Westward Expansion

Government Web Sources

American Memory: Century of Lawmaking
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation consists of online U.S. Congressional records from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress (1774-1875). Use the Search All Titles feature to do keyword searches such as "Louisiana Purchase" or "exploring expedition". From the Library of Congress From the Library of Congress Digital Collections.
In addition to resources on Westward Expansion, this site includes some useful links under the topics of Explorers and Expeditions (Lewis and Clark) and Surveys (A History of the U. S. Topographical Engineers, 1818-1863). Compiled by the National Archives, Archives Library Information Center.

Westward Expansion

About Western Expansion
Overview from United States House of Representatives: History, Art and Archives. Includes links to primary sources, such as maps and art.

Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark Expedition and the USGS
The USGS (United States Geological Survey) created the website Lewis and Clark Expedition and the USGS to celebrate the expedition’s 200th anniversary. While the USGS site no longer exists, some links are still available through the Wayback Machine.  Examples include links to science along the Lewis and Clark Trail, natural history, and mapping America. Some publications include Lewis and Clark: A Legacy of Science, Continuing the Legacy of Lewis and Clark, and Lewis and Clark's Observations of Geomorphology and Hydrology.
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
From the National Parks Service. Includes History and Culture resources; interactive trail atlas.
Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America
Excellent exhibit from the Library of Congress. Contains history, images, maps, and artifacts.

Mexican War

American Military History
Online edition from the Center for Military History. Includes the Mexican War and battles on the frontier.
PBS The U.S.-Mexican War
Has prelude to war, war, aftermath, and biographies. Site Resources include links to primary sources. Requires Flash Player.
Mexican War
Links about the Mexican War compiled by the National Archives.

General Web Sources

The Avalon Project
The Avalon Project from Yale's Law School has primary source documents available online for 19th Century Documents such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican War Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
The Nineteenth Century in Print: The Making of America in Books and Periodicals (Cornell University)
Can search popular 19th century journals for "Louisiana Purchase" and other topics about Westward expansion. For this joint project, Cornell University contributed 109 monographs (267 volumes) and 22 journals (955 volumes) with imprints primarily between 1840-1900. The companion site from the University of Michigan has about 1,600 books and 10 journals with imprints primarily between 1850-1877. Formerly hosted in the American Memory collection of the Library of Congress.
PBS Lewis and Clark
PBS broadcast of an episode covering Lewis and Clark's journey. This site has links to learn more about the Corps of Discovery, Native Americans, an interactive trail map, and living history.
PBS New Perspectives on The West
This site contains documentary materials including memoirs, journals, letters, photos and transcripts, and a library of primary source materials on the history of the American West, reflecting the five years' research that went into the production of THE WEST.
Photographs: Denver Public Library
Includes photographs that illustrate many aspects of the history of the American West. Use the date feature of advanced search to narrow results to about 30,000 photographs that were taken between 1860 and 1920. From the Western History and Genealogy Department at Denver Public Library. Formerly hosted by the Library of Congress.

Sources in Government Documents Department

Exploration Survey Reports

Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the Year 1852
W 7.5:M 33/3 (Govt Docs/Staff Workroom)
by Randolph B. Marcy, Captain Fifth Infantry U.S. Army; assisted by George B. McClellan, Brevet Captain U.S. Engineers. With reports on the natural history of the country and numerous illustrations.
Notes of a Military Reconnaissance, From Fort Leavenworth, in Missouri, to San Diego, in California, Including Part of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers
W 7.5:EM 6 (Govt Docs/Staff Workroom)
by W.H. Emory.
Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842: And to Oregon and North California in the Years 1843-44
W 7.5:F 88/1 (Govt Docs/Staff Workroom)
by Brevet Captain J.C. Frâemont.
Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean
W 7.14: (Govt Docs/Staff Workroom)
These twelve volumes of Pacific Railroad surveys were made under the direction of the Secretary of War, in 1853-54, according to acts of Congress of March 3, 1853, May 31, 1854, and August 5, 1854.

The Territorial Papers of the United States

The Territorial Papers of the United States
GS 4.13: and S 1.36: (Govt Docs/U.S. Documents Shelves)
Covers: Northwest Territory, north and south of the Ohio River, The Territory of Mississippi, Indiana Territory, Territory of Orleans, Territory of Michigan, Territory of Louisiana - Missouri, Territory of Illinois, Territory of Alabama, Territory of Arkansas, Territory of Florida, Territory of Wisconsin.

Native Americans

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties
I 1.107: (Govt Docs/Reference Shelves)
by Charles Kappler, this 7-volume set is also available online from HathiTrust.
Guide to American Indian Documents in the Congressional Serial Set: 1817-1899
KF 8201 .A1 J63(Govt Docs/Reference Shelves)
Use this guide to find congressional information dealing with Native Americans in the 19th century.
Handbook of North American Indians
SI 1.20/2:(Govt Docs/Reference Shelves - Native American)
These volumes from the Smithsonian Institution provide histories of various Native American tribes, maps, and studies on culture, language, and art. A good reference source for background information.