September 20, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 20, 1806


as three of the party was unabled to row from the State of their eyes we found it necessary to leave one of our Crafts and divide the men into the other Canoes, we left the two Canoes lashed together which I had made high up the River Rochejhone, those Canoes we Set a drift and a little after day light we Set out and proceeded on very well. The Osage river very low and discharges but a Small quantity of water at this time for so large a river.    at meridian we passed the enterance of the Gasconnade river [1] below which we met a perogue with 5 french men bound to the Osarge Gd. village. [2]    the party being extreemly anxious to get down ply their ores very well, we Saw Some cows on the bank which was a joyfull Sight to the party and Caused a Shout to be raised for joy    at [blank] P M we Came in Sight of the little french Village called Charriton [NB: Charrette] [3]    the men raised a Shout and Sprung upon their ores and we soon landed opposit to the Village.    our party requested to be permited to fire off their Guns which was alowed & they discharged 3 rounds with a harty Cheer, which was returned from five tradeing boats which lay    opposit the village.    we landed and were very politely received by two young Scotch men from Canada one in the employ of Mr. Aird a Mr. [blank] [4] and the other Mr. Reed, [5] two other boats the property of Mr. Lacomb & Mr. [blank] all of those boats were bound to the Osage and Ottoes.    those two young Scotch gentlemen furnished us with Beef flower and Some pork for our men, and gave us a very agreeable supper.    as it was like to rain we accepted of a bed in one of their tents.    we purchased of a Citizen two gallons of Whiskey for our party for which we were obliged to give Eight dollars in Cash, an imposition on the part of the Citizen.    every person, both French and americans Seem to express great pleasure at our return, and acknowledged them selves much astonished in Seeing us return.    they informed us that we were Supposed to have been lost long Since, and were entirely given out by every person &c.

Those boats are from Canada in the batteaux form and wide in perpotion to their length.    their length about 30 feet and the width 8 feet & pointed bow & Stern, flat bottom and rowing Six ores only the Skeneckeity [6] form.    those Bottoms are prepared for the navigation of this river, I beleive them to be the best Calculated for the navigation of this river of any which I have Seen.    〈not〉 they are wide and flat not Subject to the dangers of the roleing Sands, which larger boats are on this river.    the American inhabitants express great disgust for the govermt of this Teritory.    from what I can lern it arises from a disapmt. of getting all the Spanish Grants Confirmed—. [7] Came 68 ms. to day.


Saturday 20th Sept. 1806.    as Several of the party have Sore eyes [8] & unable to work, our officers concluded to leave 2 Small canoes which was done as we had room for the men without them.    we Set out eairly and proceeded on    met a canoe & Several frenchman [9] going up this R. trapping.    nearly Sunset we arived in site of St. Johns or Charette village    fired three rounds and was answered by Some boatsman who lay at this place & by the people of the village    we Camped here    here is 4 batteaux bound for the Mahars & other Indians    our officers got 2 gallons of Whiskey for which they had to pay eight dollars an extorinatable [extortionate] price    they got us some pork Beef and flour &C.    the french people gave us Some milk &C &C.

1. They first reached the Gasconade River on May 27, 1804; it enters the Missouri in Gasconade County, Missouri. MRC map 5. (back)
2. For the Osages see May 31, 1804. Whether these traders were bound for the Osages on the Osage River or on the Arkansas River is not indicated. (back)
3. La Charette, in Warren County, Missouri, has since been washed away by the Missouri; the party first passed it on May 25, 1804. MRC map 4. (back)
4. This unnamed young man may have been Ramsay Crooks, then a nineteen-year-old Scottish immigrant working for Robert Dickson and James Aird. In the next few years he would be a partner of Robert McClellan in trading ventures on the Missouri, then in 1810 he joined the overland Astorians under Wilson Price Hunt and went to the mouth of the Columbia with them in 1811. In 1812–13 he returned east with Robert Stuart's overland party through South Pass. For over twenty years thereafter he was an executive with John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company, concentrating his activities in the upper Great Lakes region and becoming one of the major figures of the fur trade. When the Astor organization split up in 1834 Crooks became head of its successor company on the Lakes and continued in the trade in one way or another until his death in 1859. Carter (RC); Lavender (FW), 78, and passim; Irving (Astor), 108, 114, 126–27, and passim. (back)
5. Reed's identity is not clear. David Lavender believes that he was named James and that he was, like Crooks, an employee of Robert Dickson and James Aird. Lavender also suggests that he might be the same as the John Reed who was with the overland Astorians on their journey to the Pacific. He was killed by Indians, with several other Astorians including Pierre Dorion, Junior, in Idaho in 1814. Lavender (FW), 71–72, 74–75, 78, 80–81, 93, 131, 160, 165–67, 170, 171, 174, 215, 445 n. 14, 449 n. 9; Irving (Astor), 130, 446–49, and passim. (back)
6. Schenectady boats were first built in the city of that name and were used extensively on the rivers of western New York and the upper Saint Lawrence. Amos Stoddard judged them better for shallow water than keelboats. Long, 213 n. 105; Stoddard, 303. (back)
7. Spain offered free land to attract Anglo-American settlers to Spanish Louisiana, but because of the abundance of land and the smallness of the region's population few residents attempted to follow the cumbersome process required for securing a completed title. Prior to 1804 local officials accepted uncompleted concessions as authorization to hold lands and raised no questions when they were sold or inherited. Some of the early French settlers and even more of the incoming Anglo-Americans simply squatted on the land without bothering to request a formal concession from the Spanish authorities. Following the Louisiana Purchase, many residents scurried to secure formal titles for their holdings. Reports of widespread fraud made Congress reluctant to authorize wholesale confirmation of the Spanish land titles of Upper Louisiana. A barrage of complaints from territorial residents led to the appointment of a commission to examine and adjust these claims. The controversies persisted for many years, and as territorial officials both Lewis and Clark subsequently found themselves embroiled in the contentious business. Foley, 99–100, 143–44, 148, 158, 170–74. This passage is struck through with vertical lines. Perhaps the captains wanted to distance themselves from the politically explosive matter. (back)
8. Perhaps from infectious conjunctivitis or related to the diet of pawpaws, the handling of which can cause dermatitis. See Clark's entry of September 19, 1806. (back)
9. The rather complicated discussion of the men's identities is discussed at Clark's entry for this day. (back)