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


Place Name

St. Louis

John Watkins to the American Philosophical Society, via Benjamin Smith Barton, read January 1, 1803 Dr. John Watkins' letter to Benjamin Smith Barton is an interesting catalog of the flora and fauna of the northern parts of the Louisiana Territory. The inclusion of this missive in theTransactions of the American Philosophical Societydemonstrates the importance of science in the West to the members of the Society.

Albert Gallatin to Thomas Jefferson, April 13, 1803 Albert Gallatin responds to Jefferson's planned instructions to Lewis by stressing the importance of evaluating the suitability of the parts of the trans-Missouri region not included in the Louisiana Purchase. He wonders if British appropriation of the region is a possibility.

Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis, November 16, 1803 Thomas Jefferson updates Meriwether Lewis on political activity around the event of the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson includes notes from the explorer Truteau that detail population and activities of some native groups living west of the Mississippi.

Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis, January 22, 1804 Thomas Jefferson informs Meriwether Lewis of the steps the United States is taking to consolidate its position in the land along the Mississippi.