Louisiana Purchase

Written in haste, on an April midnight in 1803, the unedited text of the message that led to the Louisiana Purchase is printed for the first time.

AFTER THREE TIMES traveling the trail they blazed, the author imagines what the two captains of Jefferson’s Corps of Discovery would make of the civilization we have built on the tremendous promise they offered

The idea goes back to the very beginnings of our national history. Then as now, it was built upon human relationships, and these—as Mr. Jefferson found to his sorrow—make a fragile foundation.