July 15, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

July 15, 1806


Sent McNeal down this morning to the lower part of the portage to see whether the large perogue and cash were safe.— [2] Drewyer returned without the horses and reported that he had tracked them to beyond our camp of the


Dispatched McNeal early this morning to the lower part of portage in order to learn whether the Cash and white perogue remained untouched or in what state they were.    the men employed in drying the meat, dressing deerskins and preparing for the reception of the canoes.    at 1 P. M. Drewyer returned without the horses and reported that after a diligent surch of 2 days he had discovered where the horses had passed Dearborn's river at which place there were 15 lodges that had been abandoned about the time our horses were taken; he pursued the tracks of a number of horses from these lodges to the road which we had traveled over the mountains which they struck about 3 ms. South of our encampment of the 7th inst. and had pursued this road Westwardly; I have no doubt but they are a party of the Tushapahs who have been on a buffaloe hunt. Drewyer informed that there camp was in a small bottom on the river of about 5 acres inclosed by the steep and rocky and lofty clifts of the river and that so closely had they kept themselves and horses within this little spot that there was not a track to be seen of them within a quarter of a mile of that place.    every spire of grass was eaten up by their horses near their camp which had the appearance of their having remained here some time.    his horse being much fatiegued with the ride he had given him and finding that the indians had at least 2 days the start of him thought it best to return.    his safe return has releived me from great anxiety. I had already settled it in my mind that a whitebear had killed him and should have set out tomorrow in surch of him, and if I could not find him to continue my rout to Maria's river. I knew that if he met with a bear in the plains even he would attack him.    and that if any accedent should happen to seperate him from his horse in that situation the chances in favour of his being killed would be as 9 to 10. I felt so perfectly satisfyed that he had returned in safety that I thought but little of the horses although they were seven of the best I had.    this loss great as it is, is not intirely irreparable, or at least dose not defeat my design of exploring Maria's river. I have yet 10 horses remaining, two of the best and two of the worst of which I leave to assist the party in taking the canoes and baggage over the portage and take the remaining 6 with me; these are but indifferent horses most of them but I hope they may answer our purposes. I shall leave three of my intended party, (viz ) Gass, Frazier and Werner, and take the two Feildses and Drewyer.    by having two spare horses we can releive those we ride.    having made this arrangement I gave orders for an early departure in the morning, indeed I should have set out instantly but McNeal road one of the horses which I intend to take and has not yet returned.    a little before dark McNeal returned with his musquet broken off at the breech, [4] and informed me that on his arrival at willow run [NB?: on the portage] he had approached a white bear within ten feet without discover him the bear being in the thick brush, the horse took the allarm and turning short threw him immediately under the bear; this animal raised himself on his hinder feet for battle, and gave him time to recover from his fall which he did in an instant and with his clubbed musquet he struck the bear over the head and cut him with the guard of the gun [5] and broke off the breech, the bear stunned with the stroke fell to the ground and began to scratch his head with his feet; this gave McNeal time to climb a willow tree which was near at hand and thus fortunately made his escape.    the bear waited at the foot of the tree untill late in the evening before he left him, when McNeal ventured down and caught his horse which had by this time strayed off to the distance of 2 ms. and returned to camp.    these bear are a most tremenduous animal; it seems that the hand of providence has been most wonderfully in our favor with rispect to them, or some of us would long since have fallen a sacrifice to their farosity.    there seems to be a sertain fatality attatched to the neighbourhood of these falls, for there is always a chapter of accedents prepared for us during our residence at them.    the musquetoes continue to infest us in such manner that we can scarcely exist; for my own part I am confined by them to my bier at least ¾ths of my time.    my dog even howls with the torture he experiences from them, they are always most insupportable, they are so numerous that we frequently get them in our thrats as we breath.—

N. 45d E. 3 miles to the top of the gap of a mountain passing up on the N
W. Side of the branch, Some thick under brush Such as young
Cotton wood & W Thorn passing on a plain old buffalow
road.    the assent of the mtn. is very gradl.
East 3 miles to the top of a dividig ridge between the waters of the
Missouri from those of the rochejhone passing down a branch
and at 2½ miles Crossed a branch of the Middle fork of the
East branch of Galitins river
about ½ mile above the branch
we Came down.    runng to the right
S 45° E. 1 miles down a Small branch a road Coms in form the left lead-
ing over to the Easterly branch.
N. 75° E 8 Miles to the river Rochejhone passing down a branch on the
North Side through a kind of vally    Passed 3 Small Streams
from the left & one at 6 ms. from the right and Struck the
lower 〈one〉 ½ mile below the branch    we Came down &
1½ miles below the plain    the river Passes out of the rocky
high on each Side    bottom in those mountains
narrow.    river about 120 yds wide bold and deep    the water
of a whiteish blue Colour    a mountan which is ruged N. W
has Snow on parts of it. Those above & on the East Side of the
river is rugid and covered with Snow    those on the West
is also high but have no Snow.    much Dead timber on its
N. Side.
From the gap of the Mtn. river
North 2 miles to a few Cotton under the bank and halted to let our horses
graze & Dine.    passed a very Small branch at 〈½〉 a
mile below the one we Came down. I marked my 〈the two first
letters of〉 my name and the day of the year &c. on one of the
Cotton trees with red paint 〈and Cut it in allso.〉 The valley is
open and extensive—    watr. 3 ms.
North 1 mile Down river to a clump of trees in a gulley    passed Som
tall timber killed by fire, Saw a gang of Elk    L. [6] Killed one
psd. an Island    (2½ ms.)
N. 15° E 4 miles to a bend of the at a deep bend to the West    passed two
Small runs and a large Isd. on which there was tall treess
Several of them would make Small Canoes    Saw a large Gang
of Elk feeing on an Isld    main Chanel on the E. Side    Passed
11 Islands the 2 last of them large the others Small    (6 ms)
N. 30° E 2 miles to the Enterans of [blank] river [7]   35 yds wide boald
Current & Deep from the N W    much timber on the Creek &
beaver    passed Several Islands Small    road forks one Cross-
ing this R about a Mile about its mouh    the other passing
over a high rocky hill below the Creek    (2½)
N. 50° E. 3 miles    river passing under a high hill rocky & Steep on the N
W Side, an extensive low bottom opposit in which I Saw 3
gangues of Elk.    passd Several Small Islands and Encamped
on the bank of the river opposit to an Island    (5)

we collected our horses and after an early brackft at 8 A M Set out and proceeded up the branch to the head    thence over a low gap in the mountain    thence across the heads of the N E. branch of the [NB: Easterly] [8] fork of Gallitins river which we Camped near last night passing over a low dividing ridge to the head of a water Course which runs into the Rochejhone, prosueing an old buffalow road which enlargenes by one which joins it from the most Easterly [NB: Northerly] branch of the Gallatin River East fork of Galetins R. [9] proceeding down the branch a little to the N. of East keeping on the North Side of the branch to the River rochejhone at which place I arrived at 2 P M. [10] The Distance from the three forks of the Easterly fork of Galletines river (from whence it may be navigated down with Small Canoes) to the river Rochejhone is 18 miles on an excellent high dry firm road with very incoiderable hills.    from this river to the nearest part of the main fork of Gallitine is 29 miles mostly through a leavel plain.    from the head of the Missouri at the 3 forks 48 miles through a leavel plain the most of the way as may be seen by the remarks

Course Distance & Remarks from the Three forks of Missouri to the River
where it enters the Rocky Mounts. [11]
S 85° E   6 Miles through an open plain crossing a ridge to galletines
, it haveing made a bend to the S W.    campd.    the hill
Sides over which we passed contain a hard white rock which
lies in an inclined position and shows only in Stratus. [12] Several
roads leading to a Gap in the mountain to my left.
S 78° E.   6 Miles to a part of the river which is divided by numbers of
beaver dams on one channel of the    river.    passed through
an open leavel butifull plain covered with low grass.    river
makeing a bend to the N. E. from the place I crossed it this
morning.    passed numbers of buffalow roads which do not
appear to be very old leading to the before mentioned gap.
S. 70° E.   6 Miles to the main principal Stream of the river which we
crossed having crossed Several Streams near the Crossing.    a
leavel firm plain on the Island.
S. 78° E. 12 Miles to the most Southerly of the three easterly branches of
the Easterly fork of Galletines river.    passed through an
open leavel plain in which there is three Small Streams of
water from the Snow Mountains to the South. [13] Great quan-
tities of Snow yet remains on the Mountains to the S. E South,
S W. West, and at a distance to the N W.    a very small quan-
tity is also to be Seen on a nacked mountain to the East
marked my W. C July 14th 1806 with powder on a Cotton tree
at the river.
N. 80° E.   3 Miles to the enterance of a Small branch which falls into the
Middle branch of the East fork of Galletine River having
Crossed the middle branch at 2 miles, passed great numbers
of beaver dams and ponds on the branch, and encamped.
here the mountain forms a kind of half circle in which the
three branches enter them.    from which the mountains ap-
pear to run N W. from one extremity and W. from the othr
N. 45° E   3 Miles to the top of the mountain in a low gap passing up the
branch on which we encamped last night, on a well beaten
buffalow road, through Some thick under growth Such as
young Cottonwood & thorn. Several beaver dams across this
branch.    the assent gradual.
East   3 Miles to the top of the dividing ridge between the waters of
the Missouri from those of the river Rochehone.    passing
down a Small branch and at 2½ miles crossing a larger branch
of the middle fork of the East fork of Galletins about ½ a Mile
above the branch I came down, running to the right    a road
coms in from the left, which passes through a low gap of the
mtn. from the most easterly branch of the East fork.
S. 45° E.   1 Mile down a Small branch crossed two runs from the left [14]
passing on the hill Side to the left of the branch.    the road
firm and through an open country.    high mountains on each
side partially Covered with pine.
N. 75° E   8 Miles to the River Rochejhone passing down on the Northerly
side of the Same branch across which there is Several beaver
dams. Crossed three Small Streams from the left with running
water one of which is crouded with beaver dams. [15]    a Small
stream coms in on the right at 6 ms. [16] Struck the Rochejhone
½ a mile below the branch we came down & 1½ ms. below
where it passed out of the Rocky mountains.    river 120 yds
wide bold, rapid and deep.
ms. 48

in the evening after the usial delay of 3 hours to give the horses time to feed and rest and allowing our Selves time also to Cook and eate Dinner, I proceeded on down the river on an old buffalow road    at the distance of 9 miles below the mountains Shield River [17] discharges itself into the Rochejhone on it's N W. side above a high rocky Clift, this river is 35 yards wide deep and affords a great quantity of water    it heads in those Snowey Mountains to the N W with Howards Creek, [18] it contains some Timber Such as Cotton & willow in it's bottoms, and Great numbers of beaver    the river also abounds in those animals as far as I have Seen. passed the creek and over a high rocky hill and encamped in the upper part of a large bottom. [19] The horses feet are very sore many of them Can Scercely proceed on over the Stone and gravel [20] in every other respect they are Sound and in good Sperits. I saw two black bear on the side of the mountains this morning. Several gangs of Elk from 100 to 200 in a gangue on the river, great numbers of Antelopes.    one Elk only killed to day.

The Roche passed out of a high rugid mountain covered with Snow. [21] the bottoms are narrow within the mountains but widen from ½ a m. to 2 ms. in the Vally below, those bottoms are Subject to over flow, they contain Some tall Cotton wood, and willow rose bushes & rushes Honey suckle &c.    a Second bottom on the N E. Side which rises to about 20 feet    higher the first & is 1 m. wide    this bottom is coars gravel pebils & Sand with Some earth [22] on which the grass grow very Short and at this time is quit dry    this 2d bottom over flows in high floods [23]    on the opposit Side of the river the plain is much higher and extendes quite to the foot of the mountain. The mountains to the S. S. E on the East side of the river is rocky rugid and on them are great quantities of Snow. [24]    a bold Snow mountain which bears East [25] & is imediately at & N W of the 3 forks of the East fork of Gallitins river may be Seen, there is also a high rugid Mtn. on which is Snow bearing North 15 or 20 miles. [26]    but fiew flowers to be Seen in those plains.    low grass in the high plains, and the Common corse grass, rushes and a species of rye [27] is the growth of the low bottoms.    the mountains have Some scattering pine on them, and on the Spurs and hill Sides there is some scrubby pine. I can See no timber Sufficient large for a Canoe which will Carry more than 3 men and Such a one would be too Small to answer my purpose


Tuesday 15th July 1806.    a fair morning.    we Set out at light and proceed on verry well    overtook Collins who had killed three deer    about 9 A. M. we halted for breakfast & Collins killed a fat buck & P. Cruzatte killed a goat or antelope.    we proced. on verry well    the currents are common & ripe. Colter killed a panther a deer and a rattle Snake.    in the evening we Camped in the mountains. Collins killed 4 Elk.    the Musquetoes verry troublesom in deed.—


Tuesday 15th.    We had pleasant weather. One of our men [28] started to go down to the other end of the portage, to see if the periogue was safe, which we had left there; and, in the afternoon, the man [29] who had gone after the horses returned unsuccessful; but as he saw some fresh Indian signs he supposes they were stolen and taken back over the dividing ridge. [30] Capt. Lewis therefore concluded to take fewer men and horses with him than he had intended on his excursion up Maria's river. In the evening, the man [31] who had started to go to the other end of the portage, returned without being there. A white bear met him at Willow creek, that so frightened his horse that he threw him off among the feet of the animal; but he fortunately (being too near to shoot) had sufficient presence of mind to hit the bear on the head with his gun; and the stroke so stunned it, that it gave him time to get up a tree close by before it could seize him. The blow, however, broke the gun and rendered it useless; and the bear watched him about three hours and went away; when he came down, caught his horse about two miles distant, and returned to camp. These bears are very numerous in this part of the country and very dangerous, as they will attack a man every oportunity.

1. The last entry in Codex La. After Lewis's writing, and at right angles to it, Clark has added, "a part of M. L. notes to Come into the book No. 12—after the 4' July." The word "after" may be Coues's insertion. "No. 12" would be Codex L in Biddle's numbering system, and the meaning is that Codex La fits into the gap in Codex L. Coues has continued Clark's sentence with these words: "where ten blank leaves were left by M. L. for the insertion of this matter. Dec. 20, 1892. Coues." See Appendix C. (back)
2. The "lower portage camp" on the Missouri, in Chouteau County, Montana, below the mouth of Belt creek; see June 16, 1805. It appears as the camp of June 16–29, 1805, on Atlas maps 42, 54, and 61. (back)
3. Codex L resumes on this date; see July 4, 1806. (back)
4. Presumably the U.S. Model 1795 musket, caliber .69; obviously it was not designed for the use to which McNeal put it. Russell (GEF), 150–57; Russell (FTT), 36–37. (back)
5. Probably the trigger guard. (back)
6. "L." is probably François Labiche. (back)
7. Shields River, see below. (back)
8. Biddle added bracketes around Clark's words "N E. branch of the" and interlined his word above it, all in red ink. (back)
9. Clark went easterly up Kelly Creek, then crossed Jackson Creek and went through Bozeman Pass in the Bridger Range, passing from Gallatin County to Park County, Montana. The route is clearly marked on Atlas maps 106 and 113. (back)
10. He went east down the north side of Billman Creek, reaching the Yellowstone River at present Livingston in Park County. Atlas maps 106, 107, 113. (back)
11. Here in Codex M Clark inserts his cumulative courses and distances from the Three Forks to the Yellowstone for July 13–15, 1806. (back)
12. The strata of hard, white, rock lying in an inclined position was the limestone observed on July 13, 1806. (back)
13. Hyalite, McDonald, and Baxter creeks, in Gallatin County west of Bozeman, coming from the Gallatin Mountains; nameless on Atlas maps 106, 113. (back)
14. Quinn Creek and an unnamed stream in Park County. Atlas maps 106, 113. (back)
15. Flynn Creek, Area Creek, and an unnamed stream, all in Park County. Atlas maps 106, 113. (back)
16. Miner Creek in Park County. Atlas maps 106, 113. (back)
17. After John Shields of the party; unlike so many streams the captain named for members of the Corps of Discovery, Shields River, which meets the Yellowstone in Park County a few miles northeast of Livingston and west of Sheep Mountain, retains the same name today. It is named on Atlas map 106 but not on map 113. (back)
18. Shields River heads in the Crazy Mountains in northern Park County; near there is the head of Sixteenmile Creek, the captains' Howard's Creek, which flows west to meet the Missouri River in Gallatin County. Atlas map 64. (back)
19. Clark camped on the north side of the Yellowstone River in Park County, just south of Sheep Mountain and some three miles below the mouth of Shields River. Atlas maps 106, 107, 113. (back)
20. The gravel likely was both alluvium and slopewash deposits that cap the lower terrace on the northwest side of the Yellowstone River. The stone may be either the larger cobbles in those deposits or the blocky-weathering, Tertiary-Cretaceous Livingston Formation over which Clark's party passed just before making camp. (back)
21. From where Clark viewed it the Yellowstone emerged from between the Gallatin Range on the west and the Absaroka Range on the east. Atlas maps 106, 113. (back)
22. This terrace is actually on the northwest side of the river. Although the most conspicuous components of the Yellowstone terrace deposits are gravel and cobbles, sand- and silt-sized materials make up more than half the deposits. (back)
23. It was probably Biddle who drew a red line through this sentence to strike it out. (back)
24. The Absaroka Range and the Beartooth Mountains to the east of them. (back)
25. This is impossible from Clark's position on the Yellowstone, but if he means "west," then Saddle Peak in the Bridger Range could be the mountain. (back)
27. Clark has returned to the shortgrass prairie of the high plains east of the Rocky Mountains, which is dominated by blue grama, Bouteloua gracilis (HBK.) Lag., buffalograss, Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm., and a variety of other species. The rye is probaly basin wildrye, Elymus cinereus Scribn. & Merrill. Fernald, 182, 184; Mueggler & Stewart. (back)
28. McNeal, says Lewis. (back)
30. That is, taken back west of the Continental Divide. (back)
31. McNeal. (back)