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Week Four: Coastal Exploration, International Trade

The material covered in this week’s lectures by Dr. Fritz (40 minutes total) looks at the tenuous relationship between the center (the nation), and the periphery (western exploration and the fur trade) prior to the Lewis and Clark expedition. The lectures trace what explorers knew about the Pacific Northwest coast before 1805, as well as the deliberations about expansion and land acquisition that were occurring simultaneously on the opposite side of the continent.

This week we are highlighting maps that present the coastal geography of the Northwest region. These maps illustrate the theoretical understandings and misperceptions of the interior portion of the continent prior to Lewis and Clark’s expedition.

Tribal Perspectives presents a video clip of Malcolm Wolf that illustrates one man’s interpretation of his tribe’s view of Nature. Keep his words in mind as you think about resources and subsistence strategies. You may also want to refer to Richard White’s views on the importance of your approach or methodology used for historical research.

Captain Robert Gray, the first non-native known to enter into the Columbia River, is featured under the People heading for this week. His life of relative obscurity, despite his monumental achievements, points to some of the central questions underlying biographical studies. The writings and recordings in the Art and Literature section suggest different ways that people have looked at land and resources over time.

This week’s Research page presents a number of web sites that will lead you to information about subsistence strategies that different tribal groups used to adapt to their environments.


Lecture Maps People Research Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 4 Unit 5