Truman once said, "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." Lewis and Clark were given the task of exploring the Louisiana Purchase, and were determined to find a way to the Pacific ocean. Even though it was an extremely difficult journey, Lewis and Clark continued on without hesitation. Because of America's need to expand, The Lewis and Clark Expedition, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, introduced the country to previously uncharted territory and was a benchmark for change in America.
With the Mississippi River being the western border of the United States, President Thomas Jefferson was curious so he assigned Meriwether Lewis, his personal secretary, to head an expedition in search of a northwest passage with hopes to expand America (Gunderson 4-5). France had previously owned the land west of the Mississippi, and then sold it to Spain. In order to avoid conflict with either country, the U.S. was trying to keep Lewis' mission a secret (Gunderson 6-7). The secret was well kept until President Jefferson made one of the most remarkable real-estate deals in history. Jefferson purchased the eight hundred thousand square miles west of the Mississippi for fifteen million dollars, almost doubling the size of the United States (Huntington 1). .
In February 1801, President Thomas Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis to be his personal secretary. Huntington, author of "The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Cover Story)," mentions that Lewis would have been an odd choice for the position of secretary; however, we can assume that the president had other plans in mind (2). "History and Culture: People" states that Lewis served as secretary for almost two years before he was selected to be what Jefferson called the " 'Intelligent officer fit for the enterprise and willing to explore to the western ocean'" (qtd in pg 2).