Lewis and Clark Across Missouri banner Skip past Side navigation bar
 
 
Home

The Campsites

Virtual Landmarks

Virtual River Travel Day

Interactive Map Server

Sources

Download GIS Data

Links

Purchase Maps

Order the Atlas

Historical Artwork


Campsites Introduction

To Missouri's great fortune, Lewis and Clark started measuring their course and distance at the mouth of the Ohio River thus giving us empirical information on their progress. There were 70 outward-bound (1803-1804) campsites adjacent to or within the present state of Missouri. 51 of these sites were calculated to fall within the present boundaries of Missouri with 9 in Illinois, 7 in Kansas, and 3 in Nebraska. There were 15 homeward-bound (1806) campsites. 14 of these fall within present day Missouri and 1 is in present day Nebraska.

The locations of these sites were deduced after plotting the course and islands of the old Missouri and Mississippi Rivers using the early U.S. General Land Office (GLO) surveyor field notes and plat maps and then implementing the course-and-distance numbers from the Corps of Discovery field notes and journal entries.

Quite pleasingly, the Lewis and Clark navigational information did fit well within that of the surveyor data with very few exceptions that were resolved from the old surveyors dutiful noting of previous old river courses, sloughs, etc. So, depicted here are campsite maps as accurate as yesterday's information and today's technology can make them.

brown line