Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 1805 - Part Four
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: August 7, 1805 - August 9, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates August 7, 1805 - August 9, 1805 .

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates August 7, 1805 - August 9, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 7, 1805 - August 9, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: August 7, 1805 - August 9, 1805

August 7, 1805
Wednesday 7. We remained here this morning for the purpose of making some celestial observations, and also in order to refresh the men, and complete the drying of the baggage. We obtained a meridian altitude which gave the latitude of our camp at north 45° 2' 48" 8"'. We were now completely satisfied that the middle branch was the most navigable, and the true continuation of the Jefferson. The northwest fork seems to be the drain of the melting snows of the mountains, its course cannot be so long as the other branch, and although it contains now as great a quantity of water, yet the water has obviously overflowed the old bed, and spread into channels which leave the low grounds covered with young grass, resembling that of the adjoining lands, which are not inundated; whence we readily infer that the supply is more precarious than that of the other branch, the waters of which though more gentle are more constant. This northwest fork we called Wisdom river.

As soon as the baggage was dried, it was reloaded on board the boats, but we now found it so much diminished, that we would we able to proceed with one canoe less. We therefore hauled up the superfluous one into a thicket of brush where we secured her against being swept away by the high tide. At one o'clock all set out, except Captain Lewis who remained till the evening in order to complete the observation of equal altitudes: we passed several bends of the river both to the right and left, as well as a number of bayous on both sides, and made seven miles by water, though the distance by land is only three. We then encamped on a creek which rises in a high mountain to the northeast, and after passing through an open plain for several miles, discharges itself on the left, where it is a bold running stream twelve yards wide. We called it Turf creek, from the number of bogs and the quantity of turf on its waters. In the course of the afternoon there fell a shower of rain attended with thunder and lightning, which lasted about forty minutes, and the weather remained so cloudy all night that we were unable to take any lunar observations. Uneasy about Shannon, we sent R. Fields in search of him this morning, but we have as yet no intelligence of either of them. Our only game to-day was one deer.

August 8, 1805
Thursday 8. There was a heavy dew this morning. Having left one of the canoes, there are now more men to spare for the chace; and four were sent out at an early hour, after which we proceeded. We made five miles by water along two islands and several bayous, but as the river formed seven different bends towards the left, the distance by land was only two miles south of our encampment. At the end of that course we reached the upper principal entrance of a stream which we called Philanthropy river. This river empties itself into the Jefferson on the southeast side, by two channels a short distance from each other: from its size and its southeastern course, we presume that it rises in the Rocky mountains near the sources of the Madison. It is thirty yards wide at its entrance, has a very gentle current, and is navigable for some distance. One mile above this river we passed an island, a second at the distance of six miles further, during which the river makes a considerable bend to the east. Reuben Fields returned about noon with information that he had gone up Wisdom river till its entrance into the mountains, but could find nothing of Shannon. We made seven miles beyond the last island, and after passing some small bayous, encamped under a few high trees on the left, at the distance of fourteen miles above Philanthropy river by water, though only six by land. The river has in fact become so very crooked that although by means of the pole which we now use constantly we make a considerable distance, yet being obliged to follow its windings, at the end of the day, we find ourselves very little advanced on our general course. It forms itself into small circular bends, which are so numerous that within the last fourteen miles we passed thirty-five of them, all inclining towards the right; it is however much more gentle and deep than below Wisdom river, and its general width is from thirty-five to forty-five yards. The general appearance of the surrounding country is that of a valley five or six miles wide, enclosed between two high mountains. The bottom is rich, with some small timber on the islands and along the river, which consists rather of underbrush, and a few cottonwood, birch, and willow-trees. The high grounds have some scattered pine, which just relieve the general nakedness of the hills and the plain, where there is nothing except grass. Along the bottoms we saw to-day a considerable quantity of the buffalo clover, the sunflower, flax, green sward, thistle and several species of rye grass, some of which rise to the height of three or four feet.

There is also a grass with a soft smooth leaf which rises about three feet high, and bears its seed very much like the timothy, but it does not grow luxuriantly nor would it apparently answer so well in our meadows as that plant. We preserved some of its seed, which are now ripe, in order to make the experiment. Our game consisted of deer and antelope, and we saw a number of geese and ducks just beginning to fly, and some cranes. Among the inferior animals we have an abundance of the large biting or hare fly, of which there are two species, one black, the other smaller and brown, except the head which is green. The green or blowing flies unite with them in swarms to attack us, and seem to have relieved the eye-gnats who have now disappeared. The mosquitoes too are in large quantities, but not so troublesome as they were below. Through the valley are scattered bogs, and some very good turf, the earth of which the mud is composed is of a white or bluish white color, and seems to be argilaceous. On all the three rivers, but particularly on the Philanthropy, are immense quantities of beaver, otter and muskrat. At our camp there was an abundance of rosebushes and briars, but so little timber that we were obliged to use willow brush for fuel. The night was again cloudy which prevented the lunar observations.

On our right is the point of a high plain, which our Indian woman recognizes as the place called the Beaver's-head from a supposed resemblance to that object. This she says is not far from the summer retreat of her countrymen, which is on a river beyond the mountains, and running to the west. She is therefore certain that we shall meet them either on this river, or on that immediately west of its source, which judging from its present size, cannot be far distant. Persuaded of the absolute necessity of procuring horses to cross the mountains, it was determined that one of us should proceed in the morning to the head of the river, and penetrate the mountains till he found the Shoshones or some other nation who could assist us in transporting our baggage, the greater part of which we shall be compelled to leave without the aid of horses.

August 9, 1805
Friday 9. The morning was fair and fine. We set off early, and proceeded on very well, though there were more rapids in the river than yesterday. At eight o'clock we halted for breakfast, part of which consisted of two fine geese killed before we stopped. Here we were joined by Shannon for whose safety we had been so uneasy. The day on which he left us on his way up Wisdom river, after hunting for some time and not seeing the party arrive, he returned to the place where he had left us. Not finding us there he supposed we had passed him, and he therefore marched up the river during all the next day, when he was convinced that we had not gone on, as the river was no longer navigable. He now followed the course of the river down to the forks, and then took the branch which we are pursuing. During the three days of his absence, he had been much wearied with his march, but had lived plentifully, and brought the skins of three deer. As far as he had ascended Wisdom river it kept its course obliquely down towards the Jefferson. Immediately after breakfast, Captain Lewis took Drewyer, Shields and M‘Neal, and slinging their knapsacks they set out with a resolution to meet some nation of Indians before they returned, however long they might be separated from the party. He directed his course across the low ground to the plain on the right, leaving the Beaver's-head about two miles to the left. After walking eight miles to the river, which they waded, they went on to a commanding point from which he saw the place at which it enters the mountain, but as the distance would not permit his reaching it this evening, he descended towards the river, and after traveling eight miles further, encamped for the evening some miles below the mountain. They passed before reaching their camp a handsome little stream formed by some large springs which rise in the wide bottom on the left side of the river. In their way they killed two antelopes, and took with them enough of the meat for their supper and breakfast the next morning.

In the meantime we proceeded, and in the course of eleven miles from our last encampment passed two small islands, sixteen short round bends in the river, and halted in a bend towards the right where we dined. The river increases in rapidity as we advance, and is so crooked that the eleven miles, which have cost us so much labor, only bring us four miles in a direct line. The weather became overcast towards evening, and we experienced a slight shower attended with thunder and lightning. The three hunters who were sent out killed only two antelopes; game of every kind being scarce.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: August 7, 1805 - August 9, 1805

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