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Lewis and Clark
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From the Expedition Journals

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image: Route from May 21 until about June 20, 1804

Journal excerpts and maps from Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites


"I despatched an express this morning to Capt. Lewis at St. Louis, all our provisions Goods and equipage on Board of a Boat of 22 oars (Party), a large Perogue of 71 oares (in which 8 French) a Second Perogue of 6 oars, (Soldiers) Complete with Sails etc. etc. Men compd. with Powder Cartragies and 100 Balls each, all in health and readiness to set out. Boats and everything Complete, with the necessary stores of provisions & such articles of merchandize as we thought ourselves authorised to procure - tho' not as much as I think nessy. for the multitude of Inds. thro which we must pass on our road across the Continent."


"We set forward... to join my friend companion and fellow labourer Capt. William Clark, who had previously arrived at that place with the party destined for the discovery of the interior of the continent of North America.... As I had determined to reach St. Charles this evening and knowing that there was now no time to be lost I set forward in the rain... and joined Capt Clark, found the party in good health and sperits."


Detachment Orders

"The Sergt. at the center will command the guard, manage the sails, see that the men at the oars do their duty; that they come on board at a proper season in the morning, and that the boat gets under way in due time; he will keep a good lookout for the mouths of rivers, creeks, Islands, and other remarkable places and shall immediately report the same to the commanding officers; he will attend to the issues of sperituous liquors....

"It shall be the duty of the sergt. at the bow, to keep a good look out for all danger which may approach, either of the enimy, or obstructions which may present themselves to the passage of the boat."


"The N W. wind blew hard & cold as this wind was imediately a head, we could not proceed we took the advantage of this Delay and Dried our wet articles, examin'd Provisions etc. the river begining to fall, the hunters killed two Deer... two Bear in the Prarie, they were not fat. we had the meat Jurked and also the venison, which is a constant Practice to have all the fresh meat not used, Dried in this way."


"I got out of the boat to walk on Shore... & I proceeded on round a round and extensive bend in the river, I Killed a Deer & made a fire, expecting the boat would come up in the evening. the wind continueing to blow prevented their moveing, as the distance by land was too great for me to return by night I concluded to Camp, Peeled Some bark to lay on, and geathered wood to make fires to keep off the musquitrs & knats."


"The Praries come within a Short distance of the river on each Side which Contains in addition to Plumbs Raspberries etc. vast quantities of wild apples, great numbs. of Deer are seen feeding on the young willows & earbage in the Banks and on the Sand bars in the river, our party on Shore did not join in this evening we camped on an Island Situated on the S. Side, opposit some hills higher than Common, say 160 or 180 feet [48 or 55 meters] above the Bottom."


"To Describe the most probable of the various accounts of this great river of the Kansas, would be too lengthy & uncertain to insert here."


"The Prairie had a most butifull appearance Hills & Valies interspsd. with Coops [Copses] of Timber gave a pleasing deversity to the Senery.... At this place the Kanzas Indians formerly lived, this town appears to have covd. a large Space, the Nation must have been noumerous at the time they lived here, the Cause of their moveing to the Kanzas River, I have never heard, nor can I learn; war with their neighbors must have reduced this nation and Compelled them to retire to a Situation in the plains better Calculated for their defence, and one where they may make use of their horses with good effect, in persueing their enemy, we closed the day by a Descharge from our bow piece, an extra Gill of whiskey."


"A fair morning. Set a party to look for timber for Ores, two parties to hunt, At 11 oClock Sent off George Drewyer & Peter Crouset with some tobacco to invite the Otteaus... and Paines if they saw them, to come and talk with us at our Camp ... raised a flag Staff Sund and Dryed our provisions etc. I commence Coppying a Map of the river below to Send to the P. [President] U.S. five Deer Killed to day one man with a tumer on his breast, Prepared our Camp the men put their arms in order Wind hard this afternoon from the N. W."


[Preliminary memoranda.]

"Capts. Lewis and Clark wintered at the enterance of a Small river opposit the Mouth of Missouri Called Wood River, where they formed their party, Composed of robust helthy hardy young men."

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