The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 11, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 10, 1805
July 12, 1805

July 11, 1805

Thursday July 11th 1805.

We had now nothing to do but wait for the canoes; as they had not returned I sent out some of the small party with me to hunt; in the evening they returned with a good quantity of the flesh of a fat buffaloe which they had killed. the canoes not arrived this evening. I saw several very large grey Eagles today they are a half as large again as the common bald Eagle of this country. I do not think the bald Eagle here qute so large as those of the U States; the grey Eagle is infinitely larger and is no doubt a distinct species. this evening a little before the sun set I heared two other discharges of this unaccounable artillery of the Rocky Mountains proceeding from the same quarter that I had before heard it. I now recollected the Minnetares making mention of the nois which they had frequently heard in the Rocky Mountains like thunder; and which they said the mountains made; but I paid no attention to the information supposing it either false or the fantom of a supersticious immagination. I have also been informed by the engages that the Panis and Ricaras give the same account of the Black mountains which lye West of them. this phenomenon the philosophy of the engages readily accounts for; they state it to be the bursting of the rich mines of silver which these mountains contain.

This morning Capt. Clark dispatched Bratton to meet the canoes which were detained by the wind to get a couple of axes. he obtained the axes and returned in about two hours. this man has been unable to work for several days in consequence of a whitlow on one of his fingers; a complaint which has been very common among the men. one of the canoes arrived at Capt. Clarks camp about 10 A.M. this he had unloaded and set a few miles up the river for a buffaloe which had been killed, the party sent killed another in thir rout and brought in the flesh and skins of both they were in good order; his hunters had also killed two deer and an Antelope yesterday. the three other canoes did not arrive untill late in the evening in consequence of the wind and the fear of weting their loads which consisted of articles much more liable to be injured by moisture than those which composed the load of that which arrived in the morning. Capt. C. had the canoes unloaded and ordered them to float down in the course of the night to my camp, but the wind proved so high after night that they were obliged to put too about 8 miles above and remain untill morning. Capt. C. kept the party with him busily engaged at the canoes. his hunters killed and brought in three very fat deer this evening.

July 11th Thursday 1805

a fair windey morning wind S. W. I dispatch W Bratten (who cannot work he haveing a turner rising on his finger) to meat the Canoes & bring from them two axes, which is necessary for the work at the perogues or Canoes, and is indespenceable he returned in about two hours & informed that one Canoe was within three miles, about 1 oClock the Canoe which Bratten left arrived haveing killed a Buffalow on the river above our Camp, at which place the bend of the river below & that above is about 1 mile apart, I dispatched Serjt. Pryor with 3 men in the Canoe to get the meat they killed another buffalow near the one killed and brought the meat of both down. at Sunset the 3 remaining Canoes arrived unloaded & returned imeadeately with orders to flote down to Camp at the portage to night for the purpose of takeing up the remaining baggage. Musquitors verry troublesom, and in addition to their torments we have a Small Knat, which is as disagreeable, our hunter killed 3 Deer to day one of them verry fat. all the men with me engaged about the Canoes hunting &c. &.