Lewis and Clark Trail Map
This Map of the 1804 Lewis and Clark trail, which is also called the Map or chart of the Lewis & Clark Expedition or the Lewis & Clark Trail shows the main route(s).
The Lewis and Clark Trail Expedition (1804 - 1806) was the first land traveled survey expedition funded by the United States Government to the Pacific Coast of North America and back again. The survey expedition team was lead by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and helped along with by Indian Shoshone native Sacajawea and knowledgable French Canadian explorer Toussaint Charbonneau. The expedition's mission was to survey a full accurate sense of the natural resources(forests, rivers, routes, ports, possible crop lands, mountains, deserts, and local natives) being exchanged in the French "Louisiana Purchase". The expedition was the first advance party to explore for the coming "Westward Land Expansion" of the United States on this and the soon-to-be popular Oregon/California and Mormon trails. The Lewis and Clark expedition later dispelled and verified such speculations, including the most widely held myth of a “northwest passage" and the geologic oddities(huge thermal features) of Yellowstone National Park.
In 1803, then President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery(now our Army Corp of Engineers) as a full scientific expedition to explore the than newly purchased gigantic Louisiana Purchase. President Jefferson knew the current settlers of this outlying region were a risk of starting a secession movement from the United States. After all, the small nation, only eighteen years old, was born of individualism and rebellion. Jefferson was determined to get the important trading river and ship port of New Orleans for the US Government, for the main reason to prevent the Western territories from breaking away. Amazed by Napoleon and France's offer, Jefferson eagerly accepted and pushed the treaty quickly through Congress, in spite of doubts about its contract legality and constitutionality. U.S. party Federalists quickly argued the purchase not only as a blatant use of presidential power, but as a waste of U.S. assets. Nevertheless, the French land treaty was signed on April 30, 1803. In a single quick pen stroke, the overall size of the United States was more than doubled in seconds.
The expedition's goal as stated by President Jefferson was "to follow the Missouri River and any major rivers they find connecting or in contact with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia River, Salmon, Snake, Colorado or any navigable river that may offer the most direct and fast water transit across this continent for the purpose of trade and commerce". In addition, the Lewis and Clark expedition was to learn more about the Northwest's amazing undiscovered natural resources, native Indian inhabitants, and possibilities for new West U.S. settlements.
Other trail maps:
Pony Express Trail
Juan Bautista Trail
Mormon Trail Map and
Clark Trail Map
Oregon Trail Map and
Sierra Hiking Trails