July 27, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

July 27, 1804

Course Distance and reffurence July 27th
North   1 ½ miles to a willow point on the L. S.
West   2 do    to Sand pt. on S. S. opsd. a pond L. S.
N. 10° E   3 do to a point of 〈high Land on〉 the L. S.    passd. a large
Sand bar in the river
N. 8 W   4 do to a Pt. on S. S. opposit a high part of the Prarie
N. 54 E   4 ½ miles to a coops of wood in a bend to the L. S.    passed
a Pt. on S. S. opposit the Commencement of this Course
I went out on the L. S. at Some riseing land, and found
about 200 acres of Land immediately on the river Covered
with Mouns of Dift hight's & Shapes a pond back & low
land, all round—    a Beyau above

white Catfish

Camp July 27th Friday,    Charged the Boat and Perogue after a Small Shower of rain, Completed our ores & poles, Crossed over the two horses, with a View of their going on the S W. Side of the Missouri and Set out at Half past 1 oClock    proceeded on Verry well under a gentle Breeze. passed a high Island of high wood land on the L. Side just above Camp, this Island is formed by a pond Supplied by a great number of Springs from this hill, this Pond has 2 out lets, & when the river is high the water passes thro the pond, passed a Sand Island in the 2nd bend to the right. Camped in a bend to the 〈right〉 L. S. in Some wood, [2] I took R. Fields & walked on Shore & Killed a Deer, and did not get to the Boat untile after night    a butifull Breeze from the N W. this evening which would have been verry agreeable, had the Misquiters been tolerably Pacifick, but thy were rageing all night, Some about the Sise of house flais [flies]


27th of July Friday, a Small Shower of rain this morning, at 10 oClock Commence Loading the Boat & perogue; had all the Ores Completely fixed; Swam over the two remaining horses to the L. S. with the view of the Hunters going on that Side, after Getting everry thing Complete, we Set Sale under a gentle breeze from the South and proceeded on, passed a Island (formd by a Pond fed by Springs) on the L. S. of high 〈wooded〉 Land Covered with timber, in the 2nd bend to the right a large Sand Island in the river a high Prarie on the S. S.—.    as we were Setting out to day one man Killed a Buck & another Cut his Knee verry bad [3]    Camped in a Bend to the L. Side in a [NB: copse] Coops of Trees, a verry agreeable Breeze from the N W. this evening. I Killed a Deer in the Prarie and found the Misquitors So thik & troublesom that it was disagreeable and painfull to Continue a moment Still.

Course & Distance, refrs. July the 27th.
North   1 ½ ms. to a willow pt. on the L. S.
West   2 ms. to Sand pt. on S. S. opsd. a pond L. S
N. 10° E.   3 ms. to pt. of W. L. S.    psd. a large Sd. bar in the
middle of the river
N. 8° W.   4 ms. to a pt. on S. S. opsd. Some mounds (Ottos
Village) on the L. S.    psd Bluff L S N.
N. 54° E   4 ½ Ms. old Ayauwars V. to a pt. of wood land in a
bend on L. S.    psd. a pt. S. S.

I took one man R. Fields and walked on Shore with a View of examoning Som mounds on the L. S. of the river—    those mounds I found to be of Deffirent hight Shape & Size, Some Composed of Sand Some earth & Sand, the highest next to the river all of which covered about 200 acres of land, in a circular form on the Side from the river a low bottom & Small pond. The Otteaus formerly lived here [4]    I did not get to the boat untile after night.


Obverved time and distance of ☽ and α Aquilae, ★ West with Sextant

Time    Distance
h    m    s
A. M. 2    47      6 64° 48'    15"
"    55      9 "     50     30
"    59    39 "     51     30
3    2      12 "     52     —
"    4      42 "     52     45
"    6      31 "     53     —

I wished to have taken one or two sets more with moon and Aquilae, but the clouds obscured the star. I was also anxious to have taken some sets with Aldeberan, then in reach of observation and East of the moon, but was prevented by the intervention of the clouds, which soon became so general as to obscure the whole horizon.—

Observed meridian Altitute of ☉'s L. L. with Octant by the back obs. 48° 44'

Latitude deduced from this obstn.    41° 5' 35.2"


Friday July 27th 1804.    cloudy morning.    the Boat loaded. The Horses Swam over the River.    we Set out under Sail 〈pr〉 about one oClock    proceeded on verry well    passed along high wood land on the South Side & praries on the N. Side    hills 2 miles back of those low bottom praries. Shannon killed one Deer to day.    towards evening we Saw Sign of Elk on the South Side    Capt. Clark went out to hunt on Shore    little above we passed along a prarie on S. S.    we passed many Sand bars.    the River verry crooked.    we came about 15 miles & and Camped on the bank of a high handsome prarie on the S. S. Some lofty Cotton wood in Groves along this bank    the 2 men which were with the Horses did not join us to Night


Friday July 27th    Swam ouer Horses over on to the South Side on acount of the travilen is beter    Set out at 12 oclock P. m    prossed on under a Jentell Brees from the South Este    Sailed made 10 miles    encamt on the South Side at Prarie


Friday 27th.    This forenoon we were engaged in loading the boats and preparing to start. At 12 we proceeded with a fair wind, and pleasant weather; went twelve miles, and encamped on a handsome prairie on the south side.


Friday July 27th 1804.    cloudy morning    the Boat made ready to Start.    we Set out about 1 oClock    proceeded along.    high wood land on S. S.    G Shannon killed one Deer to day.    we passed a prarie on The S. S.    we passd. many sand bars, the River very crooked; came about 15 miles & Camped on a bank of a high prarie, among a Grove of Cotten wood. [6]    the 2 men who were with the horses did not join us to night.

Friday July 27th    The morning being Cloudy, we were employed getting the boat ready to start; we set out about 10 o'Clock A. M. and proceeded on, the land on the South side of the River, being covr'd with Forests, and appear'd very rich,—    We passed a Priari, laying on the South side of the River where we saw number of Deer & bear.    The River is very Crooked in this days route, we encamped on a Creek, near which is a high Priari, & along the bank of the River found a Grove of cottonwood Trees, the Two Men that had the horses for bringing in Game, did not return to us, One of our Hunters came in & brought a deer he had killed with him.—

1. Biddle's notation at the head of this sheet of the Field Notes (Document 37) reads "27 July to 30." The words "5 beaver" appear in the upper right corner, perhaps referring to the previous day's catch. The word "cajaux" appears to one side at the end of the entry. (back)
2. Within the area covered by the Clark-Maximilian maps (Atlas map 13), in the vicinity or north of the present Douglas Street Bridge (Interstate 480). The course of the river may then have approximated the later Carter Lake. Nicollet (MMR), 386; Warren map 5; MRC map 23; MRR map 65. (back)
3. Ordway says that Shannon killed the deer. It was Whitehouse who cut his knee, as he himself revealed. (back)
4. The "mounds" Clark desecribes are on a floodplain and are shown in an area generally inhabited by the Oto Indians. Such settings were rarely used for permanent Indian villages, although winter encampments and temporary camps were sometimes built there. The description of the varying composition of these mounds, especially the presence of sand, suggests the mounds may be of natural origin, like the "fortifications" Clark notices on September 2. In any event, the area today is downtown Omaha. Wedel (PHH), 48. (back)
5. Lewis's observation from Codex O. (back)
6. Cottonwood, Populus deltoides Marsh. (back)