June 15, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

June 15, 1805


This morning the men again were sent to bring in some more meat which Drewyer had killed yesterday, and continued the opperation of drying it. I amused myself in fishing, and sleeping away the fortiegues of yesterday. I caught a number of very fine trout which I made Goodrich dry; goodrich also caught about two douzen and several small cat of a yellow colour which would weigh about 4 lbs. [1]    the tails was seperated with a deep angular nitch like that of the white cat of the missouri from which indeed they differed only in colour.    when I awoke from my sleep today I found a large rattlesnake coiled on the leaning trunk of a tree under the shade of which I had been lying at the distance of about ten feet from him. I killed the snake and found that he had 176 scuta on the abdomen and 17 half formed scuta on the tale; it was of the same kinde which I had frequently seen before; they do not differ in their colours from the rattle snake common to the middle attlantic states, but considerably in the form and figures of those colours. This evening after dark Joseph Fields returned and informed me that Capt Clark had arrived with the party at the foot of a rappid about 5 miles below which he did not think proper to ascend and would wait my arrival there. [2] I had discovered from my journey yesterday that a portage on this side of the river will be attended by much difficulty in consequence of several deep ravines which intersect the plains [NB: Qu] nearly at right angles with the river to a considerable distance, while the South side appears to be a delighfull smoth unbroken plain; the bearings of the river also make it pobable that the portage will be shorter on that side than on this.—    I directed Fields to return early in the morning to Capt. C. and request him to send up a party of men for the dryed meat which we had made. I finde a very heavy due on the grass about my camp every morning which no doubt procedes from the mist of the falls, as it takes place no where in the plains nor on the 〈hills〉 river except here.


a fair morning and worm, we Set out at the usial time and proceeded on with great dificuelty as the river is more rapid    we can hear the falls this morning verry distinctly—    our Indian woman Sick & low Spirited    I gave her the bark & apply it exteranaly to her region which revived her much.    the curt. excessively rapid and dificuelt to assend great numbers of dangerous places, and the fatigue which we have to encounter is incretiatable    the men in the water from morning untill night hauling the Cord & boats walking on Sharp rocks and round Sliperery Stones which alternately cut their feet & throw them down, not with Standing all this dificuelty they go with great chearfulness, aded to those dificuelties the rattle Snakes inumerable & require great caution to prevent being bitten.—    we passed a Small river on the Lard Side about 30 yards wide verry rapid which heads in the mountains to the S. E. [3] I Sent up this river 5 miles, it has Some timber in its bottoms and a fall of 15 feet at one place, above this river the bluffs are of red earth mixed with Stratums of black Stone, below this little [river], we pass a white clay which mixes with water like flour in every respect, [4] the Indian woman much wors this evening, She will not take any medison, her husband petetions to return &c., river more rapid    late in the evening we arrived at a rapid which appeared So bad that I did not think it prudent to attempt passing of it this evening as it was now late, we Saw great numbers of Gees Ducks, Crows Blackbirds &c Geese & Ducks with their young.    after Landing I detached Joseph Fields to Capt. Lewis to let him know where I was &c    river rises a little this evening    we could not get a Sufficency of wood for our use

Course & Distance June 15th [5]
South   1 ½ to a point on the Stard Side
S. 28° W.   2 ¼ to a rock resembling a tour [tower] in the Stard bend
S 10° E.   1 ¾ to the Stard. point a passing rapid
S 60° W.      ¾ to a tree in the Std. bend rocks & rapds all the dist
South      ¾ to some bushes on a Lard. point    passed a large Creek at
½ mile on the Lard. Side which we called Shield's Creek [6]
S. 10° E.   1 ½ to the Stard point
S. 50° W.   1 to a point on the Lard. Side
South   1 ¼ to the Stard point opposit an Island opposit a Bluff.
S. 10° W.   1 ¼ to the point (a few trees) Lard. Side at a rapid, passed red
bluffs & camped on the Stard. Side
miles 12  
S 10 W      ¾ to the foot of a rapid at which place we commed the por-
tage, formed a Camp & unloaded on the Lard Side [7]
  12 ¾  

Saturday 15th June 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    we Set out at the usal hour & proceeded on    passed through the rapidest water I ever Saw any craft taken through.    passed high bluffs & clifts on each Side.    at noon we halted at the mouth of a Small River on the Lard. Side, which we named Strawberry River [8] as their is a Great many vines about it.    it is a handsom rapid Stream. Small bottoms of cotton timber on it.    2 hunters went a Short distance up the branch & killed 2 Deer.    wild or choke cherrys Goose berrys & yallow currents abound in these bottoms.    the afternoon verry warm    we proceeded on    passed redish bluffs on each Side of the River, & clifts of blackish rocks in some places, passed over Some rapids where the waves came over the Canoe which I was in and I expected everry moment to have filled.—.    in the evening we came to a bad rapid which we concluded to camp below it all night as we would be too late gitting through—   So we Camped on the Stard. Side.    one man [9] Sent up to the falls for Capt. Lewis &.C. the wood Scarse. we Came 12 miles to day by exerting ourselves as much as possable with the towing line to the best advantage.—


Saturday 15th.    We proceeded on as usual, but had the most rapid water, I ever saw any craft taken through. At noon we stopped at the mouth of a creek on the south side called Strawberry creek, handsome rapid stream, but not large. On a point above, there is a great quantity of strawberry, [10] gooseberry and choak-cherry bushes; and there appears to be a good deal of small cotton-wood on the banks of this creek. In the afternoon we passed red bluffs on both sides of the river, and at night came to a large rapid which we did not venture to pass so late; and therefore encamped below on the north side, after going 12 miles.


Saturday 15th June 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    we Set out at the usal hour.    proceeded on.    passed the rapidest water I ever Seen any crafts taken through, at noon we halted at the Mouth of a creek on the Lard. Side which we named Strawberry Creek, their being a great quantity of Strawberry vines about it.    a handsom rapid Stream, the bottoms of it coverd with Small cotton timber.    2 of the hunters went a Short distance up this Stream & killed 2 Deer.    choak cherrys, Goose berrys and yallow currents abound on the banks of the Streams in this country.    the afternoon verry warm.    we proceeded on.    passed redish couloured bluffs on each Side of the River which were high rough & in places clifts of dark Rocks.    in the evening we Came to a bad rapid which we concluded to not undertake to pass untill morning.    So we Camped below on the Stard. Side.    the wood Scarse.    one man Sent to the falls, for Capt. Lewis.    we Came only 12 miles to day by exerting our Selves as much as possable with the towing line

Saturday June 15th    We had a Clear pleasant morning, and set out at the usual hour, and proceeded on our Voyage, and passed through the most rapid running water, that we had met with, since we enter'd the Mesouri River, at Noon we halted at the mouth of a Creek lying on the South side of the River; which we named Strawberry Creek, their being such vast quantities of strawberry Vines along it, This Creek was a handsome one, the Stream running rapid, & and the bottoms along it, cover'd with handsome Cotton timber, Two of our hunters went a short distance up this Creek, and killed 2 Deer,—    On the banks of this Southern fork (or Mesouri) their is 〈an〉 the greatest plenty of Choak cherries, Goose berries, and Yellow Currants.—    In the afternoon of this day, it became very warm, We proceeded on, and passed reddish Coloured Bluffs, lying on each side of the River, which were high, and rough; and in places Clifts of black rock, In the Evening we came to a bad rapid, which we concluded on, not to undertake to pass, untill the morning, We encamped below this rapid on the North side of the River, where we found wood Scarce; Captain Clarke sent one of our Men to the falls of the River this day, to inform Captain Lewis where we were, and our situation.    We came only 12 Miles this day, the Men using their utmost exertion in towing our Crafts, which fataigued & tired them exceedingly.—

1. Probably the channel catfish, which the party had seen all along the river. It was probably Biddle who drew a red vertical line through the passage. (back)
2. Clark's camp was in Cascade County, Montana, a little below and on the opposite side from the mouth of Belt Creek (the captains' Portage Creek), not far from the Chouteau County line. Atlas maps 42, 54, 61; MRC map 76. (back)
3. Present Highwood Creek, in Chouteau County. Clark named it Shields River, suggesting that John Shields was the man sent up to explore it. Gass, Ordway, and Whitehouse call it Strawberry River or Creek. Atlas maps 42, 54, 61; MRC map 76. (back)
4. The contact between dark siltstone and shale of the Blackleaf Formation and the reddish-brown sandstone and shale of the Kootenai Formation is just upstream of Highwood Creek. The white clay is probably a bentonite bed of the Blackleaf Formation. (back)
5. Also given on Atlas map 42, in Clark's hand. (back)
6. Lewis apparently added the words "which we called Shield's Creek." (back)
7. This last course is not found on Atlas map 42. Instead, Clark has on the map five other undated courses, a total of two miles which may represent the foot exploration, after a short canoe trip of ¼ mile, on June 16, when he found the river impassable because of rapids. (back)
8. The name given also by Gass and Whitehouse, but Clark called it Shields' River, for John Shields of the party; it is Highwood Creek, Chouteau County, Montana. (back)
9. Joseph Field, according to Clark. (back)
10. Probably either wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana Duchn. var. glauca Wats., or woodland strawberry, F. vesca L. var. americana Porter. (back)