Captain Meriwether Lewis - Did He Have a Real Chance At Marriage After The Westward Expedition?

Historians generally say Captain Lewis simply did not find the right one during his short-term search for a wife after the Corps-of-Discovery returned from the Pacific Coast. But this result was not for lack of opportunity. History states that several ladies were at least paying attention to this celebrity captain back east.
Other underlying reasons probably caused his continued bachelorhood. For one thing, he had become a military man who was constantly on the move. Also, he did not have much interest in love and marriage as a busy young man. Here are some of the lesser known reasons for his bachelorhood.
Was not his mother. Lewis had a good relationship with his mother. She taught him much about plants and animals and herbal medicine. But the early deaths of her two husbands turned young Lewis into a jack-of-all-trades while running her farm, at least until he joined the local militia in 1794.
Was not his love of the outdoors. He was fascinated by nature, hunting, adventure, science, and the outdoors. Are not those healthy interests?
Was not his intelligence nor knowledge. Lewis was bright. He learned and knew a lot, and he wrote well. He went through his President-Jefferson-sponsored pre-expedition training in Philadelphia easily. He was also well-organized as shown by his practically arranging the whole expedition himself per Jefferson's instructions.
Was not his physic nor moral values. He was a sizable fit man with natural leadership skills. Together with his co-captain, William Clark, he held high standards of honor, integrity, and fidelity during the journey. Overall, Lewis stayed well above the fray.
Was not his social connections. As a neighbor to President Thomas Jefferson, he eventually became his private aid before the journey westward. Afterward, he became a celebrity.
His lack of early interest, maybe. Not much is recorded about his love interests as a young man. Outside of running his mother's farm, he was committed to the military duties that kept him on the move from outpost to outpost. He also focused on his outdoor interests, leaving little time for romantic notions then.
His last assignment, maybe. Historians wonder about his after-expedition appointment to the Governorship of the Louisiana Territory in St Louis, which was small then. Steve Ambrose, author of Undaunted Courage, for example, thinks Jefferson could have kept Lewis in the military back east for the purpose of getting their journals published immediately, if not for other reasons. As it turned out, they came out late and were somewhat incomplete at first.
Although this St Louis assignment was a nice honor for Lewis, his transfer from military duty to a difficult far-way administrative job not suited for him did not help his marriage chances any. Instead, this assignment took him away from the east again, where he could have eventually met someone, and settled down.
However, this assignment did put him in proximity with his close friend, Captain Clark, who was appointed a military general and Indian affairs agent there. Clark did marry Julia Hancock, with whom he had promissory contact in Virginia before the expedition took place. Conversely, Lewis had no one in mind before the expedition.
His infatuation, maybe. Apparently Lewis had little relationship experience while growing up, except for a supposedly courting of Aaron Burr's daughter, Theodesia, while he was working and living with President Jefferson in the White House before the expedition. If it actually happened beyond a vague hint in the airway, nothing came from it. Lewis was extremely busy then.
Thus, after the expedition back east, his failed infatuation with a wealthy financier's daughter, Letitia Breckenridge, probably crushed him for a while. He might have thought society would help him with this maneuver. But Letitia's family had other plans. She soon married another financier's son, and later bore him nine children.
Still, Lewis was honest about this failure, and wished her well. He might not have understood the delicate permissions of mutual relationships then, even though many of them were prearranged or forced for varied reasons.
Conclusion. Captain Lewis' adventurous, outdoor, focused, obligated, military, and on-the-move lifestyle probably left him underdeveloped in the area of promissory relationships at the time. If he had remained back east longer after the journey, a special lady probably would have domesticated him successfully.

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