The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, July 5, 1805

Lewis, July 5, 1805

Friday July 5th 1805.

This morning I had the boat removed to an open situation, scaffold her off the ground, turned her keel to the sun and kindled fires under her to dry her more expeditiously. I then set a couple of men to pounding of charcoal to form a composition with some beeswax which we have and buffaloe tallow now my only hope and resource for paying my boat; I sincerely hope it may answer yet I fear it will not. the boat in every other rispect completely answers my most sanguine expectation; she is not yet dry and eight men can carry her with the greatest ease; she is strong and will carry at least 8,000 lbs. with her suit of hands; her form is as complete as I could wish it. the stitches begin to gape very much since she has began to dry; I am now convinced this would not have been the case had the skins been sewed with a sharp point only and the leather not cut by the edges of a sharp nedle. about 8 A M. a large herd of buffaloe came near our camp and Capt. Clark with a party of the hunters indeavoured to get a shoot at them but the wind proved unfavourable and they ran off; the hunters pursued and killed three of them; we had most of the meat brought in and set a party to drying it. their skins were all brought in and streached to dry for the purpose of covering the baggage. 2 Wolves and three Antelopes also killed today. we permitted three other men to visit the falls today; these were the last of the party who had not as yet indulged themselves with this grand and interesting seen. the buffaloe again appear in great numbers about our camp and seem to be moving down the river. it is somewhat remarkable that altho you may see ten or a douzen herds of buffaloe distinctly scattered and many miles distant yet if they are undisturbed by pursuit, they will all be traveling in one direction. the men who were permitted to visit the falls today returned in the evening and reported that the buffaloe were very numerous in that quarter; and as the country is more broken near the river in that quarter we conclude to dispatch a couple of canoes tomorrow with some hunters to kill as many as will answer our purposes.

The plains in this part of the country are not so fertile as below the entrance of the Cockkle or missel shell river and from thence down the Missouri there is also much more stone on the sides of the hills and on the broken lands than below.-