May 10, 1805
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May 10, 1805


Set out at sunrise and proceeded but a short distance ere the wind became so violent that we were obliged to come too, [1] which we did on the Lard. side in a suddon or short bend of the river where we were in a great measure sheltered from the effects of the wind.    the wind continued violent all day, the clouds were thick and black, had a slight sprinkle of rain several times in the course of the day.    we sent out several hunters to scower the country, to this we were induced not so much from the want of provision as to discover the Indians whome we had reasons to believe were in the neighbourhood, from the circumstance of one of their dogs comeing to us this morning shortly after we landed; we still beleive ourselves in the country usually hunted by the Assinniboins, and as they are a vicious illy disposed nation we think it best to be on our guard, accordingly we inspected the arms and accoutrements the party and found them all in good order. The hunters returned this evening having seen no tents or Indians nor any fresh sign of them; they killed two Mule deer, one common fallow or longtailed deer, 2 Buffaloe and 5 beaver, and saw several deer of the Mule kind of immence size, and also three of the Bighorned anamals.    from the appearance of the Mule deer and the bighorned anamals we beleive ourselves fast approaching a hilly or mountainous country; we have rarely found the mule deer in any except a rough country; they prefer the open grounds and are seldom found in the woodlands near the river; when they are met with in the woodlands or river bottoms and are pursued, the[y] invariably run to the hills or open country as the Elk do.    the contrary happens with the common deer    ther are several esscential differences between the Mule and common deer as well in form as in habits.    they are fully a third larger in general, and the male is particularly large; I think there is somewhat greater disparity of size between the male and female of this speceis than there is between the male and female fallow deer; I am convinced I have seen a buck of this species twice the volume of a buck of any other species.    the ears are peculiarly large; I measured those of a large buck which I found to be eleven inches long and 3½ in width at the widest part; they are not so delicately formed, their hair in winter is thicker longer and of a much darker grey, in summer the hair is still coarser longer and of a paleer red, more like that of the Elk; in winter they also have a considerable quantity of a very fine wool intermixed with the hair and lying next to the skin as the Antelope has.    the long hair which grows on the outer sides of the 1st joint of the hinder legs, and which in the common deer do not usually occupy more than 2 inches in them occupys from 6 to eight; their horns also differ, these in the common deer consist of two main beams from which one or more points project the beam graduly deminishing as the points procede from it, with the mule deer the horns consist of two beams which at the distance of 4 or 6 inches from the head divide themselves each into two equal branches while again either divide into two other equal branches or terminate in a smaller, 〈one〉 and two equal ones; having either 2 4 or 6 points on a beam; the horn is not so rough about the base as the common deer and are invariably of a much darker colour.    the most striking difference of all, is the white rump and tale.    from the root of the tail as a center there is a circular spot perfectly white, of abot 3 inches radius, which occupys a part of the rump and extremitys of the buttocks and joins the white of the belley underneath; the tail which is usually from 8 to 9 inches long, 〈is covered〉 for the first 4 or 5 inches from it's upper extremity is covered with sho[r]t white hairs, much shorter indeed than the hairs of the body; from hence for about one inch further the hair is still white but gradually becomes longer, the tail then terminates in a tissue of black hair of about 3 Inches long.    from this black hair of the tail they have obtained among the French engages the appelation of the black taled deer, but this I conceive by no means characterisetic of the anamal as much the larger portion of the tail is white.    the year and the tail of this anamal when compared with those of the common deer, so well comported with those of the mule when compared with the horse, that we have by way of distinction adapted the appellation of the mule deer which I think much more appropriate.    on the inner corner of each eye there is a drane or large recepicle which seems to answer as a drane to the eye which gives it the appearance of weeping, this in the common deer of the atlantic states is scarcely perceptable but becomes more conspicuous in the fallow deer, and still more so in the Elk; this recepticle in the Elk is larger than in any of the pecora order with which I am acquainted. [2]

Boils and imposthumes have been very common with the party [3]    Bratton is now unable to work with one on his hand; soar eyes continue also to be common to all of us in a greater or less degree.    for the imposthume I use emmolient poltices, and for soar eyes a solution of white vitriol and the sugar of lead in the proportion of 2 grs. of the former and one of the latter to each ounce of water. [4]

Courses and distances May 10th 1805. [5]
South to a naked point on the Stard. side 1 ¼
S. 10° W. to a point on the Lard. side opposite to a bluff on Lard. [6]
water strong
1 ¾
N. 45° E. to the upper part of some timber in a bend on Lard. side,
where we encamped
1 ¼
  miles 4 ¼

Point of Observation No. 15.

On the Lard. shore about the middle of the 3rd course of this day.    took Equal altitudes of with ☉ sextant.

  h m s          
A. M. 8 58 14   P. M. lost by } Altd. of Sext.
72    12    45
  " 59 48     the clouds
  9   1 31      

river fell ¾ of an inch last night, wind from the N. W, we proceeded on but a short distance e'r'e the wind became So violent we could not proceed came to on the Lard. Side in a Short bend, the wind Continued all day    Several times in the course of the day We had some fiew drops of rain from verry black Clouds, no thunder or lightning latterly, Soon after we landed a Dog came to us from the opposit Side, which induced a belief that we had not passd. the Assinniboin Indians, parties wer Sent on the hills in different derections to examine but Saw no tents or fresh Sign.    examined the arms &c. of the party found all in good order. Three mule deer, two Buffalow & 5 beaver killed, 3 of the mountain ram Seen.

Course & Distance the 10th of May 1805
South 1 ¼ miles to a naked point on the Stard. Side
S. 10° W. 1 ¾ miles to a point on the Lard Side opposit to a Bluff on the
Stard. Side    water Strong
N. 45° E. 1 ¼ to the upper part of Some timber in a bend to the Lard
Side, at which place we camped
  4 ¼  

The mule Deer Described in Book No. 8 [7]


Friday 10th May 1805.    a clear cold morning.    we Set off about Sun rise, and proceeded on about 4 miles.    the wind rose So high from the N. W. that obledged us to halt at a bottom covred with timber on S. S. where the beaver had cut & fell a peace of Small timber on the bank. Several of the party went out to hunt.    the wind rose verry high. Some Squawls of rain.    one man caught a nomber of fish.    the hunters killed a fat buffaloe 4 Beaver & 2 black tailed deer and one white taild deer.    they Saw Several moose deer [8] which was much larger than the common deer and the first we have Seen    our officers Inspected the partys arms & ammuntion &.c. Camped at this place for the night.


Friday 10th.    We set out early in a fair morning; but having gone five miles were obliged to halt and lye by during the day, on account of hard wind. Some small showers of rain occasionally fell. Here we killed some deer and buffaloe and took some beaver.


Friday 10th May 1805.    clear and cold.    we Set of[f] about Sun rise and proceeded on.    the wind rose from the N. W.    came about 4 miles and halted for the wind to abate at a bottom covred with timber on the S. S. where the beaver had eat down considerable of a peace of Small timber    Several of the party went out to hunt    the wind rose high    Some Squawls of rain.    one of the men caught a nomber of fish.    the hunters killed 1 fat buffaloe 4 beaver and 3 Deer.    Some of them Saw Some mooce Deer [9] which was much larger than the common deer.    our officers Inspected our arms &c.    Camped here for the night.

Friday May 10th    We had clear and pleasant weather, and set out at Sunrise, and proceeded on, when the wind rose from the North west, we went on about 4 Miles, and halted for the Wind to abate, it blowing fresh; the place that we halted at, was in a bottom covered with Timber, lying on the South side of the River, where the Beaver had cut down a considerable quantity of small Trees.—    Some of our party, went out to hunt, and one of them to fish, The wind rose considerably high, accompanied with Squalls of Rain.—

The Man who went a fishing met with great success, and caught a number of fish, The hunters returned to us, having killed One buffalo, which was in good order, 3 deer and four beaver which they brought to us.—    The hunters mentioned that they had seen some Moose deer, which they said was 〈much〉 considerably larger than the common deer.    Our Officers inspected our Arms & We encamped at this place this night

1. In either Garfield or Valley County, Montana, on a site now inundated by Fort Peck Reservoir. Atlas maps 37, 50, 58; MRC map 65. (back)
2. This paragraph, beginning with "they killed two Mule deer," has a vertical line drawn through it. (back)
3. Chuinard suggests the effects of malnutrition and even mild scurvy, owing to the meat diet. Chuinard (OOMD), 24. (back)
4. Perhaps a recipe of Benjamin Rush's, taken from his Recipe Book or given directly to Lewis. White vitriol is zinc sulphate and sugar of lead is lead acetate. Ibid., 364 & n. 4; Cutright (LCPN), 127. (back)
5. Also given on Atlas map 37, in Clark's hand. (back)
6. Starboard in Clark's entry and Atlas map 37. (back)
7. A reference to a description of the mule deer in Clark's notebook journal Voorhis No. 2 (no. 8 in Clark's original numbering system), dated March 11, 1806. (back)
8. Ordway must mean mule deer again, rather than the moose, but it is unclear why he says it was the first they had seen. (back)
9. Ordway also identifies them as moose. It is probably a mistake for mule deer. (back)