Philadelphia Chapter Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

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Essays on the city of Philadelphia's role in the Expedition and full-length articles about Lewis's mentors

Contributions of Philadelphia to Lewis and Clark History
by Paul Russell Cutright

About the Author, Paul Russell Cutright

Paul R. Cutright was born in West Virginia and received his education at Davis&Elkins College, West Virginia University, and at the University of Pittsburgh, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Zoology.

He taught forty years on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh, Geneva College, Beaver College (now Arcadia University). In 1982 Beaver College, where he was head of the Department of Biology, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters in recognition of his research and writing.

His extensive study of the Lewis and Clark Expedition developed into a 506-page volume Lewis and Clark: Pioneering Naturalists (1969). It was followed by A History of the Lewis and Clark Journals (1976), an invaluable study of the various efforts to publish all the journals kept by members of the expedition.

He devoted years and more than 15,000 miles searching for nuggets of data in libraries, museums and learned societies. In six trips he traveled the entire trail from Illinois to Oregon, and corresponded with Lewis and Clark scholars to clarify points in the original journals. Many scholars consider his 1969 book one of the great contributions to the literature of the Expedition.

Cutright's numerous articles pertaining to the Expedition have appeared in the periodicals of the Missouri, Montana and Oregon Historical Societies. He was also the author of the Great Naturalists Explore South America (1943), Theodore Roosevelt the Naturalist (1956) and, with Michael J. Brodhead, Elliott Coues: Naturalist and Frontier Historian (1981).

In 1974 Paul Cutright received the Lewis and Clark Trail Foundation Award of Meritorious Achievement.

His residence in Jenkintown, near Philadelphia, afforded him the opportunity to study closely the institutions and people who assisted Meriwether Lewis and William Clark at the beginning and end of the first great exploration of the new nation. He died on March 10, 1988

Updated August 26, 2001