When Thomas Jefferson became president of the United States in 1801, he dreamed of sending an expedition to explore the little-known territory west of the Mississippi river.
Between 1783 and 1792 Jefferson has encouraged plans for three expeditions. All three expeditions failed. In January, 1803, he asked Congress for $2,500 to pay for an expedition that might journey as far as the Pacific Ocean. The request was approval and kept secret because most of the region to be
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showed last 75 words of 491 total
acquiring foreign territory. But popular enthusiasm for the purchase swept his doubts aside.
By the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 the United States bought from France a vast area of some 828,000 square miles. This was on the biggest land purchases in history. The area involved stretches for the Mississippi river in the east to the rocky mountains in the west and from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the United States-Canada border in the north.