At a Glance


Firsthand accounts of exploration range from Viking stories to early 19th-century trappers' journals.

Wisconsin Historical Society and National History Day

American Journeys

Image for American Journeys

These 181 firsthand accounts of North American and Canadian exploration range from Viking stories such as The Saga of Eric the Red from circa 1,000 CE to journal entries written in the early 19th century on a trapping expedition in the Southwest. Documents include the Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804–1806. Materials include rare books, original manuscripts, and classic travel narratives.

Users can browse the full archive or by expedition, settlement, geographic region, and U.S. state or Canadian province. Each document is individually searchable and accompanied by a short background essay and a reference map. There are also 150 images available, including woodcuts, drawings, paintings, and photographs. Highlights follows the collection chronologically and connects moments in American history with eyewitness accounts.