previous | next
This morning early we sent out all our hunters. set Sheilds at work to repair some of our guns which were out of order Capt. Clark & my self consurted the following plan viz. from this place I determined to go with a small party by the most direct rout to the falls of the Missouri, there to leave Thompson McNeal and goodrich to prepare carriages and geer for the purpose of transporting the canoes and baggage over the portage, and myself and six volunteers to ascend Maria's river with a view to explore the country and ascertain whether any branch of that river lies as far north as Latd. 50 and again return and join the party who are to decend the Missouri, at the entrance of Maria's river. I now called for the volunteers to accompany me on this rout, many turned out, from whom I scelected  Drewyer the two Feildses, Werner, Frazier and Sergt Gass accompanied me the other part of the men are to proceed with Capt Clark to the head of Jefferson's river where we deposited sundry articles and left our canoes.  from hence Sergt Ordway with a party of 9 men are to decend the river with the canoes; Capt C. with the remaining ten including Charbono and York will proceed to the Yellowstone river at it's nearest approach to the three forks of the missouri, here he will build a canoe and decend the Yellowstone river with Charbono the indian woman, his servant York and five others to the missouri where should he arrive first he will wait my arrival. Sergt Pryor with two other men are to proceed with the horses by land to the Mandans and thence to the British posts on the Assinniboin with a letter to Mr. Heney [NB: Haney]  whom we wish to engage to 〈procure〉 prevail on the Sioux Chefs to join us on the Missouri, and accompany them with us to the seat of the general government. these arrangements being made the party were informed of our design and prepared themselves acecordingly. our hunters killed 13 deer in the course of this day of which 7 were fine bucks, deer are large and in fine order. the indians inform us that there are a great number of white buffaloe or mountain sheep of the snowey hights of the mountains West of this [NB: Clarks] river; they state that they inhabit the most rocky and inaccessible parts, and run but badly, that they kill them with great ease with their arrows when they can find them.  the indian warrior who overtook us on the 26th Ult. made me a present of an excellent horse which he said he gave for the good council we had given himself and nation and also to assure us of his attatchment to the white men and his desire to be at peace with the Minnetares of Fort de Prarie. we had our venison fleeced and exposed in the sun on pole to dry. the dove  the black woodpecker,  the lark woodpecker,  the logcock, the prarie lark,  sandhill crain, prarie hen with the short and pointed tail,  the robin,  a speceis of brown plover,  a few curloos, small black birds,  ravens  hawks and a variety of sparrows as well as the bee martin  and the several species of Corvus genus are found in this vally.—
Windsor birst his gun near the muzzle a few days since; this Sheilds cut off and I then exchanged it with the Cheif for the one we had given him for conducting us over the mountains. he was much pleased with the exchange and shot his gun several times; he shoots very well for an inexperienced person. 
The little animal found in the plains of the Missouri which I have called the barking squirrel  weighs from 3 to 3½ pounds. it's form is that of the squirrel. it's colour is an uniform light brick red grey, the red reather predominating. the under side of the neck and bely are lighter coloured than the other parts of the body. the legs are short, and it is wide across the breast and sholders in proportion to it's size, appears strongly formed in that part; the head is also bony muscular and stout, reather more blontly terminated wider and flatter than the common squirrel. the upper lip is split or divided to the nose. the ears are short and lie close to the head, having the appearance of being cut off, in this particular they resemble the guinea pig. the teeth are like those of the squrrel rat &c. they have a false jaw or pocket between the skin and the mustle of the jaw like that of the common ground squrrel but not so large in proportion to their size. they have large and full whiskers on each side of the nose, a few long hairs of the same kind on each jaw and over the eyes. the eye is small and black. they have five toes on each foot of which the two outer toes on each foot are much shoter than those in the center particularly the two inner toes of the fore feet, the toes of the fore feet are remarkably long and sharp and seem well adapted to cratching or burrowing those of the hind feet are neither as long or sharp as the former; the nails are black. the hair of this animal is about as long and equally as course as that of the common grey squrrel of our country, and the hair of the tail is not longer than that of the body except immediately at the extremity where it is somewhat longer and frequently of a dark brown colour. the part of generation in the female is placed on the lower region of the belly between the hinder legs so far forward that she must lie on her back to copolate. the whole length of this animal is one foot five inches from the extremity of the nose to that of the tail of which the tail occupyes 4 inches. it is nearly double the size of the whistleing squirrel of the Columbia. it is much more quick active and fleet than it's form would indicate. these squirrels burrow in the ground in the open plains usually at a considerable distance from the water yet are never seen at any distance from their burrows. six or eight usually reside in one burrow to which there is never more than one entrance. these burrows are of great debth. I once dug and pursued a burrow to the debth of ten feet and did not reach it's greatest debth. they generally associate in large societies placing their burrows near each other and frequently occupy in this manner several hundred acres of land. when at rest above ground their position is generally erect on their hinder feet and rump; thus they will generally set and bark at you as you approach them, their note being much that of the little toy dogs, their yelps are in quick succession and at each they a motion to their tails upwards. they feed on the grass and weeds within the limits of their village which they never appear to exceed on any occasion. as they are usually numerous they keep the grass and weeds within their district very closely graized and as clean as if it had been swept. the earth which they throw out of their burrows is usually formed into a conic mound around the entrance. this little animal is frequently very fat and it's flesh is not unpleasant. as soon as the hard frosts commence it shuts up it's burrow and continues within untill spring. it will eat grain or meat. 
We Sent out all the hunters very early this morning by 12 OClock they all returned haveing killd. 12 Deer Six of them large fat Bucks, this is like once more returning to the land of liveing a plenty of meat and that very good. as Capt. Lewis and Myself part at this place we made a division of our party and such baggage and provisions as is Souteable. the party who will accompany Capt L. is G. Drewyer, Sergt. Gass, Jo. & R. Fields, Frazier & Werner, and Thompson Goodrich & McNear as far as the Falls of Missouri at which place the 3 latter will remain untill I Send down the Canoes from the head of Jeffersons river. they will then join that party and after passing the portage around the falls, proceed on down to the enterance of Maria where Capt. Lewis will join them after haveing assended that river as high up as Latd. 50° North. from the head of Jeffersons river I shall proceed on to the head of the Rockejhone  with a party of 9 or 10 men and desend that river. from the R Rockejhone I Shall dispatch Sergt. Pryor with the horses to the Mandans and from thence to the Tradeing Establishments of the N. W. Co on the Assinniboin River with a letter which we have written for the purpose to engage Mr. H. Haney to endeaver to get Some of the principal Chiefs of the Scioux to accompany us to the Seat of our government &. we divide the Loading and apportion the horses. Capt L. only takes 17 horses with him, 8 only of which he intends to take up the Maria &c. One of the Indians who accompaned us Swam Clarks river and examined the Country around, on his return he informed us that he had discovered where a Band of the Tushepaws had encamped this Spring passed of 64 Lodges, & that they had passed Down Clarks river and that it was probable that they were near the quawmash flatts on a Easterly branch of that river. those guides expressed a desire to return to their nation and not accompany us further, we informed them that if they was deturmined to return we would kill some meat for them, but wished that they would accompy Capt. Lewis on the rout to the falls of Missouri only 2 nights and show him the right road to cross the Mountains. this they agreed to do. we gave a medal  of the Small Size to the young man Son to the late Great Chief of the Chopunnish Nation who had been remarkably kind to us in every instance, to all the others we tied a bunch of blue ribon about the hair, which pleased them very much. the Indian man who overtook us in the Mountain, presented Capt. Lewis with a horse and said that he opened his ears to what we had said, and hoped that Cap Lewis would see the Crovanters of Fort De Prarie  and make a good peace that it was their desire to be at peace. Shew them the horse as a token of their wishes &c.
Tuesday 1st July 1806. cloudy. all the hunters turned out eairly a hunting they all returned by noon had killed in all twelve deer & Some of them large fat bucks. in the afternoon our officers had a talk with the guides that came over the mountains with us. they told our officers that they wished to live in peace and bury their war Stripes  in the ground. one of them gave Capt. Lewis a good horse.
Tuesday 1st July, 1806. We had a fine morning, and remained here to rest ourselves and horses after the severe fatigue of coming over the mountains, and some hunters went out. The Indians still continue with us. Here the party is to be separated; some of us are to go straight across to the falls of the Missouri and some to the head waters of Jefferson river, where we left the canoes.  At the falls, we expect to be subdivided, as Capt. Lewis, myself and four or five men, intend to go up Maria's river, as far as the 50th degree of latitude; and a party to remain at the falls to prepare harness and other things necessary for hauling our canoes and baggage over the portage.— Perhaps Capt. Clarke, who goes up the river here, may also take a party and go down the Riviere Jaune, or Yellow-stone river. In the afternoon our hunters came in, and had killed twelve deer, most of them in good order.
1. It appears that Lewis has crossed out this sentence to here then added the words "accompanied me" to make a new sentence. (Return to text.)
4. A red vertical line crosses through this sentence, apparently done by Biddle. (Return to text.)
5. Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316]. Holmgren, 34. The remainder of this paragraph has Biddle's red line through it. (Return to text.)
7. Common, or northern, flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412]. Burroughs, 241–42; Holmgren, 34. (Return to text.)
8. Probably the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]. Holmgren, 31. (Return to text.)
10. American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761]. (Return to text.)
12. Either the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. Holmgren, 28. (Return to text.)
13. Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486]. (Return to text.)
14. Either the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444], or the western kingbird, more likely the latter. (Return to text.)
15. Here on pp. 70–71 of Lewis's Codex L appears his table of courses and distances for June 24–30, 1806. It has been placed under the last of those dates. (Return to text.)
17. These last two sentences are crowded in at the bottom of p. 73, Codex L. Thwaites (LC), 5:178, transcribed the passages as, "and continues untill spring. it will eat neither grain or meat." Accepting the present reading, it is assumed that Lewis left out the negative but did mean that the prarie dog ate neither grain nor meat. (Return to text.)
18. More correctly, the French term Roche Jaune, for the Yellowstone River. (Return to text.)
20. Gros ventres or big bellies, again the Atsinas. (Return to text.)
21. Perhaps the men spoke figuratively of cleaning the war paint off their faces. (Return to text.)
22. For a more detailed account of Lewis and Clark's plans, see their entries for this date. (Return to text.)
previous | next