Meriwether Lewis, death, history


In the early morning hours of October 11, 1809, two shots rang out at Grinder's Stand on a wilderness road known as the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. Immediately following the shots, Mrs. Grinder heard a loud "thud" in the adjoining room and a man cry out, "Oh, Lord!" Mrs. Grinder became an eyewitness to a tragic scene. From a concealed location in her kitchen, Mrs. Grinder, with possibly one or two others, watched the traveler who had arrived the previous evening. He appeared to be wounded. As the stranger stumbled about the property he asked for water. Mrs. Grinder, whose husband was absent, would not help him, but instead waited until the man's servants awoke and came to his aid. When the servants finally entered the room, they found the traveler pierced by gunshots in the head and chest. The man begged his servants to take his rifle and blow out his brains. That proved unnecessary as the inevitable came quickly. Governor Meriwether Lewis died at sunrise. His last words were, "I am no coward, but I am so strong. It is so hard to die."