A Long Journey

Lewis and Clark

A long time ago, when Thomas Jefferson was President, most of the people in this country lived in the East. Nobody knew anything about the Far West. The only people that lived there were Indians. Many of these Indians had never seen a white man.

President Jefferson sent men to travel into this wild part of the country. He told them to go up to the upper end of the Missouri River. Then they were to go across the Rocky Mountains. They were to keep on till they got to the Pacific Ocean. Then they were to come back again. They were to find out the best way to get through the mountains. And they were to find out what kind of people the Indians in that country were. They were also to tell about the animals.

Map of Louisiana Purchase

There were two captains of this company. Their names were Lewis and Clark. There were forty-five men in the party. They were gone two years and four months. For most of that time they did not see any white men but their own party. They did not hear a word from home for more than two years.

They got their food mostly by hunting. They killed a great many buffaloes and elks and deer. They also shot wild geese and other large birds. Sometimes they had nothing but fish to eat. Some­times they had to eat wolves. When they had no other meat, they were glad to buy dogs from the Indians and eat them. Sometimes they ate horses. They became fond of the meat of dogs and horses.

Lewis & Clark Expedition

When they were very hungry, they had to live on roots if they could get them. Some of the Indians made a kind of bread out of roots. The white men bought this when they could not get meat. But there were days when they did not have anything to eat.

They were very friendly with the Indians. One day some of the men went to an Indian village something to eat. The Indians gave them meat to eat. In the Indian wig­wam where they were, there was a head of a dead buffalo. When dinner was over, the Indians filled a bowl full of meat. They set this down in front of the head. Then they said to the head, “Eat that.” The Indians be­lieved that, if they treated this buffalo head politely, the live buffaloes would come to their hunting ground. Then they would have plenty of meat to eat.

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

Tomorrow, Another Hero       Rita Bay

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