In keeping this record they made an incomparable contribution to the literature of exploration and the writing of natural history. The Journals of Lewis and Clark, writes Bernard DeVoto, was "the first report on the West, on the United States over the hill and beyond the sunset, on the province of the American future. There has never been another so excellent or so influential...It satisfied desire and created desire: the desire of the westering nation."
With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the United States acquired from France all its territorial claims on the North American continent, from the Gulf of Mexico to present day Canada. The Missouri River is the longest tributary of the Mississippi, flowing from Montana eastward to join the Mississippi at St Louis MO. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, founded the Democratic-Republican Party and was the third President. Founded in 1764, St. Louis grew as a steamboat center on the Mississippi, as the eastern end of the Oregon Trail, and as the result of industrialization after the Civil War. Idaho was first part of the Oregon Territory, then the Washington Territory, and finally a state in its own right in 1890.