26+ quotes from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier by Stephen E. Ambrose

Quotes from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier

Stephen E. Ambrose ·  592 pages

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“Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction, careful as a father of those committed to his charge, yet steady in the maintenance of order and discipline, intimate with the Indian character, customs, and principles; habituated to the hunting life, guarded by exact observation of the vegetables and animals of his own country against losing time in the description of objects already possessed; honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound understanding, and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous that whatever he should report would be as certain as if seen by ourselves – with all these qualifications as if selected and implanted by nature in one body for this express purpose, I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him. To fill up the measure desired, he wanted nothing but a greater familiarity with the technical language of the natural sciences, and readiness in the astronomical observations necessary for the geography of his route. To acquire these he repaired immediately to Philadelphia, and placed himself under the tutorage of the distinguished professors of that place.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“No wrong will ever be done you by our nation.”3”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“The Enlightenment taught that observation unrecorded was knowledge lost.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“Jefferson could write, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“Anyone who has ever canoed on the upper Missouri River knows what a welcome sight a grove of cottonoods can be. They provide shade, shelter, and fuel. For Indian ponies, they provide food. For the Corps of Discovery, they provided wheels, wagons, and canoes.
Pioneering Lewis and Clark scholar Paul Russell Cutright pays the cottonwoods an appropriate tribute: 'Of all the wetern trees it contributed more to the success of the Expedition than any other. Lewis and Clark were men of great talent and resourcefulness, masters of ingenuity and improvisation. Though we think it probable that they would hae successfully crossed the continent without the cottonwood, don't as us how!”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“These are some of the qualities that make for a good company commander. Lewis had them in abundance, plus some special touches that made him a much-loved commander. He had a sense, a feel, for how his family was doing. He knew exactly when to take a break, when to issue a gill, when to push for more, when to encourage, when to inspire, when to tell a joke, when to be tough. He knew how to keep a distance between himself and the men, and just how big it should be. He knew his profession and was proud of it and one of the very best at it. •”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“In October 1805, Stoddard’s tour left St. Louis, including forty-five Indians from eleven tribes. They arrived in Washington in January 1806. Jefferson gave them the standard Great Father talk: “We are become as numerous as the leaves of the trees, and, tho’ we do not boast, we do not fear any nation. . . . My children, we are strong, we are numerous as the stars in the heavens, & we are all gun-men.” He followed the threat with the carrot: if they would be at peace with one another and trade with the Americans, they could be happy. (In reply, one of the chiefs said he was glad the Americans were as numerous as the stars in the skies, and powerful as well. So much the better, in fact, for that meant the government should be strong enough to keep white squatters off Indian lands.)”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“Profitable as it was to him, Jefferson hated slavery. He regarded it as a curse to Virginia and wished to see it abolished throughout the United States. Not, however, in his lifetime. He said that his generation was not ready for such a step. He would leave that reform to the next generation of Virginians, and was sure they would make Virginia the first southern state to abolish slavery. He thought the young men coming of age in postwar Virginia were superbly qualified to bring the American Revolution to this triumphant conclusion because, as he said, these young men had “sucked in the principles of liberty as if it were their mother’s milk.”18”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“IV. It is today as Lewis saw it. The White Cliffs can be seen only from small boat or canoe. Put in at Fort Benton and take out three or four days later at Judith Landing. Missouri River Outfitters at Fort Benton, Montana, rents canoes or provides a guided tour by pontoon boat. Of all the historic and/or scenic sights we have visited in the world, this is number one. We have made the trip ten times.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“That evening, the first Americans ever to enter Montana, the first ever to see the Yellowstone, the Milk, the Marias, and the Great Falls, the first Americans ever to kill a grizzly, celebrated their nation’s twenty-ninth birthday.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“May works be the test of patriotism as they ought, of right, to be of religion.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“A critical fact in the world of 1801 was that nothing moved faster than the speed of a horse. No human being, no manufactured item, no bushel of wheat, no side of beef (or any beef on the hoof, for that matter), no letter, no information, no idea, order, or instruction of any kind moved faster.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“On his thirty-first birthday, Lewis wrote, in a famous passage, “This day I completed my thirty first year. . . . I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little indeed, to further the hapiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now soarly feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended.” He resolved: “In future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself.”5”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“Vice-President Aaron Burr was full of plots and schemes and conspiracies to break the west loose from the United States and form a new nation. Jefferson”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“As I have always held it a crime to anticipate evils I will believe it a good comfortable road untill I am conpelled to beleive differently.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“History of the United States in the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson,”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“In the morning, fog. As it slowly lifted, the expedition set off.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“In addition, it seemed unlikely that one nation could govern an entire continent. The distances were just too great. A critical fact in the world of 1801 was that nothing moved faster than the speed of a horse. No human being, no manufactured item, no bushel of wheat, no side of beef (or any beef on the hoof, for that matter), no letter, no information, no idea, order, or instruction of any kind moved faster. Nothing ever had moved any faster, and, as far as Jefferson’s contemporaries were able to tell, nothing ever would.I And”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“So it had always been and apparently would be. The terms “peace” and “war” as understood by the Americans had no meaning to the Indians. Hostilities could break out at any time, for no apparent cause other than the restlessness of the young warriors, spurred by their desire for honor and glory, which could only be won on raids, which always brought on revenge raids, in a regular cycle. The captains were hopelessly naïve on this point. Lewis was sure he had created a peace in the face of overwhelming evidence that his words were carried away by the wind. He told Larocque of his confidence in his “very grand plan,” but Larocque had doubts, and rightly so.13 The”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“What the Shoshones valued above all else, and depended on absolutely, was the bravery of their young men. Their childrearing system was designed to produce brave warriors. “They seldom correct their children,” Lewis wrote, “particularly the boys who soon became masters of their own acts. They give as a reason that it cows and breaks the Sperit of the boy to whip him, and that he never recovers his independence of mind after he is grown.” In”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“But it was all a pipe dream. As well try to stop an avalanche as to stop the moving frontier. American immigrants and emigrants wanted their share of land—free land—a farm in the family—the dream of European peasants for hundreds of years—the New World’s great gift to the old. Moving west with the tide were the hucksters, the lawyers, merchants, and other men on the make looking for the main chance, men who could manufacture a land warrant in the wink of an eye. This”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“The Natchez Trace seemed much safer to him than risking a sailboat from New Orleans to Washington,”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“How he led is no mystery. His techniques were time-honored. He knew his men. He saw to it that they had dry socks, enough food, sufficient clothing. He pushed them to but never beyond the breaking point. He got out of them more than they knew they had to give. His concern for them was that of a father for his son. He was the head of a family. He”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“So intense was the partisanship of the day, so much did the Federalists hate and fear Jefferson, that they were ready to turn the country over to Aaron Burr. Had they succeeded and made Burr the president, there would almost certainly be no republic today. Fortunately for all, Hamilton was smart enough and honest enough to realize that Jefferson was the lesser evil. He used his influence to break the deadlock. On the thirty-sixth ballot, February 17, 1801, Jefferson was chosen president and Burr was elected vice-president. It was an age marked by”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“whiskey. The chiefs were “exceedingly fond of it, they took up an empty bottle, Smelted it, and made maney Simple jestures and Soon began to be troublesom.” Clark”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


“as Lewis saw it. The White Cliffs can be seen only from small boat or canoe. Put in at Fort Benton and take out three or four days later at Judith Landing. Missouri River Outfitters at Fort Benton, Montana, rents canoes or provides a guided tour by pontoon boat. Of all the historic and/or scenic sights we have visited in the world, this is number one. We have made the trip ten times.”
― Stephen E. Ambrose, quote from Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier


About the author

Stephen E. Ambrose
Born place: in Lovington, Illinois, The United States
Born date January 10, 1936
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