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Elk Antlers

Elk Antlers (Cervus elaphus canadensis) View Interactive Version ]

Of the many animal natural history specimens sent to Jefferson by Lewis and Clark, only one is extant: the elk antlers now in the Entrance Hall at Monticello, listed on Lewis's invoice as "1 large par [sic] of Elk's horn connect by the frontal bone."1 These antlers probably came from one of the fifty elk the expedition members killed over the winter of 1804-1805 in the Fort Mandan area.2 After display at the President's House over the winter, the antlers came to Monticello in March 1806, with various other items from Lewis and Clark's 1805 shipment.3 Descriptions left by visitors in Jefferson's lifetime place the antlers on the walls of the Entrance Hall beside those of a moose and deer.

Createdsent to Monticello in 1805
Origin/PurchaseNorth Dakota
Object TypeNatural History Specimens
Dimensions29 5/8 in. (tip to tip)
LocationEntrance Hall


  1. Meriwether Lewis to Thomas Jefferson, 7 April 1805, Donald Jackson, Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1:231-298.
  2. Raymond D. Burroughs, The Natural History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 133.
  3. Donald Jackson, Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1:292-298.

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