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

June 15, 1804


15 June Friday 1804, we Set out early    proceeded on about 1 me. and the Boat turned on a Sawyer [2] which was near doeing her great damage, the river is riseing fast & the water exceedingly Swift,

S. 35° W 2 ms. alg. S. S.
S 50° W. 1 ½ Me. to a pt. on L. S.    passed a Prarie & Creek on the L. S
S. 51° W 2 ½ me. to a pt. on S. S.    psd. a Small Willow Island
S. 8. w.   to pt. L. S. ¾ of a me.    psd. the Lower pts. of 2 Isd.
S. 80° W. 2 Ms. to the upr. pt. of an Isd. on S. S.    passed thro a verry
bad part of the river, the wost moveing Sands I ever Saw,
the Current So Strong that the Ours [oars] and Sales under
a Stiff bresse Cld. not Stem it, we wre oblged to use a toe
rope, under a bank Constantly falling
S. 5° W. 2 Ms. to a pt. on S. S.    psd. along a Isd. on the left, to the
lowr. pt. of one Still on the left
S 12° W 1 ½ ms. to a pt. S. S. opsd. the Antient Village of the little Osage

passd. a bad Sand bar on which we Stuck for a Short time    this is Said to be the worst part of the river and Camped opsd. the bend in which the Antient Villages of the little Osarge & Missouries, [3] the lower or first of those villagies (L. Osages) is Situated in Butifull Plain at the foot of Some riseing land, in front of their Villges next the river is a butifull bottom Plain in which they raised their Corn &c.    back of the Village the high Prarie extends back to the Osarge River, about 3 Ms. above & in view the Missouries Nation resided under the protection of the Osarges, after their nation was riducd by the Saukees below, [4] thos built their Village in the Same low Prarie and lived there many years, the war was So hot & both nations become So reduced that the Little Osage & a fiew of the Missoures moved & built a village 5 ms near the Grand Osage, [5] the rest of the Missoures went and took protection under the Otteaus [Otos] on Platt river


15th, June, Friday 1804    Set out early and had not proceeded far e'er we wheeled on a Sawyer which was near injuring us Verry much, passed a plain on the L. S.    a Small Isd. in the midle    the river riseing, water verry Swift    Passed a Creek on the L. S.    passed between two Islands, a verry bad place, Moveing Sands, we were nearly being Swallowed up by the roleing Sands over which the Current was So Strong that we Could not Stem it with our Sales under a Stiff breese in addition to our ores, we were Compelled to pass under a bank which was falling in, and use the Toe rope occasionally, Continued up pass two other Small Islands and Camped on the S. S. Nearly opposit the Antient Village of the Little Osarges and below the Antt. Village of the Missoures    both Situations in view an within three Ms. of each other, the Osage were Settled at the foot a hill in a butifell Plain which extends back quite to the Osage River, in front of the Vilg: Next to the river is an ellegent bottom Plain which extends Several miles in length    on the river in this low Prarie the Missouries lived after They were reduced by the Saukees [NB: Saukees ] at Their Town Some Dists. below. The little osage finding themselves much oppressed by the Saukees & other nations, left this place & built a village 5 ms. from the Grand Osarge Town about [blank] years ago.    a few of the Missoures accompanied them, the remainder of that nation went on the Otteaus on the River Platt. The River at this place is about 〈3〉 1 [NB: one] ms. wide    our hunters did not Come in this evening    the river beginning to fall

Course & Distance June 15th
S. 35° W   2 Ms. along the S. S.
S. 50° W   1 ½ Ms. a pt. L. S.    passed a pra: & Creek L. S.
S. 51° W   2 ½ Ms. a pt. S. S.    psd. a willow Isd.
S. 8° W      ¾ Ms. to a pt. L. S.    passd. Low pt. 2 Isds.
S. 80° W   2 Ms. to upr. Pt. Isd. S. S.    psd. bad plain
S. 5° W   2 Ms. to a pt. S. S.    passed bad plain
S. 12° W   1 ½ Ms. to a pt. S. S.    psd. a Isd. in Midl. opsd.
Old Village Lit: Osage.
  12 ¼  

On the Starboard shore two miles below the Island of the Old village of the little Osages.—

Observed Meridian Altd. of ☉'s L. L. with Octant by the back observation    36° 42' —"


Friday June 15th 1804.    we Set out eairly    a fair day.    we passed high Land on South Side of the River    we passed Indian Creek [7] little above    we stopped at 12 O.C. to eat dinner & for Capt. Lewis to take the Meridan altitude &C—    We camped on the N. Side of the R.    their is Beautiful high Good praries on the South Side &C—    pleasantest place I have ever Seen.    their is five Islands & a nomber of Sand bars in the River about this place.—    and the Current is exceedingly Reapid all this day.—    the aforesaid prarie is called village La pero, formerly Ind. Town. [8]


Friday June 15th    we Set out at 5 oclock 〈of te〉 after much Feteaged of yesterdays works    pased a Creek on the South Side Calleded Indian Creek    〈no〉 it is about 15 yards wide    Good Level Land    〈eneo〉 ouer hunters Killed 4 Bars and 3 Deer    Strong water    encampt on the N Side opset to antent old villag of Missures Indians but the 〈Indian village famley lived the ossage but the〉 Saukies beng two trobelsom for them was forst to move and take protections under the Gran ossags [9] as they war Redused Small    handsom a prarie as ever eney man saw    the river is 3 miles wide hear


Friday 15th.    We renewed our voyage at five in the morning, and had very rapid water. There is a beautiful Prairie on the south side and the land high. Mulberries [10] are in great abundance almost all along the river. We encamped on the north side, opposite an old Indian village.


Friday 15    Got on Our way at the willow prarie    the wind S. E fresh    We Crouded Sail and Saild 16 miles    Campd at the Indian Settlement namd. little Zoe prarie    the hunters met us with four bears And three deer    the party drank a Drachm of whisky and Roe on—

Friday June 15th    This morning we left Willow point (or Willow Priari,[)] with a fair Wind from the South east, and in the evening encamped at an Old deserted Indian settlement (formerly belonging to the Caw Nation[)], [11] called the little Zoe Priari, where we were met by our hunters, who had kill'd four Bears and Three Deer, The Captains order'd a dram of whiskey, to be served to each man.    We had during this day, crouded all Sail and the distance we run being 16 Miles.—

1. Biddle's notation at the head of this sheet of the Field Notes (document 21) reads "15 to 16." (back)
2. A submerged tree with one end stuck in the mud, the other bobbing up and down in the current with a sawing motion, one of the great menaces to river navigation. Criswell, 75. (back)
3. The Missouri Indian village that is identified as the Gumbo Point site. See entries for June 8 and 13, 1804, and Chapman (LOM). Nicollet shows an "Old Village of Little Osages" in the vicinity, although he may have relied on Clark's information. Nicollet (MMR), 362; MRC map 11. (back)
4. The area below where the Missouris resided may be a reference to the Utz site, where they lived from prehistoric to early historic times. Bray (ETG). (back)
5. They would have moved near one of the villages on the Big, or Grand, Osage River in west-central Missouri. Chapman (OOIT), 146, 279 (fig. 2), 280 (fig. 3); MRC map 11. (back)
6. Lewis's observation from Codex O. (back)
7. Perhaps Van Meter Ditch, Saline County, Missouri; mentioned only by Ordway and Floyd. (back)
8. Only Ordway applies this name to what is apparently the Gumbo Point site, Saline County, where the party camped. Its meaning is unknown. See entries of Floyd and Clark for this day and also Clark for June 13. (back)
10. Red mulberry, Morus rubra L. (back)
11. Referring to the Kaw, or Kansa, Indians, but the site is generally considered a Missouri village. (back)