August 1, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 1, 1806


The rain still continuing I set out early as usual and proceeded on at a good rate.    at 9 A. M. we saw a large brown bear swiming from an island to the main shore we pursued him and as he landed Drewyer and myself shot and killed him; we took him on board the perogue and continued our rout.    at 11 A. M. we passed the entrance of Mussel shell river. [1]    at 1 in the evening we arrived at a bottom on S. W. side where there were several spacious Indian lodges built of sticks and an excellent landing. as the rain still continued with but little intermission and appearances seemed unfavorable to it's becomeing fair shortly, I determined to halt at this place at least for this evening and indeavour to dry my skins of the bighorn which had every appearance of spoiling, an event which I would not should happen on any consideration as we have now passed the country in which they are found and I therefore could not supply the deficiency were I to loose these I have. I halted at this place being about 15 ms. below Missel shell river, [2] had fires built in the lodges and my skins exposed to dry.    shortly after we landed the rain ceased tho' it still continued cloudy all this evening.    a white bear came withint 50 paces of our camp before we perceived it; it stood erect on it's hinder feet and looked at us with much apparent unconsern, we seized our guns which are always by us and several of us fired at it and killed it.    it was a female in fine order, we fleesed it and extracted several gallons of oil.    this speceis of bar are rearly as poor at this season of the year as the common black bear nor are they ever as fat as the black bear is found in winter; as they feed principally on flesh, like the wolf, they are most fatt when they can procure a sufficiency of food without rispect to the season of the year. the oil of this bear is much harder than that of the black bear being nearly as much so as the lard of a hog.    the flesh is by no means as agreeable as that of the black bear, or Yahkah or partycoloured bear [3] of the West side of the rocky mountains.    on our way today we killed a buck Elk in fine order the skins and a part of the flesh of which we preserved.    after encamping this evening the hunters killed 4 deer and a beaver. The Elk are now in fine order particularly the males.    their horns have obtained their full growth but have not yet shed the velvet or skin which covers them.    the does are found in large herds with their young and a few young bucks with them.    the old bucks yet herd together in parties of two to 7 or 8.—

N. E.   2 ½ miles to a tree below a large Brook in a 〈Lard〉 Stard Bend
opposit the head of an Island
North   5 miles to the head of an isld    passed 2 islands and a large
Brook on the Lard Side
N E.   1 ½ to the Stard. Shore at a tree    passed a Brook Stard
N. W.   2 ½ to the lower point of an Isld. Close to the Lard Side    passed
an [isd?] on the Stard Side
N. 40° E   2 ½ miles to a Stard. bend    pds an Island
N 15° E.   3 miles to a Lard. point
North   1 ½ to a wood on the Stard. Side    Passed a small Island
N. 24° W.   2 miles to Some wood on Lard Side
N. 20° E.   1 m to the head of an island
N. 10° E.   1 m to a Bluff on the Lard Side
N. 46° E.   1 ½ m. to a wood on Lard Side
North   2 m to a wood on Lard Side
N 80° E.   1 ½ m to a wood on the Stard. Sid
N. 50° W.   1 m. to deep bend on Lard Side    Passed a Coal Bluff on the
Stard. Side
N. 40° E.   1 mile to the Center of the Lard. Bend
S 50° E.   1 mile to a wood in the Std. bend
N. 28° E   1 ½ miles to an Island near the Stard.
N 10° E.   1 miles to the interance of a large dry Creek on the Lard Side
N. 70° E.   2 miles to the lower point of a wood in a Stard Bend
〈S〉 N. 20° E   6 miles to a Lard point opsd a high bluff.    passed an Island
North   1 ½ miles to the Center of a Stard. Bend opposit an island.
N. 50° E   2 ½ miles to the interanc of a [blank] on the Stard side

We Set out early as usial the wind was high and ahead which caused the water to be a little rough and delayed us very much    aded to this we had Showers of rain repeetedly all day at the intermition of only a fiew minits between them. My Situation a very disagreeable one.    in an open Canoe wet and without a possibility of keeping my Self dry.    the Country through which we passed is in every respect like that through which I passed yesterday. The brooks have all Some water in them from the rains which has fallen.    this water is excessively muddy. Several of those brooks have Some trees on their borders as far as I can See up them. I observe Some low pine an cedar [4] on the Sides of the rugid hills on the Stard. Side, and Some ash timber [5] in the high bottoms.    the river has more Sand bars today than usial, and more Soft mud.    the current less rapid.    at 2 P. M. I was obliged to land to let the Buffalow Cross over.    not withstanding an island of half a mile in width over which this gangue of Buffalow had to pass and the Chanel of the river on each Side nearly ¼ of a mile in width, this gangue of Buffalow was entirely across and as thick as they could Swim.    the Chanel on the Side of the island the went into the river was crouded with those animals for ½ an hour.    [NB: I was obliged to lay to for an hour] the other Side of the island for more than 3/4 of an hour. I took 4 of the men and killed 4 fat Cows for their fat and what portion of their flesh the Small Canoes Could Carry    that which we had killed a few days ago being nearly Spoiled from the wet weather.    encamped on an Island Close to the Lard Shore. [6]    two gangues of Buffalow Crossed a little below us, as noumerous as the first.

Course distance and Remarks Augt. 1st 1806 [7]
N. 45 E. to a Single tree below a large brook in a Stard. Bend }   2 ½
  opposit to the head of an island Pine brook [8]
North to the head of an island.    passed 2 islands, also a }   5
  large Brook [9] on the Lard Side
N. 45° E. to a tree on the Stard. Shore, passed a Brook Std. [10]     1 ½
N. 45° W. to the lower point of an island close to the Lard Side. }   2 ½
  passed an island close to the Stard. Side
N. 40° E. to a Stard. Bend    passed an island     2 ½
N. 15° E. to the Lard. point     3
North to a wood on the Stard. Side    passd. a small island     1 ½
N 24° W. to Some timber on the Lard Side     2
N. 20° E to the head of an island     1
N. 10° E. to a Bluff on the Lard Side     1
N. 46° E. to a wood on the Lard Side     1 ½
North to a wood on the Lard Side     2
N. 80° E. to a wood on the Stard Side     1 ½
N. 50° W. to a deep bend on the Lard Side    passed a Coal }   1 ½
  Bluff [11] for ½ a mile on the Stard Side low and leavel
N. 40° E. to the Center of a Lard. Bend     1
S. 50° E. to a wood in a Stard Bend    psd. Buffalow Crossing C [12]     1
N. 28° E. to the head of an island near the Stard Side     1 ½
N. 10° E. to the enterance of a dry Creek [13] on the Lard. Side     1
N. 70° E. to the lower point of a wood in the Stard Bend     2
N. 20° E. to a Lard point opposit to a high bluff passed an }   6
North to the center of a Stard. Bend opposit to an island     1 ½
N. 50° E. to the enterance of a Small brook [14] on Stard. Side }   2
  passed Several Sand bars & opposit to an Isld.
    Miles 45
1. wind N W.—    c. a. r.—    N.—    r.—   rained last night    rained
all day at intervales
2.            N.         c. a. r.—    

Friday August 1st 1806.    hard rain    we Set out early and procd. on    about 9 A M a Brown bear and Drewyer and Capt. Lewis killed it    we took it on board and procd. on    Colter killed a beaver Shortly after    about noon we killed a buck Elk    Saved the hide and the best of the meat.    about 2 P. M. we halted at Some old Indn. Lodges on S. Side.    here we delayd. [16] this afternoon to dry our deer Skins Mountn. Sheep Skins &. C.    which were near Spoiling as the weather has been Some time wet.    about 3 P. M. a large white bear approached our Camp    as Soon as he discovred us Stood up on his hind feed and looked at us. Some of the hunters Shot him down, for the Skin & oil.    the other hunters killd. four deer and a beaver, this afternoon.—


Friday 1st of Aug. 1806.    We embarked early in a wet disagreeable morning, and in a short time saw a large brown or grizly bear swimming in the river, which we killed, and took on board; passed the mouth of Muscle shoal river; [17] and at noon halted to dine at some old Indian lodges. Captain Lewis being afraid, from the dampness of the weather, that the skins he had procured of these big-horned animals would spoil, thought it adviseable to stay here this afternoon, and dry them by a fire in these old lodges; and some of the men went out to hunt. About an hour after we landed here, a large bear came so close to our camp, that one of the men [18] shot and killed it from our fire. In the evening our hunters came in and had killed several deer. The afternoon was cloudy with some rain; and having made a fire and put the skins to dry with two men to attend them, made our arrangements for the night.

1. Musselshell River, on the Petroleum-Garfield County line, Montana; see May 20, 1805. Atlas map 39; MRC map 69. (back)
2. This camp was in Petroleum or Phillips County, some two to three miles below the camp of May 19, 1805, just above what was later called Horseshoe Point. The area is now inundated by Fort Peck Reservoir. They remained here until August 3. Atlas map 38; MRC map 68. (back)
3. The Yahkah is the cinnamon phase of the black bear; see May 31 and June 20, 1806. Here Lewis seems to use "partycolored" for the same bear, but perhaps he means the grizzly, which he calls the "variagated" bear on May 14, 1806. (back)
4. Limber pine and probably Rocky Mountain juniper, or possibly creeping juniper. Both limber pine and Rocky Mountain juniper are commonly found together along the low-elevation foothills of the Montana Rockies and in isolated populations on the eastern Great Plains. (back)
5. Green ash as noticed by Lewis on August 7. (back)
6. The island on which Clark camped is in Dawson County, Montana, just below the mouth of Cottonwood Creek in Wibaux County, a nameless stream on Atlas maps 112 and 122. (back)
7. It was probably Coues who underlined in pencil some words in this table; the underlinings have not been kept. (back)
8. "Pine Brook" on Atlas map 121, present Sand Creek entering the Yellowstone from the east in Dawson County. (back)
9. Upper Sevenmile Creek meets the Yellowstone in Dawson County a mile or so above present Glendive; it is nameless on Atlas map 121. (back)
10. Cains Coulee in Dawson County at Glendive, a nameless stream just below the "High black hills" on Atlas map 121. Clark apparently missed the more prominent Glendive Creek a few miles ahead. (back)
11. The Ludlow Member of the Fort Union Formation at the mouth of Morgan Creek. (back)
12. The buffalo crossing appears to be misplaced on Atlas maps 112 and 122; it should be at the bend above "Buffalow Creek," present Thirteenmile Creek, in Dawson County. (back)
13. Thirteenmile Creek; see earlier note in this entry. Atlas maps 112, 122. (back)
14. Cottonwood Creek; see earlier note in this entry. (back)
15. A weather observation at the end of Clark's Codex M, placed here by date. (back)
16. The party's camp was in Petroleum or Phillips County, some two or three miles below the camp of May 19, 1805, just above what was later called Horseshoe Point. The area is now inundated by Fort Peck Reservoir. Lewis says they were about fifteen miles below the mouth of the Musselshell River. They remained here until August 3. (back)
17. Musselshell River, on the Petroleum-Garfield county line, Montana. (back)
18. Lewis and Ordway indicate that several men fired on the bear. (back)