Although volumes of information have been printed about the Lewis and Clark Expedition most of the attention has been focused from Camp DuBois, Illinois to Fort Clatsop in Oregon. Little has been mentioned about the Eastern Legacy... the planning... the Dream.
President Thomas Jefferson had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. It was his dream to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean, study the plants, animals and tribes along the way and to expand the borders of the new United States of America. It was this driving curiosity that put in motion the great Lewis and Clark adventure.
The Eastern Legacy starts in Washington DC with President Jefferson sending Meriwether Lewis to Harpers Ferry on March 15th, 1803, to order the necessary arms and ironwork. The ironwork mentioned included the collapsible boat to be used later in the Expedition. Lewis then headed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to learn surveying from Andrew Ellicott. Philadelphia was the next stop for instruction from leading experts in botany, mathematics, paleontology and the medicine of the day from Doctor Benjamin Rush. After the lessons were over Lewis returned to Washington in the early summer of 1803, where he wrote a letter to William Clark to join him on the journey.
On July 8th Lewis returned to Harper's Ferry to pick up supplies. After visits in Brownville and Elizabeth , Pennsylvania, Lewis arrived in Pittsburgh on July 15th, 1803. Frustrating delays building the 55- foot keelboat kept Lewis in Pittsburgh until August 31st. Meriwether Lewis with a 55- foot keelboat and two pirogues navigated the Ohio River to Cincinnati, Ohio on September 28th. The next stop took Lewis, the keelboat and two pirogues to the cities of Louisville, Kentucky and Clarksville, Indiana. Two important milestones took place, the "nine young men from Kentucky" signed on , and William Clark joined the expedition with his slave York. In late November the Corps arrived in Kaskaskia, Illinois where Lewis and Clark recruited more men. On December 12, 1803 the Corps of Discovery arrived at their winter headquarters on the Wood River in Illinois. They would call their camp "Camp DuBois" and would train for the next five months for the journey ahead.
The 273 day Eastern Legacy of the Lewis and Clark Expedition could be considered an adventure of its own. Make plans to add the Eastern Legacy and "Re-live the Adventure" of the Lewis and Clark Trail