Saint Joseph in Buchanan County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Men of the Corps of Discovery / The Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Men of the Corps of Discovery
During the winter of 1803, Lewis and Clark set up camp opposite the mouth of the Missouri River. Here they drilled and trained their men to prepare them for the task ahead. All of the men had been selected for their special talents and experiences as backwoodsmen. They were chosen to be "capable of bearing bodily fatigue in a pretty considerable way." Several were considered too undisciplined to serve under a military command and were dismissed.
The Corps of Discovery was made up of volunteers from the military, other Americans, and Frenchmen hired to be hunters, trackers, blacksmiths, carpenters, general laborers, boatmen, and interpreters. They were to receive six months pay in advance plus clothing and food.
The number of men with the Corps of Discovery varied along the journey. Some were hired to help with the keelboat and pirogues and assist the expedition only as far as the Mandan villages. On July 7, 1804, as the group passed the future site of St. Joseph, it consisted of the fifty men listed below, four horses, and a dog.
*Meriwether Lewis and *William Clark
*York, Clark's servant • John Boley • *William Bratton • Alexander Carson • Charles Caugee • Joseph Collin • *John Collins • John Colter • *Pierre Cruzatte • John Dame • Baptiste
* Indicates men who made the entire journey from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean and back to St. Louis in 1806. (The only woman with the Corps of Discovery, Sacagawea, and her husband joined the expedition at a Mandan village.)
President Jefferson instructed that descriptions of what Lewis and Clark saw "were to be taken with great pains & accuracy, to be entered distinctly, & intelligibly for others as well as yourself."
Clark wrote his field notes at the end of each day. The Corps of Discovery passed the future site of St. Joseph on July 7, 1804, and Clark wrote the entry shown to the right that evening.
[caption below the Yale University Library illustration of Seaman reads]
Seaman was a Newfoundland purchased by Lewis for $20. The dog accompanied the party to the Pacific, but it is not known if he was still with the expedition
[Map of area] Saturday, July 7, 1804 [and] Friday, September 12, 1806
The Lewis and Clark Expedition
In 1804-06, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led about 40 soldiers and boatmen on an epic journey. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned this "Corps of Discovery" to find a route to the Pacific Ocean through the newly acquired Louisiana territory. Along the way, they mapped the land, recorded its resources, and contacted its native inhabitants.
The landscape has changed since Lewis and Clark explored it: rivers have been dammed, forests cut over, prairies plowed under, and roads built to the horizon. Although remnants of wilderness still exist, imagine this land as Lewis and Clark first saw it two centuries ago.
The United States purchased the Louisiana territory - more than 830,000 square miles - from France in 1803. President Jefferson selected Meriwether Lewis (far left) to lead an expedition there.
With Jefferson's permission,
Erected by National Park Service.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
Location. 39° 46.626′ N, 94° 52.039′ W. Marker is in Saint Joseph, Missouri, in Buchanan County. Click for map. Marker is south of the shelter house in Huston Wyeth Park, on Wyeth Hill, at the north end of Elwood Street. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Joseph MO 64501, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Joseph Robidoux at Roy's Branch (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Path To Freedom (approx. 0.4 miles away); St. Joseph (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort Smith (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Lewis and Clark Expedition (approx. half a mile away); Pony Express (approx. 0.8 miles away); Joseph Robidoux (approx. 0.8 miles away); The California - Oregon Trail (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Saint Joseph.
Also see . . .
1. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. (Submitted on November 30, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. The Lewis and Clark Journey Log. (Submitted on November 30, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
3. Discovering Lewis & Clark. (Submitted on November 30, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
4. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (Submitted on November 30, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
5. The Lewis and Clark Expedition. (Submitted on November 30, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
6. Wyeth Hill, St. Joseph MO. (Submitted on November 30, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Exploration • Native Americans • Politics • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 261 times since then and 69 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.