Thomas Jefferson Institute
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Western Expansion of America

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   The inhabitants of the ceded territory [Louisiana Territory] shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States and admitted as soon as possible according to the principles of the federal Constitution to the enjoyment of all these rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States, and in the mean time they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property and the Religion which they profess.
                    –Article III, Louisiana Purchase Treaty,
                                                          April 30, 1803

           
   "The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by it's course and communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean, . . . may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce."
 
  "Beginning at the mouth of the Missouri, you will take observations of latitude & longitude, at all remarkeable points on the river, & especially at the mouths of rivers . . . & other places & objects . . ."
 
  "The commerce which may be carried on with the people inhabiting the line you will pursue, rendrs a knolege of those people important. You will therefore endeavor to make yourself acquainted . . . with the names of the nations & their numbers; the extent & limits of their possessions; their relations with other tribes of nations; their language, traditions, monuments; their ordinary occupations . . . and the implements for these; the diseases prevalent among them, & the remedies they use; moral & physical circumstances . . . peculiarities in their laws, customs & dispositions, and articles of commerce they may need or furnish . . . . . . the state of morality religion, & information among them;" "Some account too of the path of the Canadian traders from the Missisipi . . . In all your intercourse with the natives, treat them in the most friendly & conciliatory manner which their own conduct will admit . . ."
 
              –
President Jefferson's Instructions to Captain
                                 Meriwether Lewis, June 20, 1803

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