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An Explorers Journal

Meriwether Lewis and William ClarkAs 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 Southwest. 

President Thomas 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. Frmont, 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 Minnetaree Indians.  

Meriwether 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. Frmont 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.

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