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[Lewis] 
Thursday May 9th 1805.
 

       Set out at an early hour; the wind being favourable we used our sails and proceeded very well; the country in appearance is much as yester, with this difference that the land appears more fertile particularly of the Lard. hills which are not so stoney and less broken; the timber has also in some measure declined in quantity.    today we passed the bed of the most extraordinary river that I ever beheld.    it is as a wide as the Missouri is at this place or ½ a mile wide and not containing a single drop of runing water; some small standing pools being all the water that could be perceived.    it falls in on the Lard. side.  [1] I walked up this river about three miles and ascended an eminence from which I could perceive it many miles; it's course about South for 10 or 12 miles, when it viered around to the E of S. E. as far as I could see.    the valley of this river is wide and possesses but a scanty proportion of timber; the hills which border it are not very high nor is the country very broken; it is what may properly be designated a wavy or roling country intersperced with some handsom level plains.    the bank are low and abbrupt, seldom more than 6 or eight feet above the level of the bed, yet show but little appearance of being overflown; they are of black or yellow clay or a rich sandy loam.    the bed is entirely composed of a light brown sand the particles of which as well as that of the Missoury are remarkably fine.  [2]    this river I presume must extend back as far as the black hills and probably is the channel through which a great extent of plain country discharge their superfluous waters in the spring season.    it had the appearance of having recently discharged it's waters; and from the watermark, it did not appear that it had been more than 2 feet deep at it's greatest hight. This stream (if such it can properly be termed) we called Big dry river.    about a mile below this river on the same side a large creek falls in also dry at present.  [3] The mineral salts and quarts appear in large quantities in this neighbourhood.    the sand of the Missouri from it's mouth to this place has always possessed a mixture of granulated talk [talc] or I now think most probably that  [4] it is this quarts.  [5] Capt. C. killed 2 bucks and 2 buffaloe, I also killed one buffaloe which proved to be the best meat, it was in tolerable order; we saved the best of the meat, and from the cow I killed we saved the necessary materials for making what our wrighthand cook Charbono calls the boudin blanc, [NB: poudingue] and immediately set him about preparing them for supper; this white pudding we all esteem one of the greatest delacies of the forrest, it may not be amiss therefore to give it a place. About 6 feet of the lower extremity of the large gut of the Buffaloe is the first mosel that the cook makes love to, this he holds fast at one end with the right hand, while with the forefinger and thumb of the left he gently compresses it, and discharges what he says is not good to eat, but of which in the squel we get a moderate portion; the mustle lying underneath the shoulder blade next to the back, and filletes are next saught, these are needed up very fine with a good portion of kidney suit [suet]; to this composition is then added a just proportion of pepper and salt and a small quantity of flour; thus far advanced, our skilfull opporater C—o seizes his recepticle, which has never once touched the water, for that would intirely distroy the regular order of the whole procedure; you will not forget that the side you now see is that covered with a good coat of fat provided the anamal be in good order; the operator sceizes the recepticle I say, and tying it fast at one end turns it inwards and begins now with repeated evolutions of the hand and arm, and a brisk motion of the finger and thumb to put in what he says is bon pour manger; thus by stuffing and compressing he soon distends the recepticle to the utmost limmits of it's power of expansion, and in the course of 〈the opperation the〉 it's longtudinal progress it drives from the other end of the recepticle a much larger portion of the [blank] than was prevously discharged by the finger and thumb of the left hand in a former part of the operation; thus when the sides of the recepticle are skilfully exchanged the outer for the iner, and all is compleatly filled with something good to eat, it is tyed at the other end, but not any cut off, for that would make the pattern too scant; it is then baptised in the missouri with two dips and a flirt, and bobbed into the kettle; from whence after it be well boiled it is taken and fryed with bears oil untill it becomes brown, when it is ready to esswage the pangs of a keen appetite or such as travelers in the wilderness are seldom at a loss for.—

 

       we saw a great quantity of game today particularly of Elk and Buffaloe, the latter are now so gentle that the men frequently throw sticks and stones at them in order to drive them out of the way.    we also saw this evening emence quantities of timber cut by the beaver which appeared to have been done the preceeding year, in place particularly they had cut all the timber down for three acres in front and on nearly one back from the river and had removed a considerable proportion of it, the timber grew very thick and some of it was as large as a man's body.    the river for several days has been as wide as it is generally near it's mouth, tho' it is much shallower or I should begin to dispair of ever reaching it's source; it has been crouded today with many sandbars; the water also appears to become clearer, it has changed it's complexin very considerably. I begin to feel extreemly anxious to get in view of the rocky mountains.

 

       I killed four plover  [6] this evening of a different species from any I have yet seen; it resembles the grey or whistling plover more than any other of this family of birds; it is about the size of the yellow legged or large grey plover common to the lower part of this river as well as most parts of the Atlantic States where they are sometimes called the Jack curloo; the eye is moderately large, are black with a narrow ring of dark yellowish brown; the head, neck, upper part of the body and coverts of the wings are of a dove coloured brown, which when the bird is at rest is the predominant colour; the brest and belley are of a brownish white; the tail is composed of 12 feathers of 3 Ins. being of equal length, of these the two in the center are black, with traverse bars of yellowish brown; the others are a brownish white.    the large feathers of the wings are white tiped with blacked.    the beak is black, 2½ inches in length, slightly tapering, streight of a cilindric form and blontly or roundly pointed; the chaps are of equal length, and nostrils narrow. longitudional and connected; the feet and legs are smoth and of a greenish brown; has three long toes and a sho[r]t one on each foot, the long toes are unconnected with a web, and the short one is placed very high up the leg behind, insomuch that it does not touch the ground when the bird stands erect.    the notes of this bird are louder and more various than any other of this family that I have seen.

 

        

 
Courses and distances of May 9th 1805.  [7]
miles
N. 30° W. to a clump of high trees on the Stard. side in a bend   2 ½
S. 15° W. to the upper part of the Lard. point, passing over a large
sand bar, at the upper point of a large 〈sand bar is〉 Is-
land in a deep bend to the N.


  2 ½
S. 5° W. to a point of high timber on the Stard. side, opposite to a
bluff point on Lard. side

  3
S. 20° E. to a willow point on the Stard. side   6
S. 10° E. to the entrance of big Dry river on Lard. side.   1 ¼
S. 85° W. to a bluff point on the Lard. side   1 ½
N. 60 W. to a tree in the center of a bend on stard. passing over a
sand point from Lard. side

  3
South to the upper part of a timbered bottom in a bend on Lard.
side
  1 ¾  [8]
S. 60 W. to the entrance of a small creek, in a bend on Stard. side
called Werner's C. where we encamped for the night  [9]
Pointing hand symbol [(]the water this Creek contained was principally
backwater)



  3   
 
miles
24 ½

 

      

Point of Observation No. 14.

 

       At our encampment of this evening, observed time and distance of Moon symbol's Western limb from Regulus, Star symbol West with Sextant.—

 

       The mean result of a set of 10 obsertns.

 

        

 
Time
     
distance
  h      m    s    
P. M. 10    6    13.4   43°    30°    15"

 

       Pointing hand symbol It clouded up suddonly and prevented my takeing any observations with Antares.




[Clark] 
May 9th Thursday 1805
 

       a fine Day    wind from the East    we proceeded on verry well    the Countrey much the appearance which it had yesterday the bottom & high land rich black earth, Timber not so abondant as below, we passed the mouth of a river (or the appearance of a river) on the Lard. Side the bend of which as far as we went up it or could See from a high hill is as large as that of the Missouri at this place which is near half a mile    this river did not Contain one drop of running water, about a mile below this river a large Creeke joins the river L. S. which is also Dry—    Those dry Streams which are also verry wide, I think is the Conveyance of the melted Snow, & heavy rains which is 〈Said to〉 Probable fall in from the high mountanious Countrey which is Said to be between this river & the Yellow Stone river—    I walked on Shore the fore part of this day, & observed Great quantities of the Shining Stone which we view as quarts, I killed 2 Bucks & a Buffalow, Capt Lewis also killed one which verry good meat, I saw emunerable 〈quantities〉 herds of buffalow, & goats to day in every derection—    The Missouri keeps its width which is nearly as wide as near its mouth, great number of Sand bars, the water not So muddy & Sand finer & in Smaller perpotion. Capt. Lewis killed 4 pleaver different from any I have ever before Seen, larger & have white breast & the underfeathers of the wings are white &c.

 

        

  miles Course & Distance 9th of May
N. 30° W.   2 ½ to a clump of high trees on the Stard. Side in a bend
S. 15° W.   2 ½ to the upper part of the Lard point, passing over a large
Sand bar at the upper pt. of a willow Island in a deep
bend to the N.
S. 5° W.   3 to a point of high timber on the Std. Side opsd. a bluff pt.
on the Ld Side
S. 20° E,   6 to a willow point on the Std. Side
S. 10° E   1 ¼ to the enterance of a Great dry river on the Lard. Side.
S. 85° W.   1 ½ to a bluff point on the Lard. Side
N. 60° W.   3 to a tree in a bend to the Std. Side passing over a Sand pt.
from L. S.
South   1 ¾ to the upper part of the timbered bottom on the Lad. Side
in a bend
S 60° W   3    m to the mouth of a 〈large〉 Small creek in a bend to the
Stad Side in the mouth of which we came too for  [10] the
night and called this creek Werner's Creek, the water it
contained was principally backwater.
m
24 ½  




[Lewis] 
May 9th 1805.  [11]
 

       I killed four plover [EC: Symphemia Semipalmata] this evening of a different kind from any I have yet seen.    it resembles the grey or whistling plover more than any other of this family of birds, tho' it is much larger.    it is about the size of the yellow leged plover common to the U' States, and called the jack curlooe by some.    the legs are of a greenish brown; the toes, three and one high at the heel unconnected with a webb, the breast and belly of a brownish white; the head neck upper part of the body and coverts of the wings are of a dove colured brown which when the bird is at rest is the predomanent colour.    the tale has 12 feathers of the same length 〈nearly〉 of which the two in the center are black with transverse bars of yellowish bron, the others are a brownish white.    the large feathers of the wings are white tiped with black.    the eyes are black with a small ring of dark yellowish brown—    the beak is black, 2½ inches long, cilindrical, streight, and roundly or blountly pointed.    the notes of this bird are louder and more various than of any other 〈kind of〉 species which I have seen.—




[Ordway] 
 

       Thursday 9th May 1805. Clear and pleasant.    we set off about Sun rise and proceeded on    passed an Island in the Middle of the River partly covd with Small timber and willows.    about 9 oC. we halted to take breakfast in a beautiful Smoth bottom partly covred with timber &c on the S. S. where Capt. Clark who walked on this morning had killed 2 deer.    the Game is gitting So pleanty and tame in this country that Some of the party clubbed them out of their way.    about one oCock we passed the Mouth of a river on S. S. named [blank]    it is at high water mark 220 yards wide, but at this time the water is So low that the water all Sinques in the quick Sand    we halted to dine above the mouth of this R. Capt. Clark killed 2 buffaloe    we proceeded on    passed large bottoms covred with timber and Smoth plains on N. S. hilley on S. S. Saw large gangs of buffaloe and elk. Saw great Sign of beaver where they had cut the Small timber on the bank of the River for a large peace of Ground all Smoth and carried the most of it away to their lodges.    we Came 25 miles to day and Camp at the mouth of a creek (named Warners R.[)] on the N. Side    the country for Several days back is handsom and pleasant    the Soil rich the Game pleanty.    but the timber back from the river Scarse &.c.




[Gass] 
 

       Thursday 9th.    We proceeded on early and had a fine day. The country on both sides begins to be more broken, and the river more crooked. At 1, we passed a creek  [12] on the South side, and having made about 25 miles we encamped at the mouth of a creek on the North side, called by the name of Warner's creek.  [13]




[Whitehouse] 
 

       Thursday 9th May 1805.    clear and pleasant.    we Set off at Sun rise and proceeded on    about 9 oC. we halted to take breakfast in a beautiful Smoth bottom thinly or partly covred with timber on the S. S.    Capt. Clark killed two deer.    the Game is getting So pleanty and tame in this country that Some of the men has went up near enofe to club them out of their way.    about one oC. we passed the mouth of a large River which came in on the S. S.    it is at high water mark about 437 yards wide, but the water at this Season of the year Sinques in the quick Sand So that their is none to be Seen at the mouth.    this River is called [blank]    we halted to dine.    Some of the party killed two buffaloe.    proceeded on    passed large bottoms covred with timber on each Side of the River    Saw large gangs of buffaloe and elk on the Side of the hills in the bottoms and on the plains.    Came 25 miles to day and Camped at the mouth of a creek (named warners River) on the N. S.    Saw great deal of beaver Sign in the course of the day.    the country for Several days back is pleasant, the Soil good, & the Game pleanty

 

       Thursday May 9th    This morning we had Clear pleasant Weather, we set out at sunrise, and proceeded on 'till about 9 o'Clock A. M. and came too, at a fine beautiful smooth bottom, thinly cover'd with Timber; where we breakfasted.—    Captain Clark here left us and went out a hunting, with some of the party.—    they returned in a short time, having killed two deer, which they brought to us, The men informed us, that the Buffalo were so numerous and tame at a small distance from us, that some of them, went up near enough to strike them with Clubs, but were so poor as not to be fit for use.—

 

       About 1 o'Clock P. M. we proceeded on, and passed the Mouth of a large River, that came in on the South side of the Mesouri, it was by measurement 437 Yards wide, but the water at this season of the Year, had sunk so much in it, that it was entirely dry at its mouth, This River 〈is called〉 was named by our Officers dry River    We halted to dine a small distance, above this River, and some of our party went out and killed two Buffalo, which 〈they〉 some of our party brought in with them to us, they were in tolerable good Order.—    We proceeded on our Voyage at 3 oClock P. M. and passed large bottoms covered with timber; lying on each side of the River; and saw large Gangs of Buffalo; and Elk on the side of the hills & in the bottoms and plains, on both sides of the River.    We halted in the Evening at the Mouth of a large Creek or River which Our Officers named Warners River, lying on the North side of the Mesouri, during this days travel we saw great signs of beaver, which has been the same for these several days past; we had pleasant weather, the Soil good, and game continues to be very plenty.—




 

1. "Big Dry River" on Atlas maps 37, 49, 50, 58, it is still called Big Dry Fork, or Creek, in McCone and Garfield counties, Montana. Its lower reaches are now under Fort Peck Reservoir. Lewis's surprise reflects the unfamiliarity of Anglo-Americans of his time with large streams which are dry much of the year, as are so many in the West. MRC map 65. (Return to text.)

 

2. Big Dry Creek derives its alluvium from the Fort Union Formation, Hell Creek Formation, and Fox Hills Sandstone. Sands in these formations are white, light yellow, or yellow-brown. The black clay comes from the Bearpaw Shale near the creek's mouth. (Return to text.)

 

3. "Calf Brook" or "No Water Creek" on Atlas maps 37, 49, 58; present Bear Creek in McCone County. MRC map 65. (Return to text.)

 

4. At this point, at the top of p. 99 in Codex D, Lewis drew a pointing hand and wrote, "Turn over five leaves beginning at the center of the Page." The entry for May 9 resumes at the top of p. 109. The intervening pages have entries from May 15 to May 19. (Return to text.)

 

5. There is no talc in this portion of the Missouri River. The talc here is probably calcium, or sodium carbonate-rich, silt. The quartz is selenite (crystalline gypsum). It is common in the Bearpaw Shale and some crystals are quite large. (Return to text.)

 

6. The willet, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus [AOU, 258], then new to science. Cutright (LCPN), 148, 431. The birds used for comparison are the lesser golden-plover and perhaps the greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca [AOU, 254], Lewis's "Jack curloo." Someone drew a vertical line through this paragraph. (Return to text.)

 

7. Also given on Atlas map 37, in both captains' hands. (Return to text.)

 

8. Given as "2" on Atlas map 37, for a total mileage of of 24¾, in opposition to both captains' journals. (Return to text.)

 

9. Present Duck Creek in Valley County, Montana, above Fort Peck. The campsite is in Valley County, a few miles above the town of Fort Peck, and would now be inundated by the Fort Peck Reservoir. Atlas maps 37, 50, 58; MRC map 65. (Return to text.)

 

10. The remainder of the sentence appears to be in Lewis's hand. (Return to text.)

 

11. Lewis's zoological note from Codex Q; the plovers are the willet noted above this day. (Return to text.)

 

12. The party's Big Dry River, still called Big Dry Fork, or Creek, in McCone and Garfield counties, Montana. (Return to text.)

 

13. This camp was a few miles above the town of Fort Peck, Valley County, Montana. Warner's Creek, present Duck Creek, was named for William Werner of the party. (Return to text.)












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