1803 ... The young United States of America virtually doubled in size through the Louisiana Purchase ... buying the vast French territory west of the Mississippi River. The price was $15 million dollars.
1803 to 1806 ... President Thomas Jefferson directed Captain Merriweather Lewis and William Clark (younger brother of George Rodgers Clark), to lead an expedition of soldiers to explore the newly acquired western lands up the Missouri River. Lewis and Clark arrived at Kaskaskia in November, 1803. The adventurers spent five days there recruiting eleven soldiers and obtaining supplies for their expedition. Merriweather Lewis rode by horseback up the KCT to Cahokia and St. Louis to make final arrangements for their winter encampment and for the journey west in the coming Spring. William Clark and the soldiers followed up river by keelboat and pirogue, and met Lewis in St. Louis. They wintered at Camp Du Bois near the mouth of the Missouri River, north of St. Louis. The group departed up the Missouri River May 14, 1804.The Lewis and Clark expedition spent a total of six months in the Kaskaskia-Cahokia region. (next)
Lewis & Clark
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