| Share
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clarkby Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

May 30, 1805
June 1, 1805

May 31, 1805

Friday May 31st 1805.

This morning we proceeded at an early hour with the two perogues leaving the canoes and crews to bring on the meat of the two buffaloe that were killed last evening and which had not been brought in as it was late and a little off the river. soon after we got under way it began to rain and continued untill meridian when it ceased but still remained cloudy through the ballance of the day. The obstructions of rocky points and riffles still continue as yesterday; at those places the men are compelled to be in the water even to their armpits, and the water is yet very could, and so frequent are those point that they are one fourth of their time in the water, added to this the banks and bluffs along which they are obliged to pass are so slippery and the mud so tenacious that they are unable to wear their mockersons, and in that situation draging the heavy burthen of a canoe and walking ocasionally for several hundred yards over the sharp fragments of rocks which tumble from the clifts and garnish the borders of the river; in short their labour is incredibly painfull and great, yet those faithfull fellows bear it without a murmur. The toe rope of the white perogue, the only one indeed of hemp, and that on which we most depended, gave way today at a bad point, the perogue swung and but slightly touched a rock, yet was very near overseting; I fear her evil gennii will play so many pranks with her that she will go to the bottomm some of those days.— Capt. C. walked on shore this morning but found it so excessively bad that he shortly returned. at 12 OCk. we came too for refreshment and gave the men a dram which they received with much cheerfullness, and well deserved.

The hills and river Clifts which we passed today exhibit a most romantic appearance. The bluffs of the river rise to the hight of from 2 to 300 feet and in most places nearly perpendicular; they are formed of remarkable white sandstone which is sufficiently soft to give way readily to the impression of water; two or thre thin horizontal stratas of white free-stone, on which the rains or water make no impression, lie imbeded in these clifts of soft stone near the upper part of them; the earth on the top of these Clifts is a dark rich loam, which forming a graduly ascending plain extends back from 1/2 a mile to a mile where the hills commence and rise abruptly to a hight of about 300 feet more. The water in the course of time in decending from those hills and plains on either side of the river has trickled down the soft sand clifts and woarn it into a thousand grotesque figures, which with the help of a little immagination and an oblique view at a distance, are made to represent eligant ranges of lofty freestone buildings, having their parapets well stocked with statuary; collumns of various sculpture both grooved and plain, are also seen supporting long galleries in front of those buildings; in other places on a much nearer approach and with the help of less immagination we see the remains or ruins of eligant buildings; some collumns standing and almost entire with their pedestals and capitals; others retaining their pedestals but deprived by time or accident of their capitals, some lying prostrate an broken othes in the form of vast pyramids of connic structure bearing a sereis of other pyramids on their tops becoming less as they ascend and finally terminating in a sharp point. nitches and alcoves of various forms and sizes are seen at different hights as we pass. a number of the small martin which build their nests with clay in a globular form attatched to the wall within those nitches, and which were seen hovering about the tops of the collumns did not the less remind us of some of those large stone buildings in the U States. the thin stratas of hard freestone intermixed with the soft sandstone seems to have aided the water in forming this curious scenery. As we passed on it seemed as if those seens of visionary inchantment would never have and end; for here it is too that nature presents to the view of the traveler vast ranges of walls of tolerable workmanship, so perfect indeed are those walls that I should have thought that nature had attempted here to rival the human art of masonry had I not recollected that she had first began her work. These walls rise to the hight in many places of 100 feet, are perpendicular, with two regular faces and are from one to 12 feet thick, each wall retains the same thickness at top which it possesses at bottom. The stone of which these walls are formed is black, dence and dureable, and appears to be composed of a large portion of earth intermixed or cemented with a small quantity of sand and a considerable portion of talk or quarts. these stones are almost invariably regular parallelepipeds, of unequal sizes in the walls, but equal in their horizontal ranges, at least as to debth. these are laid regularly in ranges on each other like bricks, each breaking or covering the interstice of the two on which it rests. thus the purpendicular interstices are broken, and the horizontal ones extend entire throughout the whole extent of the walls. These stones seem to bear some proportion to the thickness of the walls in which they are employed, being larger in the thicker walls; the greatest length of the parallelepiped appears to form the thickness of the thiner walls, while two or more are employed to form that of the thicker walls. These walls pass the river in several places, rising from the water's edge much above the sandstone bluffs, which they seem to penetrate; thence continuing their course on a streight line on either side of the river through the gradually ascending plains, over which they tower to the hight of from ten to seventy feet until) they reach the hills, which they finally enter and conceal themselves. these walls sometimes run parallel to each other, with several ranges near each other, and at other times interscecting each other at right angles, having the appearance of the walls of ancient houses or gardens. I walked on shore this evening and examined these walls minutely and preserved a specimine of the stone. I found the face of many of the river hills formed of Clifts of very excellent free stone of a light yellowish brown colour; on these clifts I met with a species of pine which I had never seen, it differs from the pitchpine in the particular of it's leaf and cone, the first being vastly shorter, and the latter considerably longer and more pointed. I saw near those bluffs the most beautiful) fox that I ever beheld, the colours appeared to me to be a fine orrange yellow, white and black, I endevoured to kill this anamal but it discovered me at a considerable distance, and finding that I could get no nearer, I fired on him as he ran, and missed him; he concealed himself under the rocks of the clift; it appeared to me to be about the size of the common red fox of the Atlantic states, or reather smaller than the large fox common to this country; convinced I am that it is a distinct species. The appearance of coal continues but in small quantities, but little appearance of birnt hills or pumice stones the mineral salts have in some measure abated and no quarts. we saw a great number of the Bighorn some mule deer and a few buffaloe and Elk, no antelopes or common deer. Drewyer who was with me and myself killed two bighorned anamals; the sides of the Clifts where these anamals resort much to lodg, have the peculiar smell of the sheepfolds. the party killed in addition to our hunt 2 buffaloe and an Elk. the river today has been from 150 to 250 yds. wide but little timber today on the river.

May 31st Friday 1805.

A cloudy morning we dispatched all the Canoes to Collect the meat of 2 Buffalow killed last night a head and a little off the river, and proceeded on with the perogues at an early hour. I attempted to walk on Shore Soon found it verry laborious as the mud Stuck to my mockersons & was verry Slippery. I return'd on board. it continued to rain moderately untill about 12 oClock when it ceased, & Continued Cloudy. the Stone on the edge of the river continue to form verry Considerable rapids, which are troublesom & dificuelt to pass, our toe rope which we are obliged to make use of altogether broke & we were in Some danger of turning over in the perogue in which I was, we landed at 12 and refreshed the men with a dram, our men are obliged to under go great labour and fatigue in assending this part of the Missouri, as they are compelled from the rapidity of the Current in many places to walk in the water & on Slippery hill Sides or the Sides of rocks, on Gravel & thro a Stiff mud bear footed, as they Cannot keep on Mockersons from the Stiffness of the mud & decline of the Slipy. hills Sides— the Hills and river Clifts of this day exhibit a most romantick appearance on each Side of the river is a white Soft Sand Stone bluff which rises to about half the hight of the hills, on the top of this Clift is a black earth on points, in maney places this Sand Stone appears like antient ruins some like elegant buildings at a distance, Some like Towers &c. &c. in maney places of this days march we observe on either Side of the river extraodanary walls of a black Semented Stone which appear to be regularly placed one Stone on the other, Some of those walls run to the hite of 100 feet, they are from about 1 foot to 12 feet thick and are perpendicular, those walls Commence at the waters edge & in Some places meet at right angles— those walls appear to Continue their Course into the Sand Clifts, the Stones which form those walls are of different Sizes all Squar edged, Great numbers has fallen off from the walls near the river which cause the walls to be of uneaquil hite, in the evening the Countrey becomes lower and the bottoms wider, no timber on the uplands, except a few Cedar & pine on the Clifts a few Scattering Cotton trees on the points in the river bottoms, The apparance of Coal Continus Capt Lewis walked on Shore & observed a Species of Pine we had never before Seen, with a Shorter leaf than Common & the bur different, he also Collected Some of the Stone off one of the walls which appears to be a Sement of Isin glass black earth we Camped on the Stard Side in a Small timbered bottom above the mouth of a Creek on the Stard Side our hunters killed, 2 animals with big horns, 2 Buffalow & an Elk, we Saw Great numbers of those big horned animals on the Clifts, but fiew Buffalow or Elk, no antelope, a fiew mule deer, Saw a fox to day. The river rises a little it is from 150 to 250 yds. wide

May 31st Friday 1805

Cloudy morning, we proceeded on at an early hour with the two Perogues leaving the Canoes and crews to bring on the meat of two Buffalow that were killed last evening and which had not been brought in as it was late and a little off the river. Soon after we got under way it began to rain and Continued untill 12 oClock when it Seased but Still remained cloudy through the ballance of the day. the obstructions of rocky points and riffles Still continue as yesterday; at those places the men are compelled to be in the water even to their armpits, and the water is yet very cold, and So frequent are those points that they are one fourth of their time in the water. added to this the bank and bluff along which they are obliged to pass are So Slippery and the mud So tenatious that they are unable to bare their mockersons, and in that Situation dragging the heavy burthen of a Canoe and Walking occasionally for Several hundred yards over the Sharp fragments of rocks which tumble from the Clifts; and in Short their labour is incredibly painfull and great, yet those faithfull fellows bear it without a murmer.

The toe rope of the white perogue, the only one indeed of hemp, and that on which we most depended, gave way to day at a bad point, the perogue Swong and but slightly touched a rock, yet was very near oversetting; I fear her evil Ginnie will play So many pranks with her that She will go to the bottom Some of those days.

I attempted to walk on Shore this morning but found it so excessivily bad that I Soon returned on board. at 12 oClock we came too for refreshment and gave the men a dram which they received with much Chearfulness, and well deserved all wet and disagreeable. Capt. Lewis walked on Shore, he informed one that he Saw "the most butifull fox in the world" the Colour appeared to him to be of a fine Orrange yellow, white and black, he fired at this fox running and missed him, he appeared to be about the size of the common red fox of the united States, or rather smaller.

The hills and river clifts which we pass to day exhibit a most romantic appearance. The Bluffs of the river rise to the hight of from 2 to 300 feet and in most places nearly perpendicular; they are formed of remarkable white Sandstone which is Sufficiently Soft to give way readily to the impression of water; two or three thin horizontal Stratas of white free Stone, on which the rains or water make no impression, lie imbeded in those clifts of Soft Stone near the upper part of them; the earth on the top of these clifts is a dark rich loam, which forming a gradual ascending plain extend back from 1/2 a mile to a mile where the hills commence and rise abruptly to the hight of about 300 feet more. The water in the Course of time acecending from those hills and plains on either Side of the river has trickled down the Soft Sand Clifts and woarn it into a thousand grotesque figures; which with the help of a little imagination and an oblique view at a distance are made to represent elegant ranges of lofty freestone buildings, haveing their parapets well Stocked with Statuary; Colloms of various Sculptures both Grooved and plain, are also Seen Supporting long galleries in part of those buildings; in other places on a much nearer approach and with the with the help of less immagination we See the remains of ruins of eligant buildings; Some Collumns Standing and almost entire with their pedestals and Capitals, others retaining their pedestals but deprived by time or accedint of their capitals, Some lying prostrate and broken, others in the form of vast Pyramids of connic Structure bearing a Serious of other pyramids on their tops becomeing less as they ascend and finally termonateing in a Sharp point. nitches and alcoves of various forms and Sizes are Seen at different hights as we pass. a number of the Small martin which build their nests with Clay of a globular form attached to the wall within those nitches, and which were Seen hovering about the top of the collumns did not the less remind us of Some of those large Stone buildings in the United States. The thin Stratas of hard free Stone intermixed with the Soft Sand Stone Seems to have aided the water in forming this Curious Scenery.

as we passed on it Seemed as if those Seens of Visionary enchantment would never have an end; for here it is too that nature presents to the view of the traveler vast ranges of walls of tolerable workmanship, So perfect indeed are those walls that I Should have thought that nature had attempted here to rival the human art of Masonry had I not recollected that She had first began her work. These walls rise to the hight in many places of 100 feet, are perpindicular, with two regular faces, and are from one to 12 feet thick, each wall retains the Same thickness to the top which it possesses at bottom. The Stone of which these walls are formed is black, dense and dureable, and appears to be Composed of a large portion of earth intermixed or Cemented with a Small quantity of Sand and a Considerable portion of quarts. these Stones are almost invariably regular parallelepipeds, of unequal Sizes in the wall, but equal in their horizontal ranges, at least as to debth. These are laid regularly in ranges on each other like bricks, each breaking or covering this interstice of the two on which it rests, thus the pirpendicular interstices are broken, and the horizontal ones extend entire throughout the whole extent of the walls. These Stones Seam to bear Some proportion to the thickness of the walls in which they are employd, being larger in the thicker walls; the greatest length of the parallelepiped appear to form the thickness of the thiner walls, while two or more are employed to form that of the thicker walls. Those walls pass the river in Several places rising from the waters edge much above the Sand Stone Bluffs, which they Seam to penetrate; thence Continueing their course on a Streight line on either Side of the river thorough the gradually ascending plains over which they tower to the hight of from ten to 90 feet untill they reach the hills which they finally enter and Conceal themselves. these walls Sometimes run parallel to each other, with Several ranges near each other, and at other times intersecting each other at right angles, haveing the appearance of the walls of ancient houses or gardins. both Capt Lewis and My self walked on Shore this evening and examined those walls minutely and preserved a Specimine of the Stone.— I found many clifts of very excellent free Stone of a light yellowish brown Colour. Capt. Lewis observed a Species of pine which I had never Seen, it differs from the pitch pine in the particular of its leaf and Cone, the first being partly Shorter, and the latter considerably longer and more pointed. The appearance of Coal Continues but in Smaller quantities, but little appearance of burnt hills or pumicestone. the mineral Salt in Some measure have abated and no quarts. we Saw a great number of the Big Horn, Some mule deer, and a few Buffalow and Elk, no antelopes or Common Deer-. Capt. Lewis killed a Big horn animal. the party killed 2 Buffalow one Elk and a Big horn or Ibex to day-. The river has been from 150 to 250 yards wide but little timber on the river to day. river less muddy than it was below.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring