This week we move inland and look at overland explorations of the interior, and the issue of first contact between Europeans and natives in those regions.
The lecture by Dr. Fritz (40 minutes) focuses on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Dr. Fritz provides remarkable details about the expedition and the hardships the party encountered along the way. He also frames the common misperceptions about the interior region of the continent, and inventories the critical discoveries Lewis and Clark contributed to the knowledge of North America.
The Maps section presents what was known (rightly or wrongly) about the interior region of America at the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Take some time to peruse these maps and compare how differently they each illustrate the same region.
Tribal Perspectives looks at the moments of first contact between Indians and the Lewis and Clark expedition, and presents three different views of these encounters.
For the biography portion of People, we are presenting what little is
known about Francois Labiche, one of the interpreters for the Lewis and
Clark expedition. The literature selection this week is a poem by Sherman
Alexie that asks us to consider the popular misperceptions and assumptions
about Indians and whites that are perpetuated in our culture.
The research section highlights resources for finding Stories of First Contact. It includes the 1804-05 journal excerpts from Francois-Antoine Laroque, who traveled with the North West Company during the early fur trade era.