C. Brian Kelly To Speak at July 4 Monticello Graveside Ceremony
Jeffersons Forgotten Expedition"
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.
Brian Kelly, a historical writer, author and lecturer in the English
department at the University of Virginia, thinks its time
to recognize these largely forgotten explorers for their contributions.
will discuss the Freeman and Custis Expedition at a wreath-laying
ceremony at Thomas Jeffersons 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.
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.
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.
Charlotte Crystal, (434) 924-6858