National Geogpraphic: Lewis & Clark Journey Log Answers

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Journey Log Part I:




Lewis & Clark found 300 species unknown to science, nearly 50 Indian tribes, and the Rockies.


#1 The Journey Begins Dates: _May 21 – July 31, 1804         (13 images)


1. How many men did they meet? (Nearly: do the math) 48


2, What is the name of the Lewis & Clark expedition?  ”the Corps of Discovery”


Clark’s responsibilities: Charting the course and making maps


Lewis responsibilities: often ashore, studying the rock formations, soil, animals, and plants along the way


Always the members of the expedition were on the lookout for Indians, hoping they would be peaceable,  armed in case they weren’t. For security, Lewis and Clark made camp on river islands whenever possible and posted guards at night. By the end of July they had traveled more than 600 miles (1,110 kilometers) up the river. Still they had not met a single Indian.


#2 Heading Into Danger? Dates: August 1 – 31, 1804   (13 images)


At sunset on August 2, a party of Oto and Missouri Indians arrived at the expedition’s camp. This first Indian encounter went well, the two sides exchanging greetings and gifts. But the captains realized that things would be different when they met the Sioux. President Jefferson had specifically mentioned the need to make a friendly impression on this powerful tribe.


During this time, Sergeant Charles Floyd became the first U.S. soldier to die west of the Mississippi when he died on August 20, probably of appendicitis. He was the only member of the Corps to die along the journey.


#3 Standoff With the Teton Sioux Dates: September 1 – 30, 1804 (19 images)


As the Yankton Sioux had warned, the Teton Sioux greeted the expedition and its gifts—a medal, a military coat, and a cocked hat—with ill-disguised hostility. One of the Teton chiefs demanded a boat as the price of passage.


When the Indians became threatening, the expedition prepared to meet force with force: Clark drew his sword, and Lewis turned the keelboat’s swivel gun on the Sioux. At the last moment both sides pulled back, and the crisis was over. Nevertheless, the expedition had failed to deliver on Jefferson’s hopes for friendly relations with the Sioux. The Americans headed up the river—with a potential enemy behind them and a fast-approaching winter ahead.


#4 Racing Against Winter’s Approach Dates: October 1 – December 20, 1804 (20 images)


Temperatures dipped to below 0ºF (-18ºC), and guards, posted around the clock, had to be relieved every half hour.


The expedition’s food supplies soon began to dwindle. To make it through the winter, the captains would have to find a supply of meat for the men.


#5 Winter Among the Mandan Dates: December 21, 1804 – April 6, 1805 (20 images)


The expedition members kept busy during the Fort Mandan winter, repairing equipment, trading with the Indians, and hunting for buffalo. Lewis and Clark learned much about the country to the west from the Mandan and their neighbors the Hidatsa.


Here, they hired as an interpreter Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian fur trapper living among the Hidatsa. Charbonneau, his Shoshone wife, Sacagawea.


Lewis and Clark had spent much of the winter writing a report about what they had seen so far. They dispatched it and about a dozen expedition members—plus 108  botanical specimens, 68  mineral specimens, and Clark’s map of the United States—aboard the keelboat, which was bound for St. Louis and, eventually, President Jefferson.


#6 Into Grizzly Country Dates: April 7 – May 3, 1805 (12 images)

Describe Lewis’s new thoughts on Grizzlies:  Originially Lewis was “unimpressed” by the Grizzlies. He thought the animals would pose no threat against rifles. He grew to respect and fear them after one was shot and wounded, but still escaped. Another bear chased him and was shot by a colleague who was able to reload his rifle.

#7 Rockies in Sight Dates: May 4 – 28 1805  (66 images)


Only quick action by Sacagawea, who was riding in the vessel, saved precious journals and supplies that otherwise would have been lost.


#8 A Fork in the River Dates: May 25 – June 11, 1805 (11 images)

Describe the problem Lewis and Clark faced. How did they approach the problem? The expedition came upon a fork in the river. Though the branches of the fork were of equal size, the captains believed that the southern branch was the Missouri; this would lead them to the Rockies, which they hoped to cross before the autumn snows. The rest of the men disagreed, convinced that the northern branch was the right choice.


Lewis and Clark could ill afford to make the wrong choice. Scouting parties dispatched up each of the branches failed to provide answers. So Lewis decided to take three men with him up the southern branch in search of the Great Falls, which the Indians at Fort Mandan had assured him he would find. Only when he reached the falls would he know for sure he was on the Missouri.


What place would identify the Missouri River? The Great Falls

#9 Around the Great Falls Dates: June 12 – July 20 1805  (17 images)

Describe the challenges faced by the Great Falls:


On June 13 Lewis became the first white man to see the Great Falls of the Missouri River. But to his astonishment there were five separate falls, not one as the Indians had said—and they went on for a 12-mile (19-kilometer) stretch. Portaging around the falls was going to take much more time than he had planned.


By June 16 Lewis had rejoined Clark, and six days later the portage began. It was the hardest physical task of the trip so far. More than a month would pass before the expedition was around the Great Falls and onto the next stretch of navigable water. Beyond rose the Rocky Mountains.

17 images


Define Portage: the carrying of a boat or its cargo between two navigable waters.


#10 Toward the Continental Divide Dates: July 21 – August 2, 1805  (9 images)

What was critical to the success of the journey? Where could the resources be found?


But the trek from the Missouri River to the Columbia River was going to require horses. And to get horses, the expedition would have to find the Shoshone tribe.


#11 Among the Shoshone Dates: August 8 – 24, 1805 (12 images)

Why was Lewis & Clark fortunate in the meeting of the Shoshone chief?


Supply & Demand: Describe the costs of the horses. What was the final price for a horse?


At first, a knife and an old shirt were enough to purchase a horse. But the price went up every day, until Clark had to offer his knife, his pistol, and a hundred rounds of ammunition for a single animal. Most of the horses were in poor condition.


#12 Deadly Crossing: The Bitterroots Dates: August 25 – October 7, 1805 (23 images)

Describe the condition of the expedition BEFORE meeting the Flathead Indians.


There the Americans met a band of Flathead Indians and bought more horses for the journey across the Bitterroot Mountains. Crossing this range of the Rockies fully tested the expedition’s endurance.


After 11 days in the Bitterroots, the horses were near starvation, the men—who resorted to eating three of the colts—not much better. Emerging from the mountains, they made contact with the Nez Perce and procured from them dried fish and roots.

The group was so low on supplies, they were forced to eat 3  colts.


#13 “Ocian in View!” Dates: October 08-December 07, 1805 (45 images)


Describe the current and how it impacted the travel.


Carried along by the river’s breakneck current, the corps rode the Clearwater. They reached the Snake River on October 10, the Columbia six days later.


Describe the Salmon.


In one village Clark estimated there were 10,000 pounds (4,500 kilograms) of dried salmon


Describe the weather and storms.


Fierce Pacific storms, rolling waters, and high winds pinned them down for three weeks—”the most disagreeable time I have experienced,” Clark wrote.


But by the middle of November they made it to the Pacific.


Where was the winter going to be spent? What were the thoughts of the men?


Eagerly the men scanned the gray, rolling waves of the ocean for the masts of a ship that could carry them home. Eventually, though, they resigned themselves to spending the winter on the coast.


#14 Winter on the Pacific Dates: December 08-30, 1805 (16 images)


Lewis and Clark built Fort Clatsop, named after the local Clatsop u Indians.


Describe the time at the fort.


Their time at the fort was monotonous, spent making moccasins and buckskin clothing, storing food, and working on journals and maps. Even Christmas Day was gloomy, the men’s dinner stringy elk meat and roots. Rain was constant.


#15 Readying for the Return Dates: December 31, 1805-March 22, 1806 (50 images)


The members of the expedition were all keen to go home. The timing of the return journey, however, would be critical. Only when the snow melted would they be able to get back across the mountains. But if they waited too long to cross, the Missouri River


How did the group acquire the final canoe?

By the third week in March the expedition was ready to retrace its steps. The men loaded their three dugouts, purchased a fourth from the local Indians, and—unable to buy a fifth—stole one from the nearest village


#16 Abandoning the Boats Dates: March 23-April 28, 1806 (47 images)

What made the Columbia leg of the journey challenging?


The men battled a strong current and frequently had to portage around the river’s falls.


Chinookan Indians were a constant source of harassment; their repeated attempts to steal the expedition’s supplies nearly provoked open hostilities many times.


Describe the decision of the group at the Great Falls.


Getting around all the falls proved too great a challenge, and less than a month after leaving Fort Clatsop the expedition abandoned its canoes, striking out overland for the mountains with horses acquired from the hospitable Walla Walla tribe.


#17 Among the Nez Perce Dates: April 29-June 09, 1806 (47 images)


Describe the diet with the Nez Perce

A diet of dried fish and roots, with occasional meat—deer, elk, horse, or dog.


Lewis busied himself with ethnography and nature studies,


Clark with treating sick members of the tribe.


#18 Crossing the Bitterroots, Again Dates: June 10-July 02, 1806 (38 images)


What was the ratio of men to horses?  1  to 2  each member riding a horse and leading another.


Describe the snow conditions:

Soon they were traveling in ten feet (three meters) of snow, packed so hard that it supported the weight of the horses. The men couldn’t find their way in such deep snow, however, and they were forced to return to the Nez Perce for help. Following Indian guides, they headed back up into the mountains.


Describe the decision (in detail) made on June 30: Traveler’s Rest, where Lewis and Clark decided to part ways in order to explore more of the Louisiana Territory.


Lewis and nine men would explore the Marias River to the north, while

Clark and the others would head for the Yellowstone River in the south.

#19 Parting Ways, Skirmishing With Blackfeet Dates: July 03-28, 1806 (24 images)


Describe the interaction of Lewis with the Blackfeet.

Lewis and his colleagues knew the Marias was Blackfeet Indian territory—and therefore dangerous. On July 26 eight Blackfeet spotted them. The Blackfeet seemed friendly, and the two groups decided to camp together.


Taking no chances, Lewis’s men took turns to stand guard through the night. In the morning one of the Indians snatched a pair of rifles, and in the struggle that followed two Indians died. Lewis and his men rode off, covering 120 miles (190 kilometers) in 24 hours, not knowing whether Blackfeet were giving chase.


Describe Clark’s interaction with the Crow tribe.

Clark and his group crossed the divide on July 8 and descended into the territory of the Crow tribe, the great horse thieves of the Plains. On July 21 the party awoke to find half of their horses gone. Yet they never saw a Crow.


#20 Riding the Missouri Dates: July 29-August 12, 1806 (5 images)


Describe the unfortunate incident that occurred to Lewis.


One of Clark’s group, while out hunting, shot at what he thought was an elk—and hit a buckskin-clad Lewis instead. The shot passed through Lewis’s left thigh, inflicting a painful but not fatal wound.


#21 Returning to the Mandans, Running a Sioux Gauntlet Dates: August 13-September 09, 1806 (4 images)

Describe the interaction with the Teton Sioux.


On August 30 nearly a hundred armed and mounted Sioux warriors lined the banks of the Missouri. The Corps kept to the middle of the river, however, and the encounter was one of threats and taunts only.


#22 Given Up for Dead, Hailed as Heroes Dates: September 10-23, 1806 (3 images)


The expedition was making as much as  80 miles (130 kilometers) a day.


What did Lewis and Clark learn when they met fur traders? They informed them that they had been given up for dead.


The journey returned to St. Louis  2  years,  4  months, and  10  days after they had left.

One thousand people of St. Louis greeted the returned Corps with gunfire salutes and an enthusiastic welcome.

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