On October 11, 1809, famous explorer Meriwether Lewis (one half of Lewis and Clark) was found dead from two gunshots wounds which were either the product of murder or suicide.
While historians have not been able to determine the motive behind Lewis’s death, his body is known to lie under the Meriwether Lewis Memorial in Hohenwald, Tennessee. Despite his historic importance the monument is remarkably spartan, consisting of an unadorned circular column with a broken top, signifying the adventurer’s sudden death at the young age of 35. The base of the gravesite also features a quote from Thomas Jefferson celebrating Lewis’ courage.
The Meriwether Lewis gravesite now also features a small museum nearby which remembers the American pioneer’s career. The humble grave stands as a reminder to all trailblazers that progress is not about glory, but about the legacy that others are able to build from your work.
Know Before You Go
Lewis County, Tennessee, just northwest of the junction of the Natchez Trace Parkway and Tenn. 20, about 7 miles southeast of Hohenwald.