Fort Clatsop – Oregon
Lewis & Clark Winter Shelter – 12/1805 to 3/1806
Although this fort is small, it represents an achievement of monumental proportion. Under orders made by President Thomas Jefferson, The Corps of Discovery, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, traveled 7,689 miles in two years, four months, and two days (May 14, 1804 – September 23, 1806). The expedition provided maps, reports, and data about geologic formations, peoples, and ecology that primed the Westward Expansion of the United States.
Although the Northwest Passage, a water route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, was determined not to exist- the foundation was laid for an equally impacting and important route: The Oregon Trail. One of the largest movements of people in history occurred as emigrants traveled to settle the Oregon Territory in the mid 1800’s. This event determined ownership of lands … which Northwest lands would be owned by Great Britain and which lands would be owned by the United States.
The idea of “Manifest Destiny,” coined by journalist, John O’Sullivan, influenced many pioneers toward the western frontier to take power of the whole land. How this impacted the Native Americans already inhabiting the land, natural resources, and land use has been playing out ever since in often epic and monumental ways… some good, some not.
Fort Clatsop was selected as my entry this week because it represents monumental events in United States history. The fort is located in the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park near Astoria , Oregon.