By Maurice Isserman, John S. Bowman
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Extra resources for Across America: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Discovery and Exploration)
Some nights the captains would issue each man a four-ounce ration of whiskey and, despite their weariness, the men would celebrate with dancing while Cruzatte played his fiddle. On the Fourth of July in 1804, which they celebrated in present-day Atchison County, Kansas, near the mouth of the Kansas River, they marked the occasion not only with whiskey but also with cannon fire. Generally, however, the evenings were times of quiet relaxation and early bedtimes. Everyone knew that another day’s hard labor awaited them when the Sun rose in the morning.
Lewis would serve as the expedition’s doctor as well as its commander, and his Philadelphia mentors included the most famous physician in America, Benjamin Rush. However, most of Rush’s advice would prove less than useful where it was not actually harmful to the patients under Lewis’s care. It was Rush’s considered belief, for example, that powerful laxatives were the first line of defense against disease. While in Philadelphia Lewis stocked up on 600 doses of “bilious pills,” or laxatives, for his medical kit.
NY 0 200 miles 200 km and a western land bounty of several hundred acres for each man who went along. One man who joined the expedition at Clarksville would not be paid anything at all, however: That was York, an African-American slave owned by William Clark. York was a powerful, heavyset man with “short curling hair” about Clark’s age, who had been his companion since childhood. On October 26, after spending two weeks resting and refitting in Clarksville, Lewis and Clark and their men set off down the Ohio, passing through present-day Illinois.