PROCEEDINGSOFTHEACADEMYOFNATURALSCIENCESOFPHILADELPHIA
150:47-58.
14
APRIL
2000
Anationaltreasure:Accounting·forthenaturalhistoryspecimensfromtheLewisandClarkExpedition westernNorthAmerica,1803-1806 intheAcademy
 
NaturalSciences
 
Philadelphia
EARLE
E.
SPAMER,RICHARD
M.
MCCOURT
Department
of
Botany,Academy
of
Natural
Sciences
of
Pbiladelpbia,1900Benjamin
hanklin
Parkway,PbiladelpbiaPA19101195,U.S.A.
ROBERTMIDDLETON
AdjunctCurator
of
Mineralogy,Academy
of
Natural
Sciences
of
PbiladelpbiaP.O.Box
870,
RockportME04856,U.S.A.
EDWARDGILMORE
VertebrateZoology,Academy
of
Natural
Sciences
of
Pbiladelpbia,1900BenjaminFranklinParkway,PhiladelpbiaPA19101195,U.S.A.
SEAN
B
DURAN
ExbibitsDepartment,Academy
of
Natural
Sciences
of
Pbiladelpbia
Present
address:
MiamiMuseum
of
Science,
3280SombMiamiAvenue,Miami
 I
33129,
U.S.A.
ABSTRACT-Nearly
all
of
the
naturalhistory
specimens
now
survivingfromthe
Lewis
and
ClarkExpedition
across
westernNorthAmerica
in
1803-1806
arein
theAcademy
ofNatural
Sciences
ofPhiladelphia.
Thesespecimensencompassgeology
(two
rocks
and
seven
minerals),paleontology
(one
vertebrate
fossil),
botany
(226
herbarium
sheets),and
herpetology
(one
specimen).This
is
abriefaccountingonly,but
it
is
the
firstsuch
summary
ever
oftheAcademy's
Lewis
and
Clarkholdings.Alsoincludedhere
are
the
first
illustrationsoftherock,mineral,
and
reptile
specimens.
Dataaccompanyingthe
snake
specimenindicatethat
it
is
fromtheexpedition-anuncertainassociation-andthispaperprovidesacircumspectual
analysis
of
thesedata.
INTRODUCTION
The
Lewis
andClark
Expedition
of
1803-1806
is
celebrated
in
America.Thiswasanexplorationmandated
by
the
u.s.
Congress
through
theefforts
of
President
Thomas
Jefferson,principally
to
determine
the
practicality
of
acommercialroute,mainly
by
water,
from
the
MississippiRiver
to
thePacificOcean.JeffersonappointedMeriwetherLewisandWilliam
Clarkto
organize
and
command
the
 Corpsof
Discovery ,
and
itwas
by
their
names
that
theventureeventuallybecame
known.The
explorerswere
to
mapthegeographyenroute,andtoidentifyresources
and
Native
American
inhabitation
of
thehugeLouisiana
Territory,
purchased
by
the
United
States
from
France
inApril
1803,
and
the
foreign
territoryfrom
the
Continental
Divide
to
thePacific.
From
thevantage
of
scientificdiscoveryitwas
in
everyrespectanexploration
of
unknown
land,anditwashighlyorganized.
By
Jefferson'sdirection,beforeleavingtheeasternseaboardLewiswas
tutoredby
leadingscholars
in
a
number
of
sciencesandinstructedinthepractical
47
methods
bywhichto
collectspecimens.Lewissupervisedconstruction
of
theirboat
in
Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania,
and
departed
down
the
Ohio
River
on
31
August
1803.
The
fullystaffed
and
outfittedexpedi
tion
began
theirjourney
uptheMissouriRiver
on
14
May
1804,
returning
to
S1.
Louis,Missouri,
on
23
September
1806.
Now
approachingitsbicentenary,theLewisand
Clark
Expedition
is
inspiringrenewedinterestacrossa
broad
range
of
scholarlyfields,science
andhistory
alike.
In
thepastfewyearsseveral
popularbooks
on
theexpeditionhavebeenpublished,atelevision
documentary
hasbeenproduced,NativeAmericaninterpreter
and
ethnobotanistSacagaweahasbeenfeatured
on
the
new
one-dollarcoin,
and
scholars
and
the
laypublic
alill:e
havebeenincreasingly
keen
to
know
more-and
to
see
the
surviving
relics-of
what
arguably
is
the
United
States'mostdaring
and
firsttransnationalexpedition.Somewriters
inpopular
literaturehavemadeinterestingcomparisons
of
thedangers
and
unknowns
faced
bothby
theLewisand
Clark
Expedition
and
theastronauts
who
landed
on
 
48
the
moon.
Buttheydiffergreatlyinseveralmajor
areas-forehand
knowledge
of
destinationandterrain;thecalculateddangers
to
theexplorers;thekinds
of
technologyusedforlocation-finding,survival,andscientificstudy;andthekindsofknowledgederived
from
theexplorationandmaterialsreturned.TheCorps
of
Discoveryandthe
moon
landingswereliterallyworldsapart.Eveninretrospect,however,thespecimens
that
werereturned
by
LewisandClarkwere
as
exotic,instructive,andscientificallyvaluable
as
moon
rocks.Asignificant
amountof
taxonomicresearchhasbeenconducted
on
thepressedplantspecimensre
turned
by
LewisandClark.Mostrecently,theentirecollectionhasbeenreevaluatedbysystematicbotanistsandhistorians(Revealetal.,
1999;
Moulton,1999).But
of
lesser
renown
arethenon-botanicalnaturalhistoryspecimens.
None
arenewdiscoverieshere,
butthey
areoverlooked
in
theclamorforhistoricalreviews
of
theexpeditionandforpreservationoftheLewisand
Clark
Herbarium.Afossilfishjaw
is
knownto
paleontologists,doublyimportant
as
thetypespecimenforitsspecies.Therocksandminerals,infrequentlymentionedinwidelyscatteredliterature,apparentlyhaveneverbeenillustratedbefore.
An
alcohol-preservedsnake
purported
tobefromtheexpeditionhasreceivedlittlemore
than
aparentheticalnote
in
print
more
than
acenturyandahalfago.
The
results
of
LewisandClark'sobservationsandcollections
of
naturalhistoryspecimensaremeticulouslydescribed
from
thewrittenaccountsoftheexplorers.
Their
journalshavebeenpublished,revised,andtranslated
bymany
editorssincetheearlynineteenthcentury,usuallyabridged,but
now
theyareavailable,unabridgedandnewlyannotated,inthejust-completedseries
byMoulton
(1986-1999).AllofthewritingsofLewis,Clark,and
other
membersoftheexpedition
whokept
journals,aretranscribedandannotatedtothe
pointthat
historianshavearemarkablerecord
of
themovementsanddoings
ofnot
justtheexpedition
as
awholebut
ofmanyof
itsindividualmembers.
The
journalsthemselvesareallwellkeptnow;mostof
them
areattheAmericanPhilosophicalSociety
(APS)
in
Philadelphia.(ForanaccountingoftheLewisand
Clark
Expeditionwrittenmaterials,
see
Moulton,1986.)
The
specimensthatwerecollected,however,sufferedfar
more
ignoblefates;asignificantnumber
ofthem
arelost.Mishapsoccurred
in
thefield,somedid
not
survivethetripbacktoSt.Louis,andsomeweredestroyed
by
pestsduringshipmentandlaterstorage.
Many
specimens,recordedininventoriesmade
in
easterncities,can
notnow
belocated.Evenso,whatdoesremain
is
astonishing.HistoriansandscientistsalikehavelocatedtheLewisand
Clark
naturalhistoryspecimens,eitherfrompurelyhistoricalinterest
as
relics
of
agreatexploringexpedition,
or
forparticulartaxonomicstudiesrelating
E.E.
SP
AMERET
AL.
toresearchathand.
What
is
known
of
theanimalspecimens
is
thatnearlyallweredispersed,lost,anddestroyed,mostlyduringthenineteenthcentury.
The
rocksandmineralslikewisehavebeenmostlylost.
The
plantspecimenshavebestsurvived,due
partly
toforgetfulness,partlytounsanctionedremovaltoEngland,andpartlytoacompletelyfortuitousseries
of
eventsthatledtotherepatriation
of
virtuallyall
of
theplantspecimensinPhiladelphianearlyacenturyaftertheexpedition.AlthoughtheAcademy
is
thecustodianofalmostallnaturalhistoryspecimens
known
to
survive
from
thisexpedition,nosummary
of
theirstatushasbeenpresentedinoneplace.
Now,
inspired
by
thebicentennial
of
theexpedition,morerequestsforinformationandaccesstothespecimenshavebeenarrivingfromresearchersandthecuriousalike.
Where
beforemostinterestwasheldinthescientificallycriticalspecimens,
now
eventhemoreordinary(thoughhistorical)specimensareseenwithgreatinterest.Since
by
rightsthesespecimens,thegains
of
a
Government
expedition,arealegacypreservedfortheAmericanpeople,
as
well
as
beinguniquescientificresearchmaterialsfortheworldatlarge,theAcademymust
both
accountfor
them
andmakethebestpossibleeffortstoprovideinformationaboutthem.
The
presentpaperservestheimmediatepurpose
of
documentingtheAcademy'sholdings
of
Lewisand
Clark
naturalhistoryspecimensattheclose
of
thetwentiethcentury.
It
addsanoverviewoftheAcademy'srole
as
custodianandincludesaliteraturelist
of
popularandscientificstartingpointsforhistoricalresearchrelatingtothesespecimens.
ROCKS
AND
MINERALS
Geology,whichbroadlyincludesthedisciplines
of
paleontology(whichwediscussseparately)andmineralogy,was
not
amainconcern
of
theLewisand
Clark
Expedition.Variousnotesweremade
of
geologicaloccurrencesalongtheroute,such
as
saltdeposits,andafewmineralogicalobservationsweremade,
but
collectionswere
not
many
when
compared
to
thosemade
of
animalsandplants.Eventhedisposition
of
thegeologicalcollectionsquicklybecameconfusedaftertheirdeliverytoJeffersonandlatertotheAmericanPhilosophicalSociety.
Any
history
of
mineralogy
in
North
AmericabeginswithAdamSeybert
of
Philadelphia.
He
wasthefirstmajormineralogist
of
this
country
andwastheauthoritywith
whom
anyoneinterestedinmineralogyconferred.GreeneandBurke
(1978)
providedathoroughhistory
of
earlyAmericanmineralogy,includingdiscussions
of
Seybert'scollection,thefirst
in
America.Asynopsis
of
Seybert'sconnections
with
eighteenthandearlynineteenthcenturycollectorsandcollections,inAmericaandEurope,waspublished
by
 
LEWIS
ANDCLARKNATURALHISTORYSPECIMENSINANSP
49
Fig.
1.
MineralscollectedduringtheLewisandClarkExpedition,fromtheSeybertCollectionnowintheAcademyofNaturalSciences.Theonlyspecimenwithapreciselyknowndateofcollection
is
the CrossedcrystalsofSulphatofLime (fourthspecimenfromleftinuppergroupof
five),
fromthe banksoftheMissouri
23
August
1804
(SeybertCollection,
799).
Thetwolowerspecimens,withtheSeybertCollectionnumbers
803
and
804,
werecollectedfromtheCalumetBluffs,Missouri,thoughtheirdatesarenotrecorded.ThesespecimensandthoseinFigs.2and3werepartofAdamSeybert'scollectionofrocksandminerals,purchasedbytheAcademyofNaturalSciencesin
1812.
Thiscollectionformedpartofthecore
of
theAcademy'spresentpanregnalcollectionsnumberingtensofmillionsofspecimens.Fig.
2.
Apieceofnaturallyburnedcoalifiedstrata,fromnear
Fort
Mandaninpresent-day
North
Dakota.(ANSP
3916,
PetrologicCollection;SeybertCollection,
535.)
Wilson(1994:149).Seybert's2,000-specimencollectionwasbought
by
thenewlyfoundedAcademyofNaturalSciencesin1812for 750and
is
amongtheveryfirstoftheAcademy'saccessions.His
1825
autograph Catalogue
Fig.
3.
Apieceofpumice,foundfloatingontheMissouriRiver.(SeybertCollection,
534.)
ofMinerals ,
now
in
theArchives
of
theAcademy,enumeratestheentirecollection.However,GreeneandBurke
(1978:
29,footnote
20)
notedthat
 The
numbersoftheentriesdo
not
correspond
to
thoseofthemineralsintheSeybertcollectionattheAcademy;
 
50thesearetagged
in
correspondence
withthe
entries
in
alatercatalog
in
Seybert's
hand
dated1825.
Green
andBurke
(1978:29-30)have
provided
the
best
review
available
of
the
sketchyconnection
of
Seybert
with
the
Lewis
andClark
collections.Seybert
had
obtained
34specimenscollected
during
the
Lewis
and
Clark
Expedition,
but
 How
Seybertacquiredthesespecimens
is
not
indicated (Greene
and
Burke,1978:29).Specimensincludefossils,sedimentsamples,
and
hand
specimens
of
rocks.
They
wereitemized
by
GreeneandBurke
(1978:29-30,
footnote
22).
The
Seybert
Collection
list,however,does
not
contain
all
of
the
specimens
known
to
havebeensent
from
the
field
by
Lewis
and
Clark.
Moulton
(1987:472-478)
reproduced
alist
of
67
or
68
rocks
and
mineralsreceived
from
Lewisat
the
APS,
as
invento
ried
there
by
John
Vaughan
on
16
November
1805.
The
transcriptions
ofmany
lineitemsincludesubse
quent
annotations
written
by
Adam
Seybert.(The
confusion
in
the
number
of
specimens
may
bethe
error
either
of
Lewis
or
Vaughan,according
to
Moul
ton.
The
listincludes
the
fossilfishjaw,discussed
more
fullybelow.)
Moulton s
observation
(p.
472)
thatmost
specimens have
been
lost
is
followed
with
an
emollient,
that The
specimens
may
not
haveall
arrived
safely
at
Philadelphiaconsidering
that
someitemshave
thenote
'labelonly'
(p.
473).
Moultonnoted
that
somespecimenswerelater
movedto
the
Academy, where
they
were
integrated
with
the
Academy s
generalcollectionsand
not
differentiated
as
Lewis
andClark
pieces.
This
may
beso,given
thatit
is
a
common
museum
practice
to
absorb
into
one
collection
the
entire
holdings
of
another,
but
curiousgiven
that
data
containedwith
suchcollections,including
previousdonors,
areusuallytranscribed.
Throughout
the
Academy s
MineralogyCollection
there
are
numerous
suchaccessions,
noted
on
nine
teenthcentury
labels,including
among
them
hundreds
from
the
APS.So
perhaps
theLewis
and
Clark
specimensare
there
afterall,
now
acknowledged
only
as
from
the
APS.
Moulton
also
may
not
have
known
thatthe
historicSeybert
Collection
is
stillsegregated
andin
fact
is
stored
in
a
contemporary
cabinetbuilt
foritand
bearinga
metal
plaque
with
thedate1825.
Presumablythe
cabinetcomplementstheautographcatalogue
compiled
by
Seybert
shortly
beforehisdeathOater
that
year).
Curators
havesearchedseveraltimes
throughthe
Academy s
collections
for
evidence
of
Lewis
and
Clark
geologicalspecimens.
Either
most
are
now
lost,
or
they
do
in
factlie
in
thecollections
withoutany
indication
thatthey
were
from
Lewis
and
Clark.
Only
fivespecimenscan
now
beascribedcertainly
to
thisexpedition,
two
rocks
and
three
minerals(Figs.
1
3;
quotations
are
from
Seybert'scatalogue;alsosee
appended
notes):
E.E.
SPAMER
ET
AL.
 Pumice,foundfloatingontheMissouri.Captn.Lewis.
-SeybertCollection,
534.
2
 Slag
like
Lava.
inthe
sides
of
the
hillsin
theneighborhood
of
fortMandane
1609
miles
abovethemouthoftheMissouri.Captn.
Lewis.
-
 NSP
3916
 PetrologicCollection ,
ex
SeybertCollection,
535.
3 CrossedcrystalsofSulphatof
Lime.
locality
same
as
798
 c.
[798
=
 banks
of
theMissouri.
23d
Augst.
1804.
Captn.
Lewis ]
-
SeybertCollection,
799.
4,5
 Crystallizedsulphatof
Lime.
Calumet
Bluffs.
Missouri.Captn.Lewis. -
SeybertCollection,
802-805.
Noteon
no.
1:
Lewis'sdonationto
APS
recordedthereon
16
November
1805
includesnoticeoftwospecimensof pummiceStone ,eitherofwhichcould
be
thisone.They
are
(as
quoted
as
partofthe FortMandanMiscellany byMoulton,
1987:
478)
the
one
cited
in
noteno.
2,
below,
and:
 62
SpecimenofthepummiceStonefoundamongstthe
piles
ofdriftwoodontheMissouri,Sometimesfound
as
lowdown
as
themouthofthe
osage
river.I
can
hearof
no
burningmountain
in
theneighborhoodoftheMissou
ri
or
its
Branches,butthe
bluffs
oftheRiver
are
nowon
fire
at
Severalplaces,
particularlythatpartnamedinourchartoftheMissouri
The
Bllrning
Bluffs.
Theplainsinmany
places,
thoughoutthis
grea6t
extentofopencountry,exhibitabundantproofsofhavingbeenonceon
fire-
Witnessthe
Specimens
of
Lava
andPummicestonefoundintheHillsnearfort
mandon-
Inaddition,no.
67
in
the
APS
listfurthernotes: Thetract
of
CountrywhichfurnishesthePummiceStone
seen
floatingdowntheMisouri,
is
ratherburningorburntplainsthanburningmountains-
Noteonno.
2:
A
mid-
orlate-nineteenthcentury
Acade
mylabelfromthePetrologicCollectionreads, SupposedLava:-Slagfromburning
coal
strata,NearFortMandan.UpperMissouri.Am.Ph.
Soc.
indicatingithadbeenreceivedfromtheAmericanPhilosophicalSociety,butthatconflictswiththe
fact
that
it
is
fromtheSeybertCollectionboughtbytheAcademy
in
1812.
ThelatterlabelmightreflectsomeinformationthathadaccompaniedthespecimentoSeybert.Lewis'sdonationtothe
APS
of
16
November
1805
includednoticeofspecimensamongwhichmay
have
beenthis
one
(as
quoted
by
Moulton,
1987:478):
 67.
ASpecimenof
Lava
&pummiceStonefoundin
great
abundanceonthe
Sides
oftheHillsintheNeighborhoodofFortMandan
1609
miles
abovethemouthoftheMissouri-exposed
by
thewashingoftheHillsfromthe
rains
&melting
Snow.-
Noteon
no.
3:
Noneofthejournalsforthe
Lewisand
ClarkExpeditiononthis
date
mentionthismineral
 if.
Moulton,
1986:
502-503).
Noteon
nos.
4,
5:
Only
803
and
804
are
presentwiththeirnumbersstill
affixed.
Other
mineral
specimens
were
found
associated
with
thosecitedabove(also
shown
in
Fig.
1),
butwhether
they,
too,
are
from
Lewis
andClark
is
not
as
certain.
 
they
are,
they
couldbe
any
of
severallisted
in
theLewis
and
Clark,
APS,
and
Seybertinventories.
The
Academy'sPetrologicCollection,
or
non
mineralogical
rock
and
sedimentcollection,wasplaced
 
LEWIS
ANDCLARKNATURALHISTORYSPECIMENSINANSP
51
Fig
..
4.
Saurocephalus
Harlan,
HOLOTYPE
(ANSP
5516,
VertebratePaleontoloogy),collected
6
August
1804
by
p。エョセォ
Gassofthe
LeWIS
andClark
 クー・セゥエゥッョ
?n
sッャ、セ・イ
Rive.r
nearitsconfluencewiththeMissouriRiver,inpresent-day
Harmon
County,Iowa.
From
theAmencanPhIlosophIcal
SOClety
to
theAcademyofNaturalSciences.
in
storage
in
1978.ANSP3916itemizedabovewaswithheldandreturnedtotheSeybertCollection.
In
1993,
by
action
of
theBoard
of
TrusteesoftheAcademy,thePetrologicCollectionwasformallytransferredtotheWagnerFreeInstituteofScience,inPhiladelphia(SpameretaI.,1993).
In
theinventorylist,madein
1978
from
alllabelinginthecollection,there
is
noindication
that
thiscollectionincludesanything
frem
LewisandClark.FOSSILSFossilsarerarelymentionedinLewisandClark'sjournals,andjustonespecimen
is
known
tosurvive(Fig.
4).
 t
is
anupper-jawfragmentwithteeth,which
Harlan
(1824:
331-337,
pI.
12,
figs.
1-5)
described
as
anewgenusandspecies,
Saurocephaluslanciformis
(ANSP5516,VertebratePaleontology);this
is
theholotype
of
thespecies.ItwascollectedfromCretaceousstrata
on
SoldierRivernearitsconfluencewiththeMissouriRiver[HarrisonCounty,Iowa],
by
PatrickGass
on
6August
1804.
Harlan
(1824)
gave
thespecimen'sprovenance
as
 found
in
acavernsituate[
d]
afewmilessouthoftheriver[Missouri],nearacreeknamedSoldier'sRiver ,whichinformationseemstohavebeentakenfromthefieldlabel.
That
label,untilrecentlystillaffixedtothespecimen,
is
written
in
Lewis'shand,thus:
9
petrifedjawboneofafish
or
someotheranamalfoundinacavern
S8a;Ulg,istaflb€l
a
few
milesdistantfromthe
 ゥウウッオイゥ セ
S.
sideoftheriver-
6;h
ofAugust
1804.
The
labelwasplacedintheAcademy'sArchives
in
theearly1990s.Unfortunately,neitherLewis,Clark,
nor
Gassmadereferencetothisspecimenintheirjournals
 cf
Moulton,
1986:
452-454,
1996:
26).
Itwasreceived
by
theAPS
on
16
November
1805.
The
fragment
that
survivestodaylackstheupperleftsegment
as
viewedinHarlan'sillustration(1824,
pI.
12,fig.3).
The
specimenhasbeendiscussedandre-illustrated
in
numerouspublications,
as
cited
by
Spameret
al.
(1995:
91-92).
PLANTS
Byfarthemostnumerousandmost-studied
of
theLewisandClarknaturalhistoryspecimensarethepressedplants.
The
Academyof
Natural
Sciencesholds226herbariumsheetsinitsLewisand
Clark
Herbarium;ninemoresheetsareintheherbariumattheRoyalBotanicGardens(Kew,Surrey,England).Afewsheetsinotherinstitutions
that
purport
to
beLewisandClarkcollectionseitherarehorticulturalspecimensgrownfromseedlater,
or
specimenscollected
by
others
on
laterexpeditions.Regardinghorticulturalspecimens,seedstaken
from
materialsreturned
by
theexpeditionare
known
tohavebeendistributed.
of 12