An Explorers Journal
As settlers moved from
Europe and the slave trade from Africa brought settlements into the "New
World." The West shifts from land east of the Appalachians, to land
west of the Appalachians, and to the great vast of area west of the
Mississippi River. Then there
is the Spanish and Mexican settlers' settling in California and the
Jefferson's 1803 Louisiana Purchase, purchasing from France for $ 15
million their claim to the North American Great Plains, opens this vast
area to European immigration. Explorers
open up the North American Plains, into the Rocky Mountains, and on to the
Pacific Ocean. These
explorers include Lewis and Clark, John C. Frémont, and John
Wesley Powell and their written accounts captivate audiences in both
the "New World" and Europe:
Lewis and Clark began
their 8,000-mile journey on May 14, 1804.
Along with 30 companions, they travel up the Missouri River.
They spend the winter in North Dakota with the Mandan and
Lewis and William Clark start their spring journey with the
Shoshone woman, Sacagawea. They
cross the Rockies and reach the Pacific Ocean on November 18, 1805.
They winter along the Columbia before heading back to St.
Louis, where they arrive September 23, 1806.
John C. Frémont
explored the West as an army officer in the Corp of Topographical
Engineers. In 1841, he surveys the Platte River. On another survey trip, Kit Carson guides the group into the
Great Basin between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.
In 1847, he is in California when war breaks out between the
United States and Mexico. His
men secure California for the United States.
He makes several more explorations.
His writings make him famous.
In fact, in 1856 the Republican Party makes him their first
presidential candidate. During
the Civil War, he served as commander, the Department of the West.
However, the Army forces his resignation.
Between 1878 and 1881, he serves as Arizona Governor.
John Wesley Powell leads
an expedition in 1869 down the Colorado River and through the Grand
Canyon. He had lost his right arm at the Battle of Shiloh.
He became a self-taught scientist and explorer.
Later, he heads the United States Geological Survey.