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Book Notes

The Journals of Lewis and Clark
(F. Bergon ed. 2003)

from Vanamonde #674 (2006)

Saw last year's 5¢ coin in issued in honor of Meriwether Lewis & William Clark. "Ocean in view! O! The joy!" it says, under the Pacific coastline, commemorating their reaching it, November 1805; on the obverse, a new profile of President Jefferson, who sent them; both designs by Joe Fitzgerald, of Silver Spring, Maryland. How right Jefferson was! What an adventure they had! What leaders they were! What scientists! How accurate the descriptions, the drawings! How wretched the spelling! I commend F. Bergon ed., The Journals of Lewis and Clark (2003). "Of all the heroic moments ... none surpasses the recording of the journals themselves.... Anyone who has tried to keep a diary at the end of a day of hiking along modern trails with the guidance of modern maps can only marvel.... both men are extremely effective writers.... Lewis is often more polished, detailed, and reflective. Clark is sometimes more forceful and vivid.... the most skillfully managed expedition in the history of North America" (pp. xii-xiii, ix).