July 16, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

July 16, 1804


July 16 1804 Monday    Set out verry early and proceeded on the Side of a Prarie    passd the head of the Island opsd. which we Camped last night, (1) passed a Small willow Island off the L. point, hills make near the river    (2) passed a large Island nearest the L. S. below the pt. a Small willow Isd.    also one on the Side.    this large Island is called fair Sun [2] the wind favourable from the South. Boat run 〈a Sho〉 on a Sawyer, (4) pass a place on the L. S. where the hill abt. 20 acres has Sliped into the river lately    Just above passed under a clift of Sand Stone [3] L. S.    a number of Burds Nests in the holes & crevises of this rock which Continus 2 miles, [4] (5) passed a willow Island in a Deep band to the S. S.    river 2 mile wide at this place, not[e] Deed [dead?] Snags across, passed the Lower point of a Island called Isle Chauvin Situated on the L. Point opposit an extensive Prarie on the S. S., This prarie I call Ball pated Prarie [5] from the range ball [bald] hills, at from 3 to 6 miles from the river as far as my Sight will extend, we camped in a point of woods opsd. the Isd. on S. S. in a bend. [6]

Course Distance & reffurrences July 16th 1804.
1 N. 70° W      ½ me. to a point on the Left of the Island, opsd. to which
we Camped last N[ight]
2. N 35° W   1 ½ ms. to a Bend to the L. S. in a prarie opsd. the head of
the Island
3. N 30 E   1 Ms. to the lower point of a willow Isld. opps L. Pt (1)
4 N. 40 W      ¼ me. up the Sd. Willow Island—    The high lands near
the river L. S.
5. N 30 W.   2 Ms. to a pt. Sd. of Sm. Isd—on S. S.    psd. a pt. on the
L. S at ¾    psd. the Small Isd.—
7. N 35 W      ½ me. to a L. S. of a Small Willow Island, in the pt. of
the large Isd.    psd. a Small Willos Isd. (3) [7]
6. N 15 E   1 ½ me. to the lower pt. of a Isd. Called Good Sun    psd. a
Small Isd. at the Lowr Point (2)
8. N 15° W      ¾ to a pt. of on the 〈Sd. Small Island〉 L. S., high lands ¾
of a me. on L.S.    land open
9. N. 38 W.      ¾ To a pt. 〈of the Isd.〉 on the left side of the Isd.    psd.
over a Sml. Sd. Isd. on L. S.
10. N. 54 W.      ¾ To Lower pt. of a Sml. Will. Isld. on the Side of the
large Isd.
11. N. 38 W      ¾ To a pt on L. S. [one word illegible] is the Sand Island
took altd. of ☉ L. L. 40° 20' 12" N.
    N. 52 W      ½ To a pt. of the Island    high land below or near the riv
13. N. 50° W   1 ¼ miles To a pt. on L. S. above the head of the Island
high land at this point—    (4)
N. 58° W.   2 Miles To a pt. on the S. S.    North on the S. Point ¼
me. Wind from S. purpn. [one word illegible] [8]    Clift of
Sand Stone on L. S
15 N 40° E   6 miles to a upr Pt. of wood on the bend on the Stbd. 〈L.〉
Side 〈opsd.〉 Some high Ball hills at about 4 miles from
the river on the S. S.    passd. a Sand bar, from the
S. Sd.    (5) a willow Island in S. bend, 4 Praries on L.
Side & camped in upper point of wood, in a prow.
river fall 3 Inches. [9]

Set out this morning verry early and proceeded on under a gentle breeze from the S    passed the upper point of the Island an extensive Prarie on the L. S.    passed a large (1) Island Called Fair Sun Isd. a Small willow Isld. at the lower point on the L. S.    the boat passd on the L. S. of those Islands    Several Small Sand Islands in the Channel, the boat run on the point of a Snag, (2) passed a place above the Island L. S. where about 20 acres of the hill has latterly Sliped into the river above a clift of Sand Stone for about two miles, the resort of burds of Different Kinds to reare their young. (5) Passed a willow Island in a Deep Bend to the S. S. opposit the river is about two miles wide, and not verry Deep as the Snag may be Seen across, Scattering, passed the Lower point of an Island called by F[rench] 〈Chauvin's〉 [NB: Chauve Island ] [10] Situated off the L. Point opposit an extensive Prarie on the S. S. This Prarie I call Ball pated Prarie, from a range of Ball Hills parrelel to the river & at from 3 to 6 miles distant from it, and extends as far up & Down as I Can See, we Camped in a point of woods on the L. S. above the Lower point of the Island.    river falling.

Course Distance & refr. July 16th
N. 70° W.      ½ a Me. to a pt. on the left of the Isd. opposd.
N. 35 W.   1 ½ ms. to a bend L. S. in Prarie opsd. hd. of Isd.
N 30° E   1 me. to the Lowr. pt. of wil: Isd off L pt. (1)
N. 40° W      ¼ me. to pt. 〈Island psd. pt. L. S. Sm Isd.〉
N. 30° W.   2 me. to a pt. S. of a Sm: Isd on S. S.    psd. pt. L S.
N. 15° E   1 ½ me. to pt. of Good Sun Isl.    psd. w Isd.
N 35° W.      ½ me. to L. S. Sm: W: Isd. psd.    a Sm. W: Isd. (3)
N 15° W      ¾ me. on L. S.    High Land Mn Shore
N. 38° W.      ¾ me. to pt. Left of Isd.    psd. Sm W: Isd. L. S.
N. 54° W      ¾ me. to pt. of Sm: W: Isd. on the Sd. of the Isd.
N. 38° W.      ¾ me. to pt. L. S.    took Mdn. altd. Latd 40° 20' 12".
N. 52° W      ½ me. to pt. of the Isd. opsd. High Land.
N. 50° W.   1 ¼ ms. to pt. on L. S. above hd. of Isd. (4)
N. 58° W.   2  
North      ¼ me. on the S. point
N 40° E   6 ms. to the upr. pt. of a wood in the bend to the S. S. above
the Lowr. Point of a Isld. L. S.    a prarie above & Som ball
Hills at abt. 4 ms. (I calld Ball Hill Prarie)
  20 ¼  

Monday 16th    we set out at an early hour; the morning was cloudy; could find no convenient situation for observation; proceeded untill a little before noon when we came too—

(Point of observation No. 21.)

On the Lard. Shore opposite to the center of good Island where I observed the meridian altitude of ☉'s L. L. with Octant by the back observation, wich gave me the Latitude— 40° 20' 12" N.

I now set the Chronometer as near noon as this observation would enable me, and proceeded untill evening, when we came too on the Stard. shore opposite the lower point of the Island of the Bald prarie where we encamped.


Monday July 16th 1804.    we Set out verry eairly this morning    proceded on    the side of a prarie    above the prarie the hills make near the River    passed Several Small Islands one large one called fair Sun    the Boat Ran fast on a Sawyer.    the wind from the South, we delayed at 12 oClock for the Captains to take the Meridian altidude & Set their watches &-C—    we then Sailed along & Stoped to Dine little above where the hills came close to the R. on South Side    we passed a high Sand Bank which appeared to be Slideing in at times.    little above a Bank of Sand Stone which was high & many Birds nests in the holes    we proceded on to a large handsome prarie on the North Side where we camped. [12]    the party who were with the horses joined us with 2 Deer. The River neesh-nah-ba-to-na Runs along back of the Bottom prarie under the Ball hill [13]    along this River is plenty of Timbers every fiew miles which Stands in Handsome Groves.    these hills are in Some places from 3 to 6 miles from the Missouris


Monday July 16th    we Set out verry early and prossed on the Side of a Prarie    the wind from the South    Sailed ouer Boat    Run on a Sawyer    Sailed all day    made 20 miles    passed Sevrall Isd    Camt on the North Side


Monday 16th.    Early in the morning we proceeded on our voyage opposite a prairie; had a fine day and fair wind, and passed a long island, [14] above which is a place where the bank has slipped into the river. There are high rocky cliffs on the south side, and hills and prairies on the north: [15] on which side we encamped. The river here is two miles wide with rapid water. Two of our hunters met us here with two deer.


Monday 16    The morning was Clear    The water Strong    the wind rose    had Good Sailing    passd. a number of Islands to the labourd.    Seen Some Elk [16] on the E. Shore as we passd. the prarie    Roed. 20 Miles    Campd. on the Mohaugh prarie [17]

Monday July 16    This morning we started early, the weather being fine & Clear, and the wind in our favour we set all our Sails, we passed a number of Islands laying on the South side of the River, and saw a number of Elk on the No. East shore feeding on the Priari, in the Evening we encamp'd on the Mahaw Priari, having Sailed 20 Miles this day.—

1. Biddle's notation at the head of this sheet of the Field Notes (document 32) reads "July 16 to 19." (back)
2. Named for a St. Louis fur trader who once wintered there, Eugene Pouree dit Beausoleil, from whom it became Beausoleil (fair, or good, sun) Island. It was later Sun Island, and perhaps Sonora Island, a few miles upstream from present Brownville, Nemaha County, Nebraska. The island has apparently disappeared. McDermott (WCS), 141; MRC map 20; MRR maps 57, 58. (back)
3. Rocks exposed along this reach of the Missouri River are mapped as basal Permian Admire Group, the lowermost unit of which is the cliff forming Indian Cave sandstone. Burchett et al.; Condra & Reed. (back)
4. One naturalist has supposed the birds to be bank swallows, Riparia riparia [AOU, 616]. Swenk, 122. (back)
5. "Chauvin" was Bald Island in the middle of the nineteenth century, later probably splitting into McKissock Island"> and Hogthief islands. See McDermott (WCS), 149–50, on possible French name. Bald-pated prairie lies on the Missouri-Iowa state line, and much of it is probably within present Waubonsie State Park, Fremont County, Iowa, appearing much as it did in 1804. The term bald-pated refers to the open prairies that exist on the steep loess bluffs that parallel the Missouri river above this point. Those are also referred to as the loess hills and have a unique, drought-tolerant prairie vegetation that occupies the steep southwest facing slopes that intercept the dry prevailing northwest winds for much of the year. Prior, Halberg, & Bettis; Warren map 2; MRC map 21; MRR maps 58, 58-L, 59, 59-L. (back)
6. In this area the Missouri has shifted considerably to the west since 1804. A large portion of Nemaha County, Nebraska, is now on the east side of the Missouri River, and the camp may have lain within that loop, in what is now called the McKissock Island area. More likely, it would have been in Atchison County, Missouri, a few miles northeast of Peru, Nebraska. MRC map 21; MRR map 58. Some words crossed out at the end of this sentence may be "pardon a moi," in Clark's hand. (back)
7. Note that this course and the next were apparently transposed, which is probably why Clark numbered them. He corrected the error in his notebook journal Codex A. (back)
8. This word could be interpreted as "Delr." or "Dilr.," which could be associated with the previous word for an abbreviation for "perpendicular." (back)
9. The following courses, immediately under the regular course column, were both circled and crossed out: N. 40 E, N. 28 W, N. 25 W. (back)
10. Biddle apparently crossed out Clark's word and substituted his own. (back)
11. Lewis's observation from Codex O. (back)
12. Atchison County, Missouri, a few miles northeast of Peru, Nebraska. (back)
13. The area Clark called the bald-pated prairie, the term Ordway applied the next day, now within Wabonsie State Park, Fremont County, Iowa. (back)
14. Clark's Chauvin island, Bald Island later in the century, then later split into McKissock Island and Hogthief islands. (back)
15. Clark's "Bald-Pated Prairie," on the Missouri-Iowa boundary, much of it now within Waubonsie State Park, Fremont County, Iowa. (back)
16. Elk, or wapiti, Cervis elaphus. (back)
17. In this instance it is Bald-pated Prairie, Fremont County, Iowa, near present Waubonsie State Park. (back)