The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 12, 1804

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 11, 1804
July 13, 1804

July 12, 1804

July 12th Thursday Som hunters out on the S. S. those on the L. S. did not return last night, our object in delaying here is to tak Some Observations and rest the men who are much fatigued made Sundery observations, after an early Brackfast I took five men and went up the River Ne Ma har about three miles, to an open leavel part of an emence prarie, at the Mouth of a Small Creek on the Lower Side, I went on Shore, & passed thro the plain passed Several noles to the top of a high artificial Noal from the top of this noal I had an emence, extensive & pleaseing prospect, of the Countrey around, I could See the meandering of the Little River for at least 10 miles winding thro a meadow of 15 or 20000 acres of high bottom land covered with Grass about 41/2 feet high, the high lands which rose irregularly, & were toped with Mounds or antent Graves which is to me a Strong evidence of this Countrey haveing been thickly Settled-.This River is about 80 yards wide with a gentle Current and heads up near the Parnee Village on River Blue a branch of Kansas, a little timbered land near the mouth for 1 mile above, only a fiew Trees, and thickets of Plumbs Cheres &c are Seen on its banks the Creeks & little reveens makeing into the river have also Some timber- I got grapes on the banks nearly ripe, observed great quantities, of Grapes, plums Crab apls and a wild Cherry, Growing like a Comn. Wild Cherry only larger & grows on a Small bush, on the side of a clift Sand Stone 1/2 me. up & on Lower Side I marked my name & day of the month near an Indian Mark or Image of animals & a boat Tried Willard for Sleeping on his post, our hunters killed some Deer, Saw Elk & Buffalow.

July 12th, Thursday 1804

Concluded to Delay here to day with a view of takeing equal altitudes & makeing observations as well as refreshing our men who are much fatigued- after an early Brackfast I with five men in a Perogue assended the River Ne-Ma-haw about 2 miles to the mouth of a Small Creek on the Lower Side, here I got out of the Perogue, after going to Several Small Mounds in a leavel plain, I assended a hill on the Lower Side, on this hill Several Artificial Mounds were raised, from the top of the highest of those Mounds I had an extensive view of the Serounding Plains, which afforded one of the most pleasing prospects I ever beheld, under me a Butifull River of Clear water of about 80 yards wide Meandering thro a leavel and extensive Meadow, as far as I could See, the prospect Much enlivened by the fine Trees & Srubs which is bordering the bank of the river, and the Creeks & runs falling into it,-. The bottom land is covered with Grass of about 41/2 feet high, and appears as leavel as a Smoth Surfice, the 2 bottom is also covered with Grass and rich weeds & flours, interspersed with Copses of the Osage Plumb. on the riseing lands, Small groves of trees are Seen, with a numbers of Grapes and a Wild Cherry resembling the Common Wild Cherry, only larger and grows on a Small bush on the tops of those hills in every derection. I observed artifical mounds (or as I may more justly term Graves) which to me is a Strong indication of this Country being once Thickly Settled. (The Indians of the Missouris Still Keep up the Custom of Burrying their dead on high ground) after a ramble of about two miles about I returned to the perogue and decended down the River, gathd. Som grapes nearly ripe, on a Sandstone Bluff about 1/4 of a mile from its mouth on the Lower Side I observed Some Indian marks, went to the rock which jutted over the water and marked my name & the day of the month & year- This river heads near one of the Villages of the Pania on the River Blue, a branch of the Kansas River.- above this river about half a mile the Prarie Comes to the Missouri after my return to Camp on the Island Completed Som observations, Tred tried a man for sleeping on his Post & inspected the arms amunition &c. of the party found all complete, Took Some Luner Obsevations. three Deer killed to day. Latd. 39° 55' 56" N.

Camp New Island July 12th

A Court matial consisting of the two commanding officers will convene this day at 1 OCk. P.M. for the trial of such prisoners as may be brought before them; one of the court will act as judge Advocate.

M. Lewis

Wm. Clark

The Commanding officers. Capt. M. Lewis & W. Clark constituted themselves a Court martial for the trial of Such prisoners as are Guilty of Capatol Crimes, and under the rules and articles of War punishable by Death,

Alexander Willard was brought foward Charged with "Lying down and Sleeping on his post whilst a Sentinal, on the night of the 11th. Instant" (by John Ordway Sergeant of the Guard)

To this Charge the prisoner pleads. Guilty of Lying Down, and not Guilty, of Going to Sleep. The Court after Duly Considering the evidence aduced, are of oppinion that the Prisoner Alexdn. Willard is guilty of every part of the Charge exhibited against him. it being a breach of the rules and articles of War (as well as tending to the probable distruction of the party) do Sentence him to receive One hundred lashes on his bear back, at four different times in equal propation.- and order that the punishment Commence this evening at Sunset, and Continue to be inflicted, (by the Guard) every evening untill Completed

Wm Clark

M. Lewis