July 12, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

July 12, 1805


The canoes not having arrived and the wind still high I dispatched Sergt. Gass with three men to join Capt. Clark and assist in completing the canoes retaining only a few who in addition to those in the canoes that I expect every moment, will be sufficient to man the six canoes and take up all the baggage we have here at one load. I feel excessively anxious to be moving on.    the canoes were detained by the wind untill 2 P. M. when they set out and arrived at this place so late that I thought it best to detain them untill morning. Bratton came down today for a cople of axes which I sent by him; he returned immediately. Sergt. Gass and party joined Capt. Clark at 10 A. M. Capt. C. kept all the men with him busily engaged some in drying meat, others in hunting, and as ma[n]y as could be employed about the canoes. Segt. Pryor got his sholder dislocated yesterday, it was replaced immediately and is likely to do him but little injury; it is painfull to him today.    the hunters with Capt. C. killed three deer and two otter today.    the otter are now plenty since the water has become sufficiently clear for them to take fish.    the blue crested fisher, or as they are sometimes called the Kingfisher, [1] is an inhabitant of this part of the country; this bird is very rare on the Missouri; I have not seen more than three or four of those birds during my voyage from the entrance of the Missouri to the mouth of Maria's river and those few were reather the inhabitants of streams of clerer water which discharged themselves into the Missouri than of that river, as they were seen about the entrances of such streams. Musquetoes extreemly troublesome to me today nor is a large black knat [2] less troublesome, which dose not sting, but attacks the eye in swarms and compells us to brush them off or have our eyes filled with them. I made the men dry the ballance of the freshe meet which we had abot the camp amounting to about 200 lbs.—

Observed Equal Altitudes of the ☉ with Sextant.

A M. 10    8    31       P. M.   4    8      6 } altitude given at the
time of observation
92° 13' 15
   "    10    11      "      9    77  
   "    12    52      "    11    27
h    m    s
Chronometer too [blank] on Mean T. [blank]

a fair windey morning wind from the S. W.    all hands at work at Day light Some at the Canoes, & others drying meat for our voyage—    Dispatched W. Brattin to the [3] lower Camp for two axes which are necessary to carry on our work at this place &. Serjt. Pryors Sholder was put out of place yesterday Carrying Meat and is painfull to day.    wind hard all day    dispatched 2 hunters, they returnd in the evening with three Deer & 2 orters.    four men arrived from the lower Camp by land to assist at this place in building the Canoes &c.    musquitors & knats verry troublesom all day.    a fiew wild pigions [4] about our Camp.


July 12th Friday 1805.    a clear morning.    the wind as usal.    we proceeded on down    the wind rose So high that one canoe filled with water the other 2 took in water    the waves high but with difficulty we got down to Camp about noon    the men at Camp had killed 2 buffalow and put the Irons of the Iron boat and other articles in the ground. Several men had Set out this morning for to join Capt. Clarks party.    we Scaffelled up what meat we had to dry.    the wind continues verry high all day.—


Friday 12th.    A fine morning. Myself and three of the men went up the river to assist Captain Clarke's party. In our way we passed a small bottom on the north side of the river, in which there is an old Indian lodge 216 feet in circumference. [5] Here we saw some wild pigeons [6] and turtle doves. [7] Having gone about 7 miles we found Captain Clarke's party, [8] who had cut down two trees and taken off logs for canoes, one 25 and the other 30 feet in length. The canoes had returned to our old camp, where Captain Lewis was.


July 12th Friday 1805.    a clear morning.    the wind high from the N. W.    we proceeded on down the river.    the wind So high that one canoe filled the other 2 took in water, but with difficulty we got to the lower Camp about noon.    they while we were gone had killed 2 buffalow.    had also put the Irons of the Iron boat in the ground and Some other articles, also.    we Scaffelled up the buffalow meat to dry &c.    Several men had Set out this morning for the upper Camp, the wind continues verry high all day.

Friday July 12th    We had a clear morning, but the wind blew hard from the North West,—    The canoes that went off last night to the lower Camp for the baggage &ca proceeded on down the River; the wind continued to blow so hard, that one of those Canoes filled, The other two took in a great deal of water, with a great deal of difficulty they arrived at the lower Camp about noon, the Men left at the lower camp during our absence had killed 2 Buffalo, and buried the Irons of the Iron boat, and several articles that we intend leaving behind us, We scaffolded the Buffalo meat to dry, several of the party that was left at the lower Camp, set out to walk to the upper Camp; The wind continued to blow hard during this day.—

1. The belted kingfisher. It was probably Biddle who drew a red vertical line through the passage about the kingfisher and gnats. (back)
2. Apparently correctly identified by Coues (HLC), 2:409, as the buffalo gnat, Simulium sp. Criswell, xcv, 42. (back)
3. The White Bear Islands, or upper portage, camp, not the now-abandoned lower portage camp. (back)
4. The passenger pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius [AOU, 315]. Burroughs, 233–34. (back)
5. See Lewis's description at his entry of July 13. Probably a Blackfeet sun dance lodge. (back)
6. The now-extinct passenger pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius. (back)
7. The name of a Eurasian species commonly given to the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura. (back)
8. At Clark's canoe-making camp in Cascade County, Montana, southeast of Antelope Butte and a few miles east of the town of Ulm (see Lewis's entry of July 10). (back)