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Kansas Kaleidoscope - Special Issue 2003

A fun magazine for kids!

Kansas Kaleidoscope, Special Issue 2003 Lewis and Clark in Kansas
1804 - 2004 Bicentennial


In 2004, the whole country will be talking about Lewis and Clark. The bicentennial of the 1804 - 1806 expedition has captured the nation's attention for many reasons. It is a story of adventure and exploration. It is a story with multicultural themes. It is a story with interdisciplinary teaching elements.

For Parents and Teachers:

This special issue of Kansas Kaleidoscope provides a unique perspective for readers by placing the Kansas story within the national context. We encourage students, parents, and teachers alike to take pride in learning more about Kansas' role in this extraordinary journey.

A Great Moment in American History: The Louisiana Purchase

What a bargain! In 1803 the United States government purchased the Louisiana Territory for a total price of $15 million, or just under three cents an acre. The cost was one reason Thomas Jefferson jumped at the chance to buy the land that would double the size of the country. There were other important reasons, too.

Exploring the Unknown

President Thomas Jefferson had always been interested in the land beyond America's western border. What new plants grew there? How many different animals lived in the West? What were the people like? And another question, very important to many Americans, "Was there a 'northwest passage' or water route across the continent?"

Lewis and Clark's Mission

Jefferson instructed Lewis and Clark to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean.

Lewis and Clark in Kansas

Lewis and Clark's route to the Pacific Ocean and back took them through areas that would eventually become 11 states. The Corps of Discovery spent the most time in North Dakota, even though the longest part of the trail is in Montana. The shortest part of the trail is in Kansas--just 123 miles.

8,000 Miles in 863 Days

Jefferson had faith that Lewis and Clark would complete the trip to the Pacific Ocean and return safely. But, he also was aware of the great danger in which he placed them. During the two and a half years the explorers were gone, rumors of their deaths and also of their capture by the Spanish reached him.

Sacagawea--The Bird Woman

Sacagawea proved to be an extremely strong and courageous young woman. She was captured by the Hidatsa as a young girl and held as a slave. Still a teenager, she met and married Toussaint Charbonneau, a French fur trader.


When William Clark joined the expedition, be brought with him his slave, York. They had been together since childhood. During the expedition, York was given the same treatment as other members of of the corps. This was exceptional because York was a slave.

The Kansa Indians

Read the description, written by William Clark in 1804, about an area that had been Kansa Indian town. The beauty of the spot made it attractive to both groups. It hads trees for fuel and water for drinking and cooking.

Explore Your Own Backyard

America's continued quest to explore the unknown is one of the legacies of Lewis and Clark, whether it is rocketing into deepest space or traveling to the bottom of the ocean. There are still many areas to be explored.

In This Issue:

  • A Journey Fourth
  • Book Nook
  • Thomas Jefferson: America's Renaissance Man
  • The Corps of Discovery
  • Meriwether Lewis
  • William Clark
  • Kaleidoscope Challenge
  • Trail State: Word Scramble
  • History Lab
  • Visit History
  • States in the Loisiana Purchase
  • Joke Break
  • Bee a Winner!


Teacher Supplement