Lewis and Clark trail

connectionsIn 1803, President Thomas Jefferson purchased a massive amount of land from France in a transaction called the Louisiana Purchase. For 68 million Francs, or $15,000,000, America gained 828,000 square miles of land. This seems like a large amount of money, but it turned out to be less than 3 cents per acre. After acquiring the new land, the next challenge was to explore all of it. In 1804, President Jefferson assigned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s Corps of Discovery to travel across the new addition to the nation.

• The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the nation.
• It eventually became parts of 15 states.
• The modern states that were part of the purchase are Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.
• The first state to be admitted into the Union from the Louisiana Purchase was Louisiana, the 18th state.
• Lewis was Thomas Jefferson’s secretary.
• The expedition started in St. Louis.
• It ended when they returned to St. Louis after reaching the Pacific Ocean.
• Sacagawea was a Shoshone Indian. She served as an interpreter and guide for the group.
• The only person to die on the expedition was Sergeant Charles Foyd. Historians believe he died of a burst appendix.
• Sacagawea brought her newborn son Jean Baptiste on the expedition
• When she died in 1812, Clark adopted her children.
• The expedition was made up of 40 men.
• It took a year and a half to reach the Pacific Ocean and six months to return home.
• The expedition group was called the Corps of Discovery.
• Congress gave the Corps of Discovery $2,500.
• While exploring, the men recorded information about plants, animals, people and land that they encountered.
• When they reached the Pacific Ocean, winter was coming. So they built Fort Clatsop and waited out the cold in what is now Oregon.
• The expedition traveled about 8,000 miles in all.

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