Jefferson's Westward Dream
With this in mind, President Jefferson decided that the United States should attempt to buy the area around New Orleans. He sent a group of men to France to meet with Napoleon. When they arrived in France, Napoleon said that he had changed his mind. He wanted to sell the entire Louisiana Territory. The Americans had no instruction to make such a big purchase but did not want to lose the opportunity. And so they signed the papers and Louisiana was ours for 15 million dollars. God was working to continue the expansion of our country to the Pacific Ocean. From this new area, twenty states the size of Ohio would be created.
Lewis & Clark
Almost no one had knowledge of the Louisiana Territory. President Jefferson chose two young men, Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark to explore the region. They took 43 men with them who were mostly soldiers, hunters, and river men. While they were traveling, they met a French trapper, Charbonneau, whose wife, Sacajawea, was from the Shoshone tribe. They helped by communicating with the Native American tribes along the way. Together they traveled throughout the area and then explored into the Oregon Territory all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Because of their explorations, many more Americans became excited about moving further west to make their homes.
President Jefferson was curious about everything. He was an inventor and scientist. He experimented with plants, and invented the dumbwaiter, a wheel cipher to make and reveal coded messages, and a pasta maker. He loved to learn, but he didn’t know much about the lands of the Louisiana Purchase. He wanted to know everything about this new land! What would you want to know?