Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates July 1805 - Part Three
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: July 8, 1805 - July 12, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates July 8, 1805 - July 12, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates July 8, 1805 - July 12, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates July 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates July 8, 1805 - July 12, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: July 8, 1805 - July 12, 1805

July 8, 1805
Monday 8. In order more fully to replace the notes of the river which he had lost, and which he was prevented from supplying by the storm of the twenty-ninth ult. captain Clarke set out after breakfast, taking with him nearly the whole party with a view of shooting buffalo if there should be any near the falls. After getting some distance in the plains the men were divided into squads, and he with two others struck the Missouri at the entrance of Medicine river, and thence proceeded down to the great cataract. He found that the immense herds of buffalo have entirely disappeared, and he thought had gone below the falls. Having made the necessary measurements, he returned through the plains and reached camp late in the evening; the whole party had killed only three buffalo, three antelopes and a deer; they had also shot a small fox, and brought a living ground-squirrel somewhat larger than those of the United States.

The day was warm and fair, but a slight rain fell in the afternoon. The boat having now become sufficiently dry, we gave it a coat of the composition, which after a proper interval was repeated, and the next morning,

July 9, 1805
Tuesday 9, she was launched into the water, and swam perfectly well: the seats were then fixed and the oars fitted; but after we had loaded her, as well as the canoes, and were on the point of setting out a violent wind caused the waves to wet the baggage, so that we were forced to unload them. The wind continued high till evening, when to our great disappointment we discovered that nearly all the composition had separated from the skins, and left the seams perfectly exposed; so that the boat now leaked very much. To repair this misfortune without pitch is impossible, and as none of that article is to be procured, we therefore, however reluctantly, are obliged to abandon her, after having had so much labor in the construction. We now saw that the section of the boat covered with buffalo skins on which hair had been left, answered better than the elk skins and leaked but little; while that part which was covered hair about one eighth of an inch, retained the composition perfectly, and remained sound and dry.

From this we perceived that had we employed buffalo instead of elk skins, and not singed them so closely as we have done, carefully avoiding to cut the leather in sewing, the boat would have been sufficient even with the present composition, or had we singed instead of shaving the elk skins we might have succeeded. But we discovered our error too late: the buffalo had deserted us, the traveling season was so fast advancing that we had no time to spare for experiments, and therefore finding that she could be no longer useful she was sunk in the water, so as to soften the skins and enable us the more easily to take her to pieces. It now became necessary to provide other means for transporting the baggage which we had intended to stow in her. For this purpose we shall want two canoes, but for many miles below the mouth of the Muscleshell river to this place, we have not seen a single tree fit to be used in that way. The hunters however who had hitherto been sent after timber, mention that there is a low ground on the opposite side of the river, about eight miles above us by land, and more than twice that distance by water, in which we may probably find trees large enough for our purposes. Captain Clarke therefore determined to set out by land for that place with ten of the best workmen who would be occupied in building the canoes till the rest of the party, after taking the boat to pieces and making the necessary deposits, should transport the baggage and join them with the other six canoes.

July 10, 1805
Wednesday 10. He accordingly passed over to the opposite side of the river with his party, and proceeded on eight miles by land, the distance by water being twenty-three and three quarter miles. Here he found two cottonwood trees, but on cutting them down, one proved to be hollow, split at the top in falling, and both were much damaged at the bottom. He searched the neighborhood but could find none which would suit better, and therefore was obliged to make use of those which he had felled, shortening them in order to avoid the cracks, and supplying the deficiency by making them as wide as possible. They were equally at a loss for wood of which they might make handles for their axes, the eyes of which not being round they were obliged to split the timber in such a manner that thirteen of the handles broke in the course of the day, though made of the best wood they could find for the purpose, which was the chokecherry.

The rest of the party took the frame of the boat to pieces, deposited it in a cache or hole, with a draught of the country from fort Mandan to this place, and also some other papers and small articles of less importance. After this we amused ourselves with fishing, and although we had thought on our arrival that there were none in this part of the river, we caught some of a species of white chub below the falls, but few in number, and small in size.

Serjeant Ordway with four canoes and eight men had set sail in the morning, with part of the baggage to the place where captain Clarke had fixed his camp, but the wind was so high that he only reached within three miles of that place, and encamped for the night.

July 11, 1805
Thursday, July 11. In the morning one of the canoes joined captain Clarke: the other three having on board more valuable articles, which would have been injured by the water, went on more cautiously, and did not reach the camp till the evening. Captain Clarke then had the canoes unloaded and sent back, but the high wind prevented their floating down nearer than about eight miles above us. His party were busily engaged with the canoes, and their hunters supplied them with three fat deer and a buffalo, in addition to two deer and an antelope killed yesterday. The few men who were with Captain Lewis were occupied in hunting, but with not much success, having killed only one buffalo. They heard about sunset two discharges of the tremendous mountain artillery: they also saw several very large gray eagles, much larger than those of the United States, and most probably a distinct species, though the bald eagle of this country is not quite so large as that of the United States. The men have been much afflicted with painful whitlows, and one of them disabled from working by this complaint in his hand.

July 12, 1805
Friday, 12. In consequence of the wind the canoes did not reach the lower camp till late in the afternoon, before which time Captain Lewis sent all the men he could spare up the river to assist in building the boats, and the day was too far advanced to reload and send them up before morning. The mosquitoes are very troublesome, and they have a companion not less so, a large black gnat which does not sting, but attacks the eyes in swarms. The party with captain Clarke are employed on the canoes: in the course of the work sergeant Pryor dislocated his shoulder yesterday, but it was replaced immediately, and though painful does not threaten much injury. The hunters brought in three deer and two otter. This last animal has been numerous since the water has become sufficiently clear for them to take fish. The blue-crested fisher, or as it is sometimes called, the kingfisher, is an inhabitant of this part of the river; it is a bird rare on the Missouri: indeed we had not seen more than three or four of them from its entrance to Maria's river, and even those did not seem to reside on the Missouri but on some of the clearer streams which empty into it, as they were seen near the mouths of those streams.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: July 8, 1805 - July 12, 1805

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