September 23, 2012 - Lewis and Clark Return!

 – 1806

Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their “Corps of Discovery” made the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast and back, returning to St. Louis, Missouri, on this date in 1806. The trip took more than two years, yet everyone returned except one man, Sergeant Charles Floyd, who died of infection from a ruptured appendix, (Floyd would surely have died even if he'd stayed home in civilization, as there was at that time no known cure for appendicitis.)

The group included:
   2   captains
   3   sergeants
  23  privates
   5   civilians

The civilians famously included Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian explorer and trader; his wife Sacagawea, a Shoshone woman who acted as an interpreter for the Lewis and Clark expedition; and their infant son Jean-Baptiste, nicknamed Little Pomp or Pompy.

By the way, did you know that Pompey's Pillar in Montana is named for Jean-Baptiste? Also, he is the only child to ever be depicted on a U.S. coin, since his image appears with his mother's on the Sacagawea dollar.

National Geographic has a “Go West Across America with Lewis and Clark” game. The website offers many other resources as well. 

Wart Games offers many links about the Lewis and Clark expedition. Explore away! 

Also on this date:

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