President Jefferson instructed Lewis to keep a journal that would show the things that they were going to discover in their navigation. They were to record the tribes they found on their way, the physical features, scientific discovery and the events in the journey. They obeyed the instructions and therefore gathered a lof of information using the journals they kept.
This navigation is known to be one of the most successful navigations in history. The journey by the group started around 1805 (Lewis, 26). The main objective of this group was to gain an understanding about the west. They also wanted to study the navigable bodies that were in America. Since heroism was a new aspect during the period, Lewis and clerk also aimed at gaining the title of being heroes. These men used their physical efforts to fulfill their task.
The journey had 31 more people including slaves, soldiers, businessmen and guides. It stated in 1805 at fort Mandan. The journey was about 7000 miles according to the book (Lewis, 75). The group moved along river Woods, then through river Missouri and then along river Columbia and ended in Pacific Ocean. The group then went back through the same route. The journey actually costs the individuals a lot of money far from the estimated 2500 dollars.
In the journey, the travelers actually faced a lot of problems considering the fact that it was during winter. However, out of those who started the journey, only one of them died on the way. This is why the journey was termed as successful. They were able to discover new features on their way such as Rocky Mountains, Pacific Ocean and the rivers that were navigable (Lewis, 98). Many people thought that the journey would not be successful since there were many dangers that were involved. It was not until 1806 when the appearance of the group at St Louis made people to know that the journey of clerk and Lewis was successful. The success of the journey made the two corps to be known all over the word for their successful journey. They were honored for their efforts and they therefore became heroes.
When the expedition was over, President Jefferson gave instructions to Lewis to compile the journals that he had collected. Some of the journals were compiled. However, Lewis was too busy to complete this task. In addition, in indulged in alcoholism and died having not completed the work. A lot of work was not compiled. For example, there was no any scientific discovery that was compiled. This was one of the failures of the expedition. Even though the journals were compiled, the expedition failed in a way in that a lot of information that was unrecorded in the journals was not compiled after the death of Lewis.
Even though the compiled journals lack scientific information, the other objectives were met since a record of physical features, plants, wildlife and groups of people that Lewis and Clark met are recorded. The ability of the two to narrate the events in the expedition makes the book easy to understand.
The book is targets history students who would like to know about issues relating to navigation such as the motivations for the journeys, the problems and the encounters. In addition, people who wish to expand their knowledge about various physical features and how people discovered these features also may read the book.
When an individual reads the title of the journal alone, it might be misleading. One may think that the two people involved in the expedition are Lewis and Clark. However, this is not the case since there are so many other people in the expedition. This title is therefore not the best for these journals.
The main aim of the book was to address success and failures of the people who were navigating during this journey that took about two years. Reading through the book, each page clearly fulfills the main aim of the writer. It shows what was happening along the journey such as the problem of paddling upstream, attack by the mosquitoes, and other wild animals that challenged the group during the journey. The book describes the physical features of the land that the people passed through and also the wild animals. The book provides a good narration of all the activities in the journey such that the reader is able to clearly understand all the activities in the expedition.
In my opinion, the introduction of the book is very poor. This is one weakness of this book since it is obvious that the book will not attract many readers due to the language that has been used in the introduction. The language used in the introduction is difficult to easily understand what the book is all about. Even though the thesis of the book can be understood after reading the introduction, the readers may lose the interest of reading through the book due to its poor introduction.
The book actually uses informal language that has grammar that is not too good. The grammar used in the book is bad since the two writers were not good in grammar. The spelling and punctuation marks used in the book are not very correct. However, the language is easily understandable by many people and interesting to read. However, the book narrates the story of what was happening at each stage of the journey and this is what makes the book interesting. The book has some map to enable the reader get an understanding of the region that is being addressed by the book.
The book lacks a good conclusion. The writers should have come up with a good conclusion that would show what the book is all about. A good conclusion makes it possible to know about what the book is all about without the need of reading the whole text. This is absent from the book and this makes the book less useful for people who have no time to read the whole text and instead, they would wish to read just the conclusion to determine what the book addresses.
After reading through the book, an individual changes the beliefs he/she has about the navigations that were carried out by the people who lived in the 18th century. People who live in the modern world may think that navigations were journeys that were enjoyed by people. However, these believed are changed by reading through the book. One is able to see the challenges that these people faced in their journeys.
Another problem about the book is that it concentrates so much on two individuals whereas there were some other 31 people. Even though Clarke and Lewis were the leaders, the book has emphasized so much on them. Other people in the journey also played a role and they should have also been regarded as heroes in the book. The book reports more about the two people which was a tradition during the 18th century whereby newspapers and other journalists’ materials reports too much about corps and ignored other individuals.
The book is important however in that one may discover many things by reading the book. One may be able to know how various physical features came to be named. For example, river Floyds was named after the person who died during the journey. Therefore the book is very important for people who would wish to know the history about various physical features in America.
Generally, I would say that the book has met its aim of showing the failure, challenges and successes of the journey. I would recommend the book for history students since the book is easy to understand and has features such a map that helps to facilitate better understanding of the book. The book is interesting to read due to the good ability of the writers to narrate the events in the expedition. In addition, reading through the book is interesting because of the way the stories are narrated in the journals in an orderly manner.
Lewis M, Clarke W and Gunther B, (1998) The Lewis and Clarke expedition: selection from the journals, arranged by topic. Bedford/St. Martin's Print.