The Lewis and Clark Expedition


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Because of the interest in the Lewis and Clark expedition, Wolfner Library Director Richard J. Smith compiled this list of materials about the expedition that are available through Wolfner Library. Note that the WOD titles are cassette books recorded by network libraries.

Nonfiction Works for Adults

Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals by Stephen E. Ambrose.
Historian investigates male friendships; includes ties between members of his own family. Discusses famous relationships between Lewis and Clark, General Eisenhower and General Patton, Crazy Horse and He Dog, and others. Also studies interactions and sentiments among veterans from one company of soldiers. RC 48827.

The Course of Empire by Bernard Augustine De Voto.
National Book Award. Pulitzer Prize winning historian DeVoto recounts the westward conquest and exploration from Balboa to Lewis and Clark. Geography and Native Americans are included in appraising the Spanish, French, British, and United States exploits which determine the course of empire. RC 33339.

The Essential Lewis and Clark by Meriwether Lewis.
Excerpts from the 1904-1905 version of: Original journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, 1804-1806. WOC 527.

Exploring Lewis and Clark: Reflections on Men and Wilderness by Thomas Paul Slaughter.
Historian evaluates nineteenth-century explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as human beings by analyzing their journals and the “cultural imperatives behind them.” Essays discuss the enslavement and fate of their female Shoshone guide, treatment of Clark’s slave York, and experiences with hunting, dreams, and snakes. BR 14695.

The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Meriwether Lewis.
These selections from the journals of Lewis and Clark tell of the explorations and discoveries the team of explorers made as they crossed North America from Saint Louis to the Pacific coast from 1804 to 1806. They received their commission from President Jefferson, who foresaw the advantages of exploring the vast territory west of the Mississippi. RC 31118.

The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology, Section 2: Journals of Exploration edited by William Kittredge and Annick Smith.
Contains descriptive literature about the early Montana Territory from the journals of explorers Lewis and Clark to the oral account of Iron Teeth, a Cheyenne Woman.  In these early accounts, we can see how the white nation progressed from a desire to explore, to the need to conquer and own what they saw.  What stood in their way were the Native Americans who had lived for centuries at one with the land. WOD 525.

Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery by Duncan Dayton.
Excerpts from the journals kept by the two captains and four enlisted men convey the raw emotions, turbulent spirits, and constant surprises of the explorers. Companion to Ken Burns’s PBS documentary film. WOC 528.

Lewis and Clark among the Indians by James P. Ronda.
An ethno-historical account of the journey made by Lewis and Clark from Saint Louis to the Oregon coast and back again in 1804 to 1806. Describes the daily dealings of the explorers and Native Americans. WOD 543.

Lewis and Clark in the Bitterroot by Jeanne O'Neill.
This book is the collaborative work of Jeanne O'Neill, Jean Clary, Patricia B. Hastings, Diann Ladd, Katie White, and Riga Winthrop. Their fascination with the Lewis and Clark Expedition, also called the Corps of Discovery, led to an opportunity for them to work together to produce a book about the Expedition's two historically important visits to the Bitterroot, in 1805 and 1806. WOD 532.

Meriwether Lewis: A Biography by Richard H. Dillon.
Though Lewis and Clark are generally referred to as leaders of the Missouri River expedition, Lewis was the real commander.  This readable biography sets the matter straight, often making use of Lewis' own journals. WOD 534.

Out West: An American Journey by Dayton Duncan.
Whimsical account by a man who traces the Lewis and Clark route in a camper. Beginning his drive to the Pacific at the Saint Louis Arch, he supplies numerous anecdotes. He tells of having boots repaired in Yankton, South Dakota, and reflects on whether Great Falls, Montana, will become a metropolis. RC 26144.

Sacagawea of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Ella E. Clark.
This is the biography of the young Native American woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition over the Rockies with her child and half-breed husband, signifying to the tribes whose territories were crossed that it was not a raiding or war party. WOD 547.

Tales of the Frontier: From Lewis and Clark to the Last Roundup by Everett Newfon Dick.
In a series of some eighty informally retold stories and sketches, Professor Dick of the history department of Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska, chronicles American frontier life during the nineteenth century. WOD 556.

Those Tremendous Mountains by David Freeman Hawke.
President Thomas Jefferson's ideas and plans were the basis for the almost four-year-long expedition from Saint Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River and back. Lewis and Clark tell much of the story in their own words while the author assesses the significance of the trip then and later. BR 4606.

To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian by Stephen E. Ambrose.
Historian intersperses his personal story with reflections on American history. His topics include the transcontinental railroad, World War II, Native Americans, Vietnam, civil rights, and women’s rights. Also describes well-known persons such as Washington, Lincoln, Lewis and Clark, Nixon, and Eisenhower. RC 55747, BR 14637.

Traveler's Guide to the Lewis and Clark Trail by Julie Fanselow.
Following modern highways that parallel much of the Lewis and Clark Trail, suggests a two week itinerary for the trek that took the original explorers almost two years. Includes history, sites, sidetrips, lodging, camping, and restaurants. WOD 523.

Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen E. Ambrose.
The author, who over twenty years followed and studied the route Lewis and Clark traveled between 1803 and 1806, focuses on Lewis. Ambrose explains why the captain was chosen to lead the search for a western waterway and describes Lewis's later life. Tells how the explorers recorded species of animals and plants, mapped the United States interior, and formed ties with Native Americans. RC 43291.

Voyages of Discovery: Essays on the Lewis and Clark Expedition by James P. Ronda.
The book includes documents and essays that illuminate the origins, voyage, and aftermath of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Featuring several previously unpublished pieces, including a substantive introduction, photo essay, this work conveniently gathers the best essays on the Corps of Discovery under one cover. Topics include the reasons for the expedition, geographic knowledge before the expedition, expedition science, and Lewis and Clark's reception upon their return. WOD 533.

The Way to the Western Sea: Lewis and Clark Treks across the Continent by David Sievert Lavender.
Presents the travels of Lewis and Clark from 1803 to 1806 as they explored the western United States under orders from President Thomas Jefferson. Explains the politics and logistics of the expedition and profiles the participants and some of the Native Americans they met. RC 29680.

Fiction Works for Adults

The Corps of Discovery: A Novel Based on the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806 by Jeffrey W. Tenney.
A dramatic retelling of the adventures and hardships of the enlisted men, hunters, and Native Americans, including Sacagawea, who explored the far reaches of the Louisiana Purchase, across the Northwest Territory to the Pacific Ocean. Some strong language. Medicine Pipe Bearer Award. RC 55487.

Distant Trails by Bill Gulick.
This novel begins the Saga of Tall Bird and John Crane. Matt Crane travels west with the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Northwest where he meets Moon Wind, a Nez Perce maiden, and they have a son, Tall Bird. Back east again, Matt marries and has another son, John, whose decision to travel west sets in motion a series of events that become a lasting part of history. Tall Bird and John Crane series, book 1. Some strong language. RC 28272.

From Sea to Shining Sea by James Alexander Thom.
Saga of the Clark family of colonial Virginia as they help explore and settle the new frontier. Several sons fight in the Revolutionary War. The Clarks eventually move west to the wilderness of Kentucky. One son, William, joins Meriwether Lewis in his survey of the continent to the Pacific Ocean on behalf of the new United States president, Thomas Jefferson. RC 47603.

The Gates of the Mountain by Will Henry.
A fictional reconstruction of the adventures of a French-Indian boatman who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition into the then unknown territory of the American northwest during the early nineteenth century. WOD 324.

Lewis and Clark: The Great Adventure by Donald Barr Chidsey.
Lively account of the Lewis and Clark expedition, based on excerpts from the explorers' diaries and journals kept during their search for a northwest passage to the Pacific. RC 16492.

Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo.
Tale of Sacajawea, the young Shoshoni woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific in 1804. Describes native lore and rituals as well as the journey through the mountains. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. RC 53051.

Trail: The Story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Louis Charbonneau-Lassay.
When Lewis and Clark set out to explore the Louisiana Territory, their party included a little-known member, Lewis's dog, Seaman. A chronicle of the travels of Lewis and Clark, based upon the papers and journals of party members, recounts the extraordinary encounters with hostile Native Americans, rampaging buffalo, dangerous rapids and perilous mountain trails. RC 31313.

Nonfiction Works for Youth

Animals on the Trail with Lewis and Clark by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent.
Retraces the journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806, comparing their observations of previously unknown animals with modern information on the same creatures. Discusses what the explorers learned about wildlife and survival from the Native Americans they met along the way. For grades 4 through 7. RC 55477.

Explorers, Trappers, and Guides by Judith Bentley.
Provides first person accounts of life on the western frontier as people from all over the globe settled in the Far West territory of the United States. Includes stories by men who accompanied explorers such as Lewis and Clark, Estevanico, Coronado, Captain Cook, and John C. Fremont. For grades 6 through 9. RC 42664.

The Incredible Journey of Lewis and Clark by Rhoda Blumberg.
In 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led a daring expedition into the unknown western regions of North America. The discoveries they made during this two-and-a-half year journey opened the way to the West. Explorers series. For grades 5 through 8 and older readers. RC 29633.

Lewis and Clark’s Journey of Discovery in American History by Judith Edwards.
An account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, describing its mishaps, adventures, and impact on western expansion. Excellent for reports, with excerpts from a variety of sources, including Jefferson’s original letter and Lewis and Clark’s diaries. Includes a timeline and bibliography. Short descriptions of the Corps of Discovery members and their roles are appended. WOD 642.

Off the Map: The Journals of Lewis and Clark by William Clark.
A compilation of entries and excerpts from the journals of William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, describing their historic expedition. Compiled by Peter and Connie Roop. For grades 5 through 7. WOD 528.

Sacagawea by Jan Gleiter.
Biography of Sacagawea, who served as a guide to Lewis and Clark. For grades 3 through 6. BR 50863.
Sacagawea, American Pathfinder by Flora Warren Seymour.
Describes how Sacagawea found adventure guiding Lewis and Clark to the Oregon coast. Grades 3 through 5. WOD 544.

The Truth about Sacajawea by Kenneth Thomasma.
Based on the daily entries of the Lewis and Clark Expedition journals, this biography of Sacajawea is accurate and shows the important role she played in the exploration party. Wife of one of the hunters in the group, she kept up with the trek while caring for her newborn baby. From keeping a cool head when a canoe tips over and saving valuable supplies, to interpreting with her tribe for assistance and horses to continue the journey, this teenage girl shows courage and intelligence. For grades 4 through 7. WOD 526.

Fiction Works for Youth

Bold Journey: West with Lewis and Clark by Charles H. Bohner.
Fictionalized account of 18-year-old Private Hugh McNeal's experiences with the Lewis and Clark expedition searching for a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean. For grades 5 through 8. RC 24399.

The Journal of Augustus Pelletier by Kathryn Lasky.
After fourteen year old Gus runs away from his stepfather, he keeps a journal of his adventure with the Corps of Discovery in 1804 and 1805 as they head up the Missouri River.  Gus’s good handwriting and familiarity with the Indian language make him useful to Lewis and Clark. For grades 5 through 8. RC 56552.

Sacajawea: The Story of Bird Woman and the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Joseph Bruchac.
The story of the Lewis and Clark expedition to open the American Northwest is told through the alternating narratives of Sacajawea, a Shoshoni interpreter, peacemaker, and guide, and expedition captain William Clark. Includes excerpts from Clark's actual journals. For grades 6 through 9. RC 51170.

Streams to the River, River to the Sea by Scott O'Dell.
First person narrative of the story of Sacagawea, who served as a scout and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The beautiful Shoshone girl relates how she became a member of the expedition, and describes the experiences of the trip, the land, and the Native Americans' lifestyles. For grades 5 through 8. RC 26090.

Who'd Believe John Colter? by Mary Blount Christian.
A biographical novel examining the life of the nineteenth century woodsman John Colter. Describes his experiences accompany