The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, August 25, 1804
Clark, August 25, 1804
25th August Satturday 1804
a Cloudy morning Capt Lewis & my Self Concluded to go and See the Mound which was viewed with Such turrow by all the different Nation in this quarter, we Selected Shields J. Fields, W Bratten, Sergt. Ordway, J Colter, Can, and Corp Worbington & Frasure, also G. Drewyer and droped down to the mouth of White Stone River where we left the Perogue with two men and at 200 yards we assended a riseing ground of about Sixty feet, from the top of this High land the Countrey is leavel & open as far as Can be Seen, except Some few rises at a Great Distance, and the Mound which the Indians Call Mountain of little people or Spirits this mound appears of a Conic form & is N. 20° W. from the mouth of the Creek, we left the river at 8 oClock, at 4 miles we Crossed the Creek 23 yards wide in an extensive Valley and continued on at two miles further our Dog was So Heeted & fatigued we was obliged Send him back to the Creek, at 12 oClock we arrived at the hill Capt Lewis much fatigued from heat the day it being verry hot & he being in a debilitated State from the Precautions he was obliged to take to provent the affects of the Cobalt, & Mini. Substance which had like to have poisoned him two days ago, his want of water, and Several of the men complaining of Great thirst, deturmined us to make for the first water which was the Creek in a bend N. E. from the mound about 3 miles- aftr a Delay of about 1 hour & a half to recrut our party we Set out on our return down the Creek thro the bottom of about 1 mile in width, Crossed the Creek 3 times to the place we first Struck it, where we geathered Some delisious froot Such as Grapes Plumbs, & Blue Currents after a Delay of an hour we Set out on our back trail & arrived at the Perogue at Sun Set we proceedd on to the place we Campd. last night and Stayed all night.
This Mound is Situated on an elivated plain in a leavel and extensive prarie, bearing N. 20° W. from the mouth of White Stone Creek Nine Miles, the base of the Mound is a regular parallelagram the long Side of which is about 300 yards in length the Shorter 60 or 70 yards- from the longer Side of the Base it rises from the North & South with a Steep assent to the hight of 65 or 70 feet, leaveing a leavel Plain on the top of 12 feet in width & 90 in length. the North & South part of this mound is joins by two regular rises, each in Oval forms of half its hight forming three regular rises from the Plain the assent of each elivated part is as Suden as the principal mound at the narrower Sides of its Bass
The reagular form of this hill would in Some measure justify a belief that it owed its Orrigin to the hand of man; but as the earth and loos pebbles and other Substances of which it was Composed, bare an exact resemblance to the Steep Ground which border on the Creek in its neighbourhood we Concluded it was most probably the production of nature-.
The only remarkable Charactoristic of this hill admiting it to be a naturial production is that it is insulated or Seperated a considerable distance from any other, which is verry unusial in the naturul order or disposition of the hills.
The Surrounding Plains is open void of Timber and leavel to a great extent; hence the wind from whatever quarter it may blow, drives with unusial force over the naked Plains and against this hill; the insects of various kinds are thus involuntaryly driven to the mound by the force of the wind, or fly to its Leward Side for Shelter; the Small Birds whoes food they are, Consequently resort in great numbers to this place in Surch of them; Perticularly the Small brown Martin of which we saw a vast number hovering on the Leward Side of the hill, when we approached it in the act of Catching those insects; they were So gentle that they did not quit the place untill we had arrivd. within a fiew feet of them-
One evidence which the Inds Give for believeing this place to be the residence of Some unusial Spirits is that they frequently discover a large assemblage of Birds about this mound- is in my opinion a Suffient proof to produce in the Savage mind a Confident belief of all the properties which they ascribe it.
from the top of this Mound we beheld a most butifull landscape; Numerous herds of buffalow were Seen feeding in various directions, the Plain to North N. W & N E extends without interuption as far as Can be Seen From the Mound to the mouth of Stone River is S. 20° E 9 miles.
to the woods near the mouth of River Jacque is West
to the High land near the mouth of Souis River is S. 70 E.
to the high land opposit Side or near the Maha Town is S. 45 E.
Some high lands to be Seen from the mound at a Great distance to the N. E Some Nearer to the N W. no woods except on the Missouris Points
if all the timber which is on the Stone Creek was on 100 acres it would not be thickly timbered, the Soil of those Plains are delightfull Great numbers of Birds are Seen in those Plains, Such as black bird, Ren or Prarie burd a kind of larke about the Sise of a Partridge with a Short tail &c. &.
25th Augt the Boat under the Comd. of Sergt. Pryor proceeded on in our absence (after jurking the Elk I Killed yesterday) Six Miles and Camped on the Larboard Side R Fields brought in five Deer. George Shannon Killed an Elk Buck Some rain this evening.
we Set the Praries on fire as a Signal for the Soues to Come to the river.