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

July 26, 1805


Set out early this morning as usual current strong with frequent riffles; employ the cord and seting poles.    the oars scarcely ever being used except to pass the river in order to take advantage of the shore and current.    at the distance of 3¾ m. passed the entrance of a large Creek 15 yds. wide which discharges itself on Lard. near the center of a Lard. bend it is a bold runing stream    this we called Howard's Creek after Thomas P. Howard one of our party. [1]    at the distance of one mile further we passed the entrance of a small run which falls in just above a rocky clift on Lard. [2] here the hills or reather mountains again recede from the river and the valley again widens to the extent of several miles with wide and fertile bottom lands.    covered with grass and in many places a fine terf of green-swoard.    the high lands are thin meagre soil covered with dry low sedge and a species of grass [3] also dry the seeds of which are armed with a long twisted hard beard at the upper extremity while the lower point is a sharp subulate firm point beset at it's base with little stiff bristles standing with their points in a contrary direction to the subulate point to which they answer as a barb and serve also to pres it forward when onece entered a small distance.    these barbed seed penetrate our mockersons and leather legings and give us great pain untill they are removed.    my poor dog suffers with them excessively, he is constantly binting and scratching himself as if in a rack of pain.    the prickly pear also grow here as abundantly as usual.    there is another species of the prickly pear of a globular form, [4] composed of an assemblage of little conic leaves springing from a common root to which their small points are attached as a common center and the base of the cone forms the apex of the leaf which is garnished with a circular range of sharp thorns quite as stif and more keen than the more common species with the flat leaf, like the Cockeneal plant.    on entering this open valley I saw the snowclad tops of distant mountains before us.    the timber and mountains much as heretofore.    saw a number of beaver today and some otter, killed one of the former, also 4 deer; found a deer's skin which had been left by Capt. C. with a note informing me of his having met with a horse but had seen no fresh appearance of the Indians.    the river in the valley is from 2 to 250 yds. wide and crouded with Islands, in some places it is ¾ of a mile wide including islands.    were it passed the hills it was from 150 to 200 yds. the banks are still low but never overflow.    one of the men brought me an indian bow which he found, it was made of cedar and about 2 F. 9 Inh. in length.    it had nothing remarkable in it's form being much such as is used by the Mandans Minetares &c. This morning Capt. Clark left Sharbono and Joseph Fields at the camp of last evening and proceeded up the river about 12 miles to the top of a mountain from whence he had an extensive view of the valley of the river upwards and of a large creek which flowed into it on Std. side. [5]    not meeting with any fresh appearance of Indians he determined to return and examine the middle fork of the missouri and meet me by the time he expected me to arrive at the forks.    he returned down the mountain by the way of an old Indian road which led through a deep hollow of the mountain facing the south    the day being warm and the road unshaded by timber [X: in the deep valley] he suffered excessively with heat and the want of water, at length he arrived at a very cold spring, at which he took the precaution of weting his feet head and hands before drank but notwithstanding this precaution he soon felt the effects of the water.    he felt himself very unwell shortly after but continued his march rejoined Sharbono and Fields where the party eat of a fawn which Jo. Fields had killed in their absence    Capt. C. was so unwell that he had no inclination to eat.    after a short respite he resumed his march pass the North fork at a large island; here Charbono was very near being swept away by the current and cannot swim, Capt. C however risqued him and saved his life. Capt. C. continued his march to a small river which falls into the North fork some miles above the junction of the 3 forks it being the distance of about four miles from his camp of last evening    here finding himself still more unwell he determined to encamp. [6]    they killed two brown or Grisley bear this evening on the island where they passed the N. fork of the Missouri.    the stream is much divided by islands and it's current rapid and much as that of the missouri [NB: Qu] where we are and is navigable.—    [X: emence qty of Beaver]

Courses and distances of July 26th 1805
N. 45° W.      ¼ to an object in a Stard. bend
S. 60° W.   1 to a point in a Lard. bend passing 9 small Islds.
S. 55° W.      ½ to the center of a Stard. bend passing one Ild. and opt.
a 2cd
S. 65° E.   1 to a clift of rocks in a Stard. bend passing 2 Islands.
N. 65° E.   1 to the entrance of a creek 15 yds. wide on Lard. in a Lard.
bend we call Howards Creek.    pag. 1 Ild.
S. 15° E.   1 to the entrance of a small run in a Lard. bend    the mouts.
here recedes from the river.    this run Capt. C. has laid
down in mistake for Howard's Creek.
S. 55° W.   1 ½ to the center of a Stard. bend
S. 12° W.   2 ½ to a point in a Stard. bend
S. 15° E.   3 ½ to a point of high timber on the Lard. passing 3 Ilds. on
S. 25° W.   1 to the center of a Stard. bend
East   1 ¼ to the center of a Lard. bend passing 3 Islds. on Lard. side
S. 20° E.   2 ½ to the center of a Lard. bend passing 4 Islds. on Lard. Sd.
S. 48° W.   1 ½ to a rock in the center of a Lard. bend opposite to 2 Islds.
where we encamped for the night on Lard. shore. [7]
Miles 16 ½ [NB: 18]

I deturmined to leave Shabono & one man who had Sore feet to rest & proceed on with the other two [8] to the top of a mountain 12 miles distant west and from thence view the river & vallies a head, we with great dificuelty & much fatigue reached the top at 11 oClock    from the top of this mountain I could see the Course of the North fork about 10 miles meandering through a Vallie but Could discover no Indians or Sign which was fresh. I could also See Some distance up the Small River below, and also the middle fork    after Satisfying my Self returned to the two me[n] by an old Indian parth, on this parth & in the Mountain we Came to a Spring of excessive Cold water, which we drank reather freely of as we were almost famished; not with Standing the precautions of wetting my face, hands, & feet, I Soon felt the effects of the water. We Contind. thro a Deep Vallie without a Tree to Shade us Scorching with heat to the men who had killed a pore Deer, I was fatigued my feet with Several blisters & Stuck with prickley pears. I eate but verry little deturmined to Cross to the middle fork and examine that.    we Crossed the Missouri which was divided by a verry large Island, the first Part was knee deep, the other waste deep & verry rapid—    I felt my Self verry unwell [9] & took up Camp on the little river 3 miles above its mouth & near the place it falls into the bottom    a fiew Drops of rain this evening

we killed 2 bear which was imediately in our way.    both pore    emence number of Beaver and orter in this little river which forks in the bottom


July 26th Friday 1805.    a clear morning.    we Set out as usal and proceeded on.    the current verry Swift. Saw Several Springs along the Shore.    one of the party killed a large beaver.    pleanty of those animels along the Islands and Shores. Saw Some pine & ceeder timber also Some cotton timber    passed clifts of rocks on each Side of the River    the hills make off lower.    we can discover high mountains a head, with Snow on them. The River wide and full of Islands.    passed over Several bad rapids.    our hunter on Shore killed 4 deer.    we found an Indians bow in a plain on L. S.    took on board a deer Skin which Capt. Clark had left on Shore for us.    also a note letting us know that he had Seen no Indians, but had Seen fresh Sign of horses &C.    we Came 19 miles this day, and Camped on the Lard. Side.    the party found Servis berrys to day &C.


Friday 26th.    The morning was fine and we continued our course through the mountains. There are some cedar and spruce trees on the shore; but very little of any kind on the mountains. About 11 o'clock we got through this range into a valley: About 2 came to a large island and halted on it for dinner. A rattle-snake [10] came among our canoes in the water, of a kind different from any I had seen. It was about two feet long, of a light colour, with small spots all over. One of our hunters went on ahead in the morning, and at this place killed 4 deer. While we remained here it became cloudy and some rain fell. At 4 o'clock we proceeded on through the valley; passed a creek on the south side, [11] and having gone 18 miles and an half encamped on the same side, where a small mountain comes in to the river.


Friday 26 July 1805.    a clear morning.    we Set out as usal, and proceeded on    the current rapid.    Saw Several Springs along the Shores.    one of the men killed a beaver.    the pine and ceeder timber pleanty along the Shores.    passed clifts of rocks on each Side but the hills make off lower.    we find that we have not entered the 2nd chain of Mountains but can discover verry high white toped mountains [12] Some distance up the River.    the River verry wide and full of Islands.    the current verry rapid in general.    passed over Several verry bad rapids which was difficult to pass.    our hunter on Shore killed 4 Deer.    the wind blew hard at 2 oClock & a light Sprinkling of rain.    we found an Indian bow.    took on board a Deer Skin which Capt. Clark had left with a note, that they had Seen no Indians, but had Seen fresh horse tracks.    considerable of cotton & ceeder timber on the Islands &c.    Came 19 miles this day and Camped on the South Side of the River.    found Servis berrys [13] &c.

Friday July 26th    We had a clear morning, & set out Early as usual and proceeded on.    we found the current of the River to run much stronger, than what we had yet experienc'd, since we entered the Mesouri River; we passed several springs, running from under the Rocks, along the Shores on both sides of the River; and Pine & Cedar Trees plenty; also along the Shores.    One of our party killed a beaver as we passed along with the Canoes.—    We proceeded on, and passed Clifts of Rocks, lying on each side of the River, but the hills make off lower than they did Yesterday.    We now find that we were mistaken, and that we have not as yet, entered into the Second Chain of Mountains, and we discovered very high white topped Mountains, lying some distance up the Mesouri.—    The River here is very wide, and full of Islands, and the current runs very rapid in general, We passed several very bad Rapids, which was difficult to pass.—    Our hunters that was out since daylight, came to us, they had killed 4 deer, which they brought to us, The wind blew hard from the North west, since 10 o'Clock A. M. and we had a light sprinkling of Rain; We found on the Shore an Indian bow, and took on board our Canoe, a deer Skin which had been left by Captain Clarke, and a Note from him.—

Captain Clark mentioned in this note, that he had seen no Indians as yet, but that he had seen some fresh horse trails.—    We passed some small Islands, which had Cotton wood, & Cedar trees growing on them.    We came 19 Miles this day, and encamped on the South side of the River in a small bottom

1. Sixteenmile Creek, on the Broadwater-Gallatin county line, Montana, at its mouth. Atlas map 64; MRC map 83. (back)
2. Present Garden Gulch, in Gallatin County, mislabeled "Howard's Creek" on Atlas map 64. MRC map 83. (back)
3. Stipa comata Trin. & Rupr., needle and thread grass. Hahn, Stipa map; Cutright (LCPN), 172, 420. It was probably Biddle who drew a red vertical line through several passages, beginning with "covered with" to "Cocheneal plant." (back)
4. Coryphantha missouriensis (Sweet) Britton & Rose, yellow pincushion cactus. Booth & Wright, 159; Benson (CUSC), 856–60. The "Cockeneal" used for comparison is Nopalea cochinillifera Salm-Dyck, cochineal cactus, which Lewis would have known as an ornamental in the East. Bailey, 702–3. (back)
5. "R. Fields Vally Creek" on Atlas map 65, now Boulder River, entering the Jefferson near Cardwell, Jefferson County, Montana. Clark's route is indicated by a dotted line on Atlas maps 64, 65; it becomes confused, however, with another dotted line showing Lewis's route of a few days later. (back)
6. On Willow Creek (Philosophy River), in Gallatin County, above the present town of Willow Creek. Atlas map 65. (back)
7. The main party camp is misdated July 25 on Atlas map 64. It is in Gallatin County, at the landmark of Eagle Rock, a few miles from the mouth of the Gallatin River. MRC map 83. (back)
8. Frazer and Reubin Field, Joseph Field having remained with Charbonneau. (back)
9. Clark's illness may be attributed mostly to fatigue from his great physical output; the illness persisted for several days. See Chuinard (OOMD), 302–4. (back)
10. Probably the prairie rattlesnake, Crotalus viridus viridus. The species was new to science but not to the party. One was killed and then described by Lewis on May 17. (back)
11. Lewis called it Howard's Creek, after Thomas P. Howard of the party. It is now Sixteenmile Creek, on the Broadwater-Gallatin county line, Montana, at this point. However, Gass's suggested time seems rather late for passing this creek, or Garden Gulch, Gallatin County, mislabeled "Howard's Creek" by Clark on Atlas map 64. (back)
12. Beyond the Three Forks to the south lie the Tobacco Root and Madison mountains. (back)
13. Serviceberry, Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt. (back)