The Journals of Lewis & Clark: April 16, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
April 15, 1805
April 17, 1805

April 16, 1805

Tuesday April 16th 1805.

Set out very early this morning. Capt. Clark walked on Shore this morning, and killed an Antelope, rejoined us at 1/2 after eight A.M.- he informed me that he had seen many Buffaloe Elk and deer in his absence, and that he had met with a great number of old hornets nests in the woody bottoms through which he had passed.- the hills of the river still continue extreemly broken for a few miles back, when it becomes a fine level country of open fertile lands immediately on the river there are many fine leavel extensive and extreemly fertile high plains and meadows. I think the quantity of timbered land on the river is increasing. the mineral appearances still continue. I met with several stones today that had the appearance of wood first carbonated and then petrefyed by the water of the river, which I have discovered has that effect on many vegitable substances when exposed to it's influence for a length of time. l believe it to be the stratas of Coal seen in those hills which causes the fire and birnt appearances frequently met with in this quarter. where those birnt appearances are to be seen in the face of the river bluffs, the coal is seldom seen, and when you meet with it in the neighbourhood of the stratas of birnt earth, the coal appears to be presisely at the same hight, and is nearly of the same thickness, togeter with the sand and a sulphurious substance which ususually accompanys it. there was a remarkable large beaver caught by one of the party last night. these anamals are now very abundant. I have met with several trees which have been felled by them 20 Inches in diameter. bark is their only food; and they appear to prefer that of the Cotton wood and willow; as we have never met with any other species of timber on the Missouri which had the appearance of being cut by them.- we passed three small creeks on the Stard. side. they take their rise in the river hills at no great distance. we saw a great number of geese today, both in the plains and on the river- I have observed but few ducks, those we have met with are the Mallard and blue winged Teal

16th of April Tuesday 1805

Wind hard from the S. E I walked on Shore and Killed an antilope which was verry meagre, Saw great numbers of Elk & some buffalow & Deer, a verry large Beaver Cought this morning. Some verry handsom high planes & extensive bottoms, the mineral appearances of Coal & Salt together with Some appearance of Burnt hils continue. a number of old hornets nests Seen in every bottom more perticularly in the one opposit to the place we camped this night- the wooded bottoms are more extensive to day than Common. passed three Small Creeks on the S. S. to day which take their rise in the hills at no great distance, Great numbers of Gees in the river & in the Plains feeding on the Grass.