Lewis & Clark Expedition Day by DayLewis & Clark Expedition Day by Day

The Lewis & Clark Expedition Day by Day – Gary Moulton



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774 pages
2 illustrations, 13 maps, index


In May 1804, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their Corps of Discovery set out on a journey of a lifetime to explore and interpret the American West. The Lewis and Clark Expedition Day by Day follows this exploration with a daily narrative of their journey, from its starting point in Illinois in 1804 to its successful return to St. Louis in September 1806. This accessible chronicle, presented by Lewis and Clark historian Gary E. Moulton, depicts each riveting day of the Corps of Discovery’s journey. Drawn from the journals of the two captains and four enlisted men, this volume recounts personal stories, scientific pursuits, and geographic challenges, along with vivid descriptions of encounters with Native peoples and unknown lands and discoveries of new species of flora and fauna. This modern reference brings the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition to life in a new way, from the first hoisting of the sail to the final celebratory dinner.


“Moulton has produced a day by day narrative of the expedition, based on the journals and notes made by the captains, their men, and assistants who helped them catalog their work upon their return. The result is a fantastic resource for anyone—scholar or casual reader—who is interested in the expedition.”—Mark A. Eifler, Western Historical Quarterly


“Moulton’s The Lewis and Clark Expedition Day by Day is his latest telling of the Corps of Discovery’s journey to explore the American West. . . . The results are daily dispatches of the personal stories, scientific pursuits and geographic challenges. There are descriptions of encounters with American Indians and unknown lands, and observations of new species of flora and fauna.”—David Hendee, Omaha World-Herald


“This book takes readers on a journey most travelers wish they had joined back when it happened in 1804. . . . This book took the author nearly 40 years, and it was time well spent among one of the most intense and suspense-laden adventures of America’s history.”—Anna Faktorovich, Pennsylvania Literary Journal


“[Moulton] incorporates the scientific work carried out by the expedition and provides a series of maps to indicate its route across the American West. Many of the entries provide a visceral sense of what members of the expedition saw on their travels. . . . These details make the Lewis and Clark expedition once again seem new and exciting.”—Missouri Historical Review


“This diary-of-sorts approaches the expedition in a different manner than other resources by creating a daily diary of events that becomes a coalescence of different perspectives based on what each expedition member shared in all their journals. . . . This is the type of tome that the reader returns to, again and again, and with each reading absorbs some new perception of what has become an American legend along with the adventurers who lived it.”—Kira E. Kaufmann, Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society


The Lewis and Clark Expedition Day by Day has several key strengths making it an admirable contribution to both historical geography and Lewis and Clark scholarship.”—Robert M. Briwa, Historical Geography


“Reading Moulton’s narrative of the journey reminds readers of journals, diaries, and reminiscences written by overland trailer travelers in the 1840s to 1860s, but knowing that the Corps of Discovery first noted these things makes the journey of Lewis and Clark all the more spectacular. . . . Moulton provided a volume accessible to all.”—Diana L. Ahmad, Great Plains Quarterly


“While it has obvious appeal for those fascinated by the Lewis and Clark expedition, it also offers insight into Native American life and European-indigenous relations in the early nineteenth century. The complex life of the continent before the spread of European settlement beyond the Missouri is brought poignantly into focus. In our age of global environmental threat, the great biodiversity that is described by the members of the Corps of Discovery is also a stark reminder of all that has been lost. In short, Moulton’s book is highly recommended.”—Amanda Laugesen, Kansas History


“Drawing on his comprehensive knowledge of the expedition, Gary Moulton has put into a lively prose narrative what is the nation’s first road story. . . . The Lewis and Clark Expedition Day by Day gives readers an unparalleled opportunity to see that journey as it unfolded in real time. . . . [This book] belongs on the short shelf of important books about the life and times of the Corps of Discovery. It will surely have a wide and appreciative audience.”—James P. Ronda, Barnard Professor of Western American History, emeritus, at the University of Tulsa and author of Lewis and Clark among the Indians