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Lewis and clark. Exploring the Louisiana Purchase. Background Information: The Louisiana Purchase. Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory, an area of about 828,000 square miles, from the French for about 15 million dollars.

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lewis and clark

Lewis and clark

Exploring the Louisiana Purchase

background information the louisiana purchase
Background Information: The Louisiana Purchase
  • Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory, an area of about 828,000 square miles, from the French for about 15 million dollars.
    • Though this sounds like a lot of money, it actually works out to only a three cents an acre!





background information meriwether lewis
Background Information:Meriwether Lewis
  • Lewis was born near Charlottesville, VA., where he was neighbors with Thomas Jefferson!
  • He served as a captain in the army until he was called upon by Jefferson to serve as secretary-aide to the new president.
background information william clark
Background Information: William Clark
  • Clark was also a native Virginian. He met Lewis during their time together in the army.
  • When Lewis was chosen to lead the expedition into the Louisiana Territory, he immediately reached out to Clark and asked him to be his co-commander.
the corps of discovery expedition
The Corps of Discovery Expedition
  • Lewis and Clark departed in May, 1804.
  • The goals of the expedition were to:
    • Map the new territory and find safe routes over which to travel across the country- particularly a direct water route to the ocean.
    • Study the plants and animals that inhabited the western part of the country.
    • Establish trade and good relationships with Native Americans.
    • Make sure that the American claim to this land was protected.
the corps of discovery expedition1
The Corps of Discovery Expedition
  • Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean in November of 1805, over a year after they started out on their journey.
  • Once they reached the Pacific, they turned around and made their way back east. They made it back to their starting point by September of 1806.
  • Over the course of the expedition they were successful in documenting hundreds of new plants and animals, establishing trade with dozens of Indian nations, and creating extensive maps of the lands that they covered.
    • Unfortunately, they were not able to find a direct water route to the ocean.
charbonneau and sacagawea
Charbonneau and Sacagawea
  • Charbonneau was a French trapper who wed Sacagawea, a young Shoshone Indian girl.
  • Together, the couple helped the Lewis and Clark expedition by serving as translators.