In the years 1804, 1805, and 1806, two men commanded an expedition which explored the wilderness that stretched from the mouth of the Missouri River to where the Columbia enters the Pacific, and dedicated to civilization a new empire. Their names were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
set out. While he was yet two hundred miles from Kamchatka, winter overtook him, and there he was forced to remain through many months. In the spring, as he was preparing to go on, he was put under arrest. The Empress, exercising the inalienable right of sovereign womanhood, had changed her mind. The reason for this change is not apparent. There may have been no reason more potent than international jealousy, which was lively in those days. At any rate, Ledyard was put into a close carriage and conveyed to Poland, traveling day and night, without once stopping. He was left in Poland penniless and broken in body and spirit, and soon afterward died.
Later, in 1792, Jefferson proposed to the American Philosophical Society that a subscription be raised to engage some one to ascend the Missouri, cross the mountains, and descend to the Pacific. In order to preclude alarm to the Indians or to other nations, it was intended that this expedition should consist of only two persons. Meriwether Lewis, then eightee
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