a letter to president jefferson

Dear President Jefferson and the United States Congress: I have some feelings, agreeing with your ideas about the expedition headed by Meriwether Lewis, that I feel I need to share with The United States Congress. I have read some of the journal entries written by some of the men that are currently on this expedition. My main message is: You men should be proud of your president, his Captain, Lewis, and Lewis’s co-leader, Clark. They have done many wonderful jobs with very little strays from the instructions Laid out in President Thomas Jefferson’s Letter of Instructions to Captain Meriwether Lewis. They are trying their hardest, and so far reaching all of your goals. They have brought almost everything they could and have needed. They are learning, writing, helping, and making allies with the Indians. They are Learning, and writing about the land in their journals. Finally, they have reason to believe that the coast is coming closer and closer, and that they WILL reach it.

Many goals were written in the “Instruction letter” that needed to be reached. The instructions, rather broad, are as listed. Bring needed supplies and 10 to 12 men to: Map and explore Missouri river, and find a water route to the Pacific. Beginning at Mouth of Missouri, take careful mapping measurements, Mark all portages and special points of interest, Take understandable readings, Learn about all Indians you meet along the way, and learn about the land. These have been followed as closely as possible. Yes, the mapping could be more accurate, but there is only so much these men can do, and they are keeping records of distances to where they are going. This is shown in Clark’s journal, October 19, Monday 1805. He gives accurate details of his direction, distances, and landmarks. This so far shows, they are taking maps and marking points of interests. A few days before, Lewis writes a large amount about the Indians and their ways. Lewis did break the rules about how many men he should take, but has shown his worthiness in many other ways.

These men are succeeding at making allies of these Indians. They show that the will barter. They show them guns, and though they cannot give them any because they have none to spare, they tell them that they will soon open trade routes, and guns to barter will be brought. They trade them coats and other objects of want with the Indians, this show their friendliness. These men are giving detailed information on the land. The men see seashells in some of the Indians hair. This shows that there must be an ocean somewhere. A man by the name of Biddle, who is along on the expedition writes “Here he (The Indian chief) was seated on a white robe; and the chief immediately tied in his hair six small shells…” This is proof that these men must know someone from the ocean.

I believe that these men should receive credit for their wonderful job. They have done many a wonderful thing, and should be saluted for their efforts and many successes of this trip that has yet to even be completed.

Signed sincerely,