In one of our country’s most fortunate coincidences, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began their return canoe ride home from their Pacific encampment just as spring was breaking along the Columbia River. Thomas Jefferson waited at the White House for news of Native American tribes and possible trading partnerships along the way. But scientists in Philadelphia were waiting for something else: specimens of new plants. During their difficult two-year journey, Lewis and Clark collected specimens and wildflowers during the day and dutifully wrote down their discoveries every night by the campfire.
Garden historian Joan Hockaday will lead a discussion on the lasting legacy of Lewis and Clark in the exploration of the American West. What do we discover today from Lewis and Clark’s daily accounts about our early Washington landscape, natural history and native peoples? And what can their legacy show us about our state today?
As a garden historian, Joan Hockaday has helped put together wildflower tours along the Columbia River since 2004 for groups including the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation and a group of visiting British botanists. Hockaday is the author of Greenscapes: Olmsted’s Pacific Northwest and The Gardens of San Francisco.
Funded project of Humanities Washington. Humanities Washington is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.