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John Ordway Describes Crossing the Rocky Mountains

These selections from John Ordway's journal describe the crossing of the Rocky Mountains, a particularly hazardous stretch of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In 1804 President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to lead [...]

Joseph Whitehouse Describes Crossing the Rocky Mountains

These selections from Joseph Whitehouse's journal describe the crossing of the Rocky Mountains, a particularly hazardous stretch of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In 1804 President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark [...]

A British Diplomat Reveals the Origins of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

This letter from English diplomat Edward Thornton to British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord Hawkesbury reveals the secretive origins of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Thornton reveals President Jefferson's plans to launch a western [...]

A French Diplomat Grants Lewis and Clark a Passport

This letter to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs describes the circumstances under which Louis Andre Pichon, a French diplomat, granted President Jefferson's request for a passport to expedite the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the North [...]

Thomas Jefferson Writes to Meriwether Lewis

This letter from Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis suggests the secretive atmosphere under which diplomatic preparations for the Lewis and Clark Expedition were made. As the letter indicates, initial information about the expedition was intended [...]

The Spanish Ambassador Attempts to Dissuade Jefferson's Western Expedition

This letter from the Spanish Ambassador to the Spanish Foreign Minister expresses the Spanish government's disapproval of the planned Lewis and Clark Expedition. In response to Jefferson's question, Ambassador Yrujo replies that the Expedition would [...]

An African-American Soldier Asks for Equal Pay

James Henry Gooding, an African-American soldier fighting on Morris Island, South Carolina, writes to President Lincoln asking for better pay. Initially, black soliders in the Union Army were paid only $10 a month, from which $3 was deducted for [...]

An African-American Soldier Writes on Behalf of His Fellow Troops

John F. Shorter, an African-American solider writing on behalf of his fellow members of the Massachusetts 55th Regiment, addresses President Lincoln over the issue of unfair pay. Shorter charges that he and his fellow soldiers have received no pay [...]

A US Marine Writes a Letter Home from Vietnam

In September 1968, Captain Rodney R. Chastant, from Mobile, Alabama, extended his 13-month tour of duty in Vietnam with Marine Air Group 13, 1st Marine Air Wing, Da Nang. He was killed 22 October. He was 25 years old. David is his brother.

Item Type: Diary/Letter
A Soldier in Vietnam Reacts to the Assassination of Martin Luther King

In this letter home from Vietnam Sergeant. Phillip Woodall writes his father about the recent assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Comparing King's death with that of his platoon leader, an African-American lieutenant who died in battle, Woodall [...]

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