Meriwether Lewis’ Disputed Death 1774


Nearly two hundred years after the death of Meriwether Lewis, questions are still being asked about the mysterious circumstances surrounding it.

Meriwether Lewis, captain of the Corps of Discovery and co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition died under mysterious and (as yet) unknown circumstances.


Lewis, one of the co-leaders of the Corps of Discovery, was born in 1774, and was a private secretary to President Thomas Jefferson.  Lewis, along with William Clark, led the expedition that mapped the American west.  A few years following their return, Lewis had major financial and political difficulties.

While traveling on the Natchez Trace, on his way to Washington, Lewis stopped to spend the night at Grinder’s Stand.  During the night, shots were heard, along with Lewis’ cry for help.  Lewis’ body was found, and his death called a suicide.  However, the disappearance of his gold watch, and the sudden financial prosperity of the Grinder family, has made historians question whether Lewis was the victim of foul play.

To this day, his fate is still in question.  Requests to exhume and examine his body, have been denied.

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