Or Perish in the Attempt
Wilderness Medicine in the Lewis and Clark Expedition

by David J. Peck, D.O.

illustrations by R. F. Morgan

foreword by Moira Ambrose

  • Using the best medical knowledge of 1803, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were the physicians for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. With no knowledge of bacteria, viruses, parasites, antisepsis, and even how many of the internal organs functioned, they doctored themselves, their men, Sacagawea, her baby, and native peoples they visited. The treated snakebites, sexually transmitted diseases, dysentery, frostbite, dislocated joints, gunshot, ax gashes, pelvic inflamatory disease, mental illness, and more.

    Peck also presents medical and anecdotal evidence supporting the theory that Meriwether Lewis died from suicide rather than murder.

352 pages, 6'' x 9'', index, appendix, glossary, 21 hardcovers per case, 24 softcovers per case

ISBN 10: 1-56037-225-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-56037-225-7

ISBN 10: 1-56037-226-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-56037-226-4

Click here for a full listing of our related Lewis and Clark titles





Or Perish in the Attempt
Wilderness Medicine in the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Or Perish in the Attempt align=

David J. Peck, D.O. align= David J. Peck is a board certified physician in Family Practice who currently practices in the Urgent Care Department of the Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego, California. Dr. Peck is an avid outdoorsman and has family roots in the Helena, Montana, area, where he frequently explores the Lewis and Clark trail. He is a popular speaker on the medical aspects of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. His audiences have included the University of California at San Diego/Wilderness Medicine Society annual conference in Colorado, medical groups, chapter meetings of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, and visitors to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana.

Praise for Or Perish in the Attempt: Wilderness Medicine in the Lewis and Clark Expedition

?In Or Perish in the Attempt Dr. Peck, an avowed devotee of Lewis and Clark, takes a new look at the myriad dangers faced by the explorers on a daily basis on their trek into the Western wilderness. What he finds is altogether revealing, instructive, and entertaining. One of the most rewarding reads of the Bicentennial!?
?Dave Walter, research historian, Montana Historical Society

?Or Perish in the Attempt is a distinctly unique literary approach to the account of the Expedition of Lewis and Clark. Dr. Peck has created a vivid, amusing, and informative narrative spiked with sardonic wit that underscores his enthusiasm for the Corps of Discovery. Medical practice in the wilderness is always challenging and sometimes terrifying! You will become privy to an insider?s perspective of bold men attempting to apply their primitive healing arts in the inhospitable and challenging wilderness of early America.?
?Desmond Kidd, M.D., former medical director, Yosemite National Park

?Dr. David Peck?s Or Perish in the Attempt ingeniously combines the remarkable adventures of Lewis and Clark with the problems of health faced by their expedition. Formidable problems indeed, but the author patiently, expertly?and humorously?guides us through the medical travails of the famous journey, juxtaposing treatment then against remedy now. The result is a fascinating book that sheds new light on not only Lewis and Clark and the men they led along an 8,000-mile wilderness path, but the practice of medicine in the world they lived in.
?Howard Berk, distinguished writer in residence, and director of the Creative Development Unit at the University of Georgia

FARCOUNTRY PRESS  ·  P.O. BOX 5630  ·  HELENA, MT  ·  59604  ·  1-800-821-3874  ·  406-422-1263