Lewis and Clark in Chicago

Written by josh on May 23rd, 2010

Two weeks ago, I was in Chicago at a regional meeting of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. We all had a wonderful time and learned a great deal about the local history. I was asked to give a talk about the Chicago Treaty of 1833, which I had previously known nothing about. Researching it was fun, and I learned so much about Chicago history, and Indian removal in the process.

The highlight for me was visiting the Newberry library, which houses many primary documents related to the expedition. My iPhone’s camera hardly does these items justice, but in this photo you several of them.

Private Joseph Whitehouse’s journal is front and center. This went with him to the Pacific and back! Top right above that is his rewritten journal, which he revised after the expedition based on his journal, recollections, and likely information from the other men. To the upper left of Whitehouse’s journal is William Clark’s cash book. The contents are not very interesting, just accounting information. However, on the back cover, Clark kept a running tally of the deaths of the expedition members. This cover is very important to scholars because it proves that Sacagawea was dead by 1825.

In this photo you can see several copies of the original 1814 Biddle edition of the journal. Cool, but the one on the top right is very special. It was Thomas Jefferson’s private copy. He initialed certain pages so that he would be able to prove his ownership. Also cool, but then he gave it to William Clark! Both Clark and his wife Julia signed the book as well.

We saw a lot of other things and places, that irrelevant to this game, but were still very interesting. Many thanks to Lou who made this trip a reality!


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jessie says:

    I just happened about this website, and thank you for posting those pictures. I’m a huge Corps of Discovery fan, and my jaw nearly dropped when I saw the pic of Whitehouse’s original journal. It did drop at Jefferson’s Biddle copy, signed by the Clarks as well.

    I can hardly wait till I get to play your game. Just wish I knew anything about designing games to help out.

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