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    Re: No Lunars Era
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2004 Dec 7, 00:02 -0500

    On Dec 6, 2004, at 8:02 PM, Regarding the Lewis & Clark expedition,
    Frank Reed wrote:
    > There were PLENTY of people who could have been sent on that
    > expedition who had extensive practical experience with lunars. Hell,
    > they could have sent Nathaniel Bowditch! The failure of the navigation
    > observations on the Lewis & Clark expedition was a travesty, plain and
    > simple.
    I don't agree. So what if they got the longitudes screwed up?  They
    managed to do the most important thing, help the U.S. lay claim all the
    way to the Pacific north of California.  The rivers they navigated were
    unambiguous; there was no need for the lunars to specify which rivers
    they were on.
    They also managed to excite a great number of people about the
    Louisiana Purchase and  foster colonization of all that land, leading
    the way to Fort Astoria and the Oregon Trail.
    Finally, they managed to go out and make it back.  They had to hold
    their team together over an arduous passage over inhospitable country.
    It was an Army job all the way.  This was not a comfortable passage to
    Tahiti.  To second guess the choice of personnel and direct involvement
    of Jefferson from our 21st-Century perspective is not appropriate, in
    my opinion.

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