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.