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The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume 8: June 10Â–September 26, 1806by Gary E. Moulton
Synopses & Reviews
Volume 8 of this prize-winning new edition continues the return of the expeditionary party, from their base at Camp Chopunnish on the Clearwater River in present Idaho back to St. Louis. At the outset, they are hindered by deep snow; but after returning to obtain help from Nez Perce guides they make rapid progress, so much so that at their Travelers' Rest Camp near the site of today's Missoula, Montana, the captains divide the party for separate explorations. Lewis heads east to the Missouri River, then north along the Marias to examine the northern extent of the Louisiana Purchase; Clark goes southeast toward the Yellowstone to explore that river and to make contact with local Indians. Lewis's party suffers various forms of ill luck — grizzlies, horse thieves, and a violent encounter with a party of Piegan Blackfeet (the only trouble of this kind on the expedition) — and Lewis is wounded by one of his own men in a hunting accident.
Clark's group has its own troubles, although not as severe as those of Lewis and his men. The two parties eventually reunite on August 12 in present North Dakota and continue downriver. They revisit Indian tribes — Mandans, Hidatsas, Arikaras, and Yankton Sioux — they had met on the way out, and encounter traders and trappers going upriver. They arrive back in St. Louis to a triumphal welcome on September 23.
"This important text has not been fully appreciated for what it is because of two centuries of incomplete and inadequate editing....Thus my gratitude to the present editor, Gary Moulton...for bringing what I believe to be a national epic into plain view at last....[N]ow the captains' writings have at last spilled out, and fully, in this regal edition." Larry McMurtry, The New York Review of Books
"Meticulously edited, with detailed (and absolutely necessary) footnotes, these volumes are a triumph of scholarly publishing....One version or another belongs on most readers' shelves — and should accompany any road trip through the West." Atlantic Monthly
"Moulton not only edited the transcriptions of the journal entries; he also provided a detailed index and oversaw a team of consultants who provided expert annotations on botany, zoology, astronomy, archaeology, linguists and medicine. As a result, readers can understand the expedition in its full context. It's no wonder that the series has received many plaudits." Omaha World Herald
"[This edition] stands as one of the great accomplishments of American scholarship and scholarly publishing alike. The work of historian Gary Moulton and a team of some three dozen specialists working through the University of Nebraska's Center for Great Plains Studies with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the 13-volume Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was published by the University of Nebraska Press from 1983 to 2001." Gregory McNamee, Washington Post Book World
Includes bibliographical references (p. 421-430) and index.
About the Author
Gary E. Moulton is Thomas C. Sorensen Professor of American History at the University of Nebraska and recipient of the J. Franklin Jameson Award of the American Historical Association for the editing of these journals.
Table of Contents
List of Figures, vi
Editorial Symbols and Abbreviations, ix
Special Symbols of Lewis and Clark, ix
Common Abbreviations of Lewis and Clark, x
Introduction to Volume 8, 1
Chapter 36: In the Bitterroot Mountains, June 10—July 2, 1806, 7
Chapter 37: Lewis's Exploration of the Marias, July 3—August 12, 1806, 82
Chapter 38: Clark's Exploration of the Yellowstone, July 3—August 12, 1806, 161
Chapter 39: From the Little Missouri to White River, August 13—31, 1806, 297
Chapter 40: The Home Stretch, September 1—26, 1806, 337
Chapter 41: Postexpeditionary Miscellany, 376
Sources Cited, 421
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