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Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery

Journals: April, 1805

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1805
April
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Apr 1
1805
Clark: we have Thunder lightning hail and rain to day the first rain of note Sinc the 15 of October last,

I had the Boat Perogus & Canos put in the water, and expect to Set off the boat with despatches in her will go 6 Americans 3 frenchmen, and perhaps Several ricarra Chief

imediately after we Shall assend in 2 perogus & 6 canoes, accompanied by 5 french who intends to assend a Short distance to trap the beavr which is in great abundance highr up

our party will consist of one Interpter & Hunter [George Drouillard], one French man as an interpreter with his two wives Apparently the captains intended to take both of Charbonneau's wives along, but something unrecorded happening in the last few days at Fort Mandan resulted in Sacagawea being the only one actually to make the trip] (this man Speaks Minetary to his wives who are L hiatars or Snake Indians of the nations through which we Shall pass, and to act as interpretress thro him—

26 americans & french my servant and an Mandan Indian and provisions for 4 months—

Ordway: Cloudy. thunder and large hail, hard rain followed about half an hour then the party turned out and put the Barge and the 8 perogues in to the River commenced raining again at 4 oClock P. M. and continued raining untill 12 oClock at night.

Gass: As our large boat was to return immediately to St. Louis, the whole of our craft was put into the water. A considerable quantity of rain fell this day; the first of any consequence that had fallen here for six months

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes Storms Beaver Keelboat The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 4
1805
Clark: a blustering windey Day the Clerks of the N W. Co. leave us we are arrangeing all things to Set out &c.

Ordway: clear and pleasant. the Indian Goods and bags of corn all put out to air. the articles for St. Louis carred on board the barge ready to Set out but the wind blew high from the N. W. so we did not load the perogues.

Gass: A fine clear day. We packed the boxes full of skins, buffaloe robes, and horns of the Mountain ram, of a great size for the president; and began to load the boat.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes Keelboat The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 5
1805
Clark: we have our 2 perogues & Six Canoes loaded with our Stores & provisions, principally provisions. the wind verry high from the N W. a number of Mandans visit us to day

Ordway: clear and pleasant. we Sorted all our loading and divided a proportion of each Sort for each perogue, and loaded all the perogues and got ready for a Start, on our Journey. the wind high from the N. W.—

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes Keelboat The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 6
1805
Clark: a fine day visited by a number of mandans, we are informed of the arrival of the whole of the ricarra nation on the other Side of the river near their old village. we Sent an interpreter to See with orders to return imediately and let us know if their Chiefs ment to go down to See their great father.

Ordway: clear and pleasant. we took all our Baggage on board the perogues in order to Set off. Some of the Mandans Indians informed us that the Rick a Ree nation was all comming up to their villages, as they Supposed to Stay and live with them. our officers wished to wait and know their business, as the indians sayed that they were near this on the opposite Side of the River. So our Intrepeter one of the party and two frenchmen was Sent across the River in order to go & See if the report was true. the wind Gentle from the South.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes Keelboat The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 7
1805
Lewis: Having on this day at 4 P.M. completed every arrangement necessary for our departure, we dismissed the barge and crew with orders to return without loss of time to S. Louis, a small canoe with two French hunters accompanyed the barge; these men had assended the missouri with us the last year as engages. The barge crew consisted of six soldiers and four Frenchmen and a Ricarra Indian also take their passage in her as far as the Ricarra Vilages, at which place we expect Mr. Tiebeau [Tabeau] to embark with his peltry who in that case will make an addition of two, perhaps four men to the crew of the barge.

We gave Richard Warfington, a discharged Corpl., the charge of the Barge and crew, and confided to his care likewise our dispatches to the government, letters to our private friends, and a number of articles to the President of the United States. One of the Frenchmen by the name of Gravline an honest discrete man and an excellent boat-man is imployed to conduct the barge as a pilot; we have therefore every hope that the barge and with her our dispatches will arrive safe at St. Louis. Mr. Gravlin who speaks the Ricarra language extreemly well, has been imployed to conduct a few of the Recarra Chiefs to the seat of government who have promised us to decend in the barge to St. Liwis with that view.—

At same moment that the Barge departed from Fort Mandan, Capt. Clark embaked with our party and proceeded up the river. as I had used no exercise for several weeks, I determined to talk on shore as far as our encampment of this evening; accordingly I continued my walk on the N. side of the River about six miles, to the upper Village of the Mandans, and called on the Black Cat or Pose cop'se há, the great chief of the Mandans; he was not as home; I rested myself a minutes, and finding that the party had not arrived I returned about 2 miles and joined them at their encampment on the N. side of the river opposite the lower Mandan village.

Our party now consisted of the following Individuals. Sergts. John Ordway, Nathaniel Prior, & Patric Gass; Privates, William Bratton, John Colter, Reubin, and Joseph Fields, John Shields, George Gibson, George Shannon, John Potts, John Collins, Joseph Whitehouse, Richard Windsor, Alexander Willard, Hugh Hall, Silas Goodrich, Robert Frazier, Peter Crouzatt, John Baptiest la Page, Francis Labiech, Hue McNeal, William Werner, Thomas P. Howard, Peter Wiser, and John B. Thompson.—

Interpreters, George Drewyer and Tauasant Charbono also a Black man by the name of York, servant to Capt. Clark, an Indian Woman wife to Charbono with a young child, and a Mandan man who had promised us to accompany us as far as the Snake Indians with a view to bring about a good understanding and friendly intercourse between that nation and his own, the Minetares and Ahwahharways.

Our vessels consisted of six small canoes, and two large perogues. This little fleet altho' not quite so rispectable as those of Columbus or Capt. Cook were still viewed by us with as much pleasure as those deservedly famed adventurers ever beheld theirs; and I dare say with quite as much anxiety for their safety and preservation.

we were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civillized man had never trodden; the good or evil it had in store for us was for experiment yet to determine, and these little vessells contained every article by which we were to expect to subsist or defend ourselves. however as this the state of mind in which we are, generally gives the colouring to events, when the immagination is suffered to wander into futurity, the picture which now presented itself to me was a most pleasing one. entertaing as I do, the most confident hope of succeading in a voyage which had formed a darling project of mine for the last ten years of my life, I could but esteem this moment of my departure as among the most happy of my life.

The party are in excellent health and sperits, zealously attatched to the enterprise, and anxious to proceed; not a whisper of murmur or discontent to be heard among them, but all act in unison, and with the most perfect harmony. I took an early supper this evening and went to bed. Capt. Clark myself the two Interpretters and the woman and child sleep in a tent of dressed skins. this tent is in the Indian stile, formed of a number of dressed Buffaloe skins sewed together with sniues. it is cut in such manner that when foalded double it forms the quarter of a circle, and is left open at one side where it may be attached or loosened at pleasure by strings which are sewed to its sides to the purpose. to erect this tent, a parsel of ten or twelve poles are provided, fore or five of which are attatched together at one end, they are then elivated and their lower extremities are spread in a circular manner to a width proportionate to the demention of the lodge, in the same position orther poles are leant against those, and the leather is then thrown over them forming a conic figure.—

Clark: a windey day, The Interpreter we Sent to the Villages returned with Chief of the Ricara's & 3 men of that nation this Chief informed us that he was Sent by his nation to Know the despositions of the nations in this neighbourhood in respect to the recara's Settleing near them, that he had not yet made those arrangements, he request that we would Speek to the Assinniboins, & Crow Inds. in their favour, that they wished to follow our directions and be at peace with all, he viewed all nations in this quarter well disposed except the Sioux. The wish of those recaras appears to be a junction with the Mandans & Minetarras in a Defensive war with the Sioux who rob them of every Spece [species] of property in Such a manner that they Cannot live near them any longer.

I told this Chief we were glad to See him, and we viewed his nation as the Dutifull Children of a Great father who would extend his protection to all those who would open their ears to his good advice, we had already Spoken to the Assinniboins, and Should Speeke to the Crow Indians if we Should See them &c. as to the Sioux their Great father would not let them have any more good Guns &c. would take Care to prosu Such measurs as would provent those Sioux from Murding and taking the property from his dutyfull red Children &c.— we gave him a certificate of his good Conduct & a Small Medal, a Carrot of Tobacco and a String of Wompom— he requested that one of his men who was lame might decend in the boat to their nation and returned to the Mandans well Satisfied—

The name of this Chief of War is Kah-kah, we to—Raven brave. This Cheif delivered us a letter from Mr. Taboe. informing us of the wish of the Grand Chiefs of the Ricarras to visit their Great father and requesting the privolage of put'g on board the boat 3000 w of Skins &c. & adding 4 hands and himself to the party. this preposeal we Shall agree to, as that addition will make the party in the boat 15 Strong and more able to defend themselves from the Seoux &c.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes Keelboat Tobacco Carrot
The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 8
1805
Lewis: Set out early this morning, the wind blew hard against us from the N. W. we therefore traveled very slowly. I walked on shore, and visited the black Cat, took leave of him after smoking a pipe as is their custom, and then proceeded on slowly by land about four miles where I wated the arrival of the party, at 12 Oclock they came up and informed me that one of the small canoes was behind in distress.

Capt Clark returned foud she had filled with water and all her loading wet. we lost half a bag of bisquit, and about thirty pounds of powder by this accedent; the powder we regard as a serious loss, but we spread it to dry immediately and hope we shall still be enabled to restore the greater part of it. this was the only powder we had which was not perfectly secure from geting wet. we took dinner at this place, and then proceed on to oure encampment, which was on the S. side opposite to a high bluff.

Clark: Set out verry early wind hard a head from the N. W. proceeded on passed all the villages the inhabitents of which flocked down in great numbers to view us, I took my leave of the great Chief of the Mandans who gave me a par of excellent mockersons, one Canoe filed with water every thing in her got wet. 2/3 of a barrel of powder lost by this accedent.

Ordway: clear and cold. we Set off eairly. proceeded on. passed the 2nd took breakfast at 2[nd] vil. & 3rd villages of Mandans the [wind] high from the W.

we Saw Some Snow on the N. S. of the hills, and thick Ice on and under the banks of the River. the current Swift. we passed two villages of the Grossvantares or Bigbelleys at the lowermost one comes in a handsom River called Knife River. these 2 vill. are in a bottom but little timber. back of which is high open plains which is the Same on the N. S.

we halted on a Sand beach on N. S. for the crafts to come up which was behind as we was informed that one of the Small perogues was in danger. capt Clark went back to see what was the matter. they Shortly returned the perogues had evidently filled and every thing in the perogue was wet damiged a keg of powder a bag of buiscuit and a nomber of other articles. we dined and proceeded on passed an Isld [(]covered with timber) on the N. S. high bluffs on the S. S. passed a timbered bottom on the N. S. in which is a Village of the Grossvantares in the lower part of the bottom of cottonwood timber. we proceded 14 mls. to day and camped at the bottom N. S.

McLean County, North Dakota Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 11
1805
Lewis: Set out at an early hour; I proceeded with the party and Capt Clark with George Drewyer walked on shore in order to procure some fresh meat if possible. we proceeded on abot five miles, and halted for breakfast, when Capt Clark and George Drewyer joined us; the latter had killed, and brought with him a deer which was at this moment excepable as we had had no fresh meat for several days. the country from fort Mandan to this place is so constantly hunted by the Minetaries that there is but little game we halted at two P. M. and made a comfortable dinner on a venison stake and beavers tales with the bisquit which got wet on the 8th inst. by the accidant of the canoe filling with water before mentioned.

the powder which got wet by the same accedent, and which we had spread to dry on the baggage of the large perogue, was now examined and put up; it appears to be almost restored, and our loss is therefore not so great as we had at first apprehended.—

the country much the same as yesterday. on the sides of the hills and even the banks of the rivers and sandbars, there is a white substance t[h]at appears in considerable quantities on the surface of the earth, which tastes like a mixture of common salt and glauber salts. many of the springs which flow from the base of the river hills are so strongly impregnated with this substance that the water is extreemly unpelasant to the taste and has a purgative effect.—

[These salts are an admixture of sodium sulphate, sodium bicarbonate, and magnesium sulphate. Sodium chloride is not especially common. Ground water dissolves the salts from the formations through which it passes. Evaporation of this water where it is discharged produces salt crystals and salt crusts.]

saw some large white cranes pass up the river—these are the largest bird of that genus common to the country through which the Missouri and Mississippi pass. they are perfectly white except the large feathers of the two first joints of the wing which are black. [the whooping crane, Grus americana, now an endangered species] we encamped this evening on the Stard. shore just above the point of woodland which formed to extremity of the last course of this day. there is a high bluff opposite to us, under which we saw some Indians, but the river is here so wide that we could not speake to them; suppose them to be a hunting party of Minetares.— we killed two gees today.

Clark: Set out verry early I walked on Shore, Saw fresh bear tracks, one deer & 2 beaver killed this morning in the after part of the day killed two gees; Saw great numbers of Gees Brant & Mallard Some White Cranes Swan & guls, the plains begin to have a green appearance, the hills on either side are from 5 to 7 miles asunder and in maney places have been burnt, appearing at a distance of a redish brown choler, containing Pumic Stone & lava, Some of which rolin down to the base of those hills—

In maney of those hills forming bluffs to the river we procieve Several Stratums of bituminious Substance which resembles Coal; thoug Some of the pieces appear to be excellent Coal it resists the fire for Some[time], and consumes without emiting much flaim. [ Some of the shale beds of the Sentinel Butte Formation contain much organic material and appear black. Inorganic material dominates so that the carbonaceous shale either burns poorly or not at all.] The plains are high and rich Some of them are Sandy Containing Small pebble, and on Some of the hill Sides large Stones are to be Seen—

In the evening late we observed a party of Me ne tar ras on the L. S. with horses and dogs loaded going down, those are a part of the Menetarras who camped a little above this with the Ossinniboins at the mouth of the little Missouri all the latter part of the winter we Camped on the S. S. below a falling in bank. the river raise a little.

McLean County, North Dakota Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 12
1805
Lewis: Set out at an early hour. our peroge and the Canoes passed over to the Lard side in order to avoid a bank which was rappidly falling in on the Stard. the red perogue contrary to my expectation or wish passed under this bank by means of her toe line where I expected to have seen her carried under every instant. I did not discover that she was about to make this attempt untill it was too late for the men to reembark, and retreating is more dangerous than proceeding in such cases; they therefore continued their passage up this bank, and much to my satisfaction arrived safe above it. this cost me some moments of uneasiness, her cargo was of much importance to us in our present advanced situation— We proceeded on six miles and came too on the lower side of the entrance of the little Missouri on the Lard shore in a fine plain where we determined to spend the day for the purpose of celestial observation. we sent out 10 hunters to procure some fresh meat.

George Drewyer shot a Beaver this morning, which we found swiming in the river a small distance below the entrance of the little Missouri. the beaver being seen in the day, is a proof that they have been but little hunted, as they always keep themselves closly concealed during the day where they are so.— found a great quantity of small onions in the plain where we encamped; had some of them collected and cooked, found them agreeable. the bulb grows single, is of an oval form, white, and about the size of a small bullet; the leaf resem[bles] that of the shive, and the hunters returned this eving with one deer only. the country about the mouth of this river had been recently hunted by the Minetares, and the little game which they had not killed and frightened away, was so extreemly shy that the hunters could not get in shoot of them.

The little Missouri disembogues on the S. side of the Missouri 1693 miles from the confluence of the latter with the Mississippi. it is 134 yards wide at it's mouth, and sets in with a bould current but it's greatest debth is not more than 2½ feet. it's navigation is extreemly difficult, owing to it's rapidity, shoals and sand bars. it may however be navigated with small canoes a considerable distance. this river passes through the Northern extremity of the black hills where it is very narrow and rapid and it's banks high an perpendicular. it takes it's rise in a broken country West of the Black hills with the waters of the yellow stone river, and a considerable distance S. W. of the point at which it passes the black hills. the country through which it passes is generally broken and the highlands possess but little timber

there is some timber in it's bottom lands, which sonsists of Cottonwood red Elm, with a small proportion of small Ash and box alder. the under brush is willow, red wood, (sometimes called red or swamp willow—) the red burry, and Choke cherry— the country is extreamly broken about the mouth of this river, and as far up on both sides, as we could observe it from the tops of some elivated hills, which stand between these two rivers, about 3 miles from their junction. the soil appears fertile and deep, it consists generally of a dark rich loam intermixed with a small proportion of fine sand. this river in it's course passed near the N. W. side of the turtle mountain, which is said to be no more than 4 or 5 leagues distant from it's entrance in a straight direction, a little to the S. of West.— this mountain and the knife river have therefore been laid down too far S. W. the colour of the water, the bed of the river, and it's appearance in every respect, resembles the Missouri; I am therefore induced to believe that the texture of the soil of the country in which it takes it's rise, and that through which it passes, is similar to the country through which the Missouri passes after leaving the woody country, or such as we are now in.— on the side of a hill not distant from our camp I found some of the dwarf cedar of which I preserved a specimen (See No. 2). this plant spread it's limbs alonge the surface of the earth, where they are sometimes covered, and always put forth a number of roots on the under side, while on the upper there are a great number of small shoots which with their leaves seldom rise higher than 6 or eight inches. they grow so close as perfectly to conceal the eath. it is an evergreen; the leaf is much more delicate than the common Cedar, and it's taste and smell the same. I have often thought that this plant would make very handsome edgings to the borders and walks of a garden; it is quite as handsom as box, and would be much more easily propegated.— the appearance of the glauber salts and Carbonated wood still continue.

McLean County, North Dakota Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Native American Tribes Trees The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 13
1805
Lewis: Being disappointed in my observations of yesterday for Longitude, I was unwilling to remain at the entrance of the river another day for that purpose, and therefore determined to set out early this morning; which we did accordingly; the wind was in our favour after 9 A. M. and continued favourable untill three 3 P. M. we therefore hoisted both the sails in the White Peroge, consisting of a small squar sail, and spritsail, which carried her at a pretty good gate, untill about 2 in the afternoon when a suddon squall of wind struck us and turned the perogue so much on the side as to allarm Sharbono who was steering at the time, in this state of alarm he threw the perogue with her side to the wind, when the spritsail gibing was as near overseting the perogue as it was possible to have missed. the wind however abating for an instant I ordered Drewyer to the helm and the sails to be taken in, which was instant executed and the perogue being steered before the wind was agin plased in a state of security. this accedent was very near costing us dearly. beleiving this vessell to be the most steady and safe, we had embarked on board of it our instruments, Papers, medicine and the most valuable part of the merchandize which we had still in reserve as presents for the Indians. we had also embarked on board ourselves, with three men who could not swim and the squaw with the young child, all of whom, had the perogue overset, would most probably have perished, as the waves were high, and the perogue upwards of 200 yards from the nearest shore; however we fortunately escaped and pursued our journey under the square sail, which shortly after the accident I directed to be again hoisted.

our party caught three beaver last evening; and the French hunters 7. as there was much appearance of beaver just above the entrance of the little Missouri these hunters concluded to remain some days; we therefore left them without the expectation of seeing them again.— just above the entrance of the Little Missouri the great Missouri is upwards of a mile in width, tho' immediately at the entrance of the former it is not more than 200 yards wide and so shallow that the canoes passed it with seting poles. at the distance of nine miles passed the mouth of a creek on the Stard. side which we called onion creek

[Former Lucky Mound Creek in McLean County, North Dakota, also known as Rising Water or Pride Creek; it is today's Deepwater Creek.]

from the quantity of wild onions which grow in the plains on it's borders. Capt. Clark who was on shore informed me that this creek was 16 yards wide a mile & a half above it's entrance, discharges more water than creeks of it's size usually do in this open country, and that there was not a stick of timber of any discription to be seen on it's borders, or the level plain country through which it passes. at the disetance of 10 miles further we passed the mouth of a large creek;

[Shell Creek, now inundated, in Mountrail County, North Dakota; the actual source is much higher than the captains thought. The lake, "Goose Egg Lake", is also under Garrison Reservoir].

discharging itself in the center of a deep bend. of this creek and the neighbouring country, Capt. Clark who was on shore gave me the following discription "This creek I took to be a small river from it's size, and the quantity of water which it discharged. I ascended it 1½ miles, and found it the discharge of a pond or small lake, which had the appearance of having formerly been the bed of the Missouri. several small streems discharge themselves into this lake. the country on both sides consists of beautifull level and elivated plains; asscending as they recede from the Missouri;

there were a great number of Swan and geese in this lake and near it's borders I saw the remains of 43 temperary Indian lodges, which I presume were those of the Assinniboins who are now in the neighbourhood of the British establishments on the Assinniboin river—" This lake and it's discharge we call goos Egg from the circumstance of Capt. Clark shooting a goose while on her nest in the top of a lofty cotton wood tree, from which we afterwards took one egg. the wild gees frequently build their nests in this manner, at least we have already found several in trees, nor have we as yet seen any on the ground, or sand bars where I had supposed from previous information that they most commonly deposited their eggs.—

[Nesting in trees is contrary to the habits of the Canada goose in the East. Nineteenth-century ornithologists challenged the captains' statement, but this behavior was later confirmed, which provided protection from such predators as wolves and badgers, from observations in the same region]

saw some Buffaloe and Elk at a distance today but killed none of them. we found a number of carcases of the Buffaloe lying along shore, which had been drowned by falling through the ice in winter and lodged on shore by the high water when the river broke up about the first of this month.

we saw also many tracks of the white bear of enormous size, along the river shore and about the carcases of the Buffaloe, on which I presume they feed. we have not as yet seen one of these anamals, tho' their tracks are so abundant and recent. the men as well as ourselves are anxious to meet with some of these bear. the Indians give a very formidable account of the strengh and ferocity of this anamal, which they never dare to attack but in parties of six eight or ten persons; and are even then frequently defeated with the loss of one or more of their party. the savages attack this anamal with their bows and arrows and the indifferent guns with which the traders furnish them, with these they shoot with such uncertainty and at so short a distance, that they frequently mis their aim & fall a sacrefice to the bear. two Minetaries were killed during the last winter in an attack on a white bear. this anamall is said more frequently to attack a man on meeting with him, than to flee from him. When the Indians are about to go in quest of the white bear, previous to their departure, they paint themselves and perform all those supersticious rights commonly observed when they are about to make war uppon a neighbouring nation.

Oserved more bald eagles on this part of the Missouri than we have previously seen. saw the small hawk, frequently called the sparrow hawk, which is common to most parts of the U States. great quantities of gees are seen feeding in the praries. saw a large flock of white brant or gees with black wings pass up the river; there were a number of gray brant with them; from their flight I presume they proceed much further still to the N. W.— we have never been enabled yet to shoot one of these birds, and cannot therefore determine whether the gray brant found with the white are their brude of the last year or whether they are the same with the grey brant common to the Mississippi and lower part of the Missouri.—

we killed 2 Antelopes today which we found swiming from the S. to the N. side of the river; they were very poor.— We encamped this evening on the Stard. shore in a beautifull plain. elivated about 30 feet above the river.

Mountrail County, North Dakota Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 14
1805
Lewis: One of the hunters saw an Otter last evening and shot at it, but missed it. a dog came to us this morning, which we supposed to have been lost by the Indians who were recently encamped near the lake that we passed yesterday.

the mineral appearances of salts, coal and sulpher, together with birnt hills & pumicestone still continue.— while we remained at the entrance of the little Missouri, we saw several pieces of pumice stone floating down that stream, a considerable quanty of which had lodged against a point of drift wood a little above it's entrance. Capt. Clark walked on shore this morning, and on his return informed me that he had passed through the timbered bottoms on the N. side of the river, and had extended his walk several miles back on the hills; in the bottom lands he had met with several uninhabited Indian lodges built with the boughs of the Elm, and in the plains he met with the remains of two large encampments of a recent date, which from the appearance of some hoops of small kegs, seen near them we concluded that they must have been the camps of the Assinniboins, as no other nation who visit this part of the missouri ever indulge themselves with spirituous liquor. of this article the Assinniboins are pationately fond, and we are informed that it forms their principal inducement to furnish the British establishments on the Assinniboin river with the dryed and pounded meat and grease which they do. they also supply those establishments with a small quantity of fur, consisting principally of the large and small wolves and the small fox skins. these they barter for small kegs of rum which they generally transport to their camps at a distance from the establishments, where they revel with their friends and relations as long as they possess the means of intoxication, their women and children are equally indulged on those occations and are all seen drunk together. so far is a state of intoxication from being a cause of reproach among them, that with the men, it is a matter of exultation that their skill and industry as hunters has enabled them to get drunk frequently. in their customs, habits, and dispositions these people very much resemble the Siouxs from whom they have descended. The principal inducement with the British fur companies, for continuing their establishments on the Assinniboin river, is the Buffaloe meat and grease they procure from the Assinniboins,

The Assinniboins have so recently left this neighbourhood, that the game is scarce and very shy. the river continues wide, and not more rapid than the Ohio in an averge state of it's current. the bottoms are wide and low, the moister parts containing some timber; the upland is extreemly broken,

while the party halted to take dinner today Capt. Clark killed a buffaloe bull; it was meagre, and we therefore took the marrow bones and a small proportion of the meat only. near the place we dined on the Lard. side, there was a large village of burrowing squirrels. I have remarked that these anamals generally celect a South Easterly exposure for their residence, tho' they are sometimes found in the level plains.—

passed an Island, this was the highest point to which any whiteman had ever ascended; except two Frenchmen who having lost their way had straggled a few miles further, tho' to what place precisely I could not learn.— I walked on shore above this creek and killed an Elk, which was so poor that it was unfit for uce; I therefore left it, and joined the party at their encampment on the Stard shore a little after dark. on my arrival Capt. Clark informed me that he had seen two white bear pass over the hills shortly after I fired, and that they appeared to run nearly from the place where I shot. the lard.

— we saw many gees feeding on the tender grass in the praries and several of their nests in the trees; we have not in a single instance found the nest of this bird on or near the ground. we saw a number of magpies their nests and eggs. their nests are built in trees and composed of small sticks leaves and grass, open at top, and much in the stile of the large blackbird comm to the U' States. the egg is of a bluish brown colour, freckled with redish brown spots. one of the party killed a large hooting hooting owl I observed no difference between this burd and those of the same family common to the U' States, except that this appeared to be more booted and more thickly clad with feathers.—

Clark: I observed Several Single Lodges built of Stiks of cotten timber in different parts of the bottoms. in my walk of this day which was through the wooded bottoms and on the hills for several miles back from the river on the S. S. I Saw the remains of two Indian incampments with wide beeten tracks leading to them. those were no doubt the Camps of the Ossinnaboin

The Ossinniboins make use of the Same kind of Lodges which the Sioux and other Indians on this river make use of— Those lodges or tents are made of a number of dressed buffalow Skins Sowed together with Sinues & deckerated with the tales, & Porcupine quils, when open it forms a half circle with a part about 4 Inches wide projecting about 8 or 9 Inches from the center of the Streight Side for the purpose of attaching it to a pole to it the hight they wish to raise the tent, when they errect this tent four poles of equal length are tied near one end, those poles are elevated and 8 10 or 12 other poles are anexed forming a Circle at the ground and lodging in the forks of the four attached poles, the tents are then raised, by attach the projecting part to a pole and incumpassing the poles with the tent by bringing the two ends together and attached with a Cord, or laied as high as is necessary, leaveing the lower part open for about 4 feet for to pass in & out, and the top is generally left open to admit the Smoke to pass—

Capt. Lewis walked out above this creek and killed an Elk which he found So meager that it was not fit for use, and joined the boat at Dusk at our Camp on the S. S. opposit a high hill Several parts of which had Sliped down. on the Side of those hills we Saw two white bear running from the report of Capt. Lewis Shot, those animals assended those Steep hills with Supprising ease & verlocity. they were too far to disover their prosise Colour & Size—

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Apr 15
1805
Lewis: Set out at an early hour this morning. I walked on shore, and Capt. Clark continued with the party it being an invariable rule with us not to be both absent from our vessels at the same time. I passed through the bottoms of the river on the Stard. side. they were partially covered with timber & were extensive, level and beatifull. in my walk which was about 6 miles I passed a small rivulet of clear water making down from the hills, which on tasting, I discovered to be in a small degree brackish. it possessed less of the glauber salt, or alumn, than those little streams from the hills usually do.— in a little pond of water fromed by this rivulet where it entered the bottom,

I heard the frogs crying for the first time this season; their note was the same with that of the small frogs which are common to the lagoons and swam[p]s of the U States.— I saw great quantities of gees feeding in the bottoms, of which I shot one. saw some deer and Elk, but they were remarkably shy. I also met with great numbers of Grouse or prairie hens as they are called by the English traders of the N. W. these birds appeared to be mating;

after breakfast Capt. Clark walked on the Std. shore, and on his return in the evening gave me the following account of his ramble. I assended to the high country, about 9 miles distant from the Missouri. the country consists of beatifull, level and fertile plains, destitute of timber I saw many little dranes, which took their rise in the river hills, from whence as far as I could see they run to the N. E. I saw the remains of several camps of the Assinniboins; near one of which, in a small ravene, there was a park which they had formed of timber and brush, for the purpose of taking the Cabrie or Antelope. it was constructed in the following manner. a strong pound was first made of timbers, on one side of which there was a small apparture, sufficiently large to admit an Antelope; from each side of this apparture, a curtain was extended to a considerable distance, widening as they receded from the pound.—

we passed a rock this evening standing in the middle of the river, and the bed of the river was formed principally of gravel. we encamped this evening on a sand point on Lard. side.

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Apr 18
1805
Lewis: A fine morning, set out at an early hour. one Beaver caught this morning by two traps, having a foot in each; the traps belonged to different individuals, between whom, a contest ensued, which would have terminated, most probably, in a serious rencounter had not our timely arrival at the place prevented it.

after breakfast this morning, Capt. Clark walked on Stad. shore, while the party were assending by means of their toe lines, I walked with them on the bank; found a species of pea bearing a yellow flower, and now in blume; it seldom rises more than 6 inches high, the leaf & stalk resembles that of the common gardin pea, the root is pirenial. [Thermopsis rhombifolia Nutt., golden pea]

I also saw several parsels of buffaloe's hair hanging on the rose bushes, [Rosa woodsii Lindl., western wild rose] which had been bleached by exposure to the weather and became perfectly white. it every appearance of the wool of the sheep, tho' much finer and more silkey and soft. I am confident that an excellent cloth may be made of the wool of the Buffaloe. the Buffaloe I killed yesterday had cast his long hare, and the pile which remained was very thick, fine, and about 2 inches in length. I think this anamal would have furnished about five pounds of wool.

we were detained today from one to five P. M. in consequence of the wind which blew so violently from N. that it was with difficulty we could keep the canoes from filling with water altho' they were along shore; I had them secured by placing the perogues on the out side of them in such manner as to break the waves off them. at 5 we proceed, and shortly after met with Capt. Clark, who had killed an Elk and a deer and was wating our arrival. we took the meat on board and continued our march untill nearly dark when we came too on the Stard side under a boald welltimbered bank which sheltered us from the wind which had abated but not yet ceased. here we encamped, it being the extremity of the last course of this day.—

Clark: after brackfast I assended a hill and observed that the river made a great bend to the South, I concluded to walk thro' the point about 2 miles and take Shabono, with me, he had taken a dost of Salts &c. his Squar followed on with his child,

when I Struck the next bend of the river could See nothing of the Party, left this man & his wife & Child on the river bank and went out to hunt, Killed a young Buck Elk, & a deer, the Elk was tolerable meat, the deer verry pore, Butcherd the meat and Continued untill near Sunset before Capt Lewis and the party Came up, they were detained by the wind, which rose Soon after I left the boat from the N W. & blew verry hard untill verry late in the evening.

we Camped on the S. S. in an excellent harbor, Soon after We came too, two men went up the river to Set their beaver traps they met with a bear and being without their arms thought prodent to return &c. the whild Cheries are in bloom, [Prunus americana Marsh., wild plum ] Great appearance of Burnt hills Pumice Stone &c. the Coal & Salt appearance Continued, the water in the Small runs much better than below,— Saw Several old Indian Camps, the game, Such as Buffalow Elk, antelopes & deer verry plenty

Williams County, North Dakota Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 19
1805
Lewis: The wind blew So hard this morning from N. W. that we dared not to venture our canoes on the river.— Observed considerable quantities of dwarf Juniper on the hill sides it seldom rises higher then 3 feet.—

the wind detained us through the couse of this day, tho' we were fortunate in having placed ourselves in a safe harbour.

the party killed one Elk and a beaver today. The beaver of this part of the Missouri are larger, fatter, more abundant and better clad with fur than those of any other part of the country that I have yet seen; I have remarked also that their fur is much darker.—

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Apr 20
1805
Lewis: The wind continued to blow tolerably hard this morning but by no means as violently as it did yesterday; we determined to set out and accordingly departed a little before seven. I walked on shore on the N. side of the river, and Capt Clark proceeded with the party. the river bottoms through which I passed about seven miles were fertil and well covered with Cottonwood some Box alder, ash and red Elm. the under brush, willow, rose bushes Honeysuccle, red willow, goosbury, currant and servicebury & in the open grounds along the foot of the river hills immence quantities of the hisop.

in the course of my walk I killed two deer, wounded an Elk and a deer;

saw the remains of some Indian hunting camps, near which stood a small scaffold of about 7 feet high on which were deposited two doog slays with their harnis. underneath this scaffold a human body was lying, well rolled in several dressed buffaloe skins and near it a bag of the same materials containg sundry articles belonging to the disceased; consisting of a pare of mockersons, some red and blue earth, beaver's nails, instruments for dressing the Buffalo skin, some dryed roots, several platts of the sweet grass, and a small quantity of Mandan tobacco.— I presume that the body, as well as the bag containing these articles, had formerly been placed on the scaffold as is the custom of these people, but had fallen down by accedent. near the scaffold I saw the carcase of a large dog not yet decayed, which I supposed had been killed at the time the human body was left on the scaffold; this was no doubt the reward, which the poor doog had met with for transporting her corps to the place of deposit. it is customary with the Assinniboins, Mandans, Minetares &c who scaffold their dead, to sacrefice the favorite horses and doggs of their disceased relations, with a view of their being servicable to them in the land of sperits. I have never heard of any instances of human sacrefices on those occasions among them.—

The wind blew so hard that I concluded it was impossible fror the perogues and canoes to proceed and therefore returned and joined them about three in the evening. Capt Clark informed me that soon after seting out, a part of the bank of the river fell in near one of the canoes and had very nearly filled her with water. that the wind became so hard and the waves so high that it was with infinite risk he had been able to get as far as his present station. the white perrogue and several of the canoes had shiped water several times but happily our stores were but little injured; those which were wet we put out to dry and determined to remain untill the next morning.

we sent out four hunters who soon added 3 Elk 4 Gees and 2 deer to our stock of provisions. the party caught six beaver today which were large and in fine order. the Buffaloe, Elk and deer are poor at this season, and of cours are not very palitable, however our good health and apetites make up every necessary deficiency, and we eat very heartily of them.— encamped on Stard side; under a high well timbered bank.

Ordway: cloudy. the wind is not So high as it was yesterday this morning. we Set off about 7 oClock. we found it Cold polling. the air chilley.

Saw a buffaloe Swim the river close before us but would not Shoot him for he was not fat.

the wind rose & blew Same as yesterday So that we could hardly make any head way. halted took breakfast about 10 O.C. 2 of the hunters Shot four beaver directly in the edge of the river. delayed Som time the [wind?] abated a little. we proceded on the wind Shortly rose again and blew so hard that the canoes were near filling they took in considerable of water. the Sand blew off the Sand bars & beaches So that we could hardly See, it was like a thick fogg. it took us about two hours to come about 2½ miles.

we went up the bottom about 3 miles where we found a good harbour for the perogues to lay out of the wind we halted and dryed the things which was Wet & Camped for the night.

we Saw gangs of Elk running along near our Camp we did not want any more meat or we might have killed a pleanty. high Squawls of wind & flights of round Snow this day. we took in Some water in the Canoe I was in. the water came up to my Box So that a part of my paper Got wet.

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Apr 15
1805
Lewis: Set out at an early hour this morning. I walked on shore, and Capt. Clark continued with the party it being an invariable rule with us not to be both absent from our vessels at the same time. I passed through the bottoms of the river on the Stard. side. they were partially covered with timber & were extensive, level and beatifull. in my walk which was about 6 miles I passed a small rivulet of clear water making down from the hills, which on tasting, I discovered to be in a small degree brackish. it possessed less of the glauber salt, or alumn, than those little streams from the hills usually do.— in a little pond of water fromed by this rivulet where it entered the bottom,

I heard the frogs crying for the first time this season; their note was the same with that of the small frogs which are common to the lagoons and swam[p]s of the U States.— I saw great quantities of gees feeding in the bottoms, of which I shot one. saw some deer and Elk, but they were remarkably shy. I also met with great numbers of Grouse or prairie hens as they are called by the English traders of the N. W. these birds appeared to be mating;

after breakfast Capt. Clark walked on the Std. shore, and on his return in the evening gave me the following account of his ramble. I assended to the high country, about 9 miles distant from the Missouri. the country consists of beatifull, level and fertile plains, destitute of timber I saw many little dranes, which took their rise in the river hills, from whence as far as I could see they run to the N. E. I saw the remains of several camps of the Assinniboins; near one of which, in a small ravene, there was a park which they had formed of timber and brush, for the purpose of taking the Cabrie or Antelope. it was constructed in the following manner. a strong pound was first made of timbers, on one side of which there was a small apparture, sufficiently large to admit an Antelope; from each side of this apparture, a curtain was extended to a considerable distance, widening as they receded from the pound.—

we passed a rock this evening standing in the middle of the river, and the bed of the river was formed principally of gravel. we encamped this evening on a sand point on Lard. side.

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Apr 18
1805
Lewis: A fine morning, set out at an early hour. one Beaver caught this morning by two traps, having a foot in each; the traps belonged to different individuals, between whom, a contest ensued, which would have terminated, most probably, in a serious rencounter had not our timely arrival at the place prevented it.

after breakfast this morning, Capt. Clark walked on Stad. shore, while the party were assending by means of their toe lines, I walked with them on the bank; found a species of pea bearing a yellow flower, and now in blume; it seldom rises more than 6 inches high, the leaf & stalk resembles that of the common gardin pea, the root is pirenial. [Thermopsis rhombifolia Nutt., golden pea]

I also saw several parsels of buffaloe's hair hanging on the rose bushes, [Rosa woodsii Lindl., western wild rose] which had been bleached by exposure to the weather and became perfectly white. it every appearance of the wool of the sheep, tho' much finer and more silkey and soft. I am confident that an excellent cloth may be made of the wool of the Buffaloe. the Buffaloe I killed yesterday had cast his long hare, and the pile which remained was very thick, fine, and about 2 inches in length. I think this anamal would have furnished about five pounds of wool.

we were detained today from one to five P. M. in consequence of the wind which blew so violently from N. that it was with difficulty we could keep the canoes from filling with water altho' they were along shore; I had them secured by placing the perogues on the out side of them in such manner as to break the waves off them. at 5 we proceed, and shortly after met with Capt. Clark, who had killed an Elk and a deer and was wating our arrival. we took the meat on board and continued our march untill nearly dark when we came too on the Stard side under a boald welltimbered bank which sheltered us from the wind which had abated but not yet ceased. here we encamped, it being the extremity of the last course of this day.—

Clark: after brackfast I assended a hill and observed that the river made a great bend to the South, I concluded to walk thro' the point about 2 miles and take Shabono, with me, he had taken a dost of Salts &c. his Squar followed on with his child,

when I Struck the next bend of the river could See nothing of the Party, left this man & his wife & Child on the river bank and went out to hunt, Killed a young Buck Elk, & a deer, the Elk was tolerable meat, the deer verry pore, Butcherd the meat and Continued untill near Sunset before Capt Lewis and the party Came up, they were detained by the wind, which rose Soon after I left the boat from the N W. & blew verry hard untill verry late in the evening.

we Camped on the S. S. in an excellent harbor, Soon after We came too, two men went up the river to Set their beaver traps they met with a bear and being without their arms thought prodent to return &c. the whild Cheries are in bloom, [Prunus americana Marsh., wild plum ] Great appearance of Burnt hills Pumice Stone &c. the Coal & Salt appearance Continued, the water in the Small runs much better than below,— Saw Several old Indian Camps, the game, Such as Buffalow Elk, antelopes & deer verry plenty

Williams County, North Dakota Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 19
1805
Lewis: The wind blew So hard this morning from N. W. that we dared not to venture our canoes on the river.— Observed considerable quantities of dwarf Juniper on the hill sides it seldom rises higher then 3 feet.—

the wind detained us through the couse of this day, tho' we were fortunate in having placed ourselves in a safe harbour.

the party killed one Elk and a beaver today. The beaver of this part of the Missouri are larger, fatter, more abundant and better clad with fur than those of any other part of the country that I have yet seen; I have remarked also that their fur is much darker.—

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Apr 21
1805
Lewis: Set out at an early hour this morning. Capt Clark walked on shore; the wind tho' a head was not violent. the country through which we passed is very simelar in every rispect to that through which we have passed for several days.—

We saw immence herds of buffaloe Elk deer & Antelopes. Capt Clark killed a buffaloe and 4 deer in the course of his walk today; and the party with me killed 3 deer, 2 beaver, and 4 buffaloe calves. the latter we found very delicious. I think it equal to any veal I ever tasted. the Elk now begin to shed their horns.

passed one large and two small creeks on the Lard. side, tho' neither of them discharge any water at present. the wind blew so hard this evening that we were obliged to halt several hours. we reached the place of incampment after dark, which was on the Lard. side a little above White earth river which discharges itself on the Stard. side. immediately at the mouth of this river it is not more than 10 yards wide being choked up by the mud of the Missouri; tho' after leaving the bottom lands of this river, or even sooner, it becomes a boald stream of sixty yards wide and is deep and navigable. the course of this river as far as I could see from the top of Cut bluff, was due North. it passes through a beatifull level and fertile vally about five miles in width. I think I saw about 25 miles up this river, and did not discover one tree or bush of any discription on it's borders. the vally was covered with Elk and buffaloe. saw a great number of Gees today as usual, also some Swan and ducks.—

Ordway: a hard white frost last night. froze water in the buckets Setting near the fire.

a Clear and pleasant morning, but verry chilly & cold. we proceeded on. Saw the hills and vallies on S. S. covered with buffaloe. Some calfs among them. one of the party clumb a Stump of a tree which had a Goose nest in the top of it found four Eggs in it.

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Apr 22
1805
Lewis: Set out at an early hour this morning; proceeded pretty well untill breakfat, when the wind became so hard a head that we proceeded with difficulty even with the assistance of our toe lines. the party halted

I asscended to the top of the cutt bluff this morning, from whence I had a most delightfull view of the country, the whole of which except the vally formed by the Missouri is void of timber or underbrush, exposing to the first glance of the spectator immence herds of Buffaloe, Elk, deer, & Antelopes feeding in one common and boundless pasture. we saw a number of bever feeding on the bark of the trees alonge the verge of the river, several of which we shot, found them large and fat.

walking on shore this evening I met with a buffaloe calf which attatched itself to me and continued to follow close at my heels untill I embarked and left it. it appeared allarmed at my dog which was probably the cause of it's so readily attatching itself to me. Capt Clark informed me that he saw a large drove of buffaloe pursued by wolves today, that they at length caught a calf which was unable to keep up with the herd. the cows only defend their young so long as they are able to keep up with the herd, and seldom return any distance in surch of them.—

McKenzie County, North Dakota Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Wind Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 25
1805
Lewis: The wind was more moderate this morning, tho' still hard; we set out at an early hour. the water friezed on the oars this morning as the men rowed. about 10 oclock A. M. the wind began to blow so violently that we were obliged to lye too. my dog had been absent during the last night, and I was fearfull we had lost him altogether, however, much to my satisfaction he joined us at 8 Oclock this morning.

The wind had been so unfavorable to our progress for several days past, and seeing but little prospect of a favourable chang; knowing that the river was crooked, from the report of the hunters who were out yesterday, and beleiving that we were at no very great distance from the Yellow stone River; I determined, in order as mush as possible to avoid detention, to proceed by land with a few men [four men, to include Ordway, Drouillard and Joseph Field] to the entrance of that river and make the necessary observations to determine it's position, which I hoped to effect by the time that Capt Clark could arrive with the party; accordingly I set out at 11 OCk. on the Lard. side, accompanyed by four men. we proceeded about four miles, when falling in with some buffaloe I killed a yearling calf, which was in good order; we soon cooked and made a hearty meal of a part of it, and renewed our march our rout lay along the foot of the river hills. when we had proceeded about four miles, I ascended the hills from whence I had a most pleasing view of the country, perticularly of the wide and fertile vallies formed by the missouri and the yellowstone rivers, which occasionally unmasked by the wood on their borders disclose their meanderings for many miles in their passage through these delightfull tracts of country. I could not discover the junction of the rivers immediately, they being concealed by the woods, however, sensible that it could not be distant I determined to encamp on the bank of the Yellow stone river which made it's appearance about 2 miles South of me.

the whol face of the country was covered with herds of Buffaloe, Elk & Antelopes; deer are also abundant, but keep themselves more concealed in the woodland. the buffaloe Elk and Antelope are so gentle that we pass near them while feeding, without apearing to excite any alarm among them, and when we attract their attention, they frequently approach us more nearly to discover what we are, and in some instances pursue us a considerable distance apparenly with that view.— in our way to the place I had determined to encamp, we met with two large herds of buffaloe, of which we killed three cows and a calf. two of the former, wer but lean, we therefore took their tongues and a part of their marrow-bones only. I then proceeded to the place of our encampment with two of the men, taking with us the Calf and marrowbones, while the other two remained, with orders to dress the cow that was in tolerable order, and hang the meat out of the reach of the wolves, a precaution indispensible to it's safe keeping, even for a night. we encamped on the bank of the yellowstone river, 2 miles South of it's confluence with the Missouri. [The Yellowstone meets the Missouri in McKenzie County, North Dakota, a little east of the Montana state line. The actual mouth has shifted over the years.]

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Apr 26
1805
Lewis: This morning I dispatched Joseph Fields up the yellowstone river with orders to examine it as far as he could conveniently and return the same evening; two others were directed to bring in the meat we had killed last evening, while I proceeded down the river with one man [probably Drouillard] in order to take a view of the confluence of this great river with the Missouri, which we found to be two miles distant on a direct line N. W. from our encampment.

the bottom land on the lower side of the yellowstone river near it's mouth for about one mile in width appears to be subject to inundation; while that on the opposite side of the Missouri and the point formed by the junction of these rivers is of the common elivation, say from twelve to 18 feet above the level of the water, and of course not liable to be overflown except in extreem high water, which dose not appear to be very frequent there is more timber in the neighbourhood of the junction of these rivers, and on the Missouri as far below as the White earth river, than there is on any part of the Missouri above the entrance of the Chyenne river to this place.

the timber consists principally of Cottonwood, with some small elm, ash and boxalder. the under growth on the sandbars and verge of the river is the small leafed willow; the low bottoms, rose bushes which rise to three or four feet high, the redburry, servicebury, and the redwood; the high bottoms are of two discriptions either timbered or open; the first lies next to the river and it's under brush is the same with that of the low timbered bottoms with the addition of the broaf leafed willow,

Goosbury, choke cherry, purple currant; and honeysuckle bushis; the open bottoms border on the hills, and are covered in many parts by the wild hyssop which rises to the hight of two feet. I observe that the Antelope, Buffaloe Elk and deer feed on this herb; the willow of the sandbars also furnish a favorite winter food to these anamals as well as the growse, the Porcupine, hare, and rabbit

about 12 Olock I heard the discharge of several guns at the junction of the rivers, which announced to me the arrival of the paty with Capt Clark; I afterwards learnt that they had fired on some buffaloe which they met with at that place, and of which they killed a cow and several Calves; the latter are now fine veal.

I dispatched one of the men to Capt Clark requesting him to send up a canoe to take down the meat we had killed and our baggage to his encampmt, which was accordingly complyed with. after I had completed my observations in the evening I walked down and joined the party at their encampment on the point of land fromed by the junction of the rivers; found them all in good health, and much pleased at having arrived at this long wished for spot, and in order to add in some measure to the general pleasure which seemed to pervade our little community, we ordered a dram to be issued to each person; this soon produced the fiddle, and they spent the evening with much hilarity, singing & dancing, and seemed as perfectly to forget their past toils, as they appeared regardless of those to come.

in the evening, the man I had sent up the river this morning returned, and reported that he had ascended it about eight miles on a streight line; that he found it crooked, meandering from side to side of the valley formed by it; which is from four to five miles wide. the corrent of the river gentle, and it's bed much interrupted and broken by sandbars; at the distance of five miles he passed a large Island well covered with timber, and three miles higher a large creek falls in on the S. E. side above a high bluff in which there are several stratas of coal. the country bordering on this river as far as he could percieve, like that of the Missouri, consisted of open plains. he saw several of the bighorned animals in the couse of his walk; but there were so shy that he could not get a shoot at them; he found a large horn of one of these anamals which he brought with him.

the bed of the yellowstone river is entirely composed of sand and mud, not a stone of any kind to be seen in it near it's entrance. Capt Clark measured these rivers just above their confluence; found the bed of the Missouri 520 yards wide, the water occupying 330. it's channel deep. the yellowstone river including it's sandbar, 858 yds, of which, the water occupyed 297 yards; the depest part 12 feet; it was falling at this time & appeard to be nearly at it's summer tide.—

the Indians inform that the yellowstone river is navigable for perogues than half a day's march of a navigable part of the Missouri. it's extreem sources are adjacent to those of the Missouri, river platte, and I think probably with some of the South branch of the Columbia river

[Most of this would be from Indian information. The Yellowstone, the Gallatin and Madison forks of the Missouri, and the Snake, the greatest tributary of the Columbia, do all rise on the Yellowstone Plateau of northwest Wyoming, the closest actual approximation to the pyramidal height of land of pre-Lewis and Clark conjectural geography. The sources of the North and South Platte are in the Colorado Rockies.]

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Apr 27
1805
Lewis: This morning I walked through the point formed by the junction of the rivers; the woodland extends about a mile, when the rivers approach each other within less than half a mile; here a beatifull level low plain commences and extends up both rivers for many miles, widening as the rivers recede from each other, and extending back half a mile to a plain about 12 feet higher than itself; the low plain appears to be a few inches higher than high water mark and of course will not be liable to be overflown; tho' where it joins the high plain a part of the Missouri when at it's greatest hight, passes through a channel of 60 or 70 yards wide and falls into the yellowstone river. on the Missouri about 2½ miles from the entrance of the yellowstone river, and between this high and low plain, a small lake is situated about 200 yards wide extending along the edge of the high plain parallel with the Missouri about one mile. on the point of the high plain at the lower extremity of this lake I think would be the most eligible site for an establishment.

[The American Fur Company's Fort Union (1828), the Sublette and Campbell post Fort William (1832), and the military post of Fort Buford (1866), were all built, not in the point as Lewis proposed, but on the north side of the Missouri, in Williams County, North Dakota, probably to avoid the flooding which Lewis noted.]

I continued my walk on shore; at 11 A. M. the wind became very hard from N. W. insomuch that the perogues and canoes were unable either to proceede or pass the river to me; I was under the necessity therefore of shooting a goose and cooking it for my dinner. the wind abated about 4 P. M. and the party proceeded tho' I could not conveniently join them untill night. altho' game is very abundant and gentle, we only kill as much as is necessary for food. I believe that two good hunters could conveniently supply a regiment with provisions.

for several days past we have observed a great number of buffaloe lying dead on the shore, some of them entire and others partly devoured by the Wolves and bears. those anamals either drowned during the winter in attempting to pass the river on the ice during the winter or by swiming acrss at present to bluff banks which they are unable to ascend, and feeling themselves too weak to return remain and perish for the want of food; in this situation we met with several little parties of them.—

beaver are very abundant, the party kill several of them every day.

The Eagles, Magpies, and gees have their nests in trees adjacent to each other; the magpye particularly appears fond of building near the Eagle, as we scarcely see an Eagle's nest unaccompanyed with two or three Magpies nests within a short distance.— The bald Eagle are more abundant here than I ever observed them in any part of the country.

Lewis & Clark Map: 04/27/05 Roosevelt County, Montana Wind The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 28
1805
Lewis: Set out this morning at an early hour; the wind was favourable and we employed our sails to advantage. Capt. Clark walked on shore this morning, and I proceeded with the party. the country through which we passed today is open as usual and very broken on both sides near the river hills, the bottoms are level fertile and partially covered with timber. the hills and bluffs exhibit their usual mineral appearances, the woods are now green,

we saw great quantities of game today; consisting of the common and mule deer, Elks, Buffaloe, and Antelopes; also four brown bear, one of which was fired on and wounded by one of the party but we did not get it; the beaver have cut great quantities of timber; saw a tree nearly 3 feet in diameter that had been felled by them. Capt. Clark in the course of his walk killed a Deer and a goose; & saw three black bears;

he thinks the bottoms are not so wide as they have been for some days past.—

Lewis & Clark Map: 04/27/05 Roosevelt County, Montana Wind The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Apr 29
1805
Lewis: Set out this morning at the usual hour; the wind was moderate; I walked on shore with one man about 8 A. M. we fell in with two brown or yellow bear; both of which we wounded; one of them made his escape, the other after my firing on him pursued me seventy or eighty yards, but fortunately had been so badly wounded that he was unable to pursue so closely as to prevent my charging my gun; we again repeated our fir and killed him. it was a male not fully grown, we estimated his weight at 300 lbs, not having the means of ascertaining it precisely.

this anamal appeared to me to differ from the black bear; it is a much more furious and formidable anamal, and will frequently pursue the hunter when wounded. it is asstonishing to see the wounds they will bear before they can be put to death. the Indians may well fear this anamal equiped as they generally are with their bows and arrows or indifferent fuzees, but in the hands of skillfull riflemen they are by no means as formidable or dangerous as they have been represented.

[Their first actual specimen of the grizzly bear from which Lewis wrote the first scientific description of the species.]

game is still very abundant we can scarcely cast our eyes in any direction without percieving deer Elks, Buffaloe, or Antelopes. The quantity of wolves appear to increase in the same proportion; they generally hunt in parties of six eight or ten; they kill a great number of the Antelopes at this season; the Antelopes are yet meagre and the females are big with young; the wolves take them most generally in attempting to swim the river; in this manner my dog caught one drowned it and brought it on shore; they are but clumsey swimers, tho' on land when in good order, they are extreemly fleet and dureable. we have frequently seen the wolves in pursuit of the Antelope in the plains; they appear to decoy a single one from a flock, and then pursue it, alturnately relieving each other untill they take it.

on joining Capt Clark he informed me that he had seen a female and faun of the big-horned anamal; that they ran for some distance with great aparent ease along the side of the river bluff where it was almost perpendicular; two of the party fired on them while in motion without effect. we took the flesh of the bear on board and proceeded. Capt. Clark walked on shore this evening, killed a Deer, and saw several of the bighorned anamals.

there is more appearance of coal today than we have yet seen, the stratas are 6 feet thick in some instances; the earth has been birnt in many places, and always appears in stratas on the same level with the stratas of coal.

Lewis & Clark Map: 04/27/05 Roosevelt County, Montana The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

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This guide last edited 12/17/2005
This guide last revised 09/04/2008
This guide created 03/23/2005