This day I competed my thirty first year. I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little indeed, to further the hapiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now soarly feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended.

I dash from me the gloomy thought and resolved in the future, to redouble my exertions and at least indeavor to promote those two primary objects of human existence, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which nature and fortune have bestoed on me... in future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself

from the journal of Meriwether Lewis. August 18, 1805. his misspellings and not mine.

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