Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lewis and Clark: What They Brought Along

"To Equip an Expedition"
Lewis and Clark

"Once he was named by President Thomas Jefferson to head the Corps of Discovery, Meriwether Lewis began preparations for the long trip ahead. Much of that preparation involved education; in the months prior to his departure, Lewis would learn astronomy, botany, navigation, medicine and biology, among other scientific disciplines...."

"...The following list is only a sampling of the supplies taken west by the Corps of Discovery, but it should give a sense of what an undertaking the expedition was."

I suppose I might have thought that handsaws, hatchets, and whetstones would be in the inventory. On the other hand, I didn't even know about "Dr. Rush's patented 'Rush's pills' " - 50 dozen were carried along.

And, I didn't know that Lewis and Clark had what may have been high-tech weaponry at the time: "1 long-barreled rifle that fired its bullet with compressed air, rather than by flint, spark and powder".

The expedition also had a small library, including "Barton’s Elements of Botany," "A Practical Introduction to Spherics and Nautical Astronomy" and a two-volume edition of Linnaeus - the researcher who started the Latin classification of plants.

I can't think of many practical uses for all this information: but it's fun to know.


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...


Thanks for the good words.

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