November 24, 1805: Manifest Destiny Continues

November 24, 1805

 

Things still look bleak as of today. It’s been tough over the past few weeks. Ever since our arrival to the Pacific Coast, the climate has changed for the worst. During the last five days of our coming, many snowstorms have swept through the area, a second bitter taste of winter following the one we endured the year before. In addition to the dreadful weather condition, our food supplies are cutting short as well. Unlike the Great Plains that housed an abundance of roaming deer and bison, the only source of food here are scarcely populated elks that have retreated from their usual territory into the tall mountains. We would have traded some food from the local tribes, but we already spent most of our money on the way here. The health of my men do not look very well either. Many of them suffer a great deal from cold and influenza. It is essential for us to find a better place for shelter and protection. As of earlier, the team has decided to move to the southern side of the Columbia River, with hopes that conditions might change for the better. It was a rather unusual process of how the decision came to be, some might even consider it outrageous. We had a vote on the moving of camp site and both Sacagawea and York participated; a very peculiar permission we had given for people of such social rankings. 

Although this journey remains extensive and tiresome, I have gained insight to the possibilities these western lands bring for America. From the behavior of bison to the plentiful greenery to the geographic makeup of the area, this expedition proved to be one of valuable knowledge. There are still much to discover that may bring forth crucial information regarding practical routes across the west, and the capability of westward expansion. For the meanwhile, I wish the best to my party and may our exploration be smooth in the days to come. 

 

Yours truly,

Meriwether Lewis