city, seat (1861) of Nez Perce county, northwestern Idaho, U.S., just south of Moscow and adjacent to Clarkston, Washington, at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers. Established as a gold-mining town on a site where the explorers Meriwether Lewis (for whom it was named) and William Clark camped (1805, 1806), it is Idaho's oldest incorporated community and was the first territorial capital (1863-64). The economy is based on lumbering and agriculture, supplemented by small manufactures. The Port of Lewiston (1958) is the terminus of river barge traffic from Portland, Oregon. The city is the seat of Lewis-Clark State College (1893). Lapwai, 10 miles (16 km) east, is the headquarters of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation and a part of Nez Perce National Historical Park. Inc. 1861. Pop. (1990) 28,082; (2000) 30,904.
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