President Jefferson instructed Meriwether Lewis to collect information on “the soil & face of the country, [its] growth & vegetable productions… the animals of the country generally, especially those not of the U.S.” In fulfilling these instructions, members of the Expedition were the first to describe for science 178 plants. The explorers’ written descriptions and the seeds and specimens they collected were Jefferson’s window onto the new west.
Learn more about some of the plants collected and used by the Expedition:
Did You Know?
Seaman, Lewis’s Newfoundland dog, joined the Expedition in Philadelphia when Lewis purchased him for $20. On the journey, Seaman served the Corps as hunter, sentry, and companion. Upon reaching the Pacific, Seaman became the first dog to travel the breadth of the North American continent.