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The purpose of this paper is to analyze the expedition of Lewis and Clark from 1804 to 1806 as they crossed the territory of Louisiana. Their journey has become one of the most important symbols of American history and its memory has been far reaching. More specifically, this paper aims to examine more closely the interactions that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark had with the Native Americans. Thomas Jefferson had an extensive list of requests and instructions for the two explorers. While this paper will not analyze all of Jefferson’s requests, there are two that will be featured in this paper for such analysis. The first topic that will be discussed is the attempt by Lewis and Clark and the rest of the Corps of Discovery to create a lasting environment of peace and harmony between the Native Americans of the previously unexplored western frontier and the government and citizens of the United States of America. The second topic that will be discussed in this paper is the attempt of the explorers to build a commercial relationship with these same groups.


Senior undergraduate thesis for the class HI-398-Independent Study, taught by Professor Julie Mujic.