previous   |   next

[Lewis and Clark] 
Weather, January 1804  [1]

      Thermometrical observation shewing also the rise and fall of the Mississippi,  [2] appearances of weather winds &c at the mouth of the river Dubois commencing 1st Jany 1804.    in Longitude 89° 57' 45" W. Latitude 38° 55' 19.6" N.    Thermometer on the N. Side of a large tree in the woods





       In the miscellanious column or column of remarks are noted, the appearance quantity and thickness of the floating or stationary ice, the appearance and quantity of drift-wood, 〈the rapidity of the courent of the river below the mouth of the missouri, the falling of the banks—〉 the appearance of birds, reptiles and insects, in the spring    disappearance in the fall, leafing flowering and seeding of plants, fall of leaf, access and recess of frost, debth of snows, their duration or disappearance. 〈Longitude and Latd.〉  [3]



Notations of the weather
f. means fair
c. —Cloudy
r. —Rain
s. —Snow
h. —Hail
t. —Thunder
l. —Lightning
a. —after—as f. a. r. means that it is fair after rain which was interveened since the last observation—    c. a. s.—Cloudy after snow intervening    c. a. r. s.—cloudy after rain & snow—



Notation of the river
R. means risen in the last 24 Hours ending at Sun symbol rise
F. —fallen in the same period—
Notations of Thermometer a. 0 means above naught, & b. o—visa versa



Remarks on the Thermometer  [4]


      1—By two experiments made with Ferenheit's Thermometer which I used in these observations, I asscertained it's error to be 11°  [5] too low or additive +—    I tested it with water and snow mixed for the friezing point, and boiling water for—the point marked boiling water.—


       Note  [6] when there is not room in the column for the necessary remarks it is transferred by the refference of Numbers to an adjoining part of this book—



day of
at Sun symbol
weather wind Therm.
at 4
weather wind River
rise or
F I.
Jany 1   Cloudy     Cloudy      
 " 2   C a S     C      
 " 3       2 ½ a o f NW.W    
   4 11 a 0 f W     W    
   5   f W   f W    
   6   f W N W 30 a 0 f W N W    
   7  [7]   h S W   c & r S W    
   8   f S W   f N W    
   9   f W N W 1 b. 0 c W N W    
   10     f   f     6
   13   c & s S W o r & s S W    
   14   f a s     f      
   17  [8] 8 b. 0 f N W 1 ½ b. 0   N W f 6
   18 1 b o c N W W 1 a 0 s & f N N W f  
   19 13 a 0 c N W 11 a o c N W f  
   20 5 b 0 f N W 8 a 0 C N W f  
   21 7 a 0 c & s N E 17 a 0 s & h N E f  
   22  [9] 11 a 0 S shfty. 13 a 0 s N W f  
   23 11 a 0 c N E 17 a 0 c N f  
   24 4 a 0 c N W 11 a 0 c W f  
   25  [10] 2 b 0 f W N W 16 a 0 f W f  
   26   c S W   c S W f  
   27   f     f      
   28 5 a 0 C. s N W 18 a 0 c a s N W r  
   29 16 a. 0 f W 23 a 0 f   r  
   30 22 a 0 c & s N 16 a 0 f a s   r  
   31 10 a 0 f S W by W 15 a 0 f w r  



[Remarks]  [11]

Jany 1Snow 1 Inch Deep
" 2Snow last night inconsiderable
" 3wind blew hard
" 4river Covered with ice out of the Missouries
" 5the River a Dubois rise a little
" 6ditto    do
" 7do       do
" 8Ice run down the little river [Dubois]
" 9Snow last night
" 10Missouri rise
" 11W C very sick  [12]
" 12do
" 13Snow'd last night
" 14do    do
" 15W C Sick
" 16do
" 17river falls & full of Ice 5½ In. thick
" 18   do
" 19no ice running
" 20Ice running out of the Missippi 9 In thick  [13]
" 21Snow 2½ In Deep  [14]
" 22do 5¾ In Deep    Ice runing down the Missouri,  [15]
" 23Ice Stoped
" 24The Trees covered with ice to day
" 25Some ice  [16]
" 26warm Day
" 27do    do
" 28cold & Ice runing
" 29no Ice running
" 30Capt. Lewis arrive  [17]
" 31Ice run a little


1. Here begin the captains' systematic weather observations, kept independently of regular journal entries. In this edition the data are placed at the end of the appropriate month. Included here are tables and observations from Lewis's Weather Diary and Clark's Codex C (see Introduction and Appendix C). The two sets of tables and remarks are combined to provide complete information without repetition. In this edition I have followed the Weather Diary as far as it goes and compared Codex C or other miscellaneous weather notes with it. It is uncertain which was the original source and which the copy, but internal evidence points to the Weather Diary as being the principal document. Insignificant changes between sources, such as word choice and sentence structure, are ignored; substantive differences are noted. The "remarks" include some events unrelated to weather, such as natural phenomena or daily events; they are retained with the weather data. Sometimes the remarks form a column of the table, sometimes they are placed separately. This edition follows the latter practice. In the Weather Diary, Lewis wrote the introductory material, the column headings, and the January 1 observations; the rest of the observations for the month seem to be in Clark's hand. Lewis was in St. Louis most of the time. There is also a copy of this January 1804 table in the notebook Voorhis No. 4 in Clark's hand, made at an unknown date. It appears to follow the Weather Diary more closely than it does Codex C, but some ten days (January 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16) are missing and there are various discrepancies, chiefly in the remarks; some of those appear to be the result of writing remarks on the wrong line. In general, the Voorhis No. 4 table appears to be a hasty copy made later for some unknown purpose and does not seem worthy of detailed notice here. (Return to text.)


2. Clark, in Codex C, adds "(Missouri)" here. (Return to text.)


3. Clark, in Codex C, does not have this paragraph.  (Return to text.)


4. These remarks are from Lewis's Weather Diary, in his hand, under the heading "Notes of refference for Jany 1804." Clark repeats them in Codex C under the title given here.  (Return to text.)


5. Clark has 8° in Codex C.  (Return to text.)


6. In his Weather Diary, Lewis placed a column for remarks within the table of observations; Clark, in Codex C, placed his remarks on separate pages—the style followed here. The preliminary note was at the head of Lewis's column of remarks. (Return to text.)


7. In Codex C, under the second column of weather for this date, Clark has "c. a. r. h." rather tahn "c & r."  (Return to text.)


8. The "f" in first weather column is written over "N W."  (Return to text.)


9. The "S" in the first weather column is written over "shfty."  (Return to text.)


10. The "f" in the first weather column is written over "W N W."  (Return to text.)


11. The remarks in the Weather Diary are by Clark from January 2 on.  (Return to text.)


12. In Codex C, Clark entered no remarks for January 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 18, probably because of the illness he noted in the Weather Diary. (Return to text.)


13. Clark, in Codex C, says, "No ice passing to day."  (Return to text.)


14. Clark, in Codex C, has "Ice running out of the Missoury, 9 In thick    Snow 2½ In Deep."  (Return to text.)


15. Clark, in Codex C, writes, "Ice running out of the Missouri, Snow 5¾ In Deep."  (Return to text.)


16. There are no remarks in Codex C for January 25, 26, and 27.  (Return to text.)


17. Clark, in Codex C, adds "from Kahokia."  (Return to text.)

previous   |   next

Home  |  Search  |  Read the Journals  |  Additional Texts  |  Images  |  Maps  |  Multimedia
About This Project |  FAQ  |  Links  |  Print Editions  |  Copyright  |  Contact Us  |  Site Map