The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume 3: August 25, 1804-April 6, 1805

Overview

When the Atlas of the Lewis and Clark Expedition appeared in 1983 critics hailed it as a publishing landmark in western history. The second volume, which began the actual journals, fully lived up to the promise of the first. This eagerly awaited third volume continues the journals of explorers whose epic trail-blazing still excites the imagination.

Instructed by President Jefferson to keep meticulous records bearing on the geography, ethnology, and natural history of the ...

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Overview

When the Atlas of the Lewis and Clark Expedition appeared in 1983 critics hailed it as a publishing landmark in western history. The second volume, which began the actual journals, fully lived up to the promise of the first. This eagerly awaited third volume continues the journals of explorers whose epic trail-blazing still excites the imagination.

Instructed by President Jefferson to keep meticulous records bearing on the geography, ethnology, and natural history of the trans-Mississippi West, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and four of their men filled hundreds of notebook pages with observations during their expedition of 1804-6. The result was and is a national treasure: a complete look at the Great Plains, the Rockies, and the Pacific Northwest, reported by men who were intelligent and well prepared, at a time when almost nothing was known about those regions so newly acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.

Volume 3 consists of the journals during the expedition’s route from the Vermillion River to Fort Mandan, North Dakota, and their winter encampment there. It describes their encounters with Sioux, Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa Indians, including considerable ethnographic material on these tribes. Some miscellaneous documents containing information gathered during the first year of the expedition, originally published in a separate volume, are here brought together in an appropriate chronological sequence.

Superseding the last edition, published early in this century, the current edition contains new materials discovered since then. It greatly expands and updates the annotation to take account of the most recent scholarship on the many subjects touched on by the journals.

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Editorial Reviews

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"The University of Nebraska Press has become the pre-eminent publisher of Lewis and Clark titles, including what is now considered the definitive edition of the journals edited by Nebraska history professor Gary Moulton."—John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

— John Marshall

Washington Post Book World

"[This edition] stands as one of the great accomplishments of American scholarship and scholarly publishing alike. The work of historian Gary Moulton and a team of some three dozen specialists working through the University of Nebraska's Center for Great Plains Studies with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the 13-volume Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was published by the University of Nebraska Press from 1983 to 2001."—Gregory McNamee, Washington Post Book World

— Gregory McNamee

New York Review of Books

"Lewis and Clark loom over the narrative literature of the West as the Rockies loom over the rivers that run through them. These Journals are to the narrative of the American West as the Iliad is to the epic or as Don Quixote is to the novel: a first exemplar so great as to contain in embryo the genre's full potential. The narrative writing about the West that came before Lewis and Clark seems fragmentary and slight; what came after them seems insipid and slight, lacking both the scale and the force of those Journals."—Larry McMurtry, New York Review of Books

— Larry McMurtry

Pacific Northwest Quarterly
"A significant project in scholarly publishing and western historiography."—Pacific Northwest Quarterly
Persimmon Hill
"One of the most noteworthy ventures in historical publishing."—Persimmon Hill
New York Review of Books - Larry McMurtry
"Lewis and Clark loom over the narrative literature of the West as the Rockies loom over the rivers that run through them. These Journals are to the narrative of the American West as the Iliad is to the epic or as Don Quixote is to the novel: a first exemplar so great as to contain in embryo the genre's full potential. The narrative writing about the West that came before Lewis and Clark seems fragmentary and slight; what came after them seems insipid and slight, lacking both the scale and the force of those Journals."—Larry McMurtry, New York Review of Books
James P. Ronda
"This is a project of lasting importance and influence."—James P. Ronda, author of Lewis and Clark among the Indians
John Logan Allen
"Those interested in the Lewis and Clark Expedition in particular and western history in general can look forward to the completion of the Journals series. . .a milestone as important in its way as the great exploration of Lewis and Clark."—John Logan Allen, author of Passage through the Garden: Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American Northwest
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