January 10, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

January 10, 1804


Tuesday 10th    a fine day, the river rose 6 Inches last night, the Creek also rises & Boat nearly afloat    I am verry unwell all day, owing I believe to the Ducking & excessive Cold which I underwent yesterday, at 1 oClock Joseph Fields returned, & crossed the River between the Sheets of floating Ice with Some risque, his excuse for Staying so long on the Mississippi [1] were that the Ice run so thick in the Missourie where he was 30 miles up that there was no crossing, he Says that the people is greatly in favour of the Americans, Cap. Mackey [2] has Just returned from Surveying of some lands up the Missouries, which has been laterly granted    he says "a boutifull Countrey presents its Self on the route he went & returned." Three miles to the first settlements from his place in a [West] [3] direction. I feel unwell to day

1. "J. Fields" is written on the upper left corner of the reverse of this document, just above "Mississippi." (back)
2. James Mackay was born in Scotland and came to America in about 1776; he engaged in the fur trade in Canada and from there made a trip to the Mandan villages on the Missouri in 1787. He came to Louisiana about 1794 and, having sworn allegiance to the Spanish government, became manager of the Spanish-controlled Missouri Fur Company's affairs on the upper Missouri. He set out up the Missouri in 1795 and established a post in present northeastern Nebraska. From there he sent up the river John Thomas Evans, who he hoped would reach the Pacific. In fact, Evans got no farther than the Mandan villages. Mackay himself explored the Niobrara, Loup, and Elkhorn rivers in northern and western Nebraska and returned to St. Louis in 1797. Subsequently he became a landowner, a surveyor, and an official for the local Spanish government. His advice and information on the Missouri River country were of great value to Lewis and Clark. He also seems to have furnished them copies of Evans's maps of the Upper Missouri (Atlas maps 7–12, 30). For additional information, see Atlas, 16–17. Nasatir (JM), 185-206; Williams; Nasatir (BLC), 1:351–65, 371; 2: 485–99, 514–26, passim.; Diller (JMJ). (back)
3. There is a hole in the paper here. The original word may have been "N West," referring perhaps to the settlement at the junction of Coldwater Creek and the Missouri, shown in fig. 6. (back)