The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume 9: The Journals of John Ordway, May 14, 1804-September 23, 1806, and Charles Floyd, May 14-August 18, 1804by Meriwether Lewis, William Clark
Widely heralded as a lasting achievement, the University of Nebraska Press editions of the journals of Lewis and Clark now present volume 9 of the projected thirteen containing the complete record of the expedition. In order that the fullest record possible be kept of the journey, Captains Lewis and Clark required their sergeants to keep journals to guard against loss of the captains’ own accounts. The sergeants’ accounts extend and corroborate the journals of Lewis and Clark and contribute to the full record of the expedition. The bulk of this volume contains the fullest of the enlisted men’s records, the journal of John Ordway. As senior sergeant, Ordway was in command when the captains were absent from the main body of the expedition. He was also the sole member of the party never to miss a day in his journal; for several portions of the crossing, his is the only extant account. Ordway’s journal has never before been published with the other records of the venture. Charles Floyd’s journal is tragically short, ending with his death near present-day Sioux City, Iowa, on 20 August 1804. Floyd was the only member of the party to die en route, and his journal—adding several details absent from the captains’ records—indicates that the record of the journey is poorer for his loss.
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