July 4, 1804
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July 4, 1804


July 4th Wednesday 1804, Set out early    passed the mouth of a Beyeue [bayou] leading from a Lake on the S. S.    this Lake is large and was once the bend of the River, it reaches Parrelel for Several miles, Came to on the L. S. to Dine & rest a Short time, a Snake bit Jo: Fields on the Side of his foot which Swelled much, apply Barks to the wound, [2] pass a Creek on the L. S. about 15 yards wide cuming out of an extensive Prarie    as this Creek has no name, and this day is the 4th of July, we name this Independence us. [U.S.] Creek [3]    above this Creek the wood land is about 200 yards, back of those wood is an extensive Prarie open and high, which may be Seen six or seven [miles?] below—    Saw great Nos. of Goslins to day nearly Grown, the last mentioned prarie I call Jo Fields Snake Prarie, Capt. Lewis walked on Shore & Saw a large moun[d] & 3 roads leading We Camped in the plain [4]    one of the most butifull Plains, I ever Saw, open & butifully diversified with hills & vallies all presenting themselves to the river covered with grass and a few scattering trees    a handsom Creek meandering thro    at this place the Kansaw Inds. formerly lived and had a verry large Town [5]    passed a Creek (4) [6]    I observed Spring braking out of the bank, a good Situation for a fort on a hill at the upper part

July 4th 1804
N. 70° W 1 me. on L. S. S, pd. a Pond
S. 45 W 3 ms. Pt. L. S. 〈L pond〉 a Sm Isd L S
N. 75 W.   ¼ me. on S. S.
N. 40° W 6 ms. to pt. S. S. opsd Pr [prairie]
N. 12° E 2 ¾ Mes. to L. S.    psd. Sm. Isd. L S
N 10 E 2 to a pt S. S. opsd (3)    Passed a Creek
L. S. called Creek of Old Vilg of the
Kansies of 30 yd. wide and camped
(4) where the old village was on the

The Plains of this countrey are covered with a Leek Green Grass, well calculated for the sweetest and most norushing hay [7]—interspersed with Cops [copses] of trees, Spreding their lofty branchs over Pools Springs or Brooks of fine water. Groops of Shrubs covered with the most delicious froot is to be seen in every direction, and nature appears to have exerted herself to butify the Senery by the variety of flours 〈raiseing〉 Delicately and highly flavered raised above the Grass, which Strikes & profumes the Sensation, and amuses the mind    throws it into Conjecterng the cause of So magnificent a Senerey [several words illegible, crossed out] in a Country thus Situated far removed from the Sivilised world to be enjoyed by nothing but the Buffalo Elk Deer & Bear in which it abounds & [page torn] Savage Indians [8]

The names of the french Ingishees [engagés], or Hirelens [hirelings]— [9]

1 Battist de Shone [Baptist Deschamps] Patrn 〈Perogue〉    
*2 Joseph Le bartee [Liberte?] [10] } in Perogue
3 Lasoness [Baptist La Jeunesse]
4 Paul Preemau [Paul Primeau]
5 Chalo
6 E. Cann
7 Roie
8 Charlo Cougee
*J: Le bartee [La Liberté">Liberte?] } in the large Boat
Rivee [Rivet]
Pieter Crousatt half Indian } bow men
William La Beice [Labiche] Mallat
3 Sergts. & 23 men for the Boat [11] 〈Good〉
George Drewyer. Hunter & 4 Horses 〈Bowmen〉
1 Corpl & 4 Privates in a Perogue to be Sent back from Plate river
Mr. Dueron [Dorion] inteptr for the Sues
Capt. Lewis my Self & York
in all 46 men July 4th    4 horses & a Dog

July 4th Wednesday    ussered in the day by a discharge of one 〈discharge〉 shot from our Bow piece, [12] proceeded on, passed the mouth of a (1) Bayeau lading from a large Lake on the S. S. which has the apperance of being once the bed of the river [13] & reaches parrelel for Several Miles    Came to on the L. S. to refresh ourselves &. Jos: Fields got bit by a Snake, which was quickly doctered with Bark by Cap Lewis.    (2) Passed a Creek 12 yds. wide on L. S. comeing out of an extensive Prarie reching within 200 yards of the river, as this Creek has no name, and this being the    we Din[e] (on corn) the 4th of July the day of the independance of the U. S. call it 〈 Creek Independence4th of July 1804 Creek, Capt. Lewis walked on Shore above this Creek and discovered a high moun from the top of which he had an extensive view, 3 paths Concentering at the moun    Saw great numbers of Goslings to day which Were nearly grown, the before mentioned Lake is clear and Contain great quantities of fish an Gees & Goslings,    The great quantity of those fowl in this Lake induce me to Call it the Gosling Lake, a Small Creek & Several Springs run in to the Lake on the East Side from the hills    the land on that Side verry good—    (3) We came to and camped in the lower edge of a Plain where 2d old Kanzas village formerly Stood, above the mouth of a Creek 20 yds wide    this Creek we call Creek Independence [14]    as we approached this place the Praree had a most butifull appearance    Hills & Valies interspsd with Coops [copses] of Timber gave a pleasing deversity to the Senery.    the right fork of Creek Independence Meandering thro: the middle of the Plain    a point of high Land near the river givs an allivated Situation.    at this place the Kanzas Indians formerley lived.    this Town appears to have covd. a large Space, the nation must have been noumerous at the time they lived here, the Cause of their moveing to the Kanzas River, I have never heard, nor Can I learn; war with their neghbors must have reduced this nation and Compelled them to retire to a Situation in the plains better Calculated for their defence and one where they may make use of their horses with good effect, in persueing their enemey, we Closed the [day] by a Discharge from our bow piece, an extra Gill of whiskey.

Course & Distance refrs July 4th 1804
N. 70° W.   1 me. on L. S.    passd. a Bayo: S. S. (1)
S. 45° W.   3 ms. to a pt. on S. S.    a Sml. Isd. on L. S.
N. 75° W.      ¼ me. on S. S.
N. 40° W.   6 mes. on S. S    psd a prarie & Creek (2)
N. 12° E.   2 ¾ ms. to pt. on L. S.    psd. a Sml Isd. L. S.
N. 10° E   2 ms. to pt. on S. S. opsd. old vilg (3)    psd. Creek L. S.

On the Larboard Shore three miles below a high Prarie hill on same shore, near the 2nd old vilage of the Kancez.

Observed Meridian altd. of ☉'s L. L. with Octant by the back observtn.    38° —' —"

Latitude deduced from this obsertn.    39° 25' 42.5"


Wednesday July 4th 1804, we Set out Eairly & passed the mouth of the outlet of a large lake which comes in on the north Side.    this pond or lake is large & their has been a Great many bever [16] found in it, high land on the South Side & praries, we Delayed a Short time at noon to dine.    a Snake bit Jo. Fields on the out Side of his foot, this was under the hills near the praries on the South Side, we passed a Creek on the South Side about 15 yards wide.    comes out of the large prarie, and as it has no name & as it is the 4 of July, Capts. name it Independence Creek    we fired our Bow piece this morning & one in the evening for Independance of the U. S.    we saw a nomber of Goslins half grown to day.    we camped in the plans    one of the most beautiful places I ever Saw in my life, open and beautifully Diversified with hills & vallies all presenting themselves to the River,


Wensday July 4th 1804    Set out verry erley this morning    passed the mouth of a Beyeu leading from a Lake on the N. Side    this Lake is Large and was once the Bead of the River    it reaches Parrelel 〈with〉 for Several miles    Came to on the South Side to Dine rest a Short time    a Snake Bit Jo. Fieldes on the Side of the foot which Sweled much    apply Barks to [Cooverod?]    passed a Creek on the South Side a bout 15 yards wide Coming out of an extensive Prarie    as the Creek has no name and this Day is the 4th of July we name this Independance    a Creek above this Creek    the wood Land is about 200 yards    Back of these wood is an extensive Praria open and High whigh may be Seen Six or Seven below    saw Grat nomber of Goslins to day nearley Grown    the Last mentioned prarie I call Jo. Fieldes Snake prarie    Capt Lewis walked on Shore    we camped at one of the Butifules Praries I ever Saw    open and butifulley Divided with Hills and vallies all presenting themselves


Wednesday 4th.    We fired a swivel at sunrise in honour of the day, and continued our voyage; passed a creek on the north side, called Pond creek, [17] and at one o'clock stopt to dine. One of our people [18] got snake bitten but not dangerously. After dinner we renewed our voyage, and passed a creek on the north side, which we called Independence, encamped on the north side at an old Indian village situated in a handsome prairie, and saluted the departing day with another gun.


Wendy 4    Got on our way at Green point at the Usal hour    the wind being favourable and the water being Good Roed on Successfully    the day mighty hot when we went to toe    the Sand [s]Calded Our [feet]    Some fled from the Rope    had to put on Our Mockisons.    within the River Calld Independance found a Gray horse on the W. Side 〈Roed our〉    Roed 16 Miles    Incampd on a Perarie namd Old town deCaugh—; [19]

Wednesday July 4th    This morning we started Early from green point or Ordways Island [20] having a fair wind, and the water being good, we rowed on successfully.    this day proved very warm.    we left off rowing and went to Towing the boat, but the sand was so hot, that it scalded 〈out〉 our feet, some of the Men left the tow rope, and had to put on their Mockasins to keep their feet from being burnt, we passed a River which we called Independance, where we found a Gray horse on the So. West side of said River.    we came as far as a Priari, call'd Old town de Caugh, where we encamped, the distance being 16 Miles—

1. The following words at right angles to the rest of the entry are overwritten by the July 4 entry: "Lock, Moles, Vests, Seeds, [presen?] of [Twith?], 4 Cartrges Boxes, ring." (back)
2. Possibly the bark of the slippery elm, Ulmus rubra Muhl., but more likely Peruvian bark, or cinchona. On later occasions Lewis used Peruvian bark in a poultice, as he presumably did here (see Codex A entry) in case the snake was a new poisonous species. Cutright (LCPN), 63–64; Fernald, 551. (back)
3. Probably either later Whiskey or Clay Creek, in Atchison County, Kansas. They passed both a Fourth of July Creek and an Independence Creek on this day. This creek was called Fourth of July Creek in Codex A, where Clark has apparently reversed the names. MRC map 16. (back)
4. If Independence Creek (the second creek) was that later bearing the same name (see n. 14, below), then this camp was near Doniphan. MRC map 17. (back)
5. The archaeological sites of the Kansa Indians are identified as part of the Oneota culture, and this Oneota village (referred to by Clark, below, as "2d old Kanzas village") is the Doniphan site, in the present town of Doniphan, Doniphan County, Kansas. The earliest documented Kansa village, it was apparently occupied in the first half of the eighteenth century. Wedel (KA), 29–30, 51, 98–105, 109–12, 118–30. (back)
6. Evidently the stream they called Independence Creek in Codex A (see n. 14, below). (back)
7. The "Leek Green Grass" that covered the upland plains between the copses of trees is big bluestem, Andropogon gerardi Vitman. This entry describes the open, savanna-like aspect of the tall-grass prairie/oak-hickory vegetation border that is typical of this region. Braun, 177–79. (back)
8. This paragraph of desecription is on a separate sheet of the Field Notes (document 27). It seems to be a longer version of Clark's description of the scenery in his Codex A entry for July 4, 1804, and so it is placed under that date. Osgood (FN), 69 n. 3. (back)
9. This list is on the opposite side of document 27 from the paragraph above it, and the date July 4 occurs in the last line of this material. It supplements the list of engagés of May 26, 1804, but inconsistencies between the two lists add to the confusion about this group of party members. For further information, see Appendix A. (back)
10. This name occurs twice and is especially marked both times. The same man's name may have been written twice or there may have been two men with the same family name or dit name. Either person might be the La Liberté‚ who deserted later (see below, July 29-August 17, 1804). For further information, see Appendix A. (back)
11. Clark crossed out two lines of course and distance material and added this short summary of the party as of July 4, 1804, below the list of engagés. (back)
12. Probably the swivel cannon. See above, May 29, 1804. (back)
13. Such oxbow lakes in portions of the old riverbed are characteristic of this part of the Missouri. The continual shifting of the river's course would make it difficult to identify this lake with one on later maps, but several examples in the immediate area in the late 1800s can be seen on MRC maps 15, 16. (back)
14. Probably present Independence Creek, on the Atchison-Doniphan county line. Clark indicates that the creek has two forks, which is the case with Independence Creek, Rock Creek entering it from the north. MRC map 17. (back)
15. Lewis's observation from Codex O. (back)
16. American beaver, Castor canadensis. (back)
17. This name is given by no other journal keeper, but it must be the outlet of what Clark calls a "bayou," an oxbow lake in northwestern Platte County, Missouri, perhaps later Bean Lake. (back)
19. Clearly the Kansa village noted by Clark and Gass, although only Whitehouse uses this name. The site is at Doniphan, Doniphan County, Kansas (see Clark's entry). (back)
20. A clear error by the copyist, since they left what Whitehouse calls Ordway Island on July 3. (back)