The Journals of Lewis & Clark: September 16, 1804

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
September 15, 1804
September 17, 1804

September 16, 1804

Sunday September 16th

This morning set out at an early hour, and come too at 1/2 after 7 A.M. on the Lard. Shore 11/4 miles above the mouth of a small creek which we named Corvus, in consequence of having kiled a beatiful bird of that genus near it we concluded to ly by at this place the ballance of this day and the next, in order to dry our baggage which was wet by the heavy showers of rain which had fallen within the last three days, and also to lighten the boat by transfering a part of her lading to the red perogue, which we now determined to take on with us to our winter residence wherever that might be; while some of the men were imployed in this necessary labour others were dressing of skins washing and mending their cloaths &c. Capt. Clark and myself kiled each a buck immediately on landing near our encampment; the deer were very gentle and in great numbers on this bottom which had more timber on it than any part of the river we had seen for many days past, consisting of Cottonwood Elm, some indifferent ash and a considerable quanty of a small species of white oak which is loaded with acorns of an excellent flavor very little of the bitter roughness of the nuts of most species of oak, the leaf of this oak is small pale green and deeply indented, it seldom rises higher than thirty feet is much branched, the bark is rough and thick and of a light colour; the cup which contains the acorn is fringed on it's edges and imbraces the nut about one half; the acorns were now falling, and we concluded that the number of deer which we saw here had been induced thither by the acorns of which they are remarkably fond. almost every species of wild game is fond of the acorn, the Buffaloe Elk, deer, bear, turkies, ducks, pigegians and even the wolves feed on them; we sent three hunters out who soon added eight deer and two Buffaloe to our strock of provisions; the Buffaloe were so pour that we took only the tongues skins and marrow bones; the skins were particularly acceptable as we were in want of a covering for the large perogue to secure the baggage; the clouds during this day and night prevented my making any observations. Sergt. Gass and Reubin Fields whom we had sent out yesterday to explore the White river returnd at four oclock this day and reported that they had foil meanders of that stream about 12 miles r's general course West, the present or principal channel iro yards wide; the coulour of the water and rapidity and manner of runing resembled the Missouri presisely; the country broken on the border of the river about a mile, when the level planes commence and extend as far as the eye can reach on either side; as usual no timber appeared except such as from the steep declivities of hills, or their moist situations, were sheltered from the effects of the fire. these extensive planes had been lately birnt and the grass had sprung up and was about three inches high. vast herds of Buffaloe deer Elk and Antilopes were seen feeding in every direction as far as the eye of the observer could reach.

September 16th Sunday, we proceeded on 11/4 Miles and Camped on the L. Side in a butifull Plain Surounded with timber in which we Saw Severall Der, we delayed here for the purpose of Drying the articles which were wet & the cloathes to Load the Perogue which we had intended to send back, finding the water too Shoal Deturmind to take on the Perogue also to make Some observations for Longitude &c. the two men G. & R. F. joined us and informed "that the river as far as they were up had much the Appearance of the river about the mouth, but little timber and that chiefly elm", the up land between this river & the White river is fine, Great numbers of Goat, Deer of three kinds, Buffalow, & wolves, & Barking Squrels, The fallow Deer, Cloudy, all day Cleaning out the boat examining & Drying the goods, & loading the Perogue, I killed 2 Deer Capt Lewis one & a Buffalow, one Buffalow & five other Deer Killed. I observed Pine Burs & Burch Sticks in the Drift wood up white river which Coms in on the L. S. imedeately in the point is a butifull Situation for a town 3 Gentle rises, & more timber about the mouth of this river than usial

16th of September Sunday 1804

We Set out verry early & proceed'd on 11/4 miles between Sand bars and Came too on the L. S. (1)- deturmined to dry our wet thig and liten the boat which we found could not proceed with the present load for this purpose we Concluded to detain the Perogue we had intended to Send back & load her out of the boat & detain the Soldiers untill Spring & Send them from our winter quarters. We put out those articles which was wet, Clean'd the boat & perogus, examined all the Locker Bails &. &c. &.

This Camp is Situated in a butifull Plain Serounded with Timber to the extent of 3/4 of a mile in which there is great quantities of fine Plumbs The two men detachd up the White river joined us here & informed that the river as far as they were up had much the appearance of the Missourie Som Islands & Sands little Timber Elm, (much Signs of Beaver, Great many buffalow) & Continud its width, they Saw & well as my Self Pine burs & Sticks of Birch in the Drift wood up this river, They Saw also Number of Goats Such as I Killed, also wolves near the Buffalow falling Deer, & the Barking Squrels Villages Capt. Lewis went to hunt & See the Countrey near the Kamp he killed a Buffalow & a Deer

Cloudy all day I partly load the empty Perogue out of the Boat. I killed 2 Deer & the party 4 Deer & a Buffalow the we kill for the Skins to Cover the Perogus, the meet too pore to eat. Capt Lewis went on an Island above our Camp, this Island is abt. one mile long, with a Great purpotion ceder timber near the middle of it

I gave out a flannel Shirt to each man, & powder to those who had expended thers