Lewis and Clark prepare for their expedition to explore the Northwest Territory of the United States. Explore the dates below for big events in 1803.

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June 20
—President Thomas Jefferson writes a letter to Meriwether Lewis, asking him to command an expedition across the Pacific Northwest to the Pacific Ocean. To read a transcript of Jefferson's letter to Lewis, click here.

July 4
—The United States announces the Louisiana Purchase from France.

July 29
—William Clark agrees to be co-captain on the expedition.

October 14
—Lewis and Clark meet in Louisville, Kentucky. Read more about this meeting in the trail today.

Dec 8
—Lewis and Clark set up Camp River Dubois, just north of St. Louis, Missouri. While Clark recruits and trains men, Lewis learns as much scientific, geographic, medical, and historic knowledge as he can to prepare for the voyage. To learn more about Camp River Dubois, click here.


to The Trail Today

Congratulations, you have found one of the objects for the specimen box!

Lewis and Clark explored this new land, they discovered new species of plants like this native corn. Click here to add the corn to your specimen box or click here for a printable version.