Wild West Discussion – August 2009

When discussing trans-Mississippi West exploration, everyone starts with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. But historian Will Bagley has the two captains sharing the No. 2 ranking among U.S. Western explorers. In Bagley’s book, Jedediah Smith is No. 1. Do you agree? Also in contention are a frontier full of other adventurous fellows, including Zebulon Pike, Joe Walker, Wilson Price Hunt, Robert Stuart, Peter Ogden, Stephen Long, Jim Bridger and John Wesley Powell.

One Response

  1. Steve McCarty

    If one thinks about it, Lewis and Clarke walked and floated to Oregon and back again to St. Lewis. It took them three years to do it. They would not be as well known if it was not for their wonderful and detailed journal, and possibly because Sacajawea came along. Truth be known she did not have much to do with the voyage. It was her baby boy, Pompey who most impressed Cpt. Clarke.

    Did Sacajawea keep the Black Feet from killing the explorers or was it Lewis’s air rifle that impressed them? Probably the latter.

    Pretty soon Sacajawea is going to be the talk of the town because the gov’t is about to replace the paper dollar with the gold colored coin with Sac and Pompey displayed.

    I think that if Sac had not come along L&C would have made it just fine, but Clarke would not have had the little baby to play with, or anyone to name that pillar after.


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