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23rd Septr. Sunday 1804 (days and nights equal) Set out early under a gentle Breeze from the 〈N E〉 S E N. 46° W 3¾ Miles to the mo: of a Creek on the S. S.  passd. a pt. on the L. S. (1) a Small Island opsd. in the bend to the S. S. This Island is Called goat Island, (1) this Creek is 10 yards wide. passed bad Sand bars— S. 46° W 2¾ mes. a wood at a Spring in the bend to the L. S. Saw the Prarie a fire behind us near the head of Ceder Island L. S. N. 80° W. 4½ to the lower pt of Elk Island  pass 2 Willow Islands & Sand I saw this morning 12 of those Black & white birds of the corvus Species.—
Capt Lewis went out to hund on the Island a great number of Buffalow in Sight I must Seal up all those Scrips & draw from my Journal at Some other time  Wm Clark Cpt. [of E.?]
Set out under a Gentle breeze from the S. E— (1) passed Goat Island Situated in a bend to the S. S— above passed a Small Creek 12 yards wide on the S. S.— we observed a great Smoke to the S W. which is an Indian Signal of their haveing discovered us, I walked on Shore and observed great numbers of Buffalows. (2) passed 2 Small Willow Islands with large Sand bars makeing from their upper points (3) passed Elk Island Situated near the L. S. about 2½ mes. long & ¾ wide, Covered with Cotton wood, a red berry Called by the French "grise de buff,"  Grapes &c. the river is wide Streight & contains a great numr of Sand bars, (4) passed a Small Creek on the S. S. 16 yds wide I call Reubens Cr.—  R. Fields was the first who found it— Came too & Camped on the S. S. in a Wood.  Soon after we landed three Soues boys Swam across to us, those boys informed us that a Band of Sieux called the Tetons of 80 Lodges wer Camped near the mouth of the next River, and 60 Lodges more a Short distance above them, they had that day Set the praries on fire to let those Camps Know of our approach— we gave those boys two twists of Tobacco to carry to their Chiefs & Warriors to Smoke, with derections to tell them that we wished to Speak to them tomorrow, at the mouth of the next river— Capt Lewis walked on Shore, R F. Killed a She Goat or ["]Cabbra."
Set out under a gentle breeze from the S. E, (1) passed a Small Island Situated in a bend to the L. S. Called Goat Island, a Short distance above the upper point a Creek of 12 yards wide coms in on the S. S. we observed a great Smoke to the S W.— I walked on Shore & observed Buffalow in great Herds at a Distance (2) passed two Small willow Islands with large Sand bars makeing out from them, passed (3) Elk Island about 2½ miles long & ¾ mile wide Situated near the L. S. covered with Cotton wood the read Current Called by the French Gres de Butiff & grapes &c. &c. the river is nearly Streight for a great distance wide and Shoal. (4) passed a Creek on the S. S. 16 yards wide we Call Reubens Creek, as R Fields found it Camped on the S. S. below the mouth of a Creek on the L. S. three Souex boys Came to us Swam the river and informd that the Band of Soauex called the Teton〈gues〉 of 80 Lodges were Camped at the next Creek above, & 60 Lodges more a Short distance above, we gave those boys two Carrots of Tobacco to Carry to their Chiefs, with derections to tell them that we would Speek to them tomorrow
Capt Lewis walked on Shore this evening, R. F Killed a Doe Goat,—
On the Lard. Shore 3 miles below Elk Island.
Observed meridian altd. of 's U. L. with Sextant by the fore observation 91° 48' 45"
Sunday 23rd Sept 1804. a fair pleasant morning. we Set off eairly— proceeded on. passed a large Bottom on N. S. covered with Timber and Grapes &.C. R. Fields out to hunt Capt. Clark returned had Spied a large fire in the praries a fiew miles back on S. Side— we Saw large Gangs of Buffalow on the hills N. S. the wind favourable from S. E. we passed a Creek on N. S. called Smoke Creek.  we passd. Elk Island at the lower end of the long reach. passd. a Timbered bottom on N. S. & barron hills on S. S. &.C— towards evening we Saw 4 Indians on the Sand beach S. S. we Camped on the N. S. & 3 of them Swam over to our Camp. they belonged to the Souix Nation. they Informed us that their Camp was near where their was a Grand chief and a nomber of their nation, the Capts. Gave them Some Tobacco & we Set them across. they return to their Camp R. Fields joined us. had killed a female Goat—
Sunday 23rd. We went on early, and had a clear morning; passed some timber on the north side and high land on the south; also a creek on the north side called Smoke creek; passed Elk island, a handsome bottom on the north side covered with timber and barren hills on the south. At six in the evening we saw four Indians on the south side and encamped on the north. Three of the Indians swam over to us: they belonged to the Sioux, and informed us that there were more of their nation not far distant. We sent them over the river again. One of our men  killed an antelope.
Sunday 23rd Sept. we Set out eairly a clear morning. passed Some timber on the N. S. high land on the S. S. passed a creek on the N. S. called Smoak creek. R. Fields went out to hunt we passed Elk Island at the lower end of the long reach. a handsom bottom on the N. S. and barron hills on the S. Side. At 6 oC in the evening we Seen 4 Indians on the S. S. we Camped on the N. S. and three of them Swam over to us they belonged to the Souix nation. they Informed us that their was more of their nation not far off we Set them back over the river again R. Fields joined us here had killed one Goat.
Sunday Septemr 23d We set out early this morning, having fine clear weather, we passed by some bottom land on the North side, cover'd with heavy Timber, and high land lying on the South side of the River which appear'd to be very rich & the Soil black, we also passed a Creek lying on the North side of the River, called smoak creek, here we stop'd the boat; and sent out one of our Men to hunt; we proceeded on 〈and passed on to〉 our way till we arrived at an Island call'd Elk Island, which lies at the lower end of a long reach, it having a handsome bottom of land on it which runs its whole length, Elk Island lies on the North side of the River, and on the South side 〈is〉 lay barren Hills, In the Evening we saw four Indians on the South side of the River; We came too, & encamped on the North side, shortly after we had encamped, three of those Indians, swam the River over to us, they belonged to the Soux Nation. They informed us by our Interpreter, that there was more of their nation, not farr off, from where we were encamped We put the Indians again across the River in our pettyauger where we met with one of our Hunters, who had killed a Goat which he brought with him.—
1. Smoke Creek on Atlas map 22, the reason for the name being found in the second Field Notes entry; later La Chapelle Creek, or Chapelle Creek, named for a French Canadian trader of later times, in Hughes County, South Dakota. Mattison (BB), 263–64; Nicollet (MMR), 416; MRC map 39. (Return to text.)
2. Elk Island on Atlas map 23, where Maximilian or someone has penciled in "Simoneau's Island," presumably the name it had acquired by the 1830s. By about 1890 it had apparently joined the Hughes County mainland, unless it was the later Fort George Island. MRC map 40; MRY maps 64, 65. (Return to text.)
3. It appears from this notation that Clark intended to seal up the sheets of the Field Notes to this point to be sent back down the river with dispatches. He had started separate entries on another loose sheet (document 58) for September 22 and 23. The captains had decided on September 16 to retain the pirogue under Corporal Warfington originally intended to carry these dispatches, but evidently they still hoped to encounter a trader's boat that could carry their messages for them. An address and notations appear on the back of document 56, which Clark apparently intended to use as the wrapper for the Field Notes to date, to be sent to his brother Jonathan for safekeeping until his return. In any event, none of the papers were sent back until the following spring. See also the Introduction to vol. 2. Osgood (FN), 144 n. 1. The address (in Clark's hand) reads: Genl. Jona. Clark of Kentucky [and] To the 22nd of Septr. 1804 To the Care of Genl. Jona. Clark near Louisville Ky. To be opened by Capt. W. Clark or Capt: Meriwether Lewis. Someone other than Clark, perhaps Biddle, has written, "Septr 20th." (Return to text.)
4. The second Field Notes entry, on document 58. The distance figures are different from the first entry but coincide with the codex figures. The latter two are correct. (Return to text.)
5. Buffaloberry, Shepherdia argentea (Pursh) Nutt. Barkley, 203. (Return to text.)
6. This stream is Little Medicine Creek on MRC map 40, was sometimes known as East Medicine Knoll Creek, and is the present Medicine Creek in Hughes County. Coues (HLC), 1:127 n. 66; Mattison (BB), 268–69; Nicollet (MMR), 417; Atlas Map 23; MRY map 65. (Return to text.)
7. In Hughes County, just below the mouth of Antelope Creek on the opposite side. Mattison (BB), 268–69; Atlas map 23; MRC map 40; MRY map 65. (Return to text.)
8. Lewis's observation from Codex O. (Return to text.)
9. Chapelle Creek, Hughes County, South Dakota. (Return to text.)
10. Reubin Field. (Return to text.)
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