Across America: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Discovery by Maurice Isserman, John S. Bowman

By Maurice Isserman, John S. Bowman

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Montreal TN Mississippi R. SPANISH TERRITORY PACIFIC OCEAN SC GA Savannah Ri Mississippi Terr. o G e nd ra St. ) DA RI United States ATLANTIC OCEAN 18 Q Across America: The Lewis and Clark Expedition coming as it did from “a man whose virtue and talents I have ever adored . ” Within the week Lewis was en route to Washington, arriving at the start of April. For the next two years he lived as part of Jefferson’s household in the official residence that was then called the President’s House and would later be known as the White House.

There were now two boats in Lewis’s little fleet: the keelboat and a pirogue that he also purchased in Pittsburgh (the pirogue, as Lewis used the term, was a flat-bottomed open boat that could be rowed or rigged with a sail). Because of the shallow water in late summer, Lewis did not want to overload the boats. Some of the expedition supplies were sent overland by wagon to Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia), where the river deepened. Even with the lightened load, the men frequently had to get out, unload and portage the cargo downriver, and then drag the boats through shallow places in the river.

On September 11 he saw something that astonished him: a large number of grey squirrels swimming “light on the water” across the Ohio River. He was at a loss to explain the mass migration, since both sides of the river were equally well supplied Q 31 with nut-bearing trees. Lewis’s interests in the swimming squirrels as a naturalist soon gave way to another interest: satisfying his appetite. He sent Seaman the Newfoundland dog into the river to kill some of the squirrels and fetch them back to the boat.

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