Follow the footsteps of famous explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
President Thomas Jefferson sent a group led by Louis and Clark to explore and
map the newly acquired western territories of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Known to Native Americans for centuries, Lewis and Clark recorded plants and
animals not familiar to Americans of the time. Can you identify these plants, ani-
mals, and people first made famous by the Corps of Discovery?
__1. The elk, or wapiti, now live only in the high mountains, but Lewis and Clark may have
seen them on the Great Plains as well. The Indians prized their hides for tepee covers.
__2. The Western Meadowlark was so widespread throughout the lands the expedition
explored that it became the state bird of six Western states.
__3. Wife of the French Canadian interpreter Toussaint Charbonneau, this young Snake
Indian proved invaluable to the expedition, translating and helping them get horses from her
people for their return journey.
__4. The expedition encountered “a Buzzard of the large Kind” in the Rockies. Endangered
almost to extinction, this majestic bird is making a comeback.
__5. Expedition member John Ordway made notes in his journal about a burrowing animal
the group encountered on the plains, giving it the popular name we know it by today. One
was sent back to President Jefferson from Ft. Mandan, making a journey of four months and
4,000 miles to live for a while in the President’s House.
__6. Indians showed Lewis and Clark the white shaggy hides and black spike–horns of
these bearded steeplejacks. Because they weren’t hunted for meat or trophy, they number
about the same today, about 15,000 in the land of glaciers and eternal snow.
__7. After months in the seemingly endless grasslands, the expedition reached the moun-
tains and the forests of huge ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, an important natural resource
to the nation still today.
__8. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark camped at St. Louis
at the mouth of the “Big Muddy” Missouri River and began