The Fate of the Corps: What Became of the Lewis and Clark Explorers After the Expedition

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The story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition has been told many times. But what became of the thirty-three members of the Corps of Discovery once the expedition was over?
The expedition ended in 1806, and the final member of the corps passed away in 1870. In the intervening decades, members of the corps witnessed the momentous events of the nation they helped to form—from the War of 1812 to the Civil War and the opening of the transcontinental railroad. Some of the expedition members went on to hold public office; two were charged with murder. Many of the explorers could not resist the call of the wild, and continued to adventure forth into America’s western frontier.
Engagingly written and based on exhaustive research, The Fate of the Corps chronicles the lives of the fascinating men (and one woman) who opened the American West.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Morris (chair, genealogy committee, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation) here relates the final stories of those who served with the Lewis and Clark expedition. Some became legends during their lifetimes, especially John Colter with his race to escape from Blackfoot Indians. Others received their wages for expedition service and faded into anonymity. Of the 33 corps members, eight died violent deaths at least one by his own hands. Of note are the three appendixes, which list all expedition members' biographical information, discuss the Sacajawea controversy, and present the primary documents detailing Lewis's death. Morris also refutes the belief that the black man-servant York traveled west and resided with the Crow nation, instead providing evidence that points to York's death in Tennessee in 1822. This well-researched, well-written book deserves a spot in Lewis and Clark collections in all libraries. Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300109726
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 8/10/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,556,165
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry E. Morris is a writer and editor with the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient  Religious Texts at Brigham Young University and has served as chairman of the genealogy committee for the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 "We descended with great velocity" : the triumphant return of the Lewis and Clark expedition 5
Ch. 2 "All the red men are my children" : Lewis and Sheheke's visit to Thomas Jefferson 23
Ch. 3 "They appeared in violent rage" : Pryor and Shannon's battle with the Arikara 28
Ch. 4 "He saw the prairie behind him covered with Indians in full and rapid chase" : the adventures of John Colter 38
Ch. 5 "This has not been done through malice" : George Drouillard's murder trial 49
Ch. 6 "The gloomy and savage wilderness" : the mysterious death of Meriwether Lewis 54
Ch. 7 "I give and recommend my soul" : the deaths of George Gibson, Jean-Baptiste Lepage, and John Shields 75
Ch. 8 "A sincere and undisguised heart" : George Shannon's early career 82
Ch. 9 "He must have fought in a circle on horseback" : George Drouillard's death at the hands of the Blackfeet 89
Ch. 10 "Walter as high as the trees" : William Bratton and John Ordway and the great earthquake 97
Ch. 11 "She was a good and the best woman in the fort" : Sacagawea's death 106
Ch. 12 "The crisis is fast approaching" : the corps and the War of 1812 118
Ch. 13 "We lost in all fourteen killed" : John Collins and Toussaint Charbonneau among the mountain men 127
Ch. 14 "Taken with the cholera in Tennessee and died" : the sad fate of York 139
Ch. 15 "Men on Lewis & Clark's trip" : William Clark's accounting of expedition members 149
Ch. 16 "Active to the last" : the final decades of the corps 162
App. A Members of the Lewis and Clark expedition 187
App. B The death of Meriwether Lewis 203
App. C The Sacagawea controversy 210
Map of the Missouri River region
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    Lewis and Clark = what HASN'T been written about them?

    Lewis and Clark = what HASN'T been written about them?
    Read this. There are nuggets here. It's technical in the detail but obscure facts do come out. It isn't in the manner or a start to finish trek. You're going to get side tracked by meticulous research, but you are going to know what you are reading isn't "made up", "developed", and "opinion". The facts of the smallest items are laid out in detail.
    If you want more details on Americas greatest hikers = it's here. If you want adventure reading, this probably isn't the best read. Astounding details!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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