August 15, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 15, 1804


August 15th Wendesday    I took ten men [1] & went out to Beaver Dam across a Creek about a mile S W from Camp, [2] and with a Brush Drag [3] caught 308 fish, of the following kind (i'e) Pike, Samon, Bass, Pirch, Red horse, Small Cat, & a kind of Perch Called on the Ohio Silverfish [4]    I also Caught the Srimp [5] which is Common to the Lower part of the Mississippi, in this Creek & in the Beaver Pond is emince beads of Mustles [6] Verry large & fat—    in my absence Capt Lewis Send the Souex interpr [Dorion] & a party to a Smoke which appeared to rise at no great distance to the north with a view to find Some Band of that nation, they returned and informed that the [fires] had been made Some time by Some Small party, and the hard wind of to day had set the Prarie on fire from Some high trees, which was left burning    all well, Party from Ottoes not come up.


I went with ten men to a Creek Damed by the Beavers about half way to the Village, with Some Small willow & Bark we mad a Drag and haulted up the Creek, and Cought 318 fish of different kind i'e' Peke, Bass, Salmon, perch, red horse, Small Cat, and a kind of perch Called Silverfish, on the Ohio.—    I cought a Srimp prosisely of Shape Size & flavour of those about N. Orleans & the lower party of the Mississippi    in this Creek which is only the pass or Streight from Beaver Pond to another, is Crouded with large Mustles Verry fat, Ducks, Pliver of different Kinds are on those Ponds as well as on the river [8]    in My absence Capt. Lewis Sent Mr. Durioue the Souix interpeter & three men to examine a fire which threw up an emence Smoke from the Prarie on the N. E. Side of the River and at no great distance from Camp—    the Object of this party was to find Some Bands of Seouex which the inptr. thought was near the Smoke and get them to Come in— in the evening this Party returned and infoermed, that the fire arrose from Some trees which had been left burning by a Small party of Seoux whom had passed [NB?: by that place] Several Days—    the wind Setting from the point, blew the Smoke from that pt. over our Camp.    our party all in health and Sperrits    the men Sent to the Ottoes & in pursute of the Deserter Reed has not yet returned or joined our party.


Observed Equal Altitudes of ☉, with Sextant

  h    m    s       h    m    s
A. M. 8    0    29   P.M. 3    28    42
  "    1    52     "    30    11
  "    3    28     "    31    38

Altd. by Sextant at the time of this observt.    68° 45' 45"

Observed meridian Altd. of ☉'s L. L. with Octant by the back observatn.    61° 27' —"

Latitude deduced from this observt.    42° 15' 13.4"


Wednesday 15th    a pleasant morning, Capt. Clark and 10 of the party went out to the Mahar Creek in order to catch Some fish & they caught & brought in upwards of 300 different Sorts of fine fish. Some Salmon Some bass pike [10] &.C—&.C—    we Saw a Smoke arise on the N. Side of the Missouri River    〈3〉 4 men [11] went over to See if their was any Indians, they Returned without finding any Indians; hard wind F. N. w. A niew mast made for the Batteaux to day.—


Wendesday august 15th    Capt. Clark and 10 of his men and my Self went to the Mahas Creek [12] a fishen and Caut 300 and 17 fish of Difernt Coindes    ouer men has not Returnd yet


Wednesday 15th.    Captain Clarke and ten of the party went to the Maha creek to fish, and caught 387 fish of different kinds. We discovered smoke on the opposite side of the river, and four men crossed to see if any of the Mahas or Sioux Indians were there; but could not discover any. There had been fire there some days, and the wind lately blowing hard had caused the fire to spread and smoke to rise. We continued at this place until the 20th. Captain Lewis went with a party of twelve men to fish and took 709 fish, 167 of which were large pike. [13] The fish here are generally pike, cat, [14] sun perch [15] and other common fish. What we caught were taken with trails or brush nets. On the 18th the party who had been sent in pursuit of the man who had been absent since the 4th returned with him, and eight Indians and a Frenchman; [16] but left our Frenchman [17] behind who had gone out to hunt the horses. On the 19th a council was held with these Indians, who appeared to wish to make peace with all nations. This day Sergeant Floyd became very sick and remained so all night. He was seized with a complaint somewhat like a violent colick. [18]


Wendy 15    Captn. 〈Lewis〉 Clark and Some of the men went a fishing to a pond One mile from the River [19]    the[y] had Good Success    the[y] Catchd 386 fish—

Wednesday August 15th    We continued at this place this day.    Captain Clark and some of the Men went out fishing to a pond, which lay one Mile from the River, and met with good success they caught 386 fish of different kinds

1. Floyd says he was with this party. (back)
2. The courses of the creeks through the river bottom in this area have been altered, forcing them into man-made ditches; identifying this stream is therefore difficult. Possibly it was present Omaha Creek, in Dakota County, Nebraska. The fishing spot was presumably northeast of present Macy. Atlas map 16; MRC map 27; MRR map 75. (back)
3. Some sort of net or barrier, made of brush, probably reaching entirely across the creek. (back)
4. Since no species of salmon are native to the Great Plains, although there is a possibility that Salvelinus fontinalis, brook trout, once was, Clark's "samon" may be Hiodon tergisus, mooneye, or H. alosoides, goldeye; the bass may be either smallmouth bass or largemouth bass; the red horse is probably Moxostoma macrolepidotum, shorthead red horse; the "small cat" may be the channel catfish, or Noturus flavus, stonecat; the silverfish may be Aplodinotus grunniens, freshwater drum—as early as 1780 this was called the white perch in present Ohio. Lee et al., 74–75, 605, 608, 427, 446, 455; Trautman, 698–99. (back)
5. Probably a crayfish, of the genus Cambarus. Coues (HLC), 1:76 n. 41. (back)
6. These mussels may be in the family of Margaritanidae or Unionidae. Pennak, 704–10. (back)
7. With this entry begins Clark's notebook journal Codex B, which runs through October 3, 1804. See Appendix C. The words "Oake Cha ha har the Corvuss bird," are on a page by themselves at the beginning of this notebook, probably written when he first received the information. The Sioux word attempted by Clark is uŋkcek'iha. The bird is the black-billed magpie, Pica pica [AOU, 475], of which they obtained a specimen of September 16, 1804. Cutright (LCPN), 84–85. (back)
8. The "Ducks, Pliver" and the like are not identifiable, but one naturalist speculates that the former was the wood duck, and the latter either the lesser golden-plover, Plurialis dominica [AOU, 272] or black-bellied plover, P. squatarola [AOU, 270] or "some other species of plover or plover-like shore bird." Swenk, 121–22. (back)
9. Lewis's observation from Codex O. (back)
10. Since no species of salmon are native to the region, the fish may be mooneye, Hiodon tergisus, or goldeye, H. alosoides. The bass is either smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieui, or largemouth bass, M. salmoides. The pike is probably northern pike, Esox lucius. (back)
11. One of the men was Dorion. (back)
12. Possibly Omaha Creek, Dakota County, Nebraska (identified as Pigeon Creek and incorrectly as in Thurston County in notes for Clark's entry). (back)
13. Perhaps northern pike, Esox lucius, or some fish resembling it. (back)
14. Possibly channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, or stonecat, Noturus flavus. (back)
15. Perhaps the "perch" that Clark on this date calls a silverfish, otherwise white perch and now freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens. (back)
16. Drouillard, Reubin Field, Bratton, and Labiche, with the deserter Reed and the Oto and Missouri chiefs. Ordway also mentions the Frenchman, but Clark says nothing about him on this date. He was evidently not one of the party, but a trader or trapper living among the Indians. He may have been François (or Pierre, Jr.) Dorion, son of Pierre Dorion (see Clark's entry of August 19); or he may have been the mysterious "Far fonge" (see Clark for August 2). (back)
17. La Liberté, who escaped from the party sent to catch the deserters. (back)
18. "A violent colic" would probably describe the symptoms observable to the party if Floyd was suffering from appendicitis. (back)
19. The pond appears on Atlas map 16. (back)