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

July 30, 1805


Capt. Clark being much better this morning and having completed my observations we reloaded our canoes and set out, ascending Jeffersons river.    Sharbono, his woman two invalleds and myself walked through the bottom of the Lard. side of the river about 4½ miles when we again struck it at the place the woman informed us that she was taken prisoner. [1] here we halted untill Capt. Clark arrived which was not untill after one P.M. the water being strong and the river extreemly crooked.    we dined and again proceeded on; as the river now passed through the woods the invalleds got on board together with Sharbono and the Indian woman; I passed the river and continued my walk on the Stard. side.    saw a vast number of beaver in many large dams which they had maid in various bayoes of the river which are distributed to the distance of three or four miles on this side of the river over an extensive bottom of timbered and meadow lands intermixed.    in order to avoid these bayoes and beaver dams which I found difficult to pass I directed my course to the high plain to the right which I gained after some time with much difficulty and waiding many beaver dams to my waist in mud and water.    I would willingly have joined the canoes but the brush were so thick, the river crooked and bottoms intercepted in such manner by the beaver dams, that I found it uceless to attempt to find them, and therefore proceeded on up the river in order to intersept it where it came near the plain and woult be more collected into one channel.    at length about sunset I arrived at the river only about six miles from my calculation on a direct line from the place I had left the canoes but I thought they were still below me. I found the river was divided where I reached it by an Island and was therefore fearfull that they might pass without my seeing them, and went down to the lower point of the large island; here I discovered a small Island, close under the shore on which I was; I passed the narrow channel to the small island and examined the gravly bar along the edge of the river for the tracks of the men, knowing from the appearance of the river at this place that if they had passed they would have used the cord on the side where I was. I saw no tracks and was then fully convinced that they were below me. I fired my gun and hallooed but counld hear nothing of them.    by this time it was getting nearly dark and a duck lit on the shore in about 40 steps of me and I killed it; having now secured my supper I looked our for a suitable place to amuse myself in combating the musquetoes for the ballance of the evening. I found a parsel of drift wood at the head of the little Island on which I was and immediately set it on fire and collected some willow brush to lye on. I cooked my duck which I found very good and after eating it layed down and should have had a comfortable nights lodge but for the musquetoes which infested me all night.    late at night I was awakened by the nois of some animal runing over the stoney bar on which I lay but did not see it; from the weight with which it ran I supposed it to be either an Elk or a brown bear. [2]    the latter are very abundant in this neighbourhood.    the night was cool but I felt very little inconvenience from it as I had a large fire all night. Capt. Clark had proceeded on after I seperated from him and encamped on a islad. only about 2 miles below me [3] but did not hear the report of my gun nor of my hooping.—I saw some deer and antelopes. [4]

The Courses and distances of July 30th 1805.
N. 70° W.    ¼ to a Stard. bend, passing timber on both sides
S. 20° W.    ½ to a Stard. bend passing an Island.
S. 80° E.    ¼ to a Lard. bend.
S. 50° W.    ½ to the lower point of an Island.
South—    ½ to a Lard. bend
S. 45° W.    ⅛ to a tree in the Lard. bend
N. 45° W.    ¼ to the upper point of an island
West—    ½ to a Lard. bend opposite an Island
N. 60° W.    ⅛ to a channel passing through the Island
South—    ¼ to a Lard. bend opposite to an Island, passing severall small
Bayous on the Lard. side.
West—    ½ to the upper point of an Island passing a Bayou on the
Lard. side.
S. 70° W.    ¼ to the entrance of a Bayou on Lard. side
West— 1 to the upper point of an Island, passing the upper point of
another Island ¼, one at ¾ and two bayous on Lard. side.
S. 60° W. 1 to a high bank in a Stard. bend.
S. 35° W.    ¾ to the upper point of a bluff in a Stard. bend opposite to an
S. 45° E.    ¾ to a Lard. bend, passing the upr pt. of an Isld. and a bayou
S. 35° W.    ¼ to a Lard. bend opposite an Island.
West—    ¼ to a Stard. bend opposite an Isd. having passed another
S. 30° W.    ¾ to an Island in a Stard. bend opposite a high plain Stard.
S. 20° W. 1 ¼ to a clift of rocks under a mountain Stard. side having
passed an Island.
South—    ½ to a point on the Stard. side.
S. 30° W.    ½ to a high clift of craiggey rocks on the Stard. opt. 1 Isld.
S. 45° W.    ⅛ to a Stard. bend under a Clift.
S. 45° E.    ¼ to a Bayou in a Lard. bend passing an Island
S. 60° W.    ⅛ to a Bayou in a Stard. bend above an Island
S. 50° E.    ¼ to a. Bayou in a Lard. bend, opposite several small Islds.
S. 45° W.    ¼ to the mouth of a Bayou in a Lard. bend.
S. 20° W.    ¼ to a Bayou in a Lard. bend, passing the upper point of an
Isld. on Lard.—
S. 70° W.    ¼ to a Stard. bend where the party encamped for the night—

We Set out 8 oClock and proceeded on 13½ miles up the N. fork    the river verry rapid & Sholey    the Channel entirely Corse gravel [6]    〈passed the〉 many Islands and a number of Chanels in different directions thro' the bottom &c.    passed the place the Squar interpretress was taken, one man with his Sholder Strained, [7] 2 with Tumers, we Camped on the Std. Side the evening Cool. Capt Lewis who walkd on Shore did not join me this evening


July 30th Tuesday 1805.    a fine pleasant morning.    we loaded all the canoes eairly and Set out about 9 oClock A. M. and proceeded on up the North fork    Capt. Lewis and Several Inveleeds walked on Shore.    we passed large bottoms covered with cotten timber & thick brush willow &C.    the River crooked rapid and full of Islands &C.    a bundance of beaver & beaver dams along these bottoms.    thee currents of different kinds abound in these bottoms.    we dined at a Camp where the snake Indians had been camped 4 years ago, and was actacted by the Gross vauntaus.    2 or three of the Snake nation was killed, and Several Squaws taken prisoners    our Intrepters wife was one of them. She tells us that She was taken in the middle of the River as She was crossing at a Shole place to make hir ascape.    the rest all mounted their horses and cleared themselves as they do not wish to fite, neither were they Strong enofe for the Grossvauntaus.    one of the hunters on Shore killed a Deer.    we peroceded on    passed a verry large plain or prarie on L. S.    considerable of fine good flax on it, also wild onions or garlick.    passed high land on S. Side    we Came 13½ miles this day and Camped on the Stard. Side    Capt. Lewis did not join us this evening.    these bottoms along the River are low and many beaver dams which causes ponds in many places &C.—


Tuesday 30th.    We left our encampment at the forks, and proceeded on about 7 o'clock A. M. up the north branch. [8] This branch is about 60 yards wide and 6 feet deep, with a rapid current. We passed a number of islands. The valley continued on the south side all this day; but the spur of a mountain, about 5 or 6 miles from the forks came in close on the north side with very high cliffs of rocks. We encamped where it terminated, having made 13 miles and an half.


Tuesday 30th July 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    we loaded the canoes eairly and Set out about 9 oClock and proceeded on.    Capt. Lewis and Several men walked on Shore.    we passed large bottoms of cotton timber.    the River crooked rapid and full of Islands.    the under bushes thick.    the currents abound.    the beaver pleanty.    a nomber of beaver dams behind the Islands &c.    we dined at the upper end of the bottoms close by a clear open prarie or plain.    at this place our Intrepters wife was taken prisoner 4 years ago by a war party of the grossvauntaus.    they took hir as She was attempting to make hir ascape by crossing a Shole place on the River, but was taken in the middle of it.    2 or 3 Indians killed at the Same time on Shore.    the rest of the Snakes made their ascape.    the day warm, and verry pleasant.    one of the hunters killed a deer.    we proceeded on.    the current verry Swift & rapids common.    passed beautiful large plains on L. S. and high land on the S. Side.    we came 13½ miles this day and Camped on the Stard. side.    Capt. Lewis did not join us this evening.    these bottoms are low & many beaver dams which causes pond &c.

Tuesday July 30th    A Clear pleasant morning.    we loaded our Canoes early, and proceeded on our Voyage; about 9 o'Clock A. M., Captain Lewis and several of our party walked on shore.—    We proceeded on and passed large bottoms of Cotton timber, the River being Crooked, rapid, & full of Islands, the under wood thick & currants growing along the Shores in abundance.—    Beaver here, 〈and〉 were seen by our party plenty, & We saw a number of their dams, laying behind the Islands & other places—    We halted to dine at the upper end of the bottoms, near which lay a Priari or plain, which was Clear & open, & without any bushes on it.—

Our Interpreters Wife the Indian Woman, related to us, that between 3 & 4 Years ago she was taken prisoner at the forks of the three rivers, by a Warr party of the Gros Vaunters or Big belley Indians, and that she had attempted to make her escape, with some others of her nation, but that she was retaken by them in the Middle of the Priari which lies near to us, that 3 of her nation was killed along the Shore, by the same party, that she was taken by but that the greater part, of the party that she was along with (Snake Nation) had made their escape;—    This day was warm but yet pleasant, One of our hunters killed a deer which he brought to us.—    We proceeded on at 2 o'Clock P. M. and found the current running very swift, and a number of rapids, We passed beautiful large plains which lay on the South side of the River & high lands lying on the North side; Towards Evening we encamped on the North side of the River in a fine bottom of Timbered land, and came 13½ Miles this day.—    The Country that we passed through this day, appeared to be rich & fertile, but it lay tumbling on the North side of the River.    Captain Lewis & the party that went with him, did not return to us this Evening—    The bottoms along the River this day lies low, and have ponds in them, occasioned by the Beaver Dams, which are very plenty

1. Probably in the vicinity of the town of Three Forks, Gallatin County, Montana. Atlas map 65. (back)
2. Black bear, Ursus americanus. (back)
3. In Jefferson County, Montana, just below a mouth of Philosophy River (present Willow Creek), and about two miles north of the town of Willow Creek. Atlas map 65. (back)
4. Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana. (back)
5. For Clark's courses, see a note at his entry of July 31, 1805. (back)
6. Although the Jefferson River meanders extensively here through a wide floodplain, its bed is dominantly coarse gravel and cobbles. These are carried downstream from mountain sources during the flood flows of the main river and its tributaries. (back)
7. Perhaps Sergeant Pryor, who suffered repeated injuries of this kind. See above, November 29, 1804. (back)
8. Up the Jefferson River. Gass fails to mention that Lewis went ahead with Charbonneau, Sacagawea, the baby Jean Baptiste, and "two invalleds." (back)