April 25, 1805
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April 25, 1805


The wind was more moderate this morning, tho' still hard; we set out at an early hour.    the water friezed on the oars this morning as the men rowed.    about 10 oclock A. M. the wind began to blow so violently that we were obliged to lye too.    my dog had been absent during the last night, and I was fearfull we had lost him altogether, however, much to my satisfaction he joined us at 8 Oclock this morning. The wind had been so unfavorable to our progress for several days past, and seeing but little prospect of a favourable chang; knowing that the river was crooked, from the report of the hunters who were out yesterday, and beleiving that we were at no very great distance from the Yellow stone River; I determined, in order as mush as possible to avoid detention, to proceed by land with a few men to the entrance of that river and make the necessary observations to determine it's position, which I hoped to effect by the time that Capt. Clark could arrive with the party; accordingly I set out at 11 OCk. on the Lard. side, accompanyed by four men. [1]    we proceeded about four miles, when falling in with some buffaloe I killed a yearling calf, which was in good order; we soon cooked and made a hearty meal of a part of it, and renewed our march    our rout lay along the foot of the river hills.    when we had proceeded about four miles, I ascended the hills from whence I had a most pleasing view of the country, perticularly of the wide and fertile vallies formed by the missouri and the yellowstone rivers, which occasionally unmasked by the wood on their borders disclose their meanderings for many miles in their passage through these delightfull tracts of country. I could not discover the junction of the rivers immediately, they being concealed by the woods, however, sensible that it could not be distant I determined to encamp on the bank of the Yellow stone river which made it's appearance about 2 miles South of me.    the whol face of the country was covered with herds of Buffaloe, Elk & Antelopes; deer are also abundant, but keep themselves more concealed in the woodland.    the buffaloe Elk and Antelope are so gentle that we pass near them while feeding, without apearing to excite any alarm among them, and when we attract their attention, they frequently approach us more nearly to discover what we are, and in some instances pursue us a considerable distance apparenly with that view.—    in our way to the place I had determined to encamp, we met with two large herds of buffaloe, of which we killed three cows and a calf.    two of the former, wer but lean, we therefore took their tongues and a part of their marrow-bones only. I then proceeded to the place of our encampment with two of the men, taking with us the Calf and marrowbones, while the other two remained, with orders to dress the cow that was in tolerable order, and hang the meat out of the reach of the wolves, a precaution indispensible to it's safe keeping, even for a night.    we encamped on the bank of the yellowstone river, 2 miles South of it's confluence with the Missouri.— [2]    On rejoining Capt. Clark, the 26th in the evening, he informed me, that at 5 P. M. after I left him the wind abated in some measure and he proceeded a few miles further and encamped. [3]

  The courses and distances of this day (25th) being as follow.— [4] miles
N. 68° W. to a point of woodland on Lard. side   2 ½
West to a tree in a low plain, in a bend on Std.   1 ¼
South to the upper part of a low bluff in a bend on Stard.
  1 ½
East to a point of timbered land on Stard. side.   2 ½
S. 28° E. along the Stard. point, opposite a bluff      ¾
S. 20 W. along the Stard. point opposite a bluff   1
N. 65 W. to the upper part of a timbered bottom in a bend on
Stard. side
S. 72 W. to the lower point of some timber in a bend on Stard.

  1 ¾ [5]
  miles 14 ¼ [6]

The wind was moderate & ahead this morning, we Set out at an early hour    The morning cold, Some flying Clouds to be Seen, the wind from the N: ice collected on the ores this morning, the wind increased and became So violent about 1 oClock we were obliged to lay by our Canoes haveing taken in Some water, the Dog which was lost yesterday, joined us this morning.

finding that the winds retarded our progression for maney days past, and no apparance of an alteration, and the river being Crooked that we could never have 3 miles fair wind, Capt. Lewis concluded to go by land as far as the Rochejhone or yellow Stone river, which we expect is at no great distance by land and make Some Selestial observations to find the Situation of its mouth, and by that measure not detain the Perogues at that place any time for the purpose of makeing those necessary observations    he took 4 men & proceeded on up the Missouri on the L. Side, at 5 oClock the wind luled and we proceeded on and incamped.

Course Distance &c. 25th of April
N. 68° W.   2 ½ miles to a point of wood land on the Larboard Side
West   1 ½ miles to a tree in a bend to the Std. Side in a low plain
South   1 ½ miles to the upper part of a low bluff in a bend to the Sd
East   2 ½ miles to a point of timbered land on the Starboard Side.
S. 28° E.      ¾ on the Std. point.    Bluff opsed.
S 20° W.   1 mile on the Std point    bluff opsd.
N. 65° W   3 miles to the upper part of a timbered bottom in a bend to
the S. Sd.
S. 72° W. 1 ¾ mile to the lower part of some timber in a bend to the S.
  14 ¼  

Thursday 25th April 1805.    a clear cold morning.    the river rose 2 Inches last night.    we Set off eairly.    the wind blew from the N. one of the men caught a beaver last night.    we proceeded on    passed high land on N. S. and timbred bottom on S. S. Sailed Some in a bend of the river.    came about 12 miles by 12 oClock.    the perogues could go no further as the wind blew them a head So that they halted for it to abate on the N. S. Capt. Lewis myself and 3 more of the party crossed over to the S. Shore to go up by land to the Mouth of the river Roshjone or yallow rock river [7] (for observations).    we walked along the high bluffs, Saw a large gang of buffaloe in the bottom.    we killed one young one and took our dinner of it and proceeded on. Capt. Lewis Shot a goose on hir nest    we got 6 eggs out of it, towards evening we killed 2 cow buffaloe and a calf in a handsom Smoth bottom below the mouth of Yallow Rock River .    we Camped on the bank of the yallow R. River, about 2 miles above its mouth.    little above the bottom on the Sand beach    large & Small cottonwood & arsh in Sd. bottom


Thursday 25th.    We set out as usual and had a fine day; but about 11 were obliged to halt again the wind was so strong ahead. Captain Lewis and four men set off by land from this place to go to the river Jaune, or Yellow Stone river, which it is believed is not very distant. I remarked, as a singular circumstance, that there is no dew in this Country, and very little rain. Can it be owing to the want of timber? At 5 o'clock in the afternoon, we renewed our voyage; and having this day advanced about 13 miles, encamped on the South side.


Thursday April 25th    We set off early this morning, having fine Clear weather; about 11 oClock A. M. we had to come too, on account of the Wind being a head & blowing hard, Captain Lewis and 4 of our Men left us, having set out by land, in Order to go to the Mouth of the River roshjone; which lies higher up the Mesouri; & to where the confluence of both these great Rivers are.—    They took with them, Mathematical Instruments, in order to assertain the Latitude of the River Roshjone, and were to waite there for our arrival.—    We proceeded on our Voyage at 10 o'Clock A. M. and went on till Evening, passing as we went along, fine level Priaries & some small Skirts of wood land, running close to the Bank of the River, We encamped on the South side of the River, having gone 13 Miles this day.—    The dew at this place never falls; and it seldom Rains, this we were told, by an Indian Women that was with us, that embark'd on board one of the Pettyaugers at the Mandan Nation with a frenchman her husband as our Interpreters to the Snake Indians.— [8]

1. Including Ordway, by his own testimony, and Drouillard and Joseph Field, from later evidence in the captains' journals. (back)
2. The Yellowstone meets the Missouri in McKenzie County, North Dakota, a little east of the Montana state line. The actual mouth has shifted over the years. Atlas maps 35, 48, 56; MRC map 59. (back)
3. In Williams County, North Dakota, in the vicinity of Glass Bluffs, on the opposite side. The bluffs may have received their name from their glassy appearance, although some locals believe the are named after Hugh Glass, the fur trapper. Mattison (GR), 59; Atlas maps 35, 48, 56, MRC map 59. (back)
4. Also given on Atlas map 35, in Clark's hand. (back)
5. Atlas map 35 has 2¾. (back)
6. Atlas map 35 gives an incorrect total of 14. (back)
7. The French term is Roche Jaune, Yellowstone, for the river of the same name which joins the Missouri near the North DakotaMontana state line. (back)