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Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission
May 2006

Lewis and Clark Trail Extension

HR 5053, a bill to extend the Lewis and Clark Trail to include the eastern legacy states, was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on March 30, 2006. Historians and citizens around the nation are coming to realize the vast significance and rich history of the eastern trail that Lewis and Clark traveled before and after their journey to the west.

Leaving from Washington, D.C., in 1803, Meriwether Lewis made important stops in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. While the western part of the expedition was remarkable for its numerous difficulties and discoveries, the preceding journey from the nation’s capital to St. Louis offers important insights about the planning, preparation, and execution of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Similarly, the homecoming trail taken in 1806 from St. Louis to Washington, D.C., speaks volumes not only about the Expedition but the country’s view of its returning heroes as well. This includes the states of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.

The Kentucky Lewis and Clark Commission urges individuals across the nation to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to support HR 5053. For instructions on how to write your representative, click here:

If you have any questions regarding this effort to extend the Lewis and Clark Trail, please contact Warren Greer by e-mail at or by phone at (502) 564-5135 ext. 4478.

Get Those Grant Applications In!

The deadline for the Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission grant program is May 31, 2006. The grant program is designed to help communities and educational institutions in Kentucky celebrate the Lewis and Clark legacy in 2006. Funding for a multitude of exciting programming has already been approved, and there is still time to get your application in. Help your friends and neighbors discover the rich history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Kentucky’s role in it by planning something for your area!

For a copy of the Kentucky Lewis and Clark Commission Grant Program, click here: 005-06.pdf

For a map of Kentucky’s Lewis and Clark trails, click here: pdf

200 Years Ago on the Lewis and Clark Expedition . . .

“These Indians are the most active horsemen I ever saw: they will gallop their horses over precipices, that I should not think of riding over at all. The frames of their saddles are made of wood nicely jointed, and then covered with raw skins, which when they become dry, bind every part tight, and keep the joints in their places. The saddles rise very high before and behind, in the manner of the saddles of the Spaniards, from whom they no doubt received the form; and also obtained their breed of horses.”

- Patrick Gass, May 22, 1806

What could be better suited to Kentucky than writing about horses in May? The journals document the explorers’ admiration and use of horses during the entire expedition. Many of the members of the Corps of Discovery had an appreciation for horseflesh - breeding as well as eating! On May 14, Gass’s fellow sergeant, John Ordway, recorded in his journal that “we eat Several of our Stud horses as they have been troublesome to us.” The Corps spent mid- May to mid-June at Camp Chopunnish among the Nez Perce Indians near present Kamiah, Idaho. The Nez Perce were well-known for their horsemanship and the famous appaloosa breed of horse is identified with them still today.

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Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission

phone: 502.564.1792

Created by executive order and administered by the Kentucky Historical Society, the Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission seeks to educate Kentuckians and the nation about Kentucky's important role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition; assist governments and organizations with their Kentucky- related Lewis and Clark bicentennial events and projects; and perform other duties that will highlight and commemorate Kentucky's significant contributions to this historic achievement.