The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 19, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 18, 1806
July 20, 1806July 20, 1806

July 19, 1806

Saturday July 19th 1806. Drewyer and J. Fields set out early this morning in conformity to my instructions last evening. they returned at 1/2 after 12 OCk. and informed me that they had proceeded down the river to the place from which I had returned on the ____ of June last and that it was 6 miles distant. they passed the entrance of buffaloe Creek at 2 ms. the course of the river from hence downwards as far as they were is N. 80 E. they killed 8 deer and two Antelopes on their way; most of the deer were large fat mule bucks. having completed my observation of the sun's meridian Altitude we set out, ascended the river hills having passed the river and proceeded through the open plains up the N. side of the river 20 miles and encamped. at 15 miles we passed a large creek on N. side a little above it's entrance; there is but little running water in this creek at present, it's bed is about 30 yds. wide and appears to come from the broken Mountains so called from their raggid and irregular shape there are three of them extending from east to West almost unconnected, the center mountain terminates in a conic spire and is that which I have called the tower mountain they are destitute of timber. from the entrance of this creek they bore N. 10° W. the river bottoms are usually about 1/2 a mile wide and possess a considerable quantity of timber entirely cottonwood; the underbrush is honeysuckle rose bushes the narrow leafed willow and the bush which bears the acid red berry called by the french engages grease de buff. just as we halted to encamp R. Fields killed a mule doe. the plains are beautifull and level but the soil is but thin. in many parts of the plains there are great quantities of prickly pears. saw some herds of buffaloe today but not in such quantities as yesterday, also antelopes, wolves, gees, pigeons, doves, hawks, ravens crows larks sparrows &c. the Curlooe has disappeared.

Saturday 19th July 1806. I rose early and dressed Gibsons wound. he Slept but very little last night and complains of great pain in his Knee and hip as well as his thy. there being no timber on this part of the Rochjhone sufficintly large for a Canoe and time is pracious as it is our wish to get to the U States this Season, conclude to take Gibson in a litter if he is not able to ride on down the river untill I can find a tree Sufficently large for my purpose. I had the Strongest and jentlesst Horse Saddled and placed Skins & blankets in Such a manner that when he was put on the horse he felt himself in as easy a position as when lying. this was a fortunate circunstance as he Could go much more at his ease than in a litter. passed Rose bud river on Sd Side I proceeded on about 9 miles, and halted to let the horses graze and let Gibson rest. his leg become So numed from remaining in one position, as to render extreemly painfull to him. I derected Shields to keep through the thick timber and examine for a tree sufficently large & Sound to make a Canoe, and also hunt for Some Wild Ginger for a Poltice for Gibsons wound. he joined me at dinner with 2 fat Bucks but found neither tree or Ginger. he informed me that 2 white bear Chased him on horsback, each of which he Shot from his horse &c. Currents are ripe and abundant, i, e, the Yellow, black & purple spcies. we passed over two high points of Land from which I had a View of the rocky Mounts. to the W. & S. S. E. all Covered with Snow. I also Saw a low mountain in an Easterly direction. the high lands is partially Covered with pine and form purpendcular Clifts on either side. afer dinner I proceeded on the high lands become lower on either Side and those of the Stard Side form Bluffs of a darkish yellow earth; the bottom widens to Several Ms. on the Stard Side. the timber which cotton wood principally Scattered on the borders of the river is larger than above. I have Seen Some trees which would make very Small Canoes. Gibsons thy became So painfull that he could not Set on the horse after rideing about 2 hours and a half I directed Sergt Pryor and one man to continue with him under the Shade of a tree for an hour and then proceed on to the place I Should encamp which would be in the first good timber for canoes for the below. It may be proper to observe that the emence Sworms of Grass hoppers have distroyed every Sprig of Grass for maney miles on this Side of the river, and appear to be progressing upwards. about 4 Miles below the place I left Sergt. Pryor with Gibson found some large timber near which the grass was tolerably good I Encamped under a thick grove of those trees which was not Sufficiently large for my purpose, tho two of them would mak small Canoes. I took Shields and proceeded on through a large timbered bottom imediately below in Serch of better trees for Canoes, found Several about the Same Size with those at my Camp. at dark I returned to Camp

Sergt. Pryor had arived with gibson. after my arival at this place the hunters killed Seven Elk, four Deer, and I wounded a Buffalow very badly near the Camp imediately after I arived. in the forepart of the day the hunters killed two deer an Antelope & Shot two Bear. Shabono informed me that he Saw an Indian on the high lands on the opposit Side of the river, in the time I was absent in the woods. I saw a Smoke in the Same direction with that which I had Seen on the 7th inst. it appeared to be in the Mountains.