Oh, the stories the Lewis and Clark Commemorative Silver Dollar coin can tell.
After departing on their journey on May 14, 1804, they returned just under two-and-a-half years later on September 23, 1806 — 208 years ago.
Let’s peek at their notes on the days around their return:
September 20, 1806 ( Camped at LaCharette (“Charriton”), Warren County Missouri, which the party passed on May 25, 1804.)
“as three of the party was unabled to row from the State of their eyes we found it necessary to leave one of our crafts and divide the men into the other Canoes, we left the two Canoes lashed together which I had made high up the River Rochejhone, … we met a perogue with 5 french men bound to the Osarge Gd. village. …
“we saw some cows on the bank which was a joyfull Sight to the party and caused a Shout to be raised for joy at … we came in Sight of the little french Village called Charriton (Charrette) the men raised a Shout and Sprung upon their ores and we soon landed opposit to the Village. our party requested to be permited to fire off their Guns which was alowed & they discharged 3 rounds with a harty cheer, which was returned from five tradeing boats which lay opposit the village. we landed and were very politely received by two young Scotch men from Canada … all of those boats were bound to the Osage and Ottoes. those two young Scotch gentlemen furnished us with Beef flower and some pork for our men … we purchased of a citizen two gallons of Whiskey for our party for which we were obliged to give Eight dollars in Cash, an imposition on the part of the citizen. every person, both French and americans seem to express great pleasure at our return, and acknowledged themselves much astonished in seeing us return. they informed us that we were supposed to have been lost long since, and were entirely given out by every person &c. … the American inhabitants express great disgust for the govermt. of this Teritory.”
September 21, 1806
(Camped at St. Charles, Missouri) “colected our men several of them had axcepted of the invitation of the citizens and visited their families. … passed 12 canoes of Kickapoos assending on a hunting expedition. Saw Several persons also stock of different kind on the bank which reviv’d the party very much. at 3 P M we met two large boats assending. at 4 P M we arived in Iight of St. Charles, the party rejoiced at the Sight of this hospita[b]l[e] village plyed thear ores with great dexterity and we Soon arived opposit the Town … we saluted the Village by three rounds from our blunderbuts and the Small arms of the party, and landed near the lower part of the town. we were met by great numbers of the inhabitants, … the inhabitants of this village appear much delighted at our return and seem to vie with each other in their politeness to us all.”
September 22, 1806
“this morning being wet and the rain still continuing hard, and our party being all sheltered in the houses of those hospitable people, we do not think proper on until after the rain was over. At 10 am it ceased raining and we collected our party and set out and proceeded on down the cantonment at Coldwater Creek, about 3 miles up the Missouri on its southern banks. We were honored with a salute of guns and harty welcom.”
September 23, 1806
“we rose early took the Chief to the publick store & furnished him with Some clothes &c. … decended to the Mississippi and down that river to St. Louis at which place we arived about 12 oClock. we Suffered the party to fire off their pieces as a Salute to the Town. we were met by all the village and received a harty welcom from it’s inhabitants.”
September 24, 1806
“I slept but little last night. We rose early and commenced writing our letters. Capt Lewis wrote to the President and I wrote Governor Harrison and my friends in Kentucky.”
September 25, 1806
” payed some visits of form to the gentlemen of St. Louis. in the evening a dinner and ball.”
September 26, 1806
“we commenced wrighting.”
Now, just imagine, as they approached St. Louis, a frontiersman or more probably looked out at the Mississippi River to watch their arrival.
The Lewis and Clark Commemorative Silver Dollar coin rests on a background of a modern-day frontiersman re-enactor.
Their journal entries from the web site: LewisAndClarkTrail.com.