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Meriwether Lewis and William Clark: how one can select some good men to accompany the Corps of Discovery - Essay Example

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Running Head: HISTORY TERM PROJECT Constructing a crew for Lewis and Clark: Skill, fortitude, and the call to adventure Constructing a crew for Lewis and Clark: Skill, fortitude, and the call to adventure It was President Thomas Jefferson who commissioned the Corps of Discovery to explore and report on the territories that were included in the Louisiana Purchase…
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Meriwether Lewis and William Clark: how one can select some good men to accompany the Corps of Discovery
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Download file to see previous pages The expedition grew to be known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition and is one of the more famous events of exploration in North America. In the process of creating an expedition force such as this, the type of men needed to complete the journey would need to have a fortitude and ambition for travel and exploration. The journey would be long, treacherous, and without any guarantee of success. The men needed to join Lewis and Clark on the journey of exploration that defined the nature of the territories across the nation to the Pacific Northwest required men who had skills of survival and ambassadorial congeniality. The men that accompanied Lewis and Clark on their journey were going to face indigenous populations that were rumored to be hostile. One of the ways in which they intended to meet these people and hope to create peaceful relationships with them was through the distribution of ‘Indian peace medals’. According to Lewis, Clark, and Moulton (2003), the explorers took with them red leggings, dress coats, blue blankets, tobacco, whiskey and the silver medals as ways to make first contact, establish sovereignty over the Native American nations, and to provide honor as a way of negotiating peace. While stories of the indigenous populations might suggest hostility and danger, the men that accompanied Lewis and Clark into the Louisiana Territories and beyond would need to try peaceful approaches before panicking and beginning hostilities between the cultures. Therefore, the first type of individual that needed to be chosen for this journey needed to have the skills of a soldier, with the ability to temper fear and aggression in order to establish peaceful relationships. According to Lewis, Clark and Jones (2000), the following men were a part of the Corps of Discovery. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark commanded the mission with John Ordway, Nathanial Pryor, and Charles Floyd acting as sergeants until Charles Floyd died on August 20, 1804 when Patrick Gass was appointed to replace him shortly after Floyd’s death. George Druoillard and Toussant Charbonneau went as interpreters for the Corps. Included in the group were 25 men, one of which was dropped and one of which deserted. A slave named York, the Shoshone wife of Charbonneau named Sacagawea, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau (son of Sacagawea and Charbonneau) and Seaman, a dog that belonged to Meriwether Lewis. This group of men and one woman comprised the actual group that traveled across the Louisiana Territories in order to plot out the environment and define the topography of the newly acquired lands. The job of moving a camp from one side of the country to another consists of hard labor and isolation from the European styled comforts as they were interpreted in America. Discipline was kept and even though the isolation kept allowed for a fairly unified group, Private Moses R. Reed made an excuse to go back to a meeting site in order to find a knife he had left behind and tried to desert his post. While the act of desertion was subject to the death penalty, instead he was made to run the gauntlet four times, a form of punishment in which the men flogged his naked shirt. He was then expelled from the group, which is presumed to have been his goal in deserting in the first place. Meanwhile, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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