Envisaging the West: Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Lewis and Clark



Paine, Thomas

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Willard, March 24, 1789 Thomas Jefferson writes to Joseph Willard, primarily concerned with recent European scientific publications. Jefferson segues into a brief discussion of the scientific possibilities inherent in the exploration of North America, and the development of science by a people concerned with freedom and virtue.

Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, May 10, 1789 Thomas Jefferson expresses his hopes for the future exploration and navigation of the Ohio and Potomac Rivers, adding a discussion about other avenues of water navigation that could promote western expansion and commerce. Jefferson also informs Washington he hopes to return to the United States, having appealed to John Jay for permission to do so. The letter also includes references to the role of the Marquis de la Fayette in French politics.

Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Smith Barton, February 27, 1803 Thomas Jefferson informs Benjamin Smith Barton of Meriwether Lewis' upcoming journey, excited at the prospect of the scientific advances that will result.