Preparations for the Lewis and Clark Expedition

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In preparation for the journey, Meriwether Lewis wrote a list of necessary items to be taken. Due to Lewis's spelling, some of the words may not look familiar to you; please sound them out phonetically to understand them. See http://media.nara.gov/media/images/19/29/19-2831a.gif for a look at the manuscript version of the Indian gifts. In preparation for the journey, Meriwether Lewis wrote a list of necessary items to be taken. Due to Lewis's spelling, some of the words may not look familiar to you; please sound them out phonetically to understand them. See http://media.nara.gov/media/images/19/29/19-2831a.gif for a look at the manuscript version of the Indian gifts.
-Mathematical Instruments 1 Hadley's Quadrant +Mathematical Instruments <br>
- 1 Mariner's Compas & 2 pole chain + 1 Hadley's Quadrant<br>
- 1 Sett of plotting instruments +1 Mariner's Compas & 2 pole chain<br>
- 3 Thermometers +1 Sett of plotting instruments <br>
- 1 Cheap portable Microscope +3 Thermometers <br>
- 1 Pocket Compass +1 Cheap portable Microscope <br>
- 1 brass Scale one foot in length +1 Pocket Compass <br>
- 6 Magnetic needles in small straight silver or brass cases opening on the side with hinges. +1 brass Scale one foot in length <br>
- 1 Instrument for measuring made of tape with feet & inches mark'd on it,... +6 Magnetic needles in small straight silver or brass cases opening on the side with hinges. <br>
- 2 Hydrometers +1 Instrument for measuring made of tape with feet & inches mark'd on it,... <br>
- 1 Theodolite +2 Hydrometers <br>
- 1 Sett of planespheres +1 Theodolite <br>
- 2 Artificial Horizons +1 Sett of planespheres <br>
- 1 Patent log +2 Artificial Horizons <br>
- 6 papers of Ink powder +1 Patent log <br>
- 4 Metal Pens brass or silver +6 papers of Ink powder <br>
- 1 Set of Small Slates & pencils +4 Metal Pens brass or silver <br>
- 2 Creyons +1 Set of Small Slates & pencils <br>
- Sealing wax one bundle +2 Creyons <br>
- 1 Miller's edition of Lineus in 2 Vol: +Sealing wax one bundle <br>
- Books +1 Miller's edition of Lineus in 2 Vol: <br>
- Maps +Books <br>
- Charts +Maps <br>
- Blank Vocabularies +Charts <br>
- Writing paper +Blank Vocabularies <br>
- 1 Pair large brass money scales with two setts of weights. +Writing paper <br>
 +1 Pair large brass money scales with two setts of weights. <br>
-Arms & Accoutrements 15 Rifle +Arms & Accoutrements<br>
- 15 Powder Horns & pouches complete +15 Rifle <br>
- 15 Pairs of Bullet Moulds +15 Powder Horns & pouches complete<br>
- 15 do. Of Wipers or Gun worms +15 Pairs of Bullet Moulds <br>
- 15 Ball Screws +15 do. Of Wipers or Gun worms <br>
- 24 Pipe Tomahawks +15 Ball Screws <br>
- 24 large knives +24 Pipe Tomahawks <br>
- Extra parts of Locks & tools for repairing arms +24 large knives <br>
- 15 Gun Slings +Extra parts of Locks & tools for repairing arms <br>
- 500 best Flints +15 Gun Slings <br>
 +500 best Flints <br>
-Ammunition 200 Lbs. Best rifle powder +Ammunition <br>
- 400 lbs. Lead +200 Lbs. Best rifle powder <br>
 +400 lbs. Lead <br>
-Clothing 15 3 pt. Blankets +Clothing<br>
- 15 Watch Coats with Hoods & belts +15 3 pt. Blankets <br>
- 15 Woolen Overalls +15 Watch Coats with Hoods & belts <br>
- 15 Rifle Frocks of waterproof Cloth if possible +15 Woolen Overalls <br>
- 30 Pairs of Socks or half Stockings +15 Rifle Frocks of waterproof Cloth if possible <br>
- 20 Fatigue Frocks or hinting shirts +30 Pairs of Socks or half Stockings <br>
- 30 Shirts of Strong linnen +20 Fatigue Frocks or hinting shirts <br>
- 30 yds. Common flannel. +30 Shirts of Strong linnen <br>
 +30 yds. Common flannel. <br>
-Camp Equipage 6 Copper kettles (1 of 5 Gallons, 1 of 3, 2 of 2, & 2 of 1) +Camp Equipage <br>
- 35 falling Axes. +6 Copper kettles (1 of 5 Gallons, 1 of 3, 2 of 2, & 2 of 1) <br>
- 4 Drawing Knives, short & strong +35 falling Axes. <br>
- 2 Augers of the patent kind. +4 Drawing Knives, short & strong <br>
- 1 Small permanent Vice +2 Augers of the patent kind. <br>
- 1 Hand Vice +1 Small permanent Vice <br>
- 36 Gimblets assorted +1 Hand Vice <br>
- 24 Files do. +36 Gimblets assorted <br>
- 12 Chisels do. +24 Files do. <br>
- 10 Nails do. +12 Chisels do. <br>
- 2 Steel plate hand saws +10 Nails do. <br>
- 2 Vials of Phosforus +2 Steel plate hand saws <br>
- 1 do. Of Phosforus made of allum & sugar +2 Vials of Phosforus <br>
- 4 Groce fishing Hooks assorted +1 do. Of Phosforus made of allum & sugar <br>
- 12 Bunches of Drum Line +4 Groce fishing Hooks assorted <br>
- 2 Foot Adzes +12 Bunches of Drum Line <br>
- 12 Bunches of Small cord +2 Foot Adzes <br>
- 2 Pick Axes +12 Bunches of Small cord <br>
- 3 Coils of rope +2 Pick Axes <br>
- 2 Spades +3 Coils of rope <br>
- 12 Bunches Small fishing line assorted +2 Spades <br>
- 1 lb. Turkey or Oil Stone +12 Bunches Small fishing line assorted <br>
- 1 Iron Mill for Grinding Corn +1 lb. Turkey or Oil Stone <br>
- 20 yds. Oil linnen for wrapping & securing Articles +1 Iron Mill for Grinding Corn <br>
- 10 yds do. do. Of thicker quality for covering and lining boxes. &c +20 yds. Oil linnen for wrapping & securing Articles <br>
- 40 yds Do. Do. To form two half faced Tents or Shelters. +10 yds do. do. Of thicker quality for covering and lining boxes. &c <br>
- 4 Tin blowing Trumpets +40 yds Do. Do. To form two half faced Tents or Shelters. <br>
- 2 hand or spiral spring Steelyards +4 Tin blowing Trumpets <br>
- 20 yds Strong Oznaburgs +2 hand or spiral spring Steelyards <br>
- 24 Iron Spoons +20 yds Strong Oznaburgs <br>
- 24 Pint Tin Cups (without handles) +24 Iron Spoons <br>
- 30 Steels for striking or making fire +24 Pint Tin Cups (without handles) <br>
- 100 Flints for do. do. do. +30 Steels for striking or making fire <br>
- 2 Frows +100 Flints for do. do. do. <br>
- 6 Saddlers large Needles +2 Frows <br>
- 6 Do. Large Awls +6 Saddlers large Needles <br>
- Muscatoe Curtains +6 Do. Large Awls <br>
- 2 patent chamber lamps & wicks +Muscatoe Curtains <br>
- 15 Oil Cloth Bags for securing provision +2 patent chamber lamps & wicks <br>
- 1 Sea Grass Hammock +15 Oil Cloth Bags for securing provision <br>
 +1 Sea Grass Hammock <br>
-Provisions and Means of Subsistence 150 lbs. Portable Soup. +Provisions and Means of Subsistence <br>
- 3 bushels of Allum or Rock Salt +150 lbs. Portable Soup. <br>
- Spicies assorted +3 bushels of Allum or Rock Salt <br>
- 6 Kegs of 5 Gallons each making 30 Gallons of rectified pirits such as is used for the Indian trade +Spicies assorted <br>
- 6 Kegs bound with iron Hoops +6 Kegs of 5 Gallons each making 30 Gallons of rectified pirits such as is used for the Indian trade <br>
 +6 Kegs bound with iron Hoops <br>
-Indian Presents 5 lbs. White Wampum +Indian Presents <br>
- 5 lbs. White Glass Beads mostly small +5 lbs. White Wampum <br>
- 20 lbs. Red Do. Do. Assorted +5 lbs. White Glass Beads mostly small <br>
- 5 lbs. Yellow or Orange Do. Do. Assorted +20 lbs. Red Do. Do. Assorted <br>
- 30 Calico Shirts +5 lbs. Yellow or Orange Do. Do. Assorted <br>
- 12 Pieces of East India muslin Hanckerchiefs striped or check'd with brilliant Colours. +30 Calico Shirts <br>
- 12 Red Silk Hanckerchiefs +12 Pieces of East India muslin Hanckerchiefs striped or check'd with brilliant Colours. <br>
- 144 Small cheap looking Glasses +12 Red Silk Hanckerchiefs <br>
- 100 Burning Glasses +144 Small cheap looking Glasses<br>
- 4 Vials of Phosforus +100 Burning Glasses <br>
- 288 Steels for striking fire +4 Vials of Phosforus <br>
- 144 Small cheap Scizors +288 Steels for striking fire <br>
- 20 Pair large Do. +144 Small cheap Scizors <br>
- 12 Groces Needles Assorted No. 1 to 8 Common points +20 Pair large Do. <br>
- 12 Groces Do. Assorted with points for sewing leather +12 Groces Needles Assorted No. 1 to 8 Common points <br>
- 288 Common brass thimbles - part W. office +12 Groces Do. Assorted with points for sewing leather <br>
- 10 lbs. Sewing Thread assorted +288 Common brass thimbles - part W. office <br>
- 24 Hanks Sewing Silk +10 lbs. Sewing Thread assorted <br>
- 8 lbs. Red Lead +24 Hanks Sewing Silk <br>
- 2 lbs. Vermillion - at War Office +8 lbs. Red Lead <br>
- 288 Knives Small such as are generally used for the Indian trade, with fix'd blades & handles inlaid with brass +2 lbs. Vermillion - at War Office <br>
- 36 Large knives +288 Knives Small such as are generally used for the Indian trade, with fix'd blades & handles inlaid with brass <br>
- 36 Pipe Tomahawks - at H. Ferry +36 Large knives <br>
- 12 lbs. Brass wire Assorted +36 Pipe Tomahawks - at H. Ferry <br>
- 12 lbs. Iron do. Do. generally large +12 lbs. Brass wire Assorted <br>
- 6 Belts of narrow Ribbons colours assorted +12 lbs. Iron do. Do. generally large <br>
- 50 lbs. Spun Tobacco. +6 Belts of narrow Ribbons colours assorted <br>
- 20 Small falling axes to be obtained in Tennessee +50 lbs. Spun Tobacco. <br>
- 40 fish Griggs such as the Indians use with a single barbed point - at Harper's ferry +20 Small falling axes to be obtained in Tennessee <br>
- 3 Groce fishing Hooks assorted +40 fish Griggs such as the Indians use with a single barbed point - at Harper's ferry <br>
- 3 Groce Mockerson awls assorted +3 Groce fishing Hooks assorted <br>
- 50 lbs. Powder secured in a Keg covered with oil Cloth +3 Groce Mockerson awls assorted <br>
- 24 Belts of Worsted feiret or Gartering Colours brilliant and Assorted +50 lbs. Powder secured in a Keg covered with oil Cloth <br>
- 15 Sheets of Copper Cut into strips of an inch in width & a foot long +24 Belts of Worsted feiret or Gartering Colours brilliant and Assorted <br>
- 20 Sheets of Tin +15 Sheets of Copper Cut into strips of an inch in width & a foot long <br>
- 12 lbs. Strips of Sheet iron 1 In. wide 1 foot long +20 Sheets of Tin <br>
- 1 Pc. Red Cloth second quality +12 lbs. Strips of Sheet iron 1 In. wide 1 foot long <br>
- 1 Nest of 8 or 9 small copper kettles +1 Pc. Red Cloth second quality <br>
- 100 Block-tin rings cheap kind ornamented with Colour'd Glass or Mock-Stone +1 Nest of 8 or 9 small copper kettles <br>
- 2 Groces of brass Curtain Rings & sufficently large for the Finger +100 Block-tin rings cheap kind ornamented with Colour'd Glass or Mock-Stone <br>
- 1 Groce Cast Iron Combs +2 Groces of brass Curtain Rings & sufficently large for the Finger <br>
- 18 Cheap brass Combs +1 Groce Cast Iron Combs <br>
- 24 Blankets. +18 Cheap brass Combs <br>
- 12 Arm Bands Silver at War Office +24 Blankets. <br>
- 12 Wrist do. do. Do. +12 Arm Bands Silver at War Office <br>
- 36 Ear Trinkets Do. Part do. +12 Wrist do. do. Do. <br>
- 6 Groces Drops of Do. Part Do. +36 Ear Trinkets Do. Part do. <br>
- 4 doz Rings for Fingers of do. +6 Groces Drops of Do. Part Do. <br>
- 4 Groces Broaches of do. +4 doz Rings for Fingers of do. <br>
- 12 Small Medals do. +4 Groces Broaches of do. <br>
 +12 Small Medals do. <br>
-Means of Transportation 1 Keeled Boat light strong at least 60 feet in length her burthen equal to 8 Tons +Means of Transportation <br>
- 1 Iron frame of Canoe 40 feet long +1 Keeled Boat light strong at least 60 feet in length her burthen equal to 8 Tons <br>
- 1 Large Wooden Canoe +1 Iron frame of Canoe 40 feet long <br>
- 12 Spikes for Setting-Poles +1 Large Wooden Canoe <br>
- 4 Boat Hooks & points Complete +12 Spikes for Setting-Poles <br>
- 2 Chains & Pad-Locks for confining the Boat & Canoes &c. +4 Boat Hooks & points Complete <br>
 +2 Chains & Pad-Locks for confining the Boat & Canoes &c. <br>
-Medicine 15 lbs. Best powder's Bark +Medicine<br>
- 10 lbs. Epsom or Glauber Salts +15 lbs. Best powder's Bark <br>
- 4 oz. Calomel +10 lbs. Epsom or Glauber Salts <br>
- 12 oz. Opium +4 oz. Calomel <br>
- _ oz. Tarter emetic +12 oz. Opium <br>
- 8 oz. Borax +_ oz. Tarter emetic <br>
- 4 oz. Powder'd Ipecacuana +8 oz. Borax <br>
- 8 oz. Powder Jalap +4 oz. Powder'd Ipecacuana <br>
- 8 oz. Powdered Rhubarb +8 oz. Powder Jalap <br>
- 6 Best lancets +8 oz. Powdered Rhubarb <br>
- 2 oz. White Vitriol +6 Best lancets <br>
- 4 oz. Lacteaum Saturni +2 oz. White Vitriol <br>
- 4 Pewter Penis syringes +4 oz. Lacteaum Saturni <br>
- 1 Flour of Sulphur +4 Pewter Penis syringes <br>
- 3 Clyster pipes +1 Flour of Sulphur <br>
- 4 oz. Turlingtons Balsam +3 Clyster pipes <br>
- 2 lbs. Yellow Bascilicum +4 oz. Turlingtons Balsam <br>
- 2 Sticks of Symple Diachylon +2 lbs. Yellow Bascilicum <br>
- 1 lb. Blistering Ointments +2 Sticks of Symple Diachylon <br>
- 2 lbs. Nitre +1 lb. Blistering Ointments <br>
- 2 lbs. Coperas +2 lbs. Nitre <br>
 +2 lbs. Coperas <br>
-Materials for making up the Various Articles into portable Packs 30 Sheep skins taken off the Animal as perfectly whole aspossible, without being split on the belly as usual and dress'd only with lime to free them from the wool; or otherwise about the same quantity of Oil Cloth bags well painted +Materials for making up the Various Articles into portable Packs
- Raw hide for pack strings +30 Sheep skins taken off the Animal as perfectly whole aspossible, without being split on the belly as usual and dress'd only with lime to free them from the wool; or otherwise about the same quantity of Oil Cloth bags well painted Raw hide for pack strings <br>
- Dress'd letter for Hoppus-Straps +Dress'd letter for Hoppus-Straps <br>
- Other packing +Other packing <br>
- +
-Do.= ditto +Do.= ditto <br>
-&c. = etcetera +&c. = etcetera <br>
-Oznaburgs = strong cloth +Oznaburgs = strong cloth <br>
-Worsted feiret [ferret] = woven wool tape, used for embellishment and trade +Worsted feiret [ferret] = woven wool tape, used for embellishment and trade <br>
Hoppus = might possible refer to an Indian term for knapsack<ref>Jackson, Donald, ed., Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: with Related Documents 1783 - 1854 (University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1978), 69-74.</ref> Hoppus = might possible refer to an Indian term for knapsack<ref>Jackson, Donald, ed., Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: with Related Documents 1783 - 1854 (University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1978), 69-74.</ref>

Revision as of 14:37, 21 February 2007

President Jefferson's choice to lead an expedition was Meriwether Lewis, his former secretary and a fellow native of Albemarle County, Virginia. Having reached the rank of captain in the U.S. Army, Lewis possessed military discipline and experience that would prove invaluable. While in the Army, Lewis had served in a rifle company commanded by William Clark. It was Clark whom Lewis chose to assist him in leading this U.S. Army expedition, commonly known today as the "Corps of Discovery." On February 28, 1803, Congress appropriated funds for the Expedition, and Jefferson's dream came closer to becoming a reality.

It was important for Lewis to gain certain scientific skills and to buy equipment that would be needed on the journey. In the spring of 1803, Lewis traveled to Philadelphia to study with the leading scientists of the day. Andrew Ellicott taught Lewis map making and surveying. Benjamin Smith Barton tutored Lewis in botany, Robert Patterson in mathematics, Caspar Wistar in anatomy and fossils, and Benjamin Rush in medicine. During this time, he also twice visited the arsenal at Harpers Ferry to obtain rifles and other supplies that he had shipped to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was to recruit men and make last-minute purchases before setting off on the Ohio River to meet Clark.


Jefferson's Instructions to Lewis

To Meriwether Lewis, esquire, Captain of the 1st regiment of infantry of the United States of America.

"Your situation as Secretary of the President of the United States has made you acquainted with the objects of my confidential message of Jan. 18, 1803, to the legislature. You have seen the act they passed, which, tho' expressed in general terms, was meant to sanction those objects, and you are appointed to carry them into execution.

Instruments for ascertaining by celestial observations the geography of the country thro' which you will pass, have been already provided. Light articles for barter, & presents among the Indians, arms for your attendants, say for from 10 to 12 men, boats, tents, & other travelling apparatus, with ammunition, medicine, surgical instruments & provision you will have prepared with such aids as the Secretary at War can yield in his department; & from him also you will receive authority to engage among our troops, by voluntary agreement, the number of attendants above mentioned, over whom you, as their commanding officer are invested with all the powers the laws give in such a case.

As your movements while within the limits of the U.S. will be better directed by occasional communications, adapted to circumstances as they arise, they will not be noticed here. What follows will respect your proceedings after your departure from the U.S.

Your mission has been communicated to the Ministers here from France, Spain, & Great Britain, and through them to their governments: and such assurances given them as to it's objects as we trust will satisfy them. The country of Louisiana having been ceded by Spain to France, the passport you have from the Minister of France, the representative of the present sovereign of the country, will be a protection with all its subjects: and that from the Minister of England will entitle you to the friendly aid of any traders of that allegiance with whom you may happen to meet.

The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by it's course & communication with the water of the Pacific ocean may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce.

Beginning at the mouth of the Missouri, you will take observations of latitude and longitude at all remarkable points on the river, & especially at the mouths of rivers, at rapids, at islands & other places & objects distinguished by such natural marks & characters of a durable kind, as that they may with certainty be recognized hereafter. The courses of the river between these points of observation may be supplied by the compass, the log-line & by time, corrected by the observations themselves. The variations of the compass too, in different places should be noticed.

The interesting points of the portage between the heads of the Missouri & the water offering the best communication with the Pacific ocean should be fixed by observation, & the course of that water to the ocean, in the same manner as that of the Missouri.

Your observations are to be taken with great pains & accuracy to be entered distinctly, & intelligibly for others as well as yourself, to comprehend all the elements necessary, with the aid of the usual tables to fix the latitude & longitude of the places at which they were taken, & are to be rendered to the war office, for the purpose of having the calculations made concurrently by proper persons within the U.S. Several copies of these as well as of your other notes, should be made at leisure times, & put into the care of the most trustworthy of your attendants, to guard by multiplying them against the accidental losses to which they will be exposed. A further guard would be that one of these copies be written on the paper of the birch, as less liable to injury from damp than common paper.

The commerce which may be carried on with the people inhabiting the line you will pursue, renders a knolege of these people important. You will therefore endeavor to make yourself acquainted, as far as a diligent pursuit of your journey shall admit, with the names of the nations & their numbers; the extent & limits of their possessions; their relations with other tribes or nations; their language, traditions, monuments; their ordinary occupations in agriculture, fishing, hunting, war, arts, & the implements for these; their food, clothing, & domestic accommodations; the diseases prevalent among them, & the remedies they use; moral and physical circumstance which distinguish them from the tribes they know; peculiarities in their laws, customs & dispositions; and articles of commerce they may need or furnish, & to what extent.

And considering the interest which every nation has in extending & strengthening the authority of reason & justice among the people around them, it will be useful to acquire what knolege you can of the state of morality, religion & information among them, as it may better enable those who endeavor to civilize & instruct them, to adapt their measures to the existing notions & practises of those on whom they are to operate.

Other objects worthy of notice will be the soil & face of the country, it's growth & vegetable productions, especially those not of the U.S. the animals of the country generally, & especially those not known in the U.S. the remains & accounts of any which may be deemed rare or extinct; the mineral productions of every kind; but more particularly metals, limestone, pit coal & saltpetre; salines & mineral waters, noting the temperature of the last & such circumstances as may indicate their character; volcanic appearances; climate as characterized by the thermometer, by the proportion of rainy, cloudy & clear days, by lightening, hail, snow, ice, by the access & recess of frost, by the winds, prevailing at different seasons, the dates at which particular plants put forth or lose their flowers, or leaf, times of appearance of particular birds, reptiles or insects.

Altho' your route will be along the channel of the Missouri, yet you will endeavor to inform yourself, by inquiry, of the character and extent of the country watered by its branches, & especially on it's Southern side. The North river or Rio Bravo which runs into the gulph of Mexico, and the North river, or Rio colorado which runs into the gulph of California, are understood to be the principal streams heading opposite to the waters of the Missouri, and running Southwardly. Whether the dividing grounds between the Missouri & them are mountains or flatlands, what are their distance from the Missouri, the character of the intermediate country, & the people inhabiting it, are worthy of particular enquiry. The Northern waters of the Missouri are less to be enquired after, because they have been ascertained to a considerable degree, and are still in a course of ascertainment by English traders & travellers. But if you can learn anything certain of the most Northern source of the Mississippi, & of it's position relative to the lake of the woods, it will be interesting to us. Some account too of the path of the Canadian traders from the Mississippi, at the mouth of the Ouisconsin river, to where it strikes the Missouri, and of the soil and rivers in it's course, is desirable.

In all your intercourse with the natives treat them in the most friendly & conciliatory manner which their own conduct will admit; allay all jealousies as to the object of your journey, satisfy them of it's innocence, make them acquainted with the position, extent, character, peaceable & commercial dispositions of the U.S., of our wish to be neighborly, friendly & useful to them, & of our dispositions to a commercial intercourse with them; confer with them on the points most convenient as mutual emporiums, & the articles of most desirable interchange for them & us. If a few of their influential chiefs, within practicable distance, wish to visit us, arrange such a visit with them, and furnish them with authority to call on our officers, on their entering the U.S. to have them conveyed to this place at the public expense. If any of them should wish to have some of their young people brought up with us, & taught such arts as may be useful to them, we will receive, instruct & take care of them. Such a mission, whether of influential chiefs, or of young people, would give some security to your own party. Carry with you some matter of the kine pox, inform those of them with whom you may be, of it's efficacy as a preservative from the small pox; and instruct & encourage them in the use of it. This may be especially done wherever you may winter.

As it is impossible for us to foresee in what manner you will be received by those people, whether with hospitality or hostility, so is it impossible to prescribe the exact degree of perseverance with which you are to pursue your journey. We value too much the lives of citizens to offer them to probably destruction. Your numbers will be sufficient to secure you against the unauthorised opposition of individuals, or of small parties: but if a superior force, authorised or not authorised, by a nation, should be arrayed against your further passage, & inflexibly determined to arrest it, you must decline it's further pursuit, and return. In the loss of yourselves, we should lose also the information you will have acquired. By returning safely with that, you may enable us to renew the essay with better calculated means. To your own discretion therefore must be left the degree of danger you may risk, & the point at which you should decline, only saying we wish you to err on the side of your safety, & to bring back your party safe, even if it be with less information.

As far up the Missouri as the white settlements extend, an intercourse will probably be found to exist between them and the Spanish posts at St. Louis, opposite Cahokia, or Ste. Genevieve opposite Kaskaskia. From still farther up the river, the traders may furnish a conveyance for letters. Beyond that you may perhaps be able to engage Indians to bring letters for the government to Cahokia or Kaskaskia, on promising that they shall there receive such special compensation as you shall have stipulated with them. Avail yourself of these means to communicate to us, at seasonable intervals, a copy of your journal, notes & observations of every kind, putting into cypher whatever might do injury if betrayed.

Should you reach the Pacific ocean, inform yourself of the circumstances which may decide whether the furs of those parts may not be collected as advantageously at the head of the Missouri (convenient as is supposed to the waters of the Colorado & Oregon or Columbia) as at Nootka sound or any other point of that coast; & that trade be consequently conducted through the Missouri & U.S. more beneficially than by the circumnavigation now practised.

On your arrival on that coast, endeavor to learn if there be any port within your reach frequented by the sea-vessels of any nation, and to send two of your trusty people back by sea, in such way as shall appear practicable, with a copy of your notes. And should you be of opinion that the return of your party by the way they went will be eminently dangerous, then ship the whole, & return by sea by way of Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope, as you shall be able. As you will be without money, clothes or provisions, you must endeavor to use the credit of the U.S. to obtain them; for which purpose open letters of credit shall be furnished you authorizing you to draw on the Executive of the U.S. or any of its officers in any part of the world, in which draughts can be disposed of, and to apply with our recommendations to the consuls, agents, merchants or citizens of any nation with which we have intercourse, assuring them in our name that any aids they may furnish you shall be honorably repaid, and on demand. Our consuls Thomas Howes at Batavia in Java, William Buchanan of the Isles of France and Bourbon, & John Elmslie at the Cape of Good Hope will be able to supply your necessities by draughts on us.

Should you find it safe to return by the way you go, after sending two of your party round by sea, or with your whole party, if no conveyance by sea can be found, do so; making such observations on your return as may serve to supply, correct or confirm those made on your outward journey.

In re-entering the U.S. and reaching a place of safety, discharge any of your attendants who may desire & deserve it: procuring for them immediate paiment of all arrears of pay & cloathing which may have incurred since their departure and assure them that they shall be recommended to the liberality of the legislature for the grant of a souldier's portion of land each, as proposed in my message to Congress: & repair yourself with your papers to the seat of government.

To provide, on the accident of your death, against anarchy, dispersion & the consequent danger to your party, and total failure of the enterprise, you are hereby authorised, by any instrument signed & written in your own hand, to name the person among them who shall succeed to the command on your decease, & by like instruments to change the nomination from time to time, as further experience of the characters accompanying you shall point out superior fitness: and all the powers & authorities given to yourself are, in the event of your death, transferred to & vested in the successor so named, with further power to him, & his successors in like manner to name each his successor, who, on the death of his predecessor shall be invested with all the powers & authorities given to yourself."[1]

"Given under my hand at the city of Washington, this 20th. day of June 1803."

Th:Jefferson, Pr. U.S. of America.

Lewis' Packing List

In preparation for the journey, Meriwether Lewis wrote a list of necessary items to be taken. Due to Lewis's spelling, some of the words may not look familiar to you; please sound them out phonetically to understand them. See http://media.nara.gov/media/images/19/29/19-2831a.gif for a look at the manuscript version of the Indian gifts.

Mathematical Instruments

1 Hadley's Quadrant

1 Mariner's Compas & 2 pole chain
1 Sett of plotting instruments
3 Thermometers
1 Cheap portable Microscope
1 Pocket Compass
1 brass Scale one foot in length
6 Magnetic needles in small straight silver or brass cases opening on the side with hinges.
1 Instrument for measuring made of tape with feet & inches mark'd on it,...
2 Hydrometers
1 Theodolite
1 Sett of planespheres
2 Artificial Horizons
1 Patent log
6 papers of Ink powder
4 Metal Pens brass or silver
1 Set of Small Slates & pencils
2 Creyons
Sealing wax one bundle
1 Miller's edition of Lineus in 2 Vol:
Books
Maps
Charts
Blank Vocabularies
Writing paper
1 Pair large brass money scales with two setts of weights.

Arms & Accoutrements
15 Rifle
15 Powder Horns & pouches complete
15 Pairs of Bullet Moulds
15 do. Of Wipers or Gun worms
15 Ball Screws
24 Pipe Tomahawks
24 large knives
Extra parts of Locks & tools for repairing arms
15 Gun Slings
500 best Flints

Ammunition
200 Lbs. Best rifle powder
400 lbs. Lead

Clothing
15 3 pt. Blankets
15 Watch Coats with Hoods & belts
15 Woolen Overalls
15 Rifle Frocks of waterproof Cloth if possible
30 Pairs of Socks or half Stockings
20 Fatigue Frocks or hinting shirts
30 Shirts of Strong linnen
30 yds. Common flannel.

Camp Equipage
6 Copper kettles (1 of 5 Gallons, 1 of 3, 2 of 2, & 2 of 1)
35 falling Axes.
4 Drawing Knives, short & strong
2 Augers of the patent kind.
1 Small permanent Vice
1 Hand Vice
36 Gimblets assorted
24 Files do.
12 Chisels do.
10 Nails do.
2 Steel plate hand saws
2 Vials of Phosforus
1 do. Of Phosforus made of allum & sugar
4 Groce fishing Hooks assorted
12 Bunches of Drum Line
2 Foot Adzes
12 Bunches of Small cord
2 Pick Axes
3 Coils of rope
2 Spades
12 Bunches Small fishing line assorted
1 lb. Turkey or Oil Stone
1 Iron Mill for Grinding Corn
20 yds. Oil linnen for wrapping & securing Articles
10 yds do. do. Of thicker quality for covering and lining boxes. &c
40 yds Do. Do. To form two half faced Tents or Shelters.
4 Tin blowing Trumpets
2 hand or spiral spring Steelyards
20 yds Strong Oznaburgs
24 Iron Spoons
24 Pint Tin Cups (without handles)
30 Steels for striking or making fire
100 Flints for do. do. do.
2 Frows
6 Saddlers large Needles
6 Do. Large Awls
Muscatoe Curtains
2 patent chamber lamps & wicks
15 Oil Cloth Bags for securing provision
1 Sea Grass Hammock

Provisions and Means of Subsistence
150 lbs. Portable Soup.
3 bushels of Allum or Rock Salt
Spicies assorted
6 Kegs of 5 Gallons each making 30 Gallons of rectified pirits such as is used for the Indian trade
6 Kegs bound with iron Hoops

Indian Presents
5 lbs. White Wampum
5 lbs. White Glass Beads mostly small
20 lbs. Red Do. Do. Assorted
5 lbs. Yellow or Orange Do. Do. Assorted
30 Calico Shirts
12 Pieces of East India muslin Hanckerchiefs striped or check'd with brilliant Colours.
12 Red Silk Hanckerchiefs
144 Small cheap looking Glasses
100 Burning Glasses
4 Vials of Phosforus
288 Steels for striking fire
144 Small cheap Scizors
20 Pair large Do.
12 Groces Needles Assorted No. 1 to 8 Common points
12 Groces Do. Assorted with points for sewing leather
288 Common brass thimbles - part W. office
10 lbs. Sewing Thread assorted
24 Hanks Sewing Silk
8 lbs. Red Lead
2 lbs. Vermillion - at War Office
288 Knives Small such as are generally used for the Indian trade, with fix'd blades & handles inlaid with brass
36 Large knives
36 Pipe Tomahawks - at H. Ferry
12 lbs. Brass wire Assorted
12 lbs. Iron do. Do. generally large
6 Belts of narrow Ribbons colours assorted
50 lbs. Spun Tobacco.
20 Small falling axes to be obtained in Tennessee
40 fish Griggs such as the Indians use with a single barbed point - at Harper's ferry
3 Groce fishing Hooks assorted
3 Groce Mockerson awls assorted
50 lbs. Powder secured in a Keg covered with oil Cloth
24 Belts of Worsted feiret or Gartering Colours brilliant and Assorted
15 Sheets of Copper Cut into strips of an inch in width & a foot long
20 Sheets of Tin
12 lbs. Strips of Sheet iron 1 In. wide 1 foot long
1 Pc. Red Cloth second quality
1 Nest of 8 or 9 small copper kettles
100 Block-tin rings cheap kind ornamented with Colour'd Glass or Mock-Stone
2 Groces of brass Curtain Rings & sufficently large for the Finger
1 Groce Cast Iron Combs
18 Cheap brass Combs
24 Blankets.
12 Arm Bands Silver at War Office
12 Wrist do. do. Do.
36 Ear Trinkets Do. Part do.
6 Groces Drops of Do. Part Do.
4 doz Rings for Fingers of do.
4 Groces Broaches of do.
12 Small Medals do.

Means of Transportation
1 Keeled Boat light strong at least 60 feet in length her burthen equal to 8 Tons
1 Iron frame of Canoe 40 feet long
1 Large Wooden Canoe
12 Spikes for Setting-Poles
4 Boat Hooks & points Complete
2 Chains & Pad-Locks for confining the Boat & Canoes &c.

Medicine
15 lbs. Best powder's Bark
10 lbs. Epsom or Glauber Salts
4 oz. Calomel
12 oz. Opium
_ oz. Tarter emetic
8 oz. Borax
4 oz. Powder'd Ipecacuana
8 oz. Powder Jalap
8 oz. Powdered Rhubarb
6 Best lancets
2 oz. White Vitriol
4 oz. Lacteaum Saturni
4 Pewter Penis syringes
1 Flour of Sulphur
3 Clyster pipes
4 oz. Turlingtons Balsam
2 lbs. Yellow Bascilicum
2 Sticks of Symple Diachylon
1 lb. Blistering Ointments
2 lbs. Nitre
2 lbs. Coperas

Materials for making up the Various Articles into portable Packs 30 Sheep skins taken off the Animal as perfectly whole aspossible, without being split on the belly as usual and dress'd only with lime to free them from the wool; or otherwise about the same quantity of Oil Cloth bags well painted Raw hide for pack strings
Dress'd letter for Hoppus-Straps
Other packing

Do.= ditto
&c. = etcetera
Oznaburgs = strong cloth
Worsted feiret [ferret] = woven wool tape, used for embellishment and trade
Hoppus = might possible refer to an Indian term for knapsack[2]


Footnotes

  1. Peterson, Merrill, ed. Thomas Jefferson Writings. (New York: Library of America, 1984), 1126-1132.
  2. Jackson, Donald, ed., Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: with Related Documents 1783 - 1854 (University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1978), 69-74.