Point A (Atlantic) to Point P (Pacific)
Lewis and Clarke were not the first to seek a water route across North America; European explorers had been seeking the elusive Northwest Passage for centuries before. Virginia Indians, John Smith reported, told that, to the west, beyond “a great ridge of high hills”, “a great sea doth run”. The James River was broad and deep: could it be a shortcut to the silk and spices of India and China?
Did You Know?
English settlers were encouraged to plant mulberry trees to help their silk production attempts. (Silkworms eat mulberry leaves.) Red mulberry is native to North America but the silkworms preferred the white mulberries of the Orient. Today Jamestown has both red and white mulberry trees.