A Little Sumthin’ in the Tropics;Lewis’ Amazing “Suicide”; Amazing Weekend Weather

You will find the night scene of Louisville like this over the weekend and tons of sun. Cool nights, Warm afternoons. Look for me and Snow White on the river in our sculls….Keep a sharp especially if you are in a boat or, perish the thought, a jet ski!

Invest 97 Spaghetti Model 1010 18Z

Invest 97 Spaghetti Model 1010 18Z

Tropics Not Done Yet: The hurricane season goes until November 30. There is a

Invest 97 Satellite 1010 0815Z

Invest 97 Satellite 1010 0815Z

disturbance around the Yucatan that is not moving into an environment conducive for development but much farther out is Invest 97. For this time of year, it’s not often that you get storms developing far out in the Atlantic. For any time of year, a storm developing down around 10 degrees north is difficult. The coriolis force is weaker the closer you get to the equator so typically you need to be north of 10 degrees. This guy is but not too far. Also, this time of year, it becomes more and more difficult for a storm that far out to affect the United States because there is an increase in frontal activity that will increase the chances that it gets turned north into the open Atlantic. The spaghetti models suggest exactly that. The satellite image looks interesting though and I suspect that it may develop…its getting into a decent environment. Nevertheless, no one needs to “hunker down” just yet.

Two Shot Suicide?

Two Shot Suicide?

On This Date in History: One thing is certain and that is that famed explorer, Meriwether Lewis, died on this date in 1809. What is unclear is how he died, though there are reports that his ghost still roams.

Well, he died of two gunshots. One to the head and another to the chest. Does that sound like a suicide to you? That is what the official account was and the one accepted by Thomas Jefferson and the one accepted by most historians. On the surface it sounds pretty fishy.

Lewis had been appointed as Governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory. He had replaced General James Wilkinson who had been implicated in a plot to establish a separate nation in the Louisiana Territory with that infamous Vice-President Aaron Burr. Lewis was traveling back to Washington with a bunch of his papers that he hoped to have published in a book. He came down with malaria and he and his servant, John Pernier, stayed in Fort Pickering (now Memphis) for two weeks. They were then joined by Major James Neeley, an indian agent for the Chickasaw Indians, and the pair with their two servants went on their way. Shortly after they left there was a big rainstorm and two of the pack horses ran off. Neeley went to look for the horses while Lewis and the two servants went on.

On the night of October 10, 1809 Lewis was shot twice and died the following morning. How the 35 year old

Got Even with Lewis?

Got Even with Lewis?

explorer came to that condition is in question because the story kept changing. The captain at the fort and Neeley said that Lewis had been acting drunk and deranged. Yet, twice while at the fort, Lewis wrote very detailed and lucid letters to Jefferson. On the night in question, Lewis had gone to the home of John Grinder. He was away but his wife let Lewis in. From that point, things get shadey because Mrs. Grinder changed her story several times. She says that she heard Lewis pacing around and talking to himself and then heard two gunshots. Yet, neither Lewis’ nor Neeley’s servants heard any shots. Mrs. Grinder claimed at one point that Lewis had shot himself in the head and a little below the breast with two pistols and said “I have done the business my good Servant give me some water.” Later she said that Lewis had crawled into the woods and the next day Pernier arrived wearing Lewis’ clothes. Pernier died suddenly just 7 months later.

Would've Solved the Mystery


John Grinder was brought up on murder charges but was acquitted due to lack of evidence and motive. Why he was brought up on charges is a mystery because if there was a motive for murder, it was with Neeley. Neeley is said to have had no money when he left Fort Pickering with Lewis but Lewis had $120. There was no money found in Lewis’ possession yet, Neeley was able to give Pernier $15 to travel to Virginia to make a report to Jefferson. Further, Neeley and the man in charge of the fort, who both reported that Lewis was deranged had both been appointed by Wilkinson the former governor and conspirator. Whatever the case, Lewis was dead and somehow history has recorded his shots to the head and to the chest with two different guns to be the result of a suicide. Too bad Lt. Columbo wasn’t around.


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