Lewis and Clark
Kentuckians are excited about extending the official Lewis
and Clark Trail to include the eastern states, and the Kentucky
Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission is dedicated to
accomplishing this important task.
The year 2006 presents an unprecedented opportunity for the
states of the eastern United States to give a gift of legacy to
future generations. More and more, citizens and historians are
coming to realize the vast significance and rich history of the
eastern trail that Lewis and Clark traveled before and after their
journey to the west.
Leaving from Washington, D.C., in 1803, Meriwether Lewis made
important stops in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio,
Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. While the western portion
of the expedition was remarkable for its numerous difficulties and
discoveries, the preceding journey from the nation’s capital to St.
Louis offers important insights about the planning, preparation, and
execution of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Similarly, the
Homecoming trail taken in 1806 from St. Louis to Washington, D.C.,
speaks volumes not only about the Expedition but the country’s view
of its returning heroes as well. The Eastern Homecoming Trail
includes the states of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Tennessee, and Virginia.
The Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission is moving
forward in promoting the extension of the Lewis and Clark Trail to
officially include the Eastern Legacy States. In sponsoring
legislation on the state and national level, the commission is
interested in capturing the momentum of the bicentennial to leave a
legacy for future Americans in the eastern states.
The Kentucky Lewis and Clark Commission urges individuals across
the nation to support extension of the Lewis and Clark Trail and
encourages citizens of the Eastern Legacy States, as well as our
friends in the Western Legacy States, to contact their
representatives on the state and national level to promote this
If you have any questions regarding Kentucky’s effort to extend
the Lewis and Clark Trail, please contact Warren Greer by e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by
phone at (502) 564-5135 ext. 4478.
Series of Events
The Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission is
gearing up for the 2006 Homecoming Series of Events. In November of
next year, Kentucky will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the
return of the Corps of Discovery from their journey to the west.
Both Lewis and Clark traveled directly through the heart of the
commonwealth on their way to Washington, D.C., to report to
President Thomas Jefferson.
This was a remarkable journey through Kentucky in a number of
ways. First, the Lewis and Clark Expedition had essentially been
given up for dead. Whether they had succumbed to Indians, the
elements, or wild animals was a subject of much speculation in
early-nineteenth-century America. When the expedition finally
arrived in St. Louis, the entire nation rejoiced in its return.
Indeed, when Lewis and Clark proceeded towards the nation’s capital,
traveling through the commonwealth, they came home to a hero’s
welcome. Imagine the marvelous stories that Kentuckian William Clark
reported to his kinsmen and fellow Kentuckians about the arduous
adventure he experienced!
The Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission encourages
individuals and communities across the commonwealth to participate
in the Homecoming Series of Events. The commission has made grant
money available to support programming for this and other Lewis and
Clark related projects. Educational programming, speaking events,
archaeological digs, and exhibits are just a few of the wonderful
programs that can occur. Don’t be left out of the fun! Plan
something for your area.
See you on the trail!
and Clark Trail Map (Adobe PDF - 14KB)
2006 Lewis and Clark Grant (Adobe PDF - 263KB)
200 Years Ago
on the Lewis and Clark Expedition . . .
“This morning I was awoke at an early hour by the
discharge of a volley of small arms, which were fired by our party
in front of our quarters to usher in the new year; this was the only
mark of respect which we had it in our power to pay this celebrated
- Meriwether Lewis, January 1,
New Year’s Day 1806 found Meriwether Lewis, his partner in
discovery William Clark, and this brave band of explorers wintering
on the Pacific Coast. Journal entries routinely begin with reports
of rain, rain, and more rain! The sun was rarely seen and the damp,
chilly conditions wore the men down both physically and mentally.
The previous year’s winter experience with the Mandans was not
repeated among the Clatsops and other local tribes. The explorers –
even the black skinned York – and their depleted stock of trade
goods failed to excite the area tribes, and relations were often
strained. The captains made ethnographic and scientific observations
and the men hunted and performed other duties. Their meager diet
consisted primarily of elk. Dog occasionally appeared on the dinner
table as well (William Clark confessed that he didn’t care for it).
Salt making was conducted on the coast in order to season and
preserve their food. Some of the Kentuckians put their experience to
work and produced good quality salt. The highlight of the month
might well have been a beached whale. It created such a sensation
that even Sacagawea wanted to see it. January 1807 would find Lewis
in Washington where William Clark, having stayed on in Kentucky
until mid-December, would join him later that month. There, as the
toast of the town and the nation, that miserable January of 1806
would be just an unpleasant memory.
Created by executive order and administered by the Kentucky
Historical Society, the Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial
Commission seeks to educate Kentuckians and the nation about
Kentucky's important role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition; assist
governments and organizations with their Kentucky- related Lewis and
Clark bicentennial events and projects; and perform other duties
that will highlight and commemorate Kentucky's significant
contributions to this historic achievement.