Essay about Undaunted Courage

Essay about Undaunted Courage

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A Brief Look at Stephen E. Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage:
Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
     Undaunted Courage is a very detailed account of what Ambrose considers the most important expedition in American history, Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the west. Ambrose attempts to project Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a country that stretches from sea to shining sea, of an open road to the west, of an “Empire of Liberty”. Ambrose repeatedly shows how important the expedition was to the United States and especially to Thomas Jefferson by giving examples of the powers given to Lewis by Jefferson in order to complete the expedition. Lewis is given a letter of credit signed by Thomas Jefferson
“authorizing him to draw on any agency of the U.S. government anywhere in the world, anything he wanted” (Ambrose 95). He is also given the power to choose his own team including his co-leader William Clark whom he had served under in the army and knew to be “a tough woodsman accustomed to command” (Ambrose 97).
Ambrose focuses mainly on Meriwether Lewis, the leader of the expedition and Secretary to President Jefferson. He is very in-depth in his description of Lewis’s character and his philosophies concerning slavery, Native Americans, and his general political beliefs. He gives detailed descriptions of the many new species of animals and plant life that are discovered, the Indian tribes they encountered, and the awe an...

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