Louisiana Facts-of-the-Day Extra Info

May 14, 1804

The Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase territory begins its ascent of the Missouri River May 14 seeking to determine whether the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean are linked by a river system, and in the absence of any such water connection, to pioneer an overland route across the Rocky Mountains. Funded by a congressional appropriation of $2,500, the 35-man expedition is headed by President Jefferson's personal secretary Capt. Meriwether Lewis, 29, and William Clark, 33, a brother of George Rogers Clark of 1778 Kaskaskia and Vincennes fame.