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

June 30, 1805


We had a heavy dew this morning which is a remarkable event. Fraizer and Whitehouse still continue their opperation of sewing the skins together. I set Shields and gass to shaving bark and Fields continued to make the cross brases. Drewyer and myself rendered a considerable quantity of tallow and cooked. I begin to be extremely impatient to be off as the season is now waisting a pace    nearly three months have now elapsed since we left Fort Mandan and not yet reached the Rocky Mountains    I am therefore fully preswaded that we shall not reach Fort Mandan again this season if we even return from the ocean to the Snake Indians.    wherever we find timber there is also beaver; Drewyer killed two today. There are a number of large bat or goatsucker here    I killed one of them and found that there was no difference between them and those common to the U' States; I have not seen the leather winged bat for some time nor is there any of the small goatsuckers in this quarter of the country. [1]    we have not the whip-poor-will either.    this last is by many persons in the U' States confounded with the large goat-sucker or night-hawk as it is called in the Eastern States, and are taken for the same bird. [2]    it is true that there is a great resemblance but they are distinct species of the goatsucker.    here the one exists without the other.    the large goat sucker lays it's eggs in these open plains without the preperation of a nest    we have found their eggs in several instances    they lay only two before they set nor do I beleive that they raise more than one brood in a season; they have now just hatched their young.—    This evening the bark was shaved and the leather covering for the sections were also completed and I had them put into the water, in order to toughen the bark, and prepare the leather for sewing on the sections in the morning.    it has taken 28 Elk skins and 4 Buffaloe skins to complete her.    the cross bars are also finished this evening; we have therefore only the way strips [3] now to obtain in order to complete the wood work, and this I fear will be a difficult task. The party have not returned from the lower camp    I am therefore fearfull that some uncommon accedent has happened.

Occurrences with Capt. Clark and Party

This morning Capt. Clark dispatched two men to kill some buffaloe, two others to the falls to surch for the articles lost yesterday, one he retained to cook and sent the others for the baggage left in the plains yesterday.    the hunters soon returned loaded with meat    those sent for the baggage brought it up in a few hours, he then set four men at work to make axeltrees and repare the carrages; the others he employed in conveying the baggage over the run on their sholders it having now fallent to about 3 feet water.    the men complained much today of the bruises and wounds which they had received yesterday from the hail.    the two men sent to the falls returned with the compas which they found covered in the mud and sand near the mouth of the rivene    the other articles were irrecoverably lost.    they found that part of rivene in; which Capt. C. had been seting yesterday, filled with huge rocks.    at 11 A. M. Capt. Clark dispatched the party with a load of the baggage as far as the 6 miles stake, with orders to deposit it there and return with the carriages which they did accordingly.    they experienced a heavy gust of wind this evening from the S. W. after which it was a fair afternoon.    more buffaloe than usual were seen about their camp; Capt. C assured me that he beleives he saw at least ten thousand at one view.—

June 30th 1805
Point of Observation No.29

At our camp on the Lard. side of the Missouri opposite to the White bear Islands observed Equal Altitudes of the Sun with Sextant.

Equal Altitudes of ☉'s L. L.

  h    m      s   h    m      s
A. M. 8    50    19 P. M. 5    51    54

☞ I have made several attempts to obtain Equal altitudes since my arrival here but have been uniformly defeated untill now by the flying clouds and storms in the evening.—


a fair morning, I dispatch the party except 5 for the remaining baggage Scattered in the plains, two to hunt for meat, two to the falls, and one to Cook    at 10 oClock the hunters Came in loaded with fat meat, & those were dispatched for the baggage returned with it. I Set 4 men to make new axeltrees & repare the Carrages, others to take the load across the run which had fallen & is about 3 feet water, men Complain of being Swore this day dull and lolling about, The two men dispatched in Serch of the articls lost yesterday returned and brought the Compass which they found in the mud & Stones near the mouth of the revein, no other articles found, the place I Sheltered under filled up with hugh Rocks, I Set the party out at 11 oClock to take a load to the 6 mile Stake & return this evening, and I intend to take on the ballance to the river tomorrow if the prarie will permit.    at 3 oClock a Storm of wind from the S. W. after which we had a clear evening. Great numbers of Buffalow in every direction, I think 10,000 may be Seen in a view.


June 30th Sunday 1805.    a fair morning.    we went after the remaining Baggage left in the plains.    2 men went to the falls to look for the Compass &.C.    2 men went out to hunt.    about 4 oClock the hunters came in loaded with fat meat    the men returned with the baggage ecty [etc.?]    4 men Set at makeing axtletrees and repair the carriages &C.    this run has fallen a little.    last evening it was up to a mans waist at the crossing place where it was dry before the Showers, and verry riley and bad tasted. Some took the Baggage up the hill    the 2 men in Search of the articles lost yesterday returned and brought the Compass which they found in the mud and Stones near the mouth of the revene.    no other articles found.    one man killed an Elk    at 12 oClock we Set out with a load to the 6 mile Stake and return this evening.    we intend takeing the remainder through to the upper Camp tomorrow if the prarie will permit.    at 3 oClock we had a Storm of wind from S. W. after which a fair evening great numbers of buffalow in everry direction    I think 10000 may be Seen at one view


Sunday 30th.    A fine morning and heavy dew, which is very rare in this country. The men with the canoe and baggage did not return, as we expected.


June 30th Sunday 1805.    a fair morning.    I remained Still at the upper Camp assisting with the Iron boat Sowing Skins together &c. &c.    the hunters kill Some buffalow and 3 white bear.    one verry large the fore feet of which measured 9 inches across, & the head to feet 11¼ Inches long and 7 Inches wide.    a bear nearly catching Joseph Fields chased him in to the water    bear about the Camp everry night, and Seen on the Islands in the day time.    we look for Capt. Clark & party.

Sunday June 30th    A fair morning & pleasant, the party that were at the upper camp, were all employed, in sewing Skins together for to cover the frame of the boat &ca.    some of the hunters kill'd some buffalo, and 3 White or brown Bear, One of which was very large, the fore feet of which, measured 9 Inches across, from the head to the fore feet 11¼ Inches & 7 Inches wide, One of our party had near being catched by one of those huge Animals & he was forced to take to the Water, to make his escape.—    The bear are plenty along the upper Camp every night, and we see them in great plenty on the Islands in the day-time.    We are at the upper Camp, looking out for the arrival of Captain Clark and his party, with the baggage &ca. fearing that they must have suffered much by the hail.—

1. The large goatsucker is probably the common nighthawk, Chordeiles minor [AOU, 420]; to Burroughs and Coues it was a subspecies, the Pacific nighthawk, C. m. hesperis, but the most recent opinion seems to agree with Lewis that there was no significant difference from the Eastern variety. The bird was then colloquially called a "bat," and the mammal was distinguished by Lewis as the "leather-winged bat," which could be any of a number of species. The "small goatsucker" would probably be the common poorwill as identified previously. Coues (HLC), 2:398 and 398 n. 16; Burroughs, 235–36; Holmgren, 28, 34. It was probably Biddle who drew a red vertical line through this passage about the "leather winged bat" down through "toughen the bark." (back)
2. Lewis distinguishes the whip-poor-will, Caprimulgus vociferus [AOU, 417], from the common nighthawk. (back)
3. Perhaps what Lewis elsewhere (see below, February 18, 1806) calls "waytape," after a Chippewa word, referring to white spruce roots or bark strips used to fasten together birch-bark canoes. Possibly the reference is to strips of wood with which to launch the boat. Criswell, 90–91. (back)