According to William Clark's log, the expedition encountered its first prairie dog on September 7, 1804. They began attempting to capture the creatures, killing one and capturing another alive in the process. The animal was described as being similar to a large rat but with a long tail and legs that seemed too small for its body.
The expedition continued westward after leaving their horses behind at this point. They eventually reached the site of present-day Kansas City in October and then crossed the Missouri River before heading north toward Fort Mandan near present-day Bismarck, North Dakota. They returned home through Pennsylvania and New York before arriving in Boston in April 1805.
In August 1805, Meriwether Lewis wrote a letter to his father describing the animals he had seen during his trip. Among other things, he mentioned seeing "a large animal about the size of a sheep or a goat but with much longer hair on its back" which he believed was found only in America. He also wrote that the Indians called this animal "Wickahmawich."
Scientists have since concluded that what Lewis saw were bison (also known as buffalo).
In a span of just over two weeks, Lewis and Clark encountered four classic Western animals for the first time: the prairie dog, pronghorn, coyote, and the jack rabbit. In his September 7, 1804 journal entry, Clark describes a "village of small animals" discovered in Boyd County, Nebraska. He goes on to note that these creatures "run very quick." This was probably a reference to the speed with which the prairie dogs scamper across the open ground of the Great Plains.
Prairie dogs have been part of North American culture since before Lewis and Clark. Native Americans used to hunt them for food and clothing. The rodents were also used as hunting dogs and moneymakers at gambling towns such as Ellsworth, South Dakota. Today, they are protected by law and many areas allow only natural causes to destroy them.
The expedition met its first coyotes on August 26 when they came upon five of these animals near the point where the Missouri River makes its widest point in northern Montana. According to Lewis' journal, he estimated their weight at between 25 and 50 pounds (11-22 kg). Coywolves, as they are now known, are descendants of coyotes and wolves and can be up to half as heavy as their parent species. They remain true to type except where bred with domestic dogs. These hybrids are called cottontails and are responsible for any annoyanceate behavior pets display toward humans.
Seaman, a Newfoundland dog, became well-known for his participation in the first American overland voyage from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast and back. While crossing the Lewis and Clark Trail, Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery ate almost 200 dogs, but Seaman was spared. He traveled with the expedition until its completion in 1809.
Newfoundlands are known for their loyalty to their owners and love of water, which made them ideal candidates for inclusion on early American voyages where they were needed to help hunt sea animals. These dogs performed very well at their jobs.
There is some evidence that Americans had been eating dogs long before Lewis and Clark's trip, but it wasn't until later that this practice spread across the country. By the time Seaman arrived in St. Louis in 1804, there were already restaurants there that sold canine cuisine. This may have been because people wanted something quick and easy to eat while waiting for the boat home or because they simply didn't have enough food to feed themselves and their families.
In conclusion, Americans have been eating dogs since they first reached this continent. However, it was not until later that this practice spread across the country.
Seaman, Capt. Lewis' dog, pursued them, grabbed one in the river, drowned and killed it, and swam to shore with it. " Seaman continued to hunt in this fashion until mid-May 1805, when he was seriously hurt by a beaver. Clark stated: "Captain Lewis now concluded not to proceed any further with his expedition, but to return home, which he did after an absence of about two years.
In August 1809, President James Madison signed into law the act that formed the Louisiana Purchase. It provided for US government payments to France for its interest in Louisiana. These payments were called "indemnities" and they were used to compensate people who had lost property because of French policies.
The law also provided for free shipping to those who brought the indemnities to a US port. This included animals as well as humans. On August 24, 1809, the ship George Washington arrived in New York with the first shipment of French livestock, including two dogs. One of these dogs was a brown spaniel and the other was a white brindle terrier. They were given names that have been forgotten but they soon found their way onto market stalls across America.
The dogs may have helped spread awareness of the indemnity program among farmers and they would have made good companions for children who had lost their parents in the war.
The Grizzly Bear chased Lewis for 80-90 yards before he could load his rifle and kill the grizzly down [vii]. The Corps of Discovery would set up camp as the winter months arrived. They would spend the winter near today's city of Spokane, Washington.
Grizzlies are large animals that live in the mountains of North America. They are known for their size (which can reach a shoulder height of 3 feet) and aggressiveness. In fact, according to some reports, they are the most dangerous predator in the United States after the lion.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Europeans entered into contact with several indigenous tribes in what is now western Canada and the United States. One of these was the Salish tribe. They had never seen a bear like the one that attacked Lewis and Clark and so they thought them to be monsters from another world. The Salish people spoke of "Mountain Spirits" that could take human form and come down to Earth to have fun. These "Spirits" used bears as their means of transport and because they were more powerful than horses.
Thus began the bear trade in which various tribes bought bears for their skin or meat.