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    Meriwether Lewis Partial Autograph Document Signed in the Third Person. Removed from a larger two page document, this piece, measuring 8" x 2" and dated July 22, 1801, reads in part: "Received of Capt. Meriwether Lewis for and on account of Alexander Humphries of Staunton two hundred & fourteen dollars and thirty Cents, in the following manner." Lightly toned at the edges; small spot of staining at the upper edge. Slight bleedthrough from the verso. Signatures of Lewis are very scarce, making this an especially attractive piece of American history.

    Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) was personally chosen by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the newly acquired territory of Louisiana in an effort to find a passage to the Northwest. Additionally, he was to emphasize the sovereignty of the United States government to all Indian tribes he would encounter along the way. With thirty-three men, known as the Corps of Discovery, they set out on their epic journey from Camp Dubois on May 14, 1804. During their two and a half years of exploration, the group produced over 140 different maps; documented nearly fifty different Indian tribes, including ethnographic and linguistic data; and recorded 300 previously unknown (at least to European Americans) species of plants and animals. After reaching the Pacific Ocean, the group turned back eastward and arrived back in St. Louis on September 23, 1806. Upon his return, President Jefferson, in 1807, appointed Lewis governor of the Territory of Upper Louisiana with William Clark as an agent of Indian affairs as well as brigadier general of the militia of the territory. Unhappy, his superiors summoned him to Washington in 1809, but he died along the way.

    Two hundred years later, his death remains a mystery. What is known is that he died (from a gunshot wound to the head and chest) en route to Washington, D. C. to take care of some financial business and explain his failures as governor. His administrative capabilities were questioned due, in part, to his increasingly heavy drinking , his procrastination in returning to St. Louis to take up the responsibilities of governor, and his failure to mediate between the Indians and local merchants. On the morning of October 11, 1809, Lewis met his end at Grinder's Stand, a tavern located some 70 miles southwest of Nashville, Tennessee. It is generally accepted by scholars (and at the time by Thomas Jefferson and William Clark) that he committed suicide, but his family insisted that he was murdered.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 642

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