Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery

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As Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and the Corps of Discovery passed the Missouri River and approached the Bitterroot Mountain Range, they grew desperate for horses and provisions to get through the seemingly endless, snow-covered peaks. Sacagawea's presence provided solace for the Corps--her knowledge of the West, her tireless enthusiasm, great courage and ability to care for a child along the expedition were inspiring to the frontiersmen. She once again became a living "white flag" for Lewis and Clark, this time to the Shoshone Indians--her native culture--who provided them with horses for their journey. The Corps continued to west, where, for the first time, their canoes were traveling with the river's current. Finally, on November 18, 1805, William Clark set out from their campsite in the Columbia River Gorge, climbed a hill and saw what no white man had ever seen from the Northwest: the Pacific Ocean. Their exploration of the West opened a new world to Americans and signaled the beginning of the end for Native Americans. When Thomas Jefferson learned of the vast continent between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, he predicted that it would take 100 years to settle the area through which Lewis and Clark traveled. It took Americans less than five years. This program, the second of a two-part series, recounts how this historic journey was really the discovery of the American future.




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