- from Lewis & Clark
Lewis and Jefferson wanted the expedition to start as soon as possible. But there was a lot to do first. Lewis began buying supplies.
Choosing what to take was a big job. The team couldn’t carry extra weight over rough landscape. But the members had to take every necessity. Once they were in the wilderness, they’d have to manage without whatever they’d left behind.
Lewis went to Philadelphia to stock up on supplies and information. He had a lot to learn. And he had to do it fast. Like a student before a big test, he crammed in all the knowledge he could about map-making and medicine. He also learned how to identify and classify plants, animals, and minerals. And he learned how to navigate by the stars. Thanks to Jefferson’s connections, Lewis learned from the best men in their fields.
Lewis, Clark, and their men spent that fall and winter at a camp on the Wood River. It was just north of St. Louis, in Illinois. There, the learning continued. Lewis and Clark practiced calculating location by the stars. They also got to know their men. Who might cause problems? Who might need discipline? Who could they depend on in a tough situation? Most of the men were experienced soldiers. They learned how to work together to survive in the wilderness.