Radio Series


Oregon Public Broadcasting radio series, Unfinished Journey: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (2005–2006), currently only available in written transcript form, with a couple of exceptions.

  • “Sacagawea’s Story: An American Mythology” (Episode 103, 16 pages. OPB description: “From only a handful of written references, Sacagawea has become an icon in American history and culture. But what do we really know about her? Do we even know how she pronounced her own name? Sacagawea’s story explores the perspective of the young woman who made the 7,689-mile trek across the country with a baby on her back and why statues, parks, and even a newly minted coin have been created in her image.”) Additional keywords: gender, intermediaries, icons, Sakakawea, biography
  • Law and Sovereignty: The Political Agenda in the American West” (Episode 104, 16 pages. OPB description: “Lewis and Clark may have been recording scientific data and mapping the West, but their journey was a clear extension of the power and influence of the new United States government into territory that the British, Spanish and Russians were also very interested in occupying. But what rights do aboriginal peoples have when an invading power arrives? That question is as relevant today as it was in the imperialist era of the early 19th century. Lessons from the outcome of Lewis and Clark’s expedition are relevant to today’s debates about the relationship between the government of the United States and the sovereign tribes living within its borders. And those lessons may signal the dawn of a new era of tribal rights in many nations.”) Additional keywords: territories, autonomy, indigenous, tribal, legal, colonization, settlers, imperialism
  • Getting along on the Lewis and Clark Trail” (Episode 105, 16 pages. OPB description: “The 30-plus members of the expedition provide a kind of laboratory for interpersonal relationships. How did they get along with each other? What did they do when they weren’t making their way through the landscapes of the West? And how did they interact with Indians they encountered? You’ll hear about music and games along the trail, find out how Indians lived and learn what it was like to travel thousands of miles on foot with a 19th-century military expedition.”) Additional keywords: daily life, court martials, sleeping arrangements, privy/privies, Roberta Conner (Umatilla), Gerard Baker (Mandan/Hidatsa), Jack Gladstone (Blackfeet), bathing, hunting, warfare, fish, buffalo meat, pemmican, berries, tule mat lodges, kinship, dances/dancing, music, horns, fiddles, tambourines, circles, weapons, firearms, guns, running races, jokes, games, drinking, sexual activity, whiskey, liquor, tobacco, work, recreation, hierarchy, discipline, punishment, guard duty, whippings, clubbings, mutiny, reenactments, riverboats, pirogues, swimming,
  • Science in the Age of Discovery” (Episode 106, 16 pages. OPB description: “The Enlightenment’s scientific imperative to catalog the world played a major role in defining the expedition. President Jefferson specifically instructed the expedition leaders to add to the nation’s scientific knowledge in the course of their journey. At the same time, the Indians who lived in the West already had a significant store of information about their environment. We’ll dig into what the two groups learned from each other, and find out how the expedition’s scientific achievements advanced America’s intellectual movement.”) Additional keywords: birds, squirrels, animals, minerals, plants, skins, skeletons, specimens, species, Enlightenment, progress, anatomy, botany, geography, latitude, longitude, telescopes, sextants, surveying, flora, fauna, Roberta Conner, Umatilla, agriculture, California condor
  • Encounters of the Expedition: Landscapes, People, and Self” (Episode 107, 16 pages. OPB description: “The Lewis and Clark expedition provides a fascinating case study of the psychology of encounters between peoples, with landscapes and with the inner person. Encounters require processing new information, unfamiliar terrain and culture and potentially disturbing self-revelations. This program examines how the Lewis and Clark expedition handled its encounters. And we’ll learn about how the tribes they met responded to these visitors who seemed determined to impose a new way of life on the land and people of the West.”)
  • Traditions of Medicine Meet in the West”
    AUDIO available free here:
    (Episode 110, 16 pages. OPB description: “We’ll compare the European medical knowledge carried by expedition members with the tribal medicine the Corps encountered on its trek across the continent. The expedition offers a useful perspective on the relative merits of distinct medical traditions.”) Additional keywords: bilious colic (appendicitis? or systemic tularemia?), death, Dr. Benjamin Rush, doctors, physicians, Sergeant Charles Floyd, disease, sickness, Lancets, tourniquets, Peruvian bark (from the cinchona tree, contains quinine), jalap (a purgative), Laudanum (opium), Glauber salts, Niter (saltpeter), Calomel and mercurial ointment, Dr. Rush’s patented pills (“thunderclappers”), purging, blood letting, herbs, herbal practitioner, epidemics and the horse’s role in spreading disease, smallpox, yellow fever, the Aedes egypti mosquito, barbers, surgeons, healing, haircutting,  “Nitre” (potassium nitrate, or saltpeter), University of Edinburgh (Scotland) medical training, state of debility, weakness, boar’s vomit, fasting, diluting drinks, calomel (mercury mixed with chlorine), malaria, wounds, frostbite, dwarf cedar tea, science and spirituality link, childbirth, ground rattlesnake rattle, boils, abcesses, indigenous medicine as power and sacredness, Arikaras, black man called “big medison,” sweat lodge ceremony, substance abuse, fire as purification, stones, steam as spirits’ breath, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, chili peppers, corn, maize, cotton, Navajo hogan, traditional healers, crystals, corn pollen, hand trembling, “The Enemy Way” ceremony, post traumatic stress disorder, hozho (living in a state of peace and harmony), appropriation, humor, accountability, industrial medicine, holism, holistic medicine.