Sacajawea Summary & Study Guide Description
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President Thomas Jefferson believed that a successful trans-continental exploration would establish the United States' claim to the largely unknown interior of the continent; spur commercial exploitation of the area; stymie British, French, and Spanish interests in the area; reap a vast benefit of scientific knowledge; discover an all-water route across the continent; make peaceful contact with numerous Indian nations; and, finally, enhance the international prestige of the young nation. He thus authorized governmental expenditure to fund such an expedition. Jefferson appointed Meriwether Lewis to lead what would become known as the Corps of Discovery. Lewis enlisted William Clark, a personal and intimate friend and a prior commanding officer, to act as co-captain on the voyage.
From 1804 to 1805 Lewis and Clark led the Corps of Discovery up the Missouri River, across the Rocky Mountains, and down the Columbia River. They spent the winter in what...