Rare And Ridiculous Stories Of The Lewis And Clark Expedition

In May of 1804, an expedition commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson set out to map the newly acquired land from the Louisiana Purchase and find a connecting waterway to the Pacific Ocean for commerce. To lead the exploration, he appointed Meriwether Lewis, an outdoorsman and hunter who was 29 years old at the time, and William Clark, a 33-year-old trustworthy soldier. Together with a small team of tough young men, they set out on an expedition that would last 863 days and take them across 7,689 miles. While the history books commemorate it as a dignified exploration, there was also a lot that went down. They completely blew their budget, certain individuals broke into supplies and got drunk through the night, and when Sacagawea was nine months pregnant they had her eat the rattle of a rattlesnake to induce labor. Learn what else happened that you never learned in history class on the great Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Lewis Met Clark After A Drunken Dispute

Jean-Erick PASQUIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Jean-Erick PASQUIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Sometimes people have too much to drink and say and do things they shouldn’t, and will probably later regret. Meriwether Lewis had one of those nights way back in 1795. A 21-year-old frontier army officer at the time, Lewis drank one too many and challenged a lieutenant to a duel.

He was then court-martialed for his behavior, where his current commander decided it would be better if he was transferred to another company to avoid further disputes with the lieutenant he challenged. Lewis’ commander at his new company was none other than William Clark. That’s how they met.