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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Ocean in View

American Minute from William J. Federer

"Ocian in view! O! the joy," was the wording William Clark entered in his Journal NOVEMBER 7, 1805, but actually Lewis and Clark were only at Gray's Bay, still 20 miles from the Pacific.

Fierce storms pinned them down for three weeks. As cold weather set in, the captains decided to let the expedition vote on where to build winter camp, even allowing Clark's slave York and the woman Indian guide Sacagawea to vote.

A humble Christmas was celebrated in their new Fort Clatsop, near present-day Astoria, Oregon.

By Clark's estimate, their journey, commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, had taken them 4,162 miles from the mouth of the Missouri River.

Three months earlier, Meriwether Lewis, along with three companions, George Drouillard, Private John Shields and Private Hugh McNeal, reached the headwaters of the Missouri.

Lewis recorded: "The road took us to the most distant fountain of the waters of the Mighty Missouri...Private McNeal had exultingly stood with a foot on each side of this little rivulet and thanked his God that he had lived to bestride the mighty and heretofore deemed endless Missouri."

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


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