April 20, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

April 20, 1805


The wind continued to blow tolerably hard this morning but by no means as violently as it did yesterday; we determined to set out and accordingly departed a little before seven. I walked on shore on the N. side of the river, and Capt Clark proceeded with the party.    the river bottoms through [NB:copy this for Dr Barton 〉] which I passed about seven miles were fertil and well covered with Cottonwood some Box alder, ash and red Elm.    the under brush, willow, rose bushes Honeysuccle, red willow, goosbury, currant and servicebury [1] & in the open grounds along the foot of the river hills immence quantities of the hisop.    in the course of my walk I killed two deer, wounded an Elk and a deer; saw the remains of some Indian hunting camps, near which stood a small scaffold [2] of about 7 feet high on which were deposited two doog slays with their harnis. underneath this scaffold a human body was lying, well rolled in several dressed buffaloe skins and near it a bag of the same materials containg sundry articles belonging to the disceased; consisting of a pare of mockersons, some red and blue earth, beaver's nails, instruments for dressing the Buffalo skin, some dryed roots, several platts of the sweet grass, and a small quantity of Mandan tobacco.— [3]    I presume that the body, as well as the bag containing these articles, had formerly been placed on the scaffold as is the custom of these people, but had fallen down by accedent.    near the scaffold I saw the carcase of a large dog not yet decayed, which I supposed had been killed at the time the human body was left on the scaffold; this was no doubt the reward, which the poor doog had met with for performing the [blank]—friendly office to his mistres of transporting her corps to the place of deposit.    it is customary with the Assinniboins, Mandans, Minetares &c who scaffold their dead, to sacrefice the favorite horses and doggs of their disceased relations, with a view of their being servicable to them in the land of sperits. I have never heard of any instances of human sacrefices on those occasions among them.—

The wind blew so hard that I concluded it was impossible fror the perogues and canoes to proceed and therefore returned and joined them about three in the evening. Capt. Clark informed me that soon after seting out, a part of the bank of the river fell in near one of the canoes and had very nearly filled her with water. [4]    that the wind became so hard and the waves so high that it was with infinite risk he had been able to get as far as his present station.    the white perrogue and several of the canoes had shiped water several times but happily our stores were but little injured; those which were wet we put out to dry and determined to remain untill the next morning. [5]    we sent out four hunters who soon added 3 Elk 4 gees and 2 deer to our stock of provisions. [6]    the party caught six beaver today which were large and in fine order.    the Buffaloe, Elk and deer are poor at this season, and of cours are not very palitable, however our good health and apetites make up every necessary deficiency, and we eat very heartily of them.—    encamped on Stard side; under a high well timbered bank.

Courses and Distances of this day [7] miles
South to the upper part of a timbered bottom at a bluff on the
Lard. side

1 ½
West to a point of high timber on the Stad. sid. passing over a
large sand point on Sd. side

1 ½
N. 45° W. to a large tree in a bend on stard side opposite a large sand

1 ½
S. 45° W. to a point of low willows on Stard. side 2   
  Miles 6 ½

wind a head from the N W.    we Set out at 7 oClock proceeded on, Soon after we Set out a Bank fell in near one of the Canoes which like to have filled her with water, the wind became hard and waves So rought that we proceeded with our little Canoes with much risque, our Situation was Such after Setting out that we were obliged to pass round the 1st Point or lay exposed to the blustering winds & waves, in passing round the Point Several canoes took in water as also our large Perogue but without injuring our Stores & much I proceeded on to the upper part of the 1st bend and came too at a butifull Glade on the S. S., about 1 mile below Capt Lewis who had walked thro the point, left his Coat & a Deer on the bank which we took on board,—.    a Short distance below our Camp I Saw Some rafts on the S. S. near which, an Indian woman was Scaffeled in the Indian form of Deposing their dead, & fallen down    She was or had been raised about 6 feet inclosed in Several robes tightly laced around her, with her dog Slays, her bag of Different coloured earths paint Small bones of animals beaver nales and Several other little trinkets, also a blue jay, [8] her dog was killed and lay near her. Capt Lewis joined me Soon after I landed & informed me he has walked Several miles higher, & in his walk killed 2 Deer & wounded an Elk & a Deer, our party 〈killed〉 Shot in the river four beaver & cought two, which were verry fat and much admired by the men, after we landed they killed 3 Elk 4 Gees & 2 Deer    we had Some of our Provisions & which got a little wet aired, the wind Continued So hard that we were Compelled to delay all day. Saw Several buffalow lodged in the drift wood which had been drouned in the winter in passing the river; Saw the remains of 2 which had lodged on the Side of the bank & eate by the bears.

Course distance &c. 20th of April 1805.
South 1 ½ miles to the upper part of a timbered bottom at a bluff on
the Lad. Side
West 1 ½ miles to a high timber on the Sd. Side passing over a large
Sand point on S. S.
N. 45° W. 1 ½ mile to a tree in a Glade in a bend to the Starboard Side    a
Sand pt. opsd.
S. 45° W. 2 miles to a point of low willows on the Sd. Side.
  6 ½  

This morning was verry cold, Some Snow about 2 oClock from flying clouds, Some frost this morning & the mud at the edge of the water was frosed


Saturday 20th April 1805.    cloudy.    the wind is not So high as it was yesterday this morning.    we Set off about 7 oClock.    we found it Cold polling.    the air chilley.    proceeded on. Some of the men caught two beaver in traps which they Set last night. Saw a buffaloe Swim the river close before us but would not Shoot him for he was not fat.    the wind rose & blew Same as yesterday So that we could hardly make any head way.    halted took breakfast about 10 O.C.    2 of the hunters Shot four beaver directly in the edge of the river.    delayed Som time    the [wind?] abated a little.    we proceded on    the wind Shortly rose again and blew so hard that the canoes were near filling    they took in considerable of water.    the Sand blew off the Sand bars & beaches So that we could hardly See, it was like a thick fogg.    it took us about two hours to come about 2½ miles.    halted at a bottom on the N. S. Capt. Lewis who walked on Shore this morning killed a deer and hung it up on the bank of the river near an old Indian Camp where he made fire & Eat the liver of the deer, and went on.    we took it on board and went up the bottom about 3 miles where we found a good harbour for the perogues to lay out of the wind    we halted and dryed the things which was Wet & Camped for the night.    we found Some little notions which Some Indian had hung up. Viz. a Scraper a paint bag with ½ an ounce in it, kinikaneck [9] bags, flints &.c.    the hunters killed 2 Elk    Capt. Lewis a white taild. deer.    one man killed a Goose. Drewyer Shot a beaver.    we Saw gangs of Elk running along near our Camp    we did not want any more meat or we might have killed a pleanty.    high Squawls of wind & flights of round Snow this day.    we took in Some water in the Canoe I was in.    the water came up to my Box So that a part of my paper Got wet.


Saturday 20th.    We set out again and had a cold disagreeable morning; rapid water and a strong wind. Some of the canoes took in a good deal of water; and we made but 6 miles, when we were obliged again to lie too, on account of the wind, and to dry our loading. While we lay here we killed three elk and got a number of Geese eggs out of their nests, which are generally built on trees.


Saturday April 20th    We got under way at daylight, and proceeded on our way 6 Miles, the wind blew so fresh from the North, that we could make no headway, we came too and encamped on the North side of the River.—

1. Lewis's underbrush can be identified as: sandbar, or coyote, willow, western wild rose; honeysuckle is either Lonicera dioica L. var. glaucescens (Rydb.) Butters, wild honeysuckle, or Symphoricarpos occidentalis Hook., western snowberry; red willow is red osier dogwood; gooseberry is either Ribes oxyacanthoides L., hawthorn gooseberry, or R. setosum Lindl., bristly, or redshoot, gooseberry; currant is either R. americanum Mill., wild black currant, or R. odoratum Wendl. f., buffalo currant; and serviceberrey is Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt., juneberry or serviceberry. Barkley, 103, 151, 327–28, 205, 134–37; Cutright (LCPN), 127. Someone, apparently Biddle, drew a red vertical line through this passage. (back)
2. Marked on Atlas maps 47 and 56. (back)
3. Hierochloe odorata (L.) Beauv., sweetgrass, an important ceremonial item of plains tribes. Barkley, 497; Gilmore (UPI), 14. The tobacco is Nicotiana quadrivalvis Pursh, Indian tobacco. Gilmore (SCAT); Cronquist et al., 72. (back)
4. Ordway notes that he was in this canoe. (back)
5. In Williams County, North Dakota. Atlas map 56 misidentifies this camp as that of April 17. Mattison (GR), 57; Atlas maps 34, 47; MRC map 58. (back)
6. Ordway notes, "Drewyer Shot a beaver." (back)
7. Also given on Atlas map 34, in Clark's hand. (back)
8. Cyanocitta cristata [AOU, 477], not mentioned in Lewis's entry as among the burial items. (back)
9. Kinnickinnick, a mixture of bark, perhaps with some tobacco, used by many western tribes for smoking. (back)