June 18, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

June 18, 1805


This morning I employed all hands in drawing the perogue on shore in a thick bunch of willow bushes some little distance below our camp; fastened her securely, drove out the plugs of the gage holes of her bottom and covered her with bushes and driftwood to shelter her from the sun. I now scelected a place for a cash and set tree men at work to complete it, and employed all others except those about the waggons, in overhawling airing and repacking our indian goods ammunicion, provision and stores of every discription which required inspection.    examined the frame of my Iron boat and found all the parts complete except one screw, which the ingenuity of Sheilds can readily replace, a resource which we have very frequent occasion for.    about 12 O'Clk. the hunters returned; they had killed 10 deer but no Elk. I begin to fear that we shall have some difficulty in procuring skins for the boat. I wold prefer those of the Elk because I beleive them more durable and strong than those of the Buffaloe, and that they will not shrink so much in drying.    we saw a herd of buffaloe come down to water at the sulpher spring this evening, I dispatched some hunters to kill some of them, and a man also for a cask of mineral water.    the hunters soon killed two of them in fine order and returned with a good quantity of the flesh, having left the remainder in a situation that it will not spoil provided the wolves do not visit it. The waggons are completed this evening, and appear as if they would answer the purpose very well if the axetrees prove sufficiently strong.    the wind blew violently this evening, as they frequently do in this open country where there is not a tree to brake or oppose their force. The Indian woman is recovering fast    she set up the greater part of the day and walked out for the fist time since she arrived here; she eats hartily and is free from fever or pain. I continue same course of medecine and regimen except that I added one doze of 15 drops of the oil of vitriol [1] today about noon.

There is a species of goosberry which grows very common about here in open situations among the rocks on the sides of the clifts. [2]    they are now ripe of a pale red colour, about the size of a common goosberry, and like it is an ovate pericarp of soft pulp invelloping a number of smal whitish coloured seeds; the pulp is a yelloish slimy muselaginous substance of a sweetish and pinelike tast, not agreeable to me.    the surface of the berry is covered with a glutinous adhesive matter, and the frut altho' ripe retains it's withered corollar.    this shrub seldom rises more than two feet high and is much branched, the leaves resemble those of the common goosberry only not so large; it has no thorns.    the berry is supported by seperate peduncles or footstalks of half an inch in length.    immence quantities of small grasshoppers of a brown colour in the plains, [3] they no doubt contribute much to keep the grass as low as we find it which is not generally more than three inches, the grass is a narrow leaf, soft, and affords a fine pasture for the Buffaloe.— [4]


we Set out early and arrived at the second great Cataract a[t] about 200 yds above the last of 19 feet pitch—    this is one of the grandest views in nature and by far exceeds any thing I ever Saw, the Missouri falling over a Shelveing rock for 47 feet 8 Inches with a Cascade &c of 14 feet 7 Inches above the Shoot for a ¼ mile    I decended the Clift below this Cateract with ease measured the hight of the purpendicular fall of 47 feet 8 Inches at which place the river is 473 yards wide as also the hight of the Cascade &c.    a continuel mist quite across this fall*    after which we proceeded on up the river a little more than a mile to the largest fountain or Spring I ever Saw, [5] and doubt if it is not the largest in America Known, this water boils up from under th rocks near the edge of the river and falls imediately into the river 8 feet and keeps its Colour for ½ a mile which is emencely Clear and of a bluish Cast, proceeded on up the river    passed a Succession of rapids to the next great fall of 26 Ft. 5 I.    river 580 yards wide    this fall is not intirely perpdincular    a Short bench gives a Curve to the water as it falls    a butifull Small Island at the foot of this fall near the Center of the Channel Covered with trees, the Missouri at this fall is 36 yards wide, a Considerable mist rises at this fall ocasionally, from this pitch to the head of the rapids is one mile & has a fall of 20 feet, this is also a handsome Scenery a fall in an open leavel plain, after takeing the hight & measureing the river proceeded on, Saw a gange of Buffalow Swiming the river above the falls, Several of which was drawn in to the rapids and with dificuelty mad Shore half drowned, we killed one of those Cows & took a[s] much meat as we wished.    emence herds of those animals in every direction, passed 2 groves in the Point just above the rapids & dined in one opposit the mouth of Medison River, which fails in on the Stard. Side and is 137 yards wide at its mouth    the Missouri 〈nearly one mile〉 above is 800 yards wide, as the river [Missouri] appears to bear S Easterley I assended about 4 miles high to a Creek which appeared to head in South mountains [6]    passed a Island of [7] [blank] and a little timber in an Easterly bend at 1 mile, passed Some timber in a point at 2 mile at or near the lower point of a large Island on which we Shot at a large white bear.    passed a Small Island in the middle and one close on the Lard Shore at 3 miles behind the head of which we Camped. [8]    those 3 Islands are all opposit, Soon after we Camped two ganges of Buffalow crossed one above & the other below    we killed 7 of them & a calf and Saved as much of the best of the meat as we could this evening, one man A Willard going for a load of meat at 170 yards distance on an Island was attact by a white bear and verry near being Caught, prosued within 40 yards of Camp where I was with one man    I collected 3 others of the party and prosued the bear (who had prosued my track from a buffalow I had killed on the Island at about 300 yards distance and chance to meet Willard) for fear of his attacking one man Colter at the lower point of the Island, before we had got down the bear had allarmed the man and prosued him into the water, at our approach he retreated, and we relieved the man in the water, I Saw the bear but the bushes was So thick that I could not Shoot him and it was nearly dark, the wind from the S W & Cool    killed a beaver & an elk for their Skins this evening


Tuesday 18th June 1805.    this morning all hands halled out the long perogue.    we leave in a bunch of bushes below the Camp.    we covered hir over with bushes & dry wood. Secured hir Safe.    3 men Sent to a knob a short distance out to dig a cash or hole to put a fiew heavey articles in which we can Spare, to deposite at this place.    the day pleasant we repacked the Indian goods &.C.    moved all the baggage near to camp.    about 12 oClock the hunters came in    had killed 10 deer but no Elk.    in the evening we saw some buffalow on the opposite Shore. Some of the hunters crossed and killed 2 of them    the little low waggons Compleated.    all made of wood & of a ordinarry quallity though they may answer the purpose.    the wind high from the west.    our Intrepters wife Some what better than She has been for Some time past. we are now 2580¼ miles from the mouth of the Missourie River.—


Tuesday 18th.    The periogue [9] was hauled out of the water and laid safe; and some men went to dig a place for depositing more of our baggage. About 12 the two hunters came in, and could find no elk, but killed 10 deer. In the evening we compleated our waggons, which were made altogether of wood, and of a very ordinary quality; but it is expected they will answer the purpose.


Tuesday 18th June 1805.    a fine pleasant day.    in the morning all hands halled out the White perogue, in a thicked of bushes below the bank & covered hir with bushes &c. & Secured hir Safe.    3 men Sent out a Short distance to a knob to dig a carsh or hole to deposite Some of our baggage in, for we mean to leave all we can Spare at this place.    Some men at Sorting & repacking the Indian Goods &c.    about 12 oC. the 2 hunters came in had killed 10 Deer but no Elk.    in the evening we Saw Some buffalow on the opposite Side of the River.    Some of the hunters went over and killed 2 of them.    the low waggons finished which are all made of wood, & of an ordinarry quality though they may answer the purpose.    the wind high from the West.

Tuesday June 18th    A fine pleasant day, in the Morning all our Men who were in Camp, were employed hawling up our largest Pettyauger, into a thicket of bushes, which lay below our Camp, where they secured her, after doing of which 3 of our Men were sent a short distance to a knob, in order to dig a Cashe, or hole, to deposit some more of our baggage in, Our Officers intending to leave here, what baggage we can possibly do without, Some others of our party was employed in sorting and repacking the Indian Goods &ca.—

About 12 o'Clock A. M. the hunters that had went out Yesterday, returned to us, they had killed 10 deer, but no Elk, In the Evening we saw some buffalo on the opposite side of the River, some of our hunters went across and killed 2 of them, we this day compleated our Carriages, they were made out of wood of an ordinary quality, though we think they will answer the purpose that they were intended for; The wind rose & blew from the West, we encamped [10] at this place for the day.—

1. Sulphuric acid, used as a tonic and astringent. Chuinard (OOMD), 291–92. (back)
2. Ribes cereum Dougl. var. inebrians (Lindl.) C. L. Hitchc., squaw, or western red, currant. It is interesting that Lewis refers to this currant as a gooseberry. Gooseberries are commonly distinguished from currants by the presence of spines or prickles on the stem. See also July 25, 1805. Booth & Wright, 107; Barkley, 134. It was probably Biddle who drew a red vertical line through this passage about the "gooseberry" to nearly the end of the entry. (back)
3. Lewis is probably seeing several varieties of grasshoppers which are in their nymphal stage, most likely Ageneotetix deorum. (back)
4. The grass is probably blue grama, Bouteloua gracilis (HBK.) Lag., or possibly buffalograss, Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm. Fernald, 182, 184. (back)
5. Giant Springs is now located in a park northeast of the city of Great Falls, in Cascade County, Montana. Atlas maps 42, 54, 61; MRC map 77. It has been said to discharge 388,800,000 gallons of water every twenty-four hours, but more recent measurements indicate 174–213,000,000 gallons a day. Appleman (LC), 316–17; Montana Guide, 156–57; information of Robert N. Bergantino, July 18, 1986. The asterisk in the preceding sentence cannot be explained. (back)
6. Flattery Run on Atlas maps 54, 62; later Sand Coulee Creek. MRC map 77. (back)
7. After this word, at the bottom of a page of Voorhis No.1, Clark has written the words "No.10." The meaning is unknown. (back)
8. The "Upper Portage Camp," occupied until July 12, is about three-quarters of a mile north of Sand Coulee Creek. The "White Bear Islands" themselves have virtually disappeared, merging with the banks of the Missouri in Cascade County. Appleman (LC), 314; Atlas maps 42, 54, 61; MRC map 77. (back)
9. The white pirogue. (back)
10. At the lower portage camp. (back)