Grateful American® Foundation

Which famous duo began their exploration of the west today in 1804?

May 21st

GA-May21-Lewis&ClarkMay 21, 1804 – Famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out by boat from St. Charles, Missouri, on their journey to the Pacific Ocean today.

They left port to the sound of “three cheers” from the audience that lined the riverbank. St. Charles was their final embarkation point for the Corps of Discovery Expedition to the newly purchased Western territory of the United States.

Clark had arrived early at St. Charles, on May 14, to meet with the men who would accompany him. There was much merriment about the journey. In fact, in the days leading up to Lewis’ arrival there was so much anticipation that several crewmembers were court-martialed and punished for the party they threw. One crewmember even received 50 lashes for “using disrespectful language” towards Clark.

The crew would not return to St. Charles again until September 1806.

Words of Wisdom

I could but esteem this moment of my departure as among the most happy of my life.

― Meriwether Lewis (August 18, 1774 - October 11, 1809), American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition also known as the Corps of Discovery, with William Clark, whose mission was to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase.

Partners & Supporters