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Unit 3. A Map of Lewis and Clark’s Track, Across the Western Portions of North America

Samuel Lewis drew this map of the trail followed by the Corps of Discovery in 1804, 1805, and 1806. He published the map in 1814. Source: SHSND.

Lewis and Clark Map
Lewis and Clark Map, by Samuel Lewis, 1804-1806.
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Samuel Lewis was a cartographer who was active in the late 18th and early 19th century. This map, which allowed all Americans to view the trail of the explorers, was one of his most important pieces. Clark’s measurements on the course of the expedition were somewhat inaccurate, but he brought back a great deal more knowledge about the geography of the northern plains than had been previously available in the United States. Note the multiple chains of mountains that form the Rocky Mountains, the longer and more complex course of the Missouri River and the location of the Red River. Source: SHSND.

Map Activity: Imagine that you are a fur trader in St. Louis in 1814 and you purchase a copy of this map. What would you consider to be the most important information that you can retrieve from this map? How has the naming of different locations changed since the map of 1795?