September 7, 1803
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 7, 1803


Foggy this morning according to custom; set out at half past seven, and in about two hundred paces stuck on a riffle    all hands obliged to get out.    observed the Thermometer at sun rise in the air to stand at 47° the tem[pe]rature of the river water being 68°—difference = 21°—    got over the riffle, at 45 mts. after 8.    passed Charles town [1] on the E. shore above the mouth of Buffaloe over which there is built a handsom wooden bridge, this has the appearance of a handsome little Village, containing about forty houses—    this village is three miles below our encampment of last evening—    reached Wheeling [2] 16 miles distant at 5 in the evening    this is a pretty considerable Village contains about fifty houses and is the county town of Ohio (State of Virginia)    it is situated on the east side of the river on an elivated bank; the landing is good, just below the town and on the same side big Wheeling creek emtys itself into the Ohio, on the point formed by this creek and the river stands an old stoccade fort, [3] now gone to decay; this town is remarkable for being the point of embarkation for merchants and Emegrants who are about to descend the river, particularly if they are late in getting on and the water gets low as it most commonly is from the begining of July to the last of September; the water from hence being much deeper and the navigation better than it is from Pittsburgh or any point above it—    I went on shore    waited on a Mr. Caldwell a merchant of that place to whome I had consigned a part of my goods which I had sent by land from Pittsburgh; found the articles in good order; her[e] met with Colo. Rodney [4] one of the commissioners appointed by the government to adjust the landed claims in the Mississippi Territory.    in his suit was Majr Claiborne [5] and a young gentleman who was going on to the Territory with a view to commence the practice of the law.    he is a pupil of Czar Rodney [6] of Deleware    remained all night

1. Now Wellsburg, Brooke County, West Virginia. "Buffaloe" is present Buffalo Creek. Patrick Gass, one of the sergeants and journalists of the expedition, lived in Wellsburg for some years, died in 1870, and was buried there. Thwaites (EWT), 4:108–9 and nn. 68, 69; West Virginia Guide, 485–86; Callahan, 37, 80. (back)
2. First settled about 1770 by Ebenezer Zane and relatives, it remains the county seat of Ohio County, West Virginia. Callahan, 25, 37, 78–79; West Virginia Guide, 281–86; Rice, 67. (back)
3. Probably Fort Fincastle, established in 1774, later renamed Fort Henry in 1776 after Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia. See sources cited in previous note and Quaife (MLJO), 38 n. 2. (back)
4. Thomas Rodney of Delaware, Revolutionary War soldier and judge, was appointed judge for Mississippi Territory by President Jefferson. His brother was the Revolutionary patriot Caesar Rodney. Hamilton. (back)
5. Major Richard Claiborne of Virginia accompanied Rodney to Mississippi and served as clerk of the board of commissioners to settle land claims in the territory, a board headed by Rodney, Ibid., 62–64, 67. (back)
6. The young gentleman was William Bayard Shields, who had studied law under Thomas Rodney's son, Caesar Augustus Rodney; Lewis would have known C. A. Rodney as a member of the House of Representatives and a staunch Jeffersonian. Shields became a lawyer and judge in Mississippi and was counsel for Aaron Burr at his first trial in Mississippi. Ibid., 62–64, 216 n. 2, 260. (back)