Lewis, Meriwether, and William Clark
- History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the Sources of the Missouri, Thence Across the Rocky Mountains and Down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. Performed During the Years 1804-5-6. Philadelphia: J. Maxwell for Bradford & Inskeep and Abm. H. Inskeep of New York, 1814
- paper, ink, sheep leather
The book describes the Government-backed expedition to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase undertaken from 1804 to 1806 by ascending the Missouri to its source, crossing the Rocky Mountains, and reaching the Pacific Ocean. In total, the expedition covered some eight thousand miles in slightly more than twenty-eight months. Lewis and Clark brought back the first reliable information about much of the area they traversed, made contact with the Indian inhabitants as a prelude to the expansion of the fur trade, and advanced by a quantum leap the geographical knowledge of the continent.
This official account of the expedition is as much a landmark in Americana as the trip itself. The narrative has been reprinted many times and remains a perennial American bestseller. The observations in the text make it an essential work of American natural history, ethnography and science. It is the first great U.S. government expedition and the first book on the Rocky Mountain West.