WASHINGTON—Shedding light on the early trials the famed explorers encountered on their sojourn across the American West, a lost journal entry acquired Thursday by the Smithsonian Institution reveals that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark nearly turned back after tripping over a tree root. “In our observations of the newly acquired territory, we have noticed that this land sucks, a fucking tree root fucked up my ankle, and we want to go home,” reads the entry from Clark, who describes how Shoshone guide Sacagawea had to convince the exploration party to keep going after Lewis and Clark both “ate shit” on a gnarled root that was obscured by brush. “It has come to our attention that someone else should probably look for the Northwest Passage, because we’re covered in dirt and mud, my big toe is completely swollen, and we’re being eaten alive by bugs. This whole expedition is bullshit.” The entry concludes with Clark making the case that President Thomas Jefferson’s “privileged ass” should explore the Louisiana Territory if he thought it was so great.
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