Lewis and Clark Trail, 8 yrs of it...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LewisNClark, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    I wonder why Sgt. Floyd's monument is so much larger and better kept than that of Meriwether Lewis? I rode to Hohenwald, Tn today to see Lewis' gravesite and monument, as well as the site of his death, after having read through this entire thread and becoming more interested in the subject than I ever had been.
    For such an important part of history, both the life of the man himself, as well as his untimely and mysterious death, the site was rather discreet.
    I did enjoy the ride though, and enjoyed telling my riding buddy all about the original expedition and the goals and importance of the Louisiana Purchase, or at least as much as I could remember and that he'd sit still for haha.
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  2. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Hard to say for sure but Sgt Floyds grave is probably bigger due to him being the only person who died during the Expedition. Also it is a matter of money. Iowa had only one big event regarding the L & C Expedition so they made the most of it. Plus the site of the Sgt Floyd memorial is at a major commercial traffic freeway for tourist. Sgt Floyds grave was robbed once, eroded away twice on the banks of the Missouri River, so this third concrete structure was set to last for centuries.

    Other states, like Montana and Idaho have very few memorials about the Expedition but had the most events by far....lack of memorials is all due to money...the National Park Service does more for the history of the L & C Expedition than anyone else.

    Regarding Meriwether Lewis' burial site, it does not get a lot of attention since so few tourists will take the effort to go see it....it is in sort of an out of the way place. The Lewis family has tried to get his remains moved to Ivy, VA or somewhere else with no luck. Tennessee continues to fight moving his remains and blocking an autopicy. But most evidence does suggest Lewis committed suicide.
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  3. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Very interesting stuff.
    I took pictures of some markers and plaques, as well as the monument itself, if you'd like those documented here. I've had some issues posting photos from my phone here though, so it might be easier to email them if I can't figure it out.
  4. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Pictures from Lewis' gravesite:

    Attached Files:

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  5. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Grinder house site (<100 yds away)


    20160508_132819.jpg 20160508_132831.jpg 20160508_132918.jpg

    Attached Files:

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  6. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Monument : 20160508_132246.jpg 20160508_132246.jpg 20160508_132144.jpg 20160508_132628.jpg
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  7. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Yep, been there twice. Thanks for pictures. Lewis was believed to have been shot twice, chest and head. The Lewis family has tried for 50+ years to have his remains exhumed to have an autopsy. Lewis most likely bleed to death from the two pistol wounds.

    A friend, a pathologist, says all that is left after 200+ years will be a skeleton but some evidence might be revealed to determine if it was murder or suicide. An interesting tidbit is the Lewis irreplaceable Lewis and Clark journal notes were with Lewis when he died and someone stole his leather bag and journals at his death, but returned them a month later, apparently realizing that they would be valuable. On Lewis' death Clark took over the final writing of the Lewis and Clark Journals with the help of Editor Biddle.

    Lewis was known to have serious periods of depressions reflected in his Journal notes in Oregon and his letters to Clark after the end of the Expedition. At the time he was in route to Washington D.C to defend his expenses during the Expedition and during being governor of the Northern Louisiana Purchase Territory...which is believed to have caused his depression and probable suicide, according to Clark's letters.

    It also fascinates me that Buffalo "wallows" are still found along the Natchez Trace/Trail. Buffalo roamed the Natchez Trace south of Nashville as late as the 1600s and 1700s.

    Those rocks in the ground above picture...I think those are the foundation of the chimney of where the actual Grinders Inn was located. The Inn there now is a reproduction of the original Inn.
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  8. anglerdon

    anglerdon Senior Coot

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    Thanks for this wonderful continuing adventure.
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  9. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Patrick Gass ...continued.





    1 of 5 Great Falls located north of Great Falls, Montana.



    Gass came up with the idea of cutting their boat (pirogue) sail mask off and used the mast as the axel
    of a cart he build to portage eight 3,500 pound canoes across 27 miles of rutted prairie.



    Sergeant Gass was a good carpenter, a skill with which he served the Expedition invaluably in the construction of its three winter quarters: Camp Dubois (Illinois), 1803-1804; Fort Mandan (North Dakota), 1804-1805; and Fort Clatsop (Oregon), 1805-1806.

    Fort building at Camp Dubose – Wood River – St Charles, Missouri:



    In route to Fort Mandan – Washburn, North Dakota



    Interior of Fort Mandan:



    Fort Clatsop – Astoria Oregon

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  10. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    He also applied his talents toward the digging out of dugout canoes with an adzes at Mandan, North Dakota, near White Bear Island (Montana), and Canoe Camp (Idaho), together with the fashioning of wagons to portage the canoes 25 miles overland around the series of falls of the Missouri (Montana).

    Dugout canoe construction was supervised by Sgt Gass:



    Gass and two others were chosen by Lewis to assemble Lewis’ “experiment,” his iron boat frame that failed due to lack of proper materials to seal the seams of its elk and buffalo hide hull covering.

    On July 3, 1806, during the return trip from the Pacific, Lewis and Clark divided the Corps into three separate commands. With three men, Lewis traveled north to determine the source of the Maria’s River for the purpose of establishing the northern boundary of the Louisiana Purchase Territory. Clark led a detachment that explored the Yellowstone River from near its source to its confluence with the Missouri.

    Gass was entrusted with the command of the remainder of the men to make the 25+ mile overland return portage around the Missouri River waterfalls. All three parties were rejoined near the mouth of the Yellowstone that they all called Reunion Bay on August 12, 1806.

    On August 17, Toussaint Charbonneau, his wife, Sacagawea, and their son, Jean Baptiste were mustered out of the Corps. Gass, the only journalist to report it, states that as a parting gift to Toussaint, “the Commanding Officers gave him the blacksmith’s tools supposing they might be useful at Fort Mandan.” It was never revealed in the L & C Journals but Gass and Sacajawea were very good friends at Fort Clatsop. With lots of ideal time during the winter of 1805 Sacajawea surprised Gass with a shaving razer box at Fort Clatsop. The Gass family returned the gift to the Cape Disappointment Lewis and Clark Interpretive Museum earlier in this century.

    Picture of razor box at Cape Disappointment:



    On the left of the above picture is a whiskey flask Gass is known to have taken on the Expedition and is also on loan from the Gass family estate.



    Cape Disappointment broad hatchet personally owned and taken on the Expedition by Gass that was donated/loaned by the Gass Estate:







    Gass was important to the Expedition because of his carpenter skills. He was the first to publish his journal of the Expedition in 1807, seven years before the Captains book was published. His book was his simple diary of his “port or starboard side” log and the brief description of the most important event of the day. His book sold for $1.00 and is still published today, 210 years later.

    Gass remained in the army after the Expedition returned, serving in the War of 1812, in which he lost an eye fighting in the battle of Lundy's Lane at Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada.

    When the American Civil War broke out, Gass at 91-years-old had to be removed from a Union recruiting station after he wanted to enlist to fight the Southern Rebels. At the age of sixty he married Maria Hamilton, aged 22. She bore 7 children (5 surviving to adulthood) over the remaining 15 years. They settled in Wellsburg, West Virginia just a few blocks from the Ohio River.

    This brick house is believed to have been the residence of Gass and his wife after he moved back to Wheeling, WV.







    Gass' Grave is so popular a small sign to the left directs visitors to this tombstone at the

    American Flag in the distance.







    Just behind Patrick Gass' home is this bridge across the Ohio River. Wheeling, WV has a beautiful downtown area highlighted by the Ohio River running through the middle of town.



    Patrick Gass (borne June 12, 1771 – died April 2, 1870) at age 99 in Wellsburg, West Virginia. The last surviving member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 4 years after the end of the Civil War.

    End of Patrick Gass...
  11. anglerdon

    anglerdon Senior Coot

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    Ed
    Is that your Yamaha WR250R ?
  12. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Nope, the one above is a rental for doing the Gravely Range, mine is a faster one below! :imaposer



    The one above is my WR - prefer the pelican bags and side tank bag.
    Have added Big Dog 14/50 sprockets and it is my go anywhere moto now.
    Easily 75+ mph with new sprockets.
    :muutt Can pick it up with one hand.:knary
  13. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks again for keeping us informed of this great true adventure! I have read quite a bit of the Corp of Discovery and am learning more from your narrative. As always, looking forward to more.
  14. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for following....I am working on Drouillard life and death...

    Little tidbit - the words "Corp of Discovery" were never used by L & C or anyone until Sgt Gass came up with the phrase a few years after the Expedition.

    If anyone is interested - the Smithsonian Natural History Museum currently has a major display of Lewis and Clark artifacts. I think both Lewis and Clark rifles are on display at the Smithsonian exhibit.

    Lots of confusion about Clark's "short rifle"...until some college professor discovered its called the "short rifle" cause it was invented by a "Mr. Short" in Invenssen, Indiana. It's projectile was about the size of an English pea. Clark probably used it mostly for small game and birds.
  15. LONG DONGER

    LONG DONGER Been here awhile

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    LnC, I looked on the website for the Smithsonian NHM and don't see the L&C artifact display listed. Do you have a link or other information? My google skills are weak!
  16. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    This link should work but you can also google "Lewis and Clark Rifles Smithsonian "

    http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/Details/Lewis-and-Clark-The-National-Bicentennial-Exhibition-4473

    What is facinating about the L & C artifacts is there are believed to be probably 100's of artifacts in attics or have been thrown away. When Clark died his eldest son, named Meriwether Lewis Clark, went through his attic and saw all his old original maps from the Expedition and since they had been redrawn again, he threw the original maps away...irreplaceable and probably worth millions.....originals were the maps Clark drew sitting on tree stumps or at Ft Mandan or Ft Clatsop.

    When Lewis died, Clark apparently gave away Lewis' air rifle to a Lieutenant in Missouri, and it floated around for 160 years until it was rediscovered in the 1990's. All the troops brought back souvenirs and probably gave them to family members or friends and at deaths they were lost in attics....
  17. LONG DONGER

    LONG DONGER Been here awhile

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    That links says the dates are for 2006. As usual, I'm several dollars short and several years late!
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  18. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Fascinating follow up info on the men during and after the expedition! Thanks for your hard work.
  19. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    You are correct...but the Rifles, etc are currently on display at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. I will be there tomorrow and will confirm hopefully with pictures.
  20. LONG DONGER

    LONG DONGER Been here awhile

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    Sweet!