Members of the Expedition
Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809)
Lewis joined the Army in 1794 and served in the Ohio Valley and the
Old Northwest Territory, where he became friends with William Clark.
In 1801, Lewis was appointed as President Thomas Jefferson's private
secretary, while retaining his military rank. Two years later, Jefferson
chose Lewis as commander of the expedition. Following the return of
the expedition in 1806, Lewis became governor of the Louisiana Territory,
but encountered difficulties that caused him severe emotional problems.
On the Natchez Trace in Tennessee, Lewis took his life.
Lieutenant William Clark (1770-1838)
Virginia / Kentucky
The younger brother of General George Rogers Clark, William had served
in the Army for four years, participating in the campaigns of General
Anthony Wayne in the Northwest Territory before resigning his commission
in 1796 to attend to the family business. Because of the Army seniority
system, Clark received a second lieutenant's commission instead of a
captaincy when he rejoined the military as Lewis's second-in-command.
But he and Lewis concealed this from the members of the expedition,
who always referred to him as Captain Clark. After the expedition, Clark
had a distinguished political career, including the governorship of
the Missouri Territory.