September 2, 1803
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 2, 1803


Set out at sunrise 2 miles ½ to a riffle    got out and pulled the boat over it with some dificulty—    9 Oclock reched Logtown riffle [1] unloaded and with much difficulty got over    detain 4 hours.—    The hills on either side of the ohio are from 3 to 400 feet which runing parrallel to each other keep the general course of the river, at the distance of about two miles while the river pursuing a serpentine course between them alternately washes their bases.—    thus leaving fine bottom land between itself and the hills in large boddys, and freequently in the form of a simecicles or the larger segment of a circle or horseshoe form    The weather is extreemly dry but there was some appearance of rain this morning which seems now to have blown over—    supposed I had gotten over Logtown riffle but find ourselvs stranded again    suppose it best to send out two or three men to engage some oxen or horses to assist us    obtain one horse and an ox, which enabled us very readily to get over    payd the man his charge which was one dollar; the inhabitants who live near these riffles live much by the distresed situation of traveller    are generally lazy    charge extravegantly when they are called on for assistance and have no filantrophy or contience; passed the mouth of two little creeks to the north, called allfores [2] & [blank]    a riffle a head; the boat rubbed for some distance but by geting out and pulling her on by the thwarts we got her over;—    on each side of the river there are three banks, or suddon rises from the summets of which the land generally brake off for a certain distance pretty level untill arrives at the high hills before mentioned which appear to give a direction to the river—    the fist bank or that which the river washes is generally from twenty to twentyfive feet, and the bottom lying on a level with this is 〈usually〉 only overflown in remarkable high floods, the consequence is that there is no drowneded or marsh lands on this river; this bottom which is certainly the richest land from it's being liable some times to be overflowed is not esteemed so valuable as the second bottom—    The second bottum usually rises from twentyfive to thirty feet above the first and is allways safe or secure from inundation; usually good when wide from the 3d bank and contrary when the bottom is narrow or the river brakes against the 2d near the 3rd bank which it sometimes dose    what is called the third bottom is more properly the high benches of the large range of hills before noticed and is of a more varied discription as well as it respects the fertility of it's soil as shape and perpendicular hight, the river sometimes but very seldom brakes against this bank—    the second and third of these banks allways run parrallel with the high hills and that bordering on the river is of course shaped by it. [3] passed Waller's riffle [4] with but little dificulty—    Thermometer [5] stood at seventy six in the cabbin    the temperature of the water in the river when emersed about the same—    observed today the leaves of the buckeye, Gum, and sausafras [6] begin to fade, or become red—

1. Logtown Riffle was named for Logstown, a village of Shawnee, Delaware, Iroquois, and other Indians established before 1748. It was an important trading and conference site before the French and Indian War. It was near the site of present Ambridge, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Hodge, 1:773; Swetnam & Smith, 41–42. (back)
2. Quaife locates an "Allfour's Run" in Beaver County: it is not on present maps. Quaife (MLJO), 33 n. 3. (back)
3. The third bottom or "high benches" is upper level aggradation established during the Wisconsin glaciation and is generally underlaid by sand and gravel. Ray, 10, 35–38. (back)
4. Cramer says this ripple was caused by a sandbar between Crow's Island (probably the present Hog Island) and the right shore. Cramer (6th), 41. (back)
5. Lewis apparently purchased thermometers in Philadelphia, perhaps the type mentioned by Jefferson elsewhere (as noted by Jackson), mounted in a mahogany case. The last of them was broken crossing the Rockies. Lewis's List [June 30, 1803], Jackson (LLC), 1:69, 75 n. 1. (back)
6. The buckeye is either Aesculus octandra Marsh., yellow buckeye, or A. glabra Willd., Ohio buckeye, horse chestnut; the gum is Nyssa sylvatica Marsh., black gum, sour gum, black tupelo; the "sausafras" is Sassafras albidum (Nutt.) Nees. Little, 103-E, 102-E, 144-E, 191-E; Fernald, 989; Gleason & Cronquist, 520; Cutright (HLCJ), 140. (back)