Most historical accounts of the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to chart the Louisiana Purchase begin and end in St. Louis. But the trip actually began in Virginia, with the explorers and the members of their party coming down the Ohio River and then up the Mississippi River, with a stop in Cape Girardeau before reaching the Missouri River, which they hoped would take them near the Pacific Ocean.
Jane Randol Jackson of Cape Girardeau would like to see the early part of the Lewis and Clark trip become a part of the official expedition route, and she will have considerable influence as a new board member of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, which met recently in Charlottesville, Va.
Jackson has spurred much of the local interest in the Lewis and Clark trip. She is director of the Cape Girardeau County Archives in Jackson and spearheaded the construction of the Red House Interpretive Center, which is a recreation of Cape Girardeau founder Louis Lorimier's house/trading post, where Lewis had dinner with Lorimier.
The national Lewis and Clark group is lucky to have Jackson on its board. Her enthusiasm for preserving the history of the Cape Girardeau area is boundless, and her zeal will ensure Cape Girardeau's place in the history of the expedition 200 years ago that opened up our nation's westward migration.