April 21, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

April 21, 1805


Set out at an early hour this morning. Capt Clark walked on shore; the wind tho' a head was not violent.    the country through which we passed is very simelar in every rispect to that through which we have passed for several days.—    We saw immence herds of buffaloe Elk deer & Antelopes. Capt Clark killed a buffaloe and 4 deer in the course of his walk today; and the party with me [1] killed 3 deer, 2 beaver, and 4 buffaloe calves.    the latter we found very delicious. I think it equal to any veal I ever tasted. the Elk now begin to shed their horns.    passed one large and two small creeks on the Lard. side, tho' neither of them discharge any water at present.    the wind blew so hard this evening that we were obliged to halt several hours.    we reached the place of incampment after dark, which was on the Lard. side a little above White earth river [2] which discharges itself on the Stard. side.    immediately at the mouth of this river it is not more than 10 yards wide being choked up by the mud of the Missouri; tho' after leaving the bottom lands of this river, or even sooner, it becomes a boald stream of sixty yards wide and is deep and navigable.    the course of this river as far as I could see from the top of Cut bluff, was due North.    it passes through a beatifull level and fertile vally about five miles in width. I think I saw about 25 miles up this river, and did not discover one tree or bush of any discription on it's borders.    the vally was covered with Elk and buffaloe.    saw a great number of gees today as usual, also some swan and ducks.—

  Courses and Distances of this day. [3] mils
S. 18° E. to a sand point Std. opposite to a bluf Lard.   1 ½
N. 75 W. to a point of high timber on Std. opposite a blff.      ½
N. 40 W. to a willow point on Lard. opposite to a bluff.   3 ½
N. 60 W. to a point of woodland on Stard. side, oposite to a bluff,
just below which on the Lard. side a creek falls in.

  4 ½
N. 25 E. to a point of wood land on Lard. opposite to a high bluff   2
N. 10 W. to the upper part of a bluff Stard. and in a Stard. bend.   2
S. [4] 50 W. to the upper point of the timbered bottom on Lard. side
below a high bluff point which we called Cut bluff, at 1 mile
pass White Earth river on Stard.
  2 ½
    16 ½

Set out early    the wind gentle & from the N. W.    the river being verry Crooked, I concluded to walk through the point, the Countrey on either Side is verry Similar to that we have passed, Saw an emence number of Elk & Buffalow, also Deer Antelopes Geese Ducks & a fiew Swan, the Buffalow is about Calveing    I killed a Buffalow & 4 Deer in my walk to day, the party killed 2 deer 2 beaver & 4 Buffalow Calves, which was verry good veele. I Saw old Camps of Indians on the L. Side, we passed 1 large & 2 Small Creeks on the L. Side    neither of them discharge any water into the river, in the evening the wind became verry hard a head, we made Camp at a late hour which was on the L. Side a little above the mouth of White Earth River which falls in on the Stad Side and is 60 yds. wide, several Mes. up

  miles Corse distance &: 21st of Apl.
S. 18° E   1 ½ me. to a Sand pt. S. S. opsd. a bluff on the L. S.
N. 75° W      ½ to a pt. of high timber on the S. Sd. opsd. a Bluff
N. 40° W   3 ½ to a willow pt. L. Sd. opsd. a Bluff on the S. Sd.
N. 60° W   4 ½ to a pt. of wood land on the S. Sd. opsd. a bluff just below
which a creek falls in on the L. S.
N. 25° E   2 to a pt. of wood land on the L. Sd. opposd. to a high bluff
on the Stard. Side
N. 10° W   2 to the upper part of a low bluff on the S. Sd. opsd. to a pt.
of timber on the L. Side
N 50° W   2 ½ miles to the upper part of a timber at a high Short bluff on
the Lard. Side, passed white miles earth river at ½ mile on the Sd
miles 16 ½  

Sunday 21st April 1805.    a hard white frost last night.    froze water in the buckets Setting near the fire.    a Clear and pleasant morning, but verry chilly & cold.    we proceeded on. Saw the hills and vallies on S. S. covered with buffaloe. Some calfs among them.    one of the party clumb a Stump of a tree which had a Goose nest in the top of it    found four Eggs in it.    passed round the bottom covered with timber which we camped on last night.    about 10 oC. we halted & took breakfast.    proceeded on    passed hills and round knobs on S. S. and a large bottom on N. S. Capt. Clark went on the S. S. to hunt. Came to us at dinner.    had killed 4 Deer in a bottom covered with Small timber    he attempted to kill a buffaloe Calf but could not git near Enofe without being discovered by them, the plain being So open.    about 3 oClock clouded up    cold    the wind began to blow as usal.    we dined at a redish bluff on N. S. Saw large gang of buffaloe & calfs Elk also on the opposite Shore.    delayed about one hour & proceeded on    passed the mouth of a large Creek on the N. S. Called White Earth River.    it is about 15 yards wide at the mouth & Clear water & Gentle current. Camped on the South Side at a bottom    came 15 miles to day. Some of the men killed 2 buffaloe Calfs, & one Elk. We Saw this day 4 otter on a drift. Potts shot one of them in head but it Sunk.    the rest plunged in to the water and swam down the river, and Drewyer killed & Got one of them.    a Cool evening.—


Sunday 21st.    We proceeded on early; and had a fine clear morning, but cold: there was a sharp frost. We saw a great number of elk, buffaloe and deer on both sides of the river. About 12 the wind again rose and was disagreeable, but we continued our voyage. Two of our hunters went out this afternoon and caught three young buffaloe calves. We passed a small river called White Clay river on the North side and having gone 15 miles encamped on the South side.


Sunday April 20th [5]    This morning we had pleasant Weather, in the night we had a frost, we sett out early, the Wind blowing from the Northwest.    the Water in the River fell one Inch    We proceeded on, and passed the River called Le Tear Black, [6] lying on the South side of the Mesouri, and Encamped on the North side of the River Mesouri, having went 16 Miles this day.

1. Including Potts and Drouillard, according to Ordway, each of them killing a buffalo calf. (back)
2. Not to be confused with the present White Earth River, which they passed on April 16 without naming it. The present stream is Little Muddy River or Creek, in Williams County, North Dakota. The camp was in McKenzie County, nearly opposite present Williston. Mattison (GR), 58; Atlas maps 34, 47, 56; MRC map 59. The words "White earth" may be a later interpolation as are the same words in the last course of the course and distance table for this day. (back)
3. Also given on Atlas map 35, in both captains' hands. (back)
4. Clark has "N." in his journal entry; Atlas map 35 agrees with Lewis. (back)
5. The day is corrected from Saturday, but the date was not changed to April 21. The next entry should be April 22, a Monday as noted. (back)
6. Since this is a misdated entry for April 21, Whitehouse is referring to the party's supposed White Earth River, in French La Terre Blanche . For the correct identification see the next day's entry. There are a number of course, distance, and campsite errors in these entries. (back)