Wild West

DEATH AND THE CORPS OF DISCOVERY

After spending 862 days (May 14, 1804–September 23, 1806) traveling by boat, foot and horseback more than 8,000 miles to and from the Pacific Ocean under the leadership of Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark (who was posthumously promoted to captain in 2001) almost all of the intrepid explorers who composed the Corps of Discovery returned to St. Louis alive and well. Their arrival back in civilization marked the last time those men and one notable woman gathered as a group. As they separated, none could have predicted the diverse paths they would take on their post-expedition journeys through life or where they would eventually rest in death.

. Sometime between 1825 and ’28 a curious Clark penned a casual accounting of what had happened to his fellow explorers, listing on the front of a ledger the fate of those for whom he had knowledge. Exhaustive research by historians over the intervening years has accounted for the post-expedition lives of most of the corps. Yet today we know where only 14 of the explorers are buried, and in several of those cases we know only the cemetery, not the location of the gravesite. Surprisingly few of the known markers bear inscriptions noting the participation of the decedent in the groundbreaking journey to the Pacific.

Following is an accounting of the 14 known burial sites and markers.

Meriwether Lewis (1774–1809)

In 1807 President Thomas Jefferson, who had commissioned the expedition, appointed Lewis governor of Louisiana Territory, and Congress rewarded both Lewis and Clark with 1,600 acres of land west of the Mississippi River. Lewis, who

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