Cover image for Atlas of the Lewis & Clark Expedition
Atlas of the Lewis & Clark Expedition
Lewis, Meriwether, 1774-1809.
Publication Information:
Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [1983]

Physical Description:
1 atlas (23 pages, 151 unnumbered pages of plates) : facsimiles, maps ; 51 cm.
General Note:
"Sponsored by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska--Lincoln, and the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F592.4 1983 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Folio Non-Circ

On Order



When the Corps of Discovery left the vicinity of St. Louis in 1804 to explore the American West, they had only sketchy knowledge of the terrain that they were to cross--existing maps often contained large blank spaces and wild inaccuracies. William Clark painstakingly mapped every mile of the journey, drawing from both direct observation and from the reports of Indians and a few fur traders. On their return Lewis and Clark directed the execution of new maps detailing with remarkable accuracy the features of the country that they had traversed.

Author Notes

The Lewis and Clark expedition was one of the earliest crossings of the United States. Eager to expand the country, President Thomas Jefferson appointed Lewis, formerly his private secretary, to seek a Northwest passage to the Orient. Lewis and his partner, William Clark, were both seasoned soldiers, expert woodsmen, and boatmen. They both kept journals and so did 4 sergeants and 1 private in the party of 43 men. They started from St. Louis in 1804, heading up to the Missouri River, across the Rockies, and down to the Pacific coast at the mouth of the Columbia River. The Indian woman Sacajawea ("Bird Woman") gave them valuable help on the hazardous journey, which lasted 2 years, 4 months, and 10 days, and cost the U.S. government a total of $38,722.25. Lewis was the better educated of the two captains, and his account has more force, but Clark was a superb observer who wrote in an ingenious phonetic spelling of his own invention. The official edition of the Journals did not appear until 1814, when they were edited in two volumes by Nicholas Biddle and Paul Allen. This text, a paraphrase of the journals, was used in various editions until 1904, when Reuben G. Thwaites edited an eight-volume edition, published in 1904--05. Many recent editions have followed the original text, making the journals available in all of their original freshness. Early in 1960 it was announced in the New York Times that 67 notes written by Clark had been given by Frederick W. Beinecke of New York to the Yale University Library. "The documents, finger-smudged, blotted and blurred with cross-outs, list personal observations previously unknown to historians. . . . The documents, consisting of old letters, envelopes and scraps of paper, were the subject of an unusual legal fight. After the Clark notes were found in an attic in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1952, the United States moved to obtain them. The Government contended the documents were part of the official records of Clark while he served the United States. The Federal Court of Appeals in St. Louis dismissed the suit on Jan. 23, 1958. The court test was closely watched by libraries, museums and the American Philosophical Society. Had the Government been upheld, the custody of similar historical documents would have been jeopardized. . . ." Shortly after the end of the expedition, Lewis was appointed governor of the Territory of Upper Louisiana. When he at last took up his post, he was mysteriously killed---or took his own life---in the lonely wilderness. (Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Introduction to Volume 5: Three Forks of Missouri River, Montana, to the Cascades of Columbia River, Washington-Oregon July 28-November 1, 1805p. 1
Chapter 18 From Three Forks to Beaverhead Rock July 28-August 10, 1805p. 7
Chapter 19 From Beaverhead Rock to the Great Divide August 11-16, 1805p. 68
Chapter 20 Crossing the Great Divide August 17-20, 1805p. 109
Chapter 21 Searching for Navigable Waters August 21-26,1805p. 133
Chapter 22 Down the Lolo Trail August 27-October 10, 1805p. 175
Chapter 23 The Rapids of the Snake and into the Columbia October 11-20, 1805p. 261
Chapter 24 Descending the Columbia to the Cascades October21 - November 19 1805p. 314
Sources Citedp. 383
Indexp. 397