Index Inside the Corps The Native Americans The Archive Living History Into the Unknown Forum with Ken Burns Classroom Resources Related Products Interactive Trail Map Search Lewis and Clark navigation Introduction The Corps To Equip an Expedition Circa 1803 Lewis and Clark navigation
  On February 28, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson won approval from Congress for a visionary project, an endeavor that would become one of America’s greatest stories of adventure.
Lewis and Clark's Route
Lewis and Clark's Outbound Route Shown in Red, Inbound in Blue

Twenty-five hundred dollars were appropriated to fund a small expeditionary group, whose mission was to explore the uncharted West. Jefferson called the group the Corps of Discovery. It would be led by Jefferson’s secretary, Meriwether Lewis, and Lewis’ friend,William Clark.

Over the next four years, the Corps of Discovery would travel thousands of miles, experiencing lands, rivers and peoples that no Americans ever had before.

Inside the Corps has three sections: Circa 1803, To Equip an Expedition and the Corps.

The Corps gives biographical information about the members of the Corps of Discovery, from the most famous to the virtually unknown.

To Equip an Expedition provides a partial list of the supplies Lewis and Clark brought on the expedition.

Circa 1803 puts the expedition into a historical and political context, investigating popular misconceptions of the West, as well as Jefferson’s motivations for exploring it.