Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 1805 - Part Twelve
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: August 26, 1805 - August 31, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates August 26, 1805 - August 31, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates August 26, 1805 - August 31, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 26, 1805 - August 31, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: August 26, 1805 - August 31, 1805

August 26, 1805
Monday 26. The morning was fine, and three men were dispatched ahead to hunt, while the rest were detained until nine o'clock, in order to retake some horses which had strayed away during the night. They then proceeded along the route by the forks of the river, till they reached the lower Indian camp where they first were when we met them. The whole camp immediately flocked around him with great appearance of cordiality, but all the spare food of the village did not amount to more than two salmon, which they gave to captain Clarke, who distributed them among his men. The hunters had not been able to kill any thing, nor had captain Clarke or the greater part of the men any food during the twenty-four hours, till towards evening one of them shot a salmon in the river, and a few small fish were caught, which furnished them with a scanty meal. The only animals they had seen were a few pigeons, some very wild hares, a great number of the large black grasshopper, and a quantify of ground lizards.

August 27, 1805
Tuesday 27. The men, who were engaged last night in mending their moccasins, all except one, went out hunting, but no game was to be procured. One of the men however killed a small salmon, and the Indians made a present of another, on which the whole party made a very slight breakfast. These Indians, to whom this life is familiar, seem contented, although they depend for subsistence on the scanty productions of the fishery. But our men who are used to hardships, but have been accustomed to have the first wants of nature regularly supplied, feel very sensibly their wretched situation; their strength is wasting away; they begin to express their apprehensions of being without food in a country perfectly destitute of any means of supporting life, except a few fish. In the course of the day an Indian brought into the camp five salmon, two of which captain Clarke bought, and made a supper for the party.

We were now occupied in determining our route and procuring horses from the Indians. The old guide who had been sent on by captain Clarke, now confirmed, by means of our interpreter, what he had already asserted, of a road up Berry creek which would lead to Indian establishments on another branch of the Columbia: his reports however were contradicted by all the Shoshones. This representation we ascribed to a wish on their part to keep us with them during the winter, as well for the protection we might afford against their enemies, as for the purpose of consuming our merchandise amongst them; and as the old man promised to conduct us himself, that route seemed to be the most eligible. We were able to procure some horses, though not enough for all our purposes. This traffic, and our inquiries and councils with the Indians, consumed the remainder of the day.

August 28, 1805
August 28. The purchase of horses was resumed, and our stock raised to twenty-two. Having now crossed more than once the country which separates the head waters of the Missouri from those of the Columbia, we can designate the easiest and most expeditious route for a portage; it is as follows:

From the forks of the river north 60 west, five miles to the point of a hill on the right: then south 80 west, ten miles to a spot where the creek is ten miles wide, and the highlands approach within two hundred yards; southwest five miles to a narrow part of the bottom; then turning south 70 west, two miles to a creek on the right: thence south 80 west, three miles to a rocky point opposite to a thicket of pines on the left; from that place west, three miles to the gap where is the fountain of the Missouri: on leaving this fountain south 80 west, six miles across the dividing ridge, to a run from the right passing several small streams north 80 west, four miles over hilly ground to the east fork of Lewis's river, which is here forty yards wide.

August 29, 1805
Thursday 29. Captain Clarke joined us this morning, and we continued our bargains for horses. The late misfortunes of the Shoshones make the price higher than common, so that one horse cost a pistol, one hundred balls, some powder and a knife; another was changed for a musket, and in this way we obtained twenty-nine. The horses themselves are young and vigorous, but they are very poor, and most of them have sore backs in consequence of the roughness of the Shoshone saddle. We are therefore afraid of loading them too heavily and are anxious to obtain one at least for each man to carry the baggage, or the man himself, or in the last resource to serve as food; but with all our exertions we could not provide all our men with horses. We have, however, been fortunate in obtaining for the last three days a sufficient supply of flesh, our hunters having killed two or three deer every day.

August 30, 1805
Friday 30. The weather was fine, and having now made all our purchases, we loaded our horses, and prepared to start. The greater part of the band who had delayed their journey on our account, were also ready to depart. We then took our leave of the Shoshones, who set out on their visit to the Missouri at the same time that we accompanied by the old guide, his four sons, and another Indian, began the descent of the river, along the same road which captain Clarke had previously pursued. After riding twelve miles we encamped on the south bank of the river, and as the hunters had brought in three deer early in the morning we did not feel the want of provisions.

August 31, 1805
Saturday 31. At sunrise we resumed our journey, and halted for three hours on Salmon creek to let the horses graze. We then proceeded to the stream called Berry creek eighteen miles from the camp of last night: as we passed along, the valleys and prairies were on fire in several places, in order to collect the bands of the Shoshones and the Flatheads, for their journey to the Missouri. The weather was warm and sultry, but the only inconvenience which we apprehend is a dearth of food, of which we had to-day an abundance, having procured a deer, a goose, one duck and a prairie fowl. On reaching Tower creek we left the former track of captain Clarke, and began to explore the new route, which is our last hope of getting out of the mountains. For four miles the road, which is tolerably plain, led us along Berry creek to some old Indian lodges where we encamped for the night; the next day,

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: August 26, 1805 - August 31, 1805

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