August 8, 1806
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August 8, 1806


Beleiving from the recent appearances about the fire which we past last evening that Capt Clark could be at no great distance below I set out early; the wind 〈by〉 heard from the N. E. but by the force of the oars and currant we traveled at a good rate untill 10 A. M. by which time we reached the center of the beaver bends about 8 ms. by water and 3 by land above the entrance of White earth river. [2]    not finding Capt. Clark I knew not what calculation to make with rispect to his halting and therefore determined to proceed as tho' he was not before me and leave the rest to the chapter of accedents.    at this place I found a good beach for the purpose of drawing out the perogue and one of the canoes which wanted corking and reparing.    the men with me have not had leasure since we left the West side of the Rocky mountains to dress any skins or make themselves cloaths and most of them are therefore extreemly bare. I therefore determined to halt at this place untill the perogue and canoe could be repared and the men dress skins and make themselves the necessary cloathing.    we encamped on the N. E. side of the river; [3] we found the Musquetoes extreemly troublesome but in this rispect there is but little choise of camps from hence down to St. Louis.    from this place to the little Missouri there is an abundance of game    I shall therefore when I leave this place travel at my leasure and avail myself of every opportunity to collect and dry meat untill I provide a sufficient quantity for our voyage not knowing what provision Capt C. has made in this rispect. I formed a camp unloaded the canoes and perogue, had the latter and one of the canoes drawn out to dry, fleased what meat we had collected and hung it on poles in the sun, after which the men busied themselves in dressing skins and making themselves cloaths. Drewyer killed 2 Elk and a deer this evening.    the air is cold yet the Musquetoes continue to be troublesome.—


A cool windey morning    I derected Shields and Gibson to turn out and hunt this morning.    at 8 A. M. Sergt. N. Pryor Shannon, hall & Windsor Came down the river in two Canoes made of Buffalow Skins. [4] Sergt. Pryor informed me that the Second night after he parted with me [5] on the river Rochejhone he arived about 4 P M on the banks of a large Creek which contained no running water. [6]    he halted to let the horses graze dureing which time a heavy Shower of rain raised the Creek so high that Several horses which had Stragled across the Chanel of this Creek was obliged to Swim back.    here he deturmined to Continue all night it being in good food for the horses. In the morning he could See no horses.    in lookg about their Camp they discovered Several tracks within 100 paces of their Camp, which they pursued found where they had Caught and drove off all the horses.    they prosued on five miles the Indians [7] there divided into two parties.    they Continued in pursute of the largest party five miles further finding that there was not the Smallest Chance of overtakeing them, they returned to their Camp and packed up their baggage on their backs and Steared a N. E. course to the River Rochejhone which they Struck at pompys Tower, there they killed a Buffalow Bull and made a Canoe in the form and shape of the mandans & Ricares [NB: Shannon killed Buf. & made Canoe] (the form of a bason) and made in the following manner. Viz: 2 Sticks of 1¼ inch diameter is tied together So as to form a round hoop of the Size you wish the canoe, or as large as the Skin will allow to cover, two of those hoops are made one for the top or brim and the for the bottom the deabth you wish the Canoe, then Sticks of the Same Size are Crossed at right angles and fastened with a throng to each hoop and also where each Stick Crosses each other.    then the Skin when green is drawn tight over this fraim and fastened with throngs to the brim or outer hoop So as to form a perfect bason.    one of those Canoes will carry 6 or 8 Men and their loads. Those two Canoes are nearly the Same size 7 feet 3 inches diamieter & 16 inchs deep 15 ribs or Cross Sticks in each. Sergt. Pryor informs me that the Cause of his building two Canoes was for fear of ones meating with Some accedent in passing down the rochejhone a river entirely unknown to either of them by which means they might loose their guns and amunition and be left entirely destitute of the means of precureing food.    he informed me that they passed through the worst parts of the rapids & Shoals in the river without takeing a drop of water, and waves raised from the hardest winds dose not effect them.    on the night of the 26th ulto: the night after the horses had been stolen a Wolf bit Sergt. Pryor through his hand when asleep, and this animal was So vicious as to make an attempt to Seize Windsor, when Shannon fortunately Shot him. [8] Sergt. Pryers hand was nearly recovered. The Country through which St. Pryor Passed after he parted with me is a broken open Country.    he passed one Small river which I have Called Pryors river which [NB: rises] in a Mtn. to the South of Pompys tower. [9]    The note I left on a pole at the Mouth of the River Rochejhone Sergt. Pryor concluding that Capt. Lewis had passed took the note and brought it with him. Capt Lewis I except will be certain of my passing by the Sign which I have made and the encampment imediately in the point. Sergt. Pryor bing anxious to overtake me Set out Some time before day this morning and forgot his Saddlebags which contains his papers &c. [10] I Sent Bratten back with him in Serch of them. I also Sent Shannon over to hunt the bottom on the opposit Side. Shields and Gibson returned at 10 A. M. with the Skins and part of the flesh of three deer which they had killed in this bottom. I derected them to take one of the Skin Canoes and proceed down to the next bottom and untill my arival which will be this evening if Sergt. Pryor returns in time. My object is to precure as many Skins as possible for the purpose of purchaseing Corn and Beans of the Mandans.    as we have now no article of Merchindize nor horses to purchase with, our only resort is Skins which those people were very fond the winter we were Stationed near them. after dark Sergt. Pryor returned with his Saddlebeggs &c.    they were much further up than he expected.


Friday 8th August 1806.    a fair morng.    we Set out as usal and procd. on verry well untill 10 A. M.    then not overtaking Capt. Clark & party Capt. Lewis concluded to halt and dry our baggage dress Some Skins as the party is nearly naked and repair the canoes. So we Camped at a bottom on N. Side    drew out the white perogue after unloading and my canoe as they leaked    the musquetoes troublesome at this Camp. Drewyer killed two deer.—


Friday 8th:    We had a fine clear cool morning with some white frost; proceeded on early and in a short time past one of Captain Clarke's camps. [11] At nine o'clock we halted to repair the periogue, [12] and to dress some skins to make ourselves clothing. The musquitoes are more troublesome here than at any place since we left the falls of the Missouri. A party of men went out to hunt and killed some elk and deer; the rest were employed in dressing deer and cabre skins.

1. Here end the daily entries in Codex L: the remainder consists of weather diaries for June, July, and August (through the twelfth), 1806. Immediately following this entry is a notation by Clark: "a Suplt. to Come in here." The reference is to Codex Lb, which contains Lewis's last few daily entries; see Appendix C. vol. 2. On the end flyleaf is the following notation in Lewis's hand (see August 12, 1806, for information about these men):
Joseph Dickson } from the Illinois the former
the latter from Boon's settlement
Forrest Hancock
2. In Williams and McKenzie counties, North Dakota, above present Williston, "White earth river" is present Little Muddy River, in Williams County; see April 21, 1805. Atlas map 35; MRC map 59. (back)
3. In Williams County, several miles southwest of Williston. Atlas map 35; MRC map 59. (back)
4. Probably bullboats, which Pryor and his companions would have seen among the Mandans and Hidatsas; see October 6, 1804. (back)
5. Pryor parted with Clark on July 24, 1806, above present Billings, Montana; see the first part of his route on Atlas maps 108, 116. The incident he now tells of would have occurred on the night of July 25–26. (back)
6. Pryor's route probably roughly paralleled present Interstate Highway 90, headed easterly; he may have camped on Fly Creek in Big Horn County, Montana, several miles west of present Hardin. (back)
7. Pryor and his men were in the country of the Crows, or Absaroke (see November 12, 1804), who were renowned as horse thieves. (back)
8. The wolf's behavior suggests rabies, but neither Pryor nor Windsor contracted the disease, as far as is known. (back)
9. Present Pryor Creek (see July 25, 1806), which rises in the Pryor Mountains in Big Horn and Carbon counties, Montana. Atlas maps 109, 116. (back)
10. There is no indication of what the "papers &c." consisted of, but this is the only hint that Pryor may have been keeping a journal, as the sergeants supposedly were required to do. However, the papers may simply have been the letters he was supposed to deliver. Since the entry makes it clear that the papers were recovered, this is not the explanation of Pryor's journal not being available. (back)
11. Determination of Clark's campsites below the mouth of the Yellowstone is difficult. This was presumably the camp of August 4, 1806, in McKenzie or Williams County, North Dakota; see Clark's entry of August 4. (back)
12. In Williams County, several miles southwest of Williston, where they remained until August 10. (back)