Lewis's expedition packing list notes that fifty pipe tomahawks were to be taken on the expedition.
While Jefferson made no effort to hide the Lewis and Clark expedition from Spanish, French, and British officials, he did try to shield it from his political enemies.
Other expedition guns might be graceful in design and craftsmanship but the stout blunderbuss simply signified brute force and power.
Lewis and Clark fired their blunderbusses as signs of arrival when entering Indian camps or villages.
An important organizing principle in Euro-American society was hierarchy.
Both soldiers and civilians had complex gradations of rank to define who gave orders and who obeyed.The American republic began to issue peace medals during the first Washington administration, continuing a tradition established by the European nations. In their speeches, Lewis and Clark called the Indians “children.” To explorers, the term expressed the relationship of ruler and subject.Lewis and Clark brought at least eighty-nine medals in five sizes in order to designate five “ranks” of chief. Clark modeled this speech to the Yellowstone Indians on one that Lewis gave to Missouri River tribes.Jefferson's letter became the charter for federal exploration for the remainder of the nineteenth century.The letter combined national aspirations for territorial expansion with scientific discovery.They also represented a rising American empire, one built on aggressive territorial expansion and commercial gain.But there was another view of the West: that of the native inhabitants of the land.Native people tried to impose the obligations of kinship on the visitors by means of adoption ceremonies, shared names, and ritual gifts.The Lewis and Clark expedition was in many ways an infantry company on the move, fully equipped with rifles of various kinds, muskets, and pistols. Named after the Dutch words for “thunder gun,” the blunderbuss was unmistakable for its heavy stock, short barrel, and wide-mouthed muzzle.Such strategies were already in place for the epic voyages made by explorers like Cook and Vancouver.Like their contemporaries, Lewis and Clark were more than representatives of European rationalism.