Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1804 - Part One
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: October 1, 1804 - October 4, 1804


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates October 1, 1804 - October 4, 1804.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates October 1, 1804 - October 4, 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1, 1804 - October 4, 1804
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: October 1, 1804 - October 4, 1804

October 1, 1804
October 1st, 1804. The weather was very cold and the wind high from the southeast during the night, and continued so this morning. At three miles distance, we had passed a large island in the middle of the river, opposite to the lower end of which the Ricaras once had a village on the south side of the river: there are, however, no remnants of it now, except a circular wall three or four feet in height, which encompassed the town. Two miles beyond this island is a river coming in from the southwest, about four hundred yards wide; the current gentle, and discharging not much water, and very little sand: it takes its rise in the second range of the Cote Noire or Black mountains, and its general course is nearly east; this river has been occasionally called Dog river, under a mistaken opinion that its French name was Chien, but its true appellation is Chayenne, and it derives this title from the Chayenne Indians: their history is the short and melancholy relation of the calamities of almost all the Indians. They were a numerous people and lived on the Chayenne, a branch of the Red river of Lake Winnipeg. The invasion of the Sioux drove them westward; in their progress they halted on the southern side of the Missouri below the Warreconne, where their ancient fortifications still exist; but the same impulse again drove them to the heads of the Chayenne, where they now rove, and occasionally visit the Ricaras. They are now reduced, but still number three hundred men.

Although the river did not seem to throw out much sand, yet near and above its mouth we find a great many sandbars difficult to pass. On both sides of the Missouri, near the Chayenne, are rich thinly timbered lowlands, behind which are bare hills. As we proceeded, we found that the sandbars made the river so shallow, and the wind was so high, that we could scarcely find the channel, and at one place were forced to drag the boat over a sandbar, the Missouri being very wide and falling a little. At seven and a half miles we came to at a point, and remained three hours, during which time the wind abated: we then passed within four miles two creeks on the south, one of which we called Centinel creek, and the other Lookout creek. This part of the river has but little timber; the hills are not so high as we have hitherto seen, and the number of sandbars extends the river to more than a mile in breadth. We continued about four and a half miles further, to a sandbar in the middle of the river, where we spent the night, our progress being sixteen miles. On the opposite shore, we saw a house among the willows and a boy to whom we called, and brought him on board. He proved to be a young Frenchman in the employ of a Mr. Valle a trader, who is now here pursuing his commerce with the Sioux.

October 2, 1804
Tuesday, October 2. There had been a violent wind from S.E. during the night, which having moderated we set sail with Mr. Valle, who visited us this morning and accompanied us for two miles. He is one of three French traders who have halted here, expecting the Sioux who are coming down from the Ricaras, where they now are, for the purposes of traffic. Mr. Valle tells us that he passed the last winter three hundred leagues up the Chayenne under the Black mountains. That river he represents as very rapid, liable to sudden swells, the bed and shores formed of course gravel, and difficult of ascent even for canoes. One hundred leagues from its mouth it divides into two branches, one coming from the south, the other at forty leagues from the junction enters the Black mountains. The land which it waters from the Missouri to the Black mountains, resembles the country on the Missouri, except that the former has even less timber, and of that the greater proportion is cedar. The Chayennes reside chiefly on the heads of the river, and steal horses from the Spanish settlement, a plundering excursion which they perform in a month's [96]time. The Black mountains he observes are very high, covered with great quantities of pine, and in some parts the snow remains during the summer. There are also great quantities of goats, white bear, prairie cocks, and a species of animal which from his description must resemble a small elk, with large circular horns.

At two and a half miles we had passed a willow island on the south, on the north side of the river were dark bluffs, and on the south low rich prairies. We took a meridian altitude on our arrival at the upper end of the isthmus of the bend, which we called the Lookout bend, and found the latitude to be 44 19' 36". This bend is nearly twenty miles round, and not more than two miles across.

In the afternoon we heard a shot fired, and not long after observed some Indians on a hill: one of them came to the shore and wished us to land, as there were twenty lodges of Yanktons or Boisbrule there; we declined doing so, telling him that we had already seen his chiefs, and that they might learn from Mr. Durion the nature of the talk we had delivered to them. At nine miles we came to the lower point of a long island on the north, the banks of the south side of the river being high, those of the north forming a low rich prairie. We coasted along this island, which we called Caution island, and after passing a small creek on the south encamped on a sandbar in the middle of the river, having made twelve miles. The wind changed to the northwest, and became very high and cold. The current of the river is less rapid, and the water though of the same color contains less sediment than below the Chayenne, but its width continues the same. We were not able to hunt to-day; for as there are so many Indians in the neighborhood, we were in constant expectation of being attacked, and were therefore forced to keep the party together and be on our guard.

October 3, 1804
Wednesday, October 3. The wind continued so high from the northwest, that we could not set out till after seven: we then proceeded till twelve o'clock, and landed on [97]a bar towards the south, where we examined the pirogues, and the forecastle of the boat, and found that the mice had cut several bags of corn, and spoiled some of our clothes: about one o'clock an Indian came running to the shore with a turkey on his back: several others soon joined him, but we had no intercourse with them. We then went on for three miles, but the ascent soon became so obstructed by sandbars and shoal water, that after attempting in vain several channels, we determined to rest for the night under some high bluffs on the south, and send out to examine the best channel. We had made eight miles along high bluffs on each side. The birds we saw were the white gulls and the brant which were flying to the southward in large flocks.

October 4, 1804
Thursday, 4th. On examination we found that there was no outlet practicable for us in this channel, and that we must retread our steps. We therefore returned three miles, and attempted another channel in which we were more fortunate. The Indians were in small numbers on the shore, and seemed willing had they been more numerous to molest us. They called to desire that we would land, and one of them gave three yells and fired a ball ahead of the boat: we however took no notice of it, but landed on the south to breakfast. One of these Indians swam across and begged for some powder, we gave him a piece of tobacco only. At eight and a half miles we had passed an island in the middle of the river, which we called Goodhope island. At one and a half mile we reached a creek on the south side about twelve yards wide, to which we gave the name of Teal creek. A little above this is an island on the north side of the current, about one and a half mile in length and three quarters of a mile in breadth. In the centre of this island is an old village of the Ricaras, called Lahoocat; it was surrounded by a circular wall, containing seventeen lodges. The Ricaras are known to have lived therein 1797, and the village seems to have been deserted about five years since; it does not contain much timber. We encamped on a sandbar [98]making out from the upper end of this island; our journey to-day being twelve miles.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: October 1, 1804 - October 4, 1804

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