Useful Resources

Each age writes the history of the past anew with reference to the conditions uppermost in its own time.  The aim of history, then, is to know the elements of the present by understanding what came into the present from the past for the present is simply the developing past, the past the undeveloped present.  The antiquarian strives to bring back the past for the sake of the past.  The historian strives to show the present to itself by revealing its origin from the past.  The goal of the antiquarian is the dead past.  The goal of the historian is the living present.

Frederick Jackson Turner, 1891 (Susan E. Hirsch & Robert I. Goler, A City Comes of Age, Chicago in the 1890s, Chicago Historical Society, 1990)


Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

National Park Service

The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc.

Great Falls, Montana

The mission of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation is to stimulate public appreciation of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s contributions to America’s heritage, and to support education, research, development and preservation of the Lewis and Clark experience.  The Foundation focuses on stewardship of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, scholarship and historical accuracy with regard to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and education of young people.  The Foundation was incorporated in 1969.  Since that time, the Foundation has grown from a simple beginning to more than 31 Chapters throughout the United States.  To learn more, or to become a member of the Foundation, click here.

Discovering Lewis & Clark®

Conceived in 1993, and online since 1998, Discovering Lewis & Clark® is a hyper history in progress.  The web site is enhanced by a variety of multimedia techniques. This superb site focuses on issues, values and visions relating to the Lewis & Clark Expedition, its preludes, and its aftermath up to the present time.  It is one of just three web sites elected to the National Endowment for the Humanities’ list of “The Best of the Humanities on the Web”.  Multimedia Productions, the site’s developer based in Missoula, Montana, was a 2004 recipient of a Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation monetary grant for scholarship and education.  A particularly interesting section is Discovering Lewis and Clark From the Air as here you can interact with a map of the Expeditions’s route to view contemporary aerial views of important points and read associated narratives.  This site is now maintained by the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.  To explore it click here.

The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Online

University of Nebraska Press

The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Online makes available the text of the celebrated Nebraska edition of the Lewis and Clark journals, edited by Gary E. Moulton.  Taking twenty years to complete, the Moulton edition, the most accurate and inclusive edition ever published, is one of the major scholarly achievements of the late twentieth century.  To learn more about the original journals, their provenance, the editorial procedures used to create the Moulton edition, and listen to interviews with Dr. Moulton, including his experiences during this massive undertaking, click here.

Lewis & Clark: The National Bicentennial

Exhibition Online

The Missouri Historical Society's Lewis & Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition follows the Corps of Discovery from the banks of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers through the human geography of western North America.

Today, the journals of Lewis and Clark provide a priceless glimpse into a world few of us can imagine. Theirs was a journey into new cultural and mental landscapes as well as new lands.  Beyond the city of St. Louis, they were in an Indian world of age-old trade networks, achievements in art and oral literature, and an intricately exploited environment.  As men of the Jeffersonian Enlightenment, the captains saw the West through preconceptions formed by their European cultural heritage.  The native societies they met imagined America very differently.

Taking over five years to complete, this unique exhibition for the first time assembles a wide range of authenticated artifacts at one location.  The letter of credit from Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis; plant specimens; the only surviving American Indian artifacts presented to Lewis and Clark; the only known surviving zoological specimen; scientific equipment; and Clark’s handwritten, illustrated, elkskin-bound field journal are just a few of the items on display.

The exhibition compares the assumptions of Lewis and Clark and the Indian peoples they were among on such topics as politics and diplomacy, women, geography, animals, military heroism, language, trade and property, curing and health, and plants.  These cultural contrasts reveal how the expedition overcame barriers to communication - or failed to overcome them.

To learn more, via a superbly designed web site that is rich with outstanding content, click here and then click on LAUNCH THE ONLINE EXHIBITION. (Note:  Requires Adobe’s Flash Player.  To obtain a free copy click here.)

The National Lewis and Clark

Bicentennial Commemoration’s

Tribal Legacy Project

The Lewis and Clark expedition looms large in the American imagination. It is an unsurpassed tale of adventure and endurance, yet the bicentennial events had to be more than a commemoration of a long-ago adventure. This was an opportunity for all of us to evaluate the long chain of cause and effect that links past, present and future.

From the perspective of American Indians, the explorers were not discoverers and describers of an unknown land but rather sightseeing foreign visitors whose experiences depended on the good will and assistance of strangers.  Indeed, without Indian help, Lewis and Clark and their party might have become lost or died from starvation.

The expedition itself acknowledged that it had to be a cooperative venture with the people who inhabited the land and that survival depended on American Indian willingness to share knowledge about the land, its resources and practical routes across it.  During the journey, Lewis and Clark learned to see the land through American Indian eyes.

The Bicentennial Commemoration was an opportunity for us as a nation to learn about the expedition, enhance cultural awareness and to acknowledge the traditions and sacredness of the land.  An excellent website, the Tribal Legacy Project developed by the National Park Service, captured these perspectives. To learn more click here.  (Note:  Requires Adobe’s Flash Player.  To obtain a free copy click here.)


Lewis and Clark, The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, a film by Ken Burns, The American Lives Film Project, Inc., PBS, 1997. (240 mins) (VHS and DVD)

The Trail, Lewis & Clark Expedition 1803-1806, Robin Williams Films, 1996. (88 mins) (VHS)

National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commemorative 2003-2006 Educational Set (two volumes), National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. (CD)

Lewis and Clark Crossing the Centuries, Idaho Public Television, 2004. (63 mins) (DVD)

Lewis and Clark, Confluence of Time and Courage, US Army Corps of Engineers, 2004. (60 mins) (DVD)

Two Worlds at Two-Medicine, Going to the Sun Institute and Native View Pictures, 2004. (35 mins) (DVD)

Walking on Sacred Ground, Lolo Trail National Historic Landmark, Protecting the Cultural and Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, 2005. (15 mins) (DVD)


A History of the Lewis and Clark Journals, Paul Russell Cutright, University of Oklahoma Press (Norman), 1976.

Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with Related Documents, 1783-1854, Second Edition, with Additional Documents and Notes, in two volumes researched and edited by Donald Jackson, University of Illinois Press, 1978.

Undaunted Courage, Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, Stephen E. Ambrose, Simon & Shuster, 1996.

The Journals of Lewis and Clark, Bernard De Voto (editor), Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Lewis & Clark, The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, An Illustrated History, Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns, Borzoi Books, 1997.  [This is the companion publication to Ken Burn’s PBS documentary film, Lewis and Clark, The Journey of the Corps of Discovery.]

Traveling the Lewis & Clark Trail, Second Edition, Julie Fanselow, Falcon Publishing, Inc., 2000.

Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark, Second Edition (including East of the Mississippi), Barbara Fifer and Vicky Soderberg with maps by Joseph Mussulman, Montana Magazine, 2001. [Historical Highlights, Color Maps, Where to Stay and What to Do]

Sacagawea’s Son, The Life of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, Marion Tinling, Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana, 2001.  (written for elementary school age readers)

Guide to the Lewis & Clark Trail, Bicentennial Edition, Thomas Schmidt, National Geographic Society, 2002.

Thomas Jefferson and the Rocky Mountains, Exploring the West from Monticello, Donald Jackson, University of Oklahoma Press, 2002.

Lewis & Clark Among the Indians, James P. Rhonda, Bicentennial Edition, University of Nebraska Press, 2002.

A Charbonneau Family Portrait, Biographical Sketches of Sacagawea, Jean Baptiste, and Toussaint Charbonneau, Irving W Anderson, Fort Clatsop National Memorial (National Park Service) and the Fort Clatsop Historical Association, 2002.

The Definitive Journals of Lewis & Clark, Gary E. Moulton (editor), 13 Volumes, University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2003.

Dear Brother, Letters of William Clark to Jonathan Clark, edited by James J. Holmberg, Yale University Press in association with The Filson Historical Society, 2002.

Lewis and Clark Across the Divide, Carolyn Gilman, Smithsonian Books, 2003.  [This is the official companion publication to Lewis & Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition that was developed in association with the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.]

Explorations into the World of Lewis and Clark, 3 Volumes, Robert A. Saindon, ed., Digital Scanning, Inc., 2003.  [This is a collection of feature articles from twenty-five volumes of We Proceeded On, the quarterly journal of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc.]

Beyond Lewis and Clark, The Army Explores the West, James P. Ronda, Washington State Historical Society (Tacoma), 2003.

Lewis and Clark on Lolo Creek, Prelude to the Final Challenge (R1-01-72), a U.S.D.A. (Lolo National Forest, Missoula Ranger District) publication.  [Provides historical background, including the location of the original trail that the Lewis and Clark Expedition followed along Lolo Creek from Lolo, Montana to Lolo Pass.]

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail along Lolo Creek, A Modern Explorer's Guide (R1-02-19), a U.S.D.A. (Lolo National Forest, Missoula Ranger District) publication.  [Provides a detailed map of the location of the original trail that the Lewis and Clark Expedition followed along Lolo Creek from Grave Creek (Near Howard Creek Road Access) to Packer Meadows (near Lolo Pass).  Includes trail entry points, mileages, and descriptions of nearby facilities.]

Lewis & Clark on the Lolo Trail (R1-03-04), a U.S.D.A. (Clearwater National Forest) publication.  [Provides historical background, including Lewis and Clark campsites and their locations in the area.]

Driving the Lolo Motorway (R1-03-56), a U.S.D.A. (Clearwater National Forest, Lochsa Ranger District) publication.  [Provides important information regarding driving on the Lolo Motorway.]

Voyage of Rediscovery, Exploring the New West in the Footsteps of Lewis & Clark, John Krist, iUniverse, Inc., 2004.

Scenes of Visionary Enchantment, Reflections on Lewis and Clark, Dayton Duncan, University of Nebraska Press, 2004.

The Fate of the Corps, What Became of the Lewis and Clark Explorers After the Expedition, Larry E. Morris, Yale University Press, 2004.

Exploring with Lewis and Clark, The 1804 Journal of Charles Floyd,  James J.  Holmberg, editor, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2004.

Wilderness Journey, The Life of William Clark, William E. Foley, University of Missouri Press, Columbia and London, 2004.

Sacagawea’s Child, The Life and Times of Jean Baptiste (Pomp) Charbonneau, Susan M. Colby, The Arthur H. Clark Company, Spokane, Washington, 2005.

Lewis and Clark Road Trips, Exploring the Trail Across America, Kira Gale, River Junction Press LLC, Omaha, Nebraska, 2006.

Selected Bibliography Regarding the Death of Meriwether Lewis compiled by Pat Hartinger (click here to view and download)

Selected Bibliography Regarding the Death of Meriwether Lewis compiled by Clay Jenkinson (click here to view and download)

Meriwether Lewis’ Last Days Timeline prepared by Clay Jenkinson (click here  to view and download)


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(updated 7/6/21)

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