What’s west of the known states? What would help America grow and be respected? Who could go to none other than the uncharted territories to meet the raw wilderness? Well, none other than Lewis and Clark with the Corps of discovery! Lewis and Clark with the corps of discovery were trained people who were chosen to explore the west. They gained a lot of help from the natives in the area, for they knew little about the territory. The expedition was terribly strenuous and, they were rewarded greatly. Lewis and Clark’s most important contribution to America was mapping the West. This is because the original goal of their journey was to explore the territory, to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, and to map where Native tribes were. Lewis and Clark’s most momentous contribution to America was mapping the West. This is because the original goal of their journey was to explore the Missouri River, to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, and to map where Native tribes were.
First, the original goal of the Lewis and Clark expedition was to explore the Missouri River. In 1803, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter explaining that the Corps of Discovery should map the river and how they should do it. He states “The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River, & such principal stream of it…” Thomas Jefferson specifically asked the corps of discovery to map the river, showing that that was one of their main goals was to map the river, and they truly achieved that.
Also, they also had to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean. In the letter that Jefferson wrote, he also stated, “The object of your mission is to… [find] communication with the water of the Pacific Ocean may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent.” This shows that one of the most important part of their mission was to find a direct waterway to Pacific Ocean, and though they didn’t achieve this, they did map other important ways to get to the Pacific Ocean proving that part of their expedition to be a success.
Lastly, the Corps of discovery mapped where the native tribes lived. In the map of Lewis and Clark’s journey, there are plots of where the tribes had lived and the tribe names, such as the Salish-Kootenai, Northern Cheyenne, and the Shoshone tribes. Knowing that there was natives in the territory was important for America, who wanted to occupy the area and use it for new states.
In the end, Mapping the west was the main goal of the expedition, and the most impactful contribution to America. Though Befriending the Native Americans was also very important to America because of the bond it created, Mapping the west was more important, because without that original goal, nothing else on the journey would have happened. Mapping the West was tremendously significant to America, and Lewis and Clark with the Corps of Discovery were the ones who achieved this. How did America grow? What are Lewis and Clark known for? What was the biggest accomplishment from the expedition? The answer to all of these is, Mapping the West.