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Fort Mandan

Actors as Clark (background) and Lewis at temporary headquarters in a Native American village

Wintering in a Mandan village in 1804-05, Lewis and Clark set up provisional headquarters. Here they tagged, preserved, and packed specimens they had gathered during the first part of their journey.

The specimens were to be sent back east via keelboat in spring 1805, when the expedition would continue west in canoes and pirogues. Among the keelboat’s cargo: a “living burrowing squirrel of the Prairies”—a prairie dog. Four months later the creature arrived, alive, in Washington, D.C.

Photograph by John Livzey

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