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Beyond Lewis and Clark - Timeline 1800

The Army Explores The West

Thomas Jefferson.  Image courtesy of Virginia Historical 
Society.Jefferson Elected President (1800)

Thomas Jefferson became President in 1800. His many achievements in office included organizing the Lewis and Clark expedition, known as the Corps of Discovery.

Curious about the land beyond the United State’s western border, President Jefferson asked Congress to fund a small military expedition to explore the area to the Pacific Ocean. France owned much of this region at the time, but before the expedition began, Napoleon Bonaparte offered the entire Louisiana Territory to the United States for purchase.

The Louisiana Purchase was a great bargain for the United States and it served Bonaparte well. Selling the land to America kept it from England, France's major rival. Jefferson spent much of his second term trying to keep the U.S. out of the war between England and France.

North America at the time of the Louisiana Purchase.


Beyond Lewis and Clark is an online exhibit developed by the Kansas Museum of History. It is the result of a partnership between the Kansas Historical Society, the Virginia and Washington State historical societies, the U. S. Army's Frontier Army Museum at Leavenworth, and the U. S. Army Center of Military History.

Contact us at kshs.kansasmuseum@ks.gov