The Journals of Lewis & Clark: August 8, 1804

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
August 7, 1804
August 9, 1804

August 8, 1804

August the 8th 1804 Set out this morning at the usial time at about 2 miles (1) passed a part of the river So choked up with Snags that we found a little dificult to get thro with Safty, the wind as usial from the N W. one of the Soldiers Killed a Pilican on the Sand Isd. passed the mouth of Little (2) River de Cueoux on the S. S. this river is about 80 yards wide & navagable for Pirogus Some distance & runs parrelel to the Missourie it corns in from the River from the N E, it contains great Quantitys offish Common to the Countrey. two Miles above is (3) an Island the Channel formerly run on the right with Sand.- the Current runs to the left. many hundreds of Pelicans on this Island- we call it Pelican Isld. Cap Lewis Killed one This river Soux Called by the Sueoux Ed-Neah Wau-de-pon i'e Stone R heads in three Leagues of the river Demoin, and passes thro a Lake about 20 Legues in Sircfs. which is also within 5 Leagus of the Demoin, this lake at one place is confined by two rocks within a narrow Space- this lake of Different widths, with many Small Islands, from the Lake to the Mahars about distant 4 Days march to the Dog Plains 90 Leagues, one Principal branch of the Demoin is calld. Cat river, the Lake which this river Litt Souex heads in is Called Despree

8th August Wednesday 1804

Set out this morning at the usial time at two miles passed (1) a bend to L. S. Choaked up with Snags our boat run on two in turning to pass through, we got through with Safty the wind from N W. (2) passed the mouth of a River on the S. Side Called by the Soux Indians Ed-neah Wau de pon (or Stone river) the French call this river Petite Rivre de Cuouex it is about 80 yards wide and as (Mr. Durion Says whos been on the heads of it and the Country abt) is navagable for Perogues Som Distance runs Parrelel to the Missourie Some Distance, then falls down from N E thro a roleing Countrey open, the head of this river is 9 miles from the R Demon at which place the Demoin is 80 yd wide, this Little Cuouex passes thro a lake called Despree which is within 5 Leagues of the Deemoin the Said Lake is about 20 Leagues in Circumfrance and is divided into 2 by two rocks approaching Verry near each other, this Lake is of various width, Containing many Islands- from this Lake to the Maha 4 days march, as is Said to be near the Dog Plains one princpal branch of the Demoin is Called Cat River The Demoin is Sholey

Capt. Lewis took Medn. Altitude of the Sun made it 56° 9' 00" Lat 41° 42' 34" and I took one man and went on Shore the man Killed an Elk I fired 4 times at one & did not Kill him, my ball being Small I think was the reason, the misqutors So bad in the Praries that with the assistance of a bush I could not Keep them out of my eyes, the boat turned Several tims to day on Sand bars- in my absenc the boat passed a Island 2 miles above the litte Scouex R on the upper point of the Isld Some hundreds of Pelicans were Collected, they left 3 fish on the Sand which was verry fine, Capt Lewis Killed one & took his dimentions, I joined the boat and we Camped on the S S.

worthe of remark that Snakes are not plenty in this part of the Missourie

August 8th 1804

we had seen but a few aquatic fouls of any kind on the river since we commenced our journey up the Missouri, a few geese accompanied by their young, the wood duck which is common to every part of this country & crains of several kinds which will be discribed in their respective places- this day after we had passed the river Souix as called by Mr. MacKay (or as is more properly called the stone river,) I saw a great number of feathers floating down the river those feathers had a very extraordinary appearance as they appeared in such quantities as to cover pretty generally sixty or seventy yards of the breadth of the river. for three miles after I saw those feathers continuing to run in that manner, we did not percieve from whence they came, at length we were surprised by the appearance of a flock of Pillican at rest on a large sand bar attatched to a small Island the number of which would if estimated appear almost in credible; they apeared to cover several acres of ground, and were no doubt engaged in procuring their ordinary food; which is fish, on our approach they flew and left behind them several small fish of about eight inches in length, none of which I had seen before- the Pellican rested again on a sand bar above the Island which we called after them from the number we saw on it. we now approached them within about three hundred yards before they flew; I then fired at random among the flock with my rifle and brought one down; the discription of this bird is as follows.


They are a bird of clime remain on the coast of Floriday and the borders of the Gulph of mexico & even the lower portion of the Mississippi during the winter and in the Spring (see for date my thermometrical observations at the river Dubois.-) visit this country and that farther north for the purpose of raising their young- this duty seems now to have been accomplished from the appearance of a young Pilacon which was killed by one of our men this morning, and they are now in large flocks on their return to their winter quarters. they lay usually two eggs only and chuise for a nest a couple of logs of drift wood near the water's edge and with out any other preperation but the thraught formed by the proximity of those two logs which form a trough they set and hatch their young which after nurture with fish their common food


From beak to toe58
Tip to tip of wing94
Beak Length13
Do. Widthfrom 2 to 1 1/2
Neck Length111
1st joint of wing11
2ed Do.14 1/2
3rd Do.-7
4th do.-2 3/4
Length of leg including foot10
Do. of thy11

Discription of Colour &c

The beak is a whiteish yellow the under part connected to a bladder like pouch, this pounch is connected to both sides of the lower beak and extends down on the under side of the neck and terminates in the stomach- this pouch is uncovered with feathers, and is formed two skins the one on the inner and the other on the center side a small quantity of flesh and strings of which the anamal has at pleasure the power of moving or drawing in such manner as to contract it at pleasure. in the present subject I measured this pouch and found it's contents 5 gallons of water

The feet are webbed large and of a yellow colour, it has four toes the hinder toe is longer than in most aquatic fouls, the nails are black, not sharp and 1/2 an inch in length

The plumage generally is white, the feathers are thin compared with the swan goose or most aquatick fouls and has but little or no down on the body. the upper part of the head is covered with black feathers short, as far as the back part of the head- the yellow skin unfeathered extends back from the upper beak and opening of the mouth and comes to a point just behind the eye

The large feathers of the wings are of a deep black colour- the 1st & 2nd joint of from the body above the same is covered with a second layer of white feathers which extend quite half the length of those large feathers of the wing- the thye is covered with feathers within a quarter of an inch of the knee.

1st joint of wing has feathersNo. 21Length 9 Black
2ed Do.No. 17Length 13 Inch
3rd Do.No. 5Length 18 Inch
4th Do.No. 3Length 19 Inch

it has a curious frothy substance which seems to devide its feathers from the flesh of the body and seems to be composes of globles of air and perfectly imbraces the part of the feather which extends through the skin. the wind pipe terminates in the center of the lower part of the upper and unfeathered part of the pouch and is secured by an elastic valve commanded at pleasure.

The green insect known in the U States by the name of the sawyer or chittediddle, was first heard to cry on the 27th of July, we were then in latitude 41° some minutes.

The prarie hen or grouse, was seen in the praries between the Missouri and the river platte