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Insights into Nineteenth Century US Westward Expansion from the River Basin Surveys Collections.

Author(s): Lotte E Govaerts

Year: 2015

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At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Louisiana Purchase significantly expanded the United States. For decades thereafter, the Missouri River was the main transportation route for US interests in the new northwestern regions of its territory. Consequently, many sites related to US colonialist expansion in the form of fur trade posts, military forts, Indian Agencies, and early US settlement, were located along the Missouri River. Several of these sites were investigated during the River Basin Surveys (RBS – a large scale salvage project that took place in the mid-twentieth century), prior to their inundation. Materials collected during the RBS are curated at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. This paper explores how these "old" collections can provide new insights into the processes by which the US expanded its influence and presence westward throughout the nineteenth century.

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Insights into Nineteenth Century US Westward Expansion from the River Basin Surveys Collections.. Lotte E Govaerts. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433860)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 248

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America