Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark: Meeting the First Settlers (Native Americans)

Lewis and Clark: Meeting the First Settlers (Native Americans)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.37

     challenging words:    gatherers, presented, travelers, wooly, tribal, smallpox, camped, camps, core, rifles, tribe, payment, warrior, tales, weary, journey
     content words:    President Jefferson, Louisiana Purchase, Pacific Ocean, Missouri River, Then Lewis, Yankton Sioux, Teton Sioux, Black Buffalo, Here Sacagawea, Nez Perce

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Lewis and Clark: Meeting the First Settlers (Native Americans)
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     In 1803, President Jefferson sent men to France. They were on a kind of shopping trip. They bought something very big! It was a huge chunk of land called the Louisiana Purchase. Now the U.S. owned lots of property that no one knew much about. There were many stories of the West. Some said there were wooly mammoths and hills made of salt. There were even tales of blue-eyed Indians who spoke Welsh.
2     Most people guessed that Indians lived in the area. But what were they like?
3     President Jefferson wanted to know about the people in the new land. Would the Indian people be friendly? Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to find out about the West. Those who made the trip were called the Corps (core) of Discovery. Jefferson wanted the Corps to visit as many native tribes as they could. He hoped they would find a passage to the Pacific Ocean.
4     The Oto and Missouri were the first tribes the travelers found. These tribes had lost many people to smallpox. They were now very few in number and lived together on the Missouri River. Lewis and Clark met with some of their leaders. They gave the Indians presents like sewing needles, ribbons, knives, and beads. Flags and peace medals were also presented.
5     The Corps had a parade for the chiefs. They showed gadgets like compasses and magnets. They fired Lewis's air gun. Then Lewis gave a speech. He told the Indians they had a "great father" who lived far away. By this he meant President Jefferson. Their new father wanted to help them, Lewis said. He wanted them to be friends with white people and each other. After the speech, a chief from each tribe promised to visit Jefferson.

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