Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Can CSI Techniques Solve a 200 year-old Mystery?

Was Meriwether Lewis, the great explorer and co-captain of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, a victim of murder or did he die by his own hand at an inn for travelers on October 11, 1809? The answer to this unsolved historical mystery may lie in a grave in Hohenwald, Tennessee along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

There are many opinions on whether the body should be removed and whether it will actually provide any answers. With the support of Lewis’s relatives, researchers have filed a petition with the National Park Service to exhume the body.

For more information on the Lewis family’s quest, visit their website, Solve The Mystery.

In my recent research on the Parkway, I became interested in the question that has fascinated historians for almost two centuries now. When I started my research, I had no idea the great explorer died on the Trace under mysterious circumstances. When I typed The End on my manuscript, the mystery of Meriwether Lewis’s death played a pivotal role in my novel.

To learn more about this fascinating piece of history, plan a visit to the Meriwether Lewis site at milepost 385.9 on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Click here for a list of Ranger-led activities and talks to learn more about the explorer.

[Photo: Meriwether Lewis's gravesite.]


Kira Gale said...

Rae Ann, you are right on target! We have a new book out, The Death of Meriwether Lewis: A Historic Crime Scene Investigation by James E. Starrs and Kira Gale. It contains the transcript of the Coroner's Inquest held in Lewis County in 1996; all the documents pertaining to his death (20 of them) and my narrative, The Case for Murder. You will enjoy reading the book--and maybe can use it to write a new one!

Rae Ann Parker said...


Your book sounds very interesting! I would love to read it. You have an interesting blog also. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment.