September 16, 2003 Library of Congress Holds Symposium in Connection with Its Exhibition

"Rivers, Edens, Empires: Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America"

Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: (202) 707-3323

WHAT: Symposium on the exploration of the American West; open to the public Morning session, 10 a.m.: “Expectations and Realities of the American West” Afternoon session, 2:30 p.m.: “Cartography and the American West”

Following the symposium at 5:30 p.m., there will be a reception and book signing to celebrate the publication of “Lewis and Clark–Across the Divide” by Carolyn Gilman with an introduction by James P. Ronda, sponsored by Smithsonian Books

WHO: James P. Ronda, the H.G. Barnard Professor Western American History at the University of Tulsa and the author of numerous books about Lewis and Clark and western exploration, opens the morning session with a discussion of the tensions between the expectations that Thomas Jefferson had about the character of the West, the way those expectations conditioned the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the realities that the expedition encountered on its way West, in his talk “Looking West from the East.”

Carolyn Gilman, the Special Projects historian at the Missouri Historical Society and curator of its Lewis and Clark exhibition, examines how Lewis and Clark’s assumptions about the Indians affected their relationships with native people in her talk titled “Lewis and Clark Discover the Indians.”

John Logan Allen, professor and chairman of the Department of Geography at the University of Wyoming and author of “Passage Through the Garden: Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American West,” in the first of the afternoon sessions, discusses “Geographical Lore on the Eve of the Lewis and Clark Expedition,” using as the centerpiece of his talk the Nicholas King 1803 map.

Ralph E. Ehrenberg, the former chief of the Library’s Geography and Map Division and the author of “The Mapping of America,” explores 19th century military expeditions, beginning with Lewis and Clark, in his talk, “The Eyes of the Army: Exploratory Mapping of the American West.”

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.


PR 03-157
ISSN 0731-3527