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Potomac Books


The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume 1, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume 1, 0803228619, 0-8032-2861-9, 978-0-8032-2861-0, 9780803228610, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark Edited by Gary E. Moulton

The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume 1
Atlas of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Edited by Gary E. Moulton

1983. 186 pp.
$250.00 s

When the Corps of Discovery left the vicinity of St. Louis in 1804 to explore the American West, they had only sketchy knowledge of the terrain that they were to cross—existing maps often contained large blank spaces and wild inaccuracies. William Clark painstakingly mapped every mile of the journey, drawing from both direct observation and from the reports of Indians and a few fur traders. On their return Lewis and Clark directed the execution of new maps detailing with remarkable accuracy the features of the country that they had traversed.

Gary E. Moulton is Thomas C. Sorensen Professor of American History at the University of Nebraska and recipient of the J. Franklin Jameson Award of the American Historical Association for the editing of these journals.

"The University of Nebraska Press has become the pre-eminent publisher of Lewis and Clark titles, including what is now considered the definitive edition of the journals edited by Nebraska history professor Gary Moulton."—John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Moulton not only edited the transcriptions of the journal entries; he also provided a detailed index and oversaw a team of consultants who provided expert annotations on botany, zoology, astronomy, archaeology, linguists and medicine. As a result, readers can understand the expedition in its full context. It's no wonder that the series has received many plaudits."—Omaha World Herald

"[This edition] stands as one of the great accomplishments of American scholarship and scholarly publishing alike. The work of historian Gary Moulton and a team of some three dozen specialists working through the University of Nebraska's Center for Great Plains Studies with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the 13-volume Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was published by the University of Nebraska Press from 1983 to 2001."—Gregory McNamee, Washington Post Book World

"The journey of the Corps of Discovery, under the command of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, across the American West to the Pacific Ocean and back in the years 1804-1806 seems to me to have been our first really American adventure, one that also produced our only really American epic, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, now at last available in a superbly edited, easily read edition in twelve volumes (of an eventual thirteen), almost two centuries after the Corps of Discovery set out. . . . This important text has not been fully appreciated for what it is because of two centuries of incomplete and inadequate editing. All three editions previous to this excellent one from the University of Nebraska . . . were flawed by significant omission. . . . Thus my gratitude to the present editor, Gary Moulton, and his assistant editor, Thomas Dunlay, for bringing what I believe to be a national epic into plain view at last. . . . For almost two hundred years their [Lewis' and Clark's] strong words waited, there but not there, printed but not read: our silent epic. But words can wait: now the captains' writings have at last spilled out, and fully, in this regal edition."

"Lewis and Clark loom over the narrative literature of the West as the Rockies loom over the rivers that run through them. These Journals are to the narrative of the American West as the Iliad is to the epic or as Don Quixote is to the novel: a first exemplar so great as to contain in embryo the genre's full potential. The narrative writing about the West that came before Lewis and Clark seems fragmentary and slight; what came after them seems insipid and slight, lacking both the scale and the force of those Journals."—Larry McMurtry in the New York Review of Books

“As a human venture, the expedition was a romantic reconnaissance that ranks with Columbus’ first voyage and man’s flight to the moon. . . . [The atlas] is utterly fascinating. . . . All the known maps relating to the expedition are now gathered together in this magnificent new edition, printed in their proper sequence, reproduced in facsimile at their full original size, and with their provenance discussed.”—Washington Post Book World

“Rich and definitive . . . Fills a long-standing gap in the history of the mapping of North America . . . Handsomely produced, this model of historical atlas publication will be the prized possession of every research library or local history-oriented repository with a keen interest in early North American history.”—Choice

“[The introduction is] the definitive work on the cartography of the Lewis and Clark expedition. . . . [The maps] are beautifully arranged and organized with a clarity of reproduction that would be difficult to match.”—Great Plains Quarterly

"In all ways this is a class act"—Western Historical Quarterly

"A veritable treasure trove . . . An invaluable companion volume to the account of the expedition in the volumes that [follow]."—American Cartographer

1990 J. Franklin Jameson Prize, sponsored by the American Historical Association, winner
1984 Western Heritage Awards, sponsored by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, non-fiction category winner

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