Page 95

Book Reviews and Notices Thwaites and published in 1904-5. Moulton, like Thwaites before him, has used the 180-year-old field journals of the expedition (preserved in the collection of the American Philosophical Society) as the basis for this new version, and there might be temptation, therefore, to view the Moulton edition as simply a rehashing of Thwaites. Nothing could be further from the truth. To begin with, there is a great deal of both primary and secondary material relating to the Lewis and Clark expedition that has been discovered, rediscovered, or assembled by researchers during the 80-year time span between the Thwaites edition and the new yionlton Journals. Some of the newly discovered primary material is cartographic in nature and was included by Moulton in volume 1 (the atlas) of the current project. Other primary materials unavailable to Thwaites consist of correspondence and journals of the captains and several members of their party which have been utilized in the development of this first text volume of the new Journals. Additionally, Moulton has benefited from the magnificent documentary collection. Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with Related Documents (edited by Donald Jackson), and from several thematic, book-length works on the natural history, geography, ethnography, and medical history of the expedition. Finally, Moulton, unlike Thwaites, has traveled over most of the terrain covered by Lewis and Clark and, therefore, operates

301 from a basis of geographic certainty (frequently missing in the Thwaites work) in campsite and landmark identification. All of this makes the new version of the Journals much more ambitious and valuable than Thwaites's edition. Moulton's editorial efforts are simply more substantial and more substantive than those of his predecessor; this is no criticism of Thwaites but merely a recognition of the contributions of nearly a century of Lewis and Clark scholarship. It is also a recognition of the increasing sophistication of editorial techniques, and this is where Moulton's ability shines. He never lets his presence as editor get between the reader and the material. At the very outset of the volume Moulton introduces his subject matter (the documents relating to the expedition) and explains his editorial procedures. He then lets the words of the captains tell the story, intruding gently at the end of each daily journal entry to provide footnotes and annotations. If the criterion for good editing of an exploratory account is that it should result in a narrative that is as gripping as an adventure story, then Moulton's success as editor is unquestioned. This volume, along with the atlas, is an auspicious beginning for a major work in early.western American history.


University of Connecticut Storrs

Profile for Utah State History

Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, Number 3, 1987