Meriwether Lewis

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Manage episode 296992651 series 2887945
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"Today we visit the location of Grinder's Stand at an exhibit called MERIWETHER LEWIS. Meriwether Lewis was President Thomas Jefferson's personal secretary when the United States made the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803. Meriwether became leader of the famous LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION and explored trails all the way to the pacific northwest. When Lewis returned, President Jefferson appointed Captain Lewis governor of upper Louisiana, replacing the controversial General James Wilkinson who had convinced President Jefferson to look into charges of treason against his vice president Aaron Burr.

"Meriwether Lewis had his headquarters in St. Louis, and in 1809 he left there headed for Washington to settle some accounts he felt were due him from the government. He traveled down the Mississippi River to Fort Pickering where Lewis and his traveling companions were joined by the U.S. Agent to the Chickasaws, James Neely . They went east through Chickasaw country and crossed the Tennessee River to join the Old Trace heading north.

"On October the 10th, 1809, thunderstorms hit them and Lewis made it into Grinder's Stand ahead of his companions. During that night Lewis was shot. He died as the sun was rising October 11, 1809. He was only 35 years old.

"On our next program we will look further at Lewis's death."

For more about Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, visit

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