August 7, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 7, 1805


The morning being fair we spread our stores to dry at an early hour. Dispatched Reubin Fields in surch of Shannon.    our stores were now so much exhausted that we found we could proceed with one canoe less. we therefore drew out one of them into a thicket of brush and secured her in such manner that the water could not take her off should the river rise to the hight where she is. The creek which falls in above us we called turf creek from the cercustance of it's bottoms being composed of excellent turf. [1]    my air gun was out of order and her sights had been removed by some accedent I put her in order and regulated her.    she shot again as well as she ever did. The clouds last night prevented my taking any lunar observations    this day I took Equal Altitudes of the ☉ with Sextant.

  h m s     h m s    
A. M. 8 20 25.5       P.M. 4 38 3 } Altitude by Sext at the
time of observation.
62° 9' 45 "
  " 21 54     " 39 40
  " 23 30     " 41 8
  h m s
Chronometer too [blank] on Mean time [blank]

Observed Meridian Altd. of ☉'s L.L. with Octant by the back observation 63° 5' —"

Latitude deduced from this observation N 45° 2' 43.8"

At one oclock all our baggage was dry    we therefore packed it up reloaded the canoes and the party proceeded with Capt. Clark up Jefferson's river. I remained with Sergt. Gass to complete the observation of equal altitudes and joined them in the evening at their camp on the Lard. side just above the entrance of turf creek. [2]    we had a shower of rain wich continued about 40 minutes attended with thunder and lightning.    this shower wet me perfectly before I reached the camp.    the clouds continued during the night in such manner that I was unable to obtain any lunar observations. This evening Drewyer brought in a deer which he had killed.    we have not heard any thing from Shannon yet, we expect that he has pursued Wisdom river upwards for som distance probably killed some heavy animal and is waiting our arrival.    the large biteing fly or hare fly as they sometimes called are very troublesome to us. I observe two kinds of them a large black species and a small brown species with a green head.    the musquetoes are not as troublesome as they were below, but are still in considerable quantities.    the eye knats have disappeared. the green or blowing flies are still in swarms. [3]

Courses and distances August 7th 1805
S. 45° E. 7 to the entrance of turf Creek 12 yds. wide which discharges
itself on Lard. side passing several bends both on Stard. and
Lard. and several small bayous on either side.    on the course
of the R. about 7 M.
Miles 7  

☞ the courses from the entrance of Wisdom river to the forks of Jefferson's river are taken directly to the objects mentioned and the distance set down is that by land on a direct line between the points; the estimated distances by water is also added in the body of the remarks on each course.—


a fine morning    put out our Stores &c. to dry & took equal altitudes with the Sextant,—    as our Store were a little exorsted and one Canoe became unnecessary deturmind to leave one.    we Hauled her up in the bushes on the lower Side of the main fork & fastened her So that the water could not flote her off. The Countrey in this quarter is as follows i, e a Vallie of 5 or 6 miles wide Inclosed between two high Mountains, the bottom rich Some Small timber on the Islands & bushes on the edges of the river Some Bogs & verry good turf in different places in the vallie, Some scattering Pine & ceder on the mountains in places, other Parts nacked except grass and Stone    The Lattitude of the Mouth of Wisdom River is 45° 2' 21.6" North, we proceeded up the Main Middle or S. E. fork, passed a Camped on the Lard. Side above the mouth of a bold running Stream 12 yards wide, which we call turf Creek from the number of bogs & quanty of turf in its waters.    this Creek runs thro a open Plain for Several miles, takeing its rise in a high mountain to the N E. The river Jefferson above Wisdom is gentle Crooked and about 40 yards wide, Containing but little timber, Some few Cotton willow Willow & Birch, [5] and the Srubs common to the countrey and before mentioned    at 5 oClock a thunder Storm from the N. W. accompanied with rain which lasted about 40 minits.—    despatched R Fields to hunt Shannon, who was out huntg. on Wisdom river at the time I returned down that Stream, and has made o[n] up the river expecting us to follow him up that river one Deer killed this evening.    all those Streams Contain emence number of Beaver orter Muskrats &c. [6]


Wednesday 7th August 1805.    a clear morning.    we unloaded one of the Small canoes and halled it out in the bushes in a grove of cotton timber on L. Side of the forks and left their.    we put the goods &.C. not dry out in the Sun    Capt. Lewis took an observation & Shoot the air gun.    the man G. Shannon not returned yet.    the morning cool, but the day warm.    the large flys troublesome &C.    about one oClock we packed up all the baggage &c. and Set out and proceeded on up the middle fork    we find the current not so rapid nor the rapids So bad as the N. Fork.    we had Thunder Showers this afternoon, attended with high winds.    passed Smooth prarie on each side    the River verry crooked, &C. Came 7 miles and Camped at a bottom on L. S. this bottom is covered with bushes & a little timber bryry &C.    our hunter G. Drewyer joined us    had killed one deer which we Stood in great need off.


Wednesday 7th.    We remained here during the forenoon, [7] which was fair and clear, and where Capt. Lewis took a meridian altitude, which made the latitude of this place 45° 2 53 north. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, we were ready to continue our voyage. In the evening a heavy cloud came up, and we had hard thunder with lightening and rain. We went on 7 miles and encamped on the north side, when the weather cleared, and we had fine night. The canoes came 62 miles and three quarters while we were out.


Wednesday 7th August 1805.    a clear cool morning.    one man out to hunt.    we unloaded one of the Small canoes and halled it out in a grove of cotton trees and leave hir here.    we put the Indian goods &c. to git throully dry.    Capt. Lewis took an observation & Shot the air gun.    the lost man not returned.    the day warm, the large horse flyes [8] troublesome &c.    about one oClock we packed up all the baggage and Set off & proceeded on up the middle fork.    we find the current not So rapid as the right fork. [9]    the rapids not So bad.    we had Thunder Showers & high wind this afternoon.    passed Smooth plains on each Side &c—    Camped after coming 7 miles on a bottom of wood & bushes L. Side.    our hunter G. Drewyer joined us    had killed a deer.

Wednesday August 7th    A Clear cool morning, We sent one of our party out to hunt & unloaded one of our small Canoes, & hawled it out in a Grove of Cotton trees, as we intend leaving her here.    The Indian Goods &ca—    were all put out, in order to get thoroughly dry.—    Captain Lewis took an observation at this place & found it to lay in Latitude 45° 22' 34S North, he also fired off his air gun several times in order that the Man that went out a hunting from the party that was with Captain Clarke up the North fork Yesterday & who we suppose is lost might hear the report, he having as yet not returned.    This day was very warm & the party was much troubled with large horse flies.—    About 1 o'Clock    P. M. we packed up all the Goods, Cloathing &ca and set off—    We proceeded on up the Middle fork, and found that the current did not run so rapid, as it was in the North fork, nor the Rapids so bad.—    We had Thunder Showers & high Wind in the afternoon, & passed smooth plains lying on both sides of the River, We encamped in the Evening in a bottom of Woodland having a large quantity of bushes, lying on the South side of the River where we were joined by George Drewyer our hunter who had killed a Deer which he brought to our camp.

1. The portion of this creek seen by Lewis then occupied a former channel of the Ruby River, and the area adjacent to it, therefore, was very swampy or waterlogged. Vegetation grew profusely, died, and was covered by subsequent vegetation remains before it could decay completely. By this process, a peat or turf bog of several acres extent could easily develop. (back)
2. In Madison County, Montana, just above Twin Bridges. Atlas map 65. (back)
3. The flies of the two kinds are the horse fly (large black), Tabanus sp., and the deer fly (small brown), Chrysops sp. Borror, Delong, & Triplehorn, 581–82. The mosquitoes are still Aedes vexans, and the disappearance of the gnats confirms them as buffalo gnats. The blow fly is from either the family Calliphoridae or Sacrophagidae. (back)
4. Clark's courses for August 7–14 are found with his entry of August 15, 1805. (back)
5. "Cotton willow" refers to narrowleaf cottonwood; see June 3, 1805. Willow is the sandbar willow, and birch is probably the water, or river, birch, Betula occidentalis Hook., which is more common than the scrub birch cited on August 3. Booth & Wright, 30. (back)
6. Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus. (back)
7. Gass remained with Lewis at the previous night's camp to take an observation, while Clark took the rest of the party up the Jefferson River. (back)
8. Horse fly, Tabanus sp. (back)