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The quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society. Volume VI. March, 1905 - December, 1905 Oregon Historical Society 1905

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Array THE
Oregon Historical Society
MARCH, 1905-DECEMBER, 1905
s of the Oregon Historical Society.   George H.
Himes 100-104 ; 231-236 ; 382-342 ; 460-455
Colonization of Oregon, Notes on.   Joseph Schafer 379-390
Douglas, David.   ;See Documents.)
Historical Societies, Conference of State and Local.   P. W. Moore 317-329
History, Unity of.   H. W. Scott 237-254
Lewis, Meriwether.   Andrew T. Lewis 391-402
Lewis and Clark Exploration, The Higher Significance in the.   P. G.
Young S—      1-25
Lewis and Clark's Journals, The Story of.   Reuben G. Thwaites      26-53
Lyman, Horace Sumner, Memorial Note of 105-107
Oregon, Notes on the Colonization of.   Joseph Schafer 379-390
Oregon Country, The Winning of.   Wm. D. Fenton— 343-378
Oregon Historical Society, The Functions of.   P. G. Young 403-410
Oregon History before 1840, Aspects of.   Edward Gaylord Bourne 255-275
Pacific University, Origin of.   James R. Robertson 109-146
Scouler, Dr. John.   (See Documents.)
Washington Activities in History.   Clarence B. Bagley 411-416'
Washington Territory, The Political Beginnings of.   Thomas W. Prosch— 147-158
!   ■ I
Id Douglas' Sketch of two Journeys to Northwestern Parts of the
Continent of North America, during the years 1824-1834. Edited by
Sir W. J. Hooker.   Ill, IV, V, and VI 76-97; 206-227; 288-309; 417-449
J ohn Scouler's Journal of a Voyage to N. W. America 54-76; 159-205; 276-289
gall Scott Duniway, From the West to the West, by Joseph Schafer_.j—    98-99
rence B. Bagley, In the Beginning, by F. G. Young 228-229
>nia V. Johnson, A Short History of Oregon, by James R. Robertson 330-330
eph Schafer, A. History of the Pacific Non-thwest, by James R.
Robertson  330-331 AUTHORS' INDEX.
Bagley, Clarence B.—Washington Activities in History '.
Bourne, Edward Gaylord — Aspects of Oregon History before 1840 !
Fenton, Wm. D— The Winning of the Oregon Country i
Hooker, W. I. —Editor of David Douglas' Papers 76-97; 206-227; 288-309; '.
Lewis, Andrew T.— Meriwether Lewis I
Moore, Frederick  Wrightman— Report of the Conference of State and
Local Historical Societies !
Prosch, Thomas IF.—The Political Beginnings of Washington Territory—.:
Robertson, James R — The Origin of Pacific University :
Schafer, Joseph — Notes on the Colonization of Oregon S
Seott, H. TF—The Unity of History j — :
Thwaites, Reuben 6.— The Story of Lewis and. Clark's Journals —
Young, F. 6.—The Functions of the Oregon Historical Society f : THE   QUARTERLY
Okegon Histobical Society.
MARCH,   1905
The Idea of Transcontinental Exploration an Integral Part of
the Life Purposes of Thomas Jefferson.
It is proposed in this paper to call attention to the subjective side of the Lewis and Clark exploration — to the
real nature of the project when first conceived and the
wider motives associated with it. The spirit and aims of
him who long fostered such an undertaking, who brought
it to realization, and who controlled the execution of it
will be inquired into. The tho'ught and purposes with
which the idea of this enterprise was bound up in the
mind and heart of Thomas Jefferson will be pointed out.
We shall find the idea of thé exploration of this continent one deeply cherished by him because it fitted in as an
essential condition for the attainment of the leading aims
of his life. It was an integral part of them ; and if ever
there was a mind in which there was .perfect unity and
consistency and organic correlation of ideas along with
widest interests, that mind was Thomas Jefferson's. His
was the spacious design of a continent to be kept inviolate for American freedom, equality, and enlightenment;
and his plan for transcontinental exploration was part 2 F. G. Young.
and parcel with his aims for negro emancipation, complete |
freedom of conscience, a system of universal education, .|
with a great university at its apex, promotion of science.^
and invention and normal conditions of life for every A
American. ^r^fffnj
Dr. Elliott Coiies, in his edition of the Lewis and Clark'
Journals, speaks of the story of the expedition as " our na-ï
tional epic of exploration." So it is. But the expedition
in the design of its author — and therefore in fact—was
more than a mere geographical exploration. It was a»
consciously purposed step toward securing this continent
for the home of freedom and of peace and good-will. So
imbued was this project with the central purposes of Jefferson's life that it objectively typifies all. It prefigures
an enlargement of the bounds of the known, an extension
of the realm of enlightenment, science, and the arts, a
widening of the sway of peace and good-will, and the
securing of a grander home for the institutions of liberty
and equality. Our history has been a progress toward
democracy. Jefferson was the seer and prophet of democracy as a form of society. The idea exemplified in
the Lewis and Clark expedition was representative of
Jefferson ; we have in it, therefore, the quintessence of
democracy and the spirit of our age. Whatever may be
the significance of this achievement viewed objectively,
considered in its plan and purpose, as every achievement
must be, its import is much higher.
Transcontinental Exploration an External and Preliminary
Feature in a Larger Design.
The external phases of this undertaking, or the execution of what was but a preliminary feature in the design
of Jefferson by Lewis and Clark and their company, are
being exploited and celebrated as a heroic achievement
should be.    During the last three or four years the presses Significance of Lewis and Clark Exploration.      3
of the land have labored with the output of a score of
editors, compilers, and commentators working with the
records of this exploration.1
There has, however, been a strange silence, and even a
total misapprehension until recently, regarding the initial
impulse to the exploration and the higher purposes cherished in connection with it by its promoter. It was the
common and almost universal notion of the writers of
books describing this exploration that it was undertaken
as a sequel to the Louisiana purchase, and that it was an
incident in the taking possession of and acquainting ourselves with that territory. The truth is rather the converse of this. The acquisition of the Louisiana Territory
was but an obtruding incident into the earlier and larger
plan of Jefferson's concerned with spanning the continent
with exploration, commerce, and settlement as the home
for American conditions of liberty, equality, and enlightenment. In this original and larger idea the project of
transcontinental exploration was to be the first overt and
representative act.
Unfortunately, however, the presence of powerful neighbors in the Mississippi Valley with the lust for colonial
possessions precipitated a diplomatic struggle for the con-'
trol of that region. For the twenty years before the exploring expedition could be set on foot intrigue and incipient filibustering, having in View the permanent occupation of the interior of the continent, ran their devious
courses and with doubtful issues. The triumphant culmination for our country of this contest in the purchase
of Louisiana Territory was due to Jefferson more than to
any other one man. The cooler judgment of Washington
stood us in good stead in the crisis in 1792, and the hard-
1 " The Origin! 4 F. G. Young.
headed and patriotic good sense of John Adams gave the
right turn to affairs in 1798 ; but first and last it was the
alert, adroit, and vigorous diplomacy of Jefferson, with
his passion for peace and faith in the people, that was
most powerfully effective in winning the heart of the continent. The primacy of Jefferson in conceiving and
ardently cherishing the idea of the American control of
this continent as a whole, and the perfecting of American I
ideals on it, and his having the largest part in the realizing of that idea, can not be questioned. His Lewis and
Clark exploration was an integral and initial part of it all.
It is fitted to symbolize all. It surely enhances . the significance of what, was accomplished by the fortitude,
courage, skill, and devotion of the noble captains, Lewis
and Clark, and their men to find this higher and more
sustaining human interest in this exploration because of
what Jefferson planned and purposed with it.
His Vision Reached the Pacific Even When Handling
the Louisiana Matter.
That Jefferson in his thought regarding the future of
this continent was far in advance of the development of
events is shown by the position he took when our government was for the first time called upon to meet an emergency that threatened to have far-reaching influence on
the destiny of this continent. In 1790 the Nootka Sound
controversy brought England and Spain to the verge of
war. In the event of war England would in all probability send a force from the Great Lakes across our territory to the Mississippi River and down that stream to take
New Orleans from Spain. As Secretary of State Jefferson was ready with suggestions of alliance with poor Spain,
if our interests demanded it ; and as the price of that alliance moved for the independence of Florida and Louisiana or the cession to us of a port near the mouth of the Significance of Lewis and Clark Exploration.     5
Mississippi, "with a circumjacent territory," through which
we could command the interior and thus keep the whole
region out of- the grasp of England. Toward England, on
the other hand, he had our agent instructed as to consequences of that nation's acquiring Louisiana and Florida,
"and required him to intimate to the English government
that 'a due balance on our borders is not less desirable to
us than a balance of power in Europe has always appeared
to them.' " Neutrality was offered to England conditioned
on her relinquishment of her encroachments on our northwest border and her attempting ho conquests adjoining
us on the west and south. " Thus," says Professor Frederick J. Turner in an article, " The Diplomatic Contest
for the Mississippi Valley," in the Atlantic Monthly, May,
1904, "we see Jefferson's Louisiana system fully unfolded
as early as 1790 .... there is at the same time a firm
grasp of the importance of the Mississippi and the Gulf
to the future of the United States, and a far-sighted vision
of our need of a doctrine of balance of power in the New
World,— a germ of the Monroe Doctrine."
As the "Kentucky Resolutions" and many expressions
. in his earlier writings indicate, Jefferson did not for a
time fully appreciate the principle of federatiomand union.
With his heart set on policies of peace and local autonomy
—and the revolution to be made by the application of the
power of steam to transportation not yet above the horizon — he had no use, except for defense against foreign aggression, for a strong central government. His vision of
the future of the American continent at first always included several peoples, yet termed "one family" because
having in common, as opposed to the European systems,
American institutions of liberty, equality, and enlightenment. But by 1815 he could write to La Fayette, "The
cement of this union is in the heart-blood of every American." 6 F. G. Young.
Jefferson was thus the first Pan-American. That he was
also first of all an American and that his pro-French sympathies counted as nothing when-brought into conflict
with this feeling for what humanity had at stake in America is strongly subscribed to by the French Minister Adet
when, striving to secure the election of Jefferson to the
presidency in 1796, he reported to his government an estimate of Jefferson's character. He said : " I do not know
whether, as I am told, we will always find in him- a man
entirely devoted to our interests. Mr. Jefferson likes us
because he detests England ; he seeks to unite with us because he suspects us less than Great Britain, but he would
change his sentiments towards us to-morrow, perhaps, if
to-morrow Great Britain ceased to inspire him with fear.
Jefferson, although a friend of liberty and "fhe sciences,
although an admirer of the efforts we havefnade to break
our chains and dissipate the clouds of ignorance which
weigh upon mankind, Jefferson, I say, is an American,
and, by that title it is impossible for him to be sincerely
our friend. An American is the born enemy of European
Jefferson's antipathy to European institutions was the-
result of experience and was fairly warranted, as the contrast between the political conditions in Europe and
America at the opening of the nineteenth century was
not greatly different from that between those in Russia
and America at the opening of the twentieth century.
How true Adet's surmise was and how utterly Jefferson's
French leanings were to disappear when they clashed
with his solicitude for' the largest future of a greater
America was demonstrated a few years later. The Jefferson that was the author of the idea of a transcontinental Significance of Lewis and Clark Exploration.      7
exploration and of the great life purposes linked with that
idea discloses himself in the now famous passages in the
letter to Robert Livingston, written on April 18, 1802, as
soon as he was certain Napoleon had secured Louisiana
Territory from Spain. He said : "There is on the globe
one single spot, the possessor of which is our natural and
habitual enemy. It is New Orleans. The day that France
takes possession of New Orleans, fixes the sentence which
is to restrain her forever within her low-water mark. It
seals the union of two nations, who, in conjunction, can
maintain exclusive possession of the ocean. From that
moment we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and
nation. . . . Make the first cannon which shall be fired in
Europe the signal for tearing up any settlements she may
have made, and for holding the two continents of America
in sequestration for the common purposes of the United
British and American nations." Why this fierce outburst?
Why did France so unwittingly bring down upon herself
this deluge of wrath? There had been no closing of the
door as yet at New Orleans. It is because Jefferson had
in his heart long cherished the idea of our coming in the
natural course of events into the possession of the empire
of the west, even to the shores of the Pacific. With
Louisiana in possession of the vigorous, energetic, and
rising France instead of in the weak and nerveless grasp of
Spain the way westward was barred. It is true he mentions
New Orleans as though it was the exclusive bone of contention, and his specific language in this passage does not
indicate special concern for the territory west of the Mississippi. In a later passage of the same letter, however,
referring to the possibility of the willingness of France's
"ceding to us the island of New Orleans and the Floridas,"
as an arrangement to reconcile us to her possession of the
mouth of the Mississippi,-he says: "But still we should
consider New Orleans and the Floridas as no equivalent 8 F. G. Young.
for. the risk of a quarrel with France produced by her
vicinage." His disturbance of. mind evidently did not
arise alone from the danger of the French occupation of
the mouth of the Mississippi.
It is a unique suggestion, too, of his that in case France
takes possession of New Orleans the first cannon fired in
Europe should be "the signal .... for holding the two
continents of America in sequestration for the common
purposes of the United British and American nations."
We shall see presently that Jefferson had very definite
ideals that he wished realized, in at least, the northern
continent of America.
The letter in which the passages quoted above occur
was intrusted to M. Dupont De Nemours who was just returning,to Paris from America. Jefferson left the
Livingston unsealed and writes to Dupont "It is the second, third, and fourth pages [those relating to the Louisiana matter] which I. wish you to read, to-possess yourself of completely, and then seal the letter." Jefferson
relied upon Dupont to act as a friend of America at the
court.of France. To Dupont he says : "I to be
possessed of the subjects, because you may be able to impress on the government of France the inevitable consequence of their taking possession of Louisiana ; and
though,.as I here mention [in the inclosed letter to Liv-
ingstonj, the cession of New. Orleans and the Floridas to
us. would be a palliation, yet I believe it would be no
more. . . . In Europe nothing but Europe is seen, or supposed to have any right in the affairs of nations ; but this
little event, of France's possessing herself of Louisiana,
which is :thrown in as nothing, as a mere make-weight in
the general settlement of. accounts, this speck which now an almost invisible point on the horizon, is the
embryo of a tornado which will burst on the countries on Significance of Lewis and Clark Exploration.      9
both sides of the Atlantic, and. involve in its effects their
highest destinies." This expresses Jefferson's settled view
of the nature of the Louisiana crisis, for, more than a year
and a half later, January 29,1804, he: wrote Doctor Priestly
using almost that identical language,—"I very early saw
that Louisiana was indeed a speck in our horizon which
was to burst in a tornado; and the public are unapprised
how near, the catastrophe was. Nothing but a frank and
friendly development of causes and effects on our part,
and good sense in Bonaparte to see that the train was unavoidable and would change the face of the world, saved
us from that storm." A further passage in this letter to
Doctor Priestly is interesting and pertinent as it gives
Jefferson's view of the situation after the purchase of the
whole of Louisiana was effected : "The denouement has
been happy; and I confess I look to this duplication of
area for the extending a government so free and economical as ours, as a great achievment to the mass of happiness which is to ensue. Whether we remain in one
confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness
of either part. Those of the western confederacy will be
as much our children and descendants as those of the
eastern, and I feel myself as much identified with that
country, in future times, as with this ; and did I foresee
a separation at some future day, yet I should feel the duty
and the desire to promote the western interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all the good for both portions
of our future family which should fall within my power."
But to turn back to the year 1802, when Jefferson was
giving those burning instructions to Livingston and
acquainting Monroe with the tactics to be used for all
different forms in which the Louisiana question might
present itself, before dispatching him to help at Paris. 10 F. G. Young.
All the representations Jefferson makes in the Louisiana
case do not fully disclose his thought and purpose concerning the westward course of American institutions.
In this same year, 1802, he submits to Gallatin a draft of
what he proposes as his annual message. In this was
included a recommendation of an expedition across the
continent to the Pacific. Gallatin expresses himself as
warmly interested in the plan, "but as it contemplates an
expedition out of our own territory," he suggests that it
would be a proper object for a confidential message,3
Jefferson followed Gallatin's advice, and some two
months later, on January 18, 1803, sent the confidential
message to Congress of which the outcome- was the Lewis
- and Clark expedition. Jefferson, as well as the country
at large, was exceedingly wrought up at this time about
the possession of the mouth of the Mississippi, but not
so much so but that he kept in mind his long cherished project of a transcontinental exploration. It no
doubt occurred to him as opportune against France to
"sneak in" this exploration before she could take possession of the country, and quite as timely, too, against
England. For if we were to have her as our ally in the
coming war and win the continent, priority in exploration
would make a fine basis for claiming all in that latitude
to the Pacific, when a division of the spoils of war should
take place.
Whatever may have been the occasional relations between the Lewis and Clark.-expedition and the struggle
for the Louisiana territory, the fact stands that Jefferson
3Writings of Gallatin, edited by Henry i
iuuic   .augura » ,=>urvey,' one copy of whi
a, is advertised by F. Nichols, No. TO.Chestr.
'     ■ s, flfty-flve dollars." Significance of Lewis and Clark Exploration.    11
revived, and prepared for consummation, his long cherished idea when affairs pertaining to Louisiana were
assuming their most serious aspects and just before their
culmination. In the one matter there was consummate,
practical statesmanship, in the other there may have been
the conscious, clever move of an astute, statesman ; there
surely was the motive and penetration of the seer and
idealist. Before passing to the argument to substantiate
this claim a word of comment is' offered on the special
character of the significance of a seer-fostered enterprise
in history.
As the Project of a Seer and Idealist the Meaning of the Lewis
and Clark Exploration Reaches Down the Ages.
As the project of a seer this event was out of the ordinary in history. Seers but rarely make history so directly
and so exclusively. The typical event of history is the
spontaneous outcome of contemporary conditions that
are pressing to issue. There may or may not be present
the shaping, or more or less controlling, influence of a
master mind ;' and yet, essentially, the regular course of
events is the outcome of an onward sweep of tendencies.
Great" events — those of deep and wide significance —are
due, then, to a peculiar meeting, coalescence, and culmination of world or national tendencies ; but the Lewis
and Clark exploration was solely a projection from the
brain of Thomas Jefferson, He furnished the suggestion
and plans and did the promoting, organizing, and instructing. The Lewis and Clark exploration, then, issued
from an ideal; whereas events, in general, are the outcome of conditions. To understand the inception of
typical events we have to note the great forces active at
the time converging upon them ; but to comprehend the
peculiar origin of  the Lewis and   Clark   expedition we 12 F. G. Young.
have to repair to the thought, purposes, and ideals of
Thomas Jefferson.
An event so peculiar in its origin and setting as was the
Lewis and Clark exploration has character and influences
of its own. Events of the ordinary run, like the Louisiana purchase, are mainly but precipitations from conditions and have their significance and influence in the
change they make in conditions under which a people
lives. An event, however, like the Lewis and Clark exploration, when appreciated in its essential character, has
in it the enkindling thrill, the spur to resolute endeavor
that wins a people to the mastery of its fate.. The for,mei:.
affects the lifeless externals. This touches theJiving, inner
purposes. That is bound to decrease. This will bear
fruit increasingly as conditions ripen for the application
of its spirit, its methods, and its purposes. Its intent will
be realized, its motive have,application as conditions are
prepared for it. It needs but be comprehended to draw
all unto it.
The great achievement of the intrepid explorers was but
the first act of a world drama of Jefferson's planning, for
which the continent was to be the stage. We find the sen:
timents and ideas for the acts that were to follow in order,
in the life-ideas of Jefferson. As was natural, Jefferson's
thought ran far ahead of the slow procession of events.
Before his mind's eye he passed in review the other four
acts of this "Westward Course of Empire." Our attention as a people has been too long and too exclusively arr
rested on the dramatic opening.. Our admiration has been
chained to the exhibition of fortitude, valor, and endurance. It is time that we should turn to the more advanced,
the more significant and far-reaching purposes cherished
by its author. These, when fully comprehended, will be
found to have largest and closest application to the prob- Significance of Lewis and Clark Exploration.    13
lems and responsibilities of to-day. The eternal truth in
the conception of Jefferson, the truth that the present-
day and future conditions place in ever increasing vitality
of' relation to national welfare, is that of the dominion of
mind in anticipating:and disposing power over events and
in directing the course of progress. In essaying this
project of exploration Jefferson was not only promoting
that which was in vital relation with his largest and. most
cherished life purposes, he was at the same time, in the
large measure in which he had the prophet's vision true,
marking out the central and enduring process of progress
in civilization. It now rests with this generation to respond to the deeper designs of Jefferson bound up with
his project"of exploration. After a century of growth and
achievement and moving westward we seem just ready to
take note of the higher planes of community life and
effort to which his prophet's call directs.
The Emphasis of a Cenntennial Celebration Most Fortunately
Placed Upon the Lewis and Clark Exposition.
. 1 There is a special reason while dealing at this time with
this event, in the centennial year of its culmination in a
successful penetration of the continent, for a transition
from cold history to panegj^ric ; provided, always, the truth,
is fully adhered to. The mind of a people in reviewing
its past, in conceiving of the process of its evolution, and
in developing its traditions, poises itself upon epochal
events as points of departure or relays for its ideas. From
one of these resting places transition in thought is made
to the next in order. The collective mind thus develops
"perchings and flights^" in its conceptions of its past, much
as does the consciousness of the individual in cognizing the
world about him or in organizing his thought material.
Thus, in both the stream of history as conceived by a peo- 14 F. G. Young.
pie and in the course of an individual's thought there are
resting places or substantive parts and places of flight or
transitive parts. The Lewis and Clark exploration has
been singled out by the people of Oregon from among the
historic achievements of their past as that substantive
part upon which their attention should rest and to which
their thought should be made to recur unceasingly for a
period of half a dozen years — for they made this particular
. event the historical basis for their first com m unity, effort
in the form of a Centennial Exposition and "Western
World's Fair."
Most fortunate is it if there is such higher significance
in this event and in its setting that shall make this long
focusing upon it in this impressionable mood of the popular mind not a cold blank stare, but a period of elation.
Because of richness and warmth of suggestion of this
event it shall enkindle'and unify, raising the public to a
higher order of life. That it has such epical character,-
and that it bears effluence and inspiration of biblical
quality to the head and hearts of the people who with
full understanding commemorate it, is the claim made
for it.
This event easily bears the emphasis of a centennial
celebration on its objective side because of its paramount
influence in the train of events through which the Oregon
Country was won for the American people. It has prominence, too, in that longer line of achievements through
which the position of this nation was gained as "Arbiter
of the New World." . The Louisiana purchase probably
holds over it as a larger step in effecting the.rise of the
United States to a world power. But to the importance
that the Lewis and Clark exploration thus has, objectively
considered, must be added that grand scheme of life purposes of Thomas Jefferson of which it was an integral part
—— Significance of Lewis and Clark Exploration.    15
and.all of which it so well symbolizes. In the audacity of
youth Jefferson proposed to reserve this continent as the
home of the largest liberty, equality, and enlightenment.
A transcontinental exploration was the first step thereto.
Jefferson's Purpose With Transcontinental Exploration as Seen
in the Officiai Medallion, in the Occasions Seized for Urging
It, in Leaders Selected and Instructions Given.
In essaying to show that the Lewis and Clark explorations had in it and back of it ideas and purposes that fit
it to become the watchword for the spirit and aims that
should be the passion of this
community to-day it may be
I helpful to compare two tokens of
that event. Take first the official emblem of the Centennial
Exposition commemorating the
achievement. For the design in
it we have figures representing
Lewis and Clark and the blithe
and buxom Miss Columbia, taken
ÉnnUv^ off their feet, as it were, on
.«rH---— "^ "sighting the Pacific. This pictures admirably the hallelujah of Captain Clark recorded
in his journal in the words, "Ocean in view ! 0 the joy !"
It expresses as well, too, the hosanna of the people of the Pacific Northwest in their Centennial celebration.    But
now turn to the design on the official medal of the expe
dition, adopted as the design for the seal of the Oregon
Historical Society. Its cordial handclasp, its legend "peace
friendship," and the.axe and pipe of peace, give a very and
different idea of the import and spirit of the enterprise.
There are no rifles, no powder flasks and long knives in
evidence on this — none of the paraphernalia of war. Yet
this official medallion was probably designed by Jefferson.
At any rate it expresses faithfully and strongly his fixed
policy in all his dealings with the Indians.
For further light on the purposes of Jefferson let us
turn to the occasions he seized for urging a transcontinental exploration and the grounds he gave for undertaking it. In 1783 he proposes to George Eogers.Clark that
he head an expedition to explore " the country from the Significance of Lewis and Clark Explora'
Mississipi [sic] to California." He reports "a very large
sum of money" subscribed for such an expedition to start
from England. "They pretend," he says, "it is only to
promote knoledge [sic]. I am afraid they have thoughts
of colonizing into that quarter." This is our first record ■
of his alert guardianship for the retention of this continent for American institutions. Two years later, while
in'Paris as Minister to France, he became aware of the
equipment of the expedition of La Perouse for the exploration of the Pacific. He is again roused lest it be an
attempt to colonize these western shores^ this time by
France. Jefferson was not partial with his suspicions of
designs by the different European countries upon any part
of the America he proposed to have kept intact for American principles of liberty, equality, and enlightenment.
He had John Paul Jones look into the La Perouse matter
for him.
A few months later Jefferson met the explorer John
Ledyard who had, a few years before, been with Captain
Cook on this coast, but who was now unhappy because he
had no project of adventure on hand.    Jefferson kindled
in him the resolution to cross Europe and Siberia to the
Pacific, to take a Russian vessel thence to this coast and
penetrate the continent from west to east.    Ledyard was
| balked in this venture, but Jefferson soon had him under
[ pledge to start again to the Pacific, this time overland
from Kentucky.    The explorer, however, perished in an
attempted African exploration which came first in turn..
I     Explorers coining under Jefferson's influence seemed
I never immune against the fever for a transcontinental
I trip to the Pacific.    In 1793 he had Andre Michaux, a
1 French botanist on his way to proceed up the Missouri
I to the Pacific.    Michaux had been subsidized by a sub-
I scription, and was to make his venture under the auspices
I of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia. 18 F. G. Young.
He, however, became entangled in the Genet conspiracy to
wrest Florida and Louisiana from Spain, and had to be
Next in order came the successful Lewis and Clark ven-
• ture of 1803. This, too, as pointed out above, was undertaken at what seemed a very opportune time in view of
what was impending. These several promptings to exploration from Jefferson prove that his interest in the
Pacific side of America was at least a live and perennial
yearning. An intimation of an expedition to this region
from Europe roused him. He seemed especially stirred to
action to forestall colonization or permanent occupation of
it by any European power.
The line of leaders selected by Jefferson while making
these successive efforts may also have significance. The
man applied to on the first occasion was George Rogers
Clark, of Kaskaskia and Vincennes fame — one with military prestige ; then Ledyard, a typical explorer ; next
came Michaux, a scientist, to go under the auspices of a
scientific society ; and in 1803 a naturalist, other things
equal, would again have been his first choice—if we are
to believe what he wrote Doctor Barton on February 27,
1803.    He says :
"You know we have been many years wishing to have the Missouri
explored, and whatever river, heading with that, runs into the western ocean. Congress, in some secret proceedings, have yielded to a
proposition I made them for permitting me to have it done. It is to
be undertaken immediately with a party of about ten, and I have
appointed Captain Lewis, my secretary, to conduct it. It was impossible to And a character who, to a complete science in Botany, Natural
History, Mineralogy, and Astrdnomy, joined the firmness of constitution and character, prudence, habits adapted to the woods, and familiarity with the Indian manners and character, requisite for this undertaking. All the latter qualifications Captain Lewis has. Although
no regular botanist, etc., he possesses a remarkable store of accurate
observation on all the subjects of the three kingdoms, and will therefore readily single out whatever presents itself new to him in either;
and he has qualified himself for taking the observations of longitude   j Significance of Lewis and Clark Exploration.    19
and latitude necessary to fix the geography of the line he passes
through. In order to draw his attention at once to the subjects most
desirable, I must ask the favor of you to prepare for him a note of
those in the lines of botany, zoology, or of Indian history, which you
think most worthy of inquiry and observation. He will be with you
in Philadelphia in two or three weeks, and will wait on you, and will
receive thankfully on paper and any verbal communications which
you may be so good as to make to him. I make no apology for this
trouble, because I know that the same wish to promote science which
has induced me to bring forward this proposition will induce you to
aid in promoting it. ' '
These selections for leadership show that Jefferson's interest in securing geographical, and other scientific data
was a growing one. At the same time there is greater appreciation on .his part of the demands made by such an
undertaking for practical conditions of success. His is no
longer a suggestion to a single lone explorer as with Ledyard and Michaux, but for a company large enough to ensure success if prudence is exercised.
The instructions to Michaux, written by Jefferson in
1793,. state that the "chief objects are to find the shortest
and most.convenient route of communication between the
United States and the Pacific Ocean within the temperate
latitudes, and to learn such particulars as can be obtained
of the country through which it passes, its productions, inhabitants, and other interesting circumstances." Again,
in admonishing him to have concern for his personal
health and safety, Jefferson urges that this is not merely
Michaux's personal interest but "the injunction of science
in general, which expects an enlargement from your inquiries, and of the inhabitants of the United States in particular, to whom ypur report will open new fields and subjects of commerce, intercourse, and observation."
The official instructions conveyed to Lewis and the several communications sent him by Jefferson, during the
months intervening between his departure from Washington and his passing beyond the frontier, agree in making 20 F. G. Young.
the object of this finally successful effort the opening of
"direct water communication from sea to sea formed by
the bed of the Missouri, and perhaps the Oregon." Jefferson's deep interest in the records of the explorations
effected by Lewis and Clark, which the paper following
this so strongly exhibits, relates, however, more to their
value to science than to commerce. In his letters to his
correspondents among the men of science of his day the
references to the journals of Lewis and Clark are frequent,
generally it is to express his regrets over the delay in the
publication of them. In the purposes of Jefferson, therefore, science and commerce appear to divide the honors
about equally as direct beneficiaries from this venture.
Commercial relations were to be developed with all