Monast Law Office May 2017


Phone: 614-334-4649 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117 Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913


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An Epic American Journey

AN EPIC AMERICAN JOURNEY The Story of Lewis and Clark

It’s easy to forget that not so long ago, much of the United States was largely an uninhabited wilderness. When Thomas Jefferson organized the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, he knew little of the vast swath of land he had bought on behalf of the country. To survey the newly acquired terrain, Jefferson commissioned two men, Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark, to lead an expedition across the Continental Divide. They set off from St. Louis 213 years ago this month, on May 14, 1804. When asked what is so enduring about the story of Lewis and Clark, historian Stephen E. Ambrose notes that “They were first … Everyone who canoes on the Missouri River paddles in their wake. Everyone who crosses the Rocky Mountains does so in their footsteps.”The expedition they led was truly a journey into uncharted territory. Lewis and Clark departed with 33 people and encountered many native tribes during their excursion. Perhaps the most famous Native American they met was Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone woman who provided the party with invaluable guidance. On November 7, 1805, the expedition became the first party of Americans to see the Pacific Ocean. Remarkably, only one man, Sergeant Charles Floyd, died during the trip. In addition to mapping out much of the United States, Lewis and Clark also identified many native species that were previously unknown. Their discoveries are still marveled at to this day through their remarkable journals.

The story of Lewis and Clark is an essential part of American history and an account of courage and discovery. Geography professor John Loga Allen succinctly summed up the tale’s allure: “It is the American Epic.”When we think of the American ideal of perseverance and ambition against insurmountable odds, it is hard not to think of Lewis and Clark.


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