April 15, 1805
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April 15, 1805


Set out at an early hour this morning. I walked on shore, and Capt. Clark continued with the party it being an invariable rule with us not to be both absent from our vessels at the same time. I passed through the bottoms of the river on the Stard. side.    they were partially covered with timber & were extensive, level and beatifull.    in my walk which was about 6 miles I passed a small rivulet of clear water making down from the hills, which on tasting, I discovered to be in a small degree brackish.    it possessed less of the glauber salt, or alumn, than those little streams from the hills usually do.—    in a little pond of water fromed by this rivulet where it entered the bottom, I heard the frogs crying for the first time this season; [1] their note was the same with that of the small frogs which are common to the lagoons and swam[p]s of the U States.—    I saw great quantities of gees feeding in the bottoms, of which I shot one.    saw some deer and Elk, but they were remarkably shy. I also met with great numbers of Grouse or prarie hens [2] as they are called by the English traders of the N. W.    these birds appeared to be mating; the note of the male is kuck, kuck, kuck, coo, coo, coo.    the first part of the note both male and female use when flying.    the male also dubbs [EC: drums] [NB: with his wings] something like the pheasant, but by no means as loud.    after breakfast Capt. Clark walked on the Std. shore, and on his return in the evening gave me the following account of his ramble. [3] "I assended to the high country, about 9 miles distant from the Missouri.    the country consists of beatifull, level and fertile plains, destitute of timber    I saw many little dranes, which took their rise in the river hills, from whence as far as I could see they run to the N. E."    these streams we suppose to be the waters of Mous river a branch of the Assinniboin which the Indians informed us approaches the Missouri very nearly, about this point. "I passed," continued he, ["]a Creek about 20 yards wide, [4] which falls into the Missouri; the bottoms of this creek are wide level and extreemly fertile, but almost entirely desitute of timber.    the water of this creek as well as all those creeks and rivulets which we have passed since we left Fort Mandan was so strongly impregnated with salts and other miniral substances that I was incapable of drinking it. I saw the remains of several camps of the Assinniboins; near one of which, in a small ravene, there was a park which they had formed of timber and brush, for the purpose of taking the Cabrie or Antelope.    it was constructed in the following manner.    a strong pound was first made of timbers, on one side of which there was a small apparture, sufficiently large to admit an Antelope; from each side of this apparture, a curtain was extended to a considerable distance, widening as they receded from the pound.—"    we passed a rock this evening standing in the middle of the river, and the bed of the river was formed principally of gravel.    we encamped this evening on a sand point on Lard. side. [5]    a little above our encampment the river was confined to a channel of 80 yards in width.—

  Courses and distances of the 15th April. [6] miles
N. to a point of wood on Lard. side, opposite to a high hill   2
N. 18 W. to a point of wood on the Stard. side opposite to the lower
point of an Island in a Lard. bend of the river

N. 20 E to a bluff point on Stard passed the upper part of the Island
at 2 miles

  3 ¼
N. 30 E. to a point of woodland on Lard. side.   2 ½
N. 10 W. on the Lard. point      ½
N. 15 W. on the Lard. point      ¼
N. 12 W. to the lower part of a bluff on the Stad. side, passing a creek
on Stard

  1 ½
N. 52 W. to a high bluff on the Stad. side   2
N. 75 W. to a point of woodland on the Stard Sid   3
N. 16 W. to a point of Woodland on Lard. side   3
  miles 23

Point of Observation No. 4.
Apl. 15th 1805.

On the Stad. shore, one mile above the extremity of the 2cd course of this day, I took two altitudes of the Sun with Sextant and artificial horizon.—

  Time       Altitudes
A. M. h     m      s    
    9    9    33   69°   20'   45"
  10    3    28   84    24    15

Chronometer to fast at the time of observation on mean time


Set out at an early hour, Captn Lewis walked on Shore and Killed a goose, passed a Island in a bend to the L. S.    the wind hard from the S. E.    after brackfast I walked on Shore and assended to the high Countrey on the S. S. and off from the Missouri about three miles    the countrey is butifull open fertile plain the dreans take theer rise near the Clifts of the river and run from the river in a N E derection as far as I could See, this is the part of the River which Mouse river the waters of Lake Winnipec approaches within a fiew miles of 〈the〉 Missouri, and I believe those dreans lead into that river.    we passed a creek about 20 yds. wide on the S. S.    the bottoms of this Creek is extensive & fertile, the water of this as also, all the Streams which head a fiew miles in the hills discharge water which is black & unfit for use (and can Safely Say that I have not Seen one drop of water fit for use above fort Mandan except Knife and the little Missouris Rivers and the Missouri, the other Streams being So much impregnated with mineral as to be verry disagreeble in its present State.[)]    I saw the remains of Several Camps of ossinniboins, near one of those camps & at no great distance from the mouth of the aforesid Creek, in a hollow, I saw a large Strong pen made for the purpose of Catching the antelope, with wings projecting from it widining from the pen

Saw Several gangs of Buffalow and Some elk at a distance, a black bear [7] Seen from the Perogues to day—    passed a rock in the Middle of the river, Some Smaller rocks from that to the L. Shore, the dog that came to us yesterday morning continues to follow us, we camped on a Sand point to the L. S.

Course distance &c. the 15th of April
North   2 m. to a pt. of wood on the Ld. Sid. a high hill on the Sd. Sid.
N. 18° W   5 miles to a point of wood on the Sd. Sid. opsd. the lower
point of an Island L. Bend
N. 20° E   3 ¼ miles to a Bluff point on the Sd. Sid.    passed the upper
part of the Island at 2 miles
N. 30° E.   2 ½ miles to a point of wood land on the L. Side
N. 10° W      ½ a mile on the Lad. point
N. 15° W.      ¼ of a mile on the L. pt.    here the waters of Mous river is
N. 12° W.   1 ½ miles to the lower part of a Bluff on the Sd. Side passing a
Creek on the S. Side. Goat pen Creek
N. 52° W.   2 miles to a high Bluff on the Sd. Side
N. 75° W.   3 miles to a pt. of wood land on the S. Side
N. 16° W.   3 miles to a point of woods on the L. S.

Monday 15th April 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    we Set off eairly.    proceeded on. Sailed under a fine breeze from the S. E.    passed Several runs on each Side of the river and handsome bottoms plains hills & vallies &.c.    we Saw flocks of Goats on S. S. and Gangs of buffaloe on Sand beach S. S. Saw a large black bair and 2 white ones on the N. S. Capt. Clark was near Shooting one of the white ones. Sailed on    one man killed a Goose.    came 22 miles this day.    the river Shallow    only about 8 feet deep in some places.    we poled across in one place with a Small canoe.    passd. goat pen creek [8] on N. S. & the river is nearly as wide here as it was at St. Charles near its mouth. Camped on a large Sand beach on the South Side of the river.—


Monday 15th.    We had a pleasant day and a fair wind; set forward early as usual, and went on very well. Passed a large creek on the North side, called Goat-pen creek. We saw a number of buffaloe and two bears on the bank of the river. After going 23 miles we encamped on the South side.


Monday April 15th    We set off this Morning, having a fresh breeze from the N-East    about 8 o'Clock it veered round to the South East, and blew moderately.—    We proceeded on, and passed a small River, and a Creek; [9] lying both on the North side of the River, and encamped in the Evening, on the bank of the River on the North side.—

1. Probably the striped chorus frog, Pseudacris triseriata. Benson (HLCE), 88. (back)
2. The sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308], which Lewis compares to a pheasant, the ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus [AOU, 300], with which he was already familiar. Coues (HLC), 1:274 n. 15; Burroughs, 211–13. Someone drew a vertical line through this passage, apparently in red. (back)
3. Clark's route is marked by a dotted line on Atlas map 47 and incompletely on Atlas map 56. (back)
4. Clark named it Goat Pen Creek on Atlas maps 34, 47, 56, after the Indian pen, or pound, for catching pronghorns which he found on it. It is now the Little Knife River, in Mountrail County, North Dakota. Mattison (GR), 51–52; MRC map 56. (back)
5. In McKenzie County, North Dakota, a site now under Garrison Reservoir. Atlas maps 34, 47, 56; MRC map 47. (back)
6. Also given on Atlas map 34, in both captains' hands. (back)
7. Ursus americanus. Cf. Lewis's entry of May 22, 1805. Burroughs, 52. (back)
8. Little Knife River, Mountrail County, North Dakota. Clark named the creek after the Indian pen, or pound, for catching pronghorns which he found there. (back)
9. Whitehouse adds a second stream that no one else has. The river is Little Knife River. (back)