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A New Nation
(1776-1830)

Zebulon Pike



Zebulon Pike
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.62

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    frostbite, britain, military, successful, failure, poorly, stakes, entire, marriage, traveled, education, journey, army, during, early, however
     content words:    Louisiana Territory, But Lewis, Zebulon Pike, United States, New Jersey, Clarissa Brown, Merriweather Lewis, James Wilkinson, Mississippi River, Native Americans


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Zebulon Pike
By Cathy Pearl
  

1     Everyone has heard of Lewis and Clark. They went on a famous journey to explore the Louisiana Territory. But Lewis and Clark weren't the only ones to explore. Zebulon Pike also did some exploring of the United States. However, he is not as famous as the other two explorers. His trip was not as successful.
 
2     Pike was born in New Jersey in 1779. He was the second of eight children. He was the only one to live to be a healthy adult. Four of his brothers and sisters died when they were babies. Three other boys were sick their entire lives. Pike did not have a lot of education was he was young. At age fifteen he joined the army.
 
3     Early in his career Pike served in Pennsylvania. He met Clarissa Brown, the daughter of a general. They wanted to get married and ran away to do it. Their parents were very unhappy with the marriage. Pike and his wife had several children. Only one daughter lived to be an adult.
 
4     Pike and his wife went to Kentucky in 1802. In 1803, Merriweather Lewis went through the fort where he and his wife were living. Lewis asked many men to join him on the trip west. Pike was not one of them.
 
5     In 1805, Pike met a general in the army named James Wilkinson. Wilkinson gave Pike orders to find the source of the Mississippi River in the north. Wilkinson also wanted to find land for new military forts. Pike took twenty men with him on the trip. He was not as prepared as Lewis and Clark. He did not study maps as they did. There was no doctor with them on the trip or Native Americans to help translate.

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