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Old 01-08-2019, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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The extremes of quality in Lewis and Clark coverage are the incredibly compelling and well written book "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose, and the god awful "Far Horizons" film starring Fred MacMurray, Charlton Heston and Donna Reed.

The book is a truly exciting read, the movie is an assault on history. To make it more palatable for the audiences, they manufactured a number of battles which never actually took place, and worse, manufactured a love affair between Sacagawea and Clark, which would have been awkward in real life since Sacagawea's husband was along on the trip. It is a story which requires no enhancement to be fascinating, but that isn't how Hollywood saw it.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The extremes of quality in Lewis and Clark coverage are the incredibly compelling and well written book "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose, and the god awful "Far Horizons" film starring Fred MacMurray, Charlton Heston and Donna Reed.

The book is a truly exciting read, the movie is an assault on history. To make it more palatable for the audiences, they manufactured a number of battles which never actually took place, and worse, manufactured a love affair between Sacagawea and Clark, which would have been awkward in real life since Sacagawea's husband was along on the trip. It is a story which requires no enhancement to be fascinating, but that isn't how Hollywood saw it.

To be fair, I think Sacagawea probably had a mild crush on Clark. He was described by some Native Americans as being handsome, and also seemed to have been one of the more personable members of the Expedition. She often selected his company over Lewis’ (not surprisingly), and went through some effort to make him a Christmas gift during their winter at Fort Clatsop. I will say, it’s hard to get frisky when they were also sharing a tent with a demanding baby, sometimes depressive Lewis, and the hubby.

As for the presence of her hubby, I doubt it was a love match given how he literally won her (and another girl) as brides. It seems L&C did not think highly of him either, and other than for his limited use as an interpreter, they valued him most for his cooking skills, especially his boudin blanc. He was French, after all.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Central Illinois -
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Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Was the book Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose?

https://www.amazon.com/Undaunted-Cou...06507637&psc=1

I picked it up at a book sale somewhere. It is fascinating. Yes, a sad end to Lewis's life, but when all the details are there, it does sound like suicide. Something had to be odd about him. It was said that "melancholy" ran in his family, and he couldn't seem to find a woman who would marry him.

The book has so many excerpts from their journals, particularly Merriwether Lewis's. They describe the huge herds of bison and other animals migrating across open spaces, a sight that no longer exists. Also, the realistic story of Sacagawea is covered.
To this day, that remains one of my favorite books. Ambrose was always a little too jingoistic on his books concerning WWII veterans, but he struck the perfect tone with Undaunted Courage. So much information, and considering he traveled over much of the trail himself he had an intimate knowledge of it.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Originally Posted by mingna View Post
To be fair, I think Sacagawea probably had a mild crush on Clark. He was described by some Native Americans as being handsome, and also seemed to have been one of the more personable members of the Expedition. She often selected his company over Lewisí (not surprisingly), and went through some effort to make him a Christmas gift during their winter at Fort Clatsop. I will say, itís hard to get frisky when they were also sharing a tent with a demanding baby, sometimes depressive Lewis, and the hubby.

As for the presence of her hubby, I doubt it was a love match given how he literally won her (and another girl) as brides. It seems L&C did not think highly of him either, and other than for his limited use as an interpreter, they valued him most for his cooking skills, especially his boudin blanc. He was French, after all.
It would be no surprise if it was true.
Clark's fiery red hair would have been attractive to the natives, as it was rare but was known. Crazy Horse was a redhead.

Clark was also quite staunch and steady. He was a professional soldier, and by all accounts a good leader of men. Lewis was moodier and less approachable to his men, but had better ability meeting the tribes than Clark. They made a very good team by balancing their individual strengths.

Lots of things have been said about Sacajawea good and bad. I tend to believe that, as a young girl, she mostly wanted to elevate her husband's position by joining the white men.

I also think she may have thought it was a bad idea once they began running into trouble as the early winter set in. The hike the expedition made over what's now the Montana-Idaho border on foot, lost, and in knee-deep snow was pretty desperate for them all.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:10 PM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
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Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I saw that documentary, too. They lived with the people in Thule. They interviewed one of Peary's descendants, and he said that in the next village there were people descended from the "other kind of white man, the black kind", meaning Henson. Apparently Peary's American descendants were not happy to hear about this, but Henson's American descendants were interested in learning more. I don't know if there was ever any sort of followup.
Each expedition required more than a year away from home, and several explorers attempted more than one. It appeared to be the norm that the explorers would have second families in Greenland.

A good book on the assorted polar expedition culminating in 1909 is To the Edges of the Earth by Edward Larson. One of Peary's Inuit sons went on a later polar expeditions.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
It would be no surprise if it was true.
Clark's fiery red hair would have been attractive to the natives, as it was rare but was known. Crazy Horse was a redhead.

Clark was also quite staunch and steady. He was a professional soldier, and by all accounts a good leader of men. Lewis was moodier and less approachable to his men, but had better ability meeting the tribes than Clark. They made a very good team by balancing their individual strengths.

Lots of things have been said about Sacajawea good and bad. I tend to believe that, as a young girl, she mostly wanted to elevate her husband's position by joining the white men.

I also think she may have thought it was a bad idea once they began running into trouble as the early winter set in. The hike the expedition made over what's now the Montana-Idaho border on foot, lost, and in knee-deep snow was pretty desperate for them all.
Both were able leaders, and indeed complimented each other well. Lewis was smart in his selection of Clark, and generous in sharing the leadership role. IMO Lewis was more broadly intellectual, but Clark had better soft skills and a greater capacity for empathy.

Sacagawea was a fascinating person, and had she kept one, one’s whose journal I would have liked to have read the most. Her decision to continue with the Expedition rather than stay behind with her tribe was certainly interesting. I think she was a very strong and strong-willed person, whose innate sense of adventurousness and curiousity was sparked by the Expedition. This may have played a role in her actions just as much as any desire to elevate Charbonneau’s status amoung the Expedition members.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:42 PM
 
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Lewis was bi-polar and addicted to Opium (Laudenum) taken to self medicate his "melancholia
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:03 PM
 
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Yes. I followed the western parts of it in 2000 on a road trip over 11 days as well as parts of the Oregon Trail. Had to detour in a few areas due to forest fires. Flew into Denver then drove north winding around to various historic sites (Laramie, Cheyenne, Scottsbluff, Mt Rushmore in Black Hills, Devil's Tower) on way to Billings and from Billings followed it most of way to Pacific Ocean at Fort Clatsop.

Trivia, Fort Clatsop is one of only two locations authorized to fly the fifteen star flag (Ft McHenry, MD is the other). The guide at Ft Clatsop recommended Bernard DeVoto's Journals of Lewis and Clark. Read it on remainder of trip home as way to remember sites. Of historical note the choice of the small expeditionary force was crucial to not creating animosity among the natives encountered. One of those amazingly successful achievements in history.

Of note, the Gates of the Mountains wilderness area was breathtaking and gives a sense of what the two dozen person expeditionary force would have encountered. Three forks (headwaters of the Missouri), Lolo Pass, Lochsa R through the Clearwater National Forest, recall hiking around Devoto Grove. The remote lolo pass crossing was one of those places where you could hit 'scan' on radio and no stations would be picked up - very desolate.


Then there is the distinct change in ecosystem once you get west of mountains and are in eastern Washington state. The Lewiston ID, Clarkston, WA, feel of commercial barges at upper parts of the Columbia River and then following it to the Pacific, the Dalles etc... Lots of interesting sites (and great views) along the way.

https://oregonencyclopedia.org/artic...e_of_the_gods/
https://traveloregon.com/things-to-d...ws-of-mt-hood/
Great trip thanks for prompting the fond recollections.
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Old Today, 03:21 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
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Originally Posted by elvis44102 View Post
Lewis was bi-polar and addicted to Opium (Laudenum) taken to self medicate his "melancholia
That's my understanding, too. Jefferson knew Lewis' father and noted that he, too suffered from melancholia (depression).
I live on The Natchez Trace, some miles from where Lewis' death occurred and is marked at a rest stop. According to most texts, the news of his suicide was not surprising to the those who knew him. Stephen Ambrose felt that the lapses in Lewis' journal writing indicated periods where his depression prevented him from carrying on. I can't remember if he ever finished his final report to Jefferson or not, but I do remember he was asked many times.
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