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Meriwether Lewis Park and National Monument

Meriwether Lewis Park and National Monument
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Why was Meriwether Lewis on the Natchez Trace? 
In September 1809, Meriwether Lewis was living in St. Louis as the appointed Governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory. He left St. Louis for Washington, DC, on September 4, 1809, to protest the War Department’s denial of payment vouchers that he had submitted for reimbursement. Lewis traveled with his personal servant, a free African American man named John Pernia.

Lewis traveled to Fort Pickering (modern-day Memphis, Tennessee) by boat and intended to proceed down the Mississippi River to New Orleans and then travel by ship to Washington, DC. Rumors of war with Britain and the thought of his journals from the Corps of Discovery falling into their hands changed his mind. He decided to travel overland to the nation’s capital.

Lewis left Fort Pickering on September 29th with John Pernia, Major James Neelly- the US Indian agent to the Chickasaw- and Neelly’s enslaved servant. 

Lewis arrived at Grinder’s Stand on the evening of October 10, 1809. He was accompanied by Pernia and Neelly’s enslaved servant. James Neelly remained farther south, looking for horses that had escaped the previous night. Lewis stayed in the cabin while Pernia and Neelly’s enslaved servant stayed in the stables. Mrs. Grinder and her children stayed in the kitchen separate from the house. In the middle of the night Mrs. Grinder heard two gun shots and found Lewis bleeding from his wounds. By sunrise on October 11,1809, Lewis was dead. Historical a

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LOCATION

Meriwether Lewis Park and National Monument

Meriwether Lewis Park Road, Hohenwald, TN 38462

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