Smoke Signals

Jan/Feb 2012

 

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BILL CUNNINGHAM
Staff Writer

EMAIL QUESTIONS

At least several times a we receive at  "Smoke Signals" questions asked by one of our readers, many times not North American Frontiersmen members. 

Our Captain may want the Chief Factor to look into why these folks don't consider joining us?

This viewer  in Oct. 2011 asked about the sons of Meriwether Lewis.

BC 

   

QUESTION:

Mary Walker, wife of Elkanah Walker (missionary), wrote in her diary that she met the sons of Meriwether Lewis in 1838. Anyone know their names?

 

Meriwether Lewis

 

 

 

 

REPLY:

A mere speculation since at no time in his journals does Lewis or Clark discuss any of their dalliances with the Native Americans. They both discuss the enlisted men and York (Clark's Servant) but not their own. That it may have occurred is probably true. One theory is that Lewis's spiraling illness and final depression and suicide was due to the large amounts of mercury used to treat syphilis and the laudanum (opiate) used for other treatments. As the 'doctor' of the expedition he would be the one dispensing these cures which may have increased his own exposure. Lewis never married while he tried to win the hand of several young women upon his return.

Meriwether Lewis died a bachelor - which I realize does not preclude having children - and left no apparent offspring. None are mentioned in: "Undaunted Courage", "Meriwether Lewis", "Thomas Jefferson", "Opening of the American West", "Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark".

On the bright side Mary Walker does mention meeting two sons of William Clark. The two sons were Meriwether Lewis Clark and Jefferson K. Clark according to Elliot Coues: "The History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition".

You may have gotten the information turned around because of the closeness in names of Clark's sons - Meriwether Lewis Clark and Jefferson K. Clark, (we could have had them Jefferson's sons) !!!  

 

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