May 2, 1805
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May 2, 1805


The wind continued violent all night nor did it abate much of it's violence this morning, when at daylight it was attended with snow which continued to fall untill about 10 A. M.    being about one inch deep, it formed a singular contrast with the 〈trees and other〉 vegitation which was considerably advanced.    some flowers had put forth in the plains, and the leaves of the cottonwood were as large as a dollar.    sent out some hunters [1] who killed 2 deer 3 Elk and several buffaloe; on our way this evening we also shot three beaver along the shore; these anamals in consequence of not being hunted are extreemly gentle, where they are hunted they never leave their lodges in the day, the flesh of the beaver is esteemed a delecacy among us; I think the tale a most delicious morsal, when boiled it resembles in flavor the fresh tongues and sounds of the codfish, [2] and is usually sufficiently large to afford a plentifull meal for two men. Joseph Fields one of the hunters who was out today found several yards of scarlet cloth which had been suspended on the bough of a tree near an old indian hunting cam[p], where it had been left as a sacrefice to the deity by the indians, probably by the Assinniboin nation, it being a custom with them as well as all the nations inhabiting the waters of the Missouri so far as they are known to us, to offer or sacrefice in this manner to the deity watever they may be possessed off which they think most acceptable to him, and very honestly making their own feelings the test of those of the deity offer him the article which they most prize themselves.    this being the most usual method of weshiping the great sperit as they term the deity, is practiced on interesting occasions, or to produce the happy eventuation of the important occurrances incident to human nature, such as relief from hungar or mallady, protection from their enemies or the delivering them into their hands, and with such as cultivate, to prevent the river's overflowing and distroying their crops &c.    screfices of a similar kind are also made to the deceased by their friends and relatives.    the are was very piercing this evening    the [water] friezed on the oars as they rowed.    the wind dying at 5 P. M. we set out.—

Courses and distance 2cd May [3]
S. 70° E. to the upper point of the timber on the Lard. side in a bend
passing a point of timber on the Lard. side at ¼ of a mile
S. 10° E. to a point of woodland on the Stard. side    ½
S. 30° W. to a point of low timber on the Lard side, a little above
which on the Stard. side we encamped, having passed some
〈extensive〉 wider fertile bottoms and beatifull high level
    4 ½

every thing which is incomprehensible to the indians they call big medicine, and is the opperation of the presnts and power of the great sperit.    this morning one of the men shot the indian dog that had followed us for several days, he would steal their cooked provision.


The wind blew verry hard all the last night, this morning about Sunrise began to Snow, (The Thermomtr. at 28 abov 0) and Continued untill about 10 oClock, at which time it Seased, the wind Continued hard untill about 2 P. M.    the Snow which fell to day was about 1 In deep, a verry extroadernaley Climate, to behold the trees Green & flowers Spred on the plain, & Snow an inch deep.    we Set out about 3 oClock and proceeded on about five ½ miles and encamped on the Std Side, [4] the evening verry cold, Ice freesing to the Ores, I Shot a large beaver & Drewyer three in walking on the bank, the flesh of those animals the party is fond of eating &c.

Course & distance 2d May
S. 70° E. 2 miles to the upper point of the timber on the Lard Side in a
bend, passing a point of timber on the L. S. at a quarter of
a mile
S. 10° E    ½ mile to a point of wood Land on the Starboard Side
S. 30° W 2    miles to a point of Low timber on the Lard Side a little
above which on the Starboard Side we encamped
  4 ½  

2 deer and 3 Elk killed


Thursday 2nd May 1805.    at day light it began Snowing & continued Snowing & blowing So that we did not Set off. Some of the party went out a hunting.    they killed Some buffaloe & Deer, & found Several pieces of red cloath at one old Indian camp that we expect they left their as a Sacrifice as that is their form of worship, as they have Some knowledge of the Supreme being, and any thing above their comprehention they Call Big Medisine—&.c.    about 3 oClock it left off Snowing.    the wind Shifted in to the West.    we Set off & proceeded on.    the Snow lay on the edge of the Sand bars & Sand beaches where the wind had blew it up one foot deep, but on the hills it was not more than half an Inch deep. Capt. Clark & one of the hunters [5] Shot 3 beaver in the edge of the River s. s.    the air & wind verry cold.    we Camped at a handsom bottom on the N. S. which is a very large bottom part c. w. timber & part prarie    high plains back from the River. Came only abt. 5 miles to day.


Thursday 2nd.    At day break it began to snow; and the wind continued so high, we could not proceed until the afternoon. While we lay here our hunters went out and killed some buffaloe and deer. They found some red cloth at an old Indian camp, which we supposed had been offered and left as a sacrifice; the Indians having some knowledge of a supreme being and this their mode of worship. The snow did not fall more than an inch deep. At four we set out, went six miles, and encamped on the North side in a beautiful bottom.


Thursday 2nd May 1805.    at day light it began to Snow & blow So that we did not Set off this morning.    Some men went out to hunt.    Killed Some buffaloe & Some Deer.    one of the party killd two beaver last night.    the men who was out a hunting found Several peaces of red cloath at an Indian camp, where we expect they left last Winter for a Sacrifice to their maker as that is their form of worship, as they have Some knowledge of the Supreme being, and any thing above their comprihention they call, big medicine.    about 3 oC the wind abated & quit Snowing.    we Set off.    proceeded on.    the [wind] had shifted & blew from the west.    the Snow lay on the Edge of the Sand beaches where the wind blew it against the bank about 12 Inches Deep but their was not more than about one Inch on a level.    Capt Clark & one of the party Shot 3 beaver on the South Shore.    the air verry cold.    we Camped on the N. S. at a handsom bottom partly covered with timber.    came mes. 5 miles to day.

Thursday May 2nd    At day light this morning it began to Snow 〈with〉 & we had a hard Wind, we lay by the fore part of the day, some of our party went out to hunt, they killed some Buffalo Calves, and Deer; and caught some Beaver in their Traps, which they brought to our Camp, The hunting party found several pieces of red Cloth, at an Indian Camp; which we expect the Indians had left there, the last winter, as a Sacrafice to their maker, the Indian woman mention'd is the custom when they break up their encampment, & which shows that they have some knowledge of the supreme being, The Indians generally call every thing beyond their comprehension Medecine; and are fearfull of it.—    This we learnt from the Indians at the Mandan Villages.—    about 3 o'Clock P. M the Wind abated, and it quitted snowing.—    We sett off, and proceeded on our Voyage—the wind having shifted to the Westward, and the snow lying on the Sand Bars edge, (where the wind blew the snow against the bank,) and it, lay 12 Inches deep 〈it〉 but was not 〈being〉 more than one Inch on the level ground.—    As we proceeded on our way, Captain Clark and one of the party shot 3 Beaver on the South shore, The Air was cold during the whole of this day.    In the Evening we encamped on the North side of the River; in a bottom nearly covered with Timber.

1. Including Drouillard, as Clark notes, and Joseph Field. (back)
2. Lewis's codfish is probably the Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua. Nelson, 154. Sounds is a term for the air bladder of a fish. (back)
3. Also given on Atlas map 36, in Lewis's hand. (back)
4. In Roosevelt County, Montana, in the vicinity of the crossing of Montana Highway 251. Atlas maps 36, 48, 57; MRC map 62. (back)
5. Drouillard, according to Clark. (back)