Synopses & Reviews
When the Atlas of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
appeared in 1983 critics hailed it as a publishing landmark in western history. Fully living up to the promise of the first volume were the second volume, which began the actual journals and brought the expedition through its first year to August 1804, and the third volume, which brought the explorers through a winter at Fort Mandan, present North Dakota, and to April 1805.
This eagerly awaited fourth volume begins on April 7, 1805, when Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their permanent party set out from Fort Mandan, traveling up-river along the banks of the Missouri. For the first time they entered country never explored by whites. With the help of the Shoshone Indian woman Sacagawea, they hoped to make friendly contact with her people, then cross the Rocky Mountains and eventually reach the Pacific. They were to spend the rest of the spring and the early summer toiling up the Missouri, or around its perilous falls. Along the way, they encountered grizzly bears, cataloged new species of plants and animals, and mapped rivers and streams. Sacagawea recognized landmarks; meeting her people became the next great concern of the expedition when they reached the three forks of the Missouri in late July.
Superseding the last edition, published early in this century, the current edition contains new materials discovered since then. It expands and updates the annotation to take account of the most recent scholarship on the many subjects touched on by the journals.
"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
"This is a project of lasting importance and influence." James P. Ronda, author of Lewis and Clark Among the Indians
"Those interested in the Lewis and Clark Expedition in particular and western history in general can look forward to the completion of the Journals series...a milestone as important in its way as the great exploration of Lewis and Clark." John Logan Allen, author of Passage Through the Garden: Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American Northwest
The fourth volume begins on April 7, 1805, when Lewis and Clark set out from Fort Mandan, traveling upriver along the Missouri. For the first time they entered country never explored by whites. With the help of the Shoshone woman Sacagawea, they hoped to make friendly contact with her people, then cross the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific.
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.