May 14, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

May 14, 1804


Monday 14th [1]    a Cloudy morning    fixing for a Start    Some provisions on examination is found to be wet    rain at 9 oClock    many of the neighbours Came from the Countrey mail and freemail    rained the greater part of the day, I set out at 4 oClock to the head of the first Island [2] in the Missouri 6 Miles and incamped, on the Island    rained.    I refur to the Comsmt. [commencement] of my Journal No 1. [3]

A Memorandum of Articles in readiness for the Voyage [4]
Viz: 14 Bags of Parchmeal of 2 bus: each about 1200
  9 do    Common Do    do    do 800
  11 do    Corn Hulled do    do 1000
half Barrels of flour } (Gross 3900 w) do
Bags of       do

do    of Biscuit } (Gross 650 w) do
Barrels    do

  7 Barrels of Salt of 2 bus: each " (870) do 750
  50 Kegs of Pork (gross 4500) do 3705
  2 Boxes of Candles 70 lb and about 50 lb
(one of which has 50 lb of soap [)] do
  1 Bag of Candle-wick do 8
  1 do    Coffee 50
  1 do    Beens & 1 of Pees 100
  2 do    Sugar do 112
  1 Keg of Hogs Lard do 100
  4 Barrels of Corn hulled (650) do 600
  1 do of meal (170) do 150
  600 lb Grees  
  50 bushels meal  
  24 do Natchies Corn Huled  
  21 Bales of Indian goods  
    Tools of every Description & &.  
Our party

2 Capts. 4 Sergeants, 3 Intptrs., 22 Amns. 9 or 10 French, & York also 1 Corpl. & Six in a perogue with 40 Days provisions for the party as far as the provisions last


Capts. Lewis & Clark wintered at the enterance of a Small river opposit the Mouth of Missouri Called Wood River, where they formed their party, Composed of robust 〈Young Backwoodsmen of Character〉 helthy hardy young men, recomended.

The Country about the Mouth of Missouri is pleasent rich and partially Settled. On the East Side of the Mississippi a leavel rich bottom extends back about 3 miles, and rises by Several elevations to the high Country, which is thinly timbered with Oake &. On the lower Side of the Missouri, at about 2 miles back the Country rises graduilly, to a high plesent thinly timberd Country, the lands are generally fine on the River bottoms and well Calculating for farming on the upper Country.

in the point the Bottom is extensive and emencly rich for 15 or 20 miles up each river, and about ⅔ of which is open leavel plains in which the inhabtents of St. Charles & potage de Scioux had ther crops of corn & wheat.    on the upland is a fine farming country partially timbered for Some distance back.


Information of Mr. John Hay—commencing at the discharge of the Ottertail Lake, which forms the source of the Red River, to his winter station on the Assinneboin River

From Ottertail Lake Leagues
To the Shugar rappid 18 —
Buffaloe River—N. Side 10 —
Commencement of shaved prarie   9 —
Expiration of    Do.    do.
(Tho' on a streight line not thought more than 6 leagues)
18 —
Stinking bird river, South side
(heads with river St. Peters)
60 —
Shayen or Shaha South side 14 — [7]
River au Bouf North side   4 —
Tree River South side 10 —
Wild oates river N. Side   2
Goose river South side   7 —
Pond River S. side     ⅓
Sand Hill river—not certain but b[e]lieved
to be on the South side
  5 [8]
To the grand fork or Red Lake River N. Side 20 —
Turtle river S. Side   3 —
Dirty water river S. side   3 —
Salt water river N. side at the head of
this river is a salt spring
18 —
Pierced wood river N. S. 12 —
Pembenar river N. S.   3
To a wintering establishment of the
N. W. Company on the S. side
  8 —
Paemicon river S. side   3 —
Mr. Reaum〈e〉's Fort S. side 1792     ⅓
Pond river S side 14 —
Kuckould burr river S. side   3 ½
Rat river N side   7
Assinniboin N side 16 ½ [9]
Dead river S. side   8
Lake Winnepique 10
From the mouth of the Assinaboin up the
same to the mouth of Mouse River S side
139 ½

Notes— [(]1) the general course of the red River from Leaf river to the mouth of the assinnaboin is due West

(2ed) the River Pembenar heads in three large lakes bearing as it proceds upwards towards the Assinnaboin—    the first lake three leagues in length and 1 in width—   the turtle mountain bearing S W. distnt. 7 leagues—    the second smaller lying N N W. not very distant from the former the third and last [lake] large and extending within a few miles of the mouth of Mouse river branch of the Assinnaboin

(3) Salt is made in sundry places on the Red river (to [w]it) just below the mouth of river Pembenar on the S. side. head of salt river, also on the South side of the red river a little way below the dirty water river—

Memorandoms Misscellanious [10]

Mr. Labaum [11] informs that a Mr. Teboux who is at present with Louasell [12] up the Missouri can give us much information in relation to that country.—


The Kickapoo calls a certain water plant [14] with a large Circular floating leaf found in the ponds and marshes in the neighbourhood of Kaskaskias & CahokiaPo-kish'-a-co-mah, of the root of this plant the Indians prepare an agreable dish, the root when taken in it's green state is from 8 to 14 inches in circumpherence    is dryed by being exposed to the sun and air or at other times with a slow fire or smoke of the chimnies, it shrinks much in drying—    The root of this plant grows in a horrizontal direction near the surface of the rich loam or mud which forms the bottoms of their ponds or morasses, generall three, sometimes four or more of these roots are attatced together by a small root or string of hearder substance of a foot or six inches in length, the root of the plant thus annually progresses shooting out a root from a bud at the extremity of the root of the presceeding years groath, this in the course of the Summer p[r]oduces a new root prepared with a bud for the progression of the next season, also one leaf and one seed stalk the stem of the former supporting or reather attatched to a large green circular leaf 18 inches to two feet in diameter which fl[o]ats while green usually on the serface of the water, the sta[l]k is propotioned to the debth of the water, and of a celindrical form, is an inch and a half in circumpherence at or near it's junction of the root thence regularly tapering to the leaf where it is perhaps not more than an inch, the large fibers of the leaf project from the extremity of the stalk in every direction at right angles from it to the circumpherence of the leaf like rays from the center, there are from twelve to eighteen of those fibers—    the leaf is nearly a circle smoth on both sides and even and regular on it's edges—    near the same part of the root from which the leaf stalk project the seed stalk dose also—    it is about the same size and form of it but usually a foot longer standing erect and bearing it[s] blossum above the surface of the water which I am informed is of a white colour—    The seed vessel or matrix is the form of a depressed cone the small extremity of which is attatced to the uper end of the stalk; before it has attained it's groath it resembles an inverted cone but when grown the base obtains a preponderancy and inclining downwards rests it's edge against the stalk—    the base is a perfect circular plain from 〈fifteen to〉 eighteen to twenty inches in circumpherence in it's succulent state, and from two to three inches in hight—    the surface of the cone when dryed by the sun and air after being exposed to the frost is purforated with two circular ranges of globular holes from twenty to 30 in number arond one which forms the center placed at the distance of from an eighth to ¼ of an inch assunder, each of those cells contains an oval nut of a light brown colour much resembling a small white oak acorn smothe extreemly heard, and containing a white cernal of an agreeable flavor; these the native frequently eat either in this state or roasted; they frequently eat them also in their succulent state—    the bear feed on the leaves of this plant in the spring and summer—    in the autumn and winter the Swan, geese, brant, ducks and other acquatic fowls feed on the root—    the one is brown, pitty and extreemly light, and when seperated from the stalks flots on the suface of the water with its base down—    the Indians procure it and prepare it for food in the following manner—    they enter the bonds [ponds] where it grows, barefooted in autumn, and feel for it among the mud which being soft and the root large and near the surface they readily find it    they easily draw it up it having no fiborus, or colateral roots to attatch it firmly to the mud    they wash and scrape a thin bleack rind off it and cut it croswise into pieces of an inch in length    when it is prepared for the pot it is of a fine white colour boils to a pulp and makes an agreeable soupe in which way it is usually dressed by the natives    when they wish to preserve it for any length of time they cut it in pieces in the manner before discribed string it on bark or leather throngs of a convenient length and hang it to dry in the sun, or exposed it to the smoke of their chimnies, when thus dryed it will keep for several years, it is esteemed as nutricius as the pumpkin or squash and is not very dissimilar in taste—    The Chipiways or sateaus call this plant Wab-bis-sa-pin or Swan-root— [15]    The ferench or Canadians know it by two names the Pois de Shicoriat or Graine de Volais—    the roots of this plant are from one foot to eighteen inches in length—

The common wild pittatoe [16] also form another article of food in savage life    this they boil untill the skin leaves the pulp easily which it will do in the course of a few minutes    the outer rind which is of a dark brown coulour is then scaped off    the pulp is of a white coulour, the pettatoe thus prepared is exposed on a scaffold to the sun or a slow fire untill it is thoroughly dryed, or at other times strung upon throngs of leather or bark and hung in the roofs of their lodges where by the influence of the fire and smoke it becomes throughly dryed, they are then prepared for use, and will keep perfectly sound many years, these they boil with meat or pound and make an agreeable bread    this pittaitoee may be used in it's green or undryed state without danger provided it be well roasted or boiled—    it produces a vine which runs too a considerable length usually intwining itself about the neighbouring bushes and weeds, the vine is somewhat branched, and in it[s] progress at the distance of 2½ inches it puts forth one leaf stem at right angles with the vine, which is furnished with two par of ovate leaves and turminated by one of a similar shape, these are of a pale green colour not indented on their edges, reather a rough appearance, the vine is small and green except near the ground where it sometime assumes a redish hue—    the fruit is connected by a small liggament at both ends extending for many yards in length and attatching together in some instances six eight or more of these pittaitoes—    it's root is pereniel    the vine annual.

There is also another root [17] found in mashey lands or ponds which is much used by the Kickapoos Chipaways and any other nations as an article of food    it is called by the Chipeways Moc-cup-pin [18]    this in it's unprepared state is not only disagreeable to the taste but even dangerous to be taken even in a small quantity; in this state it acts as a powerfull aemetic.    a small quantity will kill a hog yet prepared by the Indians it makes not only an agreeable but a nutricious food—    I have not seen the plant and can therefore only discribe it from information—    the leaf is said to be broad and to float on the water—    the root is from 10 to 12 inches in length and about ⅔ds. as much in thickness—    it has a rough black skin, the pulp is white and of a mealy substance    when properly prepared the preparation is this—    having collected a parsel of these roots you cut and split a sufficient parsel of wood which is set on end as the coliers commence the base of their coal pitts, the [l]enghts of these sticks of wood being as nearly the same as you can conveniently cut them and about 4 feet in length thus forming when put together an even surface at top    on this is thrown soft earth of from two to 3 Inches in debth the roots are laid on this and earth thrown over the whole forming the Colliers kiln complete    fire is then communicated to the wood beneath and it is suffered to burn slowly for several days untill the wood is exausted or they concieve their roots are sufficiently cooked—    they then take them out scrape them & cut them into slices crosswise of half an inch thick and laying them on a scaffold of small sticks build small fires under them and dry them untill they become perfectly firm    thus prepared they are fit for uce and will keep for years if not exposed to wet—    they are either boiled to a pulp in their soupe or less boiled eat them with bears oil or venison and bears flesh—    they sometimes pound it and make a bread of it.—


The names of the Forts or British Trading Establishments on the Ossiniboin

1St quens Fort (La prairie[)] [20] 20 from red river
2. Mouse River fort [21] 58    do    38
3. Hump Mountain fort [22] 83    do    25
4. Catapie River [23] (the rout to the
Missouri) 150 miles.
99    do    16
5. Swan River [24] 114    do    15
6. Coude de l'homme (or Mans Elbow) [25] 129    do    15
7. Sourse at lake Manitou [26] 149    do    20

red river, of Lake Osnehuger [27] 285 Leagues long. (Hay) wooded & low on both Sides.

1. There are two entries for May 14, 1804, in the Field Notes. The first is at the end of document 12 and is considered the end of the Dubois Journal; the second begins document 13 at the beginning of the River Journal. (back)
2. Near the mouth of Coldwater Creek, St. Charles County, Missouri, a little above the present town of Fort Bellefontaine and below the crossing of U.S. Highway 67. Osgood (FN), 41 n. 2; MRM map 1. (back)
3. Clark's "Journal No. 1" is now designated Codex A, following Coues. See the Introduction to volume 2. (back)
4. This list is on the reverse of Atlas map 3a. On the map side is the endorsement in Clark's hand: "A List of Articles for Missouri voyage." The list is a compilation of other lists scattered throughout earlier entries, but it may also be partial or incomplete. See in particular entries of April 14 and 16 above. Clark's listing four sergeants is probably an error as there were only three, Ordway, Pryor, and Floyd, the latter replaced by Gass at his death on August 20, 1804. (back)
5. This material is at the beginning of Clark's notebook journal Codex A. Since it appears to relate to the period at River Dubois it is placed here. The last paragraph is crowded in above the heading of the first dated entry, for May 13, 1804, and may have been written after that entry. (back)
6. This undated information on a loose sheet in the Voorhis Collection, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, could have been given Lewis at any time during the winter of 1803–4, because Hay visited the camp numerous times and doubtless met with the captain frequently in St. Louis. Hay was describing a journey down the Red River of the North, that is, northward, between Minnesota and North Dakota and into southern Manitoba. The streams mentioned are chiefly tributaries of the Red, many bearing the same names today. References to their being on the north or south side are confusing since the general course of the Red is northward. The geographic features are not identified here because they are outside the expedition's travels. J. Reaume ("Mr. Reaum〈e〉's Fort") was an early fur trader in Minnesota and in 1792 had a post on Leaf River. Innis, 254–55 n. 297. See also Tyrrell; Wallace; MacKay; Davidson; and Coues (NLEH). Additional notes by Clark on this same sheet were made at Fort Mandan, probably from information given to him by Canadian traders. Those notes and a small map will be placed in the appropriate place in Fort Mandan Miscellany. (back)
7. Here a subtotal of 129. (back)
8. Here a subtotal of 157, after which a new page with the subtotal carried over but not repeated here. (back)
9. Here to the side another subtotal:
Lewis was apparently trying to calculate the distance in miles by estimating three miles to a league. His calculation is in error. (back)
10. This note is from Codex P, p. 133. The information was probably acquired during the winter at River Dubois and is placed here before the departure from Camp Dubois. (back)
11. Perhaps Louis Le Baume, who in 1801 was operating a salt works on Salt River in northeast Missouri. Houck, 1:343 n. 21. (back)
13. This material is found at the beginning of Lewis's Weather Diary and was probably based on information gathered during the winter at Camp Dubois. See Appendix C. (back)
14. Nelumbo lutea, first mentioned on January 1, 1804. (back)
15. Ives Goddard III gives the Chippewa word as waabiziipin, signifying "swan tuber." See also Smith (EOI), 396, who refers to a species other than Nelumbo lutea. (back)
16. Apios americana Medic., Indian potato, ground nut, potato-bean. It grows on the banks of streams and floodplains and "is the true pomme de terre of the French and the modo or wild potato of the Sioux Indians, and is extensively used as an article of diet." Report of Commissioner of Agriculture for 1870, quoted in Gilmore, 42–44. See also Fernald, 936; McDermott (GMVF), 125. (back)
17. Probably Nymphaea tuberosa Paine, white water lily, tuberous water lily. Although it no longer occurs in Missouri, it is found in pond margins and slow streams along the Platte and Missouri rivers in eastern Nebraska, as well as in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Steyermark, 667–68; Barkley, 16; Fernald, 641. (back)
18. Goddard gives the Chipewa word as makopin, signifying "bear tuber." See also Smith (EOI), 399, who refers to a species other than Nymphaea tuberosa. (back)
19. This list is in Clark's Codex C; although undated, it is clearly a condensed version of information received from John Hay during the winter at River Dubois, and so it is placed with other undated material the captains gathered during that time. During the winter of 1803–4, Mackay had provided Lewis and Clark with some extracts from his journals, covering both his activities on the Missouri in 1795–97 and his trading ventures in Canada. Hay, who had also worked for the North West Company in Canada, apparently translated Mackay's journal from French for the captains and added comments based on his own experience. The resulting document was among expedition papers found in Nicholas Biddle's collection that he had not turned over to the American Philosophical Society in 1818; the family later donated these documents to the society (see Appendixes B and C). Quaife (ECMJ).

This list gives the names or locations of various Hudson's Bay Company and North West Company trading posts in present Manitoba and Saskatchewan, on the Assiniboine River or in adjacent regions, ca. 1794–95, when Hay was in the region. Clark may have copied the list both for use in mapping and because of the interest the captains took in the fur trade of the area and possible British competition for the trade and allegiance of the Missouri River tribes. Abstracting the information into Codex C may have made for handier reference. See Thompson's map as printed in Coues (NLEH), 3: unpaged.

20. "Quens Fort (La prairie[)]" refers to Fort de la Reine (Queen's Fort), founded by Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de la Vérendrye, in 1738, at present Portage de la Prairie, Manitoba, on the Assiniboine. In 1796 the Husdon's Bay Company built a post near the site. The North West Company had a post in the same vicinity. Coues (NLEH), 1:290–91 n. 7; Masson, 1:270. (back)
21. "Mouse River fort" was Assiniboine House, at the mouth of the Souris (Mouse) River where it meets the Assiniboine River in southwest Manitoba, established by the North West Company in 1795. The headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company's in the same vicinity, Brandon House, was started in 1794. Innis, 154; Coues (NLEH), 1:207–8 n. 9; Masson, 1:272; Davidson, 90; Glover, 157–58 n. 3. (back)
22. "Hump Mountain fort" was Montagne à la Bosse, a North West Company establishment built before 1794 on the Assiniboine about twenty miles west of present Brandon, Manitoba. Masson, 1:273–74; Larocque, 11, 82; Voorhis, 119. (back)
23. "Catapie River" is the Qu'Appelle River of southern Saskatchewan, a tributary of the Assiniboine on which the North West Company established Fort Esperance about 1784, two days' journey by canoe from the mouth. Masson, 1:274–75; Innis, 233; Glover, 157 n. 2; Davidson, 46–47, 50. (back)
24. "Swan River" was apparently the Hudson's Bay Company's Swan River (or Swan Lake) House, built in 1790 on the Swan River a few miles southwest of Swan Lake, in west-central Manitoba. The North West Company also had an establishment on Swan River. Glover, lxxx and n. 1; Coues (NLEH), 1:213, 299–300 n. 15; Innis, 245, 256; Davidson, 109; Voorhis, 168. (back)
25. "Coude de l'homme (or Mans Elbow)" was apparently the North West Company's Fort Alexandria, or Upper House, built in 1780 on the Assiniboine River above a sharp bend called the Elbow, in eastern Saskatchewan. Or, the reference may be to the North West Company's Somerset House, also called Elbow Fort, on the Swan River about fifty miles upstream from Swan Lake, Manitoba. Hay's list, however, reflected the situation as of about 1794–95, and the latter post was not built until 1800. Glover, lxxxi and n. 1; Coues (NLEH), 2:494 and n. 58; Masson, 1:275; Davidson, 109; Voorhis, 165, 168. (back)
26. "Sourse at Lake Manitou" is apparently the Portage of Lake Manitoba, which is the Meadow Portage between Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis. The post associated with this portage was Fort Dauphin, originally founded by Pierre de la Vérendrye in 1741. Several later North West and Hudson's Bay Company posts were constructed in the vicinity and were also called either Fort Dauphin or Dauphin Lake House. Glover, lxxix and n. 1; Coues (NLEH), 1:175 n. 40, 207 n. 7; Voorhis, 58. (back)
27. "Red river, of Lake Osnehager" is the Red River of the North. The lake's name probably comes from Quinipagou, the Algonquian name of Lake Winnipeg, into which the Red River of the North flows. Thwaites (LC), 6:268–69 n. 1. (back)