Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates May 1805 - Part One
Lewis and Clark Picture
Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: May 1, 1805 - May 4, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates May 1, 1805 - May 4, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates May 1, 1805 - May 4, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates May 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates May 1, 1805 - May 4, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: May 1, 1805 - May 4, 1805

May 1, 1805
Wednesday, May 1. The wind was in our favor and we were enabled to use the sails till twelve o'clock, when the wind became so high and squally that we were forced to come to at the distance of ten miles on the south, in a low ground stocked with cottonwood, and remain there during the day; one of the canoes being separated from us, and not able to cross over in consequence of the high waves. The country around is more pleasant than that through which we had passed for several days, the hills being lower, the low grounds wider and better supplied with timber, which consists principally of cottonwood: the undergrowth willow on the banks and sandbars, rosebushes, redwillow, and the broad-leafed willow in the low plains, while the high country on both sides is one extensive plain without wood, though the soil is a dark, rich, mellow loam. Our hunters killed a buffalo, an elk, a goat, and two beaver, and also a bird of the plover kind.

May 2, 1805
Thursday, 2d. The wind continued high during the night, and at daylight it began to snow and did not stop till ten o'clock, when the ground was covered an inch deep, forming a striking contrast with the vegetation which is now considerably advanced; some flowers having put forth, and the cottonwood leaves as large as a dollar. The wind lulled about five o'clock in the afternoon, and we then proceeded along wide fertile low grounds and high level plains, and encamped at the distance of four miles. Our game to-day was deer, elk, and buffalo: we also procured three beaver who are quite gentle, as they have not been hunted, but when the hunters are in pursuit they never leave their huts during the day: this animal we esteem a great delicacy, particularly the tail, which when boiled resembles in flavor the flesh tongues and sounds of the codfish, and is generally so large as to afford a plentiful meal for two men. One of the hunters in passing near an old Indian camp found several yards of scarlet cloth, suspended on the bough of a tree as a sacrifice to the deity by the Assiniboines: the custom of making these offerings being common among that people as indeed among all the Indians on the Missouri. The air was sharp this evening; the water froze on the oars as we rowed, and in the morning.

May 3, 1805
Friday, 3d, the weather became quite cold, the ice was a quarter of an inch thick in the kettle, and the snow still continued on the hills though it has melted from the plains. The wind too continued high from the west, but not so violently as to prevent our going on. At two miles from our encampment we passed a curious collection of bushes about thirty feet high and ten or twelve in diameter, tied in the form of a fascine and standing on end in the middle of the low ground: this too we supposed to have been left by the Indians as a religious sacrifice: at twelve o'clock the usual hour we halted for dinner. The low grounds on the river are much wider than common, sometimes extending from five to nine miles to the highlands, which are much lower than heretofore, not being more than fifty or sixty feet above the lower plain: through all this valley traces of the ancient bed of the river are every where visible, and since the hills have become lower, the strata's of coal, burnt earth, and pumice stone have in a great measure ceased, there being in fact none to-day.

At the distance of fourteen miles we reached the mouth of a river on the north, which from the unusual number of porcupines near it, we called Porcupine river. This is a bold and beautiful stream one hundred and twelve yards wide, though the water is only forty yards at its entrance: captain Clarke who ascended it several miles and passed it above where it enters the highlands, found it continued nearly of the same width and about knee deep, and as far as he could distinguish for twenty miles from the hills, its course was from a little to the east of north. There was much timber on the low grounds: he found some limestone also on the surface of the earth in the course of his walk, and saw a range of low mountains at a distance to the west of north, whose direction was northwest; the adjoining country being every where level, fertile, open, and exceedingly beautiful. The water of this river is transparent, and is the only one that is so of all those that fall into the Missouri: before entering a large sandbar through which it discharges itself, its low grounds are formed of a stiff blue and black clay, and its banks which are from eight to ten feet high and seldom if ever overflow are composed of the same materials. From the quantity of water which this river contains, its direction, and the nature of the country through which it passes, it is not improbable that its sources may be near the main body of the Saskaskawan, and as in high water it can be no doubt navigated to a considerable distance, it may be rendered the means of intercourse with the Athabasky country, from which the northwest company derive so many of their valuable furs.

A quarter of a mile beyond this river a creek falls in on the south, to which on account of its distance from the mouth of the Missouri, we gave it the name of Two-thousand mile creek: it is a bold stream with a bed thirty yards wide. Three miles and a half above Porcupine river, we reached some high timber on the north, and encamped just above an [205]old channel of the river, which is now dry. We saw vast quantities of buffalo, elk, deer, principally of the long tailed kind, antelopes, beaver, geese, ducks, brant, and some swan. The porcupines too are numerous, and so careless and clumsy that we can approach very near without disturbing them as they are feeding on the young willows; towards evening we also found for the first time, the nest of a goose among some driftwood, all that we have hitherto seen being on the top of a broken tree on the forks, and invariably from fifteen to twenty feet or more in height.

May 4, 1805
Saturday 4. We were detained till nine in order to repair the rudder of one of the boats, and when we set out the wind was ahead; at six and a half miles we passed a small creek in a deep bend on the south with a sand island opposite to it, and then passing along an extensive plain which gradually rises from the north side of the river, encamped at the distance of eighteen miles in a point of woodland on the north: the river is this day wider than usual, and crowded with sandbars on all sides: the country is level, fertile, and beautiful, the low grounds extensive and contain a much greater portion of timber than is common: indeed all the forepart of the day the river was bordered with timber on both sides, a circumstance very rare on the Missouri, and the first that has occurred since we left the Mandans. There are as usual vast quantities of game, and extremely gentle; the male buffalo particularly will scarcely give way to us, and as we approach will merely look at us for a moment, as something new, and then quietly resume their feeding. In the course of the day we passed some old Indian hunting camps, one of which consisted of two large lodges fortified with a circular fence, twenty or thirty feet in diameter, and made of timber laid horizontally, the beams overlaying each other to the height of five feet, and covered with the trunks and limbs of trees that have drifted down the river: the lodges themselves are formed by three or more strong sticks about the size of a man's leg or arm, and twelve feet long, [206]which are attached at the top by a whith of small willows, and spreading out so as to form at the base a circle of ten or fourteen feet in diameter: against these are placed pieces of driftwood and fallen timber, usually in three ranges one on the other, and the interstices are covered with leaves, bark, and straw, so as to form a conical figure about ten feet high, with a small aperture in one side for the door. It is, however, at best a very imperfect shelter against the inclemencies of the seasons.

Next Journal Entry

Journals of Lewis and Clark for kids. Dates: May 1805
  • Fascinating information and interesting facts from the Journals of Lewis and Clark
  • The Journals of Lewis and Clark 1805
  • The Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: May 1, 1805 - May 4, 1805
  • Fast, fun facts and interesting information
  • Interesting Facts, History and information for kids and schools
  • Ideal Homework resource: Journals of Lewis and Clark
  • History of the famous explorers and their journey
  • The famous voyage of discovery and exploration
  • Dates: May 1805
Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: May 1, 1805 - May 4, 1805

Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates - May 1805 - Animals - Dates - Discoveries - Definition - Expedition - Explorers - Exploration - Kids - Facts - Great Journey West - Guide - Dates May 1, 1805 - May 4, 1805 - Great Falls - Grizzly Bear - History - Hardships - Indian Tribe - Tribes - Indian Guide - Dates May 1805 - Information - Journals - Journey - Journey Timeline - Keelboat - Northwest Passage - Ohio River - Route - Supplies - Trail - Corps Of Discovery - Villages - Voyage - Yellowstone River - Yankton Sioux - Zoology - Columbia River - Journal - Journals - Journals of Lewis and Clark