July 7, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

July 7, 1804


7th of July Satturday 1804    Set out early    passed Some verry Swift water on the L. S. which Compelled us to Draw up by the Cord.    a verry warm morning, passed a butifull Prarie on the right Side which extends back, those Praries has much the appearance from the river of farms, Divided by narrow Strips of woods    those Strips of timber grows along the runs which rise on the hill & pass to the river    a Cleft above, one man sick ( Frasure )    Struck with the Sun, Saw a large rat on the Side of the bank, [2] Killed a wolf on the Bank [3]    passed (2) a verry narrow part of the river, all confined within 200 yards, a yellow bank above, passed a Small willow Island on the S. point, (in Low water those Small Willow Islands are joined to the Sand bars makeing out from the Points)    a pond on the S. S near the prarie we passed yesterday in which G D. Saw Several young Swans    we Came to and Camped on the L. S. [4] and two men Sent out last evening with the horses did not Join us this evening agreeable to orders—    a hard wind with Some rain from the N, E at 〈Dark〉 7 oClock which lasted half an hour, with thunder & lightning.    river fall a little

Course Distance & reffurrences July the 7th
N. 40° E   2 ms. on the L. point 〈round〉 over the Sand bar
N 76° E   3 Ms. to the pt. on the L. S.    passed Sand bars
N 50° E   1 ¾ ms. to a Prarie in the bend to the S. S. (1) St. Mickles
Pra: [St. Michael's Prarie]
N 30° W   1 me. on the L. S.    a Bluff on S. S.    Hunts. Sent in 2
N. 76° W      ¼ me. on L. S.
S 66° E   2 me. to pt. on S. S. from which a Sand bar makes
N. 74° W   1 ½ on the S. Side opposite a yellow Clift river abt. 200
yds wide (2)
N. 45° E      ½ me. on S. S.    a pt of a Willow Island (3)
N. 70 E   2 ms. to a pt on L S.— a Sand bar puts out

Set out early    passed Some Swift water, which obliged us to draw up by roapes, a Sand bare at the point opposit a butifull Prarie on the S. Side Calld. (1) St. Michul, [5] those Praries on the river has verry much the appearence of 〈old〉 farms from the river Divided by narrow Strips of wood land, which wood land is Situatd. on the runs leading to the river.    passed a 〈Clift〉 Bluff of yellow Clay above the Prarie. [6]    Saw a large rat on the bank. Killed a Wolf.    at 4 oClock pass a Verry narrow part of the river    water Confd. in a bead not more than 200 yards wide at this place    the Current runs against the L. Side.    no Sand to Confine the Current on the S. S. passed a Small sand Island above the Small Islds. Situated at the points, in low water form a part of the Sand bars makeing out from those points

Incamped on the S. S.    at 7 oClock a Violent Ghust of wind from the N. E. with Some rain, which lasted half an hour (G D. informs me that he Saw in a Pond on the S. S. which we passed yesterday; a number of young Swans—,[)]    one man verry Sick, Struck with the Sun, Capt. Lewis bled him & gave Niter which has revived him much [7]

Course Distance & reffrs. July 7th
N. 46° E.   2 me. on the S. pt. over a Sand bar
N 76° E   3 ms. to a pt. on the L. S. a Sd. bar
N. 50° E   1 ¾ ms. to a prarie on S. S. (1)
N. 30° W   1 me. on the L. S.    a Bluff on S. S.
N. 76° W      ¼ Me. on the L. S.
S. 66° E   2 me. to a pt. on S. S.    a Sand bar
N. 74° W   1 ½ mes. on the S. S. opsd. a yellow clif
N. 45° E      ½ Me. on the S. S.
N. 70° E   2 Ms. to a pt. on L. S.    a Sand bar

Saturday July 7th 1804.    we Set our eairly    passed Swirt waters on the South Side, verry warm morning, passed a beautiful prarie on the North Side which extends back, those praries called St. Michel has much the appearance from the river of farms Divided by narrow Strips of woods    those Strips of timber grows along the runs which rise on the hills, & pass to the River, I went on Shore with the Horses in the afternoon In the North Side    crossed a Creek 2 miles up in the evening    followed down to the mouth, and Camped it being too late to find the boat, the Musquitoes troubled me So that I Could not Sleep, as this Creek is without name & my Describeing it to my Capt. he named it Ordway Creek. [8]    Some of the men in the Boat killed a wolf to day    they Camped [9] on the South Side of the Missouris.    one man taken Sick (Frasier).


Saturday July 7th    Set out errley    prosed along, passed Some Strong water on the South Side, which Compelled us to Draw up by the Cord    Clear morning verry warm Strong water    Came 10 miles    Camt on the N. Side [10]


Saturday 7th.    At an early hour we proceeded on our voyage; passed a high handsome prairie on the north side, and killed a wolf and a large woodrat [11] on the bank. The principal difference between it and the common rat is, its having hair on its tail.


Saterdy 7    Got under way about Sun Rise    Six Miles from whare we Started Came to the most beautifull prarie On the E. S. Whare Nature formd Some battryes And Read Outs [12]    the hills putts in Neer the River    A Quarter of mile 〈from the River〉 to the N. E of Sd. prarie a rock on the Bank of the River about 320 feet from the Surface of the watter high to the top thereoff.    after passing Sd. place towards the Evening a man Espyd. a wolf lying a Sleep    with the Noise of the Oars Roeing he awoke Stood to know what was a comeing    Captn. Lewis shot at him Wounded the Animal, Colter likeways, Killd him    it was thought he was mad when the first 〈Ball〉 Bawl Struck him he Snapd. at his hind part    Roed. 15 Miles.    Incampd.—

Saturday July 7th    We left the Priari at sun rise, and proceeded on Six Miles, when we passed a most beautiful Priari, lying on the No. East side of the River, where Nature had formed some batterys and Redoubts, by Hills, which put in near to the River.—

On the bank of the River, about one quarter of a Mile North east of the Priari is a rock 〈which lies on the bank of the River,〉 and is 320 feet high from the surface of the Water to the top of it, we left this rock and towards evening, one of our men espied a Wolf laying a sleep on the shore, as we approached towards him, the noise of our Oars awoke him, he stood there to see what was coming, when Captain Lewis shot at him, and struck him with a Ball, the Wolf then acted as if mad snapping continually at his hind parts.    The Captain order'd one Colter to fire at him, which he did, and killed him.—    In the Evening we encamped on the bank of the River, having rowed 15 Miles this day.—

1. Biddle's notation at the head of this sheet of the Field Notes (document 29) reads "July 7th to 9th." (back)
2. Probably the eastern wood rat, first mentioned on May 31, 1804. (back)
3. Whitehouse says Lewis wounded the animal and Colter killed it. (back)
4. A camp on the larboard side today would place them in Doniphan County, Kansas. The various river shifts in the area may have placed the actual site in northwest Buchanan County, Missouri, a little upstream from St. Joseph. MRC map 18. (back)
5. At the present site of St. Joseph, Missouri. MRC map 17. (back)
6. Thick accumulations of loess—a pale, yellowish brown loam of sandy, claylike silt— were deposited by wind during the so-called Wisconsin glaciation in the Pleistocene Epoch and stand in steep bluffs, sixty or more feet above the floodplain in some places, near this area. (back)
7. Bleeding was the standard remedy of the times for nearly everything. The "niter" was potassium nitrate (saltpeter), used to increase the flow of perspiration and urine and to reduce fevers. Cutright (LCPN), 64; Chuinard, 154, 156. (back)
8. Clark does not mention the creek in his entries for the day, nor does he show it on any of his maps. It may be Mace Creek, north of the Andrew-Buchanan county line, Missouri, where the party met Ordway the next day; see Clark's entry of July 8. (back)
9. The main party camped a little upstream of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri. (back)
10. Clark and Ordway have the party on the opposite shore; either way, they were a little upstream of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri. (back)
11. No other enlisted man takes note of the animal, probably the eastern wood rat, Neotoma floridana. (back)
12. "Redoubts," as in the faircopy. (back)