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Wrighting the West: Leaving Marks in Frank X Walker's York Poems

Wrighting the West: Leaving Marks in Frank X Walker's York Poems Wrighting the West Leaving Marks in Frank X Walker’s York Poems Jimmy Dean Smith On September 26, 1806, Captain Meriwether Lewis, back in civilization and a guest in the home of Jean Pierre Choteau of St. Louis, composed one fi nal entry for the journals in which he and William Clark recorded the three- year expedition of the Corps of Discovery. “A fi ne morning,” he wrote, “we commenced wrighting &c” (Journals). Gary E. Moulton, who edited Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition for the University of Nebraska Press, calls this entry “anticlimactic” (lxii). In fact, Moulton omits the entry alto- gether from his single volume abridgement of Lewis and Clark, a notable decision since these are, after all, the Journals’ last words. Scholars preparing the digital edition of the Journals for the Uni- versity of Nebraska believe that this day’s “wrighting” involved completing mostly ceremonial letters to the president and other political fi gures (n2), a falling off that concludes what Moulton calls “An American Epic of Discovery” in bureaucratic necessity. Regard- ing a metaliterary reading of “wrighting”— i.e., that Lewis was, in fact, adding content to the journals themselves or even beginning the process of creating http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Western American Literature The Western Literature Association

Wrighting the West: Leaving Marks in Frank X Walker's York Poems

Western American Literature , Volume 52 (4) – Feb 9, 2018

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Publisher
The Western Literature Association
ISSN
1948-7142

Abstract

Wrighting the West Leaving Marks in Frank X Walker’s York Poems Jimmy Dean Smith On September 26, 1806, Captain Meriwether Lewis, back in civilization and a guest in the home of Jean Pierre Choteau of St. Louis, composed one fi nal entry for the journals in which he and William Clark recorded the three- year expedition of the Corps of Discovery. “A fi ne morning,” he wrote, “we commenced wrighting &c” (Journals). Gary E. Moulton, who edited Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition for the University of Nebraska Press, calls this entry “anticlimactic” (lxii). In fact, Moulton omits the entry alto- gether from his single volume abridgement of Lewis and Clark, a notable decision since these are, after all, the Journals’ last words. Scholars preparing the digital edition of the Journals for the Uni- versity of Nebraska believe that this day’s “wrighting” involved completing mostly ceremonial letters to the president and other political fi gures (n2), a falling off that concludes what Moulton calls “An American Epic of Discovery” in bureaucratic necessity. Regard- ing a metaliterary reading of “wrighting”— i.e., that Lewis was, in fact, adding content to the journals themselves or even beginning the process of creating

Journal

Western American LiteratureThe Western Literature Association

Published: Feb 9, 2018

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