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

June 14, 1804


14th June, Thursday    We set out at 6 oClock after a thick fog    proceeded on verry well S. 33 W 2 Ms. to the lower pt of an Isld. S. S.    〈N〉 S. 60° W. thro a narrow 1 me channel to a Small prarie S. S.    opposit this Isd. on L. L. is a Butifull high Plain.    from the Isd. S. 70° W. to a pt. L. S. 2½ ms. just below a piec of High Land on the S. S. Called the place of Snakes, passed the worst place I have Seen on L. S.    a Sand bar makeing out ⅔ Cross the river    Sand Collecting &c forming Bars and Bars washg a way, the boat Struck and turned, She was near oversetting    we saved her by Some extrodany exertions of our party (ever ready to inconture any fatigue for the premotion of the enterprise[)], I went out to walk on the Sand Beech, & Killed a Deer & Turky [1]    during the time I was from the boat a Caussee came too from the Pania [Pawnee] nation loaded with furs    We gave them Some whiskey and Tobacco & Settled Some desputes & parted    S. 5 E. 3 ms. to pt. on S. S. passed a Creek S. S. 25 yds. wd. Called Snake Creek [2] or ([blank])    passed a bad Sand bar S. S. in passing which we were obliged to run great Sesque [risk] of Loseing both Boat & men, Camped above, [3] G. Drewyer tels of a remarkable Snake inhabiting a Small lake 5 ms. below which gobbles like a Turkey & may be herd Several miles, This Snake is of [emence?] Size. [4]


14th, June Thursday    we Set out at 6 oClock, after a thick fog    passed thro: a narrow pass on the S. S. which forms a large Isd.    opposit the upper point of this Island on the L. S. is one of the worst quick or moveing Sand bars which I have Seen    not withstanding all our precaustons to Clear the Sands & pass between them (which was the way we were Compd. to pass from the immens Current & falling banks on the S. S.) the Boat Struck the point of one    from the active exertions of the men, prevented her turning, if She had turned She must have overset.    we met a Causseu from the Pania [NB: Paunee ] on the River Platt, we detained 2 hours with a view of engageing one of the hands to go to the Pania nation with a View to get those people to meet us on the river. [5] I went out (Shot a Deer)    we passd a high land & clay bluff on the S. S. Called the Snake bluff from the number of Snakes about this place, we passd a Creek above the Bluff about 18 yds. wide, This Creek is Called Snake Creek, a bad Sand bar Just below which we found difficuelty in passing & Campd above, our Hunters Came in. George Drewyer, gives the following act. of a Pond, & at abt. 5 miles below the S. S. Passed a Small Lake in which there was many Deer feeding    he heard in this Pond a Snake makeing Goubleing Noises like a turkey.    he fired his gun & the noise was increased, he has heard the indians Mention This Species of Snake    one Frenchman give a Similar account

Course & Distance June 14th
S. 33° W 2 ms. to Lowr. pt. on an Isd. S. S.
S. 60° W 1 Me. thro: a chanel on S S.
S. 70 W 2 Ms. to pt. L. S.    passed a bad Sand
S. 5 E 3 ms. to a pt. on S. S.    passed a Creek S. S.

Thursday June 14th 1804.    we Set out eairly from the Grand River, foggy but fair day    we passed a handsome Small prarie on North Side of the River.    verry hard water, about noon we met 2 canoes loadd with peltry.    four Frenchman bound to St. Charles, came from the Pawnie nation, [6] where they had been hunting for 2 years.    they came to us about 11 oClock A. M.    left us at 3 O.C. P. M.    we proceeded on    passed high Land on the N. Side called Snake hills of the River, then we passed Snake Creek on the N. Side of Missouri.    we camped on N. Side.


Thursday June 14th 1804.    we Set out at the usuel ouer and proseded on our Jorney    day Clear water Strong    Came 3 miles 〈past〉 met 2 Conoes with 3 French men and one Negro [X: Mallatto] from the Poncye Nations.    they have ben up 3 years with the Indianes 2 of them is half preades of the poncas.    past a Creek on the N. Side Called the Snake Creek    it is about 25 yads wide    a noted place whare Indianes 〈Cross〉 of Differnt nations to Go to ware they Say that thar is hundreds of Snakes    at this place ouer hunters killed one Deer    encamped on the N Side of the River    the Land is good about hear    the Chief of the timber is Cotten wood.


Thursday 14th.    At five o'clock in the morning we continued our voyage. The river having risen during the night was difficult to ascend. At noon we passed some Frenchmen from the Poenese or Ponis nation of Indians, where they spent the last winter. The evening we passed Snake creek on the north side and encamped on the same.


Thursday 14    Got under way at the Grand River    Roed 3 miles and Got in to a Byoe at the End of Sd Byoe Came to the main River— [7]    the River Rose    the wrack Run Rappidly    we had to S[t]rike Streat Across the River and the boat with the Other Crafts took the Sand bar    with much dificuelty Got them of.    Got on through many Deficeultys.    Roe 6 Miles.    Incampd. Neer the Willow praraie [8]

Thursday June 14th    We embark'd this morning from Grand River, and proceeded on 3 Miles, and got into a Byo, the end of which Byo, entered into the main River.    This day the River rose, and the wrack run rapidly.    we were forced to cross the River, in doing of which, the Boat, and the craft that we had with us, struck on a Sand barr, we had much difficulty in getting them off.    This day we met with many difficulties, owing to the raising of the River and the fataigue we underwent was exessive.    We encamped near the willow Priari, having Rowed only 6 Miles.—

1. "Killed a Deer & Turky" is written with a sharper quill and appears to have been inserted later in a space left for it. (back)
2. Probably Wakenda Creek, in Carroll County, Missouri, whose old bed appears in MRC map 11. Osgood (FN), 56 n. 8. (back)
3. Clark is not clear which side this camp was on, but Ordway places it on the north (starboard) side of the Missouri. It was in Carroll County, nearly opposite the present town of Miami, and near where Missouri Highway 41 crosses the river. MRC map 11. (back)
4. This appears to be one of the marvelous snake stories common in American folklore, perhaps derived from an Indian belief. Coues (HLC), 1:25 n. 54. (back)
5. It is nowhere indicated in the journals whether this man was in fact hired, and if so, what his name was. If he was hired, this complicates the role of the French engagés. See May 26 and July 4, 1804. Biddle says they were unsuccessful in hiring him. Floyd says the four were "3 French men and one Negro [X: Mallato]" and that "2 of them is half preades of the poncas," by which he may mean Pawnees. Coues (HLC), 1:25. (back)
6. Pawnee Indians. (back)
7. Two blank pages follow but with no apparent break in the writing. (back)
8. One of many instances in which Whitehouse applies a place-name used by no other journal keeper. The camp was in Carroll County, Missouri, nearly opposite present Miami. (back)