In 1803, when the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France (for a scant $15 million), it doubled the size of the young country. Stretching north from New Orleans to the Canadian border and westward from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, the area contained over 800,000 square miles. That same year, President Thomas Jefferson designated two young men — Meriweather Lewis and William Clark — as leaders of an expedition to explore this vast new acquisition, as well as other lands of the West. In the spring of 1804, the two men and an intrepid band of hunters, carpenters, gunsmiths, and blacksmiths, known as the "Corps of Discovery," embarked on a perilous journey that would truly give meaning to the term "Wild West." In this exciting, action-packed young reader's edition, based on the author's acclaimed earlier study of the two great American explorers, historian John Bakeless chronicles the daily challenges these men faced — from encounters with indigenous people, snake-infested waterways, prairie fires, floods, heat, and thirst, to illness, famine, and frigid mountain passes. The result is a saga of epic proportions, an amazing story of courage and determination sure to delight readers with its authenticity and vivid, dramatic style. It's a "thrilling account of one of the most magnificent expeditions in all history . . . absorbing and inspirational from start to finish." — New York Times Book Review.