From BookBub came THE FATE OF THE CORPS in which Larry Morris tries to tell what became of those who were on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as The Corps of Discovery, after the expedition was successfully completed.
I found about half of the book interesting and half dull. A lot of these people returned to the west and were killed by Indians.
However, it led me to a two part Ken Burns documentary LEWIS AND CLARK: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, which I recommend without reservation. During it, one of the historians says accurately of Lewis and Clark, “They were the first and they were the best.”
Their voyage—and I am pleased that Meriwether Lewis repeatedly referred to it as a voyage—covered more than 8,000 miles through land unknown except to those who already lived there and great physical hardship. Of the more than thirty who took part, only one man died and he likely of a burst appendix which would have then been fatal anywhere.
While most of those on the expedition were young, single men, there were also a teen-aged Indian girl, who carried her son, only two months old when she joined the Corps, on her back most of the way; a slave; and Lewis’s Newfoundland dog.
The Expedition has been called the greatest exploration in American history. It is as great as any exploration ever made by any of our species anywhere. And it was so well done. Lewis and Clark worked together as leaders superbly, which is even more surprising because Lewis was a complicated and troubled man, given to depression, who later committed suicide.
They brought back immense information previously unknown to most of the world, including that the Rocky Mountains were not to be crossed in a couple of days as had been previously thought, and drew maps that were not surpassed for decades. The documentary states that after navigating by dead reckoning for over 4,000 miles, when the Expedition reached the Pacific Ocean near present day Astoria, Oregon, Lewis’s calculation were off by only 40 miles.
I wonder at the ‘dead reckoning’. I would have thought Lewis took some celestial sights.
We rented the Ken Burns documentary from Amazon Prime for $3.99. It is also available elsewhere and will I believe fill you with the same admiration I feel for those men and one young woman.
A sailor I know recently died and left behind, among other things, an Express 27 sailboat, located near Fort Meyers, Florida. His widow asked my advice on selling it. If any of you know of a reputable yacht broker on the East Coast who might be interested in the listing, please leave information in a comment. The email address I included earlier is currently not working