Jefferson’s confidential message to Congress
On January 18, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson sent a secret message to Congress. In it, he asked Congress for $2500 to explore the West–all the way to the Pacific Ocean. At the time, the territory did not belong to the United States. Congress agreed to fund the expedition that would be led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
National Archives, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives Used with the permission of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Jefferson Buys Louisiana Territory, and the Nation Moves Westward
- Jefferson Looks Westward: President Secretly Sought Funds from Congress to Explore Louisiana Territory, Develop Trade