Jefferson City in Cole County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Missouri River Valley as a Transportation Corridor
Lewis and Clark, 1804
"The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by its course & communication with the water of the Pacific ocean may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce."
President Thomas Jefferson's Instructions to Meriwether Lewis, June 20, 1803
Shown here are the two pirogues and keelboat used in the Lewis and Clark Expedition for their voyage up the Missouri River. Pirogues were commonly used boats on the western waters. Keelboats, the most advanced type of river craft before the steamboat, had a keel running along the bottom to provide stability. Usually they had a cabin for cargo or passengers.
Before the use of steam, riverboat men had several techniques to get a boat upstream. The easiest was to use sails and wind power. If they could not use wind, the crew would sometimes use poles to push the boat forward. Another method, called cordelling, was to walk along the bank and pull the boat with ropes. While going downstream could be effortless, going upstream was not an easy feat until the advent of the steamboat.
Jefferson City, 1904
As the second image shows, this area changed dramatically in the 100 years since the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
As trade opened west of Missouri in the 19th century, steamboats brought goods and people through this area. Towns along the Missouri River, such as Jefferson City, became points of distribution for further western settlement.
Jefferson City, 2004
The final image, which shows the river corridor in 2004, completes the 200 year span of time. Again, the riverscape had changed dramatically after another 100 years. Clearly visible
The illustrations here, courtesy Missouri Bankers Association, depict the Missouri Capitol and its surroundings during the years of 1804, 1904 and 2004. Completed by artist L. Edward Fisher for the Missouri Bankers Association, they were painted from a single view point on the north bank of the Missouri River. The art work demonstrates the significance of the Missouri River corridor in the transportation of people and goods across the state. The original paintings are on display in the James Kirkpatrick Missouri State Information Center in Jefferson City.
Erected by Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
Location. 38° 34.707′ N, 92° 10.281′ Click for map. Marker is at the Lewis and Clark Trailhead Plaza. Marker is in this post office area: Jefferson City MO 65101, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Corps of Discovery in the Jefferson City Area (here, next to this marker); Corps of Discovery (a few steps from this marker); Jefferson City Greenway: (a few steps from this marker); Replica of the Statue of Liberty (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thomas Jefferson (about 600 feet away); Missouri Governor's Mansion (about 600 feet away); Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (about 700 feet away); Missouri Motor Carriers Association Building (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Jefferson City.
Also see . . .
1. History/Heritage of Jefferson City MO. (Submitted on January 4, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. Missouri River at MO Dept of Natural Resources. (Submitted on January 4, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
3. Lewis and Clark Across Missouri. (Submitted on January 4, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Exploration • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 491 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.