Dear President Jefferson,
My name is York, and I accompanied Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their journey through the newly purchased territory. Because of Clark and I being close friends growing up, I had the honor of being apart of the successful adventure. However, I do believe that everyone on the expedition would support me when I say that I was a vital member of the team. Upon arriving at training in St. Louis, I quickly picked up many Native American and French words. My physical stature and linguistic abilities began to show as an important aspect in our imminent success. As we began our journey traveling north on the Mississippi River, then later to transfer to the Missouri River, my angling, hunting and scouting abilities proved their value early on. My Native American partner Sacagawea and I worked in unison to inform all tribes the expedition ran into that we came in peace. I must admit that I was quite popular with the natives. It was a great feeling to be praised by these people when I know that I’m typically forced to be in the same position the natives are. To them, the black man was believed to be the bravest in the party. Sacagawea and I were given the honor to vote on where the winter camp would be located. This was just one more important stage in the journey in which I played a very important role. By some stroke of luck I was allowed to attend this once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m proud to have proved myself as a black man who made a difference.