Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 6:3 (Summer 1986). Copyright © 1986 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


The Freeman-Custis expedition does have an important place in exploration history. Flores's presentation of the documents, including the previously unpublished Custis natural history catalogue, goes a long way toward filling out the Jeffersonian roster of explorers. But Flores has weakened his book by half proven hints of conspiracy, charges of congressional cover-up, and occasional sniping at other expeditions. The Freeman-Custis story does not require hype. Readers will be pleased to have the documents but may reject Flores's telling of what they mean.