Lewis N. Clark or Lewis & Clark?

Once upon a time one of my brothers confessed a funny story. When he was little, he thought the American explorers Lewis and Clark were just one person: Lewis N. Clark.

It’s understandable. Meriweather Lewis and William Clark’s last names are inseparable in American history. And to make things more confusing, we tend to slide their names together if we’re not using good diction.

Really, they were two amazing men whose leadership and sense of adventure officially “opened” the American West. Searching for a quick and easy water-route to the Pacific Ocean, Lewis and Clark discovered the interior of a continent and helped their nation lay the groundwork to stretch from “sea to shining sea.” So who were these men before they were famous? That’s what we’ll discover today with some fast-facts. Continue reading

1803: A Great Deal On “New” Land

Portrait of young Napoleon

Portrait of young Napoleon

In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte needed money. Why? It was peace time, and he was preparing for a new war with Britain. He wanted to invade England, but had to destroy the Royal Navy first (he never did). So Napoleon needed money to build up the French fleet and create his famed Grand Army.

Taking stock of the stuff in his new empire, Napoleon decided that the quick way to get some money would be a sale. Not a garage sale. A land sale. The Americans were willing to negotiate and buy. Continue reading