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  • Explorers undertook journeys in the western United States, hoping they might be rewarded with wealth and fame for their discoveries. Many explorers secured monetary aid from governments, universities, businesses, or groups with specific interests regarding what western lands could offer them. Some explorers pursued exploration independently, using personal funds and resources to satisfy their curiosity. Politicians were often motivated to support exploration because of potential economic and political benefits from information explorers reported. Officials promoted exploration in the West to produce accurate maps of that region's terrain and river systems to establish routes for trade and migration westward. They encouraged explorers to establish contacts for initiating diplomacy with Native Americans. Explorers often served as political intermediaries with Native Americans, explaining government officials’ policies and ...

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