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Главная » Фотоальбом » Lewis & Clark Gallery » BESTRIDE THE MIGHTY MISSOURI, August 12, 1805
As the rest of his companions looked on in bemusement, Hugh McNeal put one moccasined foot on each side of a small rivulet of water high in the Rocky Mountains just below the Continental Divide, thrust his musket skyward, lifted his head, '...and thanked his god that he had lived to bestride the mighty & heretofore deemed endless Missouri'.* This simple act would have seemed inconceivable to the men of the Lewis and Clark expedition just a few weeks before. For almost a year and a half they had battled the river and later it's feeder stream the Jefferson wrestling a keelboat, pirogues, dugout canoes and thousands of pounds of supplies and equipment against it's relentless and powerful strength. And here, on August 12, 1805, half a continent away from where they had begun, Hugh McNeal voiced his words of exultation and defiance. He and his companions had won that battle. By this time the clothing of the men of the Corps of Discovery had been pretty well used up. Except for their leaders, the men were probably reduced to a well used cloth shirt here and there and some thoroughly patched blanket coats. My supposition is that the men made overgarments similar to the Plains Indian warshirt. These are easily made and very serviceable and the men had exposure to them during their winter with the Mandan and other tribes they'd encountered. McNeal and his companions, George Drouillard to the viewers left in the painting, Meriwether Lewis with his chapeau bras and Robert Frazer are all shown wearing these modified warshirts. On August 16, just four days after this scene took place, Lewis recorded that he was wearing his 'cocked hat with feather' and 'overshirt, being of the Indian form'. This combination of Euro-American and Indian clothing must have given the explorers an unusual appearance. The moon was just two days past it's full phase on the 12th and may have been visible in the early morning. This feeling of euphoria and the concept of a job nearing completion was short lived. Moments later, as Lewis and his small band of companions crested the Divide expecting to see a relatively short and gentle route to the Pacific Ocean, they were greeted with a panorama of mountain ranges, taller than any they'd yet seen, stacked one after the other to the horizon. Clearly that long, and ultimately victorious struggle, up the Missouri River was just one obstacle to their final success. * Meriwether Lewis' journal entry dated August 12, 1805
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Дата: 25.10.2010 | Теги: США, живопись, индейцы, Северная Америка | Добавил: Мэгги
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