September 8, 1803
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 8, 1803


8th    this day wrote to the President, [1] purchased a perogue and hired a man to work her, my men were much fatiegued and I concluded it would be better to give them a days rest and let them wash their clothes and exchange their flour for bread or bake their bread in a better manner than they had the means of baking it while traveling; dined with Colo. Rodney and his suit, in the evening they walked down to my boat and partook of some watermellons. I here also met with Dr. Patterson [2] the son of the professor of mathematicks in the University of Philada.    he expressed a great desire to go with me    I consented provided he could get ready by three the next evening    he thought he could and instantly set about it; I told the Dr. that I had a letter of appointment for a second Lieut. which I could give him but did not feel myself altogether at liberty to use it as it was given me by the President to be used in the event of Mr. Clark's not consenting to go with me but as he had I could not use it without the previous consent of the President; however if he thought proper to go on with me to the Illinois [3] where I expected to winter I could obtain an answer from the President by the spring of the year or before the Missourie would be sufficiently open to admitt of my asscending it; and that in the event of the President's not consenting to our wishes, I concieved that the situation of that country was a much more elligible one for a phisician than that of Wheeling particularly as he stated the practice which he had acquired at Wheeling was not an object: the Dr. was to have taken his medicine with him which was a small as sortment of about 100 L value. remained here all night—    The people began to top their corn and collect their fodder—

1. Lewis to Jefferson, September 8, 1803, Jackson (LLC), 1:121–23. (back)
2. William Ewing Patterson was the son of Robert Patterson, a friend of Jefferson, and one of those consulted by Lewis on his trip to Philadelphia the previous spring. The younger Patterson was apparently a chronic alcoholic, which would probably have offset the advantage of having a trained physician with the expedition. Quaife (MLJO), 39 n. 3; Chuinard, 171–74 and n. 8. (back)
3. At this time "the Illinois" was a broad term for both sides of the Mississippi north of the Ohio River; the settlements in Missouri were thus in "the western part of the Illinois." Evidently Lewis had already decided to winter in that area before starting up the Missouri. McDermott (GMVF), 90. (back)