Thomas Jefferson: Message to Congress about the Lewis and Clark Expedition

(1803)

Thomas Jefferson’s Message to Congress about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, delivered in 1803, proposed sending an exploratory team to investigate the territory west of the Mississippi River. Twenty-five years after the Declaration of Independence was first signed, the foreign territory beyond the Mississippi remained vast, largely undiscovered terrain to the U.S. government. The land was sparsely populated by various Native American tribes as well as by occasional explorers and trappers from Spain, France, Britain, and the United States. In making his request for a small,...

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Jefferson's message to Congress about Lewis and Clark (National Archives and Records Administration)

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