By Maurice Isserman, John S. Bowman
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Extra resources for Across America: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Discovery and Exploration)
Added to the dangers of the wilderness, and of possibly hostile Indian tribes, Lewis might well find himself challenged and detained by unfriendly Spanish authorities. The Louisiana Territory, including the city of New Orleans at the mouth of the Mississippi River, had been ceded by France to Spain in 1762, near the end of the French and Indian War. The Spanish were well pleased with the deal because they could use the Louisiana Territory as a buffer zone between their longestablished colonies in Mexico and the Southwest, and the British colonies on the Atlantic Coast.
Louis, so he was not on board with the rest of the men when they set sail up the Missouri on May 14. “Intptr” George Drouillard was also away on an errand, and the other two interpreters on Clark’s list may have been men who had arranged to join the expedition a few days later. Lewis, Clark, the three sergeants—Ordway, Floyd, and Pryor (Clark’s “4 Sergeants” seems to have been a slip of the pen)—along with the 22 “Amns” (Americans), the three interpreters, and Clark’s black servant York—31 men all told—constituted the expedition’s permanent party, the men who were intended to go all the way to the Pacific and back.
One was Pierre Cruzatte, who would play a prominent role in many of the events to follow. Half French and half Indian, he was an experienced boatman. Although blind in one eye and able to see none too well out of the other, he would usually take up the important position of bowman on the keelboat, guiding the boat through the many hidden dangers the river held. He was also valued by other expedition members for his skill in playing the fiddle. The other new recruit was François Labiche, also half French and half Indian, who would serve Although Lewis and Clark passed the settlement to which Daniel Boone had moved in 1799, they did not meet Boone.
Across America: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Discovery and Exploration) by Maurice Isserman, John S. Bowman