and Clark knew that their journey would be a long, tiresome
one full of hardships and challenges. Both men felt that the
success of the expedition would depend on the men they chose
as well as their leadership abilities. They decided to look
for "good hunters, stout, healthy, unmarried men, accustomed
to the woods, and capable of bearing bodily fatigue."
Men having skills such as carpentry, blacksmithing, cooking,
and repairing weapons were also considered.
went ahead of Lewis to Clarksville, Indiana, where he spent
time interviewing volunteers for the Corp. Many men applied,
but only 33 became members of what was called the Permanent
Party. Lewis and Clark appointed three Sergeants - John Ordway,
Charles Floyd, and Nathaniel Pryor - and divided the remaining
22 men into three squads under them.
along on the journey were Clark's manservant, York, a black
Newfoundland dog, Seaman, which Lewis bought in Pittsburgh
before the start of the journey, and George Drouillard, an
interpreter. Toussaint Charbonneau, an interpreter, and his
Indian wife, Sacagawea, joined the party along the way. In
addition, seven more soldiers and about ten boatmen were hired
in St. Louis specifically to take specimens, maps, and reports
of the expedition back to President Jefferson.
Nine Young Men From Kentucky"
William Clark enlisted nine men at Clarksville, Indiana Territory,
across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. The new recruits
became known as the "Nine young men from Kentucky." All
would be selected as members of the Permanent Party.
were as follows:
Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor
Private William Bratton
Private John Colter
Privates Joseph and Reuben Field
Private George Gibson
Private George Shannon
Private John Shields
The Clothes They Wore
of the men recruited for the expedition were soldiers in the U.S.
Army. They most likely they started the journey in their military
uniforms. The other recruits were outfitted in the woolen and linen
European-style civilian clothing of the day or possibly buckskin.
they traveled, of course, their clothes wore out or became torn
and tattered. When this happened, the men fashioned new clothes
from animal skins and furs. In fact, they adopted many of the Indian
ways of dressing and making clothes from the tribes that they came
in contact with along their journey.
not only protected the men from the weather, it was also an important
item of trade with the Indians. Uniform coats, silk hankerchifs,
and brass buttons literally saved the lives of the men by allowing
them to obtain horses and canoes for transportation, and food when
they were close to starvation.
Food They Ate
a lunchbreak with The Corps at
reading Lewis and Clark's journals, we know that they ate a variety
of foods, which can be divided into three categories:
they purchased for the expedition
they obtained by hunting, fishing, or gathering
they traded for or were given to them by the Indians
of the foods the men ate, they had never tasted before (such as
salmon). Here are two recipes you can you can make at home. (Please
ask an adult for help before you do though!)
was a treat for the men as well as an important source of
vitamins for them. A good way for the men to store the fruit
they gathered was to dry it. To make your own dried fruit,
try this recipe:
(sort of like Fruit Roll-Ups!)
apples, peeled and cut into small chunks
tablespoon lemon juice
things you'll need:
blender, spoon, cookie sheet, plastic wrap, tape
the fruit and lemon juice in the blender and puree until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the saucepan and cook, stirring, over
medium heat until it's thick (5 to 10 minutes). Remove from
heat, add the cinnamon, and allow to cool. Line the cookie sheet
with plastic, taping it down at the sides so it doesn't move.
Spoon the mixture onto the plastic wrap. Spead it in a very
thin layer with the back of the spoon. Set near a sunny window
to dry for a day. Peel off and eat.
has it that fishermen and hunters kept their dogs quiet by tossing
them little scraps of batter fried in the lard leftover from frying
their catfish. Soon the "Hushpuppies" became popular and
have been a Southern tradition ever since.
1/2 cups cornmeal
teaspoon baking soda
cup minced chives
things you'll need:
for frying, mixing bowl, skillet, spoon, fork, paper towels
a bowl, stir together the cornmeal, salt, sugar, and baking
soda with a fork until blended. Whisk in the eggs and buttermilk
until smooth. Stir in the chives. In a skillet, heat 1 inch
of oil over medium-high heat. Drop the hushpuppy batter by the
tablespoonfuls into the hot oil. Cook until browned on both
sides. Drain on paper towels and serve hot. Makes 6 hushpuppies.
Weapons They Carried
of the men carried of the Corps carried U.S. army regulation rifles
hat came from the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. These
rifles were "flintlocks", which means the bullet has to
be pushed down into the 33-inch barrel of the rifle. It takes about
30 seconds to load a flintlock, which doesn't seem like a long time
until you realize that an attacking grizzly bear can run 800 feet
in that amount of time!
men in the Corp carried their own "Kentucky" flintlock
rifles (these had even a longer barrel!), or muskets (more powerful
guns typically loaded from the open end). Lewis had an air gun,
which uses compressed air to fire a bullet, and pistols he purchased
in Philadelphia. Officers carried swords as a symbol of their rank.
for the rifles was kept in lead cans. When a can was empty, it was
melted and poured into molds to make bullets.
and tomahawks were also issued to the men.
were invented by the Native Americans and adopted by settlers.
They could be used as a weapon but most often served as a tool
for the men. The Corps used them to build dugout canoes and
also butchered bison, deer, and other game with them.
Way They Traveled
Corps traveled 6 to 12 miles per day, depending on the conditions.
Under good conditions, such as level terrain or calm waters, they
traveled more. Under poor conditions, such as crossing the Rocky
Mountains, they traveled less.
days could be from 4 to 10 hours long, depending on the length of
daylight and other factors.
Corps used four types of boats during their journey:
are made to carry a lot of weight. They have a keel, a heavy
piece of wood running along the center of the bottom, to help control
the boat in river currants. The Corps' keelboat was the largest
of their vessels. It was 55 feet long and 8 feet wide. To the back
of the boat (stern) was a small cabin with a deck on top. To the
front (bow) was another deck. The men sometimes had to "pole"
the boat forward in the river instead of rowing. To do this, each
man would push a pole against the river bottom and then walk towards
the back of the boat, pushing the deck with his feet.
keelboat was sent back downstream when it became to difficult to
navigate up the Missouri River. It returned with a small crew to
St. Louis in the spring of 1805. It was loaded with a cargo of journals,
a map, and animal specimens for President Jefferson.
are flat-bottomed boats that were dugout logs or wooden boats of similar
shape. Their flat bottoms allowed them to float in shallow water. The
Corps had two pirogues: a red one designed to be rowed by eight men, and
a white one rowed by six. They could carry several tons of cargo. The
pirogues were taken as far as the Great Falls of the Missouri, then stashed
there to be picked up on the return trip.
canoes replaced the pirogues for the remainder
of the journey west. The men followed the Indians' example and made
dugouts from tree trunks. The tree was cut down, the bark was removed,
and then the top of the log was cut off to form a flat top. The sides
were smoothed and rounded with an ax, and the ends shaped. The inside
of the log was hollowed out using tomahawks.
the Corps reached Montana on their return journey in 1806, some of
the men were sent to a British post in Canada to trade horses for
supplies. Along the way, Indians stole the horses, and the men made
two bullboats and headed down the river to catch
up with the rest of the Corps. Bullboats were used by the Mandan and
Hidatsa tribes to transport meat downstream to their villages after
a buffalo hunt. Bullboats were made by stretching buffalo hides over
a bowl-shaped frame of sticks that were tied together with leather
type of boat taken on the expedition, but not used, was an invention
of Captain Lewis'. It was a collapsible canoe with a iron frame
that could be covered with animal skins. It weighed only 44 pounds
but could carry up to one ton of weight. Lewis planned for the men
to carry the frame until they reached the upper Missouri River,
where they would cover it with animal skins, and seal the seams
with sticky pine-tree pitch. This was a good plan, but unfortunately,
it didn't work.
the expedition reached the Missouri's Great Falls in Montana, there
were no pine trees to provide the pitch for the seams. Lewis mixed
a concoction of beeswax, buffalo fat, and ground-up charcoal to
use instead. When they put the boat in water, it floated fine, but
by night, Lewis' pitch mixture was falling off the seams, and the
boat was leaking.
were another means of travel for the Corps.
they began their journey, the Corps had four horses. Along the
way, they lost some and found others. Horses were most valuable
when the men crossed the Rocky Mountains. They carried baggage
and made the crossing much easier. During the winter of 1805-1806,
the Nez Perce Indians cared for the horses while the Corps traveled
on to the Pacific Ocean.
members of the
course, the men spent a lot of their time during the journey
walking. Just to reach the Pacific Ocean,
was 4,162 miles! Can you imagine walking most of that distance?
men walked on all types of terrain including sand, stone, rocks.
Many times they had to walk so that the boats would float in the
shallow waters of the Missouri. Sometimes they even had to walk
and pull the boats!
their portage around the Great Falls of the Missouri, the ground
was covered with prickly pear cactus, and its sharp spines poked
right through the men's moccasins and cut their feet. Ouch!
Other Interesting Facts About the Men
youngest member of the Corps was George Shannon. He turned 19
in 1804. The oldest member was John Shields. He was 35.
of the members of the expedition fell in love with the Rocky Mountains
and returned there to live.
Pierre Cruzatte had only one eye and liked to entertain the men
with his fiddle.
English, Omaha, Hidatsa, Mandan, and Plains Indian sign language
were languages known by the men. None of the men knew the Sioux