The Journals of Lewis and Clark

by Bernard DeVoto (Editor)

Hardcover, 1953





Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c1953. Later printing


In 1803, when the United States purchased Louisiana from France, the great expanse of this new American territory was a blank - not only on the map but in our knowledge. President Thomas Jefferson keenly understood that the course of the nation's destiny lay westward and that a national "Voyage of Discovery" must be mounted to determine the nature and accessibility of the frontier. He commissioned his young secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to lead an intelligence-gathering.expedition from the Missouri River to the northern Pacific coast and back. From 1804 to 1806, Lewis, accompanied by co-captain William Clark, the Shoshone guide Sacajawea, and thirty-two men, made the first trek across the Louisiana Purchase, mapping the rivers as he went, tracing the principal waterways to the sea, and establishing the American claim to the territories of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Together the captains kept a journal, a richly detailed record of.the flora and fauna they sighted, the Indian tribes they encountered, and the awe-inspiring landscape they traversed, from their base camp near present-day St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River. In keeping this record they made an incomparable contribution to the literature of exploration and the writing of natural history.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member ksmyth
This handy little abridgement is all you really need as it includes some of the most important journal entries. It's also inexpensive, so that when you're camping on the Lewis and Clark trail you can sit around the campfire and read from the journals.
LibraryThing member JBD1
A heavily abridged (but less edited than some) edition of the journals. Handy in one volume if you don't care about comprehensiveness.
LibraryThing member Oreillynsf
Every American should read this book. OMG what a story. This edit is truly the best of the lot.
LibraryThing member choochtriplem
If you love America and want to read an epic story, look no further than this book. I read this book after a cross country drive and thought it was one of the best stories I have ever read. The lamguage and spelling take a little time getting used too, but the story and description from Lewis and Clark make up for it. A must read for any budding historian interested in the formation of the United States.… (more)
LibraryThing member bedda
The journey of Lewis and Clark is always an exciting tale but it is even better when you get to hear about it from the people who were actually there. It takes a little while to get used to the way that they write but you soon get the hang of it and it doesn’t pose a problem. At the beginning it is a little slow as you hear that they passed this on the starboard side and this on the larboard side but the story soon picks up. It is interesting to see the attitudes of Lewis and Clark towards the men they traveled with as well as towards the people that they meet along the way. The footnotes by Bakeless are interesting as well. They help to clear up a few things but they also, at times, express his personal feelings about the people and events. They are obviously the comments of a man who did research into the journey and the personal comments are stated in such a way that you would not confuse them with facts. It is a book for any history or exploration fan.… (more)



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