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A Confidential Message to Congress by Gaye Wilson, (April 2003), E332.2 .A5 2003A

Identifier: id4040

Scope and Contents

Jefferson sought to prevent expansion of European colonization in America, in addition to gathering scientific information (botany, zoology, geography and geology), by sending a government-sponsored exploratory party to the American West. He issued a confidential message to Congress in 1803, requesting funds for an expedition to send men to explore the territory that extended to the Pacific Ocean. His initial message to Congress did not emphasize the scientific nature of the expedition; Jefferson focused on developing trade opportunities and commercial expansion with the Indians, and preventing French and British encroachment in the North American West. His later instructions to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark stressed the importance of scientific discovery but his confidential message on January 18, 1803, underscored the geopolitical and commercial aspects of such a mission.


  • E332.2 .A5 2003A


From the Collection: 74 Items

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Archives Repository

Jefferson Library, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
P. O. Box 316
Charlottesville VA 22902