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[Lewis] 
August 4th 1805.
 

       Set out very early this morning and steered S. E. by E. about 4 Miles when we passed a bould runing creek about 12 yards wide the water could and remarkably clear, we then changed our course to S. E. passing obliquely across a valley which boar nearly E leaving the valley which we had pursued for the 2 precedeing days.    at the distance of 3 miles we passed a handsome little river which passes through this valley; it is about 30 yards wide affords a considerable quantity of water and I believe it may be navigated some miles.    I then changed my rout to S. W. passed a high plain which lyes between the vallies and returned to the S. valley, in passing which I fell in with a river about 45 yards wide which I waideg and then continued my rout down to it's junction with the river just mentioned, and from thence to the entrance of the creek which falls in about 2 miles below; still continuing my rout down this stream about three miles further and about 2 M. below our encampment of the last evening    this river forms a junction with a river 50 yards wide which comes from the N. W. and falling into the S. valley runs parrallel with the middle fork about 12 miles.    this is a bould rappid & clear stream it's bed so broken and obstructed by gravel bars and Islands that it appeared to me impossible to navigate it with safety.    the middle fork is gentle and possesses about ⅔ds as much water as this rappid stream, it's cours so far as I can observe it is about S. W. and it appears to be navigable; its water is much warmer than that of the rappid fork and somewhat turbid, from which I concluded that it had it's source at a greater distance in the mountains and passed through an opener country than the other.  [1]    under this impression I wrote a note to Capt. Clark recommending his taking the middle fork provided he should arrive at this place before my return which I expect will be the day after tomorrow.    the note I left on a pole at the forks of the river and having refreshed ourselves and eat heartily of some venison we killed this morning I continued my rout up the Stard. side of the N. W. fork, determining to pursue it untill 12 OC. the next day and then pass over to the middle fork and return to their junction or untill I met Capt. Clark.    we encamped this evening near the point where the river leaves the valley and enters the mountains, having traveled about 20 miles.—  [2]




[Lewis] 
Sunday August 4th 1805.
 

       Set out very early this morning and Steered S. E. by E. 4 M. when we pased a bold runing Creek 12 yds. wide, the water of which was clear and very cold.    it appears to be formed by four dranes from the snowey mountains to our left.    after passing this creek we changed our direction to S. E. passing obliquely across a valley which boar E leaving the valley we had pursued for the two peceeding days.    at the distance of 3 Ms. we passed a handsome little river which meanders through this valley; it is about 30 yds wide, affords a considerable quantity of water and appears as if it might be navigated some miles.    the currant is not rapid nor the water very clear; the banks are low and the bed formed of stone and gravel.  [3]    I now changed my rout to S. W.    passed a high plain which lies betwen the valleies and returned to the South valley, in passing which I fell in with a river about 45 yds. wide gravley bottom gentle currant waist deep and water of a whitish blue tinge.    this stream we waded and continued our rout down it to the entrance of the river just mentioned about ¾ of a mile.    still continuing down we passed the entrance of the creek about 2 miles lower down; and at the distance of three miles further arrived at it's junction with a river 50 yds. wide which Comes from the S. W. and falling into the South valley runs parallel with the middle fork about 12 miles before it forms a junction. I now found that our encampment of the last evening was about 1½ miles above the entrance of this large river on Stard.    this is a bold rappid and Clear Stream, it's bed so much broken and obstructed by gravley bars and it's waters so much subdivided by Islands that it appears to me utterly impossible to navigate it with safety. the middle fork is gentle and possesses about ⅔rds as much water as this stream.    it's course so far as I can observe it is about S. W., and from the opening of the valley I beleive it still bears more to the West above    it may be safely navigated.    it's water is much warmer then the rapid fork and it's water more turbid; from which I conjecture that it has it's sources at a greater distance in the mountains and passes through an opener country than the other.    under this impression I wrote a note to Capt Clark, recommending his taking the middle fork povided he should arrive at this place before my return, which I expect will be the day after tomorrow.    this note I left on a pole at the forks of the river, and having refreshed ourselves and eat heartily of some venison which we killed this morning we continued our rout up the rapid fork on the Stard side, resolving to pursue this stream untill noon tomorrow and then pass over to the middle fork and come down it to their junction or untill I meet Capt Clark. I have seen no recent Indian sign [NB: Qu] in the course of my rout as yet. Charbono complains much of his leg, and is the cause of considerable detention to us.    we encamped on the river bank near the place at which it leaves the valley and enters the mountain having traveled about 23 miles.    we saw some Antelopes deer Crains, gees, and ducks of the two species common to this country.    the summer duck has ceased to appear, nor do I beleive it is an inhabitant of this part of the country. the timber &c is as heretofore tho' there is more in this valley on the rapid fork than we have seen in the same extent on the river since we entered this valley.    the Indians appear on some parts of the river to have distroyed a great proporiton of the little timber which there is by seting fire to the bottoms. This morning Capt. Clark set out at sunrise, and sent two hunters ahead to kill some meat.    at 8 A. M. he arrived at my camp of the 2ed inst. where he breakfasted; here he found a note which I had left for him at that place informing him of the occurences of my rout &c. the river continued to be crouded with Islands, rapid and shoaly.    these shoals or riffles succeeded each other every 3 or four hundred yards; at those places they are obliged to drag the canoes over the stone there not being water enough to float them, and betwen the riffles the current is so strong that they are compelled to have cecourse to the cord; and being unable to walk on the shore for the brush wade in the river along the shore and hawl them by the cord; his has increased the pain and labour extreemly; their feet soon get tender and soar by wading and walking over the stones.    these are also so slipry that they frequently get severe falls.    being constantly wet soon makes them feble also.    their hunters killed 2 deer today and some gees and ducks wer killed by those who navigated the canoes.    they saw deer antelopes Crains beaver Otter &c. Capt. Clark's ancle became so painfull to him that he was unable to walk.—    This evening they encamped on the Stard. side in a bottom of cottonwood timber all much fatiegued.  [4]

 

        

Courses and distances traveled by Capt. Clark and party.
August 4th 1805.

S. 45° W.   5 on a direct course to a Lard. bend passing 4 bends on the
Lard. side and several bayous on either side.
S. 20° W.   4 With the river to a bluff on the Lard. side, passing 3 bends on
the Stard. and two small Islands and 2 Bayous on Stard. side.
S. 60° W.   6 with the river to an island, passing six circular bends on the
Stard. and several small bayous.    encamped on stard. side in
a bottom covered with cottonwood.—
Miles
15  




[Clark] 
August 4th Sunday 1805
 

       a fine morning cool    proceeded on verry early and Brackfast at the Camp Capt Lewis left yesterday morning, at this Camp he left a note informing that he discovered no fresh Sign of Indians &c. The river continued to be crouded with Islands Sholey rapid & clear, I could not walk on Shore to day as my ankle was Sore from a tumer on that part.    the method we are compelled to take to get on is fatigueing & laborious in the extreen, haul the Canoes over the rapids, which Suckceed each other every two or three hundred yards and between the water rapid oblige to towe & walke on Stones the whole day except when we have poleing men wet all day Sore feet &c. &c    Murcury at Sun rise 49 a. 0,




[Ordway] 
 

       Sunday 4th August 1805.    a clear morning.    we Set out at Sunrise    one hunter Sent on a head to kill some fresh meat for the party.    proceeded on    about 8 oC. A M. we found a note which Capt. Lewis had left & his camp yesterday morning, letting us know that if he found no Indians or fresh Sign by this evening he would return a fiew miles back & hunt till we come up.    we Saw a flock of goats in the high plain under the Mountains, on the top of which is a little Snow & considerable of pine timber.    the Mountains are makeing near the River on each Side    only a valley along the River which is pleasant, but the Soil indifferent.    we proceeded on    came up with our hunter who killed 2 deer    the rapids continue.    we have hard halling over them with the chord, and where the Shore will not admit we have to waid in the water. Some of the Mountains near the River has been burned by the natives Some time ago.    the pine timber killed.    the cotten timber in Some of the R. bottoms killd. & dry also.    not So much timber along the River as below.    we proceeded on    killed a goose & a duck    they are pleanty on the River.    we Came 15 miles this day and Camped  [5] on S. Side at a bottom covd. with dry trees red willows  [6] & rose bush which are verry thick.    beaver ponds & Sign pleanty,—&.C.




[Gass] 
 

       Sunday 4th.    At sunrise we continued our march, in a fine morning; went about 6 miles when we came to a fork of the river;  [7] crossed the south branch and from a high knob discovered that the river had forked below us, as we could see the timber on the north branch about 6 or 7 miles from the south and west branches. We therefore crossed to the north branch, and finding it not navigable for our canoes, went down to the confluence and left a note for Capt. Clarke directing him to take the left hand branch. We then went up the north branch about 10 miles and encamped on it.




[Whitehouse] 
 

       Sunday 4th August 1805.    a clear morning.    we Set out at Sunrise.    a hunter Sent on a head to kill Some fresh meat for us to eat.    proceeded on    abt. 8 oC. A. m. we Came to Capt. Lewis camp of the 2 ult.  [8]    he left a note letting us know he left this place yesterday morning, and ment to go on untill this evening, & if they found no fresh Sign of Indian, they would return back a fiew miles & hunt untill we came up.    we Saw Several 〈buffalow &〉 Elk in a plain on L. Side.    proceeded on    our hunters killed 2 deer.    the rapids bad as usal.    we are obledged to use the towing lines where ever the Shore will admit.    Some of the Mountains near the River on L. S. has been burned by the natives Some time ago.    The timber killed.    not So much timber on the River as below.    proceeded on    killed a goose and a duck.    they are pleanty on the River.    we Came 15 miles this day and Camped at a bottoms covered with dry timber and wild rose bush which is verry thick on S. Side.    the beaver ponds and Sign pleanty &c.

 

       Sunday August 4th    This morning we had clear cool weather; we set out at sun rise, having sent one of our hunters to go on, a head of us, in order to procure some fresh meat for our party.    we proceeded on, and about 8 o'Clock A. M. we came to where Captain Lewis had encamped the 2nd instant.    he left a note, wherein he informed us, that he had left this place Yesterday morning, and that he meant to go on untill this evening, & if he or his party found no fresh sign of Indians, that they would return back a few Miles and hunt, untill we came up.    We saw several Elk, in a plain on the South side of the River, We proceeded on, the Rapids being bad as usual, and we are obliged to make use of the Tow Ropes, wherever the Shore will admit, some of the Mountains on the South side of the River has had the Grass burned off from them, & the Timber killed on them.—    The timber is not so plenty here, as it is some distance below.    We proceeded on and saw plenty of Ducks & Geese in the River.    Our hunter that went out this morning killed 2 deer, which we took on board.    We encamped in the Evening at a bottom covered with dry timber, and wild rose bushes in great plenty on the South side of the River, where we saw ponds made by the beaver in great abundance.—




 

1. Lewis's route is shown by the dotted line on Atlas map 65. He had arrived at the "Forks of the Jefferson." Ruby River (Lewis and Clark's Philanthropy River) comes in from the east to join the Beaverhead (which they called the Jefferson), forming the Jefferson River. A few miles downstream the Big Hole River (their Wisdom River) joins the Jefferson from the west. Between the two junctions is the present town of Twin Bridges, Madison County, Montana. (Return to text.)

 

2. Lewis's route up the Big Hole (Wisdom) River is not marked on Atlas map 66. He camped near the Madison-Beaverhead county line on the Big Hole River, above the mouth of present Nez Perce Creek. (Return to text.)

 

3. The Ruby River has a steep gradient and has its source in the mountains. Additionally, it is joined by numerous short tributaries that carry rocks down to it during their peak runoff stage. Consequently, like most streams in this area, the stream bed is composed principally of rounded stones of various sizes. (Return to text.)

 

4. Clark's camp was in the vicinity of present Silver Star, Madison County. Atlas map 65. (Return to text.)

 

5. In the vicinity of Silver Star, Madison County, Montana. (Return to text.)

 

6. Red osier dogwood, Cornus sericea L. (Return to text.)

 

7. The forks of the Jefferson, where Ruby River (the party's Philanthropy River) comes from the east to join the Beaverhead and form the Jefferson. They had passed the Big Hole (Wisdom) River, Gass's "north branch," the previous day without knowing it. (Return to text.)

 

8. It should be "inst." rather than "ult." (Return to text.)












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