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


Place Name


Daniel Clark to Thomas Jefferson, May 29, 1800 Daniel Clark writes to Jefferson of Philip Nolan's departure for the United States, and notes that an inhabitant of the land "West of the Mississippi" accompanies him for Jefferson's edification, so that he may be "the first to acquire particular information of a Country now almost unknown to the U.S."

William Dunbar to Thomas Jefferson, August 22, 1801 William Dunbar writes to Thomas Jefferson of scientific matters, including the properties of rainbows. Dunbar anticipates fossil finds west of the Mississippi River, based on information forwarded by the late Philip Nolan. This letter, with several other missives and reports written by Dunbar, were forward by Jefferson to the American Philosphical Society, where they were read before the Society and later published in theTransactions of the Philosophical Society of Americain 1809. See the "Reports" section of this archive.

Martin Duralde to the American Philosophical Society, via William Dunbar, read March 4, 1803. The current state of, and the prospects for, fossil hunting in the West receive detailed attention in this letter from Martin Duralde.