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Odd Wisconsin Archive

Lewis & Clark in Wisconsin

Dateline: St. Louis, May 14, 1804. Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and their men set out to explore the West 200 years ago today. Although inhabitants of St. Louis gave them up for lost, they returned more than two years later with volumes of scientific notes, hundreds of specimens, and a permanent place in American history. Nearing home, they had encountered two fur traders from Prairie du Chien, apparently the only Wisconsin residents associated with the expedition during its progress. Later citizens of our state, however, played a major part in making it famous by collecting and publishing its records. For example, this manuscript journal from the Society’s collection was written by the only soldier to die during the trip, Sgt. Charles Floyd, was collected by the Society's first superintendent, Lyman Copeland Draper. Draper also gather other expedition-related manuscripts and books, and the complete journals and scientific records of the explorers were edited for the first time by Draper's successor, Reuben Gold Thwaites. These and other Lewis and Clark documents totaling more than 3,000 pages can be seen at American Journeys.
:: Posted in Curiosities on May 10, 2004
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