Author: Meriwether Lewis


Meriwether Lewis’s Journal Entries (August 12–13, 1805)

One of the primary objectives of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, was to locate the Northwest Passage, a legendary waterway that connected the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. President Thomas Jefferson believed the water route might lie at the confluence of the Missouri and Columbia rivers; on August 12 and 13, 1805, Lewis reached the headwaters of the Missouri, crossed the Continental Divide, and determined that the Northwest Passage did not exist. He recorded the experience in his journal.