The Journals of Lewis & Clark: August 8, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
August 7, 1805
August 9, 1805

August 8, 1805

Thursday August 8th 1805.

We had a heavy dew this morning. as one canoe had been left we had now more hads to spear for the chase; game being scarce it requires more hunters to supply us. we therefore dispatched four this morning. we set out at sunrise and continued our rout up the river which we find much more gentle and deep than below the entrance of Wisdom river it is from 35 to 45 yards wide very crooked many short bends constituteing large and general bends; insomuch that altho we travel briskly and a considerable distance yet it takes us only a few miles on our general course or rout. there is but very little timber on this fork principally the under brush frequently mentioned. I observe a considerable quantity of the buffaloe clover in the bottoms. the sunflower, flax, green swoard, thistle and several species of the rye grass some of which rise to the hight of 3 or 4 feet. there is a grass also with a soft smooth leaf that bears it's seeds very much like the timothy but it dose not grow very luxouriant or appear as if it would answer so well as the common timothy for meadows. I preserved some of it's seeds which are now ripe, thinking perhaps it might answer better if cultivated, at all events is at least worth the experi-ment. it rises about 3 feet high. on a direct line about 2 miles above our encampment of this morning we passed the entrance of Philanthrophy River which discharges itself by 2 channels a small distance assunder. this river from it's size and S. Eastwardly course no doubt heads with Madisons river in the snowey mountains visible in that direction. at Noon Reubin Fields arrived and reported that he had been up Wisdom river some miles above where it entered the mountain and could find nothing of Shannon, he had killed a deer and an Antelope. great quantity of beaver Otter and musk-rats in these rivers. two of the hunters we sent out this morning returned at noon had killed each a deer and an Antelope. we use the seting poles today almost altogether. we encamped on the Lard sides where there was but little timber were obliged to use willow brush for fuel; the rosebushes and bryers were very thick. the hunters brought in another deer this evening. to tumor on Capt. Clarks ankle has discharged a considerable quantity of matter but is still much swolen and inflamed and gives him considerable pain. saw a number of Gees ducks and some Crains today. the former begin to fly.

the evening again proved cloudy much to my mortification and prevented my making any lunar observations. the Indian woman recognized the point of a high plain to our right which she informed us was not very distant from the summer retreat of her nation on a river beyond the mountains which runs to the west. this hill she says her nation calls the beaver's head from a conceived remblance of it's figure to the head of that animal. she assures us that we shall either find her people on this river or on the river immediately west of it's source; which from it's present size cannot be very distant. as it is now all important with us to meet with those people as soon as possible, I determined to proceed tomorrow with a small party to the source of the principal stream of this river and pass the mountains to the Columbia; and down that river untill I found the Indians; in short it is my resolusion to find them or some others, who have horses if it should cause me a trip of one month. for without horses we shall be obliged to leave a great part of our stores, of which, it appears to me that we have a stock already sufficiently small for the length of the voyage before us.

August 8th Thursday 1805

We proceeded on early wind from the S W. The Thermometer at 52 a 0 at Sunrise at 5 miles by water & 41/2 on a derect line from the forks we passed a River on the Lard Side 30 yards wide and navagable for Some distance takeing its rise in the Mountains Easterly & with the waters of Madisons River, passes thro an extensive vallie open & furtill &c. this river we call Philanthophy- above this river (which has but little timber) Jeffersons R is crooked with Short bends a fiew Islands and maney gravelly Sholes, no large timber, Small willow Birch & Srubs &c. Encamped on the Lard Side, R Fields joined us this eveng. & informes that he could not find Shannon my foot yet verry Swore