Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates June 1804 - Part Two
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: June 9, 1804 - June 19, 1804

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates June 9, 1804 - June 19, 1804.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates June 9, 1804 - June 19, 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates June 1804
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates June 9, 1804 - June 19, 1804
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: June 9, 1804 - June 19, 1804

June 9, 1804
On the 9th, we set out early, and reached a cliff of rocks, called the Arrow Rock, near to which is a prairie called the Prairies of Arrows, and Arrow creek, a small stream about eight yards wide, whose source is in the adjoining prairies on the south. At this cliff the Missouri is confined within a bed of two hundred yards; and about four miles to the south east is a large lick and salt spring of great strength. About three miles further is Blackbird creek on the north side, opposite to which, is an island and a prairie inclosing a small lake. Five miles beyond this we encamped on the south side, after making, in the course of the day, thirteen miles. The land on the north is a high rich plain. On the south it is also even, of a good quality, and rising from fifty to one hundred feet.

June 10, 1804
The next morning, 10th, we passed Deer creek, and at the distance of five miles, the two rivers called by the French the two Charatons, a corruption of Thieraton, the first of which is thirty, the second seventy yards wide, and enter the Missouri together. They are both navigable for boats: the country through which they pass is broken, rich, and thickly covered with timber. The Ayauway nation, consisting of three hundred men, have a village near its head-waters on the river De Moines. Farther on we passed a large island called Chicot or Stump Island, and encamped on the south, after making ten miles. A head wind forced us to remain there all the next day, during which we dried the meat we had killed, and examined the surrounding country, which consists of good land, well watered, and supplied with timber: the prairies also differ from those eastward of the Mississippi, inasmuch as the latter are generally without any covering except grass, whilst the former abound with hazel, grapes and other fruits, among which is the Osage plum of a superior size and quality. On the morning of the 12th, we passed through difficult places in the river, and reached Plum creek on the south side. At one o'clock, we met two rafts loaded, the one with furs, the other with the tallow of buffalo; they were from the Sioux nation, and on their way to St. Louis; but we were fortunate enough to engage one of them, a Mr. Durion, who had lived with that nation more than twenty years, and was high in their confidence, to accompany us thither. We made nine miles. On the 13th, we passed at between four and five miles, a bend of the river, and two creeks on the north, called the Round Bend creeks. Between these two creeks is the prairie, in which once stood the ancient village of the Missouris.

Of this village there remains no vestige, nor is there any thing to recall this great and numerous nation, except a feeble remnant of about thirty families. They were driven from their original seats by the invasions of the Sauks and other Indians from the Mississippi, who destroyed at this village two hundred of them in one contest, and sought refuge near the Little Osage, on the other side of the river. The encroachment of the same enemies forced, about thirty years since, both these nations from the banks of the Missouri. A few retired with the Osage, and the remainder found an asylum on the river Platte, among the Ottoes, who are themselves declining. Opposite [14]the plain there was an island and a French fort, but there is now no appearance of either, the successive inundations having probably washed them away, as the willow island which is in the situation described by Du Pratz, is small and of recent formation. Five miles from this place is the mouth of Grand River, where we encamped.

This river follows a course nearly south, or south east, and is between eighty and a hundred yards wide where it enters the Missouri, near a delightful and rich plain. A racoon, a bear, and some deer were obtained to day. We proceeded at six o'clock the next morning. The current was so rapid and the banks on the north falling in so constantly, that we were obliged to approach the sandbars on the south. These were moving continually, and formed the worst passage we had seen, and which we surmounted with much difficulty. We met a trading raft from the Pawnee nation on the river Platte, and attempted unsuccessfully to engage one of their party to return with us. At the distance of eight miles, we came to some high cliffs, called the Snake bluffs, from the number of that animal in the neighborhood, and immediately above these bluffs, Snake creek, about eighteen yards wide, on which we encamped.

One of our hunters, a half Indian, brought us an account of his having to day passed a small lake, near which a number of deer were feeding, and in the pond he heard a snake making a guttural noise like a turkey. He fired his gun, but the noise became louder. He adds, that he has heard the Indians mention this species of snake, and this story is confirmed by a Frenchman of our party. All the next day, the river being very high, the sandbars were so rolling and numerous, and the current so strong, that we were unable to stem it even with oars added to our sails; this obliged us to go nearer the banks, which were falling in, so that we could not make, though the boat was occasionally towed, more than fourteen miles. We passed several islands and one creek on the south side, and encamped on the north opposite a beautiful plain, which extends as far back as the Osage river, and some miles up the Missouri.

In front of our encampment are the remains of an old village of the Little Osage, situated at some distance from the river, and at the foot of a small hill. About three miles above them, in view of our camp is the situation of the old village of the Missouris after they fled from the Sauks. The inroads of the same tribe compelled the Little Osage to retire from the Missouri a few years ago, and establish themselves near the Great Osages. The river, which is here about one mile wide, had risen in the morning, but fell towards evening.

June 16, 1804
Early this morning, June 16th, we joined the camp of our hunters, who had provided two deer and two bear, and then passing an island and a prairie on the north covered with a species of timothy, made our way through bad sandbars and a swift current, to an encampment for the evening, on the north side, at ten miles distance. The timber which we examined to day was not sufficiently strong for oars; the mosquitoes and ticks are exceedingly troublesome.

June 16, 1804
On the 17th, we set out early and having come to a convenient place at one mile distance, for procuring timber and making oars, we occupied ourselves in that way on this and the following day. The country on the north of the river is rich and covered with timber; among which we procured the ash for oars. At two miles it changes into extensive prairies, and at seven or eight miles distance becomes higher and waving. The prairie and high lands on the south commence more immediately on the river; the whole is well watered and provided with game, such as deer, elk, and bear. The hunters brought in a fat horse which was probably lost by some war party—this being the crossing place for the Sauks, Ayauways, and Sioux, in their excursions against the Osage.

June 19, 1804
June 19, the oars being finished, we proceeded under a gentle breeze by two large and some smaller islands. The sandbars are numerous and so bad, that at one place we were forced to clear away the driftwood in order to pass: the water too was so rapid that we were under the necessity of towing the boat for half a mile round a point of rocks on the south side. We passed two creeks, one called Tiger creek on the north, twenty-five yards wide at the extremity of a large island called Panther Island; the other Tabo creek on the south, fifteen yards wide. Along the shores are gooseberries and raspberries in great abundance. At the distance of seventeen and a half miles we encamped on the south, near a lake about two miles from the river and several in circumference; and much frequented by deer and all kinds of fowls. On the north the land is higher and better calculated for farms than that on the south, which ascends more gradually, but is still rich and pleasant.

The mosquitoes and other animals are so troublesome that mosquito biers or nets were distributed to the party. The next morning we passed a large island, opposite to which on the north is a large and beautiful prairie, called Sauk prairie, the land being fine and well timbered on both sides the river. Pelicans were seen to day. We made six and three quarter miles, and encamped at the lower point of a small island, along the north side of which we proceeded the next day, June 21st, but not without danger in consequence of the sands and the rapidity of the water which rose three inches last night. Behind another island come in from the south two creeks, called Eau, Beau, or Clear Water creeks; on the north is a very remarkable bend, where the high lands approach the river, and form an acute angle at the head of a large island produced by a narrow channel through the point of the bend. We passed several other islands, and encamped at seven and a half miles on the south.

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