September 19, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 19, 1804


Septr. 19th Wednesday 1804, Set out early.    a Cool morning clear & Still

N. 50° W.   3 me. to a pt. of wood on the S. S.    A Bluff on the L. S.
opposit.    here Commences a butifull Countrey on both
Sides of the river
North   4 miles to the mouth of a River S. S. (1)—
N. 30 W   2 ½ miles to the upper pt. of the Island S. S. 〈in the middle of
the river〉 (2)
N. 43° W.   2 on the L. S.    Passed a creek (3)
N. 54° W.   3 me. to a pt. of wood on the S. S.
N. 70 W.   5 mes. to a Bluff on the L. S.    passed a creek (4)
West   3 ½ miles to some timber on the L. S.    passed a creek (5)
  23 miles  

(1) & (2) passed a large Island [2] Situated nearest the S. S. ½ a mile from the Lower pt. of this Island, the 1st of the 3 rivers mouths which is about 35 yards wide, running from the N E.    one mile above the 2nd Comes in    this is Small not more that [than] 15 yards wide    a Short Distance above a 3d comes in scattering its waters thro a bottom. I walked on Shore to See this great Pass of the Sioux and Calumet ground, found it a handsom Situation, and Saw the remains of their Campt on the 2d river, for many years passed—    (3) passed a Creek on the L. S. 15 yds wide    we (4) passed a Creek 20 yds wide (5) passed a Creek 20 yd. wide on the L. S. I call Night C. as I did not get to it untill late at night, above the mouth of this Creek we camped, [3] the wind being favourable, for the boat    I Killed a fat Buffalow Cow, and a fat Buck elk, york my Servent Killed a Buck, the Huntes Killed 4 Deer, [4] & the boat Crew killed 2 Buffalow Swiming the river, handsom Countrey of Plains, I saw many trovs of Buffalow & a Gangue of 30 or 40 Elk and othr Scattering elk &c.    a find evening    I hurt my hands & feet last night—

Course Distance & refferenc
N. 50° W.   3 miles to a pt. of wood on the S. S.    opposit is a Bluff on
L. S. (1)
North   4 miles to the Lower pt. of prospect Island opsd. the 3 rivers
on the S. S. (2)
N. 30° W.   2 ½ miles to the upper pt. of the Island    psd. the 3 rivers—
N. 43° W.   2 miles on the L. S.    passd. a Creek (3)
N. 54° W   3 mes. to a pt. on the S. S.
N. 70° W.   5 mes. to a Bluff on the L. S.    passed a Creek (4)
West   3 ¼ mes. to a timber on the L. S.    passed a Creek (5)
N 50° W.   3 ¼ mes. to the upper pt. of an Island at (6) the Commencemt
of the Big bend
  26 ¼ [5]  

19th of September Wednesday 1804

Set out early, a Cool morning verry Clear the wind from the S. E    a Bluff on the L. S.—    here Commences a Butifull Countrey on both Sides of the Missourie, (2) passed a large Island Called Prospect Island    opposit this Isd. the 3 rivers Coms in, passing thro a butifull Plain, here I walked on Shore & Killed a fat Cow & Sent her to the boat and proceeded on to the first of the 3 rivers, this river is about 35 yards wide Contains a good deel of water, I walked up this river 2 miles & Cross, the bottom is high and rich Some timber, I crossed & returned to the mouth, & proceeded up one mile to the 2d river which is Small 12 yards wide, and on it but little timber, on this Creek the Seaux has frequently Camped, as appears by the Signs—    the lands betwen those two Creeks in a purpindicular bluff of about 80 feet with a butifull Plain & gentle assent back—    a Short distance above the 2nd a 3rd Creek Comes into the river in 3 places Scattering its waters over the large timbered bottom, this Creek is near the Size of the middle Creek Containing a greater quantity of water, those rivers is the place that all nations who meet are at peace with each other, Called the Seaux pass of the 3 rivers.

The boat proceeded on passd. the Island    (3) passed a Creek 15 yds wide on the L. Side    (4) passed a Creek on the L. S. 20 yards wide which I Call Elm Creek passing thro a high Plain    (5) passed a Creek on the L. S. 18 yds. wide above which the boat Came too, I joined them late at night, and Call this Creek Night Creek    the winds favourable all Day, I killed a fat buck Elk late and could only get his Skin and a Small part of his flesh to Camp. My Servent Killed a Buck, the Crew in the boat Killed 2 buffalow in the river—    The Hunters on Shore Killed 4 Deer with black tails one of which was a Buck with two 〈men〉 [NB: main] Prongs on each Side forked equally, which I never before Seen. I saw Several large gangs of Buffalow 2 large Herds of Elk & goats &c.    (6) pass a Small Island on the S. S.    opposit to this Island on the L. S. a Creek of about 10 yards wide Coms in passing thro a plain in which great quantities of the Prickley Pear grows. [6] I call this Creek Prickley Pear Creek , This Isld. is Called the lower Island    it is Situated at the Commencement of what is Called & Known by the Grand de Tortu [NB: Detour] or Big Bend of the Missourie.


On the Lard. shore opposite to the mouth of the lower of the two rivers of the Siouxs pass.

Observed Meridian Altd. of ☉'s U. L. with Sextant by the fore observation 95° 30' 15


Wednesday 19th Sept. 1804.    a pleasant morning.    we Set off eairly.    proceeded on    passed a Steep clay Bluff on S. S. Some ceeder on the edge of the Bluffs—    a fine Timbered Bottom opposite on N. Side. Jo. Fields who was with the horse killed a black tailed Deer & hung it on the Bank.    we took it on board.    we landed for Breakfast on N. S. Capt. Clark & 3 men went out hunting.    we proceeded on    passed a Timbered Bottom on S. S. about 11 oC. Capt. Clark Shot a fat Brown Buffalow cow opposite to us on the N. S.    a large Gang of them Swam the river near the Boats    we Shot a fat Cow likewise & a Small Bull.    took the meat & hides on bord the pearogues.    we proceeded on under a fine Sailing Breeze from E. S. E.    passed 3 large Creeks (called the Sioux 3 river pass) [8] on N. S. which came in behind an Island (along a Bluff), passed a long Timbered bottom on N. S.    passd a large Creek on S. S. & Camped [9] after Sailing 24 miles on S. S. above Sd. Creek. Capt. Clark joined us late in the evening    had killed an Elk & a Deer, the men who went with him returned also much fatigued &.C.—    Drewyer killed 2 Black taild Deer on S S near a range of Bluffs &.C;—


Wednesday 19th.    We set out early and had a clear day passed large bottoms on both sides of the river covered with timber. We saw some buffaloe swimming the river and killed two of them. There is an island here, opposite which a river flows in on the north side. [10] This river is formed of three, which unite their waters just above its mouth; and immediately above the confluence is a crossing place, called the Sioux-crossing-place of the three rivers. At the upper end, a creek called, Elm creek, [11] comes in on the south side, and two miles above another creek called Wash creek, [12] falls in on the same side. About two miles further we passed another creek called Night creek where we encamped on the south side. Three black tailed deer were killed this day.


Wednesday 19th Sept.    we Set off eairly.    a clear day.    we passed handsom large bottoms on Each Side covered with timber    Jo. Fields killed a black tailed Deer & hung it up on the bank of the river.    Capt. Clark & 2 men went out to hunt on N. S.    at noon we Saw Some buffaloe Swimming the river.    we Stoped and Killed 2 of them.    proceeded on    Capt. Lewis and Drewyer went to hunt on an Island    opposit to this Isld. comes in River called the Souix pass over of the three Rivers.    at the upper end of the Same Isd. comes in a creek called Elm Creek    up the bluffs abt 2 miles comes in another Creek called wash creek.    Capt. Lewis and Drewyer Came to the Boat again.    about 2 miles we passd another Creek called night Creek, at which place we Camped on the South Side.    Here Drewyer came to us had killed 2 deer of the black tald kind.—

Wednesday September 19th    We set out early this morning having fine Clear weather.—    We passed some fine bottoms of land, lying on each side of the River, well covered with Timber, One of our hunters killed a black Tailed deer, and hung it on the bank of the River, we put too, and took it aboard, At Noon, Captain Clark and two of our men went out a hunting on the North side of the River.—

At noon, we saw some buffalo swimming across the River; we stopped the boat, and shot 2 of them, which we took on board and proceeded on.—    Captain Lewis and George Drewyer went out to hunt on an Island, opposite to which Island, is a River called the Souix Passover, of the Three Rivers; at the upper end of the same Island, comes in a Creek, called Elm Creek, up the Bluffs about 2 Miles, we paesed a Creek called Wash Creek.—    Captain Lewis & George Drewyer came to the boat, we proceeded on two Miles; and passed another Creek, called Night Creek; lying on the South side of the River, at which place we encamped, George Drewyer return'd to us, having kill'd 2 deer of the black tail'd kind

1. On September 19 the captains recorded temperature readings and other meteorological data for the first time since May 14, except for one reading in the Field Notes on August 25. See Weather Diary, September 1804. (back)
2. The island is the Prospect Island of the Codex B entry; evidently it retained that name for some time—it appears by that name in Nicollet—but was also known as Des Laurien's or Des laurier's. It is also "Prospect I" on Evans's map 2 (Atlas map 8), but may be a later addition to the sheet. The three rivers are probably Crow, Elm (or Wolf), and Campbell creeks. This place was called the "Sioux Pass of the Three Rivers" because the Sioux commonly crossed the Missouri there. Clark's use of the term "Calumet ground" is meant to relate to the pipestone quarry in present Minnesota, a neutral ground. See August 21, 1804. The three streams are in Buffalo County, South Dakota, within the Crow Creek Indian Reservation (Sioux). Just below the island, in Lyman County and within Lower Brule Reservation, the Clark-Maximilian map (Atlas map 22) shows the location of "U. S. Sioux Agency"; this was located at the American Fur Company post of Fort Lookout. Maximilian visited the place in 1833, and probably wrote in the notation then. The location of the post has been in doubt, but this map would seem to settle the question. Nicollet shows "Old Fort Lookout" and an unnamed site a little to the north of the first; the latter, opposite the lower point of Prospect Island, appears to correspond to Maximilian's site. Mattes, 533–41, 548–49, 556–57; Coues (HLC), 1:122–23 and nn. 55, 56; South Dakota Guide, 252; Nicollet (MMR), 413–14; MRC map 37. (back)
3. The location of the creeks is not aided by various name changes over the years. The fifteen-yard creek is perhaps a nameless stream that appears on Atlas map 22 and MRC map 38, but it may be Good Soldier (Badger) Creek, with present Big Bend Dam just above. Clark's Elm Creek may be Good Soldier Creek or possibly Counselor (Camel) Creek. Night Creek may be Counselor or Fish (Brule) Creek. Adopting the latter solution in each case leaves a problem in identifying the "Lower Island Creek" of Atlas map 22, Prickly Pear Creek" of Clark's journal, which might otherwise be Fish Creek. The camp was in Lyman County, South Dakota. Mattes, 562–63; Mattison (BB), 249. (back)
4. Ordway says that George Drouillard and Joseph Field were among them. (back)
5. The shifting of the first and last distances over the next few days gives differences in the totals of the entries. (back)
6. Perhaps Opuntia fragilis (Nutt.) Haw., brittle prickly pear, a small, common species in the area. Other possibilities include O. polyacantha Haw., plains prickly pear, or O. macrorhiza Englem., bigroot prickly pear, both of which reach their northern and eastern limit in this area. Barkley, 48–49. (back)
7. Lewis's observation from Codex O. (back)
8. Probably Crow, Elm, and Campbell creeks, Buffalo County, South Dakota. (back)
9. The difficulty in identifying this creek is discussed with Clark's entry for this day; likewise, the problem in establishing the day's campsite, which was in Lyman County, South Dakota. (back)
11. See note to Clark's entry of this day for the problems about creek names. Elm Creek is perhaps Good Soldier Creek or Counselor (Camel) Creek, Lyman County, South Dakota. (back)
12. Not named by Clark; it may be Counselor (Camel) Creek, in which case Night Creek, where they camped, would be Fish (Brule) Creek, Lyman County. (back)