Explorers Search for River Sources

Time Frame: 1804

In 1804 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark searched for the source of the Missouri River while Zebulon Pike searched for the source of the Mississippi River.
“The Tall Grass Whispers,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 2, Iowa Public Television, 1978.

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The United States Government sent various expeditions into the new land. The Missouri River, destined to be the future Iowa western border, was explored by Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant Clark. They sought the source of the Missouri River. Lieutenant Zebulon Pike was sent to discover the source of the Mississippi River, traveling along the future Iowa’s eastern border as he charted the river’s course. But to some the land was not such a mystery. The white fur traders had been trading with the Indians long before any of these explorations.


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