Lewis and Clark
Journal Summary 5: Dates January 15, 1805 - June 1, 1805
is a summary of the journal entries made by Lewis and Clark.
Dates: January 15, 1805 - June 1, 1805
A Birth, a Grizzly
Encounter and the First Sighting of the Rockies
Lewis and Clark witnessed a total eclipse of the moon, which
they recorded in their journals along with reports of their
findings and events of the journey so far.
Charbonnau’s wife, Sacagawea, gave birth to a boy. They
named him Jean Baptiste.
By January the thick ice on the river had trapped the expedition’s
boats. With heavy snow threatening to cover them completely,
several attempts were made to free them. From 24th to 26th
February more attempts were made and the boats were finally
dug out and pulled onto the river bank on 26th February.
Lewis and Clark decided to have several canoes made so that
the barge could be sent back. By the end of March the river
ice was breaking up and Lewis and Clark were preparing to
continue the expedition.
At 4pm Lewis and Clark sent the barge back to President
Jefferson to deliver journals maps and weather data, along
with botanical and mineral specimens that they had collected.
Also included was a document with a comprehensive list of
the Indian tribes that lived to the east of the Rockies,
with details about them such as their boundaries, trade
with other tribes and whether they farmed. At the same time,
Lewis and Clark set off, with two pirogues and six canoes,
into an area where no American had previously been.
The expedition was hampered by strong winds which slowed
it's progress. On 29th April Lewis and some of his men came
across two Grizzly bears. They shot and wounded both of
them and one ran off, however the other chased after Lewis.
Fortunately the bear was slowed down by its wound so they
were able to reload their guns and kill it before it reached
One of the pirogues was almost turned over by a sudden gust
of wind. This pirogue was carrying the journals and instruments
and many other items crucial to the success of the Lewis
and Clark expedition. Several items floated out, however
most were recovered by Sacagawea who had been sitting in
the rear of the pirogue.
William Clark saw what he thought might be the Rocky Mountains.
The following day, when the view was much clearer, he was
able to confirm that they were indeed the Rocky Mountains.
That afternoon, Lewis also saw the Rockies for the first
time. In Lewis’s journal he wrote that whilst he felt a
’secret pleasure’ at being so near to the perceived head
of the Missouri, the feeling was counterbalanced by the
anticipated hardships that still awaited them.