|2nd Governor of Louisiana Territory|
March 3, 1807 – October 11, 1809
|Appointed by||Thomas Jefferson|
|Preceded by||James Wilkinson|
|Succeeded by||Benjamin Howard|
August 18, 1774|
Ivy, Colony of Virginia
|Died||October 11, 1809
Hohenwald, Tennessee, U.S.
|Alma mater||Liberty Hall (Washington and Lee University), 1793|
|Occupation||Explorer, soldier, politician|
Meriwether Lewis (August 18, 1774 – October 11, 1809) was an American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery, with William Clark. Their mission was to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase, establish trade and sovereignty over the natives near the Missouri River, and claim the Pacific Northwest and Oregon Country for the United States before European nations. They also collected scientific data, and information on indigenous nations. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him Governor of Upper Louisiana in 1806. He died of gunshot wounds in what was either a murder or suicide, in 1809.
Meriwether Lewis was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, in the present-day community of Ivy. He was the son of Lt. William Lewis of Locust Hill (1733 – November 17, 1779), who was of Welsh ancestry, and Lucy Meriwether (February 4, 1752 – September 8, 1837), daughter of Thomas Meriwether and Elizabeth Thornton who were both of English ancestry. (Thornton was the daughter of Francis Thornton and Mary Taliaferro). After his father died of pneumonia, he moved with his mother and stepfather Captain John Marks to Georgia in May 1780. They settled along the Broad River in the Goosepond Community within the Broad River Valley in Wilkes County (now Oglethorpe County).
Lewis had no formal education until he was 13 years of age, but during his time in Georgia he enhanced his skills as a hunter and outdoorsman. He would often venture out in the middle of the night in the dead of winter with only his dog to go hunting. Even at an early age, he was interested in natural history, which would develop into a lifelong passion. His mother taught him how to gather wild herbs for medicinal purposes. In the Broad River Valley, Lewis first dealt with American Indians. This was the traditional territory of the Cherokee, who resented encroachment by the colonists. Lewis seems to have been a champion for them among his own people. While in Georgia, he met Eric Parker, who encouraged him to travel. At thirteen, Lewis was sent back to Virginia for education by private tutors. His father's older brother Nicholas Lewis became his guardian. One of his tutors was Parson Matthew Maury, an uncle of Matthew Fontaine Maury. In 1793, Lewis graduated from Liberty Hall (now Washington and Lee University).
That year he joined the Virginia militia, and in 1794 he was sent as part of a detachment involved in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion. In 1795 Lewis joined the U.S. Army, commissioned as an Ensign (an Army rank that was later abolished and was equivalent to a modern Lieutenant). By 1800 he rose to Captain, and ended his service there in 1801. Among his commanding officers was William Clark, who would later become his companion in the Corps of Discovery.
On April 1, 1801, Lewis was appointed as an aide by President Thomas Jefferson, whom he knew through Virginia society in Albemarle County. Lewis resided in the presidential mansion, and frequently conversed with various prominent figures in politics, the arts and other circles. He compiled information on the personnel and politics of the United States Army, which had seen an influx of Federalist officers as a result of John Adams's "midnight appointments".
When Jefferson began to plan for an expedition across the continent, he chose Lewis to lead the expedition. Meriwether Lewis recruited Clark, then age 33, to share command of the expedition.
After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Jefferson wanted to get an accurate sense of the new land and its resources. The President also hoped to find a "direct and practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce with Asia." In addition, Jefferson placed special importance on declaring U.S. sovereignty over the Native Americans along the Missouri River.
The two-year exploration by Lewis and Clark was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States; however, Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific 12 years after Sir Alexander Mackenzie had done so overland in Canada. They were accompanied by a fifteen-year-old Shoshone Indian woman, Sacagawea, the wife of a French-Canadian fur trader. After crossing the Rocky Mountains, the expedition reached the Pacific Ocean in the area of present-day Oregon (which lay beyond the nation's new boundaries) in November 1805. They returned in 1806, bringing with them an immense amount of information about the region as well as numerous plant and animal specimens. They demonstrated the possibility of overland travel to the Pacific coast. They found Native Americans in the trans-Mississippi West accustomed to dealing with European traders and already connected to global markets. The success of their journey helped to strengthen the idea that United States territory was destined to reach all the way to the Pacific.
Return and gubernatorial duties
After returning from the expedition, Lewis received a reward of 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of land. He also initially made arrangements to publish the Corps of Discovery journals, but had difficulty completing his writing. In 1807, Jefferson appointed him governor of the Louisiana Territory; he settled in St. Louis.
Lewis' record as an administrator is mixed. He published the first laws in the Upper-Louisiana Territory, established roads and furthered Jefferson's mission as a strong proponent of the fur trade. He negotiated peace among several quarrelling Indian tribes. His duty to enforce Indian treaties was to protect the western Indian lands from encroachment, which was opposed by the rush of settlers looking to open new lands for settlements. But due to his quarreling with local political leaders, controversy over his approvals of trading licenses, land grant politics, and Indian depredations, some historians have argued that Lewis was a poor administrator. That view has been reconsidered in recent biographies. Lewis's primary quarrels were with his territorial secretary Frederick Bates. Bates was accused of undermining Lewis to seek Lewis's dismissal and his own appointment as governor. Because of the slow-moving mail system, former president Jefferson and Lewis's superiors in Washington got the impression that Lewis did not adequately keep in touch with them. Bates wrote letters to Lewis's superiors accusing Lewis of profiting from a mission to return a Mandan chief to his tribe. Because of Bates' accusation, the War Department refused to reimburse Lewis for a large sum he personally advanced for the mission. When Lewis's creditors heard that Lewis would not be reimbursed for the expenses, they called Lewis's notes, forcing him to liquidate his assets, including land he was granted for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. One of the primary reasons Lewis set out for Washington on this final trip was to clear up questions raised by Bates and to seek a reimbursement of the money he had advanced for the territorial government. The U.S. government finally reimbursed the expenses to Lewis's estate two years after his death. Bates eventually became governor of Missouri. Though some historians have speculated that Lewis abused alcohol or opiates based upon an account attributed to Gilbert Russell at Fort Pickering on Lewis's final journey, others have argued that Bates never alleged that Lewis suffered from such addictions and that Bates certainly would have used them against Lewis if Lewis suffered from those conditions.
Lewis was a Freemason, initiated, passed and raised in the "Door To Virtue Lodge No. 44" in Albemarle, Virginia, between 1796 and 1797. On August 2, 1808, Lewis and several of his acquaintances submitted a petition to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania requesting dispensation to establish a lodge in St. Louis. Lewis was nominated and recommended to serve as the first Master of the proposed Lodge, which was warranted as Lodge No. 111 on September 16, 1808. (See List of Notable Freemasons)
On September 3, 1809, Lewis set out for Washington, D.C., where he hoped to resolve issues regarding the denied payment of drafts he had drawn against the War Department while serving as governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory. Lewis also carried his journals with him for delivery to his publisher. Lewis intended to travel to Washington by ship from New Orleans, but changed his plans while en route down the Mississippi from St. Louis. He decided to make an overland journey via the Natchez Trace and then east to Washington. The Natchez Trace was the old pioneer road between Natchez, Mississippi, and Nashville, Tennessee. Robbers preyed on travelers on the road, and sometimes the land pirates killed their victims.
According to an October 18, 1809 letter written to Thomas Jefferson, on October 10, 1809, Lewis stopped at an inn on the Natchez Trace called Grinder's Stand, about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Nashville. After leaving dinner, he went to his bedroom. In the predawn hours of October 11, the innkeeper heard gunshots. Servants found Lewis badly injured from multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the head. He died shortly after sunrise. The same account was published in the Nashville Democratic Clarion and repeated with some embellishment by newspapers across the country. The Nashville newspaper also reported that Lewis's throat was cut. Money Lewis had borrowed from Major Gilbert Russell at Fort Pickering to complete the journey was not recovered.
While modern historians generally accept his death as a suicide, there is some debate. No one admitted to seeing Lewis shoot himself. Three inconsistent accounts are attributed to the tavern-keeper's wife Priscilla Grinder, though Mrs. Grinder did not leave a written account. In one account, the writer said that Mrs. Grinder claimed Lewis acted strangely the night before his death. She said that during dinner, Lewis stood and paced about the room talking to himself in the way one would speak to a lawyer. She observed his face to flush as if it had come on him in a fit. After he retired for the evening, she continued to hear him talking to himself. At some point in the night, she heard multiple gunshots, and what she believed was someone calling for help. She claimed to be able to see Lewis through the slit in the door crawling back to his room. She never explained why, at the time, she did not investigate further concerning Lewis' condition or the source of the gunshots. The next morning, she sent her children to look for Lewis' servants. In one account, the servants found Lewis in the cabin, wounded and bloody, with part of his skull gone, but he lived for several hours. In another account, Lewis's body was found outside. In the last account attributed to Mrs. Grinder, she said that three men followed Lewis up the Natchez Trace and that he pulled his pistols and challenged them to a duel. In that account, Mrs. Grinder said that she heard voices and gunfire in Lewis's cabin about 1 a.m. She found the cabin empty and a large amount of gunpowder on the floor. Priscilla Grinder's testimony is held as a point of contention from both sides of the murder–suicide debate. The murder advocates point to five conflicting testimonies as evidence that hers is fabricated, and the suicide advocates point to her testimony as proof of suicide. In the book The History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, first printed in 1893, the editor Elliott Coues expresses doubt about Thomas Jefferson's conclusion that Lewis committed suicide as presented in the former President's Memoir of Meriwether Lewis, which is included in the book. In a lengthy review of information available to him in the 1890s, Elliott Coues states:
Undoubtedly Jefferson wrote in the light of all the evidence that had reached him in 1813, but it appears that his view of the case was far from being that of persons who lived in the vicinity of the scene at the time. That Governor Lewis did not die by his own hand, but was murdered and robbed, was common report at the time, as vouched by some persons still living....
The only doctor to examine Lewis' body did not do so until 40 years later, in 1848. The Tennessee State Commission, including Dr. Samuel B. Moore, charged with locating Lewis's grave and erecting a monument over it, opened Lewis's grave. The commission wrote in its official report that though the impression had long prevailed that Lewis died by his own hand, "it seems to be more probable that he died by the hands of an assassin." His mother and relatives contended it was murder. A coroner's jury held an inquest immediately after Lewis's death as provided by local law; however, they did not charge anyone with murdering Lewis. The jury foreman kept a pocket diary of the proceedings. The pocket diary disappeared in the early 1900s.
From 1993–2010, about 200 of Lewis' kin (through his sister Jane, as he had no children) sought to have the body exhumed for forensic analysis, to try to determine whether the death was a suicide. A Tennessee coroner's jury in 1996 recommended exhumation. Since Lewis is buried in a national park, the National Park Service must approve; they refused the request in 1998, citing possible disturbance to the bodies of more than 100 pioneers buried nearby. In 2008 the Department of the Interior approved the exhumation, but that decision was rescinded in 2010 upon policy review, and the Department stated that its last decision is final. It is making improvements to the grave site and visitor facility.
What is convincing is the initial reaction of the two men who knew Lewis best and loved him most. William Clark and Thomas Jefferson immediately concluded that the story of Lewis's suicide was entirely believable, Clark on the basis of his intimate knowledge of Lewis's mental state and more explicitly on the never found Lewis letter of mid-September . Neither Jefferson or Clark ever doubted that Lewis killed himself.
...as a result of the continued, intrusive problems haunting Lewis during the final months of his life, he became increasingly unstable. This to such an extent that in time there was, for him, only one escape, a fatal rendezvous.
These problems included Lewis' debts, heavy drinking and possible morphine/opium use, his failure to prepare the expedition's journals for publication, his repeated failure to find a wife, and his role in the deterioration in his friendship with Thomas Jefferson. Lewis died while travelling to Washington to petition the government after it had refused to honor drafts paid by Lewis as Governor of Louisiana Territory, leaving him in potentially ruinous debt. He had written his will and attempted suicide already on this journey, having to be restrained.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
The explorer was buried near present day Hohenwald, Tennessee, near his place of death. His grave was located about 200 yards from Grinder's Stand at the side of the Natchez Trace. (That section of the 1801 Natchez Trace was built by the U.S. army under the direction of Lewis's mentor Thomas Jefferson during Lewis's lifetime). At first, the grave was unmarked. Alexander Wilson, an ornithologist and friend of Lewis's who visited the grave in May, 1810 during a trip to New Orleans to sell his drawings, wrote that he gave the innkeeper Robert Grinder money to erect a fence around the grave to protect it from animals. The State of Tennessee erected a monument over Lewis's grave in 1848. Lemuel Kirby, a stonemason from Columbia, Tennessee chose the design of a broken column, commonly used at the time to symbolize a life cut short. An iron fence erected around the base of the monument was partially dismantled during the Civil War by General Hood's detachments marching from Shiloh toward Franklin. They forged the iron into horseshoes. A magazine article in 1905 called attention to Lewis's abandoned and overgrown grave. A county road worker Teen Cothran took the initiative of opening a road to the cemetery. A local Tennessee Meriwether Lewis Monument Committee was soon formed to push for restoring Lewis's gravesite. In 1925, in response to the committee's work, President Calvin Coolidge designated Lewis's grave as the fifth National Monument in the South. The state highway providing access to the site was designated by the State of Tennessee as the Lewis and Clark Memorial Highway from the Lewis monument to Dyersburg, Tennessee toward St. Louis. (Today, a small section of the state Highway 20 outside the park is still officially designated as the Meriwether Lewis Memorial Highway). The War Department was given authority to maintain the site. War Department personnel added four feet of dirt over graves surrounding Lewis's monument to create the appearance of a military cemetery. Three War Department interpretive tablets were placed at the site to tell the story of Lewis' death. Stone gates bearing "Meriwether Lewis National Monument" bronze markers were erected at the entrance to the site on the old Natchez Trace. In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration and CCC workers camped at the site built a cabin museum a few feet southwest of the Grinder's Stand site. Their original objective was to duplicate the design of Grinder's Stand, however, no reliable description could be located. The War Department turned control of the site over to the National Park Service. In 1961, President John Kennedy signed legislation incorporating the Meriwether Lewis National Monument into the Natchez Trace Parkway and authorizing the Secretary of Interior to give the monument the appropriate official designation. The Secretary of Interior has never acted to change the designation, and "Meriwether Lewis National Monument" still appears on some official maps, though the stone entrance gates have been dismantled and the bronze markers have been placed in storage. Today, the grave site is maintained by the Natchez Trace Parkway, a unit of the National Park Service.
In 2009, the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation organized a commemoration for Lewis in conjunction with their 41st annual meeting October 3–7, 2009. It included the first national memorial service at his grave site. On October 7, 2009, near the 200th anniversary of Lewis' death, about 2,500 people (National Park Service estimate) from more than 25 states gathered at his grave to acknowledge his life and achievements. Speakers included Clark descendant Peyton "Bud" Clark, Lewis collateral descendants Howell Bowen and Tom McSwain, and Stephanie Ambrose Tubbs (the daughter of the author Stephen Ambrose, who wrote Undaunted Courage, an award-winning book about the Lewis and Clark expedition). A bronze bust of Lewis was dedicated at the Natchez Trace Parkway for a planned visitor center at the gravesite area. The District of Columbia and governors of twenty states associated with the Lewis and Clark Trail sent flags flown over state capital buildings to be carried to Lewis' grave by residents of the states, acknowledging the significance of Lewis's contribution in the creation of their states.
The 2009 ceremony at Lewis's grave was the final bicentennial event honoring the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Re-enactors from the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial participated, and official attendees included representatives from Jefferson's Monticello. Lewis and Clark descendants and family members, along with representatives of St. Louis Lodge #1, past presidents of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, and the Daughters of the American Revolution, carried wreaths and led a formal procession to Lewis' grave. Samples of plants which Lewis discovered on the expedition were brought from the Trail states and laid on his grave. The U.S. Army was represented by the 101st Airborne Infantry Band and its Army chaplain. The National Park Service announced that it would rehabilitate the site. The cabin has since been restored, and new exhibits have been added inside the cabin and on trails leading to the cabin.
For many years, Lewis' legacy was overlooked, inaccurately assessed, and somewhat tarnished by his alleged suicide. Yet his contributions to science, the exploration of the Western U.S., and the lore of great world explorers, are considered incalculable.
Four years after Lewis' death, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction, ... honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound understanding and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous that whatever he should report would be as certain as if seen by ourselves, with all these qualifications as if selected and implanted by nature in one body for this express purpose, I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him.
Jefferson wrote that Lewis had a "luminous and discriminating intellect." William Clark's first son Meriwether Lewis Clark was named after Lewis; the senior Meriwether Clark passed the name on to his son, Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr.
Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark commanded the Corps of Discovery to map the Pacific Northwest. They were honored with a 3-cent stamp July 24, 1954 on the 150th anniversary. The 1803 Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States Lewis and Clark, described and sketched its flora and fauna and described the native inhabitants they encountered before returning to St. Louis in 1806.
The Lewis and Clark expedition was celebrated on May 14, 2004, the 200th anniversary of its outset depicting the two on a hilltop outlook. Two companion 37-cent stamps showed portraits of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. A special 32-page booklet accompanied the issue in eleven cities along the route taken by the Corps of Discovery. An image of the stamp can be found on Arago online at the link in the footnote.
The plant genus Lewisia (family Portulacaceae), popular in rock gardens and which includes the Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva), the state flower of Montana, is named after Lewis, as is Lewis' Woodpecker. A subspecies of cutthroat trout, the westslope cutthroat (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi), is also named after him. Geographic names that honor him include Lewis County, Idaho, Lewis County, Kentucky; Lewis County, Tennessee; Lewisburg, Tennessee; Lewiston, Idaho; Lewis County, Washington; the U.S. Army fort Fort Lewis, Washington, the home of the US Army 1st Corps (I Corps), and especially Lewis and Clark County, Montana, the home of the capital city, Helena; Lewis and Clark Pass (Montana); Lewistown, Montana; the Lewis Range of Montana's Glacier National Park; Lewis Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona; Lewis Avenue in Billings, Montana. A day use campground at Gates of the Mountains Wilderness, north of Helena, Meriwether Picnic site. A cave, Lewis and Clark Caverns between Three Forks and Whitehall, Montana. Two US Navy Vessels have been named in honor of Lewis: the Polaris nuclear submarine USS Lewis and Clark and the supply ship USNS Lewis and Clark were named for him and William Clark, and Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon.
|Ancestors of Meriwether Lewis|
- Fritz, Harry W. (2004). The Lewis and Clark Expedition. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 59. ISBN 0-313-31661-9
- Defender Wilson, Mary Louise; Fenelon, James V. (2004). Voyage of Domination, "Purchase" as Conquest, Sakakawea for Savagery: Distorted Icons from Misrepresentations of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Wicazo Sa Review. University of Minnesota Press. 19 (1): pp. 90–1.
- Miller, Robert J. (2008). Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and Manifest Destiny. Bison Books. p. 108. ISBN 0803215983
- Prats, J.J. "Lt. William Lewis". The Historical Marker Database. J.J. Prats. Archived from the original on 2011-11-09. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- Zontine, Patricia (April 2009). "Lt. William Lewis". Monticello. org. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "Corps of Discovery > The Leaders > Meriwether Lewis" at the Wayback Machine (archived October 13, 2006). National Park Service website. Archived from the original on 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
- Ambrose, Stephen. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, Simon & Schuster: 15 February 1996. ISBN 0-684-81107-3.
- Elin Woodger, Brandon Toropov (2004). "Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition". Infobase Publishing. p.150. ISBN 0-8160-4781-2
- Voyage of Domination, "Purchase" as Conquest, Sakakawea for Savagery: Distorted Icons from Misrepresentations of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, James Fenelon, Mary Defender-Wilson. Wicazo Sa Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, American Indian Encounters with Lewis and Clark (Spring, 2004), pp. 90–1
- Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and Manifest Destiny Robert Miller, Bison Books, 2008 pg 108
- The Way to the Western Sea, David Lavender, University of Nebraska Press, 2001, pg 32, 90.
- Lewis and Clark among the Indians, James Ronda, University of Nebraska Press, 2002, pg 82, 192.
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition, Harry Fritz, Greenwood Press, 2004, pg 60
- Fritz, Harry W. (2004). The Lewis and Clark Expedition. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 113. ISBN 0-313-31661-9.
- Lewis and Clark among the Indians, James Ronda. pg 9. Books.google.com. 2002-01-01. ISBN 978-0-8032-8990-1. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- "The West > People > Meriwether Lewis". PBS. Archived from the original on 2001-03-09. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- Statement of Gilbert C. Russell, 26 November 111, Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with Related Documents, 1783-1854, ed. Donald Jackson (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1962) This statement appears to be a deposition written during one of the courts martial for General James Wilkinson.
- Denslow, William R. (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons at the Wayback Machine (archived June 15, 2007). PhoenixMasonry.org. Bluehost, Inc. Archived from the original on 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2011-11-09. Note: Book was published by Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc.
- Libert, Laura (2003-05-03). "Pa Freemason May 03 – Treasures of the Temple: Brothers Lewis and Clark". PaGrandLodge.org. The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on 2003-06-11. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- Willie Blount, Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, 1796-1821, ed. R.H. White, vol. 1 (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Commission, 1952) p. 349. Governor Blount requested additional funds for law enforcement on the Natchez Trace in 1811 because of the frequent robberies.
- The Democratic Clarion October 20, 1809, microfilm, Tennessee State Library and Archives
- Guice, John D. W.; Buckley, Jay H.; Holmberg, James J. (2006). By His Own Hand? The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0806137800, ISBN 978-0806137803
- "Report of the Lewis Monumental Commission" Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, 1845-1847, ed. R.H. White, vol. 4 (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Commission 1952), 383-387.
- No official record of the inquest was required to be filed, however, the inquest was referred to in court minutes in the early 1900s, Maury County, Tennessee County Court Minutes, Minute Book Q, p. 538, Maury County, Tennessee Archives. Grinder's Stand was in Maury County, Tennessee at the time of Lewis's death. From the early 1830s to 1843, Lewis's grave was noted as a landmark establishing the southwest corner of the county.
- Esterel, Mike (2010-09-25). "Meriwether Lewis's Final Journey Remains a Mystery" at the Wayback Machine (archived September 27, 2010). The Wall Street Journal (Les Hinton). Archived from the original on 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
- Cutright (1986). "Rest, Rest, Perturbed Spirit". We Proceeded On 12 (1).
- Holmberg, James J. (1992). "I Wish You To See & Know All". We Proceeded On 18 (4).
- The Life and Letters of Alexander Wilson, Clark Hunter, (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society 1983)358-367.
- "Report of the Lewis Monumental Commission" Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, 1845-1847, ed. R.H. White, vol. 4 (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Commission 1952), 383-387.
- J.B. Killebrew, Resources of Tennessee (1874).
- Everybody's Magazine, John Swain, September,1905.
- "First National Memorial Service for Meriwether Lewis – Commemorates 200th Anniversary of Lewis' Death" at the Wayback Machine (archived August 23, 2009). TennesseeAnytime.org. Tennessee News and Information. (2009-08-20). Archived from the original on 2009-08-23. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- "We Proceeded On", Journal of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Vol. 36, No. 1, February 2010
- We Proceeded On", Journal of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Vol. 36, No. 1, February 2010
- Jefferson, Thomas; Allen, Paul (1813-08-18). Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with Related Documents: 1783–1854. Edited by Donald Dean Jackson. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. (1962). pp. 589–590. ISBN 0252006976
- Piazza, Daniel,”Lewis & Clark Expedition Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 22, 2014.
- ”Bicentennial Lewis & Clark Expedition Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed April 28, 2014. An image of the stamp can be seen at Arago online, 37c Lewis and Clark on Hill stamp.
- "Author Query for 'Lewis'". International Plant Names Index.
- Danisi, Thomas C. (2009). Meriwether Lewis. New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1-59102-702-7.
- Ambrose, Stephen E. (1996). Undaunted Courage. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-81107-3.
- Works by Meriwether Lewis at Project Gutenberg
- The Journals of Lewis and Clark from American Studies at the University of Virginia.
- Meriwether Lewis at Find a Grave Retrieved on February 20, 2008
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lewis, Meriwether". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Fisher, Vardis (1962). Suicide or Murder?: The Strange Death of Governor Meriwether Lewis. The Swallow Press, Inc. ISBN 0-8040-0616-4.
- Meriwether Lewis on The History Channel
- Meriwether Lewis Park and Burial Site
- Meriwether Lewis's grave on Find-A-Grave
- Lewis and Clark at C-SPAN's American Writers: A Journey Through History
|Governor of Louisiana Territory