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[203] of body, but to destroy everything like elegance and harmony in his air and movement.

Wirt's young nobleman denies to the President the gift of poetical fancy; yet Jefferson allowed such imaginative faculty as he possessed to dally with the theme of western exploration. As early as 1784 he was devising names for ten suggested states to the northwest-“Sylvania,” “Michigania,” “Metropolitamia,” etc.,--after the pseudo-classical taste of the day. He was therefore ready to promote discovery in the far North-west when the moment for action arrived. Indeed, before the Lewis and Clark enterprise, he had twice made plans for the same general undertaking. More particularly, while he was Vice-President of the American Philosophical Society, in 1793, he had arranged with the French botanist Michaux, then in this country, for an expedition which was to follow the Missouri and some tributary thereof to a point where these waters might communicate with the Columbia River, opening a way to the Pacific. The scheme fell through when Michaux became involved in a French marauding project against the Spanish, and lingered among the recruits in Kentucky. It seems that Meriwether Lewis, a young neighbour of Jefferson, had desired the position of leader in the great exploration.

Lewis, who in 1800 became private secretary to Jefferson, was born in 1774 of a prominent stock in Virginia. After five years at a Latin school, he studied botany on his mother's farm, then entered the army raised to quell the Whiskey Rebellion, and, serving as an officer under Wayne, rose to be a captain. In the eyes of Jefferson, Lewis was “brave, prudent, habituated to the woods, and familiar with Indian manners and character,” besides possessing “a great mass of accurate observation on all the subjects of nature.” When chosen to pilot the now famous expedition which bears his name, he further prepared himself by studying with competent scientists at Philadelphia; and feeling the need of a companion for the tour, he chose a friend of his boyhood, his elder by four years, Captain William Clark, also a soldier under Wayne, experienced in Indian warfare, and practised in the construction of forts. An unpolished, but staunch and friendly man, heartily returning the warm affection of Lewis, Clark accepted the opportunity

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