4 Books About Lewis and Clark’s Expedition Across America

The Lewis and Clark Expedition took place from August 1803 to September 1806. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the adventure right after the completion of the Louisiana Purchase so that the new territory could get mapped.

Lewis and Clark were also tasked with finding a practical route to reach the western half of the continent.

Jefferson and many Americans were worried about Europe trying to establish new colonies along the frontier border. This investment helped to counter that concern.

The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Several editors and authors have reworked the journals of Lewis and Clark over the years. Their unprecedented journey from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean allowed them to explore a vast amount of the Louisiana Purchase, placing their names in history as they recorded the various people, plants, and animals along the way. This option is one of the best.

Lewis and Clark Among the Indians by James P. Ronda

This book about Lewis and Clark is particularly valuable because of the tribal background information it includes. The appendix places the Sacagawea concept within its accurate perspective, attempting to show how the communication between the adventurers led to the positive outcomes during the expedition. 

The Essential Lewis and Clark by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

Choose this book if you want to take a more nuanced approach to Lewis and Clark’s adventures. The updated version includes the detailed original writing from the journals, archival maps drawn from the journey, and plenty of artwork that the pair developed to describe what they saw. This real-life adventure shows what the experience was like, ranging from mountain crossings to encounters with bears.

Streams to the River, River to the Sea by Scott O’Dell

In this Scholastic book, a young woman experiences the joy and heartbreak of life when she decides to join the Lewis and Clark expedition. The author paints Sacagawea as an abused wife, a caring mother, and a daring adventurer as the group works their way toward the western coast.

Most books that detail the journey of Lewis and Clark are based on their journals. Some fictional stories, including one from the perspective of their dog, add some variety to the mix. If you want to know what really happened, these four books are an excellent place to start.
If you are interested in more books about historical figures, don’t miss these books about Abraham Lincoln.