Meriwether Lewis: The Northwest as a Career
Thomas Jefferson rejected the Washington-Adams model of a federal government coupled with increasing industry, banking, and infrastructure to hold the new United States together. Jefferson favored farming, on family land, a simple life, and sending Americans all the way to the Pacific. To this end he negotiated the purchase of the Louisiana territory from France, and send U.S. Army captains Merriwether Lewis and William Clark up the Missouri to find a waterway to the Pacific. The two men were very different.
Meriwether Lewis - the subject of this book - was a career army officer and a friend of Thomas Jefferson. His education included diplomacy, botany, speech writing, and coaching on the political relationships among the tribes they would encounter.
The band reached the Pacific and returned, mapping, measuring, reporting, and trading throughout the round trip. Both were injured and sick repeatedly, often lost, usually hungry to the point of starvation, wet, cold, and sometimes frightened. Each one took charge of the entire expedition while the other one was on detached duty, lost, or ill. Their journal entries during these periods particularly highlight their differences in character and intention.
This is the second of two miniature books, a volume for each man. Each book draws out the character of one of the men, and the ways he responded to the journey in categories that show the many differences between them - one of the reasons for their success.
The book consists of 280 pages, bound in printed cloth. The overall dimensions are 76 x 76 x 16 mm (3 x 3 x 5/8 inches). It is an open edition, price $45 with free shipping and handling.