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Meriwether Lewis

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Meriwether Lewis
Meriwether Lewis-Charles Willson Peale.jpg
2nd Governor of Louisiana Territory
In office
March 3, 1807 – October 11, 1809
Appointed by Thomas Jefferson
Preceded by James Wilkinson
Succeeded by Benjamin Howard
Personal details
Born August 18, 1774(1774-08-18)
Ivy, Colony of Virginia
Died October 11, 1809(1809-10-11) (aged 35)
Hohenwald, Tennessee
Spouse(s) none
Alma mater Liberty Hall (Washington and Lee University), 1793
Occupation explorer, soldier, politician

Meriwether Lewis (August 18, 1774 – October 11, 1809) was an American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with William Clark. Their mission was to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase, establish trade and sovereignty over the natives near the Missouri River, and claim the Pacific Northwest and Oregon Country for the United States before European nations. They also collected scientific data, and information on indigenous nations.[1] President Thomas Jefferson appointed him Governor of Upper Louisiana in 1806.[2][3] He died of gunshot wounds in what was an act of suicide.


  1. Fritz, Harry W. (2004). The Lewis and Clark Expedition. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 59. ISBN 0-313-31661-9
  2. Defender Wilson, Mary Louise; Fenelon, James V. (2004). Voyage of Domination, "Purchase" as Conquest, Sakakawea for Savagery: Distorted Icons from Misrepresentations of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Wicazo Sa Review. University of Minnesota Press. 19 (1): pp. 90–1.
  3. Miller, Robert J. (2008). Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and Manifest Destiny. Bison Books. p. 108. ISBN 0803215983
    ISBN 978-0803215986

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