Cover image for Atlas of Lewis & Clark in Missouri
Atlas of Lewis & Clark in Missouri
Harlan, James, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xii, 138 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 32 cm x 45 cm + 2 folded maps inserted in pockets.
General Note:
"Missouri State Archives, Office of the Secretary of the State of Missouri."
Added Author:
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F592.7 .H279 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Folio Non-Circ

On Order



The Atlas of Lewis and Clark in Missouri is a splendid re- creation of the natural landscape in the days when a vast western frontier was about to be explored. The Corps of Discovery's expedition began in territorial Missouri, and this book of computer-generated maps opens an extraordinary window onto the rivers, land, and settlement patterns of the period. This book is an intensive examination of the Missouri portion of the expedition through a series of twenty-seven maps developed by combining early-nineteenth-century U.S. General Land Office (GLO) survey documents with narratives of the trip derived from expedition journals.

The maps are impeccable. The twenty-seven map plates--including twenty-three of the traveled route and four of the river corridor's historic vegetative land cover--depict the expedition's course and offer the first accurate rendering of travel distances and campsites. Some maps locate the campsites in relation to present-day landmarks. Journal descriptions accompany the map plates, which also include old geographic names; historical hydrography; contemporary towns, settlements, and forts; Indian campsites and villages; and territorial land grants from the French and Spanish governments. Geographers and historians will be fascinated by the maps' level of detail, especially the charting of the present course of the rivers alongside that of the early 1800s to show the landscape changes caused by the powerful waters of the Mississippi and Missouri.

The result is a reconstruction of geo-referenced maps that give, for the first time, a detailed representation of the Corps of Discovery's course through Missouri, with geographic data as authentic and accurate as yesterday's available information and today's technology can produce. The maps allow readers to better understand changes in the land over time and why the landscape encountered by the expedition differs so radically from ours today.

Author Notes

James D. Harlan is Senior Research Specialist and Assistant Program Director for the Geographic Resources Center with the University of Missouri's Department of Geography in Columbia.

Jim Denny was a historian with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for thirty-three years before retiring in November 2009. He received his education at the University of Missouri, where he earned a Masters Degree in American history.

Jim Denny has been active in many aspects of Missouri history. He began his career in the Historic Preservation Program where he worked for eleven years. Then he became the first manager of the KATY Trail. Denny was also the manager of the Civil War Marker Program, designed to place interpretive waysides at the locations of significant Civil War events. During the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration, Denny directed an interpretive wayside program that ultimately placed 68 interpretive waysides along the Mississippi and Missouri River routes of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. He has traveled the entire Lewis and Clark route through Missouri, by both automobile and by boat, and has visited every county in the state. Denny has given numerous public presentations to all kinds of audiences on a wide variety of topics.

In 2000, Jim produced Lewis and Clark in the Manitou Bluffs Region , which was jointly published by the Boonslick Historical Society and the Missouri River Communities Network. Jim Denny is co-author, with James D. Harlan, of the Atlas of Lewis and Clark in Missouri, which was published by the University of Missouri Press in the fall of 2003. He has published numerous articles on a variety of topics including historic architecture, Missouri's Civil War, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition in Missouri. Denny's latest book, co-authored with John Bradbury, The Civil War's First Blood: Missouri 1854 - 1861 , was released in the summer of 2007. Since June 2011, Jim has written a series of 22 articles on the Civil War in Missouri for Rural Missouri Magazine. Three articles on the War of 1812 in Missouri also appeared in Rural Missouri .

Jim and his wife, Sue, live beside the Missouri River in Lupus, Missouri. For nine years, Jim served as town mayor. Presently, he holds the office of city clerk.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This beautifully produced pictorial atlas of the Missouri stage of the Lewis and Clark saga--opening the West and searching for the Pacific--commemorates the bicentennial of this remarkable performance. Geographer Harlan (Univ. of Missouri) and historian Denny (Missouri Department of Natural Resources) have organized their book in four parts: "Up the Mississippi River," "Up the Missouri River," "Down the Missouri River," and "The Lost Missouri." The 27 plates that accompany the narrative have each been developed by combining early-19th-century General Land Office survey documents with narrative drawn from expedition journals. Distances traveled, location of campsites, the route traveled, vegetation of the period, placement of Indian villages, and landscape change associated with the work of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers are a small sample of the detail of this odyssey awaiting readers. Epilogue, references, and index are helpful adjuncts to this happy accomplishment. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels and libraries. G. J. Martin emeritus, Southern Connecticut State University