September 14, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 14, 1804


Set out early    proceeded on    passed Several Sand bars    water wide & Shallow    N. 68° W. 2¾ mes. to a pt. of high Land on the L. S.    passed a round Island on the 〈L〉 S S.— [2]    Caught 3 beaver last night, Some drizzeley rain    Cloudy & Disagreeable and Som hard Showers, I walked on Shore with a view to find an old Volcano Said to be in this neghbourhood by Mr. McKey [3]    I was Some distance out    Could not See any Signs of a Volcanoe, I killed a Goat, [4] which is peculier to this Countrey about the hite of a Grown Deer Shorter, its horns Coms out immediately abov its eyes    broad 1 Short prong the other arched & Soft    the color is a light gray with black behind its ears, white round its neck, no beard, his Sides & belly white, and around its taile which is Small & white and Down its hams, actively made    his brains on the back of its head, his noisterals large, his eyes like a Sheep    only 2 hoofs on each foot no a[n]telrs (more like the antelope or gazella of Africa than any other Specis of Goat). Shields Killed a Hare weighing 6½ lb: verry pore, the head narrow and its ears 3 Inches wide and 6 long, from the fore to the end of the hind foot; is 2 feet 11 Inch. hite 1 foot 1¾ its tail long & thick white, clearly the mountain Hare of Europe, [5] a rainy evening    all wett    The Soil of those Plains washes down into the flats, with the Smallest rain & disolves & mixes with the water. [6]    we See back from the river high hills in a leavel plain, evidently the remains of mountains, what mud washed into the river within those few days has made it verry mudy, passed two Small Creeks on the L. S. & Camped below a 3rd on the L. S. [7]    rained all evening

S. 70° W. 2 ½ me. to an object in the pt. on the L. S.    passed the mo of a
run L. S.
N. 4 W. 2 ½ mes. to the mo. of a Small Creek in the bend to the L. S.
N. 10 E 1 ½ me. to the mo. of a Creek on the L. S., passed a bad Sand
  9 0/4  
Course Distance and refurences
N. 68° W. 2 ¾ mes. to a pt. of high Land on the L. S.    passd. a round
Island on the S. S.
S. 70° W 2 ½ mes. to a tree in the pt. on the L. S.    passed the Mo: of a
run on the L. S.
N. 4° W. 2 ½ mes. to the mouth of a Small Creek in the bend to the L. S.
N. 10° E 1 ¼ mes. to to the mouth of a Creek on the L. S    passed a bad
Sand bar

14th Septr. Friday 1804.    Set out early proceeded on    passed Several Sand bars    the river wide and Shallow    3 beaver Caught last night, Drizeley rain in the forepart of this day, cloudy and disagreeable, I walked on Shore with a view to find an old Vulcanio, Said to be in this neighbourhood by Mr. J. McKey of St. Charles. I walked on Shore the whole day without Seeing any appearance of the Villcanoe, in my walk I Killed a Buck Goat of this Countrey, about the hight of the Grown Deer, its body Shorter, the Horns which is not very hard and forks ⅔ up    one prong Short the other round & Sharp arched, and is imediately above its Eyes    the Colour is a light gray with black behind its ears down its neck, and its Jaw white round its neck, its Sides and its rump round its tail which is Short & white    verry actively made, has only a pair of hoofs to each foot.    his brains on the back of his head, his Norstral large, his eyes like a Sheep—    he is more like the Antilope or Gazella of Africa than any other Species of Goat. Shields Killed a Hare like the mountain hare of Europe, waighing 6¼ pounds (altho pore) his head narrow, its ears large i, e, 6 Inches long & 3 Inchs wide one half of each white, the other & out part a lead grey    from the toe of the hind foot to toe of the for foot is 2 feet 11 Inches, the hith is 1 foot 1 Inche & ¾, his tail long thick & white.

The rain Continued the Greater part of the day    in My ramble I observed, that all those parts of the hills which was Clear of Grass easily disolved and washed into the river and bottoms, and those hils under which the river run, Sliped into it and disolves and mixes with the water of the river, the bottoms of the river was covered with the water and mud frome the hills about three Inches deep—    those bottoms under the hils which is Covered with Grass also [receves?] a great quantity of mud.

Passed 2 Small Creeks on the L. S and Camped below the third, (the place that Shannon the man who went a head lived on grapes)    Some heavy Showers of rain all wet, had the Goat & rabit Stufed    rained all night


this day Capt. Clark killed a male wild goat [EC: Antelope] so called—    it's weight 65 lbs.

  F I
length from point of nose to point of tail 4 9
hight to the top of the wethers 3
do. behind 3
girth of the brest 3 1
girth of the neck close to the shoulders 2 2
do. near the head 1 7

Eye deep sea green, large percing and reather prominent, & at or near the root of the horn within one ¼ inches—


Shields killed a hare of the prarie, [EC: Lepus campestris]

weight six pounds and ¼

  F. I.
Length from point of hind to extremity fore feet 2 11
hight when standing erect 1 1 ¾
length from nose to tale 2 1
girth of body 1 2 ¾
length of tale 6 ½
length of the year [ear] 5 ½
width of    do.    do. 3 ⅛
from the extremity of the hip to the toe of the hind foot 1 3 ½

the eye is large and prominent    the sight is circular, deep sea green, and occupyes one third of the width of the eye    the remaining two thirds is a ring of a bright yellowish silver colour.    the years ar placed at the upper part of the head and very near to each other, the years are very flexable, the anamall moves them with great ease and quickness and can contrat and foald them on his back or delate them at pleasure—    the front outer foald of the year is a redis brown, the inner foalds or those which ly together when the years are thrown back and wich occupy two thirds of the width of the year is of a clear white colour except one inch at the tip of the year which is black, the 〈lower or〉 hinder foald is of a light grey—    the head back sholders and outer part of the thighs are of a ledcoloured grey the sides as they approache the belly grow lighter becomeing gradually more white    the belly and brest are white with a shad of lead colour—    the furr is long and fine—    the tale is white round and blounty pointed    the furr on it is long and extreemly fine and soft    when it runs it carry's it's tale strait behind the direction of the body—    the body is much smaller and more length than the rabbit in proportion to it's height—    the teeth are like those of the hair or rabbit as is it's upper lip split—    it's food is grass or herbs—    it resorts the open plains, is extreemly fleet and never burrows or takes shelter in the ground when pursued, I measured the leaps of one which I suprised in the plains on the 17th Inst. and found them 21 feet    the ground was a little decending    they apear to run with more ease and to bound with greater agility than any anamall I ever saw. 〈they are extreemly fleet—〉    this anamal is usually single seldom associating in any considerable numbers.


Friday 14th Sept. 1804.    we Set off eairly.    a foggy morning. Cloudy. George Drewyer caught 3 Beaver last night. I Sergt. Pryor & Shannon returned to the Boat at 8 o.C. where they were at breakfast, near a grove of Timber N. S.    the water Shallow.    all hands out in water Several times to drag the Boat over the Sand bars &.C.    passd a black Bluff on S. S. Capt. Clark &.C. one man went out hunting on S. S. John Shields who went on Shore with the horse killed a verry large white rabbit or haire it was as big as a Ureopian hare.—    nearly all white—& of a different discription of any one ever yet Seen in the States.—    passed a creek on S. S. & a grove of Timber    Some rain    we Camped [10] on the South Side in a Stripe of woods. Capt. Clark joined us had killed a curious annamil resembling a Goat    Willard brought it on board.    it was 3 feet high    resembles a Deer in some parts.    the legs like a Deer.    feet like a Goat.    horns like a Goat only forked    Turn back    picked hair thick & of a white a dark redish coullour. Such an anamil was never yet known in U. S. States.—    The Capt had the Skins of the hair & Goat Stuffed in order to Send back to the city of Washington.    the bones and all.—


Friday 14th.    We proceeded as yesterday, and with the same kind of weather. Had considerable difficulty in getting along, on account of the shallowness of the river; all hands in the water dragging the boat. At 8 we halted for breakfast, and the men who went to hunt yesterday came in, and had only killed a porcupine. Three beaver were caught last night. The musketoes are as troublesome as they have been any time in summer. We passed black bluffs on the south side, and an island with timber on it. Passed a creek on the same side and encamped on it. The man who had gone by land with the horse came to us here; had killed a hare. Captain Clarke killed a goat or antelope.


Friday 14th Sept. 1804.    a foggy morning, a cloudy day and Some rain    the water is So Shallow that we had to waid & hall the barge over the Sand bars.    at 8 oClock we halted for to take breakfast.    the 3 men who went a hunting yesterday joined us here.    the hills and praries are pleasant but barron.    G. Drewyer caught 3 beaver last night    the Musquitoes are troublesom.    passd. black bluffs on the S. Side and an Island which had Som timber on it.    passed a creek on South Side.    the hunters killed a goat and a hare. [11]    the Goat was killed by Capt Clark & the first that was Seen by the party on the Missourie

Friday September 14th    This morning we had a great fog, on its going off, it was Cloudy & we had some Rain, We set off, and found the Water so shallow, that we had to go into it—and to haul the Boat over the Sand Barrs, at 8 oClock A. M. we stopped the Boat to breakfast; Captain Clark & the two Men who went a hunting, returned to us here.—    The Country here, is hilly and Priaries.—    which appear to be barren land; but is tolerably pleasant, One of our hunters caught during last night 3 Beavers in his traps, We proceeded on, and passed some black Bluffs lying on the South side of the River, and two Islands lying on the same side, which were cover'd with Timber, we also passed a Creek which lay on the same side of the River; Captain Clark shot a Goat and a hare, which they brought to us.—    and all our hunters join'd us in the Evening, this was the first Goat that was seen by any of our party since we enter'd the Mesouri    We encamped on the South side of the River at dark.—

1. Biddle added "& 16" after the date to indicate that document 54 of the Field Notes goes through September 16. (back)
2. Probably the later Dry Island. Atlas maps 20, 21, 22; MRC map 36. (back)
3. There is no evidence of volcanic action in the area. Burning deposits of coal or lignite may have led Mackay to this belief, which would have been based on the testimony of Evans, since Mackay was never on this part of the Missouri. It is probably the same phenomenon as the Ionia Volcano of Nebraska (see August 24, 1804), that is, a zone where the oxidation of pyritic material yields sulfuric acid which, with the addition of water, produces a reaction so hot that the bituminous shale is ignited. Mackay's reference was probably to the "Burning Bluff" in Gregory County, South Dakota, which they had passed several days earlier. Robinson, 555; South Dakota Guide, 403. (back)
4. The first scientific description of the pronghorn, often incorrectly called an antelope. Lewis and Clark continued to refer to it as a "goat," as do many persons on the plains; they also used the term "cabra." Cutright (LCPN), 81. (back)
5. The first description of the white-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus townsendii, previously unknown to science. See Lewis's natural history notes for this day for more information. Ibid., 82–83; Jones et al., 114–16. (back)
6. The soil is probably the dark, clayey soil of the grasslands which would make the water blackish. The White River, which they pass the next day, derives its name from white clay of western South Dakota. (back)
7. As Clark notes in the Codex B entry, this third creek was where Shannon remained for some days while lost (see Atlas maps 20, 21, 22); they called it Shannon's River. Someone, perhaps Maximilian, has penciled additional names on Atlas map 21. It is apparently the stream later known as Ball or Bull Creek, in Lyman County, South Dakota. The September 14 camp was just below the mouth of the creek, in an area now inundated by Fort Randall Reservoir. Of the other two creeks, nameless on the Atlas maps, the second was Waterhole Creek. Mattes, 514–15; Nicollet (MMR), 412; MRC map 36; MRY map 41. (back)
8. Lewis's natural history notes from Codex Q. The goat is the pronghorn, also described by Clark this day; see n. 4. (back)
9. Lewis's second entry of natural history notes from Codex Q for this date. The white-tailed jackrabbit is also described by Clark this day; see n. 5. (back)
10. Near the mouth of Bull Creek, Lyman County, South Dakota. (back)
11. Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana, were seen as early as September 3 but were not fully described by the captains until this day. The hare is a white-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus townsendii. (back)