May 4, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

May 4, 1805


We were detained this morning untill about 9 OCk. in order to repare the rudder irons of the red perogue which were broken last evening in landing; we then set out, the wind hard against us. I walked on shore this morning, the weather was more pleasant, the snow has disappeared; the frost seems to have effected the vegetation much less than could have been expected    the leaves of the cottonwood the grass the box alder willow and the yellow flowering pea seem to be scarcely touched; the rosebushes and honeysuckle seem to have sustaned the most considerable injury. The country on both sides of the Missouri continues to be open level fertile and beautifull as far as the eye can reach which from some of the eminences is not short of 30 miles.    the river bottoms are very extensive and contain a much greater proportion of timber than usual; the fore part of this day the river was bordered with timber on both sides, a circumstance which is extreemly rare and the first which has occurred of any thing like the same extent since we left the Mandans, in the after part of the day we passed an extensive beautifull plain on the Stard. side which gradually ascended from the river. I saw immence quantities of buffaloe in every direction, also some Elk deer and goats; having an abundance of meat on hand I passed them without firing on them; they are extreemly gentle    the bull buffaloe particularly will scarcely give way to you. I passed several in the open plain within fifty paces, they viewed me for a moment as something novel and then very unconcernedly continued to feed. Capt. Clark walked on shore this evening and did not rejoin us untill after dark, he struck the river several miles above our camp [1] and came down to us.    we saw many beaver some which the party shot, we also killed two deer today.    much sign of the brown bear.    passed several old Indian hunting camps in the course of the day    one of them contained two large lodges which were fortifyed with old driftwood and fallen timber; this fortification consisted of a circular fence of timber lade horizontally 〈and〉 laping on and over laying each other to the hight of 5 feet.    these pounds are sometimes built from 20 to 30 feet in diameter and covered over with the trunks and limbs of old timber.    the usual construction of the lodges we have lately passed is as follows.    three or more strong sticks the thickness of a man's leg or arm and about 12 feet long are attatched together at one end by a with of small willows, these are then set on end and spread at the base, 〈to〉 forming a circle of ten twelve or 14 feet in diameter; sticks of driftwood and fallen timber of convenient size are now placed with one end on the ground and the other resting against those which are secured together at top by the with and which support and give the form to the whole, thus the sticks are laid on untill they make it as thick as they design, usually about three ranges, each piece breaking or filling up the interstice of the two beneath it, the whole forming a connic figure about 10 feet high with a small apperture in one side which answers as a door.    leaves bark and straw are sometimes thrown over the work to make it more complete, but at best it affords a very imperfect shelter particularly without straw which is the state in which we have most usually found them. [2]

Courses and distances of the 4th of May. [3]
S. 80° W. to a point of timber on the Stard. side   3
S. 72° W. to a point of woodland on the Stard. side river wide and
filled with sandbars

S. 50° W. to the mouth of a small creek in a deep bend on Lard. side,
a sand Island opposite

  1 ½
N. 10° W. to a point of woodland on the Lard. side passing a Stard.
Stard. point at 1¼ miles

S. 45° W. to a willow point on the Stard. side, the river making a
considerable bend to the N. an open plain on the Stard.

S. 70° W. to a point of timbered land on the Strd. where we en-

  1 ½
  Miles 18

At noon the sun was so much obscured that I could not obtain his maridian Altitude which I much wished in order to fix the latitude of the entrance of Porcupine river. Joseph Fields was very sick today with the disentary had a high fever    I gave him a doze of Glauber salts, which operated very well, in the evening his fever abated and I gave him 30 drops of laudnum.— [4]


The rudder Irons of our large Perogue broke off last night, the replaceing of which detained us this morning untill 9 oClock at which time we Set out    the wind a head from the west, The Countrey on each Side of the Missouri is a rich high and butifull 〈Containing〉    the bottoms are extencive with a great deal of timber on them    all the fore part of this day the wood land bordered the river on both Sides, in the after part a butifull assending plain on the Std Side    we Camped on the Std. Side a little above    we passed a Small Creek on the L. Side near which I Saw where an Indian lodge had been fortified many year past. Saw great numbers of anamals of different kinds on the banks, I Saw the black martin to day— [5]    in the evening I walkd. on Shore on the Std Side & Struck the river Several miles above our Camp & did not get to Camp untill Some time after night—    we have one man Sick, The river has been falling for Several days passed; it now begins to rise a little; the rate of rise & fall is from one to 3 inches in 24 hours.

  miles      Course & Distance the 4th of May
S. 80° W.   3 to a point of timber on the Stard. side.
S. 72° W.   5 to a point of wood land on the Std. Side    river wide & maney Sand bars
S. 50° W   1 ½ to the mouth of a creek in a Deep bend to the Lard. Side.    a
Sand Isd. opsd.
N 10° W.   3 to a point of wood Land on the Lard. Side passing a point
S Side 1¼ miles
S 45° W.   4 to a willow point on the Stard. Side, the river makeing a
considerable [bend] arround to the North an open plain
S. 70° W.   1 ½ to a point of timbered land on the Stard. Side, where we
miles 18  

Saturday 4th May 1805.    clear and moderate this morning.    the Snow is all melted off the hills.    we delayed Some time to mend the rudder of the red perogue which got broke landing last evening.    we Set off about 9 oCock and proceeded on    passed large bottoms covered with timber on each Side of the River and high Smoth plains back from the River.    at 11 oC. we passed the Mouth of a Creek came in on the S. S.    proceeded on    passed a beautiful large plains on the N. S. Saw buffaloe and Elk passed large bottoms on S. S. Came 22 miles and Camped on a bottom of timber on the N. S.    one of the party killed two deer in a fiew minutes. Came 22 miles today.


Saturday 4th.    This day was more pleasant: in the forenoon we passed a creek [6] on the South side, about 40 yards wide. The river has been more straight for two or three days than it was before; the bottoms larger and more timber on them. We went about eighteen miles and encamped on the North side. One of the men [7] became sick this morning and has remained so all day.


Saturday 4th May 1805.    clear & pleasant.    we delayed Some time to mend the rudder which Got broke last night.    we Set off about 9 Oclock, and proceeded on.    passed large bottoms covered with timber on each Side and Smoth high plains back from the River.    at a 11 oC. we passed the mouth of a Creek which came in on S. Side of the Missourie.    proceeded on    passed a beautiful plain on the N. S. where we Saw large Gangs of buffaloe Elk & Cabberee or Goats.    Camped in a bottom on the N. S.    Came 22 miles to day.    we killed two Deer today.

Saturday May 4th    This morning we had clear, pleasant Weather, we delayed some time, to mend the Rudder Irons broke last night; We set off, and proceeded on our Voyage at 9 oClock A. M. and passed some bottoms cover'd with timber, and high plains, lying on both sides of the River.    At 11 o'Clock A. M. we passed by the Mouth of a creek, that came in on the South side of the River, we proceeded on & passed a beautiful plain lying on the North side of the River.—

We saw in this plain, large Gangs of Buffalo, Elk, & Goats; our hunters that went out this Morning kill'd two Deer, which they brought to the bank of the River, and we took them in.—    We encamped in the Evening in a bottom lying on the North side of the River, having come this day 22 Miles.—

1. This camp was in Roosevelt County, Montana. On Atlas map 57 the usual camp symbol has been misplaced, while the legend "Encamped the 4th May 1805" is in approximately the right place. Atlas maps 36, 49; MRC map 63. (back)
2. Apparently a description of a Blackfeet war lodge, a structure which served Blackfeet war parties as a fortification, shelter from the weather, base for scouting, supply base, and a place to leave messages. From this structure, Clark named "Indian Fort Creek." Antelope, or later Nickwall, Creek in McCone County, Montana. Ewers (ILUM), 117–30; Atlas maps 36, 57; MRC map 63. (back)
3. Also given on Atlas map 36, in both captains' hands. (back)
4. Glauber's Salts is the crystalline decahydrate of sodium sulfate, used as a laxative; the theory behind administering it to a man with dysentery was that disease was caused by poisons in the body that had to be flushed out. Laudanum is a tincture of opium, which would help Field sleep. (back)
5. The purple martin, Progne subis [AOU, 611]. (back)
6. Probably Antelope, or later Nickwall, Creek, McCone County, Montana. (back)
7. Joseph Field; see Lewis's entry of this day for the symptoms and treatment. (back)