As early as the 1780s, minister to France and future President Thomas Jefferson began to express interest in an expedition to the Pacific Northwest.
As President, Jefferson asked Congress to fund an expedition to the Pacific, two years into his first term. He understood that the fledgling United States would have a better claim to the Pacific Northwest if the team gathered data on plants and animals, but Jefferson’s primary interest in the mission, was trade.
Today we take coast-to-coast travel for granted. It seems odd to think how strange and unknown at one time, were the more remote parts of our own nation. Though extraordinarily well read and one of the brightest men of his generation, (Jefferson once cut out 901 bible verses from which he assembled his own “Jefferson Bible”, translating the volume into Greek, Latin, French and back to English “just for fun”), President Jefferson legitimately…
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