The primary character in this story is a pioneer boy who tags along with the Lewis and Clark expedition. The main character was raised by Indians after his family is killed and so is able to help the party as a translator. He describes the characters, sites and events of the expedition with great detail and interest. Although the story is fictional it is based on meticulous research and presents many true-to-life incidents associated with the famous expedition.
DID THEY SET THE PRAIRIE AFIRE JUST TO BURN HIM, A BOY?
THE WESTERN RED MAN
WHO FIRST OWNED FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA,
BUT WHOM THE WHITE MAN THAT CAME AFTER LEWIS
AND CLARK TREATED NEITHER WISELY NOR WELL.
"Our Country's glory is our chief concern;
For this we struggle, and for this we burn
For this we smile, for this alone we sigh;
For this we live, for this we freely die."
As time passes, the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, fathered by the great President Jefferson, should shine brighter and brighter amidst the other pages of American history.
The purchase of the Province of Louisiana was opposed by many citizens. They were ignorant and short-sighted; they asserted that here was a useless burden of waste land fitted only to the Indian and the fur-trader; that the people of the United States should occupy themselves with the land east of the 'Mississippi.
But wiser men prevailed. The expedition launched boldly out into the unknown, to carry the flag now into the new country, and perhaps to make possible the ownership of still a farther country, at the Pacific Ocean.
Time proved the wisdom of President Jefferson's preparations made even before the territory had been bought. Just at the right moment the trail across the continent was opened. Louisiana Territory was valued at its future worth; the people were informed of its merits and possibilities; after the return of the explorers, the American citizens pressed forward, to see for themselves. And in due course the flag floated 5 unchallenged in that Oregon where, also, the Lewis and Clark men had blazed the way.
I should like to have been under Captain Meriwether Lewis, turning thirty, and Captain William Clark, scant thirty-four. They were true leaders: brave, patient, resourceful and determined. And the company that followed them were likewise, brave, patient, resourceful and determined. These qualities are what bound them all together—the American, the Frenchman, the Indian—as one united band, and brought them through, triumphant.
|EDWIN L. SABIN|
DENVER, COLORADO June 1, 1917.
Editor's Note: In this version of the book the information related by the "Expedition and Country", and "Rank and Files" chapters, which give a chronological history of the region, and the the names and histories of Clark, Lewis, and their officers, has been removed from the front of the book, to an appendix in the back.