Meriwether Lewis’s life was marred by tragedy after his triumphant return with the Corps of Discovery in 1806. Widely celebrated for his and William Clark’s achievements, Lewis was made Governor of the Louisiana Territory in 1808. His great abilities as leader of the expedition, however, did not translate into a successful political career. Lewis found himself ill-suited to politics and quickly made enemies with his sometimes imperial manner. His Lt. Governor, one William Bates, hated Lewis and was the source of a number of allegations about his improper use of government funds. Feeling the pressure of these political intrigues, along with Jefferson’s persistent demands that the journals be finished, caused Lewis to apparently sink into a deep depression. In 1809, while traveling to Washington, DC to answer some of these allegations, Meriwether Lewis committed suicide. It was a tragic end to a great life filled with accomplishment and valor.
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