ZanzibarCoins's Blog

08 Aug 2018

Lewis and Clark's Expedition and the Numismatics it Inspired

Coins-United States | ZanzibarCoins

Lewis and Clark's Westward Journey has inspired many medals and coins, and rightly so. This expedition was of valuable importance to the United States of America. Dreamed up by President Thomas Jefferson in about 1800, this journey took the men almost two years. Captain Merriweather Lewis and Captain William Clark led the expedition, along with their faithful Native American guide and interpreter, Sacajawea, who was lovingly nicknamed Janey by Clark (Sacajawea's story is very fascinating but I'll save that for another blog post...), her newborn baby, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (who was born on the expedition) who was nicknamed Pomp by Clark. Not to mention, Clark's manservant York, who was quite a source of entertainment for the Native Americans, who thought that his skin was covered in black paint and they kept trying to rub it off of his arms, Sacajawea's slightly cowardly and foolish husband Toussaint Charbonneau (who won her in a gambling game, which, according to some historical records, dismayed her, and according to others, she was almost glad of that.), and at least twenty five other men went on the long and tiring journey. They traveled from St. Louis, Missouri, which was the Westernmost civilized town large enough for them to acquire enough supplies for their long journey, all the way to the Western Sea, which is, as you all know, now named the Pacific ocean, but back then, it was only known by the Native Tribes along its shores as The Great Stinking Lake, The Lake With No End, and many other names.

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