Today In History: March 23 1806

Return of the expedition of Lewis and Clark

Meriwetther Lewis and William Clark headed an expedition to the coast of the Pacific in which they toured almost 13,000 kilometers by canoe, on horseback and on foot. It was formed by 40 men from the United States and Canada. The expedition of the Corps of Discovery left St. Louis and lasted more than two years. They went up the Missouri River and at the end of autumn arrived at what is now North Dakota, at a village of the Mandan tribe, near which they built a fort where they spent the winter. They were joined by the French-Canadian trader Toussaint Charbonneau and his wife Sacawagea, of the Shoshon tribe, who would help them communicate with Native Americans. The hardest part of the trip was to cross the Rockies, where they lost almost all their mounts because they were slaughtered for food. On the banks of the Clearwater they embarked on five canoes and followed the Snake River which then became the Columbia River, and ultimately led them to the Pacific in November 1805. On March 23, 1806 began the comeback trail.