Lecture to dis­cuss Lewis and Clark Ex­pe­di­tion


On Wed­nes­day, March 2, at 6 p.m. at the Springville Se­nior Cen­ter, 65 E. 200 South, the pub­lic is in­vited to hear Dr. Jay H. Buck­ley’s pre­sen­ta­tion, “The Lewis and Clark Ex­pe­di­tion.”

On Jan. 18, 1803, Pres­i­dent Thomas Jef­fer­son sent a se­cret mes­sage to Congress ask­ing for $2,500 to send an of­fi­cer and a dozen sol­diers to ex­plore the Mis­souri River, make diplo­matic con­tact with In­di­ans, ex­pand the Amer­i­can fur trade and lo­cate the Northwest Pas­sage (the much­sought-af­ter hy­po­thet­i­cal north­west­ern wa­ter route to the Pa­cific Ocean). The pro­posed trip took on added sig­nif­i­cance on May 2 when the U.S. agreed to the Louisiana Pur­chase - Napoleon’s sale of 828,000 square miles of French ter­ri­tory for $27 mil­lion. Jef­fer­son asked his per­sonal sec­re­tary Meri­wether Lewis to lead the ex­pe­di­tion. As his co-com­man­der, Lewis chose Wil­liam Clark, who had been his su­pe­rior dur­ing Wash­ing­ton’s Northwest In­dian War or Lit­tle Tur­tle’s War (1790s).

From May 14, 1804, to Sept. 23, 1806, from St. Louis to the Pa­cific Ocean and back, the Corps of Dis­cov­ery, as the ex­pe­di­tion com­pany was called, trav­eled nearly 8,000 miles. The en­tourage, num­ber­ing around four dozen men, cov­ered 10 to 20 miles a day pol­ing, push­ing and pulling their 10-ton keel­boat and two pirogues (dugout boats) up the Mis­souri. Their voy­age of dis­cov­ery helped write a new chap­ter in the his­tory of Amer­ica.

Jay H. Buck­ley is an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of his­tory at Brigham Young Univer­sity where he teaches U.S., Amer­i­can West and Amer­i­can In­dian his­tory cour­ses and di­rects the Na­tive Amer­i­can Stud­ies mi­nor. Buck­ley’s spe­cial­ties in­clude Lewis and Clark, ex­plo­ration and mi­gra­tion, the fur trade, In­dian-white re­la­tions and other western themes. He is the au­thor of the award-win­ning book “Wil­liam Clark: In­dian Diplo­mat.” He is the co-au­thor of “By His Own Hand? The Mys­te­ri­ous Death of Meri­wether Lewis,” “Ex­plor­ers of the Amer­i­can West: Map­ping the World through Pri­mary Doc­u­ments” and oth­ers. His cur­rent book pro­ject is “A Fur Trade His­tory of the Great Plains and Cana­dian Prairies” (Plains His­tory se­ries).

Pro­fes­sor Buck­ley served as pres­i­dent of the Lewis and Clark Trail Her­itage Foun­da­tion, which pro­vides na­tional lead­er­ship on schol­ar­ships, education and con­ser­va­tion per­tain­ing to the Lewis and Clark Na­tional His­toric Trail. In 2010, he re­ceived the foun­da­tion’s Mer­i­to­ri­ous Achieve­ment Award for his Lewis and Clark schol­ar­ship.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call the cen­ter at 801-489-8738.

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