Philadelphia Chapter Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

Home Page Chapter News Chapter Membership Philadelphia Connection Especially for Educators More about Lewis and Clark The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation 2003 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia
Information about upcoming meetings and activities, highlights of previous events, minutes of past meetings, and news of interest for Chapter members

Philadelphia Chapter
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 39534
Philadelphia, PA 19136
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Norma Milner 856-829-3142

May, 2003, will spotlight a small military operation with huge impacts for America and showcase Philadelphia’s role in the epic trek of Lewis and Clark after 200 years of virtual omission from history books. Mayor John Street has been asked to proclaim the months May through August for “Walking in the Footprints of Lewis and Clark” and to welcome national Lewis and Clark fans to a Bicentennial event at the August 10-13 meeting at the Loews Hotel, 12th and Market Streets.

Listed here are many exhibits surrounding this centerpiece event which is to be called a “commemoration” instead of a “celebration,” out of respect for the viewpoints of Native Americans. This summer will demonstrate that “Contributions of Philadelphia were the keystone of success to the Lewis and Clark Expedition,” the assertion of Frank Muhly, lifelong resident of Mayfair, and founder of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.

The Chapter has membership in four states, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Its name is derived from Lewis’s visit here in May and June, 1803, and because major artifacts from the Expedition are archived here, as shown below. Some sites will be marked by a 15 stripe, 15 star flag which Lewis and Clark unfurled on their boats and carried across the country in 1803-06, giving it to most of the tribes of native people they met. In 1814 the same flag became the inspiration for Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. Fans are invited to fly this flag for the four year Commemoration.

“Some people still think that the expedition began in St. Louis in 1804, but we know better,” said Muhly in front of a lunchtime audience at the Independence Visitors Center sponsored by the Friends of Independence as he encouraged his listeners to contact their Congressmen and ask them to add “Eastern Legacy” sites where Lewis prepared for the journey to the official Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

A Summer of Events and Exhibits Slated
Just announced by the National Park Service on April 16, 2003:
At Valley Forge National Park from May 9 May 20: “Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future, an acclaimed traveling exhibition fresh from stays at the Monticello National Bicentennial kick-off in January, the Mall in Washington, DC, in Baltimore, and in Harpers Ferry, will be a resident at the park. Two huge white tents with Indian motifs and a semi-trailer providing air conditioning and other support are part of the exhibit. The Superintendent of “Corps II,” Gerard Baker, or Yellow Wolf (his Hidatsa-Mandan name) visited Philadelphia last spring to discuss the new National Park Service exhibit with members of the Philadelphia Chapter which has been lobbying for some time to bring it here. Baker is also the superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and a veteran of the NPS with 25 years of interpretive experience in the West and mid-West.

Yellow Wolf, who was profiled by National Geographic World, last year, explains that one tent depicts the expedition in murals with an audio tape for visitors. Admission is free. The second, “The Tent of Many Voices,” will offer presentations, films, period music and dance on its stage. Philadelphia fans recently explored the Corps II exhibit at Harpers Ferry where it was helping to inaugurate a new museum to Lewis who ordered rifles, cutlery, and a portable iron boat there. Photos of “Corps II” there can be seen on their web site***

Sunday through Wednesday, August 10-13, 2003: The Bicentennial meeting of the national Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 12th and Market Streets. Hotel reservations: 215-627-1200, Mention L&C for special room rate. Speakers include Keynoter Robert Peck, research scientist at the Academy of Natural Science, Dr. Gary Moulton, editor of the new 13 volumes of the Lewis and Clark Journals published by the University of Nebraska; authors James P. Ronda, H.G. Barnard Professor in Western History at Tulsa University, John Logan Allen, Professor and Chair of the Geography Department at the University of Wyoming, Dr. Barbara Oberg of Princeton University, Dr. Michael Zuckerman of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dayton Duncan who wrote the script for Ken Burns TV special. Program offers an open vendors fair, 16 scholarly papers on topics relating to the theme “Quest for Knowledge: Meriwether Lewis in Philadelphia” with trolley tours of sites related to the explorers, exhibits of the Lewis and Clark Journals, the Herbarium, and Charles Willson Peale’s portraits of Lewis and Clark, music, art and food of the time and a children’s program for families. Visit for details and registration forms. Or call 856-829-3142 or 215-331-4178 ***

Ongoing in Independence National Historic Park: The portraits of Lewis and Clark painted by Charles Willson Peale in Philadelphia (after the expedition) hang in the First Bank of the United States in a new exhibit on the early exploration of North America. This exhibit will continue through spring, 2004 or until renovations to the Portrait Gallery at the Second Bank are finished. Curator, Karie DieThorn 215-597-8974,***

May 5 through September 14, 2003: The Academy of Natural Sciences, will mount an exhibition from Lewis and Clark College entitled “The Literature of the Lewis &. Clark Expedition.” It is made up of more than 50 items including rare books, maps, newspapers, photographs of engravings, hand colored plates, and selected objects such as a period compass, Indian artifacts, carvings of Clark’s nutcracker and Lewis’s woodpecker, and the 15 star/15 stripe flag that the explorers carried on the expedition and gave to native people. The exhibition was seen at the January Bicentennial kick-off in Monticello. Hours, 10 am to 4:30 pm weekdays, and 10 am to 5 pm weekends and holidays. From the fall of 2004 into March, 2005, the ANS will host Lewis and Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition, a major traveling collection of over 500 artifacts which will criss-cross America produced by the Missouri Historical Society. The Academy will augment it with scientific specimens from its own collections. Information: 215-299-1000. Ronda Hagins, external affairs. Visit

Ongoing through December, 2005, 10 am-5 pm daily: The College of Physicians, 19 S.22nd Street, will continue its exhibit Only One Man Died, Medical Adventures on the Lewis and Clark Trail. Medical instruments and practices the explorers used to bring back all but one of their Corps of Volunteers. Exhibit features Benjamin Rush’s list of 10 practices for keeping the Corps healthy that he gave to Meriwether Lewis, an American Indian sweat lodge, a nine foot bear, and medical implements and treatments of the times for diseases. Admission fee, $8, seniors and students, $5, under 6, free. 215-563-3737,***

Ongoing through August, 2003: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania: Exhibit Exploration, Nation, Empire, will document the growth of the nation and the impact on Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. Journals, maps, prints, drawings, photos and historic documents will be displayed. 215-732-6200,***

Ongoing from mid June though fall, 2003: In the cemetery of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 3rd and Pine Streets, seven huge Osage Orange trees hover over the graves of the Nicholas Biddle and Charles Willson Peale families, among many other historic figures. The trees are believed to be descendants of cuttings sent back to Thomas Jefferson by Meriwether Lewis and cultivated by Bernard McMahon, Philadelphia’s leading nurseryman in 1805. The trees drop their inedible green and bumpy fruits upon the gravestones in the fall, and visitors are encouraged to take home a sample. This summer a small Lewis and Clark specimen garden germinated from seeds in Monticello’s Lewis and Clark Collection (listed at ) will be planted under the trees. Church member Dorothy Stevens, a member of the church property committee arranged to provide a garden site within the cemetery. Parishoners are, because of the Osage Orange trees, used to being identified with the famous explorers. Tom Davis of Fort Washington and Chris Cook of Blue Bell, both gardeners and members of the local Lewis and Clark Chapter have been monitoring the production of the plants, some in Chris’s cold frame in her yard and others in a corner of the new greenhouse at the Barnes Arboretum where Dr. Alfred E. Schuyler, curator emeritus of the Lewis and Clark Herbarium at the Academy of Natural Sciences, often teaches botanical courses. The Lewis and Clark garden can be visited daily from 9-5. Year round, guides are available at the historic church every Saturday, 11 am to 3 pm and Sunday from 1-3 pm. Group tours can be arranged by calling Parish Administrator, Kate Randall at 215-925-5968. The Rev. Ledlie Laughlin is rector of the church. A map may be found near the Pine Street gate.***

Two offerings from the American Philosophical Society. First: June 21 through December 31, 2004, in Philosophical Hall, 104 south 5th Street, an exhibit “Stuffing Birds, Pressing Plants, Shaping Knowledge: Natural History in North America, 1730-1860,” will feature over 260 images and artifacts that explore the study of natural history as it developed in North America. Historic natural history specimens, including plants collected by Lewis and Clark on their epic trek across the continent, will be on display as well as rare books, manuscripts, and works of art. . Curator Sue Ann Prince. Summer hours, Wed. through Sun. 10 am-4 pm. For group tours contact Brian Gregory at 215-440-3427. 4/15/2003Second: During July and August: Selected Lewis and Clark Journals will be on view in the lobby of the APS Library at 105 South 5th Street. On computer, thumbnails from the Journals may be viewed at Beginning in June 2003, a virtual version of the natural history exhibition in Philosophical Hall will also be available on the Society’s web site, (Media liaison, Elaine Wilner, 215-599-4283).***

Air Gun: Single Shot or Repeater? Selected dates in May, June and August, 2003: Two historic research libraries, The Athenaeum and The Library Company, will each display an item related to the famous air gun built for Lewis by inventor and clockmaker Isaiah Lukens of Philadelphia. Lewis used it extensively to impress American Indian tribes he met without the use of gun powder and returned it to Lukens after the expedition. A current controversy exists as to whether the gun was a single shot like the one now on display at VMI, or a repeater, as some historic eyewitness reports indicate. (Reported in the national magazine of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, We Proceeded On, November, 2002 issue. The libraries charge no admission and have current exhibits open to the public. Closed weekends.

From May 8 through June 15, The Athenaeum (east side of Washington Square, 6th and Walnut) offers a portrait of Lukens attributed to Rembrandt Peale in is lobby.. Lukens made the air gun for Lewis to carry on his expedition. See related exhibit at the Library Company below. Executive Director Roger W. Moss, 215-925-3755. Visit

From May 8 through 13, 9 am to 4:45 pm: The Library Company (1314 Locust Street) displays Lukens’s estate catalog offering the air gun, “a great curiosity,” for sale and stating that Lukens was the maker of the gun. The Library Company, established in 1743, will also exhibit a copy of the History of Louisiana by Antoine Simor le Page du Pratz that Lewis borrowed from Benjamin Smith Barton, carried across the country and returned to Barton with an inscription. A second showing of these books will be available from Monday through Wednesday, August 11-13, same hours. Librarian John C. Van Horne. 215-546-3181. Visit ***

May 10-June 15 Call for times-215-448-1200. The Fels Planetarium at the Franklin Institute projects the night sky on its show The Sky Tonight two to three times a day. View the stars as seen by Meriwether Lewis while he practiced his celestial navigation observations 200 years ago. He bought his chronometer, sextant, and artificial horizons in Old City, and practiced using them with the help of mathematician Robert Patterson of the University of Pennsylvania, and astronomer Andrew Ellicott of Lancaster, both members of the American Philosophical Society. Chief Astronomer Derek Pitts. 215-448-1200. Visit***

Thursday, May 22, 8 pm: The Philadelphia Botanical Club will present Joel T. Fry, curator, Historic Bartram’s Garden in a free Bicentennial lecture entitled Philadelphia Botany and Horticulture in the Time of Lewis and Clark, at One Logan Square, 18th and Cherry just behind the Four Seasons Hotel. Lecture in the Marvin Comisky Conference Center, Blank Rome LLP. Details, Norma Milner: 856-829-3142***

Memorial Day to Labor Day, 2003, 8:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday: The Pine Building of the Pennsylvania Hospital at 3 Pine East, 800 Spruce Street, Phila. PA 19107 will feature an exhibit in its Historic Library on Drs. Benjamin Rush, Caspar Wistar, and Benj. Smith Barton, (the botany professor from the U. of Penn). All mentors of Meriwether Lewis and members of the American Philosophical Society, they were chosen by Jefferson to ready Lewis for his challenging expedition. Special arrangements for group visits or alternate time periods may be made with the archivist, Stacey Peeples. 215-819-5434.***

July through August (closed Sundays): The Free Library of Philadelphia will fill two display cases at its Social Studies and History department, main branch, second floor, with Lewis and Clark related books, photos, flags, and maps. New titles have been added to Library shelves. Visitors will receive free brochures entitled “Lewis and Clark in Historic Philadelphia” and reading lists as long as they last. Contact James DeWalt, head, Social Studies and History Department, 215-686-5396. Visit***

Weekdays July 14-August 22 at 11 am, 2 pm, and 3 pm: Along with its unique architectural tours at these times, the majestic Pennsylvania Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons at One North Broad Street (across from City Hall) and its Masonic Library and Museum will mount a special photographic exhibition, Plants of the Lewis and Clark Expeditionand documents related to Lewis’s successful effort to establish the first Masonic Grand Lodge in Missouri at St. Louis. Donation of $3 suggested. Both Lewis and Clark were Masons. Special group tours available. Curator, Laura Libert. 215-988-1485. ***

Lewis's keelboat replica: From mid-July to August 31, 2003, a replica of the keelboat that Lewis designed and had built at Elizabeth, PA near Pittsburgh will be displayed at the Pittsburgh History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, provided by Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri. Rotating crews taken from a pool of 300 volunteers will pilot the unique craft down the Ohio River to Clarksville, Indiana, where Lewis picked up William Clark, his slave York, and nine young military volunteers from Kentucky. They will continue to Wood River in Illinois, where the Corps of Discovery spent the first winter. The Camp there is being rebuilt. In the spring the expedition will continue up the Missouri to Ft. Mandan near Bismarck, ND, the second winter camp. Richard Prestholdt of Bridgewater, NJ, will be a member of the reenactment crew. He is a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of LCTHF. ***

Ongoing through September 26, 2006, the Bicentennial Commemoration continues westward along the path of the original trek, including the newly recognized Eastern Legacy trail sites of “readying’ by Lewis. Highlights among many events will include a reenactment voyage beginning August 31, 2003, from Elizabeth, Pa, near Pittsburgh, to Ft. Mandan near Bismarck, ND. A replica of Lewis and Clark’s keelboat will be on display through July and August at the History Center in Pittsburgh before launching on August 31 with rotating crews of 300 volunteers. A two week signature event in October of 2003 at Louisville, KY, will commemorate when Lewis picked up Clark and his black slave York, and nine young men from Kentucky to join the Corps of Discovery. Events in the westward movement of the Bicentennial may be tracked on***

Signature Events from now through September 26, 2006 may be found on
The planning and overseeing of each event is to be carried out by the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. Links to local venues. The site also lists more than 70 members of the US Senate and House of Representatives in 21 states who belong to the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Congressional Caucus.

Pennsylvania has none on the Caucus, and efforts continue to change this. The Philadelphia Chapter urges fans to ask their Senators and Representatives to join the Caucus and join in the effort to have the Eastern Legacy Trail added to the national Trail. ***

Fall of 2004: There will be major events and exhibits coming in the fall of 2004 surrounding the visit of the traveling exhibition from the Missouri Historical Society’s Lewis and Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition hosted by the Academy of Natural Sciences and 19th and the Parkway. A symposium by the College of Physicians and a coalition of institutions, and a symposium by the Museum of Art are planned. . Keep in touch with http://www.lewisandclarkphila.or link with many web sites across the country. Norma Milner, 856-894-9342***

November 6, 2004, through March 20, 2005: The Athenaeum on Washington Square will also mount an extensive exhibit of its engravings of Birch’s Views to coincide with the Missouri Historical Society’s visiting exhibit Lewis and Clark: the National Bicentennial Exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences, 19th and the Parkway. Another artifact from the Athenaeum, Lewis’s 15 inch telescope, is on loan as a part of this exhibit and will travel the country. 215-925-3755. ***
Words 2041 Not copyrighted


Updated April 28, 2003