Professor John Findlay

The Significance of Lewis and Clark in Pacific Northwest History


University of Washington History Series

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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.