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HE labor, thought and patient effort of several years on the part of the editor, Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites, and of the publishers of this great work now reaches fruition in the announcement made on the previous page. The "Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-06," are now published complete, and full sets of the work are now ready for delivery.

The story, indeed it might almost be called the "adventures," of the original manuscript journals is one of very great and intense interest, and has proved to be almost as romantic as the history of the great discovery itself. President Jefferson, in his detailed instructions to Lewis, impressed most strongly upon him the necessity of keeping careful and exact records of every day of the journey. The notes of the two captains were to be guarded against loss by making copies of them "on the paper of the birch, as less liable to injury from dampness than common paper." The men of the company were also encouraged to keep journals as a matter of additional record. The two leaders faithfully performed their duty in this regard, and the four sergeants also wrote diaries.

Collectively, the journals of the captains covered each and every day the expedition was out-largely, of course, a double record, although there are occasional periods when we have the journal of but one of them. It had been the in

tention of the two leaders of the company to publish their own journals; they had presented no official detailed report to the government, it being left to them by Jefferson to make such literary use of their material as they saw fit. During the year following the return Lewis. issued prospectus announcing the speedy publication of the official narrative by a Philadelphia publisher. The first volume was to contain the "narrative of the voyage," the second to be devoted chiefly to an account of "the Indian nations distributed over that vast region," and the third "exclusively to scientific research." There was also to be published "Lewis and Clark's map of North America from longitude 9° west to the Pacific Ocean, and between 36° and 52° north latitude, with extensive marginal notes; dimensions, five feet eight inches by three feet ten inches, embracing all their late discoveries, and that part of the continent heretofore the least known."

Unfortunately for this enterprise, both explorers, soon after their return, had received, together with commissions as generals, important government appointments, and the onerous duties appertaining to these offices in the vast territory through which they had journeyed were necessarily absorbing. In consequence, the task of publication of their journals under such circumstances was easily deferred. Lewis's death just three years after the return of the expedition proved another very serious blow to the publication of the records. Jefferson, however, was indefatigable in his efforts to put the

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records of the journey in permanent form, and he now prompted Clark to get the work under way. After rather lengthy negotiations, Clark secured the aid of Nicholas Biddle of Philadelphia, who was then but young man, although he had already attained considerable reputation as a financier, lawyer and man of letters. In little more than a year Biddle had completed the work of "editing" the manuscripts, and then was experienced the difficulty of securing a publisher. At last, in the early part of 1813, Biddle closed arrangements with Thomas Bradford for printing the work, and a year later the two small volumes were actually published.

The great amount of scientific matter contained in the notes of Lewis and Clark, aggregating one-fourth of the journals as a whole, had at the outset been eliminated by Clark and Biddle. This material was to have been edited for a special volume by Dr. Barton, an eminent naturalist in Philadelphia. Owing to the latter's illness and consequent death, however, this work was never carried out, and the scientific data so laboriously kept by the captains has not heretofore been published.

The task which Biddle undertook was by no means an easy one. He had the manuscript journals of the two captains and of Sergeant Ordway (the last named. having since been lost) and the printed journals of Sergeant Gass, together with the verbal statements of Clark and of Private Shannon, who was also a member of the company of explorers. It was Biddle's task to weave this mass of heterogeneous data into a readable paraphrase, which should have unity and a simple and forceful literary style. The nearly 1,500,000 words of manuscript he condensed into 370,000 printed words. So skilfully is the work done that probably few have realized in reading his volumes that they had not before them the veritable journals of the explorers themselves written upon the spot.

About three years later we find Jefferson instituting a search for the manuscript journals of the explorers with a view of placing them in the archives of the American Philosophical Society. After meeting and overcoming many difficulties in his search, and after lengthy and voluminous correspondence with

Clark, Biddle and others, he at last secured the following result of his labours as is shown from this minute of the 8th of April, 1818, in the records of the corporation of the society: "Mr. Nicholas Biddle deposited the original journals of Lewis and Clark, with an account of them and of those journals and documents which he was not possessed of." The deposit consisted of eighteen notebooks and twelve parcels of loose sheets; of these, thirteen are in red morocco covers-seven by Lewis and six by Clark.

Here the records of Jefferson's search suddenly cease. Neither the federal government nor the American Philosophical Society having decided to publish them, these precious manuscripts slumbered untouched for nearly seventyfive years in the library vault of the society, practically unknown to historical scholars outside of that institution. In 1892 they were used by Dr. Elliott Coues in preparing a new edition of Biddle. The principal use which Dr. Coues made of the original journals, however, was in the form of notes to his text, in which, as was his custom, he freely modernized the original material. After he returned them to the society the manuscripts were left untouched for another nine or ten years, when it was determined, in view of the forthcoming centennial of the Louisiana purchase, at last to carry out Jefferson's suggestion, and publish the Lewis and Clark journals direct from the original manuscripts.

In the course of consequent investigation into the sources by the editor of the present work there came into view in the society's library a few other Lewis and Clark items besides those which Coues had used. Further investigation brought to light in the possession of direct descendants of General Clark several manuscript note-books of the explorer and a number of very valuable and interesting letters bearing directly upon the famous expedition. In addition to the above a most important discovery was made among this material of more than fifty detailed maps, for the most part made by Clark while on the trip. These maps are of the very highest importance, as they determine unquestionably the exact route followed by the expedition across the mountains, a point

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which has long been under dispute. Thus, so long after Jefferson's quest, and within the centennial year of the departure of the Lewis and Clark expedition on their journey, there have at last been located presumably all the literary

records now extant of that notable enterprise in the cause of civilisation.

The press comments on what it describes as "this admirable and definitive edition of the journals" have been unanimous in their commendation.

The Chicago Evening Post says that "this magnificent contribution to Americana deepens the impression that no library of serious pretensions, public or private, can well afford to do without Dr. Thwaites's work, which is destined to occupy a place among the most important sources of American history."

The New York Sun, in speaking of what it calls "this splendid and superb edition of the journals," says that "it is an exciting tale of adventure that gains much by being told in the explorers' own

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words. It is the most fitting memorial for the centenary of the crossing of the continent."

The New York Tribune says: "It is hard to express a full appreciation of this work without seeming to indulge over much in superlatives. It is marked throughout by the most thorough reverent yet unobtrusive scholarship."

The Philadelphia Public Ledger has said: "Aside from its importance as the first complete and exact reprint of the precious documents, the work is a superb piece of craftsmanship, creditable alike to editor and publishers. So perfect and complete is this reprint that it may confidentially be considered as final and definitive from the historical viewpoint."

The Portland Oregonian states that "the material is of the highest importance and interest. Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites, the editor, is especially fitted to edit this very important work because of his long and careful study of everything relating to the early settlement of the West."

Messrs. Dodd, Mead and Company will send full descriptive matter on application

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