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Meriwether Lewis

The biography of a natural-born leader.

Meriwether Lewis was born on August 28, 1774 in Alblemarle County, Virginia. He had a brother, Ruben, and a sister, Jane.

Lewis, as a child, loved the outdoors. He became interested in plants, animals, and geology. When he was 8 or 9, his family moved to northeastern Georgia. During the four years that he lived there, he learned to improve his outdoor skills and learned how to use a black powder rifle.

His Importance in the Expedition

In the winter of 1804, Lewis spent much time learning about the newly-purchased Louisiana Territory. He couldn't make it to the start of the journey, but met up with the Corps Of Discovery on the 2nd day. During the entire trip, Lewis was facinated at the plants, animals, and other new things, which he kept written down in his journal. He failed to establish an American-Indian alliance and to start a possible Rocky Mountain fur trade with the indians.

When the expedition got back to St. Louis, Lewis went straight to Washington D.C. to report to President Jefferson himself. Both he & Clark were greatly rewarded. Lewis was rewarded by being appointed governor of the Louisiana Territory. Lewis returned to St. Louis to assume his new office. He knew though, that the new office as governor of the Louisiana Territory would be tough.

His time seemed to come early. On October 11, 1809, two blasts could be heard in the Grinder's Stand cabin where Lewis was staying. No one knows exactly what happened. It is known that Lewis died of a gunshot wound to the head and one to the chest. Some say he commited suicide from all of the stress and depression.