April 10, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

April 10, 1805


Set out at an early hour this morning    at the distance of three miles passed some Minetares who had assembled themselves on the Lard shore to take a view of our little fleet. Capt Clark walked on shore today, for several hours, when he returned he informed me that he had seen a gang of Antelopes [1] in the plains but was unable to get a shoot at them    he also saw some geese and swan. [2]    the geese are now feeding in considerable numbers on the young grass which has sprung up in the bottom praries—the Musquetoes were very troublesome to us today. The country on both sides of the missouri from the tops of the river hills, is one continued level fertile plain as far as the eye can reach, in which there is not even a solitary tree or shrub to be seen except such as from their moist situations or the steep declivities of hills are sheltered from the ravages of the fire. at the distance of 12 miles from our encampment of last night we arrived at the lower point of a bluff on the Lard side; about 1½ miles down this bluff from this point, the bluff is now on fire and throws out considerable quantities of smoke which has a strong sulphurious smell. [3]    the appearance of the coal in the blufs continues as yesterday.    at 1 P.M. we overtook three french hunters who had set out a few days before us with a view of traping beaver; they had taken 12 since they left Fort Mandan.    these people avail themselves of the protection which our numbers will enable us to give them against the Assinniboins who sometimes hunt on the Missouri and intend ascending with us as far as the mouth of the Yellow stone river and continue there hunt up that river.    this is the first essay of a beaver hunter of any discription on this river.    the beaver these people have already taken is by far the best I have ever seen.    the river bottoms we have passed to-day are wider and possess more timber than usual—the courant of the Missouri is but moderate, at least not greater than that of the Ohio in high tide; it's banks are falling in but little; the navigation is therefore comparitively with it's lower portion easy and safe.—    we encamped this evening on a willow point, Stard. side just above a remarkable bend in the river to the S. W. which we called the little bason.— [4]

  Courses and distances of this day. [5] miles
S. 45. W. to a point of timbered land on the Std. Sid   3
W. to a point of timbered land on the Lard. sid.   3
S. 72 W. to a tree in a bend on the Stard. side   2
S. 32 W. to a point of woods on the Stard side   4
W. on the Stad point      ½
N. 40 W. on the Stard point      ½
N. 50 E. to a point on the Lard side, opposite to a low bluff   2
S. 52 W. to a point on the Stard. side opposite to a bluf, above
which a small creek falls in.
  3 ½
    18 ½

Set out verry early.    the morning cool and no wind    proceeded on passed a camp of Inds. on the L. S.    this day proved to be verry worm, the Misquetors troublesom. I Saw Several Antilope on the S. S. also gees & Swan, we over took 3 french men Trappers    The countrey to day as usial except that the points of Timber is larger than below, the Coal Continue to day, one man Saw a hill on fire at no great distance from the river, we camped on the S. S. just above a remarkable bend in the river to the S W, which we call the little bason .

Course Distance & reffurences the 10th
S. 45° W.   3 miles to a pt. of timbered land on the S. S.
West   3 miles to a pt. of timbered land on the L. S.
S 72° W.   2 miles to a tree in an elevated plain in the bend to the S. S.
S. 32° W.   4 miles to a pt. of wood on the S. S.
West      ½ a mile on the S. point.
N. 40° W.      ½ a mile on the S. point.
N. 50°E   2 miles to a pt. on the L. S. opsd. a low bluff.
S 52° W   3 ½ miles to a pt. on the S. S. opsd. a bluff above which a Small
creek falls in [6]
  18 ½  

Wednesday 10th April 1805.    we Set off eairly.    a clear and pleasant morning.    proceeded on    passed a handsome high plain on N. S. and a beautiful bottom covered with c. wood    the current Swift.    we halted for breakfast at 10 oClock above a falling in Sand bank & a Small willow Island, proceeded on a Short distance further. Saw the track of a verry large white bare. Capt. Clark & G. Drewyer went out hunting on S. S. in a bottom of timber.    bare hills on N. S.    we Saw a nomber of large Eagles which had nested on large cottonwood trees.    the wind raised from West.    about one oClock we overtook 3 frenchmen who were trapping for beaver on the river.    they had Caught 12 beaver in a fiew days    they were fat    they Gave us the tails and Some of the meat which eat verry Good; at 2 oClock we halted took dinner.    one of our men Shot a bald Eagle. [7]    I took the quills to write.    proceeded on    Capt. Clark killed a prarie hen & joined us. Saw two large Elk in a bottom on S. S.    passed round a verry crooked bend in the River, and Camped on a Sand beach on N. S. of the River.    about 27 mls. to day as.—


Wednesday 10th.    We proceeded again early, and had rapid water and a great many sand-bars; but a fine pleasant day. Having proceeded about nineteen miles we encamped on the North side.


Wednesday April 10th    We set off at day light, and passed a party of the Big belly or Gross Vaunters Indians hunting on the South side of the River, We proceeded on 'till Evening & encamped on the North side of the River, distance come this day 17 Miles.—

1. The pronghorn, Antilocapra americana. (back)
2. The geese are probably Canada geese, Branta canadensis [AOU, 172]; the swans could be either Cygnus buccinator [AOU, 181], trumpeter swan, or C. columbianus [AOU, 180], tundra, or whistling, swan. Someone drew vertical lines through the next sentence, apparently in red. (back)
3. This area, in Mercer County, North Dakota, is on the fringe of the Badlands. Prarie fires and spontaneous combustion of methane in the coal, itself, occasionally cause coal beds to burn. These fires sometimes burn for many years. There is very little sulphur in the Sentinel Butte Formation, but it is sufficient to be recognized as sulphur dioxide when burned. (back)
4. Just above the later site of Fort Berthold, in McLean County, North Dakota, and now under Garrison Reservoir. Mattison (GR), 38; Atlas maps 33, 46, 55; MRC map 53. (back)
5. Also given on Atlas map 33, in Clark's hand. (back)
6. Nameless on Atlas maps 33, 46, 55, this stream may be later Little Beaver, or Pretty, Creek, in Mercer County. MRC map 54. (back)
7. Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus. (back)