Jefferson's Reasons to Explore the West

Jefferson's Request American History Biographies Famous Historical Events Famous People Geography Native-Americans and First Peoples  Social Studies

This image depicts a request from President Jefferson for westward exploration. The original document is maintained at the National Archives.

Why was Thomas Jefferson so keen to explore the western areas of what would ultimately become part of the United States? Among other reasons:

  • To help his country’s survival and prosperity;
  • To discover new trade routes;
  • To provide information about the territory’s current inhabitants (and befriend them);
  • To learn about the area’s geography and geology;
  • To assess whether there was “more land” for Americans;
  • To gather information about its flora and fauna;

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jul 17, 2019

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.  PD


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