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Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) was a young army officer appointed by Thomas Jefferson to lead the Corps of Discovery on its 1804-1806 round-trip journey across the unknown continent to the Pacific. Upon his return, Lewis was rewarded with a post as governor of Louisiana Territory, but soon became depressed and committed suicide in 1809.

Lewis, whose skills ranged from navigation to diplomacy to botany to geology, chose to share leadership responsibilities with Captain William Clark. The two men jointly led one of the most successful military expeditions in American history.

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