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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Lewis Autism

The Character of Merriweather Lewis

Clay Jenkinson




In reading about Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition, I see some similarities. Lewis seemed to be a bit off socially. He was capable as a mission commander, but he formed few close friendships -- the most notable was with his expedition co-captain Clark. When trying to date after returning as a national hero, he seemed to repel women. It was probably social awkwardness (his writing does not appear to indicate exceptional unkindness toward women). Lewis had an interest in science and natural history, and took Thomas Jefferson as a mentor, but he was not regularly educated, and could be a bit unreliable. He liked to go out exploring.

Of course, there are a lot of differences. Lewis was physically an Iron Man of strength and stamina. He was a military officer, a hunter, and a diplomat. Later a governor. And of course, he was a nation hero who accomplished the exploration of more than the hiking trail at his local park.

(Also, it would be hard to know which My Little Pony character would have been his favorite.)