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The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition.
The Army Officers crossed what is now the western portion of the United States. They started their journey in May, 1804 from St. Louis on the Mississippi River. They made their way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast.
The expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
A select group of U.S. Army volunteers worked under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. The duration of their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806.
The primary objective was to explore and diagram the newly acquired territory. Second objective was to find a practical route across the continent. The third objective was establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it....
...The expedition followed the Missouri River through what is now Kansas City, Missouri, and Omaha, Nebraska. Lewis and Clark established relations with two dozen indigenous Indian nations, without whose help the expedition would have risked starvation during the harsh winters and, or become hopelessly lost in the Rocky Mountains.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition gained an understanding of the geography of the Northwest. They produced the first accurate atlas of the area. During the journey, Lewis and Clark drew about 140 graphs.
The expedition documented natural resources and plants that had been previously unknown to Euro-Americans. Their visit to the Pacific Northwest, features descriptions, and proclamations of sovereignty with medals and flags were legal steps needed to claim title to each indigenous nation's lands under the Doctrine of Discovery.
Lewis and Clark documented geography, astronomy, ethnology, climatology, mineralogy, meteorology, botany, ornithology, and zoology of the new lands.
After the expedition, the atlases that were produced allowed the further discovery and settlement of this vast territory in the years that followed.
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This Coloring Pages Headquarters lists the names and locations of American States Atlases. Browse Three webpages, 59 Line Drawings.
Kids Article: New World America Exploration by Lewis and Clark
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