of five sons of colonel Robert Lewis, of Albemarle, the fourth of whom, Charles, was one of the early patriots who stepped forward in the commencement of the revolution and commanded one of the regiments first raised in Virginia, and placed on continental establishment. Happily situated at home, with a wife and young family, and a fortune placing him at ease, he left all to aid in the liberation of his country from foreign usurpations, then first unmasking their ultimate end and aim. His good sense, integrity, bravery, enterprise, and remarkable bodily powers, marked him as an officer of great promise; but he unfortunately died early in the revolution. Nicholas Lewis, the second of his father's brothers, commanded a regiment of militia in the successful expedition of 1776, against the Cherokee Indians; who, seduced by the agents of the British government to take up the hatchet against us, had committed great havoc on our southern frontier, by murdering and scalping helpless women and children, according to their cruel and cowardly principles of warfare. The chastisement they then received closed the history of their wars, and prepared them for receiving the elements of civilization, which, zealously inculcated by the present government of the United States, have rendered them an industrious, peaceable, and happy people. This member of the family of Lewises, whose bravery was so usefully proved on this occasion, was endeared to all who knew him by his inflexible probity, courteous disposition, benevolent heart, and engaging modesty and manners. He was the umpire of all the private differences of his county--selected always by both parties. He was also the guardian of Meriwether Lewis, of whom we are now to speak, and who had lost his father at an early age. He continued some years under the fostering care of a tender mother, of the respectable family of Meriwethers, of the same county; and was remarkable even in infancy for enterprise, boldness, and discretion. When only eight years of age he habitually went out, in the dead of night, alone with his dogs, into the forest to hunt the raccoon and opossum, which, seeking their food in the night, can then only be taken. In this exercise, no season or circumstance could obstruct his purpose--plunging through the winter's snows and frozen streams in pursuit of his object. At thirteen he was put to the Latin school, and continued at that until eighteen, when he returned to his mother, and entered on the cares of his farm; having, as well as a younger brother, been left by his father with a competency for all the correct and comfortable purposes of temperate life. His talent for observation, which had led him to an accurate knowledge of the plants and animals of his own country, would have distinguished him as a farmer; but at the age of twenty, yielding to the ardour of youth, and a passion for more dazzling pursuits, he engaged as a volunteer in the body of militia which were called out by general Washington, on occasion of the discontents produced by the excise taxes in the western parts of the United States; and from that situation he was removed to the regular service as a lieutenant in the line. At twenty-three he was promoted to a captaincy; and, always attracting the first attention where punctuality and fidelity were requisite, he was appointed paymaster to his regiment. About this time a circumstance occurred which, leading to the transaction which is the subject of this book, will justify a recurrence to its original idea. While I resided in Paris, John Ledyard, of Connecticut, arrived there, well known in the United States for energy of body and mind. He had accompanied captain Cook on his voyage to the Pacific ocean; and distinguished himself on that voyage by his intrepidity. Being of a roaming disposition, he was now panting for some new enterprise. His immediate object at Paris was to engage a mercantile company in the fur-trade of the western coast of America, in which, however, he failed. I then proposed to him to go by land to Kamschatka, cross in some of the Russian vessels to Nootka Sound, fall down into the latitude of the Missouri, and penetrate to, and through, that to the United States. He eagerly seized the idea, and only asked to be assured of the permission of the Russian government. I interested, in obtaining that, M. de Simoulin, minister plenipotentiary of the empress at Paris, but more especially the baron de Grimm, minister plenipotentiary of Saxe-Gotha, her more special agent and correspondent there in matters not immediately diplomatic. Her permission was obtained, and an assurance of protection while the course of the voyage should be through her territories. Ledyard set out from Paris, and arrived at St. Petersburgh after the empress had left that place to pass the winter, I think, at Moscow. His finances not permitting him to make unnecessary stay at St. Petersburgh, he left it with a passport from one of the ministers; and at two hundred miles from Kamschatka, was obliged to take up his winter quarters. He was preparing, in the spring, to resume his journey, when he was arrested by an officer of the empress, who by this time had changed her mind, and forbidden his proceeding. He was put into a close carriage, and conveyed day and night, without ever stopping, till they reached Poland; where he was set down and left to himself. The fatigue of this journey broke down his constitution; and when he returned to Paris his bodily strength was much impaired. His mind, however, remained firm, and he after this undertook the journey to Egypt. I received a letter from him, full of sanguine hopes, dated at Cairo, the fifteenth of November, 1788, the day before he was to set out for the head of the Nile; on which day, however, he ended his career and life: and thus failed the first attempt to explore the western part of our northern continent. In 1792, I proposed to the American Philosophical Society that we should set on foot a subscription to engage some competent person to explore that region in the opposite direction; that is, by ascending the Missouri, crossing the Stony mountains, and descending the nearest river to the Pacific. Captain Lewis being then stationed at Charlottesville, on the recruiting service, warmly solicited me to obtain for him the execution of that object. I told him it was proposed that the person engaged should be attended by a single companion only, to avoid exciting alarm among the Indians. This did not deter him; but Mr. Andre Michaux, a professed botanist, author of the Flora Boreali-Americana, and of the Histoire des Chesnes d'Amerique, offering his services, they were accepted. He received his instructions, and when he had reached Kentucky in the prosecution of his journey, he was overtaken by an order from the minister of France, then at Philadelphia, to relinquish the expedition, and to pursue elsewhere the botanical inquiries on which he was employed by that government: and thus failed the second attempt for exploring that region. In 1803, the act for establishing trading houses with the Indian tribes being about to expire, some modifications of it were recommended to congress by a confidential message of January 18th, and an extension of its views to the Indians on the Missouri. In order to prepare the way, the message proposed the sending an exploring party to trace the Missouri to its source, to cross the Highlands, and follow the best water-communication which offered itself from thence to the Pacific ocean. Congress approved the proposition, and voted a sum of money for carrying it into execution. Captain Lewis, who had then been near two years with me as private secretary, immediately renewed his solicitations to have the direction of the party. I had now had opportunities of knowing him intimately. Of courage undaunted; possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction; careful as a father of those committed to his charge, yet steady in the maintenance of order and discipline; intimate with the Indian character, customs, and principles; habituated to the hunting life; guarded, by exact observation of the vegetables and animals of his own country, against losing time in the description of objects already possessed; honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound understanding, and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous, that whatever he should report would be as certain as if seen by ourselves; with all these qualifications, as if selected and implanted by nature in one body for this express purpose, I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him. To fill up the measure desired, he wanted nothing but a greater familiarity with the technical language of the natural sciences, and readiness in the astronomical observations necessary for the geography of his route. To acquire these he repaired immediately to Philadelphia, and placed himself under the tutorage of the distinguished professors of that place, who with a zeal and emulation, enkindled by an ardent devotion to science, communicated to him freely the information requisite for the purposes of the journey. While attending too, at Lancaster, the fabrication of the arms with which he chose that his men should be provided, he had the benefit of daily communication with Mr. Andrew Ellicot, whose experience in astronomical observation, and practice of it in the woods, enabled him to apprise captain Lewis of the wants and difficulties he would encounter, and of the substitutes and resources offered by a woodland and uninhabited country. Deeming it necessary he should have some person with him of known competence to the direction of the enterprise, in the event of accident to himself, he proposed William Clarke, brother of general George Rogers Clarke, who was approved, and, with that view, received a commission of captain. In April, 1803, a draught of his instructions was sent to captain Lewis, and on the twentieth of June they were signed in the following form: "To Meriwether Lewis, esquire, captain of the first regiment of infantry of the United States of America: "Your situation as secretary of the president of the United States, has made you acquainted with the objects of my confidential message of January 18, 1803, to the legislature; you have seen the act they passed, which, though expressed in general terms, was meant to sanction those objects, and you are appointed to carry them into execution. "Instruments for ascertaining, by celestial observations, the geography of the country through which you will pass, have been already provided. Light articles for barter and presents among the Indians, arms for your attendants, say for from ten to twelve men, boats, tents, and other travelling apparatus, with ammunition, medicine, surgical instruments, and provisions, you will have prepared, with such aids as the secretary at war can yield in his department; and from him also you will receive authority to engage among our troops, by voluntary agreement, the number of attendants abovementioned; over whom you, as their commanding officer, are invested with all the powers the law...
View Full Document

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture