Professor John Findlay

In Their Footsteps ~ Modern Traces of Lewis and Clark ~ Fall Lecture Series 2003 (4-Tape Set)


University of Washington History Series

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Recorded October and November, 2003 ~

The expedition that began 200 years ago was a journey of exploration to the uncharted Pacific Northwest. The members of the Corps of Discovery came in contact with many people, initiating an era of determined inquiry and, with it, transformation. The travelers were inspired by their encounters with the previously undocumented landscape, flora and fauna. In turn, their presence would change the future of the region. In this series, we take an informed look at the impacts and impressions of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - 200 years later.

Audio Tape #1~ The Significance of Lewis and Clark in Pacific Northwest History: John Findlay examines the significance of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Pacific Northwest in two primary ways: the role of the expedition in "opening" the region to occupation and settlement by non-Native peoples and the influence the journey has had on the area's history. Professor Findlay provides context by taking into consideration the explorers that came before Lewis and Clark; the place of the U. S. Corps of Discovery in efforts to expand the nation's influence across the continent; and the impact of the diverse colonizers who followed the captains to the region. Second, Findlay examines how "history" has positioned the expedition's importance to the Pacific Northwest, including its influence on those teaching about the region, the creation of landmarks and tourist attractions, and the fashioning of identities associated with Northwest places ~

Audio Tape #2 ~ Indians After the Lewis and Clark Expedition: "Part of the White Man's History?": Alexandra Harmon discusses ownership of the Lewis and Clark story. Is it a non-Indian story with Indian characters; an Indian story with non-Indian characters; or a shared American story? Who may tell the story and who decides how to tell the story? Professor Harmon also will discuss the changes over time in the nature of the Indian groups that are featured in stories about the expedition, and those highlighted in commentary on the bicentennial ~

Audio Tape #3 ~ Archaeological Traces of Lewis and Clark: Julie K. Stein discusses the search for archaeological evidence of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The 46 members of the Corps of Discovery set up camps for extended periods, including a winter spent at Fort Clatsop, in Oregon, from 1805 to 1806. Professor Stein talks about what is required to find evidence of the expedition, and what makes Lewis and Clark's sites discernible from any others of the past several hundred years. Through support from the University of Washington and the National Park Service, Professor Stein has been directly involved in excavations at Fort Clatsop ~

Audio Tape #4 ~ Lewis and Clark and the Natural History of the Pacific Northwest: 200 Years and Counting: Richard Olmstead reminds us that Lewis and Clark were not only charged with finding an overland route to the Pacific, Meriwether Lewis had been assigned the task of documenting the novel flora and fauna encountered en route. While earlier naturalists had explored the eastern fringes of the Great Plains and investigated sites along the west coast, the Lewis collections and descriptions of the vast interior of western North America were the first made by anyone of European descent. His records are the first systematic effort to document the natural history of the Pacific Northwest, and many of our most common and recognizable plants and animals are among those he first collected and described in his journals. Though most animal specimens have not survived, over 200 of his original plant samples endure and form one of the most important early collections of plants in western North America ~