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Lewis and Clark
(1804-1806)

Discovering America II: 1805 (Fort Mandan-Pacific)



Discovering America II: 1805 (Fort Mandan-Pacific)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.09

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bap-TEEST, jzon, mid-November, Pompy, purs, snow-covered, upriver, westward, windstorm, travelers, trapper, tales, entire, core, timber, fond
     content words:    Great Plains, North America, Missouri River, At Fort Mandan, Shoshone Indian, Jean Baptiste, Captain Clark, Pacific Ocean, Northwest Passage, Lemhi Pass


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Discovering America II: 1805 (Fort Mandan-Pacific)
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     Spring had come to the Great Plains of North America. The Corps (pronounced core) of Discovery was ready for the next leg of their westward journey. Lewis and Clark and their men had come up the Missouri River in the fall of 1804. At Fort Mandan they had spent five months waiting out the cold weather.
 
2     Living with the Mandans was a French trapper named Charbonneau. His wife Sacagawea, (Sa-ka-ga-WEE-ah), was a Shoshone Indian girl. She was soon to have a baby. The Captains had asked Sacagawea and her husband to come west with them. The team needed someone to help them speak with the Indian people they found along the way.
 
3     Sacagawea's baby was born February 11. His name, Jean Baptiste (jzon bap-TEEST), was French. The baby would travel on his mother's back for the entire trip. Captain Clark was fond of the little boy and called him "Pompy."
 
4     On April 7, 1805, the Corps headed west. They rode in two pirogues (PEE-ros) and six smaller canoes. There were thirty-three travelers in all, as well as Seaman, Lewis's big dog. Everyone was excited to be on the move again. Lewis wrote in his journal that the moment of their leaving was "among the most happy of my life."
 
5     The group pushed up the Missouri. In the area that is now Montana, the travelers were awed at the huge herds of buffalo, antelope, and other game. Lewis had guessed that the Indian stories about grizzly bears were fairy tales. But when he saw the huge bears, he changed his mind. Several times grizzlies charged the men, roaring and snarling. Shooting the bears didn't always stop them. One was shot nine times. It was still attacking when it finally died! This bear was about six hundred pounds and nearly nine feet long.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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