Welcome to Iowa Public Television! If you are seeing this message, you are using a browser that does not support web standards. This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device. Read more on our technical tips page.

Iowa Public Television


Video: Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery

Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery

Meriwether Lewis, a young army officer from Virginia and President Thomas Jefferson's personal secretary, and William Clark, a fellow Virginian and seasoned frontiersman, set out in 1803 on an expedition Jefferson called his Corps of Discovery, to explore the Missouri River and find a passageway to the Pacific Ocean. These programs by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns and co-producer Dayton Duncan presents the story of this incredible journey, combining readings from the journals kept by Lewis and Clark, contemporary newspaper accounts, letters and oral-tradition stories from various Indian tribes with interviews of scholars, writers and descendants of expedition members. Traveling through the vast, varied and breathtaking land that the expedition traversed, the film introduces viewers to these two famous captains and to the other members of the Corps of Discovery: young army men from Kentucky and New Hampshire; French-Canadian boatmen; an African-American slave; and a Shoshone woman named Sacagawea. Through their eyes, viewers come to appreciate the crucial role this expedition played in taking the United States' initial steps toward becoming a continental nation. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out in 1803 on a n expedition President Thomas Jefferson commissioned to find and chart a path to the Pacific Ocean through the unexplored North American Wilderness. This two part documentary, one of the most popular in Ken Burns's filmography, draws upon the extraordinary archival, cinematography, writing and storytelling we have all grown to expect from America's greatest documentary story teller, with the actual journals of the two leaders of the expedition as the primary source.


  • Sorry, no video matched your search.