November 24, 1803
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

November 24, 1803


Set out this morning at 7 OCl.    as we were bearing off, Pryor the man who had been absent and lost for the last two days hailed, we passed the river and took him in    he was much fatiequed with his wandering and somewhat indisposed—   (1) The highland which sets in at Cape Jeredeau continues with small intervals of low Land. on that side of the river, the other appearing low and subject to be overflowed for a considirable distance say 2 or three miles—    (2) this Isld. is not considerable,—   came too on the sand bar at the upper point of it and took Meridian Altitude ☉'s L. L. with Sext.    found it 64° 50' 30"    Error of sext. as usual—    (4) the main shore has been generally bold on the Lard. quart. all day but here putts in some high clifts the summits of which are crowned with pitch-pine & seader, [1] these rocks are nearly perpendicular in many places sixty feet, and the hight of the hills apear to be about 120 feet above the bank which forms their base of perhaps 15 or 18 feet tho from appearance they never over flow.    the rock which compose these clifts is a singular one tho' not uncomon to this country    it is a Limestone principally, but imbeded in this stone there are detached pieces of a stone resembleing flint of yellowish brown colour which appear at some former period to have been woarn smothe and assume different shapes and sizes as the pebbles of runing streams usually do tho' now firmly united and forming a portion of the solid mass of this rock—    many parts of the rock has also a considerable portion of grit or sand in it's composition tho' I was informed at Cape Jeradeau where the same rock appears, that it makes very good lime— [2] I am not confident with respect to the accuracy of the observation of this day, in consequence of some flying clouds which frequently interveened and obscured his [sun's] disk about noon and obliged me frequently to change the coloured glasses of the Sextant in order to make the observation as complete as possible.

Course Time dist. references &c 24th
N. 50 E. 3  30 4— ¼ to lower pt. of Isld. 2 M. Long Std. (1)
N. Due — 45 1 ¾ 1 mil. to Sand bar Lard. qtr. (2)
N. 22 W. 2  5 2 ½ passd. Isld. ¾ Long Lard. (3)
N. 20 W. 2  15 1 ¾ To rockey barr (4) staid all night [3]
Total 8 35 10 —
1. Lewis's identification of the pitch-pine (Pinus rigida Mill.) is in error. The only pine known to occur in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, or Union County, Illinois, is the yellow, or shortleaf pine, Pinus echinata Mill. Little, 71-E, 52-E. The two pine species are similar in appearance and ecology, and the error is understandable. The expedition is passing through the very northeast edge of the oak-hickory region of the Ozark plateau. Braun, 104. The "seader" is the ubiquitous Juniperus virginiana L., eastern red cedar. Little, 31-E; Fernald, 59–60. (back)
2. Limestone with embedded yellowish brown flint or chert is probably Sexton Creek Limestone, early Silurian in age. The rocks at Cape Girardeau mentioned here may be of the same unit, but they could also be Girardeau Limestone, which contains black chert or flint nodules and is slightly older, though still early Silurian in age. Cote, Reinertsen, & Killey, Willman et al., 99. (back)
3. By Lewis's calculation, ten miles above Cape Girardeau, in either Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, or Union County, Illinois. Lewis does not indicate which side of the river was closest, but from his description of the country, the "rockey barr" on which they camped was perhaps nearer the Missouri shore. (back)