While traveling on the Trace to Washington, D.C. to edit his journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Lewis and his traveling companions stopped at Grinder's Inn. Mrs. Grinder said years later that Lewis was restless throughout the evening. Two gunshotss were heard in the night. Too fearful to leave her quarters, Mrs. Grinder said that she never investigated the shots. The next morning Lewis was found, clinging to life with wounds to his head and chest. To his slave, John Pernier, Lewis is said to have uttered, "I have done the business my good Servant, give me some water." That day, October 11, 1809, at the age of 35, Meriwether Lewis died. Pernier returned to Monticello with Lewis's journals and remaining possessions.
This monument, with the broken shaft atop, was erected by Tennessee in 1848 over his gravesite
Meriwether Lewis is remembered with these sincere words spoken by Thomas Jefferson: "His courage was undaunted; His Firmness and Perseverance Yielded to Nothing but Impossibilities; a Rigid Disciplinarian, yet Tender as a Father of Those Committed to his Charge; Honest, Disinterested, Liberal, with a sound Understanding and a Scrupulous Fidelity to Truth."