Information on:

Lewis and Clark State Historic Site

One Lewis and Clark Trail


The Illinois Starting Point of the Lewis & Clark Expedition
On January 18, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson proposed the first official government expedition to explore the vast unknown lands west of the Mississippi River. Jefferson's plan was outlined in a secret message to Congress. He proposed an expedition across the continent to the Pacific Ocean, stressing the importance of discovering commercial opportunity. But it would discover much more.

The Mission to Explore the Continent
Jefferson selected Meriwether Lewis, a captain in the U.S. Army, to lead the expedition, entrusting to him responsibility to find "the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce." The members of the expedition were also to document the territory and to make contact with the native peoples living there. Jefferson believed that a successful expedition might further American trade and political influence and advance American interests in its competition with France, England and Spain. Lewis's commission papers included many pages of specific, task-oriented instructions, a letter of unlimited U.S. credit, and British and French passports. With Jefferson's approval, Lewis invited William Clark to be co-commander of the expedition, and gave Clark the rank of captain.


Seth Tanner

Saturday, June 16, 2018
Very cool museum! Lots of cool stuff for kids. The keelboat replica is really worth seeing! I took the tour of the fort and it was very informative and interesting. It also was completely free! Cool like gift shop that wasn't overpriced

A. T. Ballenger

Thursday, June 21, 2018
We didn't allot enough time to do this "hidden gem" justice, especially as the Google map gave us wrong directions consistently and the entrance is not well marked. However, it is well worth the finding. They have a small but excellent gift shop and really kind and informed staff. Do make time to do the whole site: museum, fort, and leevee conuence of the rivers. Do not wander into the woods or on the shore rocksat the levy without high, good boots: summer brings out snakes.

Eva Huerta

Monday, June 25, 2018
My son, nieces and nephews had fun. A staff was very helpful by helping us and giving us information to more Museum, including another free one.

ishwor marahatta

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
This is one of the best historical place in Missouri. They have no entry fee but I recommend to donate money on their donation box. It goes toward maintence of this place.It has small theater. They show 15 minutes movie about Lewis and Clark , and the life of people during that time. It has nice replica of boat which is belived Lewis and Clark first put on Mississippi River. It is worth watching. They also have tour guide and outside tour. They have replica of houses which is belived Lewis, Clark and their friends and families used during that time.

Marie Ferrell

Saturday, June 16, 2018
Fantastic site. Too bad the state is so behind financially. The volunteers do a great job!

Lewis and Clark State Historic Site is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media