Born August 18, 1774, in Ablemarle County, Virginia, Meriwether Lewis joined the Virginia militia in 1794 during the Whiskey Rebellion and in 1795 enlisted with the United States Army as a Lieutenant. In 1801, now Capt. Lewis was appointed aide to President Thomas Jefferson where he resided in the presidential mansion. After many talks with the President about an exploration to gather more information of the water systems, Meriwether Lewis was picked to lead an overland expedition to the Pacific Ocean in 1803. Lewis picked William Clark as co-leader of the expedition. After a year of studying with scientists, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, or Corp of Discovery, ventured into the unknown in 1804 and returned safely home to a heroes welcome after a successful 2 year exploration. Upon their return to Washington D.C., the President awarded them with 1,600 acres of land and gave the Northern Louisiana Territory governorship to Meriwether Lewis. In 1809, Lewis was traveling the Old Trace en route to Washington D.C. regarding denied payments. Lewis had fallen ill and on the evening of October 10, 1809, Lewis and his party stopped at Grinder's Stand for the night. During the night, gunshots were heard and the next morning Lewis’ servants found him bleeding and fatally wounded from gunshots, dying a few hours later. Whether the great explorer was murdered or committed suicide is still a topic of controversy today. You can visit his gravesite and the monument placed over his grave at milepost 385.9 along the Natchez Trace Parkway.