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To which is added,


I. The ADVENTURES of Col. Daniel Boon, one
of the firft Settlers, comprehending every im-
portant Occurrence in the political Hiftory of
that Province.

II The MINUTES of the Piankafbar coun-
cil, held at Poft St. Vincents, April 15, 1784.
Ill. An ACCOUNT of the Indian Nations in-
habiting within the Limits of the Thirteen U-
nited States, their Manners and Customs, and
Reflections on their Origin.

IV. The STAGES and DISTANCES between
Philadelphia and the Falls of the Obio; trom
Pittfburg to Penfacola and feveral other Places
-The Whole illuftrated by a new and accu-
rate MAP of Kentucke and the Country, ad
joining, drawn from actual Surveys.

Wilmington, Printed by JAMES ADAMS, 1784.

Title-pages of three early works descriptive of the Western lands.

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Colonel Derritt, of Louisville.

The report was greatly ridiculed by the enemies of the administration, but time has shown that it would have appeared still more ridiculous if it had told the actual truth about the West. Jefferson did not exaggerate the abundance of game or the value of the land. The towers and battlements were there in greater abundance, grandeur, and beauty than anything he had imagined. The actual mineral resources of the country were so great that the report would have caused still greater mirth if it had mentioned a tenth of the wealth of the present State of Montana.

In 1803 the act for establishing trading houses with the Indian tribes was about to expire. Jefferson, in a confidential message to Congress, recommended some modification of the system and an extension of it to the Indians on the Missouri. As a preparation for this, the message recommended that an exploring party be sent to trace the Missouri to its source, to cross the Highlands, and then go down one of the rivers to the Pacific. It was regarded as a matter of great importance to find some practicable waterway from the Missouri to the Pacific, if possible. Nothing was known of the great interior country except from the untrustworthy stories of wandering trappers. The Missouri was an unknown river, except that it was known to be of great length, and that it rose in a mountainous region far to the northwest.

This plan of Jefferson to find out something about these regions under cover of making trading regulations with the Indians met with the approval of Congress and the required money for the expedition was voted. Captain Meriwether Lewis at once applied for permission to lead the expedition. Jefferson describes Lewis as a man possessing the qualities required for the position:

"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."

He made up his lack of preparation in the technical knowledge of the natural sciences and geography and astronomy by work which he undertook at once in Philadelphia.

William Clark, the brother of George Rogers Clark, was selected by Lewis as second in command and very joyfully accepted the position. Clark received a commission as captain. This first exploring expedition undertaken by the United States government was fortunate in the men selected as leaders. They knew frontier life, were young, enthusiastic, and of excellent Virginian families. They were given very careful instructions as to their work and the value of the expedition is largely due to the care with which they followed out these directions. They were provided with instruments for making observations, articles for presents and barter with the Indians, and very complete equipment for the company who went with them. The expedition started before the United States had purchased Louisiana, but at a time when that country had been ceded to France. The French, Spanish, and English ministers were informed of the expedition and its objects and they afforded them what protection they could while in the territories of their respective countries. The main object was to find the source of the Missouri and explore its principal branches and to find the most practicable water communication across the continent, special attention being given to suitable portages between the sources of the Missouri and the westward flowing waters. Great care was to be taken in preserving the records, and, to prevent possible loss, duplicate

copies were to be in the care of different persons, one at least of these copies was to be on birch bark, because that was less perishable than common paper. A special study of the Indian tribes along the journey was to be made, as one of the main objects of the expedition was to establish trade with them. Not only their language, laws, occupations, customs, and the possible articles of commerce which might be furnished them, but "considering the interest which every nation has in extending and strengthening the authority of reason and justice among the people around them, it will be useful to acquire what knowledge you can of the state of morality, religion, and information among them, as it may better enable those who may endeavor to civilize and instruct them to adapt their measures to the existing notions and practices of those on whom they are to operate."

They were instructed to treat the natives in a friendly and conciliatory way and show them the friendly character of the United States, arranging visits of their chiefs to the United States at the public expense. If the natives wished to have some of their young people instructed in the United States, the explorers were to encourage this desire. They were to note the mineral resources, the fauna and flora and the climatic conditions of the country through which they passed.

While the country explored was to be the land drained by the Missouri and its tributaries, the expedition was to gain all the information it could of the neighboring country, especially that toward the south. Any information the explorers might gain about the sources of the Mississippi and its relation to the Lake of the Woods would be very acceptable. They were instructed to send information to the government whenever opportunity offered, and not to take any unusual risks in opposing hostile forces superior to their own. Directions were given them how to regulate their course when they reached the Pacific and for their return journey. Lewis was authorized to appoint someone

to succeed to command in case of his death, and all the authority given to Lewis was in such event to be exercised by his successor.

Before the completion of the preparations for the Lewis and Clark expedition, the country under consideration was transferred to the United States, so that now the project had an added interest. It was no longer an exploration of foreign country to increase trade with the Indians, but, because of the Purchase, it became the exploration of land which might some day be peopled by Americans.

Lewis left Washington July 5, 1803, and proceeded to Pittsburg, where he found supplies and the presents for the Indians provided for the expedition.

There were various delays in descending the Ohio so that it was thought best not to attempt the contemplated voyage of the Missouri until spring. The party encamped on the banks of the Mississippi opposite the mouth of the Missouri, and the winter was spent in drill and preparation. The company consisted of Lewis and Clark with twenty-seven companions. Of these men, one was a half-breed Indian interpreter, two were French voyageurs, one a negro servant belonging to Captain Clark, and nine were young volunteers from Kentucky. The others were soldiers of the regular army selected from the military stations along the Ohio. In addition to these there were seven soldiers and nine boatmen who were to accompany them to the Mandan villages on the Missouri, which were regarded as the most dangerous part of the expedition.

The journey up the Missouri began May 14, 1804. The three boats were deeply laden with supplies for the party and the articles which were taken as presents for the Indian chiefs through whose territory they must pass. One of these boats was forty-five feet long and partly decked over; the others were open rowboats; by oars and sails these boats were forced slowly against the yellow stream of the Missouri. They made from ten to twenty miles a day and occasionally saw the scattered houses of the French settlers

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