journey with a group of able men to find a water passage by land to
the Pacific Ocean. They were commissioned by President Jefferson to
the task, and he called them “The Corps of Discovery”. Their
adventure took them two and a half years to complete. Leaving by
boat from St. Louis, they headed up the Missouri River to see if it
would take them all the way to the west coast. When they finally
returned, they were heroes and many balls and parties were had with
the men as special guests. Imagine one such ball, with some of the
men gathering to tell of their wild adventures in the new territory
called “The West”.FINDERS OF THE FRONTIER (DRAMA)The scene opens with a nice room with nice things from that era and
entering are several people dressed for a ball in colonial finery.
Men and women both along with Lewis and Clark and several from their
party. There needs to be movement during the scene to keep it from
being too boring and lifeless. Perhaps they walk over near the punch
bowl and all get some punch. There can be extras in costume standing
around listening to the stories.
MADELINE: (A fictional character who is the hostess for this party)
Please come in! Everyone come in to the big room and we will talk of
LEWIS: Mrs. Parker… we are ever so grateful that you have put
together this here ball in our honor!
MADELINE: Oh…it’s nothing! And please… call me Madeline.
PARKER: You’ll have to excuse my wife. She has been so excited to
have you gentlemen here tonight and it is all she has been able to
talk about for weeks!
MADELINE: Well, who can blame me? It isn’t every day that you have
the men who were the very first to travel all the way to the Pacific
Ocean and back by land…right in your very own home!
LEWIS: Again, Ma’am. We are terribly honored.
MADELINE: It is truly WE who are honored with your presence Captain
Lewis. But let us please get far from these unimportant words of
etiquette and let us talk of your marvelous adventures! I dare say…
I will not rest until I have heard every word of your journey!
ORDWAY: Since our journey took us two and a half years to complete,
I do not believe we could even begin to tell it all in one evening!
LEWIS: Ma’am, allow me to introduce Sergeant John Ordway, a soldier
from New Hampshire and next in command after Clark and myself.
ORDWAY: (Bows) Ma’am.
LEWIS: And while I am at it, I should introduce everyone. Of course
you know Captain William Clark: My oldest and dearest friend and my
closest comrade on this expedition…equal in command with myself.
This is Sergeant Patrick Gass. He is an Irish carpenter from
MADELINE: Did you build anything of significance?
GASS: Well Ma’am, I was the main builder of three forts along our
journey: Camp Dubois, Fort Mandan and Fort Clatsop.
LEWIS: This is George Drouillard, he is good at sign language which
helped in communicating with Indians…
DROUILLARD: Also, my mother was an Indian.
CRUZATTE: As was mine!
LEWIS: … and Drouillard is our best shot.
MADELINE: Best shot?
DROUILLARD: Game, ma’am. I shot a good many animals for our food.
John here, he cooked it all up good and prepared it for us.
LEWIS: Our best fisherman was Private Silas Goodrich over here. He
caught a lot of Bass, Trout, Catfish and Salmon.
MADELINE: Salmon? I’m not familiar with that fish.
GOODRICH: They are plentiful on the other side of the mountains.
We… none of us cared for the flavor much. The meat is orange in
color, and we tired of it quickly. At times there was nothing else
to eat, so we would trade with the Indians for dog.
CAROLINA: You ate dogs?
(later… another sketch)
The scene opens with Francis Scott Key sitting and writing in his
journal and William Beanes is pacing back and forth. The sounds of
guns and bombs are heard in the distance. These men are aboard a
BEANES: Francis, what is that you are so faithfully writing? Your
journal? You are so disciplined to be able to write even when this
battle is at hand just beyond our reach.
KEY: I find comfort and peace in my writing. It is almost like a
time to be with my heavenly Father. Nothing poetic just now, William.
This has just been a reporting of the facts.
BEANES: Pray… do share what you have written. It will surely pass
the time better than listening to this constant shelling that has
continued all day and throughout the night.
SKINNER: (Entering) I think it might be dying down. It is hard to
watch as they continue to attack our beautiful Baltimore.
BEANES: Francis has been writing it all down. I just asked him to
read to us what he has written: His account on the happenings of
this dreadful night.
SKINNER: Oh…yes. Please do. I would love to hear how you have put
this all together in your thoughts.
KEY: (To Beanes) It is not a dreadful night, my friend. You are
alive and are going back with us. Our mission was a success. There
is a bright spot in this drear. This is what I have written:
Sept. 14, 1814, Chesapeake Bay. I rejoice this day and give my
eternal and grateful thanks to the Almighty for His mighty protection
and the glorious conclusion of our task set before us and the
answers to our fervent prayers. For by His providence, He has
allowed us to negotiate and secure a release of my friend, Dr.
William Beanes, who was being held prisoner by the British after
they attacked and burned Washington D.C. My companion on this
journey has been Colonel John Skinner, who acts as a prisoner of war
exchange agent for the government. We sailed down the bay on a
truce ship and met the British fleet “Tonnant” yesterday. The
British agreed to let us take William with us, but we were detained
for days and held aboard the HMS Surprise, while they proceeded
with their attack on Baltimore. I fear that Fort McHenry has taken
a beating that they will not be able to recover from. The joy of
having my friend back with me and freed from his imprisonment has
kept me through this long night where no one could possibly sleep
during the constant sound of guns and bombs. I dare say we have not
slept these 36 hours. I trust that God in His mercy will see us
through yet another battle and ultimately a sure victory. That is
all I have written as I have no more parchment. As you see, not