Joseph Kraemer


In February 1803 at the urging of then President Thomas Jefferson, Congress approved spending $2,500 for a small U.S. Army expedition, final cost of the voyage was $38,727. Their assignment was to ascend the Missouri River to its source, cross the continental divide, and follow the Columbia River to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean. Jefferson chose 28-year-old Meriwether Lewis as leader for the group he called the Corps of Discovery. Lewis selected a former army comrade, 32-year-old William Clark to be his co-leader. The expedition began May 14, 1804, as the group left Camp Wood River, Illinois. The expedition returned to St. Louis on September 23, 1806.

Jefferson knew that this expedition would test the limits of the human body; he needed to find a few good men that would be physically able to complete this journey and document their findings.  Having thoughts in mind Jefferson’s first choice was Meriwether Lewis, an intelligent and literate man who possessed skills as a frontiersman.  With Lewis being the first choice he now needed a partner for this elaborate task, soliciting the help from William Clark.  Clark had abilities of a draftsman and frontiersman that were superior to Lewis.  With this new found partnership both Lewis and Clark needed to find a capable and willing group of men to accompany the Corps of Discovery on their two year journey to the great ocean.  

Members of this particular journey will have to be equipped with certain attributes.  The members chosen must be intelligent, literate, physically fit enough to complete the journey, posses survival skills, and other skills unique to each man.  There is a wide variety of individuals from this time that could take part in this expedition.   I would choose men based on their individual qualifications and experiences.  I would proceed to gather an array of candidates, first I would take a few individuals with a military background, second I would have a few candidates with specialties in geography and map making, thirdly I would want individuals with skills in hunting and gathering, useful in this journey for food and protection, and finally I would choose individuals that posses survival skills to help the group survive the harsh elements during their voyage.  

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This voyage will be a testament of the human body, mind, and will; the individuals partaking in this journey will need to posses certain skills.  The first skills that should be possessed are the skills that of a frontiersman.  Secondly these men should have the abilities of a draftsman.  Thirdly I would like these men to have some experience navigating foreign terrain.  Fourthly these men should have some skills navigating waterways such as rivers, lakes, and tributaries.  Lastly, I would expect these individuals to be healthy, intelligent, posse’s knowledge of the wilderness and have skills in hunting, gathering, and ...

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