FOR RELEASE AT WILL
CONTACT: NORMA CAMPBELL MILNER
UNTIL DEC. 24, 2002 (856)-829-3142
FRANK MUHLY, FOUNDER
BICENTENNIAL PUBLICATIONS LINK PHILADELPHIA AND EASTERN STATES
TO LEWIS AND CLARK HISTORY
Here's another feather in Phillys cap. This one's been forgotten
for years by history books and prepping for its Bicentennial from
2003 to 2006 is underway!
Conduct your own poll. You will find maybe one in 20 who will know
about a link between Meriwether Lewis and Philadelphia or any Mid-Atlantic
States. Check your old encyclopedia, your history book. Same findings.
I mentioned this to a friend my age who I knew was a savvy fellow.
A week later, I saw him across the WaWa. You were right,
he shouted, as other customers stared. Even the Britannica
didnt mention Lewis in Philadelphia!
In this pre-Bicentennial year, the all-volunteer Philadelphia Chapter
of the national Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation (LCTHF)
is working to educate the public about this previously neglected
Philadelphia connection, and invite schools, libraries, and historic
societies to correct this omission as they plan commemorations of
the expedition in 2003-2006. The chapter will make periodic announcements
of exhibits, lectures, and events as they are scheduled.
An anticipated 800 or so visitors both from this region and from
the 32 Lewis and Clark Chapters across the country are expected
to attend the annual meeting of the LCTHF in the Bicentennial year
at the Loew's Hotel, August 9-13, 2003. Locals who join LCTHF may
take advantage of the special rate at the hotel and attend the meeting
which will feature an exhibit of selections from the Journals at
the American Philosophical Society and a reception, lecture, and
exhibit of archived plant specimens at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
Eighteen scholarly papers will be delivered. Noted speakers will
include Dayton Duncan who wrote the script for the Ken Burns TV
special. Walking tours and bus trips will be conducted to historic
homes and merchant sites related to Meriwether Lewis visit
here and to the printing of the Lewis and Clark Journals. A childrens
program will be offered. Partial attendance will be available.
A special dinner at the City Tavern on Saturday night, August 9,
for 140 contributors will be available for a traditional colonial
meal with musical accompaniment from Jeffersons library will
be offered for early registrants at the Loews Hotel. Loews is already
taking registrations for the national annual meeting. Visit the
web site for details.
The Philadelphia Chapter is seeking new members and volunteers
from its four membership states, PA, DE, NJ, and NY, to join in
the fun and hard work of putting on this major event of the three
year Bicentennial Commemoration. (The term Commemoration
is to be used rather than Celebration in recognition
of the impacts upon the native tribes first encountered by the explorers.)
For details, click on www.lewisandclarkphila.org or write to: Philadelphia
Chapter, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc., PO Box
39534, Philadelphia, PA 19136.
Free Publication Available
The Chapters web site also explains how to get a free brochure,
The Eastern Legacy of Lewis and Clark, created with
a grant from the National Park Service. Send an SASE (business size)
to Philadelphia Chapter, LCTHF, 3206 Disston Street, Philadelphia,
PA 19149. For 50 free copies, send written request and a check for
$6.00 to cover postage.
The brochure shows the routes Lewis took to Harpers Ferry, Philadelphia,
Lancaster, PA and Elizabeth near Pittsburgh while gathering supplies
and knowledge for the journey. The horseback and wagon routes he
used were essential to the preparation for that first military exploration
of our American West. Part of Lewiss route lies along Americas
First National Road which has recently been listed among the top
20 historic roads in our country by the Department of Transportation.
The Chapter has received a grant from the National Park Service
to publish a second free brochure for the public called Lewis
and Clark in Historic Philadelphia. Send a SASE (business
size with stamps for two ounces) to obtain a free copy. For 50 free
copies, send written request to Disston Street address above. No
The chapter is seeking private funds for a booklet of maps with
walking tours of Lewis and Clark sites in four quadrants of Philadelphia
which can be used by tour guides, schools, and individuals. The
Chapter wants to raise a total of $6,000 to make these available
for the Bicentennial Commemoration years.
In Philadelphia, Lewis studied with academic members of the American
Philosophical Society (APS) selected by Jefferson. They were: surveyor,
astronomer and mathematician Andrew Ellicott of Lancaster and navigation
expert Robert Patterson of Philadelphia who taught Lewis celestial
navigation and helped him buy his chronometer, sextant, and horizons
for determining latitude and longitude; Dr. Benjamin Rush and Dr.
Caspar Wistar of the Pennsylvania Hospital who tutored him on medicines,
anatomy, archaeology, and fossil hunting, and botanist Dr. Benjamin
Smith Barton of the University of Pennsylvania who covered plant
identification, collection, labeling, and preservation of specimens
as well as what was known of native peoples at the time.
Lewis also bought 3,500 pounds of supplies here with the help of
the military at the Schuylkill arsenal, army supply offices, and
local merchants. He returned to Washington through Delaware County,
Wilmington, and Baltimore in the month of June, 1803 after arranging
for his purchases to travel by wagon to Elizabeth, PA.
During Lewis intensive training in Philadelphia, a constant
stream of letters back and forth from Lewis to Jefferson and from
the mentors to Jefferson also made its way over the horse-powered
postal trails of the time, passing from the Presidents
House in Washington through Baltimore and following the Delaware
River into Philadelphia. Donald Jacksons Letters of the
Lewis and Clark Expedition, with Related Documents, 1783-1854,
is a valuable resource.
Lewis left Washington on July 5, 1803, the day after the Louisiana
Purchase was announced. He traveled back to Harpers Ferry to be
sure his impedimenta were on the way, and when they were not, he
arranged for another wagon to take them. He himself then took primitive
roads to Elizabeth, PA to wait for completion of his keelboat. He
later picked up William Clark and his slave York in Indiana Territory.
After a winter period at Camp DuBois in Illinois (also east of
the Mississippi), the Corps of Discovery was finally given a send
off from St. Charles Village just north of St. Louis, and the expedition
as we all studied it in school was underway at last.
Not copyrighted: by Norma Campbell Milner, 1500 words, release until
December 24, 2002. If cut, please keepWeb Site address. Thanks.
SIDEBAR: How to Get More New Publications on the Eastern Connections
Two publications described below could be useful in planning walking
tours for tourists, essay and art contests for schools and museums,
or for use in classrooms and exhibits for the 2003-2006 Commemoration.
Philadelphia institutions archive more artifacts than any other
1. Contributions of Philadelphia to Lewis and Clark History,
a revised edition of a work by Paul Russell Cutright of then Beaver
College, published by the national magazine, We Proceeded On
for the 1982 national annual meeting of LCTHF. The Chapter has updated
it and provided color illustrations and cover. A carefully researched
map has been added by Frank Muhly, who founded the Philadelphia
Chapter in 1975. In 1972 when Boy Scout leader Muhly joined the
national LCTHF he was the only member living east of the Mississippi.
His two sided map shows where Lewis bought his interesting list
of 300 supplies in relationship to whats found on each site
today. It includes locations of homes of the mentors, and major
architectural sites which Lewis would have seen in 1803.
The reprint, with map is $17.95 including S&H. It will provide
funds for Bicentennial activities of the Chapter. Order from Philadelphia
Chapter, LCTHF, 6010 Cannon Hill road, Fort Washington, Philadelphia,
The Free Library of Philadelphia has recently agreed to add limited
copies to the collections of its library branches. The Chapter would
like to see them used in schools to conduct essay and art contests.
While there is lots of art about the Western part of the expedition,
meeting the Indians, toiling up the mountains, on the plains, there
was very little artwork done on Lewis in Philadelphia.
2. A 2003 Bicentennial Calendar (with a bonus month
of December, 2002) is a mini-journal showing what happened each
a timeline of events in the saga of Lewis and Clark. This
first in a series of four calendars to cover years 2003-06 covers
connections of Philadelphia and the Eastern States to the preparations
for the Expedition. Produced and photographed by Richard Prestholdt
of Bridgewater, NJ, it is for readers too busy to pour over the
newest 13 volume set of the Journals. Click on www.prestholdtimages.com.
Send check for $14.95 plus $3.50 S&H to Prestholdtimages,
PO Box 6291, Bridgewater, NJ 08807.
Prestholdt will donate $5 of each sale to the Philadelphia Chapter
for Bicentennial activities. Excellent for schools, broadcast media
and the press as well as for history buffs.