In 1803 the new nation of the United States purchased enough land from France to double the country in size. In 1804 Thomas Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to lead an expedition to explore the newly acquired territory of Louisiana. No one would ever have expected that the leader of the Corps of Discovery would be dead in 1809 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, at the age of 35.
Thomas Berry is among a sizable number of people who are convinced that Meriwether Lewis was the victim of a homicide and did not commit suicide, as was the easy assumption due to the state of forensic medicine at the time. Thomas Berry has chosen to use this first truly American conspiracy theory as a basis for crafting a truly wonderful story of friendship, loyalty, and adventure.
The author began this tale with the night when the life of the, by then governor of Upper Louisiana, Meriwether Lewis, ended at small roadside accommodation in Tennessee. After this follows a skillfully interwoven saga of twin stories of discovery. The first of course is the original exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. The second is the search by William Clark and several other members of the Corps of Discovery for answers in the mysterious death of their good friend and fellow adventurer. The first is essential to the second as it provides a strong basis for the second. It is only by understanding the basis of shared experience by Lewis and Clark and company that the reader understands the loss and sadness that drives friends to give all they can to do to assure the proper carriage of justice.
Thomas Berry has shown a great respect for and understanding of history as he takes us through his tale of what may have been, which includes an engrossing description of the Battle of New Orleans; the culmination of America's second war for independence. This book is quite highly recommended by reviewer:
- John Helman, Allbooks Reviews.
Title: Lewis and Clark: Murder on the Natchez Trace
Author: Thomas Berry
Price: $17.95 US