November 22, 1803
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

November 22, 1803


Missilanious remarks &ec. Set out at ½ after 6 A M. the current very rapid and difficult.    (1) the iner part of every bend of this river where it makes any considerable turn is always filled with Island of different shapes and sizes; this remark applys to every part of this river so far as we have yet asscended.—    at the expiration of this course saw some Heth hens or grows—    one of my men went on shore and killed one of them, of which we made soome soup for my friend Capt. Clark who had been much indisposed since the 16th inst. this bird shall hereafter be more particularly discribed.—    (2) arrived oposite three new habitation of some Americans who had settled under the spanish government, this settlement is on a bottom called, Tywappety, [1] the bank is high: called at the uper habitation—    from the center of the river oposite this settlement a large Island [2] appears a head dist 1½ and gives much the appearance to the river of it's forking or reather resieving a very considerable river on the Lard. side—    was informed by a Mr. Findley [3] the owener of this habitation that there were fifteen families in this settlement—    I took the hight of this bank above the present state of the water which was considered as very low and found it's elivation 32 feet 6 inches; this bottom seldom overflows at least not since the present settlement has been formed which has been about 4 years—    overtook two keels [4] from Lousville bound to Kaskaskias loaded with dry goods and whiskey, belonging to Mr. Bullet [5] of Louisville: this place by the computation of the inhabitants is 25 miles above the mouth of the Ohio but by my estimate is only 22 miles.    (3) one [island] of which on Lard. qutr. is about three miles in length and nearly the same in bredth    oposite to the upper end of this Isld. met two Keeled boats loaded with firs for New-Orleans; at the same place on the Stard. the land appears not usually to be overflowed being covered with a considerable portion of poplar and white-oak timber, tho' the bank is several feet lower than that I measured this forenoon; this is the first poplar or white oak I have seen since we began to asscend the river; I have seen but little cain [6] since we left the Ohio, and my pilot informed me that from hence up the river there is not any in the neighbourhood of it; the banks appear every where to abound with the sand or scrubing Rush, [7] it grows much thicker, and arrises to a much greater hight in the bottoms of this river than I ever observed it elsewhere, I measured a stalk of it which was 8 feet 2 inches in length & 3⅛ inches in circumpherence; it grows as thick comparitively as the stalks of luxurient wheat; It rises in a single steem without branch or leaf being jointed at the distance of 1 ½ to 2 inches; it retains it's colour which is a deep green through the winter and affords an agreeable and healthy food for both cattle and horses; these I am informed will keep in fine order on them through the winter which, however is never very inte[n]se in this climate. the favorite soil for this plant is a rich loam intermixed with a considerable portion of sand.—    the oak and poplar land before noticed continues on the Stad. side for several miles, and finally joins the highland which there puts in to the river—    (4) we here kept close to the main shore on Stard qtr.—    from the best estimate I could make the river appears to be in breadth including Islands from 1 ½ to 3 miles and the main chanel of it usually ½ mile wide—    this character of the river will apply to it from the mouth of Ohio to this place.    (5) the upper point of this Island is oposite to the uper point of Tywoppety bottom, there appears to be a hadsome farm at this point, and here the highland or main shore puts in with a much greater hight of land than we have seen since we began to asscend it appears to be a ridg pointing obliquely don the river    the hight of it from it's appearance is most probably 100 feet above the level of the bottom.—    from the water's edge to the top of the first rise or level of the bottom wass pretty well covered with large rock of many tons weight lying in a loose manner on the serface or but partially bedded in the earth—    on the stard. side I went on shore and soon arrived at some highland, it being not more than 200 paces to the base of the rising ground which rises pretty suddonly to the hight of 100 Feet. the land is of an inferior quality on these hills being a stiff white clay soil.—    observed a very fine quarry of white freestone on the Eastern bank of a small run which made into the river, from which the quarry is about half a mile.    also observed some large mass of loose rocks nearly at the summits of these hills, these rocks appeared very heard, being formed of such pebbles as common to the river, united together by a strong scement of fine sand; with a small proportion of earth.—    this quality so remarkable and observable in the waters of Ohio of scementing masses of pebble earth and sand, as also pretrefying vegitable and animal substances exposed to it for a length of time; this quality seems to be possessed equally by this river; of this I have had many evidences; beside those large masses of conjealed or scemented pebble, I met with several pieces of wood that had been petrefyed and afterwards woarn away by the gravel and the agetatition of the water untill they had become smothe and had the appearance of stone common to runing streams; tho' the grain of the wood was quite distinct. [8]    we came too for the night on the Stard. quat. [9] and lay upon a slate rock which here formed the beech; this slate appeared to ly in a vain of not more than 2 feet thick and seemed to be of an indifferent quality. one of my men [Nathaniel Pryor] who went out to hunt this morning has not yet come up, had several guns fired to bring him too, and the horn freequently blown but without effect—    I have frequently observed among the sand and pebble of the river a substance that resembled pit-coal but which evedently is wood that has remained a great length of time berried in the mud of the mois[t] banks of the river, & when these banks are again washed away becomes exposed to view    the gain of the wood is easily persieved as 〈is〉 was also the bark of some spesimines I met with which had not so perfectly assumed the coal state; I burnt some of this coal but found it indifferent, nor could I discover while it was berning that it emitted any sulphurious smell. [10]

Courses of this day. Novr. 22ed 1803
Course Time dist. References &c
N. 20 W. 1— —¾ Passd. an Ild. 1¼ Long Lard. (1), also another
Isd. ¼ Long Lard.—
N. 30 W. 2 15 3 ¼ passd. several Iisds. Lard & Stad. (2)
"  "  " 2 45 3— continued to pass Islds. (3)
"  "  " 2 15 2 ½ passd. Isld. on Lard. ¾ (4)
N. 40 W. " 50 1— upr. pt. of Isld. Lard. (5)
N. 35 W. 1 30 2 ½ to a slate rock on Stad. quarter where we lay all
night    here comes in the first highland we have
yet met with; and here it may be said that the
drowned land seases on this side the river from
whence to the mouth it is of unequal widths
from 1½ to 10 miles.
Total 10 35 13 0  
1. Tywappity Bottom straddles Scott and Mississippi counties, Missouri. The earliest American settlers arrived about 1797. Quaife (MLJO), 55 n. 1; Houck, 2:162–63. (back)
3. Probably Charles Findley, who operated a ferry in the area. Houck, 3:61. (back)
4. Keelboats, which had hulls with keels on the bottom, were able to move upstream, unlike flatboats, which were flat bottomed. See Baldwin (KA). (back)
5. Probably either Thomas or Cuthbert Bullitt, "distinguished merchants" of Louisville, Kentucky. Quaife (MLJO), 55 n. 2. (back)
6. The "cain" is Arundinaria gigantea (Walt) Chapm., large, or giant, cane. Fernald, 96. (back)
7. The "sand or scrubing Rush" is probably Equisetum hyemale L. var. robustum (A. Br) A. A. Eat., stout scouring rush. Ibid., 8–9. (back)
8. Lewis's "stiff white clay soil" is probably Quaternary valley fill and terrace deposits that were left in ponded tributaries of the Mississippi River during glaciations, although they reach generally only 50 to 60 feet above the river. "White freestone" refers to a poorly cemented rock, probably sandstone. The McNairy Sand of Cretaceous age fits this description and has been mapped in this area. The Lafayette Formation (Lewis's "loose rocks") consists of weakly to strongly cemented siliceous gravel and sand that caps most of the upland in this area. The petrified wood is probably pebbles of Cretaceous wood fragments from the McNairy Formation. Pryor & Ross. (back)
9. In northwest Alexander County, Illinois. (back)
10. The old forest bed of the Ohio River is a lens of peaty material that contains a large amount of partly coalified wood that retains its bark. It was buried in muds along the river during one of the interglacial ages prior to the Wisconsin glaciation. The Mississippi should have had a similar alluvial history, so it would be reasonable that such a bed would be encountered here also. Billups. (back)