August 26, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 26, 1804


26th August Sunday 1804    arrived at the boat at 9 oClock A. M.    Set out at 10 oClock after Jurking the meet & Cutting the Elk Skins for a Toe Roap and proceeded, leaveing G. Drew[yer] & Shannon to hunt the horses, 〈at 9 miles〉 the river verry full of Sand bars and Wide    Course S. 66° W. 2 mes. to a Sand bar Makeing out from the S. S.    N. 82° W. 7 mes. to a pt. of willows S S    passd. a Island & large Sand bars on both sides    river wide and a Clift of White earth on the L. S of 2 ms. in length to a point of Willows on the S. S opposit Arch Creek [1]    above the mouth of this Creek a Chief of the Maha nataton displeased with the Conduct of Black bird the main Chief came to this place and built a Town [2] which was called by his name Petite Arch (or Little Bow)    this Town was at the foot of a Hill in a handsom Plain fronting the river and Contained about 100 huts & 200 men, the remains of this tribe Since the Death of Petite arch has joined the remaining part of the nation    This Creek is Small—    we apt. Pat Gass Sergeant Vice Floyd Dicesed, Geathered great quantites of Grapes & three Kinds of Plumbs, one yellow round, & one ovel, & the Common wild Plumb. [3]    Misquetors bad to night— [4]    I have apt. you [5]


(Joined the Boat at 9 oClock A M)    after Jurking the meat Killed yesterday and prepareing the Elk Skins for a Toe Roape we Set out 〈and〉 Leaveing Drewyer & Shannon to hunt the horses which was lost with directions to follow us Keeping on the high lands.

proceeded on    passed a Clift of White & Blue or Dark earth [6] of 2 miles in extent on the L. S. and Camped on a Sand bar opposed the old village Called Pitite Arc    a Small Creek falls into the river 15 yds wide below the Village on the Same Side L. S    this village was built by a Indian Chief of the Maha nation by the name of Pitite arc (or little Bow) displeasd. with the Great Chief of that nation (Black Bird) Seperated with 200 men and built a village at this place.    after his death the two villages joined, apt. Pat Gass a Sergt. Vice Floyd Deceased

Great qts. of Grape, Plumbs of three Kinds 2 yellow and large of on[e] of which is long and a 3rd kind round & red all well flavored.    perticularly the yellow Sort. [7]

Course Distance & refrs. Augt. 26th
S. 66° W. 2 mes. to a Sand bar makeing out from the S. S.
N. 82 W. 7 ms. to a pt. of Willows on the S. S.    passed an Island on S S and
large Sand bar on both Sides of the river and Camped [8] op-
posit the mouth of Aec [NB: arc] Creek    the river below wide

The commanding officers have thought it proper to appoint Patric Gass, a Sergeant in the corps of volunteers for North Western Discovery, he is therefore to be obeyed and respected accordingly.

Sergt. Gass is directed to take charge of the late Sergt. Floyd's mess, and immediately to enter on the discharge of such other duties, as by their previous orders been prescribed for the government of the Sergeants of this corps.

The Commanding officers have every reason to hope from the previous faithfull services of Sergt. Gass, that this expression of their approbation will be still further confirmed, by his vigilent attention in future to his duties as a Sergeant.    the Commanding officers are still further confirmed in the high opinion they had previously formed of the capacity, deligence and integrety of Sergt. Gass, from the wish expresssed by a large majority of his comrades for his appointment as Sergeant.

Meriwether Lewis
Capt. 1st U' S. Regt Infty.
Wm Clark Cpt &.


Sunday 26th    we Set off eairly in order to overtake the Boat.    we came to the Boat abt. 9 o.C. A M    they had not left their last nights Camp. G. Shannon had killed an Elk the evening before, they delayed to jurk it &.C; one of the horses lost    Drewyer & one man hunting them    we then proceeded on    passed a white clay Bluff on S. S.    found a fine place of plumbs in a prarie N. S.    we proceeded on to the mo. of little petark (French) [(]little Bow) [10]    English S. S. abo. the hill opposite to which we camped on N. S. at petite wave formerly an old Indian village,


Sunday 26th. [11]    Some of the men went out to dress and bring in the elk. About 10 o'clock Captain Lewis and Captain Clarke with the party accompanying them came to camp; but had not been able to discover any of those small people. The hill is in a handsome prairie: and the party saw a great many buffaloe near it. About 11 we renewed our voyage and passed some timberland on the south side; and black and white bluffs on the same side, we encamped on the north side opposite a creek called Pettit-Ark, or Little-bow.


Sunday 26th    the Boat detained this morning to Jurk an Elk which Shannon killed, abt. 9 oClock the party returned to the Boat much fatigued    they informd us that their was nothing but Birds to be Seen & that it is about nine miles from the Missouri & a handsom round hill in a mence large prarie.    they Saw a Great many Buffelow from the hill.    they were all most famished for water &c—    we proceeded on    passed a white clay Bluff on S. S.    we found a large plumb orched [12] in a prarie N. S.    we Camped on a large Sand bar N. S. opposite a Creek called pet arck or little Bow where their was formerly an Indian village.— [13]

Sunday August 26th    This day we remain'd at the place that we encamp'd the precing Evening, we employ'd ourselves in Order to Jerk the Meat of an Elk, which one of our hands shot early this morning, about 9 oClock A. M. our hunting party [14] returned to the Boat much fataigued, having seen nothing on their Route but Birds, they mention'd that about 9 Miles from the Mesouri, they saw a handsome round hill and a very large Priari, They saw a number of Buffalo from the Top of the hill, The Men were almost famished for want of Water.    We proceeded on, and passed a white Clay bluff, lying on the South side of the River, and a Plumb Orchard in a Priari on the North side, We encamped in the Evening 〈we encamped〉 on a Sand barr, which was very large lying on the North side of the River, opposite to a Creek called pittarc or little bow, where there was formerly an Indian village

1. Present Bow Creek, Cedar County, Nebraska. "Pettite Arch" and "Village" appear on Evans's map 1 (Atlas map 7). Atlas map 18; MRC map 29; MRR map 81. (back)
2. An Omaha Indian village called "Bad Village" was built near the mouth of Bow Creek in the early eighteenth century. The same general location was the site of a later Omaha village, "Little Bow" (from the French Petite Arch of Clark). The location Clark gives for the village is questionable. Nicollet shows an "Old Mahaw Village" near the August 25 camp. Nicollet (MMR), 399; Lewis, 290 and n.; Wood (TL); Fletcher & La Fiesche , 1:85–86; Atlas map 18. Ludwickson, Blakeslee, & O'Shea, 79–85, discuss the historical (and confusing) record of the locations of the villages. (back)
3. For these plums see previous day's entry. The identification of a third species of wild plum for this area may be in error. The "ovel" plum may be a variant of the common wild plum. (back)
4. Probably Aedes vexans. (back)
5. An incomplete sentence, apparently a draft for a document appointing Gass as sergeant. The number 9 follows this—the day's mileage accumulation. (back)
6. The white material probably is Niobrara Chalk which overlies the Carlile Shale (the dark material) in this region. Both are Late Cretaceous in age. The white color might refer to a calcareous zone within the Carlile. (back)
7. This passage is crossed out in red, apparently by Biddle. (back)
8. In Clay County, South Dakota, opposite the mouth of Bow Creek and at the lower end of later Audubon Bend. Atlas map 18; MRC map 29; MRR map 81. (back)
9. From the Orderly Book in Lewis's hand, except for Clark's own signature. (back)
10. Bow Creek, Cedar County, Nebraska. Ordway is attempting the French petit arc, "little bow." (back)
11. This day Clark notes, "apt. Pat Gass a Sergt. Vice Floyd Deceased." Gass (or his editor) did not think his promotion worth mentioning. (back)
12. The day before, Clark noted the abundance of plums, including the common wild plum, Prunus americana Marsh., and big-tree plum, P. mexicana Wats. (back)
13. Bow Creek, Cedar County, Nebraska; "pet arck" is Whitehouse's version of the French petit arc, "little bow." On the village, see Clark's entry for this day. The camp was in Clay County, South Dakota. (back)
14. This is the captains' party which the day before the copyist had said returned that day. (back)