Lewis and Clark were the first non-Indians to cross the continent. Right?

Well, no they weren’t. Actually, another guy beat them to the Pacific--by a full decade.

OK, Lewis and Clark found the best route west for the American pioneers. True? No, not even close. They tried--but in truth, that honor goes to someone else.

But perhaps Lewis and Clark and were important symbolic figures— capturing the American imagination and spurring the masses to look westward?

Nope. They were largely forgotten for many decades. Instead, the person most responsible for inspiring the great migrations didn't venture westward until 40 years AFTER Lewis and Clark.

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