September 16, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 16, 1804


This morning set out at an early hour, and come too at ½ after 7 A. M. on the Lard. Shore 1¼ miles above the mouth of a small creek which we named Corvus , in consequence of having kiled a beatiful bird of that genus near it [2]    we concluded to ly by at this place the ballance of this day and the next, in order to dry our baggage which was wet by the heavy showers of rain which had fallen within the last three days, and also to lighten the boat by transfering a part of her lading to the red perogue, which we now determined to take on with us to our winter residence wherever that might be; [3] while some of the men were imployed in this necessary labour others were dressing of skins washing and mending their cloaths &c.    Capt. Clark and myself kiled each a buck immediately on landing near our encampment; the deer were very gentle and in great numbers on this bottom which had more timber on it than any part of the river we had seen for many days past, consisting of Cottonwood Elm, some indifferent ash and a considerable quanty of a small species of white oak [4] which is loaded with acorns of an excellent flavor    very little of the bitter roughness of the nuts of most species of oak, the leaf of this oak is small pale green and deeply indented, [NB: not copied for Dr Barton ] it seldom rises higher than thirty feet is much branched, the bark is rough and thick and of a light colour; the cup which contains the acorn is fringed on it's edges and imbraces the nut about one half; the acorns were now falling, and we concluded that the number of deer which we saw here had been induced thither by the acorns of which they are remarkably fond.    almost every species of wild game is fond of the acorn, the Buffaloe Elk, deer, bear, turkies, ducks, pigegians and even the wolves feed on them; we sent three hunters [5] out who soon added eight deer and two Buffaloe to our strock of provisions; the Buffaloe were so pour that we took only the tongues skins and marrow bones; the skins were particularly acceptable as we were in want of a covering for the large perogue to secure the baggage; the clouds during this day and night prevented my making any observations. Sergt. Gass and Reubin Fields whom we had sent out yesterday to explore the White river returnd at four oclock this day and reported that they had foll [EC?: owed the] meanders of that stream about 12 miles    r[iver]'s general course West, the present or principal channel 150 yards wide; the coulour of the water and rapidity and manner of runing resembled the Missouri presisely; the country broken on the border of the river about a mile, when the level planes commence and extend as far as the eye can reach on either side; as usual no timber appeared except such as from the steep declivities of hills, or their moist situations, were sheltered from the effects of the fire.    these extensive planes had been lately birnt and the grass had sprung up and was about three inches high.    vast herds of Buffaloe deer Elk and Antilopes were seen feeding in every direction as far as the eye of the observer could reach.


September 16th Sunday, we proceeded on 1¼ Miles and Camped 〈for the〉 on the L. Side in a butifull Plain Surounded with timber in which we Saw Severall Der, we delayed here for the purpose of Drying the articles which were wet & the cloathes    to Load the Perogue which we had intended to send back, finding the water too Shoal Deturmind to take on the Perogue also to make Some observations for Longitude &c.    the two men G. [Gass] & R. F. [Reubin Field] joined us and informed "that the river as far as they were up had much the Appearance of the river about the mouth, but little timber and that chiefly elm, the up land 〈near〉 between this river & the White river is fine, Great numbers of Goat, Deer of three kinds, Buffalow, & wolves, & Barking Squrels, The fallow Deer, [6] Cloudy, all day Cleaning out the boat examining & Drying the goods, & loading the Perogue, I killed 2 Deer    Capt Lewis one & a Buffalow, one Buffalow & five other Deer Killed. I observed Pine Burs & Burch Sticks [7] in the Drift wood up white river which Coms in on the L. S.    imedeately in the point is a butifull Situation for a town    3 Gentle rises, & more timber about the mouth of this river than usial

N. 72° E 1 ¼ to a pt on the L. S. and Camped in Some Timber round a
plain    Grea numbers of plumbs near Camp, a Village of
Barking Squirels near
  1 ¼  

from this date—    ☞ refur to the Book No. 2. [8]

N. 72° E 1 ¼ Miles to a pt. on the L. S. and came too (1)

16th of September Sunday 1804

We Set out very early & proceed'd on 1¼ miles 〈thro〉 between Sand bars and Came too on the L. S. (1)—    deturmined to dry our wet thig and liten the boat which we found 〈by〉 could not proceed with the present load [NB: as fast as we desired, owing to Sand bars]    for this purpose we Concluded to detain the Perogue we had intended to Send back & load her out of the boat & detain the Soldiers untill Spring & Send them from our winter quarters. We put out those articles which was wet, Clean'd the boat & perogus, examined all the Locker Bails &. &c. &.

This Camp is Situated in a butifull Plain Serounded with Timber to the extent of ¾ of a mile in which there is great quantities of fine Plumbs— The two men detachd up the White river joined us here & informed that the [river] as far as they were up had much the appearance of the Missourie    Som Islands & Sands little Timber Elm, (much Signs of Beaver, Great many buffalow) & Continud its width, they Saw & well as my Self Pine burs & Sticks of Birch in the Drift wood up this river, They Saw also Number of Goats Such as I Killed, also wolves near the Buffalow falling [fallow] Deer, & the Barking Squrels Villages    Capt. Lewis went to hunt & See the Countrey near the Kamp    he killed a Buffalow & a Deer

Cloudy all day    I partly load the empty Perogue out of the Boat. I killed 2 Deer & the party 4 Deer & a Buffalow 〈who〉 the we kill for the Skins to Cover the Perogus, the meet too pore to eat. Capt Lewis went on an Island [9] above our Camp, this Island is abt. one mile long, with a Great purpotion ceder timber near the middle of it

I gave out a flannel Shirt to each man, & powder to those who had expended thers


Sunday 16th Sept. 1804.    we Set out verry eairly this morning.—    Cool & Clear, proceeded on in order to find a good place to Camp & dry & arange all afairs on board & refresh the party &.C.    passed a large Creek on S. S. called [blank]    we Camped on S. S. in a handsome bottom of thin Timbered land, lately burned over by the natives, it had grown up again with Green Grass which looked beautiful.    we Saw Several Deer in this Grove. Capt. Clark killed one    Capt. Lewis one    G. Drewyer one. Collins who had been with the Horse joined us    had killed two Deer, one yesterday 1 this morning    We found a large plumb orchad back of this Bottom of fine large ripe plumbs. Capt. Lewis went on an Island little above the camp to hunt. Battest Decamps killed one Bufalow, Roie killed a faun Deer. [10]    Capt. Lewis killed a buffalow. Saved the Skins to cover the loading in the pearogue.—    Greater part of the loading taken out of the Boat and aired to day—    the large red pearogue loaded out of the Batteaux & are to continue on with us to the Mandan Nation of Indians—


Sunday 16th.    We set out for the boat across the hills, on the tops of which are level plains with a great number of goats and buffaloe on them. Came to the head waters of a creek [11] and kept down it a S. E. course, and on our way killed three deer. We proceeded on to its mouth, which I computed to be 14 miles from that of the White river. Having found the boat had passed we proceeded up the river, and came to a handsome bottom, where our people had encamped to dry the provisions and stores. In our absence the men had killed some deer and two buffaloe.


Sunday 16th Sept. 1804.    we Set off eairly and proceeded on    passed the mouth of White River on the S. Side—    Came 4 miles and Camped at a beautiful bottom wood with thin timber named pleasant Camp. [12]    I went out a hunting and Several more of the party, thier was a nomber of buffaloe Elk Deer Goats & one magpy [13] killed this day.    Sergt. Gass & R. Fields returned.    had killed 3 Deer—

Sunday Septemr 16    We set off early this morning, and proceeded on 4 Miles, and encamp'd at a beautiful bottom cover'd thinly with Timber; which we named pleasant Camp.    I went with several of our party out a hunting, We saw large numbers of Buffalo, Elk deer & Goats, but they were very Shy.—    One of the party Shot a buffalo, which we got.—    The party that had went to View White River, also brought in 3 Deer that they had killed

1. This Lewis entry and that of the next day are in the fragmentary Codex Ba; it contains Lewis's only known daily entries—as opposed to scientific notes in the specialized journals—between May 20, 1804, and April 7, 1805. For a discussion of this gap, see the Introduction to vol. 2. (back)
2. The camp, where they remained until September 18, is near the town of Oacoma, Lyman County, South Dakota. They would stop there again on August 28, 1806, on the return trip. On that date Clark says that they had called it "Pleasant Camp" before, but in his Codex B entry for September 17, 1804, he calls it "Plumb Camp." Corvus Creek (American Creek) should not be confused with later Crow Creek, several miles above on the opposite side of the Missouri. The bird is the black-billed magpie, Pica pica [AOU, 475], described more fully on September 17. See also August 15, 1804, n. 7. Four living magpies were sent to Jefferson in April 1805, only one of which arrived alive. Cutright (OMPD). Mattes, 521–22; Atlas maps 20, 21, 22; MRC map 37. (back)
3. As Clark notes below, they had now definitely decided not to send back Corporal Warfington's party in the red pirogue until next spring. (back)
4. Quercus macrocarpa Michx., bur, or mossy-cup, oak. Fernald, 544; Barkley, 39; Cutright (LCPN), 88. Biddle has apparently marked through part of this scientific material. (back)
5. According to Ordway, Drouillard, Deschamps, Roi, and Collins were among those who killed game on this date, besides the captains themselves. (back)
6. Clark refers to the western white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus dacotensis. Fallow deer is the name for the European species, Cervus dama, and used by the captains as a convenient word of differentiation without specific reference to the European animal. The captains were aware that this subspecies differed from the eastern white-tailed, O. virginianus, referred to as "common deer" by Clark on September 17. The men continued to apply these terms to the two deer. Burroughs, 124–25; Jones et al., 324–27, 346. (back)
7. The pine burs are cones of Pinus ponderosa Laws., ponderosa pine, which had washed down the White River from its headwaters or tributaries. Paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.), the only possibility for Clark's "Burch Sticks," is not known in this region; however, the "sticks" may have washed down from areas of the White River drainage where the birch existed two hundred years ago. (back)
8. Clark's Book No. 2 was the notebook now designated Codex B. He may have had some thought of abandoning the Field Notes and keeping only the notebook journal. Osgood (FN), 139 n. 9, 144 n. 1. (back)
9. Later known as American, or Cedar, Island, opposite present Chamberlain, Brule County, South Dakota. The area is now inundated by Fort Randall Reservoir. Atlas maps 20, 21, 22; MRC map 37. (back)
10. Jean Baptiste Deschamps and Peter Roi, French engagés. (back)
12. On September 17, Clark called it "Plumb Camp"; returning to it on August 26, 1806, he used Whitehouse's name. It was near Oacoma, Lyman County, South Dakota; the party remained here until September 18. (back)
13. Black-billed magpie, Pica pica. (back)