The Afterlives of Lewis and Clark

From Southern California Quarterly
  • Stephen Aron


This essay maps the fall and rise of Lewis and Clark by exploring what happened to the explorers following the return of the Corps of Discovery to St. Louis in September 1806. Charting the personal descent of Meriwether Lewis and the political undoing of William Clark, the article ties the sad fate of the cocaptains to the far sadder fate of race relations on the American frontier. Turning, then, from the lives of Lewis and Clark after the expedition to their afterlives, it tracks how, in the years since the deaths of Lewis and Clark, Americans have forgotten and now remember them, how the cocaptains have been joined by Sacagawea and York in the American imagination, and what this resurrection tells us about them—and us.


Indian Woman Indian Land Indian Affair United States Government Printing American Imagination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Organization of American Historians 2007

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  • Stephen Aron

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