Did Meriwether Lewis take his own life, or did thieves of political enemies murder him? His descendants have now requested that his body be exhumed to see what evidence can be found.
“What we want is the truth,” said Howell Lewis Bowen, 73, Lewis’ great-great-great-great nephew. “We’ve had one roadblock after another. It’s very frustrating — every time we take a step forward, we have to take two steps back.”
Some historians have criticized the effort, and how much evidence is in Lewis’ grave is a matter of debate.
Several archeologists have signed on to help the family, including James Starrs, a professor of law and forensic sciences at George Washington University who has worked with the family since the mid-1990s, and anthropologists at Middle Tennessee State University.