Lewis and Clark Expedition interesting Facts

May 24, 2020
Lewis & Clark on Saturday
Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Keelboat

An extremely important means of transport on the historic Lewis and Clark expedition was their keelboat. The expedition began on May 14, 1804 when the Corps of Discovery left Camp Wood, Missouri on their perilous, great journey west.

  • Dimensions: The Lewis and Clark keel boat was:
  • The keelboat was equipped with
    • A sail and 22 oars
    • A small cannon on the bow
    • A large-bore shotgun, called a blunderbuss, on the stern
Lewis and Clark Expedition for kids: Facts about the Keelboat
The following fact sheet provides short, interesting facts about the Keelboat.

Lewis and Clark Expedition: Facts about the Keelboat

Keelboat Fact 1: The Lewis and Clark keelboat traveled from Pittsburgh, where it was built, to Fort Mandan and then back to St. Louis, covering a distance of 2, 000 miles. William Clark was known as an expert waterman, having grown up in the Ohio River town of Louisville, Kentucky.
Keelboat Fact 2: In addition to the Keel boat, two wooden row boats called Pirogues (flat-bottomed boats for hauling supplies on inland waters) were taken to hold men and supplies. The two pirogues were designed to lighten the load of the keel boat. Six dugout canoes were also used on the expedition.
Keelboat Fact 3: The Lewis and Clark keelboat had a single mast and a footloose square sail. A heavy timber (the keel) ran down the center of the entire length of the bottom of the boat to absorb the shock of running into underwater obstructions, such as fallen trees, and to enable easier steering.
Keelboat Fact 4: The captains cabin was situated on the after deck and contained two bunk-beds, a bench, a desk and shelves for books and scientific instruments
Keelboat Fact 5: The hold of the keel boat was partially covered by a boxlike structure that sheltered both the cargo and the crew's sleeping space.
Keelboat Fact 6: The 55 foot Keel boat could be sailed, rowed, poled like a raft, or towed by ropes from the riverbank. One of the major advantages of the keelboat was that it was able to travel both upstream and for swiftly downstream
Keelboat Fact 7: A small 1.5 inch bore cannon, or swivel gun, was mounted on the bow of the Lewis and Clark keelboat
Source: www.lewis-and-clark-expedition.org
Lewis and Clark part 2
Lewis and Clark part 2
The True Story of Lewis and Clark - Studio C
The True Story of Lewis and Clark - Studio C
The Lewis And Clark Expedition
The Lewis And Clark Expedition
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