Winter 1804-1805
51.95% Complete
Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

Part 3: Botanical Collections

Winter 1804-1805

The following lists represent Lewis's botanical efforts during the first year of the expedition. The first document is Lewis's list of specimens from Codex R, pp. 4–49; it was probably prepared at Fort Mandan, perhaps from other notes now lost. The second document was prepared by John Vaughan of the American Philosophical Society as a receiving list of the specimens and was probably copied from identification labels accompanying the items or from a separate list. It is from the Donation Book at the American Philosophical Society (see Appendixes B and C). The "H" following some items in the Donation Book may represent an accession check and may stand for "have." The specimens are apparently the items in box 4 of the goods sent back from Fort Mandan in April 1805, and designated "Specimens of plants numbered from 1 to 60." See Jackson (LLC), 1:235, 239–40 n. 21; Clark's entry, April 3, 1805, and accompanying notes. The discrepancy in the number of items cannot be explained. Lewis has additional specimens numbered 100–108. Vaughan's numbers 61 and 62 may be his own convention for loose, unnumbered items, while his note on the "corolla of tobacco" may apply to items 106 or 108. These herberia (with some losses) are at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia.

The discussion of this collection, here called the Fort Mandan collection, is necessarily brief in order not to duplicate a specialized volume which will appear as the final book in this edition. The natural history volume will be much like the Atlas with its introduction, calendar, and illustrations. The final volume will include a discussion of the party's botanical activities, an introduction to the Lewis and Clark herbarium at the Academy, and illustrations of those specimens. An excellent examination of this topic is available in Cutright (LCPN), 357–75.

We provide at this time a table of botanical identifications. A similar table, probably in the form of a calendar, will accompany the natural history volume and will include the whole of the Lewis and Clark herbarium. The present table gives the voucher number, approximate date and place of collection, and the current scientific and common name. Since Lewis's voucher numbers are not chronologically or systematically arranged from St. Louis to Fort Mandan, we have recorded the items in chronological fashion to provide easy comparison with the daily journals and their corresponding botanical annotation. The lack of chronology in the voucher numbers may be evidence that label numbers were not assigned at the time of collection, but later, possibly at Fort Mandan. The "1804 Dates" are those on labels at the Academy or from the lists of Lewis and Vaughan. The location was determined by comparing the specimen dates with journal entries, Atlas maps, and our annotation. In most instances Lewis's precise location for collecting the specimens is unclear, so we have given the closest geographic landmark for that day.

The most difficult task was to apply current scientific and common names to the herbaria. Since the first thirty items are missing from the Academy, we had to rely on Lewis's descriptions for identifications. The lack of existing specimens cannot be explained and accounts for several unidentified items. The remaining specimens at the >Academy were examined by Dr. A. T. Harrison, formerly of the University of Nebraska, with the assistance of the Academy's curatorial staff. He also examined previous botanical work on the plants, current botanical literature, and employed his own familiarity with regional flora. Items number 37,62, and 102 remain unidentified as they were not to be found in the collection. Numbers 62 and 102 may never have been accessioned, while number 37 remains a curious loss similar to the first thirty specimens.


A List of specimines of plants collected by me on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers—    contain such observations on the vegitable kingdom spread to our view in this rich country as they have occurred to my mind.—or as the several subjects have presented themselves to my view.—

No. 1.    a species of Cress, taken at St. Louis May 10th 1804.    it is common in the open growns on the Mississippi bottoms, appears in the uncultivated parts of the lots gardens and orchards, the seed come to maturity by the 10th of May in most instances.—

No. 2.    was taken on the 22ed of May 1804 on the bank of the Missouri about 8 miles above St. Charles    it is common in the botom lands—    rises to the hight of two feet, and rarely puts forth more than two stalks from the same root and most commonly only one—    it's root is spiral.

No. 3.    Was taken on the 23rd of May 1804, near the mouth of the Osage Woman's creek, it is a srub and resembles much in growth the bladder scenna, it rises to hight of eight or ten feet and is an inhabitant of a moist rich soil.—    usually the verge of the river bank.—    it is a handsome Shrub

No. 4.    Was taken at a small Village North side of the Missouri called Sharett, on the 25th of May 1804.    this is the last settlement on the Missouri; and consists of ten or twelve families mostly hunters.    this specimine is the seed of the Cottonwood which is so abundant in this country, it has now arrived at maturity and the wind when blowing strong drives it through the air to a great distance being supported by a parrishoot of this cottonlike substance which gives the name to the tree    in some seasons it is so abundant as to be troublesome to the traveler—    this tree arrives at great sise, grows extreemly quick    the wood is of a white colour, soft spungey and light, perogues are most usually made of these trees, the wood is not durable nor do I know any othe valuable purpose which it can answer except that just mentioned—

this tree forms a great majority of the timber bordering the rivers Missouri and Mississippi; it extends itself throughout the extensive bottom lands of these streams and seases to appear when the land rises into hills—    when these rivers form new lands on their borders or Islands in their steams, which they are pertually doing, the sweet willow is the first tree or shrub which usually makes it's appearance, this continues one two or three years and is then supplanted by the Cotton wood which invariably succeedes it.—    this tree resembles much in it's air and appearance that beatifull and celibrated tree the Lombardy poplar; and more particularly so when in its young state; the young plants grow very close untill they have attained the age of four or five years, a proportion of them then begin to dye and the forrest opens and gives place to sundry other shrubs and plants which will be noticed in their proper places.—

No. 5.    was taken on the 27th of May 1804 near the mouth of the Gasconade; it is a species of cress which grows very abundantly alonge the river beach in many places; my men make use of it and find it a very pleasant wholsome sallad.—

No.6.    Was taken on the 27th of may 1804 near the mouth of the Gasconade; it is a species of rape or kail, it grows on the beach of the river, when young my men used it a boiled green and found healthy and pleasent.—

No. 7.    was found on the 27th of May 1804 near the water side about 10 miles below the mouth of the Gasconade, it rises to the hight of three feet and puts forth many large suculent branched stalks from the same root, this plant is a stranger to me.—

No. 8.    Was taken the 29th of May 1804 below the mouth of the Osage Rivr.    this plant is known in Kentuckey and many other parts of this western country by the name of the yellow root—    it is a sovereighn remidy for a disorder common in this quarter called the Soar eyes—    this complaint is common    it is a violent inflamation of the eyes attended with high fevers and headach, and is extreemly distressing, and frequently attended with the loss of sight—    this root affords a speady and efficasious remidy for this disorder prepared & used in the following manner—    let the roots be geathered washed and carefully dryed in the shade; brake them in pieces of half an inch in length and put them in a bottle or viol, taking care to fill the vessel about two thirds full of the dryed root, then fill the vessell with could water, rain water is preferable; let it remain about six hours shaking it occasionally and it will be fit for use; the water must remain with the root and be applyed to the eyes frequently by wetting a piece of fine linin touching them gently with it.—    this root is a fine aromatic bitter, and a strong asstringent; it is probable that it might be applyed in many cases as a medicene with good effect, but I have not learnt that any experiment has been made by an inward application—    it makes an excellent mouth water, and a good outward applycation for wounds or inflamations of every kind.—    native of rich bottom lands on the rivers—

No. 9.    Was taken on the 30th of May 1804 below the mouth of the Osage river; it rises from 18 Inches to 2 feet in hight; is a beautifull green plant found most generally on the sides of rich hills in the forrest    it's radix is fiberous—

No. 10.    This plant was taken the 1st of June at the mouth of the Osage river; it is known in this country by the name of the wild ginger, it resembles that plant somewhat in both taste and effect; it is a strong stomatic stimelent, and frequently used in sperits with bitter herbs—    it is common throughout the rich lands in the Western country.

No. 11.    Was taken the 3rd of June above the mouth of the Osage river; it is the groath of high dry open praries; rises to the hight of 18 inches or two feet puts forth many stems from the same root; the radix is fiborous; the Indians frequently use the fruit of this plant to alay their thirst as they pass through these extensive dry praries common to many parts of the country bordering on the Missouri; it resembles much the Indigo in the appearance of it's growth.    it bears it's fruit much like the indigo, a stem projects about three inches from the main stem at an angle of about 20 degrees, and bears from [two?] to four podds, which in their succulent and unripe state as at this season of the year are about the sise of a pullet's egg, somewhat flattened on two sides; the matrix is formed in two lobes and the seed are like pees and attached to the matrix in the same manner, single and adhering to the center    the pulp is crisp & clear and tasts very much like the hull of a gardin pee.—    when ripe the fruit is of a fine red coulour and sweet flavor.—    it dose not ripen untill the middle of June.—

No. 12.    1st of August 1804.    one of our hunters brought us a bough of the purple courant, which is frequently cultivated in the Atlantic states; the fruit was ripe; I presume it is a native of North America—    here it grows generally in the praries but is not very abundant.—    No. 12 is a specimine of it's leaves.—

No. 13.    The narrow leaf willow taken on the 14th of June—    this tree is male and female, the female bearing it seed in a small pod small ova form of three lobes, or devisions—    these pods are attached to a stem which projects from the small boughs, and are from thirty to fifty in number, about this season they begin to ripen, when the pods burst and a great number of small seeds each furnished with a parrishoot of a cotton-like substance are discharged from those cels.    they readily float in the air and are driven by the wind to a great distance, they are so abundant at some times as to be disagreeable to the traveller—    the male plant has sucession of it's flowers, commencing to bloom about the 1st of June and continuing untill the 1st of August, they are a small tausel of a half, or ¾ of an inch in length, round, and tapering to the extremity, putting frort from it's sides an infinite number of small stamens of a brown colour.    it's leaves are numerous narrow, slightly indented, of a yellowish 〈deep〉 green, on the uper side, and whiteish green underneath, pointed, being widest in the middle which rarely exceeds ⅛th of an inch, it is smoth, tho' not glossey

This tree is invariably the first which makes it's appearance on the newly made Lands on the borders of the Mississippi and Missouri, and seems to contribute much towards facilitating the operation of raisin this ground still higher; they grow remarkably close and in some instances so much so that they form a thicket almost impenetrable    the points of land which are forming allways become eddies when overflown in high water    these willows obstruct the force of the water and makes it more still which causes the mud and sand to be deposited in greater quantities; the willow is not attal imbarrassed or injured by this inundation, but 〈the moment the water subsides〉 puts forth an innumerable quantity of small fibrous roots from every part of its trunk near the surface of the water which further serve to collect the mud, if there happens not to be a sufficient quantity of mud depossited in the one season to cover the trunk of the willow as high as these capillery roots when the water subsides they fall down and rest on the trunk of the tree and conceal it for 18 or 20 Inches; these capillery roots now perish and the willow puts forth other roots at the surface of the ground which enter it and furnish the tree with it's wanted nutriment—    this willow never rises to any considerable sise, it is seldom seen larger than a mans arm, and scarcely every rises higher than 25 feet.    the wood is white light and tough, and is generally used by the watermen for setting poles in preference to anything else.—    as the willow incrases in size and the land gets higher 〈and more dry〉 by the annul inundations of the river, the weeker plants decline dye and give place to the cotton-wood which is it's ordinary successor, and these last in their turn also thin themselves as they become larger in a similar manner and leave the ground open for the admission of other forest trees and under brush—    these willow bars form a pleasant beacon to the navigator at that season when the banks of the river are tumbling in, as they seldom high and rearly falling in but on the contrary most usually increasing.—

No. 14.    The wide leaf willow or that species which I believe to be common to most parts of the Atlantic States.    it grows in similar situations to that discribed with rispect to the narrow leaf willow, but is never found in such abundance, it arrives to greater size some times to forty feet in hight and eighteen inches in diameter, the leave is smoth ovate, pointed, finely indented, a pale green on the upper side and of a whiteis green or silver colour underneath—    like the narrow leaf willow the leaf is widest in the middle where it is from one inch to ¾ wide.—    it bears it's seed in the manner discribed of the other and the plants ar likewise male and female.

No. 15.    Was taken on the 20th of July, a pieniel plant, an inhabitant of the open praries or plains, high situations, where the grass is low.    the flower is a pale purple colour small form a kind of button of a long conic like form which terminate it's branches which are numerous—    it grows abot 2½ or three feet high—    it is a stranger to me.—    the leaves are small and narrow, and divided into three on a stem

No. 16.    this is much the same as No. 15 with this difference that the blume of the conic tausel are white in stead of purple and it's leaves single fewer and longer—

No. 17.    Taken on the 27th of July, the appearance of the bush is much like the privy and about the same hight    it grows about the borders of the open praries    it's leaf is a deep green, ovate 1½ to 1¼ inches long ½ inch wide finely indented—    pla[n]t piennial.    the buries or fruit a small round bury of a deep perple coulour nearly black, has three seed formed like the third part of a globe split by the meeting of two plains at it's axcis.—    I do not know whether birds eat them or not.    they look handsome but tast insipid.    this is a groath with which I am not acquainted.—

No. 18.    was taken 30th July grows in the praries in high situations, it's radix 〈matrix〉 is peennial, it grows about three ½ or 4 feet high    it has a long tap root it is but little branced, it's colateral brances are short and furnished with many leaf stems which are garnished by a great number of small leaves which are attatch by pairs on either side and resemble some of the sensative bryers, tho I could not discover that this plant par took of that quality.—    it's flower is of a gloubelar form composed of a number of fibers of a yellowish white, and produces as a fruit a bunch of little pees which are all bent edgeways into the form of a semicircle and so closely connected and compressed as to form a globular figure of a curious appearance—

No. 19.    Taken at the old village of the little Osages; the seed were now ripe; it grew in great abundance in the prarie from five to six feet high; it gave the plain much the appearance of an extensive timothy meadow ready for the sythe, the small birds feed on the seed which are very abundant resembling in size shape and colour those of the 〈timothey〉 flax; when ripe they fall very easily from the stem.    the leaf of this grass does not decline or wither as many others do at the time the seed ripens but still continues succulant and green.    it continues throughout the summer to put up a succession of young succors which in turn bear a larger quantity of seed: this succession of crops continues throughout the season without the declining or withering of the stalk or leaves of the mother plant.    the horses were very fond of this grass and I am disposed to believe that it would make a valuable grass for culture.—    this grass is common in the praries or bottom lands as high as the river Platte and perhaps further—    it is a fine sweet grass and I am confident would make good hay.—

No. 20.    A specemine of wild Rye taken on the 27th of July, this grass is common to all the low praries above the Cancez river    it rises to the hight of six feet and upwards and resembles the rye extreemly in appearance the geese and ducks feed on it when young, as they do also on the grain when ripe    in September and October it produces much grain tho of an inferior quality compared with cultivated rye.—

No 21.    is another species of the wild rye    it dose not grow as tall as No. 20 neither does it like that species confine itself so much to the open ground; it is sometimes found in the timbered land.    the grain it produces is [n]either so large or so abundant as the former.—

No. 22. 23. 24 & 25.    Are various species of grasses which appear in the praries, No. 23 is the most common of any other grass, it rises to the hight of from 4 to 8 feet and never bears any flower or seed that I ever observed and suppose therefore that it must propegate by means of the root: common to all praries in this country.

No. 26.—    Taken on the 2ed of August in the parie at the Cuncil bluff. it is a species of honeysuccle; the flower is small and the tube of the flour is very small and short    they smell precisely like the English Honeysuccle so much admired in our gardens; this is a shrub and does not run or vine. the vining honesuccle which bears a red flour is also common to the Illinois and is found as high up the Missoury as the mouth of the Kancez river above which I have not observed it.—    this species of shrub Honesuccle has some of it's leaves much indented; the fruit nearly ripe when the plant is still in blume; it makes a pretty groath and is a pleasant looking pla[n]t rises to three or four feet high and limbs are much branchd.

No. 27.    taken 4th of August, and furst observed at the bald prarie—    it is beatifull plant with a variagated leaf—    these leaves incompass the flowers which are small and in the center of them; at a small distance they resemble somewhat a white rose    the leaf near the large stem is green and is edged with white; they grow smaller and more numerous as they approach the flower or the extremity of the limb.    the plant is much branched; the leaf is smoth on both sides and edge, of an ovate form and pale green colour, rises to five or six feet, is annual    at every point that it branches it has a pair of opposite leaves and from thee to four branches—

Large "convolvalist" leaf (Convolvulus sepium L.,
hedge bindweed), July 17, 1804, Codex R, p. 37
(American Philosophical Society library,
used with permission.)

No. 28.—    taken on the 17th July at the bald prarie—    is a large convolvalist a fine white colour; the vines are very extensive and run in every direction intwining themselves about the larger weeds and bending them down is [in] such manner as to make the open grownds 〈impassable〉 or praries where they grow almost impassable; the root is about the size and shape of the vine and enters it so deep that I could not find it's brances tho' I dug as much as 2 feet in surch of it.—    the leaf is of a tonge like form pale green even on the edges.    leaf thus [see figure]—

No. 29.    Taken on the 18th of July.—    an annuel plant puting up many branches from the root has a leaf like the pateridge bea[n], is jointed bears a number of yllow pea-like flowers which grow on the seed stems which project from the main branches and which are unattended with leaves; these flowers grow all arround this stem and give it the appearance of a tausell.    the [l]eaf stems ar long and have 24 par of leaves.

No. 30.    was taken at the bald praries and is common to both low and high praries    it usually grows in a single stem and appears to be an annual groath    the leaves are white and like the stem appear to be covered with a white down—    this is common to all the praries above the Kancez river; from it's resemblence in taste smell &c to the common Sage I have called it the wild Sage.—

No. 31.    Taken on the 10th of August, a species of sand rush, joined and so much branched as to form a perfect broom; it is common to every part of this river at least as far as Latitude 42 N.    it grows near the water's edge in moist sand; the horses are remarkably fond of it.

No. 〈32〉 40. —    Taken at our camp at the Maha vilage August 17th 1804.    it is a handsome plant about 3 feet high    much branched    bears a yellow circular flower carnished with meany small narrow ovate petals of the same colour, the leaf about an inch and a quarter in length thick smoth indent finely, incompassing the stalk about ⅔'s and of a tongue-like form; ynnual plant    is covered with a gumlike substance which adheres to the fingers and yealds a pleasent smell.—

No. (100)    Novr. 17th    the seed of a plant given me by the recaray chief who accompanyed us to the mandanes    he informed me that a tea of the seed was a strong diaerettic—    and that the squaws chewed them and rubed their hair with them as a perfume.

No. (101.)    the root wen pounded in either green or dryed state makes an excellent poltice for swellings or soar throat.—    information of the same chief.

No. (102)    by the information of the same chief—    is an excellent purge—    the root is dryed and pounded    in that state as much as you can hold betwen the finger and thumb thrise is a doze—    it is the growth of the open praries—    has many small stalks 2 feet high.    radix piennl

No. 103.    is the growth of the open praries—it seldom grows higher    it is said to be good for inflamed eyes    the leaves are immerced in water and being bruised with the fingers a little the water is squeezed from it and occasionally droped when could upon the eyes.—

(104 No.)    October the 16th    a dwarf cedar of the open praries    seldom ever rises more than six inches high—    it is said to be a stimilating shrub—    it is used as a tea by the Indians to produce sweat—    they would make a handsome edging to the borders of a gardin if used as the small box sometimes is.—

N 105.    seed of the Larger species of recarre tobacco pre[se]nted us by Lepoy an Indian chief of that nation commanding the middle town.

No. 106—    is the corrollars of the same prepared for smoking.    they are plucked and dryed in the shade—

No. 107.    is the seed of the smaller species.—

The recarres cultivate two species of tobacco, [1] for the purpose of smoking in which way they use it altogether as they neither snuff nor chew—

The Larger species (see specimine plants No. 108) rises to the hight of three feet.    it's round green and succulent much branched when suffered to grow singly.    in that sittuation it branches near the ground and continues to branch and rebranch as it rises at the distance of an inch or 2 inches, thus forming an infinite number of boughs at the top which are terminated by the flowers which are tubelar; trunnicated scalluped on the edges and five pointed, white colour, order, pentandria moniginia,— the leaf is of a toung-like form. 〈The indians〉 the larger of which are attached to the lower part of the stalk.    one inch wide in the broadest part, & 2½ inches long.—    the demins as they are higher on the stalk, tho' they increas in number—    The indians cultivate it in the following manner—they prepare hills at the distance of about 2½ feet from each other, and leavel the top nearly leaving it somewhat convex.    in these hills they sew the seed as early in the spring as the climate will permit them to prepare the earth say latter end of April; they keep the hill clear of weeds and grass by plucking it from among the stalks of tobacco with their fingers—and sometimes allso thin the stalks of tobacco by plucking up the weaker stalks tho they leave many stalks to grow on each hill.    when the tobacco begins to form it's seed poods it is then ready for the knife when a great portion from each hill is cut and hung on sticks untill it is nearly dry—when they form them into carrots of the thickness of a mans arm role them closely with willow bark and hang them in the smoke of their lodges to dry.    in forming the carrot, they put the butts or lower parts of the stalks together.    where the tobacco is cultivated with a view to make carrots the stalks are so thick that they do not attain a thickness at the largest part of the stem greater than that of a small quill—    They esteem much more the carraller [corolla] dryed for the purpose of smoking—and for this purpose leave some plant more widely seperated from each other—in which situation they produce a greater abundance of flowers & seed.    they begin to blume in the month of [blank] and continue untill the first frost;—during the full blume of the flower they pluck the carrallar together with the flower and discarding the latter suffer the former to dry in the shade when perfectly dryed it resembles at first view the green tea and in that state it is smoked by the indians and I found it very pleasent—    it dose not affect the nerves in the same manner that the tobacco cultivated in the U' S. dose—    The smaller species of this plant differs but little from this just discribed—    it is cultivated in the same manner and bears a flower like the other only smaller—    the only difference is the form of the leaf, which is larger (say) 4 times the size and ovate—    they dry this on sticks and use it in that manner    it is reather stronger than the large kind and is seldom made into carrots by the Recares.—

☞ it is worthy of remark that the recares never use sperituous liquors. Mr. Tibeau informed me that on a certain occasion he offered one of their considerate men a dram of sperits, telling him it's virtues—    the other replyed that he had been informed of it's effects and did not like to make himself a fool unless he was paid to do so—    that if Mr. T. wished to laugh at him & would give him a knife or breech-coloth or something of that kind he would take a glass but not otherwise.—


Donations    November 16, 1805 from Meriwether Lewis    Dried Plants &c put into Dr. B. S Bartons hands for examination

No. 1 At St. Louis May 10th 1804

2 May 10th 1804

3 May 23, 1804

4 May 25th 1804    The Cottonwood found on every part of the Missouri as high as the mandans, generally grows in the river bottoms & near is borders.—    H

5. May 27, 1804

6 May 27, 1804

7 May 27, 1804

8 May 29, 1804    This plant is known in Kentucky & many other parts of the Western Country by the name of the yellow root—    It is said to be a Sovereign remedy in a disorder common to the Inhabitants of the Country where found, usually termed Sore eyes—    frequently attended with high fever & Sometimes terminates in the loss of sight, always gives great pain & continues for a length of time in most cases. The preparation & application of the root is as follows—    having procured a quantity of the roots, wash them clean & Suffer them to dry in the Shade, break them with the fingers as fine as you conveniently can, put them in a glass vessel, taking care to fill it about ⅔ with the Broken root, then add rain or river water until the Vessel is filled, shake it frequently & it will be fit for use in the course of 6 hours. The Water must not be decanted but remaining with the root is to be frequently applied by wetting a piece of the fine linnen and touching thee Eyes gently with it—    This root has a fine aromatic bitter taste, it is probable that it might be appplied internally in many cases with good effect, but I have not learnt that any experiments have yet been made with it in that way. It makes an excellent mouth water & is an excellent outward application in cases of wounds or local application of any kind—    It is the Growth of rich bottom lands. M. Lewis


10 Usually called wild ginger    grows in rich bottom Land    June 1, 1804

11. June 3d 1804

12 The purple Currant.    1 Augt. 1804

13 Narrow leaf willow common to the borders of the Missouri    June 14, 1804

14 Broadleaf Willow found on the missouri    not So common as the Narrow leaf willow but grows much larger sometimes rising to 30 feet    June 14, 1804

15 found in the open plains—    20 July, 1804    H

16 same as No 16    H

17 found on the Edges of the Prairies, rises about 8 foot high    the leaf is a deep green, the bush has a handsome appearance with its fruit—    27 July, 1804    H

18. growth of the high plains taken the 30 July, 1804.    H

20 S. 〈gr:〉

20. # Growth of the rich Prairie bottoms found 27 July, 1804    S. 〈gr.〉

21 Another Speecis of the wild Rye it does not grow as tall as No 20 S    27 July

22, 〈23, 24,〉 S    No 22, 23, 24, 25 are various Species of grass which grow in the prarie Bottom lands of the Missouri    No 23 is the most common    it rises to the height of 4 & 5 feet & never bears any Seed or flower, it propagates itself by the root—    27 July


24—    H

25 H

26 H

26 #

26 Ø Species of Honey Suckle common to the prairies    this Specimen was obtained at the Council Bluffs 2d Aug. 1804    H

27 Growth of the Prairie Bottoms taken on the 4th Aug. 1804

28          Do—          Do—          15 July 1804

29 Growth of the open praries 18 July 1804

30.       Do—       Do—    13 July

No 31. Growth of the Sand Bars near the Banks of the Rivers    10 Aug 1804

32 Specimens of the aromatic plants on which the Antelope feeds    these wer obtained 21 Sep. 1804 at the upper part of the Big bend of the Missouri—    H

33 an evergreen plant which grows usually in the open plains, the natives smoke its leaves mixed with Tobacco called by the french engages Sacacommé    obtained at Fort Mandon

34 The leaf of Oak which is common to the Prairies.    5 Sep. 1804

35. Sept. 18 The Growth of the Prairies    H

36 Sept. 18 Growth of the high Prairies—

37 Sept. 22       Do—       Do—

38 Oct. 15, 1804—    Growth of the high Prairies or Plains—

A 39 Obtained at the mouth of the River Quicoarre from which place upwards, it is abundant in the Missouri bottoms, it is a pleasant Berry to eat, it has much the flavor of the Cranbury & continues on the bush thro' the Winter    This is an Evergreen shrub—

Some plants are sent down by the barge to the care of Capt Stoddart at St. Louis—    H

40. 17 Aug 1804    Growth of Prairies at our Camp near the old Maha Village 〈the Gr〉    H

41. 2d Sep. 1804    on the Bluffs    grows in open high Situations    H

42. 27th Augt.    At the Chalk Bluff    grows in the mineral earth at the base of the Hill    H

43. 25th Augt.    Growth of the open Prairies.—    H

44 Sepr 1st.       Do—       Do    H

45. Oct. 12.    Specimen of Tobacco the Indians cultivate called Ricaras Tobacco—    at the Ricares Town

46. Sep. 15, 1804    The growth of the Upper Prairis    H

47 Oct. 17    Species of Juniper common to the Bluffs    H

48. Oct. 17    a Decoction of this plant used by the Indians to wash their Wounds.—    103

49. Oct. 16 (104)    never more than 6 Inches high    Dwarf Cedar.

50—    Oct. 18    The small rose of the Prairies    it rises from 12 to 14 Inch high    does not vine    H

51. Oct. 3d 1804    Radix Perennial    three to 8 Stalks as high as the specimen growth of the high sides of the Bluff (Camomile taste)

52. Sep. 15 1804    Growth of the plains.    H

53 Oct. 3d    Flavor like the Cammomile    Radix Perennial—    High Bluffs

53 (A) Sep. 2    The Indians use it as an application to fresh wounds they bruise the leaves add a little water & use it—

54. Oct. 2d    grows from 18 Inches to 2½ feet    many stalks from the same root, from which they issue near the ground    The Radix perennial—    The goat or antelope feed on it in the winter, it is the growth of the high bluffs    S    H

55 Oct. 2d 1804    Growth of the high Bluffs

56 Oct. 2d 1804.    Growth of the open plains

57 Oct. 1, 1804    first discovered in the neighborhood of the Kancez River—now very common, the growth of the little Cops, which appear on the steep declivities of the Hills where they are sheltered from the ravages of the fire.    H

58. 2d Oct. 1804    A species of Cedar found on the Bluffs the trees of which are large, some 6 feet in the Girth—    H

58. 12 Sepr.    growth of the high dry Prairie    H

59—    19th Sepr. 1804    The growth of the high & bare Prairies which produce little Grass—    Generally mineral earth    H

59. Growth of moist & very wet prairies—    8 Sep. H

60. Oct 1, 1804—    another variety of wild Sage growth of High & bottom Prairies—    H


61 Wild Prairie Timothy Seeds    H

62 Seeds of a Species of Pine with a Pod    H

The Fang of a Rattle Snake, they are abundant on the Missouri

Specimen of the fur of the Antelope, this animal affords but little, it is intermixed with the coarse hair & is not perceptible but by close examination—

Two Small quadrupeds.

a few Insects

The Corolla of the Indian Tobacco as prepared for the purpoe of Smoking by the Mandans, Ricaras, Minetares & Ahwahhaways, in this State it is mixed with a small quantity of Buffaloes Tallow, previous to charging the pipe—    It is esteemed a great delicacy among these people, they dispose of it to their neighbors the Assinouboins & others who visit them for the purpose of Traffick from whom they obtain a high price—


1804 Dates

Approximate Location
Current Scientific and
Common Names
1 May 10 St. Louis, MO perhaps Thlaspi arvense L.
(field pennycress naturalized
from Europe)
2 May 22 above St. Charles, St.
Charles County
, MO
3 May 23 near mouth of Femme
Osage River
, St.
Charles County
, MO
Amorpha fruiticosa L.
(false indigo)
4 May 25 near Marthasville,
Warren County, MO
Populus deltoides Marsh. var.
5 May 27 near mouth of
Gasconade River,
Gasconade County,
Possibly one of the following
species of Rorippa:
a. R. palustris (L.) Bess.
   (bog yellow cress)
b. R. sessiliflora (Nutt.) Hitchc.
   (sessile-flowered cress)
c. R. sinuata (Nutt.) Hitchc.
   (spreading yellow cress)
6 May 27 near mouth of
Gasconade River
unknown, but no native
species of rape or kale
7 May 27 about ten miles below
mouth of Gasconade
8 May 29 near Osage-Gasconade
county line, MO
Hydrastis canadensis L.
(golden seal, yellowroot)
9 May 30 near Osage-Gasconade
country line
10 June 1 mouth of Osage River
Osage-Cole county
line, MO
Asarum canadense L.
(wild ginger)
11 June 3 east of Jefferson City,
Cole County, MO
Astragalus crassicarpa Nutt.
var. berlandieri Barneb.
(ground plum, buffalo bean)
13 June 14 near Miami, Saline
, MO
Salix exigua Nutt. ssp. interior
(Rowlee) Cronq.
(sandbar, or coyote, willow)
14 June 14 near Miami Salix amygdaloides Anderss.
(peach-leaved willow)
19 undated,
June 16?
Carroll County, MO
opposite Lafayette-
Saline county line
Phalaris arundinacea L.
(reed canarygrass)
61 undated,
June 16?
Carroll County,
opposite Lafayette-
Saline county line
Phalaris arundinacea L.
(reed canarygrass)
30 July 13 above Rulo,
Richardson County,
Artemisia ludoviciana Nutt.
var. ludoviciana
(white sage)
28 July 15
or 17
near Iowa-Missouri
state line
Convolvulus sepium L.
(hedge bindweed)
29 July 18 near Nebraska City,
Otoe County, NE
Cassia fasciulata Michx.
(partridge pea)
15 July 20 near Cass-Otoe county
line, NE
Petalostemon purpureum
(Vent.) Rydb.
(purple prairie clover)
16 undated,
July 20?
near Cass-Otoe county
Petalostemon candidum (Willd.)
(white prairie clover)
17 July 27 near Bellevue, Sarpy
, NE
20 July 27 near Bellevue Elymus canadensis L.
(Canada wild rye)
21 July 27 near Bellevue Elymus virginicus L.
(Virginia wild rye) or
E. villosus Muhl.
(slender wild rye)
22 July 27 near Bellevue unknown
23 July 27 near Bellevue Andropogon gerardi Vitman
(big bluestem)
24 July 27 near Bellevue unknown
25 July 27 near Bellevue unknown
18 July 30 near Fort Calhoun,
Washington County,
Desmanthus illinoensis (Michx.)
12 August 1 near Fort Calhoun Ribes americanum Mill.
(wild black currant)
26 August 2 near Fort Calhoun Symphoricarpos occidentalis
(western snowberry) or
S. orbiculatus Moench
27 August 4 near Blair, Washington
, NE
Euphorbia marginata Pursh
31 August 10 near Decatur, Burt
, NE
Equisetum arvense L.
(field horsetail)
40 August 17 south of Dakota City,
Dakota County, NE
Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh)
Dun. var. squarrosa
(curly-top gumweed)
43 August 25 near Vermillion, Clay
, SD
Cleome serrulata Pursh
(Rocky Mountain bee plant)
42 August 27 near Yankton,
Yankton County, SD
Psoralea lanceolata Pursh
(lemon scurf pea)
44 September
west of Yankton
Bon Homme
county line, SD
Mirabilis nyctaginea (Michx.)
(wild four o'clock)
41 September
near Springfield,
Bon Homme
, SD
Artemisia frigida Willd.
(prairie sagewort)
53 A September
near Springfield Petalostemum purpureum
(Vent.) Rydb.
(purple prairie clover)
39 A undated,
mouth of Nio-
brara River
, Knox
, NE
Shepherdia argentea (Pursh)
34 September
near Verdel, Knox
, NE
Quercus macrocarpa Michx.
(bur oak)
59 [a] September
near NebraskaSouth
Zizania aquatic L.
(wild rice)
58 [a] September
near Charles Mix
Brule county line,
Liatris aspera Michx.
(rough gayfeather)
46 September
near mouth of
White River
Astragalus canadensis L. var.
mortoni (Nutt.) S. Wats.
(Canada milkvetch)
52 September
near mouth of
White River
Artemisia dracunculus L.
(silky wormwood)
35 September
near Chamberlain,
Brule County, SD
Liatris pycnostachya Michx.
(tall blazing star gayfeather)
36 September
near Chamberlain Astragalus missouriensis Nutt.
(Missouri milkvetch)
59 [b] September
lower part of Big
Bend of Missouri
Buffalo County, SD
Chrysothamnus nauseosus (Pursh)
Britt. & Rusby
(broom snakeweed)
32 September
upper part of Big
Bend of Missouri
Hughes County, SD
Gutierrezia sarothrae (Pursh)
Britt. & Rusby
(broom snakeweed)
37 September 22 near Lyman-Stanley
County line, SD
57 October 1 near mouth of
Cheyenne River,
Stanley County, SD
Rhus aromatica Air. var.
trilobata (Nutt.) Gray
(aromatic sumac)
60 October 1 near mouth of
Cheyenne River
Artemisia cana Pursh
(silversage, hoary
54 October 2 near Sully-Potter
county line
Chrysothmnus nauseosus
(Pall.) Britt. ssp. graveolens
(Nutt.) Piper
(rabbit brush)
55 October 2 near Sully-Potter
county line
Artemisia cana Pursh
(silversage, hoary
56 October 2 near Sully-Potter
county line
Artemisia cana Pursh
(silversage, hoary
58 [b] October 2 near Sully-Potter
county line
Juniperus scopulorum Sarg.
(Rocky Mountain red
51 October 3 near Sully-Potter
county line
Artemisia frigida Willd.
(prairie sagewort)
53 October 3 near Sully-Potter
county line
Artemisia longifolia Nutt.
(long leaf sage)
45 October 12 above Walworth-
Campbell line, SD
Nicotiana quadrivalvis
(Indian tobacco)
38 October 15 near Fort Yates,
Sioux County, ND
Poinsettia cyathophora
Klotzsch & Garcke
(same as
October 16 near Little Beaver
, Emmons
, ND
Juniperus horizontalis
(creeping juniper)
47 October 17 below mouth of
Cannon Ball River,
Sioux County, ND
Juniperns communis L.
(dwarf juniper)
(same as
October 17 below mouth of
Cannon Ball River
Psoralea argophylla Pursh
(silver-leaf scurf pea)
50 October 18 near mouth of
Cannon Ball River
probably Rosa arkansana
(prairie wild rose)
33 undated at Fort Mandan Arctostaphylos uva-ursi L.
100 November 17 at Fort Mandan Aquilegia canadensis L.
62 undated unknown
101 undated Echinacea angustifolia DC.
(narrow leaf purple
102 undated unknown
(same as
undated Psoralea argophylla Pursh
(silver-leaf scurf pea)
(same as
undated Juniperus horizontalis
(creeping juniper)
105 undated Nicotiana quadrivalvis
(Indian tobacco)
106 undated Nicotiana quadrivalvis
(Indian tobacco)
107 undated possibly Nicotiana rustica
L. var. pumila Schrank
(small Arikara tobacco)
108 undated Nicotiana quadrivalvis
(Indian tobacco)
1. The mention of seeds of two varieties of tobacco cultivated by the Arikaras has not been entirely resolved. Voucher 105 is the seed of the larger tobacco variety and 107 is the seed of the smaller variety. The large variety, based on Lewis's excellent description, is clearly Nicotiana quadrivalvis Pursh. The voucher specimen 45 is the plant with flowers. The small variety, described by Lewis as being similar but with smaller flowers, and with larger, ovate leaves, is very different and fits the description of Nicotiana rustica L. var. pumila Schrank. Goodspeed, 356; Cronquist et al., 72. This is important primary evidence that two different species of tobacco were cultivated by the Arikaras. Cf. Gilmore (UPI), 61–62; Gilmore (SCAT), 480–81. Unfortunately, Lewis did not collect a specimen of this smaller species. The tobacco seeds were returned to Jefferson and apparently cultivated in the gardens of William Hamilton and Bernard McMahon. Jackson (LLC), 1:238–39 n. 17, 269, 356, 357 n. 1, 2:389, 392 n. 1, 529. (back)