May 15, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

May 15, 1804


It rained during the greater part of last night and continued untill 7 OCk. A. M. after which the Prarty proceeded, passed two Islands [2] and incamped on the Stard. shore at Fifer's landing [3] opposite an Island, the evening was fair.    some wild gees [4] with their young brudes were seen today.    the barge run foul three several times 〈today〉—on logs, and in one instance it was with much difficulty they could get her off; happily no injury was sustained, tho' the barge was several minutes in eminent danger; this was cased by her being too heavily laden in the stern. Persons accustomed to the navigation of the Missouri and the Mississippi also below the mouth of this river, uniformly take the precaution to load their vessels heavyest in the bow when they ascend the stream in order to avoid the danger incedent to runing foul of the concealed timber which lyes in great quantities in the beds of these rivers


Tuesday 15—    rained all last night and this morning untill 7 oClock, all our fire extinguished, Some Provisions on the top of the Perogus wet, I sent two men to the Countrey to hunt, & proceed on at 9 oClock, and proceeded on 9 miles and Camped at a Mr Pip:[er's] Landing just below a Coal Bank [5] on the South Side    the prarie Comes with ¼ of a mile of the river on the N. Side    I sent to the Setlements in the Pairie & purchased fowls &.    one of the Perogue are not Sufficently maned to Keep up.

*Course Distance and time ascending the Missouri River [6]
Tuesday May the 15th 1804
Course Distance Time Remarks & refurences*
  mes   h m  
West 1 0   0 25 to point on Stbd Side, passed the bend of the Is-
land    High Lands on the Larbord Side
N.18°W 2 0   1 5 to a pt. on Stb: Side opposit an Island (2)    a Sand Bar
in the Midlle
N. 11 W 2 ½ 20 a Pot [point] Stbd. Side
N. 20 W 1 ½   1 40 Point on the Larboard Side passed an Island
(3)— [7]
S 10 W 1 ½   0 50 Point on the Starboard (4)
S 22 W 1 0   1 0 to Point on Stbd Side passed an Island [8] near the
middle of the River (5)
  9 ½ 6 20  

Refurences from the 15th of May    (2) a large Island to the Starboard; (3) passed a Small Island in the bend to the Starbord, opposit Passage De Soux [9] and with[in] 1½ miles of the mississippi, observed a number of Gosselins on the edge of the river    many passing down, Strong water & wind from the N E—(4) Passed a Place Lbord Called the Plattes, a flat rock projecting from the foot of a hill, where there is a farm, [10] (5) pass an Small Isld near the Center of the river, run on Several logs this after noon, Camped at Mr. Pipers Landing.


Rained the greater part of the last night, and this morning untile 7 oClock—    at 9 oClock Set out and proceeded on 9 miles    passed two Islands & incamped on the Starbd. Side at a Mr. Pipers Landing opposit an Island, the Boat run on Logs three times to day, owing her being too heavyly loaded a Sturn, a fair after noon, I Saw a number of Goslings to day on the Shore, the water excessively rapid, & Banks falling in—.

Course & Distance assending the Missourie Tuesday 15th May—
Course mes  
West 1 0 To a pt. on St. Side
N. 80° W 2 0 To a pt. on St. Side
N. 11° W 2 ½ To a pt. on Stbd Side
N. 20° W 1 ½ To a pt. on Lbd. Side
S. 10° W 1 ½ To a pt. on Stbd. Side
S. 22° W 1 0 To a pt. on Stbd. Side
9 ½ (See Suplemt. in No. 3) [11]

Tuesday May 15th 1804.    rainy morning.    fair wind later part of the day.    Sailed Some.   encamped [12] on N. Side    Some land cleared, the Soil verry Rich, &c.


Tuesday may 15th 1804    Rainey mornig    fair wind the Later part of the day    Sailed som and encamped on the N. side    Some Land Cleared    the Soil verry Rich—


On the 15th we continued our voyage. It rained in the morning; but in the afternoon we had clear weather, and encamped at night on the north side of the river.


Tuesday 15th May 1804.    hard rain.    we Set out eairly.    the current Swift, & water muddy.    passed Islands & Some inhabitants &c.    the after part of the day proved pleasant.    [w]e Camped on the North Side.—

Tuesday May 15th    This morning early we set sail, in a hard Rain, the current of the River, being very swift, and water muddy; passed some Islands, with some Inhabitants on them; the latter part of the day proved clear; and in the Evening we encamped on the North side of the River.—

1. This entry is in Lewis's fragmentary Codex Aa (see Appendix C). It comes after the more extensive entry for May 20—these are the only two entries in the codex—and apparently was written after that entry, since Lewis would not have had the information on which to base it until he joined the party on the twentieth. Perhaps he considered the fifteenth to be the actual date of starting out and thought his journal should have an entry for that day. See the Introduction to Volume 2. (back)
2. One of the two islands may be Pelican Island. See MRC map 1. (back)
3. Probably James Piper, as Clark gives his name, who was in Missouri by 1798 and owned land in the St. Charles district on the Missouri River. The island may have been the Charbonnier Island of later times, and the camp was in St. Charles County, Missouri, some five miles downstream from the town of St. Charles. The continual changes of the lower Missouri and the lack of any route maps by Clark for this part of the trip greatly complicate the location of points mentioned. The camp is on the starboard, or right-hand side of the boat, which is bound upstream. Houck, 2:101 n. 44; Osgood (FN), 41 n. 5; MRC map 2. (back)
4. Probably the Canada goose, with which the captains were already familiar. Burroughs, 193. (back)
5. Probably what was later called Charbonnier Point, in St. Charles County . MRC map 2. (back)
6. This material is separated from the rest of the entry for May 15 on this sheet (document 13) of the Field Notes. At this point Clark apparently tried to keep his course entry separated from daily events; later he would place courses and distances and the daily narrative of events together. The asterisks in this section are probably keyed to one after the dateline for May 16, indicating that the course material should precede it. (back)
7. Perhaps Pelican Island. (back)
8. Perhaps Charbonnier Island; see above, n. 3. (back)
9. The village of Portage des Sioux was established by Spanish authorities in 1799 in the mistaken belief that the Americans would build a fort on the east side of the Mississippi. François Saucier was the founder and served as commandant until the American occupation. The area east of the town, between the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers, was also the property of the town and is also called Portage des Sioux. The area served as a portage between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and shortened a twenty-five-mile water trip to a two-mile crossing by foot. The present town is on the Mississippi River in St. Charles County . Houck, 2:91; Missouri Guide, 343–44; MRC map 1. (back)
10. In the vicinity of what was later called Car of Commerce Point, in St. Charles County . MRC map 2. (back)
11. This reference, undoubtedly inserted later, is to Lewis's Codex Aa, which was originally in Codex C (number 3 in Clark's numbering system—see Introduction and Appendix C). (back)
12. About five miles downstream from St. Charles, St. Charles County, Missouri. (back)