Since the death of heroic explorer Meriwether Lewis in October 1809, more than three dozen men have served as president of the United States, our nation has survived at least half a dozen major wars, and inventions like the telephone, the airplane and the computer have profoundly altered our lives.

But one thing that has remained constant since 1809 is the ceaseless speculation about the cause of Gov. Lewis’ death. Now, nearly 200 years later, collateral descendants of Gov. Lewis hope to put that speculation to rest—once and for all.

For more than 10 years, descendants of Gov. Lewis have been requesting exhumation and scientific study of his remains in order to solve the mystery about his death. Furthermore, the descendants simply want to give Gov. Lewis the proper Christian burial he was denied.

However, none of this can happen without permission from the federal government, since Gov. Lewis is buried on land controlled by the National Park Service. The government repeatedly has failed to grant that permission. And the truth-seeking campaign of the Lewis family repeatedly has been stalled.