Meriwether Lewis holds interest for me on two counts. Number one, I was born and raised in Louisiana, so his travels are of immediate geographical interest to me. Number two, I’ve recently moved to the small town of Hohenwald, located in Lewis County, Tennessee. This book was actually one of the first books that I purchased upon moving here – I found it at a thrift store located two blocks away from the Meriwether Lewis National Museum which is also located in Hohenwald. In fact, it’s mentioned on the last page of this biograph…
“The Meriwether Lewis National Monument in Lewis County, near Hohenwald, Tennessee, includes his grave and a museum of relics.” [pg. 192]
:O :O :O #aaaaaaaahhhhhhh
I never expected to see the name Hohenwald printed in a book – or, at least, a book published by a real publishing company.
Anyway, so now to talk about the actual biography. In this book, Meriwether’s childhood is more described than his adult life, but his childhood was full enough to keep me entertained. Meriwether’s father, an officer in General Washington’s army, died when Meriwether was only four years old and, although Meriwether’s uncles did their best to help the Lewis family, Meriwether himself bore a large amount of the responsibility from an early age. As a youngster, he busied himself about looking after his family’s plantation and (more importantly) hunting in the woods for food supplies. Meriwether quickly became a woodsman and it was these skills which made him the invaluable leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition which was sent out by President Jefferson to explore the Louisiana Purchase and beyond.
I had heard somewhere that Meriwether’s family was actually friends with Thomas Jefferson, but I did not know to what extent. Jefferson actually defended Meriwether’s mother in a court case that threatened to take away thousands of acres worth of land from the Lewis family!
Meriwether occasionally made decisions contrary to the advice of his mother, but these were not a rule (nor were they committed in rebellion).
Conclusion. A great kids biography. Read it, then read a few stories about Seaman. :)
Review © 2014 Laura Verret