November 25, 1803
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

November 25, 1803


Set out this morning half after 6 O.Clk.    the coast on the Lard. qut. was higher than yesterday, the rock rising perpendicularly from the water's edge in many places & in others reather projecting than otherwise, it is the same rock discribed yesterday with a larger portion of flint: the flint appears to ly in stratas yet reather divided by the limestone even in those stratas, they appear to be from six inches to a foot asunder. all the stone of whatever discription which I have observed in this country appere to lye in horizontal stratas except where they have been evedently been forced or removed from their origional beds by the courant of the river on which they border.— [1]    (1) several small streams put in but not sufficenly large to deserve any particular notice    the country still appears high with small intervals of low land on the Lard. quarter, that on the Stard. is low and appears to overflow in high water but how far I had not an opertunity to inform myself—    (2) passed a small creek [2] on Lard. qtr. just above which were some Shawnee huts and tents—    (3) 1¾ from hence Apple river [3] puts in on Lard. qtr.    here we came too and I took the meridian altd of Sun's L. L. which was 64° 12' 30"    the Error of sextt. as usual—    this is the most considerable stream I have yet met with; it falls in just above a large flat rock now visible but conscealed in high water; it is about 40 yards in width at it's mouth from bank to bank, but vends very little water at this moment, tho' navigable in high water several miles; this as well as most of the creeks and rivers of inferior magnitude which put into the Mississippi appear much more inconsiderable than they really are; the cause is this—    The Mississippi when full throws large quantitys of mud into the mouths of these rivers whose courents not being equal to contend with it's power become still or eddy for many miles up them    the mud is thus deposited and as they are but comparitively short their courents subside before that of the Mississippi which when it does subside and leave them free to act they have so small a quantity of water to discharge that it finds it's way to the river in a very small channel which it cuts through this mud; thus in a manner conscealing their magnitude from the passanger along the main river—    The Apple River extends a considerable distance back in the country say 40 or 50 miles & heads with the waters of the St. Francis's River. [4]    on this stream about 7 miles from it's mouth, is a settlement of Shawnees, which more than any other in this quarter deserves the name of a villiage [5]    I could not ascertain their number. Oposite the mouth of this river [Apple Creek] and conscealed by a small Island on the Stard. qtr. muddy River falls in—    this is also called Cow River , or River Avaise , [6] it is navigable thirty or forty mils in high water; and heads in extensive plains with the Saline of the Ohio and the Little Wabash a branch of the Great Wabash—    there are many fine mines of pitt Coal on this stream, and one not far from its mouth whence boats asscend in common and high tide are loaded with and transport it the Saline on W. of mississippi and to Kaskaskias & elsewhere for the use of the blacksmiths and other artizans— [7]    above the Island at the mouth of this river and on the same side there is another small Island close in to the main land which still continues low on that hand—    the shore and land on the Lard. is still high with clifts of the limestone rock covered with scattering pine & seeader, some oak History &c—    Arrived at the Grand Tower a little before sunset, passed above it and came too on the Lard. shore for the night. [8]    A discription of this place will be given in my journal tomorrow    This seems among the watermen of the mississippi to be what the tropics or Equanoxial line is with regard to the Sailors; those who have never passed it before are always compelled to pay or furnish some sperits to drink or be ducked

Course Time dist. References &c.
N. 52 W. 1— 1 ¾ To mouth of Crk. Lard. qtr. (1)
N. 20 W. 3— 3 ½ Creek Lard. 10 m. Long (2)
N. 11 E 1 15 1 ¾ To Apple river Lard. (3)
N. 10 W 2— 2— To the grand tower (4)
Total 7 15 9—  

The Country from Cape Jeradeau has been pretty generally high and bold on the Lard. and the reverse on the Stard quatr.    at this place the high land approaches the river equally on both sides.—    a mile and ¼ below the G. Tower on the lard. qutr. is a large bank of white clay that appears to be excellent Spanis whiting, [9] tho' it has a considerable portion of grit in it.—

1. Sexton Creek and Girardeau Limestone are difficult to distinguish in this area because both contain beds and nodules of black chert or flint. Pryor & Ross. (back)
2. Any of several small creeks in the area. (back)
3. Apple Creek serves as the boundary between Cape Girardeau and Perry counties, Missouri, as it enters the Mississippi. (back)
4. Apple Creek is a shorter stream than Lewis apparently thought, and the White Water River lies between it and the St. Francis. Quaife (MLJO), 64 n. 1. (back)
5. A settlement of the Absentee Shawnee, apparently located near the later village of Old Appleton, on Apple Creek in Cape Girardeau County. It may have contained as many as four hundred persons at the time. See above, November 16. Houck, 1:213–14; Missouri Guide, 35–37, 524–25. (back)
6. The present Big Muddy River, which divides Union and Jackson counties, Illinois, where it enters the Mississippi. Lewis is correct about its headwaters only in the broadest sense. Lewis's reference to "Cow River" results from a confusion of the French words vase (mud) and vache (cow). It is "Riviere au Vase" on most early maps, and "R. aux Vaches" on only one. Clark showed it as "Pit Cole [Coal] R or R a Vayse" on Atlas map 3a and "pit Coal or Muddy River" on map 3b. Quaife (MLJO), 65 n. 1; McDermott (WCS), 143–44. To add to the confusion, there is a river that Lewis does not notice on the opposite side of the Mississippi several miles upstream from the Big Muddy. That river is today also called River aux Vases. (back)
7. The Carbondale Formation, mid-Pennsylvanian in age, which contains some of the richest and most economically important coal beds of Illinois, crops out in the region described here. Willman et al., 187. (back)
8. Tower Rock, as it is now called, is in Perry County, Missouri, opposite the Jackson County, Illinois, community of Grand Tower. From Jacques Marquette (1673) on, travelers have noted this landmark. Clark sketched the area, including Tower Rock, the Sugar Loaf, and their keelboat anchored near the shore, on Atlas maps 3a and 3b. Thwaites (JR), 59:143–45; Thwaites (EWT), 14:96–98, 26:89–90. The day's camp was just above the rock, as shown on the maps. (back)
9. Whiting is a pigment made from powdered chalk or limestone. The Grand Tower Limestone of Middle Devonian age contains beds of very pure lithographic limestone that could readily have been ground to make whiting; it also contains scattered quartz sand grains. The area is shown as "Silica Mines" on the Altenburg quadrangle (Missouri-Illinois), U.S. Geological Survey, 1925. Willman et al., 117. (back)