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


American Philosphical Society's Subscription to Andre Michaux's Expedition

American Philosophical Society Members Subscribe to Andre Michaux's Expedition
Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson's draft of the pledge of the subscribers to the Andre Michaux expedition.

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Whereas Andrew Michaux, a native of France, and inhabitant of the U.S. hath undertaken to explore the interior country of North America, from the Missisipi Maps: along the Missouri Maps: and Westwardly to the Pacific ocean, or in such other direction as shall be advised by the American Philosophical society, and on his rerun to communicate to the said society the information he shall have acquired of the geography of the said country, it's inhabitants, soil, climate, animals, vegetables & minerals & other circumstances of note:

We the subscribers, desirous of obtaining for ourselves relative to the land we live on, and of communicating to the world information so interesting to curiousity, to science, & to the future prospects of mankind, promise for ourselves, our heirs, , & admits, that we will pay, to the sd Andrew Michaux, or his assigns the sums herein affixed to our names respectively, one fourth part thereof on demand, the remaining three fourths whenever, after his return, the sd Philosophical society shall declare themselves satisfied that he has performed sd journey, & that he has communicated to them freely all the information which he shall have acquired & they demanded of him of if sd Andrew Michaud shall not proceed to the Pacific ocean & shall reach the sources of the waters running into it, then we will pay him such part only of the remaining three fourths as the sd Philosophical society shall deem duly proportioned to the extent of unknown country explored by him in the direction prescribed, when compared with that omitted to be so explored.

And we consent that the bills of exchange of the sd Andrew Michaux for monies said to be due to him in France shall be received to the amount of 200 Louis & shall be negotiated by the sd Philosophical society

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and the proceeds thereof retained in their hands to be delivered to the sd Andrew Michaux on his return after having performed the journey to their satisfaction, or if not to their satisfaction, then to be applied towards reimbursing the subscribers the fourth of their subscription advanced to the sd. Andrew Michaux.

We consent also that the sd. Andrew Michaux shall take to himself all benefit arising from the publication of the discoveries he shall make in the three departments of Nat. histor animal, vegetable, & mineral, he concerting with the sd Philosophical society, such measures for securing to himself the sd benefit, as shall be consistent with the due publication of the said discoveries. In witness whereof we have hereto subscribed our names and affixed the sums we engage respectively to contribute.