Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates December 1804 - Part Two
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: December 6, 1804 - December 13, 1804


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates December 6, 1804 - December 13, 1804.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates December 6, 1804 - December 13, 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates December 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates December 6, 1804 - December 13, 1804
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: December 6, 1804 - December 13, 1804

December 6, 1804
Thursday 6. The wind was violent from the north northwest with some snow, the air keen and cold. At eight o'clock A.M. the thermometer stood at ten degrees above 0, and the river rose an inch and a half in the course of the day.

December 7, 1804
Friday, December 7. The wind still continued from the northwest and the day is very cold: Shahaka the chief of the lower village came to apprise us that the buffalo were near, and that his people were waiting for us to join them in the chase: captain Clark with fifteen men went out and found the Indians engaged in killing the buffalo, the hunters mounted on horseback and armed with bows and arrows encircle the herd, and gradually drive them into a plain or an open place fit for the movements of horse; they then ride in among them, and singling out a buffalo, a female being preferred, go as close as possible and wound her with arrows till they think they have given the mortal stroke; when they pursue another till the quiver is exhausted: if, which rarely happens, the wounded buffalo attacks the hunter, he evades his blow by the agility of his horse which is trained for the combat with great dexterity.

When they have killed the requisite number they collect their game, and the squaws and attendants come up from the rear and skin and dress the animals. Captain Clarke killed ten buffalo, of which five only were brought to the fort, the rest which could not be conveyed home being seized by the Indians, among whom the custom is that whenever a buffalo is found dead without an arrow or any particular mark, he is the property of the finder; so that often a hunter secures scarcely any of the game he kills if the arrow happens to fall off: whatever is left out at night falls to the share of the wolves, who are the constant and numerous attendants of the buffalo. The river closed opposite the fort last night, an inch and a half in thickness. In the morning the thermometer stood at one degree below 0. Three men were badly frostbitten in consequence of their exposure.

December 8, 1804
Saturday 8. The thermometer stood at twelve degrees below 0, that is at forty-two degrees below the freezing [141]point: the wind was from the northwest. Captain Lewis with fifteen men went out to hunt the buffalo; great numbers of which darkened the prairies for a considerable distance: they did not return till after dark, having killed eight buffalo and one deer. The hunt was, however, very fatiguing, as they were obliged to make a circuit at the distance of more than seven miles; the cold too, was so excessive that the air was filled with icy particles resembling a fog, and the snow generally six or eight inches deep and sometimes eighteen, in consequence of which two of the party were hurt by falls, and several had their feet frostbitten.

December 9, 1804
Sunday 9. The wind was this day from the east, the thermometer at seven degrees above 0, and the sun shone clear: two chiefs visited us, one in a sleigh drawn by a dog and loaded with meat.

December 10, 1804
Monday 10. Captain Clarke who had gone out yesterday with eighteen men to bring in the meat we had killed the day before, and to continue the hunt, came in at twelve o'clock. After killing nine buffalo and preparing that already dead, he had spent a cold disagreeable night on the snow, with no covering but a small blanket, sheltered by the hides of the buffalo they had killed. We observe large herds of buffalo crossing the river on the ice, the men who were frostbitten are recovering, but the weather is still exceedingly cold, the wind being from the north, and the thermometer at ten and eleven degrees below 0: the rise of the river is one inch and a half.

December 11, 1804
Tuesday 11. The weather became so intensely cold that we sent for all the hunters who had remained out with captain Clarke's party, and they returned in the evening several of them frostbitten. The wind was from the north and the thermometer at sunrise stood at twenty-one below 0, the ice in the atmosphere being so thick as to render the weather hazy and give the appearance of two suns reflecting each other. The river continues at a stand. Pocapsahe made us a visit to-day.

December 12, 1804
Wednesday, December 12. The wind is still from the north, the thermometer being at sunrise thirty-eight degrees below 0. One of the Ahnahaways brought us down the half of an antelope killed near the fort; we had been informed that all these animals return to the Black mountains, but there are great numbers of them about us at this season which we might easily kill, but are unwilling to venture out before our constitutions are hardened gradually to the climate. We measured the river on the ice, and find it five hundred yards wide immediately opposite the fort.

December 13, 1804
Thursday 13. Last night was clear and a very heavy frost covered the old snow, the thermometer at sun rise being twenty degrees below 0, and followed by a fine day. The river falls.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: December 6, 1804 - December 13, 1804

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