Explorers

Explorers, Fur Traders in the Missouri Valley Region

Map showing major explorers' routes across the United States
Map showing major explorers'
routes across the United States

Lewis and Clark were among the earliest explorers that ventured through the Missouri Valley. When the bicentennial approached in 2004, the staff in the Missouri Valley Room explored the stacks and were surprised to discover one of the most comprehensive collections in the Kansas City region relating to Lewis and Clark. These primary and secondary documents cover all aspects of the 1804-1806 Corps of Discovery.

The Missouri Valley Room, though, also has strong collections about many other explorers and fur traders, like John Charles Frémont, James Bridger, the Chouteaus, Jedediah Smith, and Zebulon Pike. We hope to include more about these in the future.

The Pike Page
This site, produced by the Santa Fe Trail Association in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service, commemorates the bicentennial of Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition. Includes an overview of the expedition, state-by-state details of Pike's travels, and a calendar of events commemorating the bicentennial nationwide.

Overview of the Lewis and Clark Collection
Literature of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 1804-1806: Holdings of the Kansas City Public Library Missouri Valley Room Special Collections provides an overview of the collection with particular focus on the primary sources.

Bibliography of Lewis and Clark Materials (pdf)
"Lewis and Clark Resources," is an extensive bibliography of items at the Kansas City Public Library created for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial in 2004. Items are continually added.

Lewis and Clark on the Internet
A list of Web sites featuring Lewis and Clark.

Essay: A Taste of the Trail: Books Examine Explorers' Diet