At the dawn of the 19th century, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark embarked on an unprecedented journey from St. Louis, Missouri to the Pacific Ocean and back again. Their assignment was to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Territory and record the geography, flora, fauna, and people they encountered along the way. The tale of their incredible journey, meticulously recorded in their journals, has become an American classic. This single-volume, landmark edition of the famous journals is the first abridgement to be published in at least a decade.
This edition presents a more balanced account of encounters with Native Americans and, for the first time in print, corrects Lewis and Clark's famously bad spelling. This new edition presents the journey's impressive highlightsfrom first encounters with grizzly bears and meetings with the Sioux and Crow Indians, to the near starvation in the Bitterroot Mountains and confrontation with the Blackfeet Indians. Brief accounts from the editors seamlessly link connected passages and illuminate details of the expedition that are missing or obscure in the text.
William Clark, an army captain from Virginia, shared command of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Clark also kept careful records of the journey and created maps of the expedition's route. After Lewis's death in 1809, Clark became responsible for publication of the expedition journals.
Meriwether Lewis, Commander of the Corps of Discovery, was an army captain who became a private secretary to Thomas Jefferson in 1807. He also served a lead naturalist for the expedition.
Anthony Brandt is an expert in adventure literature. He is the book columnist for National Geographic Adventure magazine and was responsible for putting together its list of the ''100 Greatest Adventure Books of all Time.'' He has written for the Men's Journal, Esquire, GQ, The New York Times, and many other publications. He has published several books including The People Along the Sand and Reality Police.
Herman J. Viola, former director of the National Anthropological Archives, is curator emeritus for the Smithsonian Institution and a historian of the American West with a special interest in the Lewis and Clark expedition. Dr. Viola has authored or edited more than 20 books on American history including the Smithsonian's Exploring the West and Warrior Artists by the National Geographic Society.
"The epic Lewis and Clark Expedition comes to life on a human scale in this engrossing abridgement of the explorers' journals."Publishers Weekly