July 29, 1806
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July 29, 1806


Shortly after dark last evening a violent storm came on from N. W. attended with rain hail Thunder and lightning which continued the greater part of the night.    no having the means of making a shelter I lay in the water all night.    the rain continued with but little intermission all day. I intend halting as soon as the weather proves fair in order to dry our baggage which much wants it. I placed the two Fieldses and Colter and Collins in the two smallest canoes 〈on〉 with orderes to hunt, and kill meat for the party and obtain as many Elkskins as are necessary to cover our canoes and furnish us with shelters from the rain.    we set out early and the currant being strong we proceeded with great rapidity.    at 11 A. M. we passed that very interesting part of the Missouri where the natural walls appear, particularly discribed in my outward bound journey. [1] we continued our rout untill late in the evening and encamped on the N. E. side of the river at the same place we had encamped on the 29th of May 1805. [2]    on our way today we killed 9 bighorns of which I preserved the skins and skeletons of 2 females and one male; the flesh of this animal is extreemly delicate tender and well flavored, they are now in fine order.    their flesh both in colour and flavor much resembles mutton though it is not so strong as our mutton.    the eye is large and prominant, the puple of a pale sea green and iris of a light yellowish brown colour. these animals abound in this quarter keeping themselves principally confined to the steep clifts and bluffs of the river.    we saw immence hirds of buffaloe in the high plains today on either hand of the river.    saw but few Elk.    the brown Curloo has left the plains I presume it has raised it's young and retired to some other climate and country.    as I have been very particular in my discription of the country as I ascended this river I presume it is unnecessesary here to add any-thing further on that subject.    the river is now nearly as high as it has been this season and is so thick with mud and sand that it is with difficulty I can drink it.    every little rivulet now discharges a torrant of water bringing down immece boddies of mud sand and filth from the plains and broken bluffs.—

N. 25° W.   5 miles to the enteranc of a dry Brook in a Lard. bend
near the high land.    passed 8 islands & 3 br
East   3 miles to a the enterance of a Brook in the Stard. Bend
below an Island
N. 10° W.   1 ½ miles to a Lard. bend
East   1 ½ miles to a 〈Clift〉 Bluff on Stard. Side [3]
N. 40° E   4 ½ miles to a lower part of a Std. Bluff    bluff low.    wind high from N.
N.   1 ½ miles to a few trees in a Lard Bend
East   6 miles to a low bluff on the Stard. Side    passed an Island
and a large dry Brook at 5 miles & Som wood [on Std.?]
N. 76° E.   3 miles to a Coal Bluff on Stard    passed an Isld. and a dry
Brook on Stard. sd.
N. 40° E.   1 mile under the Coal Bluff Std.
North   4 miles to the upper part of the Lard. Bluff.    passed an
Island and a large Brook on the Stard. Side. and a low
dry Brook or bead on the Lard.
N. 55° E   2 〈3〉 ½ Miles to a Lard. point    (dined)    low bottom on each
Side    killed a Black Tail deer
N. 20° E   1 〈2〉 ½ Miles to a Lard. Bluff Several Strates of Coal in the hills
1 mile back
N. 60° E   1 ½ Miles to a point of rocks on the Lard. Side    passed a bar
N. 30° E   3 〈1 ½〉 miles to a point on Std. Side    pd a Sand near which the
[blank] River comes near the Stard Shore
N. 45° E   2 miles to the enterance of [blank] 150 yds. Passed an isld.
and 2 bars    wate ¼ of a mile banks. Bluffs on Lard.
wate of R muddy & worm
N. 32° E. [4]   2 ½ mile to the lowr part of the wood in the Stard. bend
opsd. the head of an island
  44 ½  

a Slight rain last night with hard thunder and Sharp lightening accompanied with a violent N. E. wind. I Set out early this morning    wind So hard a head that w made but little way.    in the fore part of the day, I saw great numbers of Buffalow on the banks.    the country on either Side is like that of yesterday.    passed three large dry Brooks on the Stard. Side [5] and four on the Lard Side. [6]    great quantities of Coal in all the hills I passed this day. [7]    late in the evening I arived at the enterance of a River which I take to be [NB: called by Indians] the Lazeka or Tongue River [8]    it discharges itself on the Stard. Side and is 150 yards wide of water    the banks are much wider. I intended to encamp on an eligable Spot immediately below this river, but finding that its' water So muddy and worm as to render it very disagreeable to drink, I crossed the rochejhone and encamped on an island close to the Lard. Shore. [9] The water of this river is nearly milk worm very muddy and of a 〈dark〉 lightish brown Colour. the Current rapid and the Chanel Contains great numbers of Snags. near its enterance there is great quantities of wood Such as is common in the low bottoms of the Rochejhone and Missouri.    [NB: it heads in Cote Noir with〉    has 2 branches    1 heads with the Chayenne & 1 with one of the Big H's branches] [10] tho' I believe that the Country back thro' which this river passes is an open one where the water is exposed to the Sun which heats it in its passage.    it is Shallow and throws out great quantities of mud and Some cors gravel. [11]    below this river and on the Stard Side at a fiew Miles from the Rochejhone the hills are high and ruged Containing Coal in great quantities. [12] Beaver is very plenty on this part of the Rochejhone. The river widens    I think it may be generally Calculated at from 500 [13] yards to half a mile in width    more Sand and gravelly Bars than above. cought 3 cat fish.    they wer Small and fat.    also a Soft Shell turtle. [14]

Course Distance & Remarks July 29th
N. 25° W. to the enterance of a dry Brook [EC: Bull ] [15] in a }   5
  Lard. Bend near the high lands.    passed 8 is-
  lands & three Sand and gravelly bars
East to the enterance of a brook [16] [EC: Teepee ] in the }   3
  Stard. Bend below a Small island
N. 10° W. to a Larboard Bend     1 ½
East to a Bluff on the Stard. Side     1 ½
N 40° E to the lower part of a Stard. Bluff     4 ½
North to a fiew trees in a Lard Bend     1 ½
East to a low Bluff on the Stard. Side    passed an is- }   6
  land.    also a large dry Brook    Turtle Creek [17] at
  5 Miles on the Stard Side on which there is Some
N. 76° E. to a Coal Bluff on the Stard Side [18]    passed an }   3
  island and a dry brook [19] on Stard Side
N. 40° E under the Coal Bluff on Stard. Side     1
North to the upper part of a Lard. Bluff    passed an is- }   4
  land and a large brook on the Stard. Side & a
  large Bead or dry brook on the Lard Side [20]
N. 55° E. to a lard. point    low bottom on each Side     2 ½
N 20° E. to a Lard. Bluff (coal to be Seen in the hills 1 m }   1 ½
  from R.[)]
N 60° E. to a point of rocks on the Lard. Side    passed a }   1 ½
  Sand bar
N. 30° E to a point on Stard Side near which the river is }   3
  within 100 paces of Tongue river [21]
N. 45° E. to the enterance of Le-ze-ka [22] or Tongue river on }   2  
  the Stard. Side 150 yds wide.    passed an island
  Miles   41

Tuesday 29th July 1806.    cloudy and rain    we Set out as usal and proceeded on fast    Saw large gangs of buffals. and Elk. R. Frazer killed an Elk.    we took the hide and Some of the meat    about 11 A. M. we entered the high clay broken country    white clay hills and the white walls resembling ancient towns & buildings &C. [23]    Saw a flock of big horn or Ibex on the top of those walls.    we halted and the 2 Fields killed two large Rams which had large horns. Capt. Lewis had them Scallintinized [skeletonized] and all the bones & horns as well as the Skin to take to the Seat of government.    we dined and procd. on passing the white pleasant walls and Stone wall Creek [24] and on our way this after noon we killed Seven more Ibex along these clay & Stone hills and knobs, where these animels live generally. Capt. Lewis had two of the femail Scallintineized also.    we had a Shower of rain. Saw buffaloe &c &c.


Tuesday 29th.    Early in a cloudy morning we commenced our voyage from the mouth of Maria's river; and the current of the Missouri being very swift, we went down rapidly. At noon we saw some Ibex or Bighorns, at the entrance of a range of high rough hills; and we halted and killed two of them. Having dined we proceeded on again, and in our way, during the afternoon, killed seven more of these mountain sheep. There are few other animals in this range of high country. In the evening, we encamped [25] opposite the mouth of Slaughter river, and Captain Lewis had four of those animals skeletonized, to take with him to the seat of Government of the United States. A considerable quantity of rain fell in the course of the day.

1. The Stone Walls and White Cliffs of the Missouri, in Chouteau County, Montana; see May 31, 1805. Atlas maps 41, 53, 60; MRC map 74. (back)
2. Lewis's camp was in Chouteau County, on the north side of the Missouri about a mile above the mouth of Arrow Creek (Lewis and Clark's Slaughter River); as Lewis indicates, it is marked on Atlas map 41 at the site of the camp of May 29, 1805. MRC map 73. (back)
3. The following figures appear as a column at the top of a page in the draft version and following this entry; they are written at a right angle to the rest of the text: 58, 55, 43, 35, (191), 69, 58, 62, (189), 80, 73, 44, 17, 694. The numbers in parentheses are sub-totals and the final figure a grand total. The final total should be 594. The column apparently represents mileages on the Yellowstone starting July 16, 1806, but the last two do not match any known day's total. (back)
4. In Codex M this appears as the first course of July 30, 1806. (back)
5. Cottonwood, Moon, and either Snell, Lignite, or Coal creeks, all in Custer County, Montana, on the south side of the Yellowstone River. One of them would presumably be the "Dry Brook" below the "Mar shas kap River" and the camp of July 28 on Atlas map 120. (back)
6. Probably Bull, Wilson, Whitetail, and Steiger or Reservation creeks in Custer County on the north side of the Yellowstone. Two unnamed streams appear on that portion of the river on Atlas map 120. (back)
7. The Tullock Member of Fort Union Formation. Although there are numerous beds of coal, the beds generally are thin, discontinuous, and of low quality. (back)
8. Tongue River meets the Yellowstone in Custer County; at its mouth today is Miles City. Atlas map 120. The Indian name is presumably from the Mandans or the Hidatsas; see Fort Mandan Miscellany. " Lazeka or Tongue River" may have been written in later over erasures. The term is a Mandan name, résik, "tongue." Besides his interlineation Biddle also put brackets in red ink around the words "which take to be." (back)
9. As Clark indicates, his camp was on the north side of the Yellowstone, in Custer County, a little below Tongue River, opposite, and north of Miles City. On Atlas map 120 it seems to be incorrectly placed on the south side of the Yellowstone just below the Tongue. (back)
10. One of these branches is probably Pumpkin Creek, which rises in Powder River County, Montana. The other would be Tongue River, which rises in the Big Horn Mountains (probably Biddle's "Cote noir" in this case), near the source of the Little Bighorn River in Sheridan County, Wyoming. Neither is close to the sources of the Cheyenne River in east-central Wyoming. (back)
11. The gravel carried by the Tongue River is composed principally of clinker and of pebbles derived from higher terrace deposits along which the stream flows. Clinker is the common term for the burned, baked, or fused products of the combustion of the coal and the adjacent deposits—most commonly, the material directly above the coal bed. (back)
12. Again, the Tullock Member of the Fort Union Formation. (back)
13. "5" appears to have been written over "3." (back)
14. Western spiny soft shell turtle, Trionyx spiniferus hartwegi. Benson (HLCE), 88. (back)
15. Probably Wilson Creek; see a previous note in this entry. The interlined "Bull" is evidently Coues's guess at the creek. It was probably Coues who underlined many words in pencil in this table. The underlining is not done here. (back)
16. Probably Theade Creek in Custer County, on the south side of the Yellowstone above Cottonwood Creek; it is "Dry Brook" on Atlas map 120. An interlineation by Coues, evidently "Teepee," must represent his guess at the creek's name. Coues (HLC), 3:1160 n. 21. (back)
17. Apparently Moon Creek; see a previous note in this entry. It is "Turtle dry creek 40 yds wide" on Atlas map 120. "Turtle Creek" may be a later interlineation by Clark. (back)
18. The Tullock Member of the Fort Union Formation at the mouth of Lignite Creek. (back)
19. Probably Lignite Creek; see a previous note in this entry. (back)
20. Coal Creek on the starboard and Reservation Creek on the larboard; see previous notes in this entry. (back)
21. The words "of Tongue River" appear to have been added to a blank space. (back)
22. "Le-ze-ka" seems to be a substitution for some erasures. (back)
24. Eagle Creek, Chouteau County. The party camped for the night some miles below this stream, about a mile above the mouth of Arrow Creek on the north side of the Missouri. (back)
25. About a mile above and opposite the mouth of Arrow Creek (the party's Slaughter River), Chouteau County, at the site of the party's westbound camp of May 29, 1805. (back)