The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 141
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The LouisianaTexas Frontier
tion."2 This exploration formed an important phase of the admin-
istration's policy in taking possession of Louisiana and aroused cor-
responding fears and efforts to combat it on the part of Spanish
Jefferson's plan for the exploration of Louisiana, and the dis-
tinction which he wished to preserve between the expedition of
Lewis and Clark and those he now had in mind, is best shown in
his letter of November 16, 1803, to Meriwether Lewis:
The object of your mission is single, the direct water communi-
cation from sea to sea formed by the bed of the Missouri, and per-
haps the Oregon. I have proposed in conversation, and it seems
generally assented to, that Congress appropriate ten to twelve thou-
sand dollars for exploring the principle waters of the Mississippi
and Missouri. In that case I should send a party up the Red River
to its head, then to cross over to the head of the Arkansas and come
down that. A second party for the Panis and Padouc'a, and a
third, perhaps, for the Morsigona and St. Peters. This [explora-
tion] will be attempted distinctly from your mission, which we
consider of major importance and therefore not to be delayed or
hazarded by any episodes whatever."
In a letter to Dunbar he elaborated the details of his plan. The
surveyor general for the district north of the Ohio was to be author-
ized to explore the upper Mississippi. Upon obtaining the probable
authorization of Congress he proposed to send an expedition up the
Panis and down the Padoucas, exploring the entire course of both
rivers, and another up the Arkansas and the Red. Each party
was to take careful astronomical observations at the source of each
river explored and from the data thus secured it would be possi-
ble to construct a skeleton map of Louisiana, which in contour and
main streams would be perfectly correct, and whose details could
be filled in at leisure. For details north of the Missouri, upon
which stream Lewis and Clark were about to embark, he expected
to depend upon British fur traders and explorers.'
The result of Jefferson's quiet personal work among the members
2Jefferson Papers, Ser. 1, Vol. 9, No. 121.
'Jefferson's Works (Memorial Edition), X, 431 et seq. Jeffrey's Ameri-
can Atlas (London), 1776, shows these four rivers with somewhat modified
spelling. Their equivalents are as follows: "Panis"=Platte; "Morsigona"
(also Moingona) =Des Moines; "Padouca" (also "Padoucas" and mis-
printed "Radoncas") =Kansas; "St. Peters"=Minnesota.
'Washington, Writings of Jefferson, IV, 539.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914, periodical, 1914; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/m1/145/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.