Lewis, Clark traveling exhibit tells tale of expedition

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

He was the first black man to cross the United States, playing jokes on American Indians and hunting at the side of William Clark and Meriwether Lewis along the way.

The story of York, Clark's slave, is among many that will be told during the 'Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years into the Future' exhibit beginning this Sunday in Cape Girardeau.

The traveling exhibit, led by the National Park Service, celebrates the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark's journey west with films, American Indian demonstrations and stories, photos, maps, paintings and a 30-foot keel boat.

"Lewis and Clark is kind of America's first adventure story," said Jeff Olson, a public information officer with the NPS. "The bicentennial gives us a chance to talk about who we were as a nation back then, and where we're going now."

Cape Girardeau is the exhibit's 23rd stop since the tour began in January at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello home in Virginia.

An estimated 130,000 people have seen the exhibit so far. Olson expects as many as 5,000 to visit it in Cape Girardeau.

Corps of Discovery II consists of two tents, which will be set up in the south parking lot at Westfield Shoppingtown West Park. The Tent of Many Voices is the main performance venue and will include stories of local links to the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The main exhibit tent houses maps, graphics, photos and paintings inspired by the expedition and people who lived along the trail. Visitors are invited to climb aboard the wooden keelboat for a park service ranger program.


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