Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates May 1805 - Part Two
Lewis and Clark Picture
Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: May 5, 1805 - May 7, 1805

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates May 5, 1805 - May 7, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates May 5, 1805 - May 7, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates May 1805
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates May 5, 1805 - May 7, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: May 5, 1805 - May 7, 1805

May 5, 1805
Sunday 5. We had a fine morning, and the wind being from the east we used our sails. At the distance of five miles we came to a small island, and twelve miles farther encamped on the north, at the distance of seventeen miles. The country like that of yesterday is beautiful in the extreme. Among the vast quantities of game around us, we distinguish a small species of goose differing considerably from the common Canadian goose; its neck, head, and beak, being much thicker, larger, and shorter in proportion to its size, which is nearly a third smaller; the noise too resembling more that of the brant or of a young goose that has not yet fully acquired its note; in other respects its color, habits, and the number of feathers in the tail, the two species correspond; this species also associates in flocks with the large geese, but we have not seen it pair off with them.

The white brant is about the size of the common brown brant, or two thirds of the common goose, than which it is also six inches shorter from the extremity of the wings, though the beak, head, and neck are larger and stronger: the body and wings are of a beautiful pure white, except the black feathers of the first and second joints of the wings; the beak and legs are of a reddish or flesh-colored white, the eye of a moderate size, the pupil of a deep sea-green incircled with a ring of yellowish brown, the tail consists of sixteen feathers equally long, the flesh is dark and as well as its note differs but little from those of the common brant, whom in form and habits it resembles, and with whom it sometimes unites in a common flock; the white brant also associate by themselves in large flocks, but as they do not seem to be mated or paired off, it is doubtful whether they reside here during the summer for the purpose of rearing their young.

The wolves are also very abundant, and are of two species. First, the small wolf or burrowing dog of the prairies, which are found in almost all the open plains. It is of an intermediate size between the fox and dog, very delicately formed, fleet and active. The ears are large, erect, and pointed, the head long and pointed, like that of the fox; the tail long and bushy; the hair and fur of a pale reddish brown color, though much coarser than that of the fox; the eye of a deep sea-green color, small and piercing; the talons rather longer than those of the wolf of the Atlantic states, which animal as far as we can perceive is not to be found on this side of the river Platte. These wolves usually associate in bands of ten or twelve, and are rarely if ever seen alone, not being able singly to attack a deer or antelope. They live and rear their young in burrows, which they fix near some pass or spot much frequented by game, and sally out in a body against any animal which they think they can overpower, but on the slightest alarm retreat to their burrows making a noise exactly like that of a small dog.

The second species is lower, shorter in the legs and thicker than the Atlantic wolf; their color, which is not affected by the seasons, is of every variety of shade, from a gray or blackish brown to a cream colored white. They do not burrow, nor do they bark, but howl, and they frequent the woods and plains, and skulk along the skirts of the buffalo herds, in order to attack the weary or wounded.

Captain Clarke and one of the hunters met this evening the largest brown bear we have seen. As they fired he did not attempt to attack, but fled with a most tremendous roar, and such was its extraordinary tenacity of life, that although he had five balls passed through his lungs and five other wounds, he swam more than half across the river to a sandbar, and survived twenty minutes. He weighed between five and six hundred pounds at least, and measured eight feet seven inches and a half from the nose to the extremity of the hind feet, five feet ten inches and half round the breast, three feet eleven inches round the neck, one foot eleven inches round the middle of the foreleg, and his talons, five on each foot, were four inches and three eighths in length. It differs from the common black bear in having its talons much longer and more blunt; its tail shorter; its hair of a reddish or bay brown, longer, finer, and more abundant; his liver, lungs, and heart, much larger even in proportion to his size, the heart particularly being equal to that of a large ox; his maw ten times larger; his testicles pendant from the belly and in separate pouches four inches apart: besides fish and flesh he feeds on roots, and every kind of wild fruit.

The antelope are now lean and with young, so that they may readily be caught at this season, as they cross the river from S.W. to N.E.

May 6, 1805
Monday 6. The morning being fair and the wind favorable, we set sail, and proceeded on very well the greater part of the day. The country continues level, rich, and beautiful; the low grounds wide and comparatively with the other parts of the Missouri, well supplied with wood. The appearances of coal, pumice stone, and burnt earth have ceased, though the salts of tartar or vegetable salts continue on the banks and sandbars, and sometimes in the little ravines at the base of the low hills. We passed three streams on the south; the first at the distance of one mile and a half from our camp was about twenty-five yards wide, but although it contained some water in standing pools it discharges none; this we called Littledry creek, about eight miles beyond which is Bigdry creek; fifty yards wide, without any water; the [209]third is six miles further, and has the bed of a large river two hundred yards wide, yet without a drop of water: like the other two this stream, which we called Bigdry river, continues its width undiminished as far as we can discern. The banks are low, this channel formed of a fine brown sand, intermixed with a small proportion of little pebbles of various colors, and the country around flat and without trees. They had recently discharged their waters, and from their appearance and the nature of the country through which they pass, we concluded that they rose in the Black mountains, or in the level low plains which are probably between this place and the mountains; that the country being nearly of the same kind and of the same latitude, the rains of spring melting the snows about the same time, conspire with them to throw at once vast quantities of water down these channels, which are then left dry during the summer, autumn, and winter, when there is very little rain. We had to-day a slight sprinkling. But it lasted a very short time. The game is in such plenty that it has become a mere amusement to supply the party with provisions. We made twenty-five miles to a clump of trees on the north where we passed the night.

May 7, 1805
Tuesday 7. The morning was pleasant and we proceeded at an early hour. There is much driftwood floating, and what is contrary to our expectation, although the river is rising, the water is somewhat clearer than usual. At eleven o'clock the wind became so high that one of the boats was nearly sunk, and we were obliged to stop till one, when we proceeded on, and encamped on the south, above a large sandbar projecting from the north, having made fifteen miles. On the north side of the river are the most beautiful plains we have yet seen: they rise gradually from the low grounds on the water to the height of fifty or sixty feet, and then extend in an unbroken level as far as the eye can reach: the hills on the south are more broken and higher, though at some distance back the country becomes level and fertile. There are no more appearances of burnt earth, coal, or pumice stone, though that of salt still continues, and the vegetation seems to have advanced but little since the twenty-eighth of last month: the game is as abundant as usual. The bald-eagles, of whom we see great numbers, probably feed on the carcasses of dead animals, for on the whole Missouri we have seen neither the blue-crested fisher, nor the fishing-hawks, to supply them with their favorite food, and the water of the river is so turbid that no bird which feeds exclusively on fish can procure a subsistence.

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 5, 1805 - May 7, 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 5, 1805 - May 7, 1805

Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates - May 1805 - Animals - Dates - Discoveries - Definition - Expedition - Explorers - Exploration - Kids - Facts - Great Journey West - Guide - Dates May 5, 1805 - May 7, 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