The Fate of the Corps

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What Became of the Lewis and Clark Explorers After the Expedition

Larry E. Morris

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The first book to trace the fascinating histories of the remarkable men—and one woman—who were members of the Lewis and Clark expedition

The story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition has been told many times. But what became of the thirty-three members of the Corps of Discovery once the expedition was over?

The expedition ended in 1806, and the final member of the corps passed away in 1870. In the intervening decades, members of the corps witnessed the momentous events of the nation they helped to form—from the War of 1812 to the Civil War and the opening of the transcontinental railroad. Some of the expedition members went on to hold public office; two were charged with murder. Many of the explorers could not resist the call of the wild, and continued to adventure forth into America’s western frontier.

Engagingly written and based on exhaustive research, The Fate of the Corps chroniclesthe lives of the fascinating men (and one woman) who opened the American West.

Larry E. Morris is a writer and editor with the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient  Religious Texts at Brigham Young University and has served as chairman of the genealogy committee for the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.

A selection of the History Book Club

“Rife with eye-opening factoids and anecdotes. . . . A strength of the book is the way it allows the reader to come to know the historical figures not through interpretation by Morris, but through the minor details of their lives he has cohesively assembled.”—Michael D. Smart, BYU Magazine

“Morris tells the stories of all, in what can only be described as a wonderful book. The writing is superb; the information relayed is fascinating; the research is impressive; the clarity is noteworthy; and the book is timely. . . . Morris’s work ranks among the best books in the crowded world of Lewis and Clark hagiography; it deserves strong sales and many readers. Essentiial.”—Choice

“If there’s a ‘must read’ for Lewis and Clark buffs this summer, it has to be The Fate of the Corps.”—Bob Gilluly, Great Falls Tribune (Montana)

“Morris has done prodigious research tracking down little-known facts about often obscure individuals.”—Roger L. Nichols, Great Plains Quarterly

"Extraordinary."—Edward G. Gray, Itinerario

"Engagingly written and thoroughly researched, The Fate of the Corps takes on the daunting task of exploring the post-expedition lives of the thirty-three members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition permanent party who made the trek to the Pacific Ocean and back. . . . Morris puts a face on [those] who are often lost in the shadows of themore celebrated expedition members. . . . Morris used his research talents well. . . . He demonstrates an impressive ability to flesh out the obscure information that gives body to his narrative."—Rich Aarstad, Montana: The Magazine of Western History

"Larry E. Morris . . . rescues the men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from anonymity. . . . The Fate of the Corps preserves the contributions made by these intrepid explorers.  For Lewis and Clark enthusiasts this book completes the story of that fateful expedition."—James R. Griess, Nebraska History

“Morris tells their stories in an able and engaging manner. . . . Morris has provided a cogent, coherent and fascinating history of a neglected chapter in the history of exploration. It is true that expeditions can be life-changing events, but we seldom appreciate the extent of this. . . . So well and so interestingly has Morris addressed his subject, that it would not surprise me if The Fate of the Corps launched a genre in historical travel writing: the post-expedition history, a scientific What Katy Did Next.”—Adrian Barnett, New Scientist

"I admire Larry E. Morris for accepting the daunting challenge of recording the lives of nearly three dozen people over a span of roughly two-thirds of a century. . . . Morris presents his material in a lively, pleasing, and—when appropriate—moving prose."—John D.W. Guice, Oregon Historical Quarterly

“In The Fate of the Corps . . . Morris has written an answer to an intriguing question: What became of the Lewis and Clark explorers after the expedition? . . . The author delivers a great deal of information in a succinct, clear style. . . . The diverse fates of the members of the expedition, some dying young and violently, others old and peaceful, give The Fate of the Corps the feel of a Greek epic. Just as Homer’s warriors left Troy to meet their individual destinies, the members of the Corps of Discovery ended their lives in intriguingly different ways. Who can say why?”—Jim Levy, Santa Fe New Mexican

“A fascinating afterword to the expedition, focusing on crucial events for members of the Corps of Discovery in the ensuing years. . . . This volume, which also includes basic biological information about each expedition member, seems likely to demand inclusion in the canon of essential Lewis and Clark books.”—John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"[Morris's] command of the source material is impressive. . . . With this volume, Morris performs a valuable service for both scholars and the general public."—Jerry K. Sweeney, South Dakota History



“Carefully researched and well-written, the book combines adventure, mystery and tragedy into a detailed ‘Who’s Who’ of the explorers who opened the pathway for an ocean-to-ocean United States of America. . . . Should be read by every Lewis and Clark enthusiast.”—Fred Slater, St. Joseph News-Press (Missouri)

“[Morris has] come up with information that seems fresh and significant. In the bicentennial year of the start of Lewis-and-Clark’s trip, The Fate of the Corps is a welcome addition to the crowded bookshelf.”—Martin Naparsteck, The Salt Lake Tribune

“These afterlives of members of the Corps of Discovery deserve more than a postscript to the epic journey. Larry Morris does them justice in The Fate of the Corps, which offers a vivid, unromanticized picture of the West in which many members sought their fortunes. . . . It belongs on the bookshelf of any expedition enthusiast.”—Dennis O. Connell, We Proceeded On (journal of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation)

"Morris writes well; his prose is smooth and studded with information. He brings each individual to life, drawn from the shadows of archival files. His endnotes are entertaining and informative, full of interesting detail and not to be ignored by serious readers. . . . Morris allows us to explore that team through the careful reconstruction of their lives."—Laurie Winn Carlson, Western Historical Quarterly

"This book is a must read for all Lewis and Clark aficionados. Students of Missouri history will likewise savor its contents given the many connections with their state."—Missouri Historical Review

Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine in 2006
ISBN: 9780300102659
Publication Date: June 10, 2004
320 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
23 b/w illus.