Oregon Chapter LCTHF

  Oregon Chapter of the  
  Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation  

  December 1998 Newsletter : Vol. 1, No. 1  

Oregon Chapter Newsletter
Vol. 1, No. 1                                   December, 1998

President's Corner

The birth of our new chapter on September 19, at Fort Clatsop marked a new beginning and opened an array of opportunities to explore. It was well attended with a wide geographical representation of interested and talented people. For me, it was an inspiring occasion and I feel privileged and honored to serve as your president.

Our new board of directors and officers is aggressively structuring the foundation for a strong statewide chapter devoted to meeting our memberís varied interests in the Corps of Discovery throughout the bicentennial years and beyond. These building blocks include fine-tuning our by-laws; developing a membership program and brochure to attract new members; designing our chapter meetings to reflect a wide variety of programs and speakers that will be fascinating as well as fun, and last but certainly not least, is the creation of this newsletter. Thanks to Dick Hohnbaum, our new and able editor, the newsletter will be an invaluable tool to keep members informed and involved.

I returned last week from Washington D.C. and learned that despite the turmoil and mid-term elections, substantive Lewis and Clark Bicentennial steps are being taken in the nations' capital. Ten federal agencies (including Interior, Commerce, Defense, Agriculture etc.) signed an interagency agreement to cooperate in implementing and sponsoring Lewis and Clark Bicentennial activities. Dr. Stephen Ambrose attended the signing ceremonies which included the display of an original map carried by the captains. A Congressional Lewis and Clark Caucus has been formed by legislators representing states along the trail. Rep. Elizabeth Furse represents Oregon. The Smithsonian is planning a special scientific Lewis and Clark exhibit as well as the National Museum of American Indians. The National Park Service will launch a traveling Lewis and Clark Bicentennial program (2003-2007) called "Corps of Discovery: 200 Years to the Future". Local programs will include partnerships with public and private parties.

Thank you all for your confidence in our team effort to make this chapter one of the very best.

Keith Hay

New Oregon Chapter Formed

On Saturday, September 19th, the first general membership meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation was called to order by Keith Hay. The meeting was held in the Netul River Room at the Fort Clatsop Visitor Center and was attended by 35 people from all over Oregon; as far south as Ashland, as far east as Irrigon, from the Willamette Valley area and from Portland. At present the Oregon Chapter has 57 enrolled members.

The by-laws for the proposed chapter were presented. A vote of the members present was taken to adopt the proposed by-laws as written. Some possible future changes and clarifications were mentioned. The vote passed unanimously and the bylaws were duly adopted.

The Officers and the Board of Directors were introduced.

President, Keith Hay, Newberg
Vice-president, Bob Holcomb, Corvallis
Secretary, Jay Rasmussen, Hillsboro
Treasurer, Linda O'Connor, Hillsboro
Board of Directors:
Doug Erickson, Portland
Paul Nolte, Ashland
John Montague, Portland
Don Eppenbach, lrrigon
Dick Hohnbaum, Keizer

Oregon Chapter Mission Statement

The Oregon Chapterís mission is to encourage, support and undertake, either individually or jointly with others, projects that stimulate and advance public knowledge and awareness of historic, social and cultural significance of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The scope of chapter activities to achieve these goals is broad and diverse including the promotion of membership, the preservation of Expedition related sites and educational projects, programs and field trips that enhance the enjoyment and understanding of the Lewis and Clark story.

Moulton Atlas Reprint

If you missed your chance at owning the out-of-print Volume 1 Atlas of the Moulton edition of the Lewis & Clark Journals, listen up! Through an agreement with the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, the University of Nebraska Press will be issuing a reprint of the Atlas. These books should be available for sale early in 1999. You can contact the University of Nebraska Press at (800) 755-1105 or at http:/www. nebraskapress. unl. edu/

Your Help Is Needed

Michelle Bussard, the Executive Director of the National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council has requested the help of 10 volunteers from the ranks of the Oregon and Washington Chapters to act as host/guide/interpreters in conjunction with the Council's Fourth Annual National Planning Workshop to be held April 21 - 24, 1999 at the Doubletree Inn at the Quay in Vancouver, WA. On Friday April 23, the Workshop attendees will board a group of five busses to travel to Fort Clatsop National Memorial along the northern bank of the Columbia River. Michelle would like two host/guide/interpreters per bus. If you would like to help and welcome these participants to our local area, please contact your Chapter president and Michelle Bussard at:

Michelle Bussard
Executive Director
National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council
1101 Officers Row, US Grant House Vancouver, WA 98661

(888) 999-1803

Notable Quote
submitted by Irving Anderson:

On December 29, 1805 Clark, in trading with Indians for wapato roots, gave a "few red beads, small pieces of brass wire and an old check."

Moulton Vol. 6, Pg. 144 or
Thwaites Vol. 3, Pg. 294

Proposed Bylaw Changes

Note that words in [brackets] are to be deleted from the existing bylaws and words in {curly braces} are to be added:

Article II, Section 1: "Upon payment of dues to the Oregon Chapter, membership is open to any person, family, firm, association or corporation [who is also a member of the National Foundation]."

Article III Section 1: "Officers of the Chapter shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary and a Treasurer who shall be elected by the membership at the annual meeting. These elected officers shall take office immediately following the election. The term of office is one year. There shall be five directors elected in the same manner for [one] {three} year terms {, except that for the directors elected at the 1999 annual meeting, one director shall serve one year, and two directors shall serve two years as designated by the president}. Directors shall take office immediately following the election. No officer or director may be elected [to no] {for} more than two consecutive terms. The officers and [members] {directors} shall meet periodically {to ad on behalf of the chapter, to provide guidance and} to propose matters for the chapter to discuss and bring to a vote. The Board of Directors shall consist of the four officers and five directors."

These changes will be discussed and voted on at the January 23, 1999 meeting in Salem.

A Message From Your Chapter Secretary

Welcome to the Oregon Chapter and your first Chapter Newsletter! We have a good solid start with 57 registered members and a dedicated group of directors and officers.

As expected, things are already starting to heat up concerning preparations for the upcoming bicentennial commemoration and there are a number of projects underway that you and your chapter need to consider how we may best support these efforts. For example Dr. Gary Moulton, editor of the Lewis & Clark journals, is planning on spending a number of weeks next summer at Fort Clatsop National Memorial preparing a single volume edition of the Lewis & Clark journals. He will also deliver three speeches you won't want to miss. Our chapter has been requested by the National Park Service to help support this effort. In addition, we have been invited to support and partake in the Moving Marker commemoration. The Moving Marker is a nationwide program to commemorate the day-by-day movement of the Lewis & Clark Expedition from conception in Washington DC to the Pacific Ocean and back to St. Louis. This historical journey, organized by Kampgrounds of America, will be marked by the movement of 1803 style American flags following in the footsteps of the Corps of Discovery. There is also an initiative by the Conservation Fund to protect Lewis & Clark sites in Oregon.

I plan on trying to increase our chapter membership by demonstrating what a solid active group we have going and inviting other Oregon resident members of the national Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation to join us. As we firm up plans for future meetings and produce our first newsletter the excitement grows.

-- Jay Rasmussen


by Michael Carrick

"L&C-Q&A" will be a feature of this quarterly newsletter. Members are encouraged to submit questions of general interest concerning Lewis & Clark's expedition. We will endeavor to furnish succinct answers. If none of us knows the answer, we will call upon the broad array of "experts" in the national organization, or perhaps, call upon our readers to help supply the answers.
All questions should be submitted to:

Michael Carrick
671 Lamplighter Circle
Salem, OR 97302
Fax: 888-394-7798 (toll free)

Q. Just exactly what were the "Peace Medals" that Lewis and Clark gave to certain Indians?

A. Lewis and Clark were following an established tradition of the Spanish, French, and British traders and explorers in giving gifts and silver medallions to the most important chief that they hoped to impress. Inventory lists show that there were medals of five sizes. The larger medals were given to the more important chiefs. The three largest were of President Jefferson.

The three Jefferson medals where struck on thin sheets of silver and formed into hollow-core discs. the diameters were 105 mm (4 1/2 in.), 75 mm (3 in.) and 55 mm (2-3/16 in.). There were three of the first size, thirteen of the second size, and sixteen of the third size.

All other U.S. peace medals and later restrikes of the Jefferson medal were solid silver or bronze.

The fourth size medals were left over from George Washington's administration. They arrived from the mint in England after the end of Washington's term. Lewis and Clark had 55 of this size. There were three variations of these medals. All had information about Washington on one side, and the other side had either a scene of a man sowing grain, domestic animals, or women spinning and weaving. Sometimes the journals mention the specific scene that was being given out.

It is not known for certain about the medals of the fifth size. In the journals it is mentioned the giving of a U.S. silver dollar as a gift. Some historians think that this fifth, and smallest, medal may have been U.S. silver dollars with a ring for a ribbon.

Q. Why was no physician included in the expedition?

A. No one knows for certain, but some educated guesses are:

Q. Did the expedition really cost only $2500.00 as first requested by Jefferson?

A. Modern historians place the cost of the expedition at over $38,000.00. That is $38,000.00 in 1806 dollars.

Q. What was the average age of the men?

A. Most of the men were 25 to 30 years old. George Shannon was the youngest at age 19. John Shields was the oldest at about 35 years of age. When Toussaint Charbonneau was hired as a guide, during the wintering at the Mandan Indian Village, he then became the oldest in the expedition. The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Genealogy Committee, states that Charbonneau was born on March 22, 1767, making him 37 years old in 1804. Dr. Moulton (vol.3, pg. 288, Note 1) states that Charboneau was born around 1758, making him 46.

Oregon Chapter Meeting - January 23, 1999
Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Restaurant
220 Commercial Street SE, Salem, Oregon
Dr. Albert Furtwangler - Guest Speaker

On January 23, 1999, the Oregon Chapter will host an all state chapter meeting in Salem, Oregon, in the conference room on the second floor of the Black Angus Restaurant, in the Ramada Inn.


11:00 A.M. No-Host social hour
12:00 noon Lunch & Business Meeting {lunch is $9.00}
1:00 P.M. Presentation: Dr. Furtwangler

"What are We digging For.?: Jefferson and the Expedition in Light of Current Science"
Dr. Albert Furtwangler states that many recent headlines have reported sharp new findings in science about Jefferson and Lewis and Clark. New DNA reports have forced Jefferson scholars to reassess his relations with his slaves. Some researchers claim that the mysterious death of Lewis can be fully explained by means of modern testing. He will review these current topics and offer a counterbalancing plea: that we should approach Jefferson and the explorers primarily through their words, not through specimens of their physical remains.


They can be obtained by informing:

Jay Rasmussen
1190 NE Birchaire Lane,
Hillsboro, OR 97124-2635
(503) 640-9493

Deadline for receiving reservations is Tuesday, January 19, 1999.


[I-5 COMING FROM ALBANY: Take exit #253]

I-5 COMING FROM PORTLAND: Take exit #253 go right [left] on Mission St., following Mission St. through 5 stoplights. On top of overpass take right hand exit to Willamette University; onto Ferry St. Go through 5 stoplights. Restaurant is on the left just after the 5th stoplight.

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

For information on joining the Oregon State Chapter click here.

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Updated: July 5, 2000

Send Questions, Comments and Corrections to Jay Rasmussen