His family boasted many decorated soldiers, including his father, William Lewis. His mother, Lucy Meriwether was his father's cousin. She was also a skilled cook and herbalist whose generous and charismatic nature was known throughout the region. The Lewis and Meriwether families were among the first to settle in the region, and as such, had a long standing connection to and deep friendship with the Jeffersons, among other established Virginia families.
Meriwether Lewis The official leader of the epic Lewis and Clark Expedition, Meriwether Lewis has been called "undoubtedly the greatest pathfinder this country has ever known. His father, who had been an officer in the American Revolution, died when Lewis was five years old, and for a brief time he lived in Georgia when his mother moved there with her second husband.
He continued his military career as an officer in the regular army, serving on the frontier in Ohio and Tennessee, and rising to the rank of captain bywhen he accepted an invitation from President Thomas Jefferson, an old family friend, to serve as his private secretary.
Jefferson seems to have selected Lewis for this post with a view to placing him in charge of an already-contemplated transcontinental expedition.
When Jefferson had proposed such an expedition inLewis had been among the first volunteers, although his youth and inexperience disqualified him at the time.
Between and the appropriation of funds for the expedition inLewis studied with members of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and gathered information about his proposed route. To accompany him as co-leader of the expedition, Lewis selected William Clarka fellow Virginian with whom he had served on the frontier in After Clark had spent several months studying astronomy and map-making, they set out by keelboat in to Wood River, Illinois, at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
The next spring, they began their journey up the Missouri River and by October had reached the Mandan villages in present-day North Dakota, where they decided to stay for the winter. Their sojourn with the Mandan quickly made it clear just how much Lewis and Clark would need to rely upon the goodwill of Indian peoples for their success.
The Mandans gave them food, military protection, and valuable information about the path ahead. Their most valuable help came in the form of Touissant Charbonneau, a French Canadian whom they hired as an interpreter, and his Shoshone wife Sacagaweawho provided help as a guide and interpreter. Her very presence helped insure good relations with Indian peoples, as Clark noted in his journal: Their spirits buoyed by success, they stayed the winter on the Pacific Coast and returned to the United States in over substantially the same route that had brought them West.
The Lewis and Clark expedition was as widely hailed upon its return as it is remembered in our own time, and as its official leader, Meriwether Lewis reaped the benefits of this acclaim. Jefferson appointed him governor of the Louisiana Territory, a post he assumed in During his brief time in this office, however, Lewis proved himself a poor administrator.
He quarreled with the territorial secretary and local leaders, and failed to keep his superiors in Washington informed of his policies and plans. Whether he committed suicide, as Jefferson believed, or was murdered, as his family maintained, remains uncertain even today.Explorer and soldier Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18, , near Ivy, Virginia.
Meriwether Lewis stayed in Georgia only a short time, he chose to return to Virginia sometime between the ages of 12 and 14 to manage Locust Hill and undergo a formal education. Lewis attended school taught by Parsons William Douglas and Matthew Maury. Further Reading on Meriwether Lewis.
The most complete biography of Lewis is Richard Dillon, Meriwether Lewis (). Also useful is John E.
Bakeless, Lewis and Clark, Partners in Discovery (). Calvin Tomkins retraced the explorers' route in The Lewis and Clark Trail (). Meriwether Lewis, (born Aug. 18, , near Charlottesville, Va. [U.S.]—died Oct.
11, , near Nashville, Tenn., U.S.), American explorer, who with William Clark led the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the uncharted American interior to the Pacific Northwest in – He later served as governor of Upper Louisiana Territory.
Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18, , near Charlottesville, Virginia. Lewis grew up among the forests and wilderness of the Shenandoah Valley and developed a love of hunting and exploring. Lewis became a soldier at an early age and fought in the Whiskey Rebellion of Meriwether Lewis was born August 18, at the Lewis family estate, Locust Hill, in Albemarle County, VA.
His family boasted many decorated soldiers, including his father, William Lewis. His mother, Lucy Meriwether was his father's cousin.