Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Lewis’s suicide has hurt his reputation. Had Cruzatte’s bullet killed him, he would be honored today far more than he is; perhaps there would be a river named after him. But through most of the nineteenth century, he was relatively ignored and in some danger of being forgotten. In 1889-91, Henry Adams could write a multivolume history of the Jefferson administration and scarcely mention Meriwether Lewis or William Clark (whose reputation at the time rested far more on his accomplishments in St. Louis as superintendent of Indian affairs than on the expedition).

Stephen Ambrose, Undaunted Courage (474)

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