June 9, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

June 9, 1804


9th of June 〈Friday〉 Satterday    Set out early, water verry Swift    got fast on a log, detained us ¼ hour    Hard rain last night.    N 39° W 3½ Ms. to a pt. on the S. S. opposit the Commencement of the 1st Prarie, Called Prarie of the Arrows, [1] the river at this place about 300 yds. Wide    passed a Small Creek, Arrow Creek 8 yds. wide L. Sd.    the Current exceedingly Strong N. 34° E 2 ms. to the Belg of a Small Island Situated on the L. Sd. Passed the mo: of Arrow Creek N 83° W 1½ ms. to a pt 〈of High Land〉 on L. S. opposit Black bird C Small [2]    passed the head of the Isd. & a small Willow one to the L. S. (☉s merdn. altd. back obsvn. 37 00' 00[)]    N. 39° W 2 Ms. to a pt. 〈on S. S.〉 of High Land on the L. Side opst. a pt. on St. S. River about 350 yds. wide at this pt.    a Wind from the S at 4 oClock    (Handson Sutn[)] [situation?]    on the High pt. a prarie & Small Lake below    N 32° E 3½ Ms. to a pt. on L. S.    passed an Isld. in the mid R—    in passing up on the S. S. opsd. the Isd. the Sturn of the boat Struck a log which was not proceiveable    the Curt. Struck her bow and turn the boat against Some drift & Snags which [were] below with great force; This was a disagreeable and Dangerous Situation, particularly as immense large trees were Drifting down and we lay imediately in their Course,—    Some of our men being prepared for all Situations leaped into the water Swam ashore with a roap, and fixed themselves in Such Situations, that the boat was off in a fiew minits, I can Say with Confidence that our party is not inferior to any that was ever on the waters of the Missoppie    we Crossed to the Island and Camped, [3] our hunters lay on the S. S.    〈 Gibson verry nearly〉    the wind from the S. W.    the river continue to rise Slowly    Current excessive rapid—    The Countrey on the S. S. high bottom & Delghtfull land    that on the L. S. is up land or hills of from 50 to 100 foot higher than the bottom & a thinly wooded, Countrey, Lands tolerably Good; Comminced raining at 5 oClock and continued by intervales the greater part of the night. We discovered that one of our French hands had a Conpt. [complaint]—    We Commsd Doctering, I hope the Success in this case, usial to an [sentence incomplete]


a fair morning, the River rise a little    we got fast on a Snag Soon after we Set out which detained us a Short time    passed the upper Point of the Island    Several Small Chanels running out of the River below a 〈Bluff〉 [NB: cliff of rocks called the arrow rock ] [4] & Prarie (Called the Prariee of Arrows) where the river is confined within the width of 〈300〉 [NB: 200] yds.    Passed a Creek of 8 yds. wide Called Creek of Arrows, this Creek is Short and heads in the Praries on the L. S.    passed a Small Creek Called Blackbird Creek S. S. and One Islands below & a Prarie above on the L. S.    a Small Lake above the Prarie—    opposit the Lower point of the 2d. Island on the S. S. we had like to have Stove our boat, in going round a Snag her Stern Struck a log under Water & She Swung round on the Snag, with her broad Side to the Current expd. to the Drifting timber, by the active exertions of our party we got her off in a fiew Mints. without engerey and Crossed to the Island where we Campd.    our hunters lay on the S. S.    the Perogue Crossed without Seeing them & the banks too uncertain to Send her over—    Some wind from the S accompanied with rain this evening—    The Lands on the S. S. is a high rich bottom    the L. S. appears oven [open?] and of a good quallity runing gradually to from fifty to 100 foot.

Course & Destance June 9th
N 39° W,   4 Ms. to a pt. on S. S. opsd. a Prarie
N 34° E.   2 ms. to pt. of an Isd. L. S.
N 83° W   1 ½ ms. to a pt. on L. S. opsd. B. Bs Cr.
N 39 W.   2 ms. to a pt. of High Ld. on L. S.
N 32 E   3 ½ ms. to a pt. on L. S.    psd. an Isld

On the N. W. side of a small island, two miles above the prarie of the Arrows.

Observed meridian Altd. of ☉'s L. L. with Octant by the back observatn.    37° —' —"


Saturday June 9th 1804.    we Set out eairly    we got fast on a log    Detained us half an hour, Rain last night    〈oppisite〉 we passed prarie & arrow Creek on South Side of the River.    the land is high & verry good    towards evening we passed a prarie & a Small Lake below.    we Camped on an Island at left Side.


Saturday June 9th 1804    Set out 〈of〉 after a verry hard Rain Last night    the morning Clear    wind from the Est    Came 5 miles    past the Prarice of arrows on the South Side half m. past the mouth of arrow Creek on the South Side    this Creek is 8 yads wide    this is a butifull Contry of Land    the River at this place is 300 yads. wide the current Strong    3 mls past Black Bird Creek on the N Side    high Hills on the loer Side    the Latter part of the day Couday with Rain    maid 10 miles    encampt on an Isd. in the middel of the River


Saturday 9th.    We passed the Prairie of Arrows, and Arrow creek on the south side. [6] This is a beautiful country, and the land excellent. The Missouri here is only 300 yards wide, and the current very strong. Three miles farther, we passed Blackbird creek on the north side, and encamped. This day going round some drift wood, the stern of the boat became fast, when she immediately swung round, and was in great danger; but we got her off without much injury.


Satery 9    Got on our way at the usal hour    roed. 7 miles    Stopd to take dinner at the End of a large Island above the arrow prarie    the distance from the latter to the River Charrotte River [7] is 14 miles    the hunters did Not Come 〈in〉 as the Storm was Great [illegible, crossed out]    the peirouge Could not Cross for them    Roed 15 Miles—

Saturday June 9th    This morning we got under way at the usual hour, and rowed 7 Miles, when we took up in order to dine; which we did at the point of a large Island, [8] above a place called the Arrow Priari, This Island lies distant from Charotto River 14 Miles.

The day proving stormy, we were obliged to waite for our hunters who were on the opposite side of the River, and it being unsafe to venture across in the Pettiauger for them.    we encamped on this Island, the distance come this day being 15 Miles

1. In the vicinity of the present town of Arrow Rock and Arrow Rock State Park in Saline County, Missouri. Arrow Creek is probably Pierre Fresne Creek, in Saline County. MRC map 9; MRM map 24. (back)
2. Evidently later Richland Creek, in Howard County, Missouri. Coues (HLC), 1:18; MRM map 24. (back)
3. Somewhat above Richland Creek and probably below the later village of Bluff Port, Howard County. MRC map 9; MRM map 25. (back)
4. The name of the bluff, called Pierre à Flèche as early as 1723, supposedly derives from an Indian tradition. The present town of Arrow Rock and Arrow Rock State Park, both in Saline County, commemorate the name. After Fort Osage (see below, June 23, 1804) was abandoned in 1813, the post was moved to Arrow Rock. Coues (HLC), 1:18 n. 40; Missouri Guide, 357; MRC No. 9. Biddle apparently crossed out "Bluff" when he substituted "cliff of rocks." (back)
5. Lewis's observation from Codex O. (back)
6. The prairie is in the vicinity of the town of Arrow Rock, Saline County, Missouri. "Arrow Creek" is probably Pierre Fresne Creek, Saline County. McKeehan's note: "Prairies are natural meadows, or pastures, without trees and covered with grass." (back)
8. There may be some confusion here with the campsite of the previous day. The camp today was on an island somewhat above Richland Creek and probably below later Bluff Port, Howard County, Missouri. (back)