November 28, 1803
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

November 28, 1803


This morning left Capt Clark in charge of the Boat [1]


Set out this morning of 8 oClock from the lower point of the horse Island, which Island is Situated opposit the mouth of Kaskaskies River Commonly Called Aucau Creek[2]    passed the mouth said River at half passed 8 oClock—    the high lands make near the Mississippi below the mouth of said River, a bold and rockey shore

This morning being verry Smokey [3] prevents my being as acurate as I Could wish—    passed a Small Creek [4] on the Larbd. Side near the point of a ridge of high Land makeing to the river. This Creek heads but a feew miles from the river, at 1 oClock passed Donohoes Landing on the Larbd. side, this landing is the place that Boats receive Salt from the Saline Licks which is one mile and 2 ½ miles S W from the River, and is worked at present to great advantage, passed the mouth of the Saline Creek [5] at three oClock, this Creek mouthes behind an Island    This Creek has a thick settlement [sediment] on its waters, at the time I passed this Creek the horozon became darkened that I could not see across the River, which appeared to widened, and the Current much Swifter than usial    Passed an Island on the Larbd. side, also one on the Starbd side abov that on the Larbd. and after passing some verry swift water which was comfd [confined?] between Sand bars, I arrived at the Landing opposit old St. Genevie, (or Misar) [6]

Novr. 28th

Course Time Distance Reference
    h   ms.  
S 50° W—   1 30   3 ¼ Pass the upper point of the Island, high banks
above Lbd side
S 63 W—   0 50   1 ¾ high banks Lbd Side or Small Isld Stbd Side
N 52 W—   2 27   3 0 Donohoos ferry, a high pt. on Lbd side (2)
N 24 W   2 45   3 ¾ To pot. on Stbd side an Island, opt. an Island
North   3 0   3 " To the Landing above the Isl'd opposit Missar
& Kasskaskies [7]
  10 32 14 ¾  
1. Here Lewis's known daily journal-keeping, except for scattered fragments, cases until April 1805. In preparation for traveling to St. Louis, he left the boat in charge of Clark. Lewis apparently remained at Kaskaskia until December 5, entering astronomical observations on the second and third. Clark and the party remained at Kaskaskia until December 3. In the Eastern Journal, Lewis's November 28 entry is followed by several blank pages, then his astronomical observations (arranged in chronological order in this edition), then Clark's entry for November 28. Lewis left Kaskaskia on December 5 on horseback, arriving at Cahokia on December 7; the next day he visited the Spanish commandant at St. Louis, and on the ninth rejoined Clark and the party at Cahokia. Quaife (MLJO), 68 n. 1. Quaife thought Clark was the author of the astronomical observations. Lewis to Jefferson, December 19, 1803, Jackson (LLC), 1:145–47. (back)
2. Clark's attempt at the French "Au Kas." Changes in the course of the Mississippi have altered the geography of the area considerably since 1803; the Mississippi now follows the former course of the lower Kaskaskia River. (back)
3. Smoky here means misty. (back)
4. Perhaps St. Laurent Creek. (back)
5. Shown as "R. au Salines" on Collot's 1796 map, in Missouri just north of the dividing line between Perry and Ste. Genevieve counties, behind Kaskaskia Island. French inhabitants of Kaskaskia were working the salt springs of the area in the early 1700s, resulting in one of the first European settlements in Missouri. Collot's map, Tucker, 522–23. (back)
6. Old Ste. Genevieve lay about three miles below the present site of the town in Ste. Genevieve County. It was known in early years as "Miserre," presumably because of hard times in its eary years. In 1785 flooding on the Mississippi necessitated moving the town to its present location. Anglo-American settlers came in considerable numbers in the late 1700s, and by Lewis and Clark's time the population was nearly 1,000 persons. Clark's camp was on the opposite shore, in Randolph County, Illinois, near Kaskaskia. Houck, 1:337–62, 2:208–9, 3:140; Missouri Guide, 269–73. (back)
7. Relatively unpopulated modern Kaskaskia sits in the middle of Kaskaskia Island, Randolph County, the original site having been submerged by the Mississippi in the late nineteenth century. George Rogers Clark captured the area from the British in 1778, but that occupation was brief. By 1800 some 467 persons lived in the town. Kaskaskia was the capital of Illinois Territory from 1809 to 1818, then the state capital for two years. Illinois Guide, 496–97; Belting; Alvord, 407, 324–28, 332, 359–74. (back)

[Ed: Here occurs a gap in the journal from November 28 to December 3, except for some astronomical observations on December 2. Clark left off his daily journalizing until he resumed the upriver journey. Apparently he remained in the Kaskaskia-Ste. Genevieve area during this time. Evidently he did not consider it necessary to keep a journal for the time he was not traveling. See above, n. 1 .]