Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
1997 | Documentary/Series | English | 1 season (2 episodes). Each episode is 120 minutes
President Thomas Jefferson seized the opportunity when France, desperate for money to finance its war against Britain, offered to sell the huge land west of the Mississippi for $15 million. The year was 1803, only 27 years after the start of the American Revolution. Referred to as the The Louisiana Territory, it doubled the size of America and protected the country’s vulnerable left flank. But Jefferson soon realized that before the land could be settled, it had to be explored. He had three primary goals in mind: to find a water route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific, to learn about the natives occupying the land, and to establish sovereignty over the entire region. On May 14, 1805, Lewis & Clark were given $2,500 by the government, 33 men, including geologists and map makers, and set out from St. Louis, navigating upstream on the muddy Missouri River. Throughout their expedition, they had to deal with the native Indians, some friendly, some not so much. The expedition was fortunate encountering Sacagawea, a young Shoshone woman married to French trader Toussaint Charbonneau. Both were very familiar with the land and its inhabitants. The expedition returned to St.Louis on September 23, 1806. They were unable to find a water route to the Pacific, but they succeeded in documenting more than 100 new animals, 178 plants, and they provided 140 maps of the region. The expedition lasted 864 days and covered more than 8,000 miles. How fortunate: it’s all been captured in this brilliant documentary.
Why Stream This DOCUMENTARY?
National Educational Media Network, USA: Winner, Silver Apple Award for Best Documentary
PGA Awards: Winner, Vision Award for Best Television Documentary
Western Heritage Awards: Winner, Bronze Wrangler Award for Best Western Documentary
Western Writers of America: Winner, Spot Award, Best Documentary Script
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It’s a visually stunning account of the 1804-06 expedition ordered by President Jefferson and headed by Meriwether Lewis and Lt. William Clark. Ken Burns reports what the two men saw, experienced and accomplished. Striking photography, superb editing, informative reportage and some illuminating anecdotes characterize this fine documentary.
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