Presents the story of Lewis and Clark as a living drama of adventure, heroism, and imagination.
Here is a young Meriweather Lewis, called from his army duty to be private secretary to President Thomas Jefferson, and during three years of close association with that brilliant man planning the exploration that was to open up the West for the advance of colonization.
Here is William Clark, chosen by his former comrade-in-arms to share "the fatigues, the dangers and the honors" of the great undertaking. Here are the forty-five members of the party, "high, wide, foxy men, footloose and free and rarin' to go."
It took two years and four months to travel the 3555 miles from St. Louis to the Pacific, matching courage and endurance and mother-wit against exposure and disease, terrifying natural obstacles, and the danger of attack by Indians and wild animals. And on September 23, 1806, Lewis reported in a letter to the President, "In obedience to your order, we have penetrated the Continent of North America to the Pacific Ocean."
From the original accounts of the expedition, written wearily by river campfires, or on snowbanks amid mountain peaks, on mosquito-infested islands in the rain-soaked forests of Oregon, James Daugherty has reconstructed in essence and detail one of the most splendid and daring exploits in the history of exploration and discovery. In simple, forceful, rhythmic language and in pictures rich with imaginative understanding, he has captured the magnificence of disciplined bravery, the gusto and rollicking humpor of the true spirit of adventure, and the beauty of the great wilderness.
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