The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 19, 1804

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 18, 1804
July 20, 1804

July 19, 1804

July 19th after breakfast which was on a rosted Ribs of a Deer a little and a little Coffee I walked on Shore intending only to Keep up with the Boat, Soon after I got on Shore, Saw Some fresh elk Sign, which I was induced to prosue those animals by their track to the hills after assending and passing thro a narrow Strip of wood Land, Came Suddenly into an open and bound less Prarie, I Say bound less because I could not See the extent of the plain in any Derection, the timber appeared to be confined to the River Creeks & Small branches, this Prarie was Covered with grass about 18 Inches or 2 feat high and contained little of any thing else, except as before mentioned on the River Creeks &c, This prospect was So Sudden & entertaining that I forgot the object of my prosute and turned my attention to the Variety which presented themselves to my view after continueing on this rise for Some minits, I deturmined to make my course to a line of woods to S. E. I found in this wood a butifull Streem of running water, in prosuing it down Several others Joined it and at 3 miles fell into the river between 2 clifts, I went up & under one clift of dark rich Clay for 1/2 me. above this a Clay bank which had Sliped in here I found Sand Stone Containing Iron ore, this ore appears to be inbeded under the Clay just above the water

July 19th Thursday 1804

Set out early pass between 2 Islands one in mid. & the other L. S. opsd. wher Prarie aproaches the river S. S. This place is called the Bakers oven or in french Four le Tour tere passd. Some highlands 41/2 ms. above the Isds. on the L. S. forming a Clift to the river of yellow earth, on the top a Prarie, passd. many a bad Sand bar in this distance, & the river wide & Shallow, above this Clift 2 Small butiffull runs Come from the Plains & fall into the river, a Deer lick on the first, above those two Creeks, I found in my walk on Shore Some ore in a bank which had Sliped in to the river 3/4 me. above the Creeks, I took a cerequite around & found that those two runs mentioned contained a good proposion of wood Surrounded by a plain, with grass about 18 Inchs. high, (Capt Lewis walked on Shore after Dinner) in the first bind to the right above those Runs passed a Small Island opsd. is a Sand bar I call this Island Butter Island, as at this place we mad use of the last of our butter, as we approach this Great River Platt the Sand bars are much more noumerous than they were, and the quick & roleing Sands much more danjerous, where the Praries aproach the river it is verry wide, the banks of those Plains being much easier to undermine and fall than the wood land passed (4) a willow Island Situated near the middle of the river, a Sand bar on the S. S. and a Deep bend to the L S. camped on the right Side of the Willow Island-W. Bratten hunting on the L. S Swam to the Island. Hunters Drewyer killed 2 Deer, Saw great numbers of young gees. The river Still falling a little Sand bars thick always in view.

July 19th, Thursday 1804

Set out early passed between two Small Islands, one in the middle of the river, the other Close on the L S. opposit a prarie S. S. Called (1) by the french Four le tourtre, The Bakers oven Islands, passed (2) Some high Clift 41/2 miles above the Islands on the L. S. of yellow earth passed Several Sand bars that were wide and at one place verry Shallow (two Small butifull runs falls into the river near each other at this Clift, a Deer Lick 200 yards up the Lowest of those runs) Those runs head at no great distance in the plains and pass thro of timber to the river. In my walk on Shore I found Some ore in the bank above those runs which I take to be Iron ore (3) at this place the Side of the hill has Sliped about half way into the river for 3/4 of a Mile forming a Clift from the top of the hill above. In the first bend to the right passed a Small Island a Sand bar opposit,- worthey of remark as we approach this great River Plate the Sand bars much more numerous and the quick or moveing Sands much worst than they were below at the places where Praries approach the river it is verry wide those places being much easier to wash & under Mine than the wood Land's. (4) passed a Willow Isd. Situated near the Middle of the river and a large Sand makeing out from the S. S. a Deep bend to the L S. we Camped at the head of this Island on the Starboard Side of it, Hunters Killed Two Deer. Saw great numbers of young Gees River falling a little.