Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates June 1805 - Part Six
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: June 15, 1805 - June 18, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates June 15, 1805 - June 18, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates June 15, 1805 - June 18, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates June 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates June 15, 1805 - June 18, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: June 15, 1805 - June 18, 1805

June 15, 1805
Saturday, 15. The morning being warm and fair we set out at the usual hour, but proceeded with great difficulty in consequence of the increased rapidity of the current. The channel is constantly obstructed by rocks and dangerous rapids. During the whole progress the men are in the water hauling the canoes, and walking on sharp rocks and round stones which cut their feet or cause them to fall. The rattlesnakes too are so numerous that the men are constantly on their guard against being bitten by them; yet they bear the fatigues with the most undiminished cheerfulness. We hear the roar of the falls very distinctly this morning. At three and three quarter miles we came to a rock in a bend to the south, resembling a tower. At six and three quarter miles we reached a large creek on the south, which after one of our men we called Shield's creek. It is rapid in its course, about thirty yards wide, and on sending a person five miles up it proved to have a fall of fifteen feet, and some timber on its low ground. Above this river the bluffs of the Missouri are of red earth mixed with strata's of black stone; below it we passed some white clay in the banks which mixes with water in every respect like flour. At three and three quarter miles we reached a point on the north opposite an island and a bluff; and one mile and a quarter further, after passing some red bluffs, came to on the north side, having made twelve miles. Here we found a rapid so difficult that we did not think proper to attempt the passage this evening, and therefore sent to Captain Lewis to apprise him of our arrival. We saw a number of geese, ducks, crows, and blackbirds to-day, the two former with their young. The river rose a little this evening, but the timber is still so scarce that we could not procure enough for our use during the night.

June 16, 1805
Sunday, June 16. Some rain fell last night, and this morning the weather was cloudy and the wind high from the southwest. We passed the rapid by doubly manning the pirogue and canoes, and halted at the distance of a mile and a quarter to examine the rapids above, which we found to be a continued succession of cascades as far as the view extended, which was about two miles. About a mile above where we halted was a large creek falling in on the south, opposite to which is a large sulphur spring falling over the rocks on the north: Captain Lewis arrived at two from the falls about five miles above us, and after consulting upon the subject of the portage, we crossed the river and formed a camp on the north, having come three quarters of a mile to-day. From our own observation we had deemed the south side to be the most favorable for a portage, but two men sent out for the purpose of examining it, reported that the creek and the ravines intersected the plain so deeply that it was impossible to cross it. Captain Clarke therefore resolved to examine more minutely what was the best route: the four canoes were unloaded at the camp and then sent across the river, where by means of strong cords they were hauled over the first rapid, whence they may be easily drawn into the creek. Finding too, that the portage would be at all events too long to enable us to carry the boats on our shoulders, six men were set to work to make wheels for carriages to transport them. Since leaving Maria's river the wife of Charbonneau, our interpreter, has been dangerously ill, but she now found great relief from the mineral water of the sulphur spring. It is situated about two hundred yards from the Missouri, into which it empties over a precipice of rock about twenty-five feet high. The water is perfectly transparent, strongly impregnated with sulphur, and we suspect iron also, as the color of the hills and bluffs in the neighborhood indicates the presence of that metal. In short the water to all appearance is precisely similar to that of Bowyer's sulphur spring in Virginia.

June 17, 1805
Monday 17. Captain Clarke set out with five men to explore the country; the rest were employed in hunting, making wheels and in drawing the five canoes and all the baggage up the creek, which we now called Portage creek: from this creek there is a gradual ascent to the top of the high plain, while the bluffs of the creek lower down and of the Missouri, both above and below its entrance, were so steep as to have rendered it almost impracticable to drag them up from the Missouri. We found great difficulty and some danger in even ascending the creek thus far, in consequence of the rapids and rocks of the channel of the creek, which just above where we brought the canoes has a fall of five feet, and high and sleep bluffs beyond it: we were very fortunate in finding just below Portage creek a cottonwood tree about twenty-two inches in diameter, and large enough to make the carriage wheels; it was perhaps the only one of the same size within twenty miles; and the cottonwood, which we are obliged to employ in the other parts of the work, is extremely soft and brittle. The mast of the white pirogue which we mean to leave behind, supplied us with two axletrees. There are vast quantities of buffalo feeding in the plains or watering in the river, which is also strewed with the floating carcasses and limbs of these animals. They go in large herds to water about the falls, and as all the passages to the river near that place are narrow and steep, the foremost are pressed into the river by the impatience of those behind. In this way we have seen ten or a dozen disappear over the falls in a few minutes. They afford excellent food for the wolves, bears, and birds of prey; and this circumstance may account for the reluctance of the bears to yield their dominion over the neighborhood.

June 18, 1805
Tuesday 18. The pirogue was drawn up a little below our camp and secured in a thick copse of willow bushes. We now began to form a cache or place of deposit and to dry our goods and other articles which required inspection. The wagons too are completed. Our hunters brought us ten deer, and we shot two out of a herd of buffalo that came to water at the sulphur spring. There is a species of gooseberry growing abundantly among the rocks on the sides of the cliffs: it is now ripe, of a pale red color, about the size of the common gooseberry, and like it is an ovate pericarp of soft pulp enveloping a number of small whitish colored seeds, and consisting of a yellowish slimy mucilaginous substance, with a sweet taste; the surface of the berry is covered with a glutinous adhesive matter, and its fruit though ripe retains its withered corolla. The shrub itself seldom rises more than two feet high, is much branched, and has no thorns. The leaves resemble those of the common gooseberry except in being smaller, and the berry is supported by separate peduncles or footstalks half an inch long. There are also immense quantities of grasshoppers of a brown color in the plains, and they no doubt contribute to the lowness of the grass, which is not generally more than three inches high, though it is soft, narrow-leafed and affords a fine pasture for the buffalo.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: June 15, 1805 - June 18, 1805

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