The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 4, 1804

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 3, 1804
July 5, 1804

July 4, 1804

July 4th Wednesday 1804, Set out early passed the mouth of a Beyeue leading from a Lake on the S. S. this Lake is large and was once the bend of the River, it reaches Parrelel for Several miles, Came to on the L. S. to Dine & rest a Short time, a Snake bit Jo. Fields on the Side of his foot which Swelled much, apply Barks to the wound, pass a Creek on the L. S. about 15 yards wide cuming out of an extensive Prarie as this Creek has no name, and this day is the 4th of July, we name this Independance us. Creek above this Creek the wood land is about 200 yards, back of those wood is an extensive Prarie open and high, which may be Seen six or seven below- Saw great Nos. of Goslins to day nearly Grown, the last mentioned prarie I call Jo Fields Snake Prarie, Capt Lewis walked on Shore & Saw a large moun & 3 roads leading We Camped in the plain one of the most butifull Plains, I ever Saw, open & butifully diversified with hills & vallies all presenting themselves to the river covered with grass and a few scattering trees a handsom Creek meandering thro at this place the Kansaw Inds. formerly lived and had a verry large Town passed a Creek (4) I observed Spring braking out of the bank, a good Situation for a fort on a hill at the upper part

The Plains of this countrey are covered with a Leek Green Grass, well calculated for the sweetest and most norushing hay-interspersed with Cops of trees, Spreding ther lofty branchs over Pools Springs or Brooks of fine water. Groops of Shrubs covered with the most delicious froot is to be seen in every direction, and nature appears to have exerted herself to butify the Senery by the variety of flours Delicately and highly flavered raised above the Grass, which Strikes & profumes the Sensation, and amuses the mind throws it into Conjecterng the cause of So magnificent a Senerey in a Country thus Situated far removed from the Sivilised world to be enjoyed by nothing but the Buffalo Elk Deer & Bear in which it abounds & Savage Indians

in Perogue

  1. Battist de Shone Patrn
  2. Joseph Le bartee
  3. Lasoness
  4. Paul Preemau
  5. Chalo
  6. E. Cann
  7. Roie
  8. Charlo Cougee

in the large Boat

  • *J. Le bartee
  • Rivee

bow men

  • Pieter Crousatt half Indian
  • William La Beice Mallat
  • 3 Sergts. & 23 men for the Boat
  • George Drewyer. Hunter & 4 Horses
  • 1 Corpl & 4 Privates in a Perogue to be Sent back from Plate river
  • Mr. Dueron inteptr for the Sues Capt. Lewis my Self & York
  • in all 46 men July 4th 4 horses & a Dog

July 4th Wednesday ussered in the day by a discharge of one shot from our Bow piece, proceeded on, passed the mouth of a (1) Bayeau lading from a large Lake on the S. S. which has the apperance of being once the bed of the river & reaches parrelel for Several Miles Came to on the L. S. to refresh ourselves &. Jos. Fields got bit by a Snake, which was quickly doctered with Bark by Cap Lewis. (2) Passed a Creek 12 yds. wide on L. S. comeing out of an extensive Prarie reching within 200 yards of the river, as, this Creek has no name, and this being the we Dine (on corn) the 4th of July the day of the independance of the U. S. call it 4th of July 1804 Creek, Capt. Lewis walked on Shore above this Creek and discovered a high moun from the top of which he had an extensive view, 3 paths Concentering at the moun Saw great numbers of Goslings to day which Were nearly grown, the before mentioned Lake is clear and Contain great quantities of fish an Gees & Goslings, The great quantity of those fowl in this Lake induce me to Call it the Gosling Lake, a Small Creek & Several Springs run in to the Lake on the East Side from the hills the land on that Side verry good- (3) We came to and camped in the lower edge of a Plain where 2d old Kanzas village formerly Stood, above the mouth of a Creek 20 yds wide this Creek we call Creek Independence as we approached this place the Praree had a most butifull appearance Hills & Valies interspsd with Coops of Timber gave a pleasing deversity to the Senery. the right fork of Creek Independence Meandering thro the middle of the Plain a point of high Land near the river givs an allivated Situation. at this place the Kanzas Indians formerley lived. this Town appears to have covd. a large Space, the nation must have been noumerous at the time they lived here, the Cause of their moveing to the Kanzas River, I have never heard, nor Can I learn; war with their neghbors must have reduced this nation and Compelled them to retire to a Situation in the plains better Calculated for their defence and one where they may make use of their horses with good effect, in persueing their enemey, we Closed the by a Discharge from our bow piece, an extra Gill of whiskey.