The millions of hectares of virtually uncharted territory added by the Louisiana Purchase held great promise tor the United States. However. without better information the potential resources of this vast landscape. the benefits of this acquisition from the French might go unrealized. Recognizing this need. President Thomas Jefferson sent a number of parties to explore the vast new realm. and their narratives helped to usher in an age of discovery while paving the way for exploitation and settlement. However. when surveyor Thomas Freeman.. naturalist Peter Custis, and the rest of their expedition departed. from Natchez, Mississippi in the spring of 1806 to explore the southern reaches of this acquisition. they had no inkling of the environmental legacy of their journey.
Bragg, Don C. 2008. The prominence of pine in the upper west gulf coastal plain during historical times. Bulletin of the Museum of Life Sciences #14, Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Shreveport, LA.