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Meriwether Lewis... Murder or Suicide

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posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 03:31 PM
I have no idea where to put this, but wanted to get others thoughts on it.

Recently I've made a decision that I want to study more history, of the world, and mainly the United States. I was reading about Lewis and Clark today and learned something that I didn't know.

They mysterious death of Meriwether Lewis.

Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18, 1774 on a plantation near Charlottesville, Virginia. He spent his childhood in the wilderness and developed a love of hunting and exploring. As a young man, Lewis fought against the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. From there, he became an officer in the army and battled against Native Americans in the Northwest Territory. Over time, he learned a lot about Native Americans and their languages.

As a friend and former neighbor of the Lewis family, President Thomas Jefferson recruited Lewis to be his private secretary in 1801. For two years, Jefferson prepared Lewis to lead a group of explorers across the Louisiana Purchase. To prepare for the trip, Lewis studied navigation, plants, and animals at the University of Pennsylvania.

After Lewis and his co-leader, William Clark, successfully returned from the three-year expedition, Jefferson appointed Lewis governor of the Louisiana Territory. On October 11, 1809, while on his way from his St. Louis headquarters to Washington, D.C., Lewis met an untimely and mysterious death at an inn. Most historians believe that Lewis committed suicide, yet others think that Lewis was murdered.

How he died :

He was shot at a tavern called Grinder's Stand about 70 miles (110 km) from Nashville, Tennessee, on the Natchez Trace, while enroute to Washington; his wrists had been cut, and he had been shot in the head and chest. Whether his death was from suicide (as is widely believed) or murder (as contended by his family) has never been conclusively determined; however, it should be noted that he allegedly attempted to jump into the Mississippi River and drown shortly before his death, and also was extremely depressed.

The Lewis and Clark expedition was as widely hailed upon its return as it is remembered in our own time, and as its official leader, Meriwether Lewis reaped the benefits of this acclaim. Jefferson appointed him governor of the Louisiana Territory, a post he assumed in 1808. During his brief time in this office, however, Lewis proved himself a poor administrator. He quarreled with the territorial secretary and local leaders, and failed to keep his superiors in Washington informed of his policies and plans.

So, I didn't know of his "myserious" death. Conspiracy ? I don't know. His expedition was Government sponsored, did that have something to do with it ?

What do you think ?

Also, for more on the Lewis & Clark Expedition :

[edit on 2-6-2005 by elevatedone]

posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 01:01 PM
Suicide is the far more likely explanation. He suffered from depression all his life. His mercuric moodswings are mentioned in Clark's journals. Clark and others made a fair profit from the expedition but Lewis, as a poor businessman, did not and Lewis had a falling out with Clark over it. It is easy to accept his chronic depression got worse after his dismissal and finally drove him to suicide.

This is not uncommon. Sir Edmund Hillary also suffered from depression after his Everest climb. Professional athletes, especially superstars and future hall-of-famers, do after they retire. All the living ex-presidents have admitted a feeling of loss once out of office. On a smaller scale, many ordinary workers exhibit a small degree of depression immediately post-retirement (but we get over it!).

Once you have achieved a pinnacle of success there is a let down. You have much of your life still ahead of you and how can you top what you have already achieved? Any subsequent accomplishment will seem lesser in comparison and there is a tendency to equate that with failure.

Lewis already suffered from depression, and the combination of all his post-expedition failures was just too much.

Besides, none of the people mentioned as possible suspects had a motive strong enough for murder or were in other locations at his death.

I don't buy the murder theory.

posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 01:19 PM
Perhaps he was suicidal because he knew of what would come of the tribes they met along their journey, and the unspoiled land. Imagine if your job was as a prospector for potential McDonald's, Wal-Mart, and Starbucks sites, and you were sent to an unknown location... a Norman Rockwell type town, where time immortal kept everyone in a picturesque simple life. Say you spent a couple of years there, getting to know the inhabitants, their inner lives. You ate at the quaint little diner where the same old man had served milkshakes and cheeseburgers to three generations of townspeople. There were no coffee shops, because if you wanted a fresh cuppa, you just stopped by a friendly neighbor's house, and they'd already have some brewing, and you'd sit on the porch, engaged in idle chatter as you rocked back and forth in handmade chairs. And every so often, maybe you headed to Gus's bait and hardware store to pick up some worms and ten-penny nails, because it'd be a shame to miss out on fishing, just because you needed to help Old Mrs. Jamison mend her fences...

...and then, after a while, Corporate gives you a call, they send a sleek helicopter to pick you up (upsetting Nanny's chickens), get one good look at the town and say "Great Job! This land is ripe for the picking! We begin construction tomorrow! Here's your paycheck."

How heavy would that paycheck seem... knowing that soon the peaceful inhabitants of Rockwell would no longer talk to each other on anything but cellphones and PDAs while standing in line for their double-half-caff-mocha latte? Knowing that Not only would Gus soon be out of business, but it wouldn't matter because the ol' fishin' pond would be dried up to make room for a shopping mall. Knowing that Grampa Jenkins will never take his great-grandaughter to get a milkshake where his grampa took him when he was a kid, because the turnover rate at the McD's that bulldozed the diner is about one employee a week...

That's metaphorically what both Lewis and Clarke had on their conscience.

I think, under the circumstances, I'd kill myself too.

posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 12:43 PM
I can't believe ATS is a conspiracy site and no one see's the conspiracy in this man's death...facepalm!


“The impression has long prevailed that under the influence of disease and body—of hopes based upon long and valuable services—not merely deferred but wholly disappointed—Governor Lewis perished by his own hands. It seems to be more probable that he died by the hands of an assassin.”


Ever since Donald Jackson published the so-called “Russell Statement” in his 1962 edition of the Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, it has served as a leading document supporting the suicide theory. Jackson discovered this document, which was later proven to be a forgery, in the papers of Jonathan Williams at the University of Indiana Lilly Library. Jonathan Williams was the first superintendent of the West Point Academy and a close personal friend of General James Wilkinson.

I know I'm not the only one on ATS that saw this show....

Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of thriller mysteries, has a 10 part series on the History Channel called Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. In episode two, Presidential Secret Codes, he argues for the exhumation of Meriwether Lewis’s remains to determine whether he was murdered or committed suicide. In this episode, new evidence supporting the murder theory is presented for the first time. Meltzer’s team of investigators, Buddy Levy, Christine McKinley and Scott Rolle, investigate the case while driving a black Porsche around the Tennessee countryside. (Porsche is a sponsor of the series.) The new evidence is presented by Tony Turnbow, a lawyer, who has researched the death of Lewis for many years. Turnbow, who practices law in Franklin, Tennessee, examined court house records concerning James Neelly, who was accompanying Lewis on his travels just before his death. Major Neelly has long been a prime suspect in the conspiracy to assassinate Lewis.

The first of a series of blogs based on the book The Death of Meriwether Lewis: A Historic Crime Scene Investigation by James E. Starrs and Kira Gale.
William Clark seems to have been fooled by James Wilkinson at three different times in his life—first, when he didn’t realize that Wilkinson had sabotaged the career of his older brother George Rogers Clark in 1786—then, when he served under General Wilkinson in 1790-94 during the Indian Wars and took Wilkinson’s side in his feud with General “Mad Anthony” Wayne—and, finally, when he believed the story of his friend Meriwether Lewis’s suicide.
Like many young officers, Clark admired the charismatic Wilkinson. The great historian Frederick Jackson Turner described Wilkinson as “the most consummate artist in treason the nation ever possessed.”

After reading this “the most consummate artist in treason the nation ever possessed.”
My thought was is Obama trying to top Wilkinson....


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