August 8, 1804
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August 8, 1804

Course Distance & reffurence August the 8th Wednesday 1804
N. 20° E   2 miles to the pt. of a Sand Isld. from the S S.    the river
narrow & choked up with Snags (1)
S. 50 E   2 mls. to a pt. of Willows on the L. S.    Dame Killed a Pelican
East—      ½ mile on the Side of Sand Island from the L. pt
North   1 ½ ms. to the mouth of little Rivers De 〈Peux〉 Cueoux [Sioux]
S. S. (2)
N. 70° W   2 ms. to the Lower point of an Island on the [blank]    no
water, (3)
N. 20 W   1 me. to a pt. on the right Side of the Island
N. 52 W.   7 ms. to a pt. of high wood in a bend to the L. S.    passed the
Isd. at ¼ of a me. on the point of which was great numbers
of Peli[c]an    river wide & Shoal, 〈Cap Lewis took medn.

Half altitude of ☉s below Little S. river S. S.

h m  
8 26 59
8 28 29
8 30   8

altitude 80° 14 m 15"    1½ Ms. below Little R. de Sous

I walked on Shore with one man Collins,—the bottoms Covered with very [sentence incomplete]    Collin Killed an elk, I fired 4 times at one & have reasons to think I Kiled him but could not find him, The Misqutors were So troublesom and Misqutors thick in the Plains that I could not Keep them out of my eyes, with a bush.    in my absens Capt Lewis Killed a Pelican on Pelicans Island, at which place maney Hundreds had Collected, they left 3 fish which was fresh and very good, we camped on the S. S. in a Streght part of the river— [1]

August the 8th 1804 [2]    Set out this morning at the usial time    at about 2 miles (1) passed a part of the river So choked up with Snags that we found a little dificult to get thro' with Safty, the wind as usial from the N W.    one of the Soldiers Killed a Pilican on the Sand Isd.    passed the mouth of Little (2) River de Cueoux [3] on the S. S.    this river is about 80 yards wide & navagable for Pirogus Some distance & runs parrelel to the Missourie    it coms in from the River from the N E, it contains great Quantitys of fish Common to the Countrey.    two Miles above is (3) an Island    the Channel formerly run on the right 〈but that side is now nearly filled up〉 with Sand.—    the Current runs to the left.    many hundreds of Pelicans on [the Shore of?] this Island—    we call it Pelican Isld.    Cap Lewis Killed one    This river Soux Called by the Sueoux Eá-Neah Wau-de-pon i'e Stone R [4] heads in three Leagues of the river Demoin, and passes thro a Lake about 20 Legues in Sircfs. [circumference] which is also within 5 Leagues of the Demoin, this lake at one place is confined by two rocks within a narrow Space—〈also〉 this lake of Different widths, with many Small Islands, from the Lake to the Mahars about 〈60 or 70 miles〉 〈F[rench] Leagus〉 distant 4 Days march to the Dog Plains [Prarie du Chien] 90 Leagues, one Principal branch of the Demoin is calld. Cat river, the Lake which this river Littl Souex heads in is Called Despree [d'Esprit] [5]

Cap Lewis took merdn. altitude and made the Lattitude.    41° 42' 34 3/10 North.    altd. of Sun ☉—    56° 9' 00"—


Set out this morning at the usial time    at two miles passed (1) a bend to L. S. Choaked up with Snags    our boat run on two in 〈twisting〉 turning to pass through, we got through with Safty    the wind from N W.    (2) passed the mouth of a River on the S. Side Called by the Soux Indians Eă-neăh Wáu de pón (or Stone river)    the French call this river Petite Rivre de Cuouex [NB: riviere des Sioux ]    it is about 80 yards wide and as (Mr. Durion Says whos been on the heads of it and the Country abt) is navagable for Perogues Som Distance    runs Parrelel to the Missourie Some Distance, then falls down from N E thro a roleing Countrey open, the head of this river is 9 miles from the R Demon [NB: Des moines ] at which place the Demoin is 80 yd wide, this Little Cuouex passes thro a lake called 〈Despree〉 [NB: D'Esprits ] which is within 5 Leagues of the Deemoin    the Said Lake is about 20 Leagues in Circumfrance and is divided into 2 by two rocks approaching Verry near each other, this Lake is of various width, Containing many Islands—    from this Lake to the Maha 4 days march, as is Said to be near the Dog Plains    one princpal branch of the Demoin is Called Cat River    The Demoin is Sholey

Capt. Lewis took Medn. Altitude of the Sun    made it 56° 9' 00"    Lat 41° 42' 34" and I took one man and went on Shore    the man Killed an Elk    I fired 4 times at one & did not Kill him, my ball being Small I think was the reason, [6]    the misqutors So bad in the Praries that with the assistance of a bush I could not Keep them out of my eyes, the boat turned Several tims to day on Sand bars—    in my absenc the boat passed a Island 2 miles above the litte Scouex R    on the upper point of the Isld Some hundreds of Pelicans were Collected, they left 3 fish on the Sand which was verry fine, Capt Lewis Killed one & took his dimentions, I joined the boat and we Camped on the S S.

worthe of remark that Snakes are not plenty in this part of the Missourie

Course Diste. & rffr. 8th Augt.
N. 20° E   2 ms. to the pt. of a Sd. Isd. from the S S.
N. 50 E   2 ms. to a pt. of wils. on the L.S.
East      ½ me. on the right of a Sand Island
North   1 ½ me. to the mouth of Little River desioux Calld. by Soux Ea
neah-wan de pon) Stone River
N. 70° W   2 mes. to the Lower pt. of Pelican Isd. (3)
N. 20 W   1 me. to a right Hand pt. of Sd. Isd.
N. 52 W.   7 ms. to a Pt. of High woods in a bend to L.S. haveing passed
the Pelican Isd. [7]

one & a half miles South of Littl Riv. de Cuouex took hald altitude with Sextn.

h   m       s  
8    26    59  
8    28    29 altd. 80° 15' 15"
8    30      3  

we had seen but a few aquatic fouls of any kind on the river since we commenced our journey up the Missouri, a few geese accompanied by their young, the wood duck which is common to every part of this country & crains of several kinds which will be discribed in their respective places—    this day after we had passed the river Souix as called by Mr. MacKay (or as is more properly called the stone river,[)] I saw a great number of feathers floating down the river    those feathers had a very extraordinary appearance as they appeared in such quantities as to cover pretty generally sixty or seventy yards of the breadth of the river.    for three miles after I saw those feathers continuing to run in that manner, we did not percieve from whence they came, at length we were surprised by the appearance of a flock of Pillican [EC: Pelecanus erythrorhynchus] at rest on a large sand bar attatched to a small Island the number of which would if estimated appear almost in credible; they apeared to cover several acres of ground, and were no doubt engaged in procuring their ordinary food; which is fish, on our approach they flew and left behind them several small fish of about eight inches in length, none of which I had seen before—    the Pellican rested again on a sand bar above the Island which we called after them from the number we saw on it.    we now approached them within about three hundred yards before they 〈attemted to fly〉 flew; I then fired at random among the flock with my rifle and brought one down; the discription of this bird is as follows.—


They are a bird of clime    remain on the coast of Floriday and the borders of the Gulph of mexico & even the lower portion of the Mississippi during the winter and in the Spring (see for date my thermometrical observations at the river Dubois.—)    [ April 6, 1804 ]    visit this country and that fa[r]ther north for the purpose of raising their young—    this duty seems now to have been accomplished from the appearance of a young Pilacon which was killed by one of our men [Dame] this morning, and they are now in large flocks on their return to their winter quarters.    they lay usually two eggs only and chuise for a nest a couple of logs of drift wood near the water's edge and with out any other preperation but the thraught [throat] formed by the proximity of those two logs which form a trough    they set and hatch their young which after nurture with fish their common food

  F   I
F[r]om beak to toe 5   8
Tip to tip of wing 9   4
Beak Length 1   3
Do. Width        from     2 to 1 ½
Neck Length 1 11
1st Joint of wing 1   1
2ed Do. 1   4 ½
3rd Do.   7
4th do.   2¾
Length of leg including foot   10
Do. of thy   11
Discription of Colour &c

The beak is a whiteish yellow the under part connected to a bladder like pouch, this pounch is connected to both sides of the lower beak and extends down on the under side of the neck and terminates in the stomach—    this pouch is uncovered with feathers, and is formed [of] two skins the one on the inner and the other on the center side    a small quantity of flesh and strings of which the anamal has at pleasure the power of moving or drawing in such manner as to contract it at pleasure.    in the present subject I measured this pouch and found it's contents 5 gallons of water—

The feet are webbed large and of a yellow colour, it has four toes    the hinder toe is longer than in most aquatic fouls, the nails are black, not sharp and ½ an inch in length

The plumage generally is white, the feathers are thin compared with the swan goose or most aquatick fouls and has but little or no down on the body.    the upper part of the head is covered with black f[e]athe[r]s short, as far as the back part of the head—    the yellow skin unfeathered extends back from the upper beak and opening of the mouth and comes to a point just behind the eye

The large f[e]athers of the wings are of a deep black colour—    the 1st & 2nd joint of [the wings] from the body above the same is covered with a second layer of white feathers which extend quite half the length of those large feathers of the wing—    the thye is covered with feathers within a quarter of an inch of the knee.

1st    Joint of wing has feather[s] No. 21 Length 9 Black
2ed   Do. No. 17 Length 13 Inch
3rd    Do. No. 5 Length 18 Inch
4th    Do. No. 3 Length 19 Inch

it has a curious frothy subs[t]ance which seems to devide its feathers from the flesh of the body and seems to be composes of globles of air and perfectly imbraces the part of the feather which extends through the skin.— the wind pipe terminates in the center of the lower part of the upper and unf[e]athered part of the pouch and is secured by an elastic valve commanded at pleasure.—

The green insect known in the U' States by the name of the sawyer or [EC: Katydid] chittediddle, was first heard to cry on the 27th of July, we were then in latitude 41° some minutes.

The prarie hen or grouse, was seen in the praries between the Missouri and the river platte


On the Starboard shore, the mouth of the river E-a-nearh' war-da-pon or Stone river bearing Due N. distant one ½ miles, made the following observations with Sextant.

Altitude of—     Time by Chronometer
               h    m       s
☉'s U. L.    80° 14' 15"     A. M. 8    26    59
☉'s Center   "     "    "               "    28    29
☉'s L. L.      "     "    "               "    30      3

(Point of observation No. 29.)

On the Larboard Shore, the mouth of Stone river bearing due E. one mile dist.

Observed meridian Altitude of ☉'s L. L. with octant by the back observatn. 56° 9' —"

Latitude deduced from this observt.    41° 42' 34.3"


Wednesday 8th    we Set out at the usal time this morning    at about 2 miles passd a part of the River Choked up with logs & Snags. So that we found it difficult to pass through with Safety.    the wind from N. W.    one of the Soldiers Dame [10] killed a pillican [11] on a Sand Island, we passed the mouth of little River Des Cueoux or Stone R. [12] on N. S.    this River is about 80 yds wide & navagable for perogues for a considerable distance    it contains a Great quantity of fish common to the country.    this Stone R. as we are told runs through or from a large lake a long distance from the Mouth 20 L. in S.    in the afternoon Capt Clark & Collins went out hunting on a point S. S. Collins killed an Elk.    the Capt. Shot Several times at one but his rifle carried a Small Ball, took 2 men went to hunt it and he did not Git it, we Saw the Sand bars covered with white pillicans this afternoon    Capt. Lewis Shot one which had a bag under his neck & bill which held 5 Gallons of water.    we Roed about 16 mils. and Camped on N. S. of the Missouri River at a willow bank


Wendesday Augt. 8th 1804    Set out this morning at the usele time    day Clear wind from the N. W.    prossed on    passed the mouth of the Littel Soue River on the N. Side    it is about 80 yards wide    this River is navigable for Boates to Go up it for Som Distance in the Cuntrey and Runes parelel with the Missourie    2 miles above on a Sand Bare    Saw Grait 〈qu〉 Nomber of Pelicans    Capt Clark went out on the South Side a 〈and Jo Colline〉 and 〈one man the〉 Jo Colines Killed on Elke    water Bad    mad 12 miles    Campd. on the N. Side    the Land is Low march Land    that on the South is prarie Land


Wednesday 8th.    We embarked early, passed a small river on the north side, called Little Sioux. Captain Clarke and one of the men [13] went out to hunt and killed an elk. One of the hunters killed a pelican on a sand bar, and Captain Lewis killed another, very large. We encamped on the north bank. In a bag under the bill and neck of the pelican, which Captain Lewis killed, we put five gallons of water.


Wendsy Augt 8th    Captn M. Lewis Shot a pillican    the Bagg that it carried its drink in containd. 5 Gallons of water by Measure    after we passd the pillican Island there was better than 5 or 6000 of them flying    the[y] Kept bfore Us one day    Roaed 19 Miles    Campd. On the E. S.

Wednesday August 8th    We embark'd early this morning, and proceeded on Rowing; Captain Lewis shot a Pelican, the bag which it carried its drink in, held five Gallons by measure, we passed an Island, called the Pelican Island where we saw a very considerable number of Pelicans flying, they kept flying before us the whole of this day, in the Evening we encamp'd on the bank of the River on the North [14] side, having rowed 19 Miles this day.—

1. Probably in southwest Monona County, Iowa, not far above the Harrison County line. It is possible, however, that river shifts have placed the site in Burt County, Nebraska. Atlas map 15; Nicollet (MMR), 390; MRC map 25; MRR map 71. (back)
2. This Field Notes entry for August 8 immediately follows the one above. Clark may have regarded the above paragraph as an appendage to the courses and distances. (back)
3. The Little Sioux River reaches the Missouri in northwest Harrison County, Iowa, near the present town of Little Sioux. Nicollet notes that the Sioux name implies a rock somewhere along its length. (See note 4 below.) Pelican Island, above its mouth, is Wood Island on Warren's 1855 map; it seems to have joined the Iowa shore by the end of the century. Nicollet (RIIM), 27; Atlas map 15; Warren map 6; MRC map 25; MRR map 70. (back)
4. Douglas R. Parks gives the Sioux word as Iŋyaŋ yaŋke watpa, or "Rock River." (back)
5. Spirit Lake in Dickinson County, Iowa, a source of one of the main branches of the Little Sioux River. The Little Sioux River heads in Jackson County, Minnesota. Concerning Cat River, either Clark was misinformed, or the name of this tributary of the Des Moines has been changed. It does not appear on his 1805 or 1810 maps (Atlas maps 32a, 32b, 32c, 125). Petersen, 252–55, passim. (back)
6. Evidently Clark was carrying his small rifle, which seems to have been a long-barreled "Kentucky" of relatively small caliber, of the sort often called a squirrel gun. Killing a large mammal like an elk with such a weapon would call for great accuracy. Russell (GEF), 38. (back)
7. Some words here in red ink, apparently written and crossed out by Biddle, part of which are: "North side" and "Ordway." (back)
8. Lewis's natural history notes from Codex Q. The bird, as Coues notes in his interlineation, is the American white pelican, first noticed in weather remarks for April 6, 1804. The "green insect" is the common katydid, which seemed familiar to Lewis. It could be any of a number of varieties. The "prarie hen" is probably the greater prairie chicken (see November 16, 1803). The notes on the katydid and greater prairie chicken may have been added later. (back)
9. Lewis's observation from Codex O. (back)
10. John Dame; apparently his only mention in the journals comes on this day, in Clark's and in Ordway's journals. (back)
11. American white pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos. (back)
14. "North" is written over "South." (back)