The Atlas of Lewis and Clark in Missouri is a splendid re- creation of the natural landscape in the days when a vast western frontier was about to be explored. The Corps of Discovery's expedition began in territorial Missouri, and this book of computer-generated maps opens an extraordinary window onto the rivers, land, and settlement patterns of the period. This book is an intensive examination of the Missouri portion of the expedition through a series of twenty-seven maps developed by combining early-nineteenth-century U.S. General Land Office (GLO) survey documents with narratives of the trip derived from expedition journals.
The maps are impeccable. The twenty-seven map plates--including twenty-three of the traveled route and four of the river corridor's historic vegetative land cover--depict the expedition's course and offer the first accurate rendering of travel distances and campsites. Some maps locate the campsites in relation to present-day landmarks. Journal descriptions accompany the map plates, which also include old geographic names; historical hydrography; contemporary towns, settlements, and forts; Indian campsites and villages; and territorial land grants from the French and Spanish governments. Geographers and historians will be fascinated by the maps' level of detail, especially the charting of the present course of the rivers alongside that of the early 1800s to show the landscape changes caused by the powerful waters of the Mississippi and Missouri.
The result is a reconstruction of geo-referenced maps that give, for the first time, a detailed representation of the Corps of Discovery's course through Missouri, with geographic data as authentic and accurate as yesterday's available information and today's technology can produce. The maps allow readers to better understand changes in the land over time and why the landscape encountered by the expedition differs so radically from ours today.