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Undaunted courage : Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the opening of the American West

Author: Stephen E Ambrose
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, [1996] ©1996
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Though primarily a biography of Meriwether Lewis, this book also provides fascinating sketches of Thomas Jefferson, William Clark, Sacagawea, & other contemporaries. From the bestselling author of the definitive book on D-Day comes the definitive book on the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Meriwether Lewis; William Clark; Thomas Jefferson; William Clark; Meriweather Lewis; William Clark; Thomas Jefferson; Meriwether Lewis; Thomas Jefferson
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Stephen E Ambrose
ISBN: 0684811073 9780684811079
OCLC Number: 33044492
Description: 511 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Youth,1774-1792 --
Planter,1792-1794 --
Soldier,1794-1800 --
Thomas Jefferson's America,1801 --
The President's Secretary,1801-1802 --
The origins of the expedition,1750-1802 --
Preparing for the expedition, January-June 1803 --
Washington to Pittsburgh, June-August 1803 --
Down the Ohio, September-November 1803 --
Up the Mississippi to winter camp, November 1803-March 1804 --
Ready to depart, April- May 21,1804 --
Up the Missouri, May- July 1804 --
Entering Indian Country, August 1804 --
Encounter with Sioux, September 1804 --
To the Mandans, Fall 1804 --
Winter at Fort Mandan, December 21, 1804- March 21, 1805 --
Report from Fort Mandan, March 22-April 6, 1805 --
From Fort Mandan to Marias River, April 7-June 2, 1805 --
From Marias River to the Great Falls, June 3-June 20, 1805 --
The Great Portage, June 16-July 14, 1805 --
Looking for the Shoshones, July 15-August 12, 1805 --
Over the Continental Divide: August 13-August 31, 1805 --
Over the Bitterroots: September 1-October 6, 1805 --
Down the Columbia: October 8-December 7, 1805 --
Fort Clatsop: December 8, 1805-March 23, 1806 --
Jefferson and the West: 1804-1806 --
Return to the Nez Percé: March 23-June 9, 1806 --
The Lolo Trail: June 10-July 2, 1806 --
The Marias Exploration: July 3-July 28, 1806 --
The Last Leg: July 29-September 22, 1806 --
Reporting to the President: September 23-December 31, 1806 --
Washington: January-March 1807 --
Philadelphia: April-July 1807 --
Virginia: August 1806-March 1807 --
St. Louis: March-December 1808 --
St. Louis: January-August 1809 --
Last Voyage: September 3-October 11, 1809.
Responsibility: Stephen E. Ambrose.
More information:

Abstract:

Though primarily a biography of Meriwether Lewis, this book also provides fascinating sketches of Thomas Jefferson, William Clark, Sacagawea, & other contemporaries. From the bestselling author of the definitive book on D-Day comes the definitive book on the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis was the perfect choice. He endured incredible hardships and saw incredible sights, including vast herds of buffalo and Indian tribes that had had no previous contact with white men. He and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a colorful and realistic backdrop for the expedition. Lewis saw the North American continent before any other white man; Ambrose describes in detail native peoples, weather, landscape, science, everything the expedition encountered along the way, through Lewis's eyes. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson's. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century. This is a book about a hero. This is a book about national unity. But it is also a tragedy. When Lewis returned to Washington in the fall of 1806, he was a national hero. But for Lewis, the expedition was a failure. Jefferson had hoped to find an all-water route to the Pacific with a short hop over the Rockies-Lewis discovered there was no such passage. Jefferson hoped the Louisiana Purchase would provide endless land to support farming-but Lewis discovered that the Great Plains were too dry. Jefferson hoped there was a river flowing from Canada into the Missouri-but Lewis reported there was no such river, and thus no U.S. claim to the Canadian prairie. Lewis discovered the Plains Indians were hostile and would block settlement and trade up the Missouri. Lewis took to drink, engaged in land speculation, piled up debts he could not pay, made jealous political enemies, and suffered severe depression. High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.

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Linked Data


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