April 16, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

April 16, 1805


Set out very early this morning. Capt. Clark walked on Shore this morning, and killed an Antelope, rejoined us at ½ after eight A. M.—    he informed me that he had seen many Buffaloe Elk and deer in his absence, and that he had met with a great number of old hornets nests [1] in the woody bottoms through which he had passed.—    the hills of the river still continue extreemly broken for a few miles back, when it becomes a fine level country of open fertile lands    immediately on the river there are many fine leavel extensive and extreemly fertile high plains and meadows. I think the quantity of timbered land on the river is increasing.    the mineral appearances still continue. I met with several stones today that had the appearance of wood first carbonated and then petrefyed by the water of the river, which I have discovered has that effect on many vegitable substances when exposed to it's influence for a length of time. [2]    I believe it to be the stratas of Coal seen in those hills which causes the fire and birnt appearances frequently met with in this quarter.    where those birnt appearances are to be seen in the face of the river bluffs, the coal is seldom seen, and when you meet with it in the neighbourhood of the stratas of birnt earth, the coal appears to be presisely at the same hight, and is nearly of the same thickness, togeter with the sand and a sulphurious substance which ususually accompanys it. [3]    there was a remarkable large beaver caught by one of the party last night.    these anamals are now very abundant. I have met with several trees which have been felled by them 20 Inches in diameter.    bark is their only food; and they appear to prefer that of the Cotton wood and willow; as we have never met with any other species of timber on the Missouri which had the appearance of being cut by them.—    we passed three small creeks on the Stard. side. [4]    they take their rise in the river hills at no great distance.    we saw a great number of geese today, both in the plains and on the river—    I have observed but few ducks, those we have met with are the Mallard and blue winged Teal. [5]

Courses and distances of 16th April. [6]
S. 80° W. to a point of woodland on the Stard. side   3
N. 36 W. to a point of woodland on the Lard. side   2 ½
S. 60 W. to a point of wood on the Stad. side, opposite to a bluff which
commences 1 mile below on the Lard. side

  3 ½
N. 25 W. to a point of woodland on the Lard. side   2 ½
S. 70 W. to a point of woodland on the Lard. side, passing a point of
wood and large sand bar on the Stard. side

S 65 W. along the Lard point of woods to our encampment of this
  miles 18

Note. The distances we are obliged to pass around the sand bars is much greater than those here stated from point to point.—


Wind harm from the S. E    I walked on Shore and Killed an antilope which was verry meagre, Saw great numbers of Elk & some buffalow & Deer, a verry large Beaver Cought this morning. Some verry handsom high planes & extensive bottoms, the mineral appearances of Coal & Salt together with Some appearance of Burnt hils continue.    a number of old hornets nests Seen in every bottom more perticularly in the one opposit to the place we camped this night— [7]    the wooded bottoms are more extensive to day than Common.    passed three Small Creeks on the S. S. to day which take their rise in the hills at no great distance, Great numbers of Gees in the river & in the Plains feeding on the Grass.

Course Distance &c. April 16th
S. 80° W.   3 miles to a point of wood land on the Sd. Side.
N. 36° W.   2 ½ miles to a point of wood land on the L. Side
S. 60° W.   3 ½ miles to a point of wood on the Sd. Side opsd. a bluff which
commences 1 mile below on the Larboard Side.
N. 25° W.   2 ½ miles to a pt. of wood land on the L. Side.
S. 70° W.   6 miles to a point of Wood land on the L. Side, passing a
point of wood land on the Sd. Side, passing a large Sand
bar Sd.
S 65° W.      ½ a mile along the L. Point of wood.

Tuesday 16th April 1805.    a clear pleasant morning    we Set off eairly as usal.    proceeded on    the wind gentle from S. E.    passed a Sand beach on the N. S. covered with Ice in Some heaps    it lay 4 feet thick where the Ice was drove in When the river broke up. Capt. Clark walked on Shore on S. S.    came to us at breakfast had killed a antilope or Goat.    we Saw a gang of buffaloe on a Side hill on the S. S. also a gang of Elk near them. See one Elk in a bottom near where we breakfasted.    one of the party by the name of John Colter caught a verry large fat beaver in a Steel trap last night.    proceeded on    The trees are puting out Green.    the Grass begin to Grow in the bottoms & plains which look beautiful.    we Sailed Some with a Southerly flawey wind. [8]    the river crooked So that we could not Sail much of the time    Saw Some Scatering Sizeable Stone on the Sides of the hills.    halted about 7 oClock to dine at a bottom covered with c. w. timber on the N. S.    proceeded on    passed Several bottoms and plains on each Side of the river.    came 17 miles as the courses was taken but by water the way we came it was about 26. Camped [9] at a point called Grand point on the South Side. Saw different gangs of Elk S. S.


Tuesday 16th.    We had a clear pleasant day; and in the early part of it, a fair gentle wind. Captain Clarke went out and killed a Cabre or Antelope, the same kind of an animal, which we before called a goat. The wind became flawy, [10] and the sailing bad. After making 18 miles we encamped on the South side in a point of woods called the Grand point.


Tuesay April 16th    This morning we started early on our Voyage.    The Weather was Cool and clear; we proceeded on with all Sails set, having a fine breeze from the South East, We encamped in the Evening on the South side of the Mesouri, having sail'd 27 Miles this day.—

1. Perhaps the baldfaced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata. Werner et al., 57. (back)
2. The party is passing through country underlain by the Paleocene Bullion Creek (Tongue River) Formation, but the petrified (silicified) wood comes from the overlying Sentinel Butte Formation. It has either been washed downstream by the river or has rolled down the river hills to the bottoms. The petrified wood comes from trees that grew during the Paleocene. The water of the Missouri River contains salts that might help retard spoilage or decay of vegetable matter, but it has no petrification properties. (back)
3. The Bullion Creek Formation also contains lignite coal. When the coal burns, it is largely destroyed, but as the overlying clay or shale are baked and fused, they collapse into the area formerly occupied by the coal. Thus, they occupy approximately the same level as the unburned coal. The sulphurous substance may be yellow-colored sand or sandstone, but there is very little sulphur in this formation. (back)
4. The first is evidently White Earth River, in Mountrail County, North Dakota, a more significant stream than indicated on Atlas maps 34, 47, 56, where it and the second creek appear nameless. This is not the stream the captains called White Earth River (see below, April 21, 1805). The last stream, "Hornet Creek" on Clark's maps, is probably Beaver Creek, in Williams County. Mattison (GR), 54; MRC map 57. (back)
5. The blue-winged teal, Anas discors [AOU, 140]. (back)
6. Also given on Atlas map 34, in Lewis's hand. (back)
7. In McKenzie County, North Dakota, a little above Beaver Creek on the other side. Mattison (GR), 54; Atlas maps 34, 47, 56; MRC map 57. (back)
8. Flawy or gusty. (back)
9. In McKenzie County, North Dakota, a little above Beaver Creek on the opposite side. Expedition maps show a Grand, or Great, Bend some distance above this camp. (back)
10. Gusty. (back)