Several of us are continuing to do research regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of Meriwether Lewis. Great new evidence has been discovered indicating the involvement of army officers, just as the Brad Meltzer Decoded episode speculated. We are still following up leads, however, and are waiting to make any final conclusions. You may purchase the Decoded episode called Secret Presidential Codes at the History Channel Store. Or watch the episode on a one time basis through Amazon.com for $1.99. Here is the link to Amazon Instant Video.
Subsribe to the Proceeding On newsletter to receive any news of developments regarding the exhumation of Lewis's remains. We all deserve to know whether one of America's greatest heroes was assassinated, rather than continuing to accept the story of his suicide.
His many accomplishments after the return of the expedition have been unfairly neglected or mischaracterized due to the need to portray him as an unhappy individual. For example, a "loner" is NOT the type of personality who organizes the first Masonic Lodge in St. Louis, or arranges for the publication of the first newspaper west of the Missouri--let alone someone who serves as the Governor of Louisiana Territory and the Superintendent of Indian Affairs!
Contact Kira Gale at firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to Kira's latest blogs related to the show.
Tony Turnbow's discovery of where James Neelly really was when Lewis died
A motive for the Russell Statement forgery created by General Wilkinson
Read The Wall Street Journal article, "Meriwether Lewis's Final Journey Remains a Mystery," which appeared on its front page, September. 25, 2010 here
Dept of Interior turns down family's request for exhumation
Read the letter from Thomas Strickland, Asst. Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, to Colonel Thomas McSwain (April 2, 2010) here.
Read Colonel McSwain's reply on behalf of Lewis family members (April 19, 2010) here.
Read the original Dept of Interior letter granting approval for the permit process (June 17, 2009) here.
Read "Why Dig Up Lewis? Truth Is Important." by Bob Nelson, Omaha World-Herald. (April 23, 2010) here.
Read "This Is More Than History. It's a History Mystery" Omaha World-Herald article on Kira Gale by David Hendee (January 23, 2010) here.
Read "Stephen Ambrose's loss of credibility and the death of Meriwether Lewis" a blog by Kira Gale (April 29, 2010) here.
Listen to "The Man Who Double-crossed the Founders" a National Public Radio interview with Andro Linklater, author of Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary Double Life of General James Wilkinson (April 29, 2010) here.
Kira Gale discusses book on C-Span BookTV Link to C-Span video library recording of Kira Gale's book talk at Southern Book Festival, October 10, 2009. Click here.
You may also watch the BookTV book talk on YouTube. Click here.
Old News (2009)
The National Park Service announced at the ceremonies held on October 7th, 2009 at the gravesite of Meriwether Lewis that a three million dollar visitors center will be built at the National Monument & Gravesite.Over 1200 people attended the event, which was blessed by good weather in a week of rainy days.
All Things Considered National Public Radio Podcast: "Was Explorer Meriwether Lewis Murdered?"
Howell Bowen, Kira Gale and Jim Starrs were interviewed by Sandy Hausman of Virginia Public Radio for an interview aired on All Things Considered on July 8th.
The American Historical Association and The Scientific American websites have linked to the podcast. Click here to listen.
Two more podcasts
Book Expo of America podcast by James E. Starrs and Kira Gale. (5 minutes)
Book leads charge to solve mystery of explorer's death
Interview by Coy Barefoot on WINA Radio (19 minutes)
Charlottesville Right Now: Kira Gale
Nashville Tennesseean announces government will hold hearings
In a story dated June 18th, it was reported that Bill Reynolds, a spokesman for the Atlanta regional office of the National Park Service, said "that the government has decided to move forward with a barrage of hearings, meetings and paperwork that accompany it." Read the article here. The story was reprinted in USA Today on June 21st.
Descendants of Meriwether Lewis's family launch SolvetheMystery.org
The Lewis family has launched a website for the purpose of learning the truth about the death of their famous relative, www.solvethemystery.org Over 200 members of the family have signed a petition requesting exhumation and a Christian reburial with military honors at the National Monument gravesite in western Tennessee. Professor Starrs has obtained DNA samples from family members, and will lead the exhumation team if the National Park Service, which controls the gravesite, grants the family's request. Starrs is an emeritus professor of forensic science and law at George Washington University and has conducted many exhumations of historical interest.
Amazon Reviewer headlines
"A must read on one of America's greatest unsolved mysteries"
"Marvelous Mix of History and Mystery"
"A sleuth's delight on one of our nation's very early unsolved mysteries"
"Interesting Survey of an Inquiry Into the Death of Lewis (of Lewis & Clark)"
"If you Love Lewis and Clark You Will Love this book!"
"A New/Old Crime Scene Investigation"
"The History of Greed and Forgery"
"Very Well Written"
"A Strange Book and a Strange Story"
"An Attempt to Challenge History"
"The 'Scoundrel General' did it?"
The Coroner's Inquest Expert Witnesses--Part One
The Coroner's Inquest held in Lewis County, Tennessee in 1996 was organized by Professor Starrs. The jury verdict called for an exhumation of Lewis's remains to determine the cause of death. The request was denied by the National Park Service at that time, but a 2009 application to exhume the remains is currently being processed.The forensic investigators and historians and their topics featured are:
James E. Starrs Exhumation of gravesite
Arlen Large Suicide theory
John Guice Murder theory
Ruth Frick Lewis's finances
George Stephens Geology of the gravesite
Thomas Streed Suicide psychology
Jerry Francisco Gunshot wound analysis
Lucien Haag Firearms demonstration
Gerald Richards Document examinations
Martin Fackler Wound ballistics anyalsis
Duayne Dillon Handwriting analysis
Reimert Ravenhold Syphilis theory
William Bass Forensic anthropology
The Documents--Part Two
There are twenty documents relating to the death of Meriwether Lewis in Part Two of the book. This is essentially the entire historic record. One Amazon reviewer called it "the working tools of a historian." I provide commentary, as it really is pretty complicated. Readers will be able to judge the truth of the matter for themselves.
The Case for Murder--Part Three
I believe that Lewis was carrying documents to Washington that would have ruined General James Wilkinson's career, and perhaps he even had hard evidence of Wilkinson's treasonous activities. I also believe that he had evidence of a new filibuster plot to invade Mexico and seize the wealth of its silver mines. The documents section contains the report that Lewis's papers arrived in Virginia "so badly assorted that no idea could be given of them" after they had been carefully sorted and labeled in Tennessee after his death. The papers were carried to Washington by one of Wilkinson's men. Read for yourself, and see what you think!