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October 11, 2013

The Price Of Greatness

On this day, October 11, 1809, the renowned explorer Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame, dies under mysterious circumstances in the early hours of the morning after stopping for the night at a tavern in Tennessee. Most recent historians have concluded that Lewis' death was a suicide brought on by a deep depression. The reasons for this are many; Lewis found his return to civilized life most challenging. PresidentJefferson appointed him as governor of the Louisiana Territory, but Lewis found that the position of power made him more enemies than friends. At the same time, some bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., were questioning the legitimacy of some of the purchases Lewis had made for the expedition in 1803, raising the threat of bankruptcy if he were forced to cover these costs personally. In addition Lewis had yet to complete the work necessary to publish the critical information he and his partner Clark had gathered in their journals. Sometimes greatness had a great burden to carry. A follower of the path does not seek greatness and therefore is the greatest of all.