Lewis and Clark - Essay Example

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Lewis and Clark

In her article, Clark tells the story of an old Indian woman of the Nez Perce tribe who possibly prevented the bloodshed that would have ended the Lewis and Clark expedition upon its first arrival in Idaho territory. According to the story recorded, a young woman of the tribe had been captured by a neighboring tribe and held captive. Before she could return home, she was again captured by a tribe that lived further east and was taken to their home. Evidently, she was gone for a long time, because she had a child during her captivity and waited until he was crawling around before she made her escape. Carrying him with her, she headed toward the setting sun and her childhood home, facing many difficulties and burying her child on the way. However, during this difficult journey, she was helped by a group of white men who took pity on her. It was this assistance that saved Lewis and Clark and their entire entourage. When the expedition descended into the Nez Perce valley on the day that the woman died, she overheard some of the tribe talking about the strange people that had come upon them and their plans to kill them. The woman begged the tribal elders to allow the white men to live, at least long enough to try to communicate with them. This was done and the expedition was saved, both from instant annihilation as well as from starvation and sickness as the Indians agreed to trade with them. ...Show more

Summary

It is a story that is not often told but that should never be forgotten. It is the story of the conquered, of the ‘other’ and of the past. This is the story that is told in Ella E. Clark’s article “Watkuese and Lewis and Clark”. In this article, Clark traces an old Indian story through several sources to help prove its apparent validity…
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