Efforts to Exhume Explorer's Body Rejected

June 27, 2010

The National Park Service has rejected the latest efforts to exhume the remains of explorer Meriwether Lewis and investigate his death.

Members of the Lewis family were trying to convince the park service to determine how Lewis died. The park service owns the property where Lewis is buried near Hohenwald, Tennesee.

The Department of the Interior had approved a bid to exhume the body in January 2008. But Thomas L. Strickland, an assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, recently cited policies prohibiting the disturbing of graves that aren't threatened by destruction.

Some historians think Lewis fatally shot himself in 1809. Others believe that he died as a result of a plot by his political enemies. He was the governor of the Louisiana Territory at the time of his death.

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