to our travel website. We are currently in the process of developing exciting new ideas for history tourism. But for the last several years I have been engaged in researching the death of Meriwether Lewis and learning more about events that occurred during this time period. In 2009, I co-authored a book with James E. Starrs, a professor of forensic science and law at George Washington University called The Death of Meriwether Lewis: A Historic Crime Scene Investigation.
Over 200 descendants of Meriwether Lewis's family are solidly behind an effort to exhume their famous ancestor's remains, with a website www.solvethemystery.org. Professor Starrs will be part of the forensic team, and has the dna evidence supplied by the family. At this time, the Department of Interior has not indicated a willingness to reverse its 2010 decision to not exhume the remains. However, this was a reversal of a decision allowing exhumation of the remains that occurred in 2008, which reversed the initial decision of the Department of Interior to not exhume the remains. This was all brought on by Professor Starr's organizing a Coroner's Inquest that was held in Hohenwald, Tennessee in Lewis County in 1996. So we will all see what happens next. I am convinced that when his remains are exhumed it will show conclusive evidence of murder. Back in 1848 when his remains were exhumed during the process of erecting the monument that still stands over his gravesite, the official committee report stated "It seems to be more probable that he died at the hands of an assassin." Let's solve the mystery and find out the truth.
In December, 2010 I appeared on the History Channel's popular new series Brad Meltzer's Decoded. The episode was called Secret Presidential Codes, and may be purchased from the History Channel store. The theme of the show was investigating the mysterious death of Meriwether Lewis on the Natchez Trace in 1809. Secret Presidential Codes refers to the fact that Meriwether Lewis identified enemies of President Thomas Jefferson among his fellow army officers in a coded review list.
In October, 2009, on the 200th anniversary of Lewis's death, I gave a book talk at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville that was recorded by C-Span BookTV. It is an hour long presentation and may be viewed on the C-Span video library.
I will resume publication of my newsletter, Proceeding On, when there is news to share either about history tourism or the exhumation of Lewis's remains.
Check out our sister website www.deathofmeriwetherlewis.com
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Ever since Donald Jackson published the so-called “Russell Statement” in his 1962 edition of the Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, it has served as a leading document supporting the suicide theory. Jackson discovered this document, which was later proven to be a forgery, in the papers of Jonathan Williams at the University of Indiana Lilly Library. Jonathan Williams was the first superintendent of the West Point Academy and a close personal friend of General James Wilkinson.
Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of thriller mysteries, has a 10 part series on the History Channel called Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. In episode two, Presidential Secret Codes, he argues for the exhumation of Meriwether Lewis’s remains to determine whether he was murdered or committed suicide. In this episode, new evidence supporting the murder theory is presented for the first time. Meltzer’s team of investigators, Buddy Levy, Christine McKinley and Scott Rolle, investigate the case while driving a black Porsche around the Tennessee countryside. (Porsche is a sponsor of the series.) The new evidence is presented by Tony Turnbow, a lawyer, who has researched the death of Lewis for many years. Turnbow, who practices law in Franklin, Tennessee, examined court house records concerning James Neelly, who was accompanying Lewis on his travels just before his death. Major Neelly has long been a prime suspect in the conspiracy to assassinate Lewis.
Stephen Ambrose’s loss of credibility and the death of Meriwether Lewis by Kira Gale, April 28, 2010 http://www.deathofmeriwetherlewis.com (1)
The revelation that Stephen Ambrose fabricated interviews with President Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Channeling Ike” by Richard Rayner, The New Yorker, April 26, 2010) raises new concerns regarding the credibility of America’s leading popular historian. Ambrose claimed to have spent “hundreds and hundreds of hours” interviewing Eisenhower, while instead, presidential records show that he met with the former president for a total of less than five hours. Ambrose, whose first book on Eisenhower was published in 1970, a year after the president’s death, cited numerous dates for fictitious interviews, and claimed to have spent two days a week interviewing him.
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