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, 1804

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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 ...
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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
According to series editor Moulton (history, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln) the definitive record of the Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-06) was written by the explorers themselves. Their journals were published in the first eight volumes of this series. Volume 9 (of a projected 13) contains the journals of two sergeants, John Ordway and Charles Floyd, unlettered men who nevertheless, as Moulton puts it in his introduction, "tried to the best of their ability to record an extraordinary experience." Ordway's journal, from May 14, 1804, to September 23, 1806, is the fullest of the enlisted men's records. Floyd's covers only three months in 1804: he became ill and expired on August 20-the only man to die on the expedition. According to Ordway, Floyd was buried "in the Best Manner Possible...on a handsome Sightly Round knob near the Bank." (Moulton identifies the location as Sioux City, Iowa.) Future volumes in the series will contain other enlisted men's journals, a description of the flora and fauna encountered on the expedition, and an index. The series will interest scholars and history buffs, and this volume is recommended for both academic and public libraries.-Caroline A. Mitchell, Washington, D.C.
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