June 27, 1805
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June 27, 1805


The party returned early this morning for the remaining canoe and baggage; Whitehouse was not quite well this morning I therefore detained him and about 10 A. M. set him at work with Frazier sewing the skins together for the boat; Shields and Gass continued the operation of shaving and fiting the horizontall bars of wood in the sections of the boat; the timber is so crooked and indifferent that they make but little progress, for myself I continued to act the part of cook in order to keep all hands employed.    some Elk came near our camp and we killed 2 of them    at 1 P. M. a cloud arrose to the S. W. and shortly after came on attended with violent Thunder Lightning and hail &c.    (see notes on diary of the weather for June).    soon after this storm was over Drewyer and J. Fields returned.    they were about 4 miles above us during the storm, the hail was of no uncommon size where they were. They had killed 9 Elk and three bear during their absence; one of the bear was the largest by far that we have yet seen; the skin appear to me to be as large as a common ox.    while hunting they saw a thick brushey bottom on the bank of the river where from the tracks along shore they suspected that there were bare concealed; they therefore landed without making any nois and climbed a leaning tree and placed themselves on it's branches about 20 feet above the ground, when thus securely fixed they gave a hoop and this large bear instantly rushed forward to the place from whence he had heard the human voice issue, when he arrived at the tree he made a short paus and Drewyer shot him in the head.    it is worthy of remark that these bear never climb.    the fore feet of this bear measured nine inches across and the hind feet eleven and ¾ in length & exclusive of the tallons and seven inches in width.    a bear came within thirty yards of our camp last night and eat up about thirty weight of buffaloe suit which was hanging on a pole.    my dog seems to be in a constant state of alarm with these bear and keeps barking all night.    soon after the storm this evening the water on this side of the river became of a deep crimson colour which I pesume proceeded from some stream above and on this side.    there is a kind of soft red stone in the bluffs and bottoms of the gullies in this neighbourhood which forms this colouring matter.— [1]    At the lower camp . Capt. Clark completed a draught of the river with the couses and distances from the entrance of the Missouri to Ft. Mandan, which we intend depositing here in order to guard against accedents. [2] Sergt. Pryor is somewhat better this morning.    at 4 P. M. the party returned from the upper camp; Capt. C. gave them a drink of grog; they prepared for the labour of the next day.    soon after the party returned it began to rain accompanyed by some hail and continued a short time; a second shower fell late in the evening accompanyed by a high wind from N. W.—    the mangled carcases of several buffaloe pass down the river today which had no doubt perished in the falls.


a fair warm morning wind from the S, E, and moderate. Serjt. Pryor Something better this morning, I proceed to finish a rough draugh of the river & Distances to leave at this place, the wormest day we have had this year, at 4 oClock the Party returned from the head of the portage    Soon after it began to hail and rain hard and continued for a fiew minits & Ceased for an hour 〈when〉 and began to rain again with a heavy wind from the N W. I refresh the men with a drink of grog    The river beginning to rise a little the water is Coloured a redish brown, the Small Streams, discharges in great torrents, and partake of the Choler of the earth over which it passes—a great part of which is light & of a redish brown. Several Buffalow pass drowned & 〈dashed to pices〉 in passing over the falls Cloudy all night, Cold


June 27th 1805, Thursday    a fair warm morning. Whitehouse Some better. a heavey dew last night. I and three more of the party Set off eairly to return by the way of the falls.    the men Stearted with the truck waggons at the Same time. I passed Some Indian Camps above medicine River on the Shore Lard. Side    Saw a large gang of buffalow out of which I killed a cow and calf, and went on    passed the upper falls which is a great catteract and look remarkable. I Set and looked at them a few minutes and went on untill I came to the Spring which was the finest tasted water I ever Saw and the largest fountain which up through a ledge of rocks near the River and forces its way up about 10 feet for Some distance around then forms a fall in to the River. it is clear as a cristal    I could have Seen to the bottom of the fountain to pick up a pin.    the water cold and pure.    the Rocks green which the water run over.    proceeded on    about noon we killed a fat Bull and took out the hump and went down a Steep hill to git to water where we broiled the hump and eat a hearty meal of it.    went on    passed the lower high falls which is the highest known except the falls of Neagra.    all these fall measured and added together is 300 60 [360] odd feet in hight and is a great Site to See them. I proceeded on to the mouth of willow Creek.    a hard Shower of rain and hail came on of a Sudden So I got under a Shelving rock on one Side of the creek where a kept dry through the hardest of it.    hard thunder.    large hail    the creek rose So high in a fiew minutes that I had to move from the dry place and proceeded on.    the wind blew So high that the hail cut verry hard against me and I could hardly keep my feet.    the rain has made it So muddy and Slipperry, but we arived at the lower Camp a little before night the party had arived a little before, with the truck wheels    look likely for more rain So I and one man more went and Slept in the carsh or hole which was dug to deposit Some baggage in which we intend to leave.    cloudy all night. Some buffalow came down the River dead.


Thursday 27th.    A fine day. The men went back for the remaining canoe and baggage. The sick man [3] is become better. This morning some elk came close to camp and we killed two of them. In the afternoon a dreadful hail storm came on, which lasted half an hour. Some of the lumps of ice that fell weighed 3 ounces, and measured 7 inches in circumference. The ground was covered with them, as white as snow. It kept cloudy during the evening and some rain fell. At night the two hunters [4] that went up the river returned. They had killed while out 9 elk and 3 bears.


June 27th Thursday 1805.    a fair warm morning.    I feel Some better but not able to go back to the lower Camp So I remained with Capt. Lewis.    Sergt. Ordway and three men went down by the River to See the falls and Spring &c    about 4 oClock we had a hard Shower of rain which made the portage so Slipperry we did not expect they would Start from the lower Camp tomorrow with a load of the baggage as usal

Thursday June 27th    This morning we had clear weather, but warm, the Man that was taken Ill Yesterday, had got somewhat recovered, tho' so weak, and was not 〈to be〉 able to return to the lower Camp, Captain Lewis and three of the party went down to the River, to view the falls, Springs &ca.    About 4 o'Clock P. M. we had a hard shower of rain, which made the Portage so slippey, that we did not expect the party would start from the lower Camp till tomorrow with a load of baggage &ca. for the Upper Camp—

1. The soft red stone is shale within the Kootenai Formation. (back)
2. It is not clear whether this was a single map or a series like the twenty-nine sheets covering the same territory—the mouth of the Missouri to Fort Mandan—sent to Jefferson from the latter place. See the Introduction to the Atlas. This map is apparently lost. (back)