M Hofferber Books

By His Own Hand?
The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis

edited by John D. W. Guice
Before dawn on October 11, 1809, Meriwether Lewis, co-leader of the epic Lewis and Clark Expedition, died from two gunshot wounds. No one witnessed the shooting at a crude inn along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. But people on the scene shortly afterward concluded that the then-governor of Upper Louisiana had taken his own life. William Clark and Thomas Jefferson agreed.

For two centuries the question has persisted: Was Lewis’ death a suicide, an accident, or a homicide? By His Own Hand? is the first book to analyze the evidence and consider the murder-versus-suicide debate within its full historical context.

The historian contributors to this volume follow the format of a postmortem court trial. Clay S. Jenkinson outlines the facts and describes the evidentiary problems. James J. Holmberg makes the case for suicide. John D. W. Guice dissects the suicide argument, showing how the same scant evidence, when examined from a different perspective, suggests that Lewis was murdered. Jay H. Buckley assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the pro-suicide and pro-murder arguments. A documents section permits readers to examine the key evidence for themselves and reach their own conclusions..
By His Own Hand?
By His Own Hand?
The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis
edited by John D. W. Guice

University of Oklahoma Press, 2006.
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