Lewis and Clark Timeline

Lewis and Clark Picture

Lewis and Clark 1804 Timeline

1. June 20, 1803: Meriwether Lewis receives instructions and the major goals of the journey from President Thomas Jefferson

2. May 14, 1804: The Expedition departs from St. Louis in Missouri on their Keelboat down the Missouri River.

3. May 25,1804: The expedition passes the small village of La Charrette on the Missouri River. Charles Floyd writes in his journal that this is "the last settlement of whites on this river."

4. June 1, 1804: The explorers reach the Osage River, Missouri

5. June 26, 1804: They arrives at Kaw Point and the Kansas River.

6. July 4, 1804: Independence Creek located near Atchison, Kansas is named in honor of Independence Day

7. July 21, 1804: They reach the Platte River in Nebraska

8. August 3, 1804: The Corps of Discovery meets the Oto and Missouri Native Indians at Council Bluffs, Iowa.

9. August 20, 1804: The Corps of Discovery suffers its first and only death, as Sgt. Charles Floyd dies of a burst appendix.

10. September 4, 1804: Reach the mouth of the Niobrara River that runs through Lakota Sioux lands in Nebraska to the Great Plains

11. October 8 -11, 1804: Pass Grand River in South Dakota home of the Arikara Native Indians

12. October 24, 1804: The Expedition reach the earthlodge villages of the Mandan and the Hidatsa tribes in North Dakota

13. November 3, 1804: The building of Fort Mandan commenced  alongside the Missouri River, near modern day Washburn, North Dakota.

14. December 24, 1804: Fort Mandan is completed and Lewis and Clark meet Toussaint Charbonneau who is hired as an interpreter and his Shoshone wife Sacagawea.

Lewis and Clark 1805 Timeline

15. February 11, 1805: Sacagawea gives birth to Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the youngest member of the expedition who is called Pompy

16. April 06, 1805: The members of the Expedition leave Fort Mandan and continue their journey west.

17. April 25, 1805: They reach Yellowstone River which will take them through North Dakota into Montana.

18. May 5, 1805: Meriwether Lewis kills the first Grizzly Bear.

19. May 14, 1805:  Sacagawea proves to be of great help to the explorers. A powerful storm almost overturned one of the boats but Sacagawea retrieves many important articles from the waters including research notes, books and scientific instruments.

20. May 20, 1805: In recognition of her brave deed, they named the Sacagawea River after the Shoshone heroine.

21. June 3, 1805: They reach the mouth of the Marias River, Montana and Camp Deposit is established.

22. June 13, 1805: The expedition arrive at the Great Falls of the Missouri, near present-day Great Falls, Montana. Portaging around the Great Falls takes nearly a month.

23. August 12, 1805: Meriwether Lewis crosses the Continental Divide at Lemhi Pass, high in the Rocky Mountains. They leave the newly purchased US territory into disputed Oregon Country.

24. September 1805: The starving Corps of Discovery struggles through most arduous part of their voyage most overland through the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho.

25. September 13, 1805: Crossed Lolo Trail in the Bitterroot Mountains

26. October 1805: Using new canoes built with the help of friendly Nez Perce Indians, the expedition float downstream from the Clearwater River Idaho, the Snake River into the Columbia River in the state of Washington.

27. November 7, 1805: William Clark wrote in his journal, "Ocian [ocean] in view! O! the joy." (Refer to Lewis and Clark Quotes) The Expedition had reached the Pacific Ocean.

28. December 7, 1805: The Corps of Discovery built Fort Clatsop for their winter quarters, where they spent a total of 106 days. According to Chief Cliff Snyder of the Chinook Tribe there were only 12 days without rain during their stay.

Lewis and Clark 1806 Timeline

29. March 23, 1806: The Corps of Discovery left Fort Clatsop to start their journey home.

30. March 23, 1806 to May 14, 1806: They traveled to Camp Chopunnish in Idaho County, Idaho, along the north bank of the Clearwater River.

31. June 10, 1806 to June 30, 1806: Traveled to Traveler's Rest (Lolo, Montana) via Lolo Creek. This route was 300 miles shorter than the outward journey.

32. July 3, 1806: The Corps of Discovery split into 2 groups Clark leading one group up the Bitterroot River and the other group led by Lewis up the Blackfoot River.

33. July 7, 1806: The Lewis group cross the Continental Divide at the Lewis and Clark Pass

34. July 25, 1806: Traveling along the Yellowstone River, William Clark climbed a 200-feet tall rock and named it “Pompy’s Tower” after Jean Baptiste, the son of Sacagawea.

35. July 27, 1806 – The Blackfoot Indians try to steal Lewis's group's rifles. A fight broke out and two Indians were killed. This is the sole hostile encounter with a Native Indian tribe.

36. August 12, 1806: The two groups rejoin on the Missouri River in present-day North Dakota.

37. August 14, 1806: The expedition reaches the Mandan villages, the site of their winter encampment at Fort Mandan two years earlier.

38. September 23, 1806: The Corps of Discovery makes its triumphant return to St. Louis after their historic journey of two years, four months, and ten days.

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