Lewis and Clark

Fort structure at Lewis and Clark’s Camp River Dubois

“Departure Day”- Two hundred thirteen years ago today, on the 14th of May 1804, William C. Clark of the “Lewis and Clark Corp. of Discovery Expedition” departed from Camp River Dubois. Today Camp River Dubois still exists in the same spot in what is now present day southern Illinois. The location can be found at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, Camp River Dubois, One Lewis and Clark Trail, Hartford Illinois.

I visited this historic site today and was charmed by the delightful period craftsman that had gathered there to share their talents and knowledge with visitors. There were Basket Makers, Coopers, Potters, Blacksmiths, Antique Gunsmiths, Broom Makers, and Weavers, etc..

   Camp River Dubois Blacksmith

As I ambled around the paths making photography portraits of these artisans, I thought, “If society ever does a reboot, I’d definitely want these talented people in my “FaceBook” friends network. Their not only survivors, but thrivers, and I’d need their help to make it!” I greatly admire their skills and what they and those like them can do with their tools and hands. I also have tremendous respect for their desire to share a a view of life from the early 1800’s.

Cooper, Camp River Dubois

The “Lewis and Clark Expedition” was the first American Expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States. The trip began at Camp River Dubois in 1804 on the eastern shore of the Mississippi River, and made it’s way north to the confluence  of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and then continued onward via the Missouri River. By September of 1806 the Expedition had returned to St. Louis, which was by then a part of the Louisiana Purchase and United States Territory. The “Discovery Corp” had reached Fort Clapsop on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, exploring the new territory along the way, and returned home all within two years and four months.

Military Officer, Camp River Dubois

Early explorers like these were a special breed of people with grit and determination, and I am grateful for the paths they and those like them blazed, because I could never have done it!

  River-men, Camp River Dubois

If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Southern Illinois, and you enjoy early American History,- then check out some of the “Special Events” that are hosted at Camp River Dubois!

Light and Love, Leslie,-Out Chasing Light


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