Study Guide

Undaunted Courage - Study Guide Chapter 38 Aftermath Summary & Analysis

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Many years after Lewis' death, some researchers have proposed that he might have been murdered. Ambrose considers the evidence and dispenses entirely with the theory by noting that Clark and Jefferson both accepted Lewis' suicide at face value. Lewis was malarial, depressed, and highly stressed. He was an alcoholic and a drug addict, an inveterate user of snuff, a habitual smoker, and frequently greatly over-medicated himself with curatives of the period, which often contained mercury. Any one of these factors alone could have motivated him to suicide; taken as a group they are a more than convincing rationale. Coupling all this with his widely reported erratic and despondent behavior, the argument against suicide appears insubstantial.

Lewis' estate is bequeathed to his mother and liquidated by his half-brother. The signal failure of his latter years remained packed into trunks—his unpublished journals. Clark...

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This section contains 434 words
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Undaunted Courage from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.