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This day I completed my thirty-first year, and conceived that I had, in all human probability, now existed about half the period which I am to remain in this sublunary world. I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little, indeed, to further the happiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now sorely feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended. But since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash from me the gloomy thought, and resolve in future to redouble my exertions and at least endeavor to promote those two primary objects of human existence, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which Nature and fortune have bestowed on me; or, in future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself.
--Meriwether Lewis August 18th 1805
Lewis wrote the above after one year out, after finding his principal goal: the source of the Missouri, and after being well on his way through their main obstacle: the Rockies, not to mention his couple years serving as personal secretary to T.Jeff, one of the most profoundly influential political forces this world has known. aka, Meriwether, baby, ease up, ya know, chill; have an extra gill of whiskey, would ya.
we made it to Standing Rock Rez. Jo is out mowing his folks’ lawn (what a good son). his birthday is tomorrow, which we’ll spend here amongst family. btw, jo grew up several hundred furlongs from the middle of nowhere. on a clear day, if you look real hard, you can almost see the Prairie Nights Casino in Fort Yates, which many Rez folk hope will add coin to the economy.
we’re only a few days from our destination: Fort Mandan, near Washburn SD, where L&C wintered 1804-5, before continuing their trek west. in Bismark ND, we’ll be swinging by Sam Goody’s for some sorely needed mini-disc blanks. Upcoming post will include my, now in formation, md v. dat pros/cons.
I spent the morn reading the posts in SarahV’s special guest topic – what a stellar discussion. wouldn’t be surprised if I felt compelled to add my $.02, so see ya over there.
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