"The complete set of journals, fully indexed and annotated by historian Moulton, represents the definitive account of this unprecedented journey of discovery in America's West."
- Natural History
Gary Moulton, professor of history at the University of Nebraska, has spent the last 20 years editing the journals of Lewis and Clark. As one of the most knowledgeable scholars of the expedition, he understands how it set the tone for expansion, colonization and transformation as America grew west.
A winner of Nebraska's Research and Creativity Award for 2002, Moulton looked at the history of the journals kept by Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and four enlisted men of the expedition as they crossed the continent from 1804 to 1806.
According to Moulton, the million-plus words written during Lewis and Clark's years on the trail are filled with accounts of high drama and elaborate notes on scientific inquiry. "But the story of the journals is almost as interesting as the history of the expedition which the books chronicle." Moulton's presentation will consider individual journalists and their notebooks, and will speak to the importance of the expedition in American history.
Moulton earned his Ph.D. and his M.A. at Oklahoma State University. He got his start as a historian as editor of The Papers of Chief John Ross, a four-year project by the National Archives. After that, the advertisement for editor of the Lewis and Clark Journals for University of Nebraska Press caught his eye.
Thus began two decades of meticulous toil, the result of which is a 13-volume work that is considered one of the major scholarly achievements of the late 20th century. Another result is Moulton's prominence as a leading expert on the Lewis and Clark expedition; he has been frequently requested for speeches and papers, and consultation on projects, like documentaries and movies. He even served on committees for designing the Sacagawea coin.
Most recently, Moulton finished an abridged, single-volume edition of the journals entitled The Lewis and Clark Journals: An American Epic of Discovery.
"From the top of the mound, we beheld a most beautiful landscape. Numerous herds of buffalo were seen feeding in various directions. The plain to the north, northwest and northeast extends without interruption as far as can be seen."
- The Journals of Lewis and Clark, August 25, 1804
University of Nebraska-Lincoln