University of Illinois Extension

Lewis & Clark

William Clark was chosen to assist Lewis as his partner. Clark had military experience and was known as a good leader. He had also been on some expeditions. On May 14, 1804, the expedition began from a site called Camp Dubois, near today's Wood River, Illinois on the Mississippi River. They took canoes and a group of about 30 volunteers started up the Mississippi River for 4.5 miles up to the Missouri River.