The first exploration within the borders of Montana was made in 1743 by Sieur de la Verendrye, who in that year led an expedition up the Missouri river to the Great Falls and near where Helena now stands; the first exploration in that part of the state which lies west of the main range of the Rocky Mountains was made by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1805.
The expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in1804-1806did not touch the region, but a discharged member of the party, John Colter, in 1807 discovered the Yellowstone Park region and then crossed the Rocky Mountains to the head of Green river.
Joseph Brown (acting governor) Frederick Bates „ „ Meriwether Lewis Frederick Bates (acting governor) Benjamin Howard Frederick Bates (acting governor) William Clark State Period.
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