of Lewis and Clark: Dates March 22, 1805 - March 31, 1805
excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis
and Clark. Dates: March 22, 1805 - March 31, 1805
March 22, 1805
Friday 22. This was a clear pleasant day, with the wind
from the S.S.W. We were visited by the second chief of the
Minnetarees, to whom we gave a medal and some presents,
accompanied by a speech. Mr. M‘Kenzie and Mr. Laroche also
came to see us. They all took their leave next day.
March 23, 1805
Saturday 23. Soon after their departure, a brother
of the Borgne with other Indians came to the fort. The weather
was fine, but in the evening we had the first rain that
has fallen during the winter.
March 24, 1805
Sunday 24. The morning cloudy, but the afternoon
fair, the wind from the N.E. We are employed in preparing
for our journey. This evening swans and wild geese flew
towards the N.E.
March 25, 1805
Monday 25. A fine day, the wind S.W. The river rose
nine inches, and the ice began breaking away in several
places, so as to endanger our canoes which we are hauling
down to the fort.
March 26, 1805
Tuesday 26. The river rose only half an inch, and
being choaked up with ice near the fort, did not begin to
run till towards evening. This day is clear and pleasant.
March 27, 1805
Wednesday 27. The wind is still high from the S.W.:
the ice which is occasionally stopped for a few hours is
then thrown over shallow sandbars when the river runs. We
had all our canoes brought down, and were obliged to cauk
and pitch very attentively the cracks so common in cottonwood.
March 28, 1805
Thursday 28. The day is fair. Some obstacle above
has prevented the ice from running. Our canoes are now nearly
ready, and we expect to set out as soon as the river is
sufficiently clear to permit us to pass.
March 29, 1805
Friday 29. The weather clear, and the wind from N.W.
The obstruction above gave way this morning, and the ice
came down in great quantities; the river having fallen eleven
inches in the course of the last twenty-four hours. We have
had few Indians at the fort for the last three or four days,
as they are now busy in catching the floating buffalo. Every
spring as the river is breaking up the surrounding plains
are set on fire, and the buffalo tempted to cross the river
in search of the fresh grass which immediately succeeds
to the burning: on their way they are often insulated on
a large cake or mass of ice, which floats down the river:
the Indians now select the most favorable points for attack,
and as the buffalo approaches dart with astonishing agility
across the trembling ice, sometimes pressing lightly a cake
of not more than two feet square: the animal is of course
unsteady, and his footsteps insecure on this new element,
so that he can make but little resistance, and the hunter,
who has given him his death wound, paddles his icy boat
to the shore and secures his prey.
March 30, 1805
Saturday 30. The day was clear and pleasant, the
wind N.W. and the ice running in great quantities. All our
Indian presents were again exposed to the air, and the barge
made ready to descend the Missouri.
March 31, 1805
Monday 31. Early this morning it rained, and the
weather continued cloudy during the day; the river rose
nine inches, the ice not running so much as yesterday. Several
flocks of geese and ducks fly up the river.