P.O. BOX 603



The Lewis & Clark Expedition

To find out about western land acquired in 1803 by the Louisiana Purchase, President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead an expedition into the unknown territory. Congress appropriated $2,500 for the exploration.

Beginning in 1804, Lewis and his friend Captain William Clark led a “Corps of Discovery” up the Missouri River, over the Rocky Mountains, and to the Pacific Ocean and back. Returning to St. Louis in 1806. They made detailed maps, took scrupulous notes on the wildlife, landmarks they saw, and in journals filled with vivid prose (though with indifferent spelling) recorded and interpreted their experiences along the way.

The Lewis and Clark expedition, which opened the way for settlement of the western half of the nation, is a momentous event in United States history. The hill now known as Spirit Mound is the most significant Lewis and Carlk site in South Dakota. Historians recogize the mound as one of few remaining sites where we know with certainty that Lewis and Clark actually stood.


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