Thomas Jefferson's Grand Idea . . . Lewis and Clark's Great Adventure ". . . the object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, and such principal streams of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado or any other river, may offer the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce . . ."
By the time Jefferson was ready to request funds for the expedition, his relationship with the opposition in Congress was anything but friendly.Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin urged that the request be made in secret.The message focused on the state of Indian trade and mentioned the proposed western expedition near the end of the document.
Presents for Indians: • 12 dozen pocket mirrors • 4,600 sewing needles • 144 small scissors • 10 pounds of sewing thread • silk ribbons • ivory combs • handkerchiefs • yards of bright-colored cloth • 130 rolls of tobacco • tomahawks that doubled as pipes • 288 knives • 8 brass kettles • vermilion face paint • 33 pounds of tiny beads
April 7, 1805“We were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civilized man had never trodden,” Lewis wrote…
Pipe tomahawkPipe tomahawks are artifacts unique to North America--created by Europeans as trade objects but often exchanged as diplomatic gifts.They are powerful symbols of the choice Europeans and Indians faced whenever they met: one end was the pipe of peace, the other an axe of war.Lewis's expedition packing list notes that fifty pipe tomahawks were to be taken on the expedition.
JEFFERSON PEACE MEDALLewis was frustrated by the egalitarian nature of Indian society: "the authority of the Chief being nothing more than mere admonition . . . in fact every man is a chief." He set out to change that by "making chiefs." He passed out medals, certificates, and uniforms to give power to chosen men.In their speeches, Lewis and Clark called the Indians "children." To explorers, the term expressed the relationship of ruler and subject. In their speeches, the Indians called Lewis and Clark "father,“... To them, it expressed kinship and their assumption that an adoptive father undertook an obligation to show generosity and loyalty to his new family.
In all the captains would describe in their journals 178 plants and 122 animals that previously had not been recorded for science.
"We shall delineate with correctness the great arteries of this great country: those who come after us will . . . fill up the canvas we begin." --Thomas Jefferson, 1805
AUGUST 12, 1805Lewis ascends the final ridge toward the Continental Divide and “the most distant fountain of waters of the Mighty Missouri in search of which we have spent so many toilsome days”-he expects to see a vast plain to the west with a large river flowing to the Pacific: the Northwest Passage that had been the goal of the explorers since the time of Columbus. Instead, all he sees are more mountains…
“This Mtn. is covered with Snow...and is of a Conical form but rugid.”—Capt. William Clark November 3, 1805 Mt. Hood in the distance… Proof they are at last approaching the ocean
“Ocian in view! O! the joy.”—Capt. William ClarkNovember 7, 1805
NOVEMBER 7, 1805Clark writes his most famous journal entry:“Ocian in view! O! the joy,”They are actually at the end of Gray’s Bay, still 20 miles from sea.Clark estimates they have traveled 4162 miles from the mouth of the Missouri to the Pacific. He estimate, based on dead reckoning, will turn out to be within 40 miles of the actual distance.
NOVEMBER 24, 1805To make the crucial decision of where to spend the winter, the captains decide to put the matter to a vote. Significantly, in addition to the others, Clark’s slave, York, is allowed to vote – nearly 60 years before slaves in the U.S. would be emancipated…Sacagawea, the Indian woman, votes too – more than a century before either women or Indians are granted the full rights of citizenship.
"Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it." Lincoln's Cooper Institute Address, February 27, 1860.
"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865.
"The New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises... it is a set of challenges." -- Sen. John F. Kennedy, Los Angeles, 1960
Kennedy brought to the White House the dynamic idea of a “New Frontier” approach in dealing with problems at home, abroad, and in the dimensions of space. Out of his leadership in his first few months in office came the 10-year Alliance for Progress to aid Latin America, the Peace Corps, and accelerated programs that brought the first Americans into orbit in the race in space.
For I stand tonight facing west on what was once the last frontier. From the lands that stretch three thousand miles behind me, the pioneers of old gave up their safety, their comfort and sometimes their lives to build a new world here in the West. They were not the captives of their own doubts, the prisoners of their own price tags. Their motto was not "every man for himself"--but "all for the common cause." …I tell you the New Frontier is here, whether we seek it or not. Beyond that frontier are the uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus. It would be easier to shrink back from that frontier, to look to the safe mediocrity of the past, to be lulled by good intentions and high rhetoric… But I believe the times demand new invention, innovation, imagination, decision. I am asking each of you to be pioneers on that New Frontier. My call is to the young in heart, regardless of age… …for courage--not complacency--is our need today--leadership--not salesmanship. And the only valid test of leadership is the ability to lead, and lead vigorously.
Robert Frost wrote a new poem entitled "Dedication" for delivery at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961, but never read it, because the sun's glare upon the snow blinded Frost from seeing the text. Instead, he recited "The Gift Outright" from memory.The Gift OutrightThe land was ours before we were the land's. She was our land more than a hundred years Before we were her people. She was ours In Massachusetts, in Virginia, But we were England's, still colonials, Possessing what we still were unpossessed by, Possessed by what we now no more possessed. Something we were withholding made us weak Until we found out that it was ourselves We were withholding from our land of living, And forthwith found salvation in surrender. Such as we were we gave ourselves outright (The deed of gift was many deeds of war) To the land vaguely realizing westward, But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced, Such as she was, such as she would become. -- Robert Frost
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility--I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people of any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.
Pres. Kennedy's Cabinet: (clockwise from lower left)Budget Director David E. Bell; Postmaster General Day, Vice President Johnson, Secretary of Defense McNamara, Secretary of Agriculture Freeman, Secretary of Labor Goldberg, Secretary of Commerce Hodges, Attorney General Kennedy, Secretary of State Rusk, Pres. Kennedy, Secretary of the Treasury Dillon, Secretary of the Interior Udall
The President meets with eager young Peace Corps volunteers before they depart for Africa.
We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people… But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not only because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
October 22, 1962, and reports "unmistakable evidence...of offensive missile sites now in preparation...to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere...It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba...as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union."