Essay on Lewis and Clarks
Captain Lewis notices some horses, and using his spyglass discovers several Indians with them. This was a very unpleasant sight. Captain Lewis decided to make the best of the situation and approach the Indians in a friendly manner. The Indians noticed the mean and began to run about in a confused manner. Even tough the situation did not look good to Lewis, he continued his approach. When they were about one hundred yards away from each other, all of the Indians halted except for one, who continued towards them. Lewis approached the Indian with two of his men, they shook hands. Lewis asked by sign if the Indians were the Minnetarees of the north, they answered affirmitavely. He gave gifts to the three chiefs, and they seemed satisfied. They decided to camp together. With the assistance of Drouilliard they had conversation. That night the men kept watch of the Indians to make sure they did not try to steal their horses, there was no trouble that night. The next morning Captain Lewis was awakened by the noise of his men arguing with the Indians. The Indians had attempted to steal the men’s guns, Captain Lewis’ included. They got their guns back and Lewis forbade them to kill the Indians because they did not appear to want to kill them. As soon as the Indians saw that the men had their guns back, they ran and tried to drive off all the horses. Lewis’ med pursued the party attempting to drive off the horses, while he himself went after the man who had taken his gun. Lewis got into a gunfight with one of the Indians and shot him in the belly. He did not have his pouch so he could not reload his gun. He began his return very cautiously, meeting up with some of his men on the way back to the camp. They took the supplies that they needed and left in a hurry, sure that the Indians would return for them with a large party. They traveled well into the night, finally stopping at 2 am. The next day they met up with their canoes coming down the bank of the Missouri. They continued on trying to find Captain Clark.
Captain Lewis writes of setting out early one morning to the Burnt Hills in the northern most point of the Missouri, to take its latitude. They spotted a large herd of elk and some of the men were instructed to stop and kill some of them while Captain Lewis continued on. He arrived at the burnt hills about 20 minutes after noon, and was unable to take the latitude. He spotted a herd of elk in a thick willow bar and since his observation was lost, was determined to kill some of them. He set out with Cruzat only to fire at the elk. During the hunt Captain Lewis was shot in the thigh. He thought that Cruzat had accidentally shot him, but when he yelled out to Cruzat in the direction where the bullet had come, there was no reply. Captain Lewis was now persuaded that it was an Indian who had shot him. He began to run and call out to Cruzat hoping to warn him of the Indians. When he arrived back to the pirogue he yelled to the men to arm themselves and an Indian had wounded him. He returned, the men following, to fight the Indians and retrieve Cruzat, who he thought had been captured. He was in so much pain that he had to stop. He returned to the pirogue and waited anxiously for the others to return. When they did return, Cruzat was with them and they reported that they had found no Indians. Cruzat said that he was sorry if he shot him and that he did not intend to. The ball that he found in his breeches was the same kind that Cruzat’s rifle held. He believed that Cruzat had shot him, though unintentionally. At about 4pm they passed an encampment that had been evacuated that morning by Captain Clark. Captain Lewis found a not from Clark that said he had left a not for him at the entrance of the Yellowstone River, but that Sergeant Pryor had taken it. It also said that sergeant Pryor had been robbed of his horses and had overtaken Captain Lewis at this encampment.
Captain Lewis was anxious to overtake Captain Clark, who he thought could not be very far ahead of him. He was informed by the bowsman that there was a canoe and a camp of white men on the North East shore. Lewis directed his group to go there, where they found it to be the camp of two hunters from Illinois, Joseph Dickson and Forest Hancock. The hunters informed him that Captain Clark had passed them at noon the previous day. The men also told him that they had been robbed by Indians and unsuccessful in their voyage. Lewis gave them directions to streams and remarkable places on the river where they would find beaver to hunt and trap. While visiting with the hunters, two of his men rejoined him, Cotter and Collins. He was very sore from his wound, but it was not as inflamed as he thought it would be. That afternoon Captain Lewis overtook Captain Clark and his party. He was very pleased to find them all well.
Hwui Shan was a Buddhist Monk, who somewhere between 450 and 499 A.D. who traveled across the Pacific Ocean from China to the coast of Mexico and California, from Los Angeles to the Yucatan, specifically around Chichen Itza. The group of Monks was seeking new souls for their monastic system. They called the land Fu-sang. The monks told of plants that looked like bamboo but produced an edible fruit, corn. Hwui Shan told of civilized people in Fu-sang, they new of writing and though they had no iron they had plenty of silver. Historian Henriette Mertz says that this fifth-century visit to Mexico changed the entire course of Mexican history. In Hwui Shan’s story there is a Chinese nobleman named Tiu-lu and Mayan history books tell of a leader who had the title Tutul Xiu, who cam from the west. According to Mertz, Tutul Xiu is described as a Chinese Quetzalcoatl who taught the Mexican’s the oriental knowledge of the calendar, astronomy and many other disciplines.
Giovanni da Verrazzano was an explorer for France, though he was an Italian. It is assumed that Verrazzano was born around 1485 in his family’s castle near Florence, Italy. He moved to Dieppe, France, where he began a maritime career. In 1525 Verrazzano was sent on an expedition by King Francois-premier of France to investigate the east coast of modern day United States. The ship that made the crossing of the Atlantic was La Dauphine, it had a fifty-man crew. The only other member of the crew that is known aside from Giovanni was his brother, Girolamo, who was a mapmaker. Girolama’s 1529 world map was one of the first to show Verrazzano’s discoveries. They departed in January and reached Cape Fear in March. From there they sailed south but returned to an unknown point north of Charleston because they feared running into the Spanish. Verrazzano was different from other explorers of his day in that he preferred anchoring out at sea. He sent a boat to shore and had a meeting with the natives. He then traveled north to a beautiful place that he called Arcadia, probably Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where he kidnapped a child. He also attempted to kidnap a young woman, but failed. Next, Verrazzano discovered New York Harbor where there is now a bridge named after him. The voyage continued east to Block Island, because the natives there were very friendly he anchored near the shore. He stayed there for two weeks with the Wampanoag’s, whom he described very positively. In Maine they encountered the Abnaki who shot arrows at them when they tried to land. He described the people crude and with evil manners, though he thought the land itself was very beautiful. Verrazzano next reached Newfoundland, since it was already known he returned to France. In 1528 Verrazzano crossed the Atlantic again, this time reaching Florida. From Florida they followed the chain of the Lesser Antilles. Anchoring away from the shore of one of the islands, Verrazzano set ashore in a boat to greet the natives. Unfortunately these were not friendly natives but cannibals, the killed and ate Verrazzano while his brother watched from a ship that was too far away to help.
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was born in Salamanca, Spain in 1510 he was an explorer and governor. In 1535 Coronado accompanied Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza to Mexico, where he married and had five children. In 1538 Coronado was appointed to the city council of Mexico City and to the governorship of Nuevo Galicia. In 1540 Coronado set out to lead an exploration to the Seven Cities of Cibola (the Seven Cities of Gold.) The expedition included 340 Spanish, 100 Indian allies, 1000 slaves, both Native Americans and Africans, also cattle horse and sheep. Departing from Culiacan, he followed the Gulf of California to the Sonora, upstream the Sonora, crossed the Gila to Cibola, in present day New Mexico. Upon reaching Cibola Coronado was met by disappointment, there was no gold it was just a simple pueblo of the Zuni Indians. Coronado conquered Cibola and explored other Zuni pueblos. Coronado was the dominant Spanish explorer of the southwest. His party explored the Colorado River and discovered the Grand Canyon. His expeditions also brought the first horses to the Indians. Coronado met an Indian, who he called “the Turk”, the Indian told him of a rich country in the northwest called Quivira. Intrigued, he decided to look for Quivira taking the Turk as his guide. They traveled through the Texan panhandle moving further north. Coronado believed the Turk was lying about the route, so he had him executed. Eventually Coronado, with the aid of other guides, reached Quivira-present day Lindsborg, Kansas. Once again he was met with disappointment, there were no rich people at all. The Village consisted of huts and not even the smallest amount of gold was found. In 1542 Coronado returned to Mexico using essentially the same route he had come. Only 100 of his men made the return trip with him. Coronado retired to Mexico City, where he died in 1554.
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca was another Spanish explorer. He was born into Spanish nobility in 1940. There is very little known about his early life, except that his career was in the military. In 1527 Cabeza de Vaca left Spain on an expedition to occupy the mainland of North America. The expedition encountered a hurricane, which damaged their fleet near Cuba, after securing a new boat they departed for Florida. In 1528 they arrived in present day Tampa Bay. The leader of this expedition was Panfilo de Navarez, who claimed the land as lawful possession of the Spanish empire. Navarez decided to split his land and sea forces, which proved to be a very bad decision. The ships were not able to meet with the land expedition. The Aplalachee Indians of northern Florida dwelled in this area, the party upset the Indians by taking their leader hostage. The party was soon reduced to a few survivors, they were expelled and pursued by the Indians, they also suffered from numerous diseases. They were forced to dwell in a coastal swamp and live of the flesh of their horses. In 1528 the remaining members of the expedition formed rafts from trees and horsehides and set off hoping to reach Cuba. They ended up on the Gulf Coast near present day Galveston, Texas. The party was reduced to only eighty survivors, many perished from storms, thirst and starvation. Upon reaching Texas, they were initially welcomed by the natives, however Cabeza de Vaca would recall, “Half of the natives died from a disease of the bowels and blamed us.” Over the next few years, Cabeza de Vaca and his companions resided in Texas, where Cabeza, a conquistador transformed himself into a trader and healer. By 1532 only Cabeza and three of the other members of the expedition were still alive. They traveled south and west hoping to reach the Spanish Empires outpost in Mexico, they became the first old world men to enter the American West. Their travels took them through the land that is now, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and through the northern provinces of Mexico, the exact rout is not clear. In 1536 near present day Sinalo, Mexico they finally encountered a group of Spaniards. Cabeza de Vaca recalled that his countrymen were “dumbfounded at the sight of me, strangely dressed and in the company of Indians. They just stood staring for a long time.” In 1537 Cabeza de Vaca returned to Spain. He published an account of his experiences and urged the crown to implement a more generous policy to the treatment of Indians. He was appalled by his fellow Spaniards treatment of Indians. He served as a Mexican territorial governor, but was accused of corruption. He returned to Spain and was convicted of these charges. In 1552 a pardon allowed him to become a judge, he held this position until his death in 1556 or 1557.
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