In December 1803, William Clark established "Camp River Dubois" at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, north of St. Louis. While there he recruited and trained men, while Meriwether Lewis spent time in St. Louis, conferring with traders about the Upper Missouri regions and obtaining maps made by earlier explorers.
On May 14, 1804, William Clark and the Corps of Discovery left Camp River Dubois, and were joined by Meriwether Lewis in St. Charles, Missouri. The party numbered over 45, and included 27 young, unmarried soldiers, a French-Indian interpreter, and Clark's Black slave York. An additional group of men, engagés, would travel only to the Mandan country for the first winter, and these included six soldiers and several French boatmen.
These profiles of members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were written as though each individual was talking directly to you. The time would be May 13, 1804 at the expedition's camp on the Wood River in Illinois. The following day the Corps of Discovery embarked on their incredible journey. In each case there is a "P.S." which tells you what happened (if it is known what happened) to each of these people after the expedition was over.
For information on the later lives of Lewis and Clark and several of the men of the Corps of Discovery as revealed through original court documents take a look at the St. Louis Court Records Project website.
Last updated: April 10, 2015