Glacial Drift at Little Sandy, on the Missouri River
Photo by the author
What evidence suggests the captains were diligent collectors of rocks and fossils?
To comply with Thomas Jefferson's instructions to observe the "mineral productions of every kind" as they journeyed across the continent, Lewis and Clark assembled rock and mineral collections on at least three different occasions for shipment back East. As the principal mineralogical collector, Lewis attempted to ensure that the selected specimens were representative of the diverse geology encountered along the expedition route, symbolized here by some of the assorted rocks that comprise the glacial drift at the confluence of Little Sandy Creek and the Missouri River, in Montana.
John W. Jengo
John Jengo is a professional geologist and licensed Site Remediation Professional who works for an environmental consulting firm in Pennsylvania, specializing in hydrocarbon remediation and dam removals to restore migratory fish passage. He has published numerous articles in We Proceed On since 2002 on the subject of Lewis and Clark's mineral collection and the significance of scientific influence of their geological discoveries.
Articles on this site by John W. Jengo:
- 1. John W. Jengo, "'Specimine of the Stone': The Fate of Lewis and Clark's Mineralogical Specimens," We Proceeded On, August 2005, Volume 31, No. 3, the quarterly journal of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. Editorial additions include page titles, side headings, and graphics to assist the web-based reader. The original format is provided in full at http://lewisandclark.org/wpo/pdf/vol31no3.pdf#page=18.