June 26, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

June 26, 1805


The Musquetoes are extreemly troublesome to us. This morning early I dispatched J. Fields and Drewyer in one of the canoes up the river to hunt Elk.    set Frazier at work to sew the skins together for the covering of the boat. Sheilds and Gas I sent over the river to surch a small timbered bottom on that side opposite to the Islands for timber and bark; and to myself I assign the duty of cook as well for those present as for the party which I expect again to arrive this evening from the lower camp. I collected my wood and water, boiled a large quantity of excellent dryed buffaloe meat and made each man a large suet dumpling by way of a treat.    about 4 P. M. Shields and Gass returned with a better supply of timber than they had yet collected tho' not by any means enough.    they brought some bark principally of the Cottonwood which I found was too brittle and soft for the purpose; for this article I find my only dependence is the sweet willow which has a tough & strong bark. Shields and Gass had killed seven buffaloe in their absence the skins of which and a part of the best of the meat they brought with them.    if I cannot procure a sufficient quantity of Elk's skins I shall substitute those of the buffaloe.    late in the evening the party arrived with two more canoes and another portion of the baggage. Whitehouse one of them much heated and fortiegued on his arrivall dank a very hearty draught of water and was taken almost instanly extreemly ill.    his pulse were very full and I therefore bled him plentifully from which he felt great relief. I had no other instrument with which to perform this opperation but my pen knife, however it answered very well.    the wind being from S. E today and favourable the men made considerable progress by means of their sails.

At the lower Camp . The party set out very early from this place, and took with them two canoes and a second alotment of baggage consisting of Parched meal, Pork, powder lead axes, tools, bisquit, portable soupe, some merchandize and cloathing. Capt. C. gave Sergt. Pryor a doze of salts this morning and employed Sharbono in rendering the buffaloe tallow which had been collected there, he obtained a sufficient quantity to fill three empty kegs. Capt. C. also scelected the articles to be deposited in the cash consisting of my desk which I had left for that purpose and in which I had left some books, my specimens of plants minerals &c. collected from fort Mandan to that place. [1]    also 2 Kegs of Pork, ½ a Keg of flour 2 blunderbushes, ½ a keg of fixed ammunition and some other small articles belonging to the party which could be dispenced with.    deposited the swivel and carriage under the rocks a little above the camp near the river.    great numbers of buffaloe still continue to water daily opposite the camp. The antelopes still continue scattered and seperate in the plains.    the females with their young only of which they generally have two, and the males alone. Capt. Clarke measured the rout from the Camp at the Whitebear Islands to the lower camp which is as follows.—

N. 42° E. 4 miles to an elivated point of the plain.    the rout is a little
to the left of this course first down the river and then turn-
ing gradually to the right up a long and gentle ascent to
the high plain.
N. 66° E. 3 m. passing the head of a drane which falls into the Mis-
at the 19 feet or crooked fall.
N. 45° E. 4 m. to willow run, which always has a plenfull supply of
good water.    and some timber.
N. 18° E. 4 m. passing the head of a drane which falls in the mis-
below the great falls.
N. 10° W. 2 m. to the entrance of Portage creek.    the rout for the
canoes is to the right of this course and strikes the creek
about 1 ¾ miles from it's entrance, by that means avoiding
a very steep hill which lies above Portage creek.
N. 9° W.    ¾ M. to our camp opposite the last considerable rappid.—
Miles 17 ¾  

Some rain last night    this morning verry Cloudy    the party Set out this morning verry early with their loads to the Canoe Consisting of Parched meal Pork Powder Lead axes, Tools Bisquit, P. Soup & Some Merchendize & clothes &c. &c. I gave Serjt. Pryor a dost of Salts, & Set Chabonah to trying up the Buffalow tallow & put into the empty Kegs &c. I assort our articles for to be left at this place buried, [blank] Kegs of Pork, ½ a Keg of flour, 2 blunderbuts, [blank] Caterrages a few Small lumbersom articles Capt Lewiss Desk and Some books & Small articles in it

The wind from the N. W. verry worm    flying Clouds    in the evening the wind Shifted round to the East & blew hard, which is a fair wind for the two Canoes to Sail on the Plains across the portage, I had three Kegs of Buffalow Grease tried up. Great numbers of Buffalow opposite to our Camp watering to day.


June 26th Wednesday 1805. Some rain last night.    this morning cloudy. we Set out eairly with our loads to the Canoes consisting of pearched meal pork powder lead axes tools Bisquit and portable Soup. [2]    we put it in the canoes and proceeded on verry well to willow creek, where we halted to cook & then proceeded on    The day proved fair.    we Saw great numbers of buffalow in the plains in everry direction    considerable of the plains as far as our Eyes could extend appear to be black with buffalow. Some antelopes and Deer also wolves    Whitehouse took Sick this evening a little before we got to the upper Camp.    we arived at the u. camp a little before night.    the men went with Capt. Lewis on a Small Island below the Camp to hunt for a white bear which had been about the Camp the night before and cut Some meat near the tents &C.


Wednesday 26th.    A fine morning. Two hunters [3] went up the river, and myself and another [4] went over the river to collect bark; where a great gang of buffaloe came near us, and we killed 7 of them. In the evening the men returned over the plains with two more canoes and baggage. One man fell very sick, [5] and Captain Lewis had to bleed him with a penknife, having no other instrument at this camp. Captain Clarke measured the length of this portage accurately and found it to be 18 miles. [6] He also measured the height of the falls, and found them in a distance of 17 miles 362 feet 9 inches. The first great pitch 98 feet, the second 19 feet, the third 47 feet 8 inches, the fourth 26 feet; and a number of small pitches, amounting altogether to 362 feet 9 inches. [7]


June 26th Wednesday 1805.    Some rain last night.    this morning verry cloudy.    the party Set out eairly with our loads to the canoes consisting of pearched meal pork powder lead axes tools Bisquit and portable Soup &c.    we proceeded on with the 2 canoes & Some baggage.    verry hot Sun beat down on us as the day proved fair.    we halted at willow creek and made up a fiew dumplings & broiled a little fat buffalow meat & we Saw great numbers of buffalow on the plains in every direction.    the plain appear to be black with them.    Some antelope and Deer.    the wolves pleanty.—    I took sick this evening [8]    I expect by drinking too much water when I was hot.    I got bled &c

Wednesday June 26th    We had some rain last night, and this morning, we had cloudy weather; the party set out early this morning, with their loads to the canoes, it consisted of parched Corn meal, pork, Powder & lead, Axes and Iron tools, Biscuit, Portable soup &ca.    the party proceeded on with the 2 Canoes, & the aforementioned Articles, baggage &ca.—    The weather cleared up at 9 o'Clock A. M. and the Sun was very hot; We halted at Willow Creek in order to dine, The party that went with this load, mentioned of having seen a Vast number of Buffalo feeding in the plains in every direction, the plains appearing to be fairly black with them.    they saw Antelopes, 〈and〉 deer, & Wolves in the greatest abundance, As I was one of the party that was sent with the 2 Canoes, that was carried on the truck waggons loaded with Provisions baggage &ca. I had an opportunity of seeing the quantity of Buffalo as related; and I can without exaggeration say, that I saw more Buffalo feeding—at one time, than all the Animals I had ever seen before in my life time put together.—    One of the party was taken very Ill, and it was supposed his sickness proceeded from drinking too much Water, when he was warm,

1. In fact, these specimens were deposited in the cache made at the upper camp, rather than here at the lower camp. Most of them were lost to water damage. See below, July 13, 1806. (back)
2. Lewis purchased this soup in Philadelphia; it may have been kept in the form of dry powder or as a thick liquid. It was a staple army ration of the time. (back)
6. Seventeen and three-fourths miles according to Lewis's entry on this day. (back)
7. See Clark's survey notes of June 17–19, 1805, for the heights of the falls. (back)
8. The party Whitehouse was with reached the upper portage camp in the evening. (back)