April 17, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

April 17, 1805


A delightful morning, set out at an erly hour.    the country though which we passed to day was much the same as that discribed of yesterday; there wase more appearance of birnt hills, furnishing large quanties of lava and pumice stone, [1] of the latter some pieces were seen floating down the river. Capt. Clark walked on shore this morning on the Stard. side, and did not join us untill 〈near sunset〉 half after six in evening.    he informed me that he had seen the remains of the Assinniboin encampments in every point of woodland through which he had passed.    we saw immence quantities of game in every direction around us as we passed up the river; consisting of herds of Buffaloe, Elk, and Antelopes with some deer and woolves.    tho' we continue to see many tracks of the bear we have seen but very few of them, and those are at a great distance generally runing from us; I thefore presume that they are extreemly ware and shy; the Indian account of them dose not corrispond with our experience so far.    one black bear passed near the perogues on the 16th and was seen by myself and the party but he so quickly disappeared that we did not shoot at him.—    at the place we halted to dine on the Lard. side we met with a herd of buffaloe of which I killed the fatest as I concieved among them, however on examining it I found it so poar that I thought it unfit for uce and only took the tongue; the party killed another which was still more lean.    just before we encamped this evening we saw some tracks of Indians who had passed about 24 hours; they left four rafts of tim[ber] on the Stard. side, on which they had passed.    we supposed them to have been a party of the Assinniboins who had been to war against the rocky mountain Indians, and then on their return.    Capt. Clark saw a Curlou today. [2]    there were three beaver taken this morning by the party. the men prefer the flesh of this anamal, to that of any other which we have, or are able to procure at this moment. I eat very heartily of the beaver myself, and think it excellent; particularly the tale, and liver.    we had a fair wind today which enabled us to sail the greater part of the distance we have travled, encamped on the Lard shore the extremity of the last course [3]

Courses and distances of the 17th [4]
S. 70 W. to a point of willows on the Stard. side   3
S. 75 W. along the Stard. point, opposite to a bluff      ½
N. 75 W. to a wood in a bend on the Std. side   3
N. 50 W. to a point of woodland Stard. side   3 ½
S. 60 [5] W. to a point of woodland on Stard. side opposite to a bluff
on Lard, just above which, a creek falls in on the Lard.
about 10 yards wide.

N. 80 W. to a willow point on the Lard. side.   3 ¼
S. 85 W. to a point of woodland Lard. opposite to a bluff on Stard.

  3 ¾
West Along the Lard. point, opposite to a high bluff above
which a small run falls in

S. 40 W. along the same point of woodland Lard. side   1
S. 30 W. along the Lard side to a willow point      ¼
S. 14 W. to the upper part of the high timber on the stard. side   4
S. 28 W. to a point of woodland on the Lard. side where we en-
camped for the night

  Miles 26

a fine morning    wind from the S E. Genly    to day handsom high extencive rich Plains on each Side, the mineral appearances continue with greater appearances of Coal, much greater appearance of the hills having been burnt, more Pumice Stone & Lava washed down to the bottoms and some Pumice Stone floating in the river, I walked on the S. S. Saw great numbs. of Buffalow feeding in the Plains at a distance    Capt. Lewis killed 2 Buffalow buls which was near the water at the time of dineing, they were So pore as to be unfit for use. I Saw Several Small parties of antelopes large herds of Elk, Some white wolves, and in a pond (formed on the S. S. by the Missouries Changeing its bead) I Saw Swan Gees & different kinds of Ducks in great 〈quantity〉 numbers also a Beaver house. Passed a Small Creek on the S. S. & Several runs of water on each Side, Saw the remains of Indian camps in every point of timbered land on the S. S.    in the evining a thunder gust passed from the S W, without rain, about Sunset Saw Some fresh Indians track and four rafts on the shore S. S. Those I prosume were Ossinniboins who had been on a war party against the Rockey Mountain Indians—    Saw a Curlow, Some verry large beaver taken this morning.    those animals are made use of as food and preferred by the party to any other at this Season

Course distance &c. 17th of April 1805
S. 70° W.   3 miles to a point of willows on the S. Sd.
S 75° W.      ½ miles on the Sd. Side opposed a Bluff
N. 75° W.   3 miles to a wood in a bend to the Sd. Side
N. 50° W   3 ½ miles to a point of wood Land Sd. Side
S 60° W      ¾ of a mile to a pt. of wood land on the S. Sd. opposit to a
Bluff on the Ld. Side just above which a creek falls in on
the Labd. about 10 yds. wide.
N. 80° W.   3 ¼ miles to a willow point on the L. Sd.    a Lake & creek
Std.    Halls    Strand lake [6]
S. 85° W.   3 ¾ miles to a L. pt. of wood land opposit to a bluff on the
Starboard Side.
West   1 mile along the L. pt. of wood land, a high bluff on the S. S
above which a run falls in burnt hills
S. 40° W.   1 mile along the same point of wood land Lard.
S. 30° W.      ¼ of a mile on the Lad. Side of a willow point.
S. 14° W.   4 miles to the upper part of a high timber on the Starboard
S. 28° W.   2 miles to a point of wood land on the L. Side where we
camped for the night.
mls. 26

note The distance we are obliged to go round Sand bars &c. is much greater than those called for in the courses from pount to point &c.


Wednesday 17th April 1805.    a clear beautiful morning.    we Set off eairly. Some of the men caught 2 beaver and Several Small fish.    a fair wind    we Sailed on    Saw large Gangs of buffaloe on the Side hills S. S.    proceeded on    passed a beautiful plain on the N. S.    passed Several bottoms on each Side of the River.    abt. 1 oClock we halted to dine    Saw a gang of buffaloe Swimming the river.    one of the hunters killed one    Capt. Lewis killed one large one in a fiew minutes    they being poor we took only the tongues of them    Saw Several gangs of Elk on each Side of the river.    late in the afternoon we Saw a gang of buffaloe on S. S. R. Potts [7] killed one of them.    passed Several runs in the course of the day & red hills on each Side and high raged hills which are rough barron broken & Steep. Came 26 miles this day by Sailing &.c. Camped on a large Sand beach S. S.    one of the men caught a nomber of Small cat fish in the river.


Wednesday 17th.    We proceeded on early as usual with a fair wind. The day was fine and we made good way. Passed a beautiful plain and two large creeks on the North side, and another creek on the South. [8] We saw a great many buffaloe and elk on the banks. At 1 o'clock we halted for dinner, when two men went out and in a few minutes killed 2 buffaloe. We made 26 miles and encamped on the South side, and found that some rain had fallen during the day, where we encamped, though there was none where we had been.


Wednesday April 17th    We got underway at the usual hour of day light, we proceeded on, and passed a high bluff to a sand barr, and a beautifull Priari, which put in near the River, likewise a Creek [9] that Runs a North Course under the Bluffs, and a small distance further passed two Creeks [10] lying on the same Side of the River; and one Creek [11] lying on the South side.—    We encamped on the South side of the River, having come 26 Miles this day

1. Here Lewis is passing through country underlain by the Bullion Creek Formation until late in the day, when he again enters country underlain by the Sentinel Butte Formation; both formations contain lignite coal. (back)
2. Probably the long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus [AOU, 264], and if so, a bird new to science. Cutright (LCPN), 125. (back)
3. In McKenzie County, North Dakota. Mattison (GR), 57; Atlas maps 34, 47, 56; MRC map 58. (back)
4. Also given on Atlas map 34, in Lewis's hand. (back)
5. Atlas map 34 says 65°, in opposition to both captains' journals. (back)
6. "Halls    Strand Lake" is named for Hugh Hall, a member of the party. It is present-day Tobacco Creek, Williams County, North Dakota. (back)
7. Actually John Potts. (back)
8. The captains have little to say about any of these streams. The one on the south is apparently later Clark Creek in McKenzie County, North Dakota. The first on the north is probably their Hall's Strand Creek, later Tobacco Creek in Mountrail County. The last is probably the "run" which Clark notes falling in among burning hills, perhaps later Garden Creek. (back)
9. No one else seems to mention this stream, but since it is apparently on the north side, it may be later Beaver Creek, Mountrail County, North Dakota. (back)
10. Presumably the two creeks on the north side mentioned by Gass, the first Hall's Strand Creek, later Tobacco Creek, the second perhaps later Garden Creek, both in Mountrail County. (back)
11. Apparently later Clark Creek, in McKenzie County, North Dakota. (back)