Eager to open the west to settlement, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. Lewis and Clark led 40 soldiers and boatmen on an epic trek from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. The exploration lasted from 1804-1806. Lewis and Clark mapped their journey, created a record of the natural resources they encountered, and made contacts with Native Americans.
You can follow Lewis and Clark's route along the Missouri River and through Iowa. It was in Iowa that the explorers held council with chiefs of the Missouri and Oto tribes at a place they named "council bluffs." In Sioux City, you can see a monument to Sergeant Charles Floyd, the only member of the Lewis and Clark party who died during the expedition.