Omaha in Douglas County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Capt. Lewis...will...give us accounts of new things only
Thomas Jeﬀerson, February 28, 1803
Between 1804 and 1806, the Corps of Discovery traveled from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific coast and back. President Jefferson instructed Meriwether Lewis to collect information on "the soil & face of the country, [its] growth & vegetable productions...the animals of the country generally, especially those not of the U.S." In fulfilling these instructions, members of the Expedition were the first to describe for science 122 animals and 178 plants. The explorers' written descriptions and the seeds and specimens they collected were Jefferson's window onto the new west.
In 1805, the keelboat returned to Washington D.C. carrying 4 magpies, a prairie dog, and a sharp-tailed grouse. Only the prairie dog and one magpie survived the journey. Believing that "everything that comes from Louisiana must be interesting to the public," Jefferson sent these two living pieces of the west to be displayed in Philadelphia.
Black tailed prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)
eulachon (Thaleichtys pacificus)
"he presented us with some Anchovies [eulachon] which had been well cured in their manner, we [found] them excellent."
Meriwether Lewis, March 6, 1806
Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)
"I have reason to beleive...that there are several species of
Meriwether Lewis, February 23, 1806
Camas (Camassia quamash)
"the quawmash is now in blume and from the colour of its bloom at a short distance it resembles lakes of fine clear water..."
Western tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)
"we meet with a beautiful little bird...the plumage is remarkably delicate; that of the neck and head is of a fine orange yellow and red"
Meriwether Lewis, June 6, 1806
Badger (Taxidea taxus neglecta)
"it is very clumsy and runs very slow. I have in two instances out run this animal and caught it. in this respect they are not much more fleet than the porcupine."
Meriwether Lewis, February 26, 1806
Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia fragilis)
"my feet is verry much brused & cut...& constantly Stuck full Prickley pear thorns, I puled out 17 by the light of the fire..."
William Clark, July 19, 1805
Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos)
"these bear being so hard to die reather intimedates us all..."
Meriwether Lewis, May 11, 1805
Pronghorn antelope (Antilocarpa Americana)
"a curious annamil resembling a Goat...the legs like a Deer. feet like a Goat. horns like a Goat only forked....Such an anamil was never yet known in U. S. States."
John Ordway, September 14, 1804
Osage orange (Maclura pomifera)
"[S]o much do...[the Osage Indians] esteem the wood of this tree for...making their bows, that they travel many hundreds of miles in quest of it....The Indians give an extravigant account of the exquisite odour of this fruit when it has obtained maturity...."
Meriwether Lewis letter to Thomas Jefferson, March 26, 1804
Black-billed magpie (Pica pica)
Erected by National Park Service.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
Location. 41° 15.915′ N, 95° 55.445′ W. Marker is in Omaha, Nebraska, in Douglas County. Touch for map. Marker is on the grounds of the National Park Service Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters. Marker is at or near this postal address: 601 Riverfront Drive, Omaha NE 68102, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. the Council was held (a few steps from this marker); endeavor to make yourself acquainted...with...the nations (a few steps from this marker); Nature exerted herself to butify the Senery (a few steps from this marker); Westwardly by the Waters (within shouting distance of this marker); A River of Hope (within shouting distance of this marker); People, Places, and Stories (within shouting distance of this marker); Preserving Our Heritage (within shouting distance of this marker); A River of Change (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Omaha.
Also see . . .
1. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. (Submitted on March 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (Submitted on March 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Scientific Discoveries of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (Submitted on March 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Scientific Encounters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (Submitted on March 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. Lewis and Clark Expeditions Discoveries and Tribes Encountered. (Submitted on March 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Animals • Environment • Exploration • Patriots & Patriotism •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 452 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.