Oregon Chapter of the  
  Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation  

  September 2001 Newsletter : Vol. III, No. III  

Oregon Chapter Newsletter
Vol. III, No. III                                   September 2001

Oregon Chapter LCTHF

President's Corner

Greetings one and all! I hope that each and every one of you has been enjoying the summer weather. Chapter officers, directors and volunteers have been busy accomplishing a number of important items. For one, with the help of member Paul Nolte, the Oregon Chapter is now officially and legally incorporated in the State of Oregon as a domestic non-profit corporation. We have also filed for a new Tax Identification Number. This may not sound too exciting, but based on the amount of work involved it was one of the major milestones I had on my agenda, and it puts the Oregon Chapter on a solid legal footing, which will be required as we pursue serious donations and grants. Two other items on my agenda were, first, to arrange a number of interesting meetings early on, so that members could easily plan ahead to attend, and second, to increase chapter membership. Regarding the first of these two items, I think this goal has been well accomplished. We still have two upcoming meetings planned for this year (October 13th in Irrigon and our December 8th Christmas Party at Fort Clatsop), and as you will read later, we are involved in a special event to be held November 10th (see page 10 for further details). Per the second item, I can only state that I have and will continue to try to increase membership. So far this year we have distributed over 1500

membership forms, including 1000 via the LCBO mailing list to people who expressed an interest in helping to plan and commemorate the upcoming bicentennial. Also, the Artist's Forum held in April, drew more members of the public than it did chapter members, and the upcoming November 10th special event should present another wonderful opportunity to "get the word out." I remain hopeful and dedicated to this task, and welcome ideas from any anyone!

Example Badge Chapter badges are now a reality. The first batch has all been sold and I have created a "waiting list" to see if we can accumulate another 25 orders (the minimum batch size that we can purchase). Thanks again to Anita Walker for her input into the design of the badge.
(continued on next page)

Inside This Issue:
Q&A : Meriwether Lewis Descendents? Page 3
Historical Nugget #1 Page 4
Traveling The Lewis & Clark Trail Page 5
October 13th Meeting Information Page 8
November 10th, Special Event !!! Page 10
Historical Nugget #2 Page 10
Christmas Party Update Page 11
Classroom Connections Page 12
Pomp's Packsack Page 12

President's Corner     (con't)
Another feather in our cap is our involvement in correcting the text of the Beaver Board on Deer Island. Our thanks go to Jim Renner and the Oregon Travel Information Council for putting us in the loop.

At our board meeting in July, the directors decided to make a concerted effort towards updating and creating new interpretive signs in Oregon in time for the bicentennial. Board member Doug Erickson has consented to chair a new "Projects Committee" to oversee this, and other chapter projects. We are initially compiling a list of signs that need updating and of sites that could use an interpretive sign. We will then attempt to determine which agencies and organizations are or are not working towards the same goal at a given site. If possible, we will work with these other agencies to ensure the sign is historically accurate and completed on time. For sites and signs not under the umbrella of other agencies, we will move forward as the spearhead organization. Interpretive signs represent much more expense than we could hope to fund from our budget of membership dues, but are reasonably sized projects for various small grant opportunities. We will then pursue grant awards to fund these sign projects. We welcome member input into this process and can make use of any and all volunteer hours as "matching funds" for certain grant programs.

At the Fall Council Meeting in Irrigon, we will hold chapter elections and vote on a couple of important bylaw changes. Please see pages 8 & 9 for further details.

I hope you enjoy this issue of your chapter newsletter and I look forward to seeing all of you at future meetings!

        - Jay Rasmussen

  Pics From Pierre  

Clay Jenkinson and Stephenie Ambrose-Tubbs

William Clark's Appointment to Captain

Dr. Gary Moulton

Welcome To Our New Members!
With these additions we now boast a membership of 168.

Jim and Sue Alling Tal Blankenship Stan and June Dean
Randy Francom Arnetta Guion Dr. & Mrs. W. Lawrence Holley
Curt and Sean Johnson Debbi, David, and Bill Kaspar JoAnn Osborn
Jim Renner Adam Spangler Jody Spano
Jane Warner Shawn Williams George C. Wood

Lewis & Clark : Question & Answer
By Mike Carrick

Question What can you tell us of the claims of some Teton Sioux living today that they are direct descendants of Meriwether Lewis?

Answer Historical claims and genealogical records are often corroborated by entries in Church or Parish records. In the records the Yankton Mission of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota, there are two entries listing Joseph DeSomet Lewis as the son of Meriwether Lewis and one marriage record with the same claim of paternity.

All of the following information is from Harry F. Thompson, Meriwether Lewis and His Son: The Claim of Joseph DeSomet Lewis and the Problem of History, North Dakota History, 2000, pp. 24-37.

Sixty-eight years after the Corps of Discovery ascended the Missouri River through the Dakotas, a Yankton (or possibly Teton) Sioux man, claiming to be the son of Meriwether Lewis, was baptized at St. Philip the Deacon Chapel, White Swan, Dakota Territory. As recorded in the Yankton Mission registers of the Diocese of South Dakota (Episcopal), Joseph DeSomet Lewis (also spelled "DeSomit" in the register) and his wife, Annie Tamakoce, their sons, Francis S. Lewis, Joseph W. Lewis, and two of their grandchildren by another son, John DeSomit Lewis, presented themselves for baptism on June 18, 1872. Joseph DeSomet Lewis (age 68), gave as his place of birth Yankton Agency, his father's name as "Capt. Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark's Exp.)," and his mother's name as "Winona."

In addition, the standard history of the county in which Joseph DeSomet Lewis's descendants live, Early Settlers in Lyman County, identifies Mamie DeSmet Thompson and Amy DeSmet Carpenter as the great granddaughters of Meriwether Lewis and their grandfather as the son of Meriwether Lewis.

By the way, the middle name of several of the people under discussion is thought to be a corruption of the name of the well known priest, Father Jean Pierre DeSmet, who traveled the area between 1839 and 1870 baptizing converts. Joseph DeSomet Lewis made somewhat of a name for himself during his lifetime. With Jim Bridger, he guided and hunted for the U.S. Army Warren surveys between 1855 and 1857. Lt. Warren's assistant wrote in 1856 that Lewis was "a hunter (a half-breed Sioux who says that his father was Lewis & Clarke [sic])."

(Q&A continued, next page)

He is mentioned several times, and Harry Thompson states, he "played an important role in Warren's cartographic success."

Joseph DeSomet Lewis is first mentioned in 1837 as a man who hauled trade goods from Ft. Pierre to the upper White River. He is also mentioned in fur trader Chouteau's accounts between 1842-1848.

Was Meriwether Lewis in the right place at the right time to be the father of Joseph? Yes. Thompson lists four possible instances of contact between the members of the Corps and the Sioux. These are instances in late September 1804 where Clark and Lewis are carried on blankets to the Sioux village, and Clark wrote, "a curious custom with the Souix as well as the rickeres is to give handsom squars to those whome they wish to Show some acknowledgments to." He then comments on how "there women appear verry well" and are quite handsome.

Clark later mentions more offers of women, dances through the night and a final ...offered me a young woman and wish me to take her & not Dispise them."

Personal comments of this writer (MFC) are the following:
Clark and Lewis are writing the journal for everyone back home to read. They intend to marry "pure Southern Belles." Would they admit in writing to liaisons with natives?

In favor of Joseph DeSmet Lewis's claim, he and his descendants seem not to have tried to benefit from the claimed relationship. It is stated rather matter of factly, and seems not to have been exploited. The birth of J.D. Lewis in 1805 and the place are correct. Working against him, in my opinion, is that he also has adopted Father DeSmet's name. Perhaps he was fathered by one of the members of the Corps of Discovery, and he chose the "best" name?

If the effort to disinter Lewis for forensic examination of his remains is successful, perhaps DNA verification will be possible in addition to addressing the question of murder vs. suicide. While not as politically charged as the Jefferson- Hemmings paternity issue, it would be very interesting to confirm that the "De Smet Lewis" descendants living in the Yankton area are indeed direct issue of the young Meriwether Lewis.

  Historical Nuggets  

Popular history is full of myths and common beliefs. Sometimes these are due to gaps in the historical record where a guess, educated or otherwise, obtains the weight of truth by being restated over and over. But in some cases, the historical record is not silent, only less well known, if not entirely ignored. You can find one historical nugget below and another on page 10 in this issue.

Nugget #1 - Regarding how Charbonneau acquired Sacagawea:
A popular story surrounding how Toussaint Charbonneau acquired his "wife" Sacagawea states that he won her in a game of chance (gambling). Does the historical record have anything to say on this subject? On November 11, 1804 Clark wrote, in reference to Charbonneau and his two wives, "two Squars of the Rock Mountain, purchased from the Indians by a frenchmen Came down." The word "purchased" seems very clear here, and as it is the only existent record from those times, it must be seriously considered. Still, as Clark was just meeting Charbonneau, one must question whether Clark was reporting a fact, an assumption or local hearsay. Just before his death, I had the opportunity to ask Irving (Andy) Anderson, a Charbonneau/Sacagawea scholar, about the source of the "winning / gambling" story. It was Andy's opinion that this idea was first introduced in Willard Schultz's 1918 book "Bird Woman, Guide to Lewis & Clark."

  Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail  

Story and photos by Barbara C. Ring - Oregon Chapter member

Camp Wood - Barbara C. Ring Just over 200 years ago, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, leading a party of 29 men, began an historic 7500-mile journey across the mostly uncharted western two-thirds of the North American continent. They traveled by rowing and poling boats, by walking hard miles over unforgiving terrain, and by horseback over treacherous snow-covered mountain trails. They crossed plains and hills and wastelands and mountains, carrying their boats and pulling makeshift carts up rocky shores and past cascading falls. They met and negotiated with friendly and less-than-friendly Indians; they endured cold and hunger and flood and dissension and uncertainty. Through it all, they maintained an invaluable written record of the wonders they saw.

A friend and I retraced the Lewis and Clark expedition's trail, as closely as we could by car, along secondary highways and local roads. Inspired in part by their diaries, and in part by Stephen Ambrose's book, Undaunted Courage, we headed for the start point.

But which start point? Washington, DC, where Thomas Jefferson had first conceived the idea and Congress authorized it, where Meriwether Lewis had been appointed? Philadelphia, where Lewis had spent months learning about medicine, botany, astronomy, geology and geography in preparation for the trip? Or even Virginia, where both Lewis and Clark were born?

We chose Camp Wood, near Alton, Illinois. Here, in the spring of 1804, William Clark first assembled the recruits for the expedition, and commenced the training that turned them into a cohesive Corps of Discovery. A diminutive Stonehenge-like monument (one pillar for each of the 11 states Lewis and Clark crossed) marks the spot where they first put their boats into the water, at the confluence of Wood River and the Mississippi River. Across the Mississippi, near St. Louis, we visited the quaintly restored village of St. Charles, where Meriwether Lewis joined the troupe, and they finished provisioning the boats. A local group is refurbishing replicas of the boats (built for earlier Lewis and Clark enthusiasts) in order to duplicate the journey up the Missouri - but this time with an engine to assist. (We visited another replica in Onawa, IA, where we were the only visitors for the day. A lonely volunteer gave us a tour of the vessel, complete with an uninterruptible memorized spiel.) Leaving the Mississippi, Lewis and Clark found the Missouri River difficult going. The riverside highway, though, rolls easily through green hills and farmland, without the sandbars and snags Lewis and Clark battled.

Lewis and Clark were meeting challenges, and seeing new plants, animals, and terrain just about every step, but after a while my friend and I began to find the pastoral views just more of the same. It was easy to lose track of where we were - some days we crossed multiple statelines - but as we approached the Dakotas the landscape grew harsher. As you enter South Dakota, state-sponsored

(Traveling the L&C Trail continued, next page)

Information Centers lend an audiotape that narrates the Trail as you drive it; it was well worth the refundable deposit. We followed the narrator across plains and rock-strewn deserts, through mountains and small towns, and to attractions that were peculiarly Dakotan.

The Corps wintered at Fort Mandan in North Dakota. In the journals, Lewis and Clark complain mightily about the mosquitoes there, and so did we! They swarm into the car as you open the door, follow you into the visitor center, and dive bomb you on the trail. By the time I had reached the car to retrieve my insect repellent, I already had a dozen bites. In Fort Benton, Montana, we entered the river, taking a commercial "canoe float" along a stretch of the Missouri well described in Lewis' and Clark's diaries. We drifted in peaceful silence, passing gray and white striated cliffs and rolling hills, for the disappointingly short distance allotted by the tour operators. The expedition spent about two weeks here trying to decide which river at the fork was the Missouri, and naming the other Maria's (now Marias) River.

On-A-Slant Village - Barbara C. Ring

There are few spots where one can be certain that one is truly stepping in Lewis' or Clark's footsteps. One is Pompey's Pillar, in Montana. William Clark paused here on the return trip to boldly inscribe his name in the stone: "Wm. Clark July 25, 1806". This is the only tangible evidence of the expedition's passage.

At Lewis and Clark Pass, near Lincoln, MT, however, there is an ancient Indian trail crossing the Rockies. Scars remain from years of travois travel, and the path was an established "highway" long before Lewis explored this part of the country. It is pretty certain that my friend and I, huffing and puffing up the hill in the midday heat, put our feet where Lewis walked.

In Idaho we were lucky enough to arrive at Lemhi Pass the day after the grader had been through, so we traversed the 25 miles of gravel road comfortably. At the top, like Lewis and Clark before us, we strode along the Continental Divide, looking down at green forest on one side, and grassy meadows on the other.

The expedition was authorized and funded in 1803, but it was May 1804 before preparations were completed, and the men got under way; and 1806 before they returned. Across the United States, tourism departments, historical societies, and travel agents are gearing up for a grand 2003-2006 bicentennial commemoration.

My friend and I hoped to avoid the crowds and finish our tour before media hype took over. Although we were occasionally disappointed by sites not yet open, or sparsely staffed by volunteers, we found an abundance of interpretive signs,

(Traveling the L&C Trail continued, next page)

interpretive centers, museums, and tourist shops ready for us. In just about every town of any size along the trail there was some local museum or collector touting a must-see grouping of Lewis and Clark commemorative plates, or replica iron pots, or imaginative portrayals of the expedition by local artists.

Many of the interpretive centers are outstanding in their displays and explanations. Among the memorable ones are On-A-Slant and Knife River villages, re-creations of Arikara, Hidatsa and Mandan villages, near Fort Mandan, ND; the reconstructed Fort Mandan, and the nearby Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn, ND. There is an interesting Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Chamberlain, SD, on the banks of the Missouri; and a comprehensive one in Great Falls, MT. The Great Falls center has a life-size diorama showing the arduous portage of the boats around the falls.

I loved driving the 6000 miles of this trip! I loved spending days among cornfields, and then sorghum, and then fields of sunflowers. I loved the dramatic spaces crossing Montana, with lightning dancing on the far horizon. I loved the curving roads through the Bitterroots in Idaho and across the Continental Divide, passing and re-passing white-flecked tumbling streams. I loved the surreal twisted forms of the Badlands in North Dakota. We had great adventures on dirt roads, and with unmarked intersections, and with mis-directing signs. We wandered off our target Lewis and Clark route from time to time. There was an obligatory visit to the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, SD, whose facade is redecorated annually with giant murals constructed entirely of corn husks, seeds, and grasses. We stopped at Wall Drug Store in Wall, SD, which - despite the numerous roadside signs heralding it - is no more than an oversized curio and ice cream shop, featuring standard souvenirs. The Black Hills are pleasant, although we westerners are spoiled by the grandeur of the Rockies. Mt. Rushmore was jammed with tourists. Carving faces into mountainsides seems like a silly endeavor to me, but they are from a different era and represent a patriotic fervor that conquers nature.

The South Dakota Badlands are other-worldly. Wind and rain and eons of geologic processes have carved fantastic and beautiful shapes in colored rock strata. Interspersed with prairie, it must have presented an awesome challenge to pioneers heading west. We spent three weeks on the trip, and didn't manage to see the entire trail. Later I visited Fort Clatsop, on a dreary day befitting the party's experience of an unremittingly rainy winter on the Oregon coast. Another blustery weekend I made a pilgrimage to eastern Oregon, to see the grave of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau ("Pompey"), Sacagawea's son. He died there of pneumonia, at the age of 61. Standing by his simple grave at the edge of a lonely field, I thought of the land he had crossed as an infant, how much it changed just in his lifetime, and how much more it has changed as a result of the Expedition he was born into.

Ambrose, Stephen. Undaunted Courage. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

DeVoto, Bernard, ed.. The Journals of Lewis and Clark. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953.

Fanselow, Julie. Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail. Helena, MT: Falcon Publishing, 1998.

Fifer, Barbara & Soderberg, Vicky. Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark. Great Fall, MT: Montana Magazine, 1998.

Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc., P O Box 3434, Great Falls, MT 59403. (www.lewisandclark.org)

  October 13, 2001 Meeting Info  

The Fall Council meeting of the Oregon Chapter is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, 2001 in Irrigon, OR.

We will begin the meeting by addressing some Chapter business (see next page) and then follow up with a couple of interesting presentations. The first presentation, by Don Eppenbach, is titled, "The beautiful plains of the Columbia". The second presenter is Jerry Igo, an expert on the botanical aspects of the expedition. If you have an interest in natural history and/or plants, you won't want to miss this meeting - nor the events of the following day!

Members are encouraged to spend the night in the area and experience Heritage Trail Day on Sunday. The Heritage Trial Day events start at 2:00 p.m. and last until about 5:00 p.m. Festivities include displays by Chief Jesse of the Cayuse tribe, the largest display yet by the local Mountain Men group, fiddle and guitar music, talks on the local history, relating to the Lewis and Clark era and yummy homemade pies!

Driving Instructions:
Eastbound: From the Portland area, travel I-84 East to the intersection three miles east of Boardman. Taking the exit onto Hwy 730 continue northeast for 8 miles to Irrigon. Continue into Irrigon to the First Street intersection (about 1200 feet east of the city limit sign). At this intersection you will see the Bank of Eastern Oregon on the right and Paul's Restaurant across the road from the bank. Turn left (north) onto First Street. Turn left at the first intersection (about 200 feet) onto Columbia Lane (Southmain Street). Stokes Landing Senior Center is on the right about 600 feet from the intersection. The building has a fair sized parking lot in front of it. It is metal clad with a brick facade and has a yellow metal roof.

Westbound: From the area of Pendleton travel I-84 West to the Paterson Ferry Road exit. Take Paterson Ferry Road to its intersection with Hwy 730. Turn right on Hwy 730 for a distance of about 4 miles into Irrigon. Turn left at the First Street intersection, left again onto Southmain Avenue, and right into the parking lot of Stokes Landing Senior Center.

The following local accommodation information was extracted from the www.visitboardman.com website:

Dodge City Inn
40 rooms, Long Branch Saloon, tanning salon, HBO, swimming pool, gift shop
Phone: 541-481-2441
Full Service Restaurant: Phone: 541-481-3107
Boardman Park and Recreation District
63 paved full-service sites on the Columbia River.
Phone: 541-481-7217 or 888-481-7217
Econo Lodge
50 rooms, swimming pool, gift shop, pets accepted
Phone: 541-481-2375 or 800-55-ECONO
Driftwood RV Park
Daily, weekly, or monthly rates, Full-service sites, Indoor heated pool and spa
Phone: 541-481-2262 or 800-684-5543
The Riverview Inn
20 rooms, quiet
Phone: 541-481-2775

  October 13, 2001 Meeting  
  Chapter Business  

A couple of important items are on the agenda for the business portion of the upcoming meeting to be held on Saturday, October 13th in Irrigon, OR. These items include membership votes on a slate of officers and two directors, as well as a few more changes to the Chapter Bylaws.

The Nominating Committee, chaired by Dr. Robert Holcomb, has submitted the slate of officers and directors shown below. Per the (current) Chapter Bylaws, officers are to be elected annually. The Nominating Committee recommends re-electing the current set of officers, all of who have consented and who are eligible for re-election per the current bylaws. The recommended slate of officers is:
President - Jay Rasmussen Vice President - Mike Carrick
Secretary - Glen Kirkpatrick Treasurer - Dick Hohnbaum

Two directors are to be elected each year, serving three-year terms and a maximum of two consecutive terms. The Nominating Committee recommends the following two people as directors:
Don Eppenbach Mike Perry

Don Eppenbach is currently a director and is recommended for re-election. Mike Perry, is director of the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles and would be filling the board position left vacant by previous director John Montague.

Chapter members can nominate other candidates and can also vote by mail if unable to attend the October meeting. Mail-in votes must arrive by Friday, October 12, 2001 and should be sent to:
Glen Kirkpatrick
15100 SE Gladstone Drive
Portland, OR 97236-2445
Also on the agenda are a couple of bylaw changes recommended by the board. The bylaws were originally created to encourage turn-over among the officers and directors and the introduction of "new-blood". This is still a desired goal, but due to limited volunteer support this has become restrictive. We also desire to assure better continuity when switching between officers and directors.

Article III, Section 1:
Replace: Officers of the Chapter shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary and a Treasurer who shall be elected by the membership at the annual meeting. The term of office is one year. There shall be six directors elected in the same manner for three-year terms, except that for the directors elected at the 1999 annual meeting, two directors shall serve one year, and two directors shall serve two years as designated by the president. Officers and directors shall take office on January 1 following the election. No President, Vice-President or Director may be elected for more than two consecutive terms. There are no term limits for the offices of Secretary or Treasurer.

With: Officers of the Chapter shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary and a Treasurer who shall be elected by the membership at the Fall annual meeting. The term of office is two years, with the President and Secretary being elected in odd numbered years and the Vice-President and Treasurer being elected in even numbered years. There shall be six directors elected in the same manner for three-year terms. Director positions are staggered as well, with two directors being elected each year. Officers and directors shall take office on January 1 following the election. There are no term limits for any Officer or Director position.

  Special Event In Support of "York"  

The Oregon Chapter is cosponsoring an event to help support the efforts of Ron Craig and Filmworks Northwest in their efforts to produce a children's book and a film documentary on Clark's slave York. This event will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2001 at 1:00 p.m. at McMenamin's Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97211.

On hand will be Amy Mossett, a Mandan/Hidatsa native and Tourism Director of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, performing a costumed reenactment on Sacagawea; Gerard Baker, also a Mandan/Hidatsa, and the Superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail for the National Park Service, talking about the upcoming Corps II project; Michelle Bussard, Executive Director of the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, providing an update on plans for the upcoming bicentennial commemoration; Gary Stroutsos, acclaimed musician and master of the native American wooden flute, providing a musical interlude to accompany a slide show of fantastic Bodmer prints; and Ron Craig, providing a talk about the York story and performing a reading from his children's book on York which is to be published by National Geographic in 2003. A separate Q&A session will follow the presentations.
Map to Kennedy School

There will be no advanced ticket sales. An entrance donation of $10.00 ($5.00 for students) is requested at the door. To get to the Kennedy School from Portland, take I-84 east to 33rd Avenue. Turn left (north) and drive two miles to Kennedy School. From I-84 west, take 43rd Avenue exit and follow signs to Broadway, go west one mile on Broadway, then turn right (north) on 33rd Avenue and drive two miles to Kennedy School. Further details will be available on the chapter website at: www.lcarchive.org/or_lcthf.html.

Nugget #2 - Regarding Sacagawea's reputation as a guide:
The popular story lists "guide" as Sacagawea's first and foremost duty. Students of Lewis and Clark know that this is not true and that her contributions were mainly as an interpreter, food finder and ambassador of peace. However, has the pendulum now swung too far in the other direction? Perhaps so, for I have lately come across a number of works that totally deny Sacagawea any role as a guide. In all the mentions of Sacagawea in the journals, there is a single entry that does extol her help as a guide. This occurs on July 13, 1806, when Sacagawea was traveling with William Clark's party toward the Yellowstone. On that day Clark wrote, "The Indian woman who has been of great Service to me as a pilot through this Country recommends a gap in the mountain more South [later known as Bozeman Pass] which I shall cross." Thus, while trying to correct the popular story of Sacagawea, we should not zealously overstep the historical record and deny her documented service as a guide.

  Christmas Party Update  

Plans for the annual Fort Clatsop Christmas Party are starting to shape up! Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, December 8, 2001 to join us at Fort Clatsop National Memorial (FCNM) for a wonderful holiday get-together. We will gather at FCNM in the afternoon, touring the fort and visitor's center. Short presentations will be made by each of the attending chapters (ID, OR, WA & ??) and local tribal representatives. A special presentation is also in store. Curly Bear Wagner, a Blackfoot scholar associated with the Going to the Sun Institute speaks around the country on various topics such as Lewis and Clark history and Blackfeet history, culture and legends. Curly Bear will be telling us a number of stories about the Blackfeet including the 1806 encounter of Lewis' party and the Blackfeet Indians, resulting in the death of two young Blackfeet warriors.

After the presentations and some social mingling at the Fort, we will migrate to the Red Lion Inn in Astoria for dinner and drinks (no host bar). Featured again, will be a table of samplings of various local native foods. If you have something to offer for the table, please contact any chapter officer with details. The Red Lion dinner will require making reservations in advance through the Oregon Chapter. Dinner reservation details along with an updated agenda and driving instructions will be available in the next issue of this newsletter. Additionally, a block of hotel rooms is being held for attendees. If you want to make overnight accommodations, please directly contact the Red Lion Inn in Astoria (503-325-7373) and mention the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.

Last year we reached our quota of reservations fairly quickly. This year the Red Lion will be able to accommodate an even larger crowd - the more the merrier! Members of the Idaho Chapter are looking to charter a bus to bring them to the party and back. OR and WA chapter members from the eastern side of their states might be able to make arrangements with the ID chapter to be picked up and delivered some where along the I-84 corridor. Contact Steve Lee at (509) 229-3870 or via email at sglee@inlandnet.com to make arrangements.


Primary Documentation On-Line

The Library of Congress has been hard at work in scanning numerous, historically significant documents that are in its possession, and posting these online. Two particular collections, the Century of Lawmaking and the Thomas Jefferson collections, will be of particular interest to students of Lewis and Clark. These collections, all part of their American Memory project, can be searched from one location:


Most entries consist of both low and high resolution scans of the original documents. Many also include the content in textual form, which can be electronically searched separately. Among the many treasures you will find are: Thomas Jefferson's February 23, 1801 letter inviting Meriwether Lewis to be his private secretary, Meriwether's acceptance letter, William Clark's July 18, 1803 letter accepting Meriwether's offer to accompany him to the Pacific, and the 1813 biography of Meriwether Lewis that Jefferson provided to editor, Paul Allen.

Classroom Connections

Bruce Campbell is a high school teacher in the Beaverton School District who believes students can better understand American history if they see themselves as part of similar stories being created today. Working at Merlo Station High School with kids who don't fit traditional molds, Bruce discovered a convergence of interests in Lewis and Clark, and the Nez Perce Tribe and their horses, particularly the Appaloosa. Thanks to a schedule that's more flexible than traditional high schools, Bruce, a fellow teacher and their students built a relationship with the Nez Perce and have twice journeyed to work with Indian horsemen who are re-building the strains that made Lewis and Clark write eloquently that the Nez Perce horses ". . . appear to be of an excellent race; they are lofty, elegantly formed, active and durable." The students created a poignant video about their experiences, which is available by contacting Larry McClure (503-692-5489 or e-mail mcclurel@nwrel.org). For a look at the website the students created, including pictures of one of their field trips to Idaho where they camped along the way, go to http://www.nwrel.org/teachlewisandclark/free/beaverton.html. From the video, you will hear how students gained a rich understanding of their own and another culture and, because they lived part of it, learn why these students will be able to eloquently interpret this part of the Lewis and Clark story.

Pomp's Packsack

Oregon Archaeology 2001 is Underway
When Pomp grew up, he probably would have wondered about his ancestors (and even pre-historic creatures like dinosaurs). He might have even carried a few fossils in his packsack to show other kids. Today we know a lot more about our past because trained archeologists know how to carry out digs using the various tools & techniques of their science. We laypersons can even participate, thanks to a program called Passport in Time. Adults and kids alike can also join archaeology societies and clubs and participate in events sponsored each year at this time for all ages. Go to http://www.ncn.com/~gilsen/webdoc1.htm for a listing of events and activities that celebrate archaeology "week" (more like a month) in Oregon. The main web site for Oregon archaeology enthusiasts is www.oregonarchaeological.org.

For information on joining the National Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation click here.

For information on joining the Oregon State Chapter click here.

Return to Oregon State Chapter Main Page

Return to L & C Archive List

Posted: October 19, 2001

Send Questions, Comments and Corrections to Jay Rasmussen