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U.Va.’s C. Brian Kelly To Speak at July 4 Monticello Graveside Ceremony

Remembering "Mr. Jefferson’s Forgotten Expedition"

July 3, 2001-- Just as he sent William Clark and Meriwether Lewis to map the great Northwest, President Thomas Jefferson sent Thomas Freeman and Peter Custis to explore the southwestern United States. But the Freeman and Custis Expedition never gained the fame of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

C. Brian Kelly, a historical writer, author and lecturer in the English department at the University of Virginia, thinks it’s time to recognize these largely forgotten explorers for their contributions.

Kelly will discuss the Freeman and Custis Expedition at a wreath-laying ceremony at Thomas Jefferson’s grave at noon on July 4. His talk, sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution, will follow the annual Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m. on the lawn at Monticello. Both events are free and open to the public.

The Freeman and Custis Expedition plunged deep into the Louisiana Purchase territory by way of the Red River (which runs through modern-day Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas) only to be turned back by the Spanish 600 miles upstream. The Spanish had hoped to intercept both Jefferson-inspired expeditions into the newly acquired lands of the Louisiana Purchase west of the Mississippi, but never caught up with Lewis and Clark.

Kelly is developing the story of the forgotten expedition in more detail for his next book, "Best Little Stories from the Wild West," scheduled for publication in 2002.

Contact: Charlotte Crystal, (434) 924-6858

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 03-Jul-2001 15:34:14 EDT
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