|August 12, 1806
Being anxious to overtake Capt. Clark who from the appearance of his camps could be at
no great distance before me, we set out early and proceeded with all possible expedition.
at 8 s.M. the bowsman informed me that there was a canoe and a camp he
beleived of whitemen on the N.E. shore. I directed the perogue and canoes to come
too at this place and found it to be the camp of two hunters from the Illinois by name
Joseph Dickson and Forest Hancock. [Gary E. Moulton: Joseph Dickson, or Dixon,
having lived in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, settled in Cahokia, Illinois, with his wife
and children in 1802; he spent much of his time hunting and traping in Missouri, where he
met Forrest Hancock, who had come to Boone's Settlement in 1799. The two started up
the Missouri in August 1804; they may have spent the following winter in the vicinity of
Sioux City, IA. The next year they worked with the trader Charles Courtin, wintering
in Teton Sioux country. Their meeting with Clark on this day was the expedition party's
first direct contact with the European world since April 1805. John Colter, who may
have known Dickson before, persuaded the captains to let him join the two in a trapping
venture to the Yellowstone, in what has become known as the "Fourth Expedition"
to the region, those of Charles LeRaye (which is highly questionable), Francois Antoine
Larocque, and Clark being the first three. How far up the Yellowstone they traveled
is not known, but the party broke up over some dispute and Colter and Hancock returned to
the Mandan villages. Dickson spent the winter of 1806-1807 alone on the Yellowstone,
enduring great hardship. On his journey down river in the spring, he barely escaped
the hostility of the Arikaras. Thereafter he remained in Illinois and became a highly
respectable citizen, having "got religion" as a result of his suffering in the
Rockies.] these men informed me that Capt. C. had passed them about noon
the day before. they also informed me that they had left the Illinois in the summer
1804 since which time they had been ascended the Missouri, hunting and traping beaver;
that they had been robed by the indians and the former wounded last winter by the Tetons
of the birnt woods; [The Brule, or Bois Brule, Sioux; See September 24, 1804.]
that they had hitherto been unsuccessfull in their voyage having as yet caught but little
beaver, but were still determined to proceed. I gave them a short discription of the
Missouri, a list of distances to the most conspicuous streams and remarkable places on the
river above and pointed out to them the places where the beaver most abounded. I
also gave them a file and a couple of pounds of powder with some lead. these were
articles which they assured me they were in great want of. I remained with these men
an hour and a half when I took leave of them and proceeded. <at one OCK in the
> while I halted with these men Colter and Collins who seperated from us on the
3rd i[n]st rejoined us. they were well no accedent having happened.
they informed me that after proceeding the first day and not overtaking us that
they had concluded that we were behind and had delayed several days in waiting for us and
had thus been unable to join us untill the present momet. my wounds felt very stiff
and soar this morning but gave me no considerable pain. there was much less
inflamation then I had reason to apprehend there would be. I had last eveing applyed
a poltice of peruvian barks. [Peruvian Bark, or cinchoma, was a general
remedy for fevers.] at 1 P.M. I overtook Capt. Clark and party and had the
pleasure of finding them all well. as wrighting in my present situation is extreemly
painfull to me I shall desist untill I recover and leave to my fri[e]nd
Capt. C. the continuation of our journal. however I must notice a singular Cherry [Lewis's
last botanical description in the journals is the Pin, or Bird, Cherry, Prunnus
pensylvanica. The specimen he described here may be the one in the Lewis and Clark
herbarium, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. The cherry "cultivated in the
U' States" he used for comparison is probably Black Cherry, P. serotina.] which
is found on the Missouri in the bottom lands about the beaverbends and some little
distance below the white earth river. this production is not very abundant even in
the small tract of country to which it seems to be confined. the stem is compund
erect and subdivided or branching without any regular order it rises to the hight of eight
or ten feet seldom puting up more than one stem from the same root not growing in cops as
the Choke Cherry dose. the bark is smooth and of a dark brown colour. the leaf
is peteolate, oval accutely pointed at it's apex, from one and a 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches in
length and from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in width, finely or minutely serrate, pale green and
free from bubessence. the fruit is a globular berry about the size of a buck-shot of
a fine scarlet red; like the cherries cultivated in the U' States each is supported by a
seperate celindric flexable branch peduncle which issue from the extremities of the
boughts the peduncle of this cherry swells as it approahes the fruit being
largest at the oint of insertion. the pulp of this fruit is of an agreeable ascid
flavour and is now ripe. the style and stigma [At this point Coues patched
the damaged page with a two-cent postage stamp (Scott #220) bearing the words "Dec.
20 1892 Coues." He also used a protion of the stamp to patch another tear a few pages
earlier.] are permanent. I have never seen it in blume.
August 12, 1806
||it became fair soon after dark last evening and
||a violent gust of Thunder Lightning wind and
hail last night.
||rained from 12 last night untill 10 AM today--.
||wind hard but not so much so as to detain us.--
||heavy dew last night. air cold.
||a slight shower about 3 P.M. wind hard.
||air cool this evening wind hard.
||wind violent last night.
[Lewis's weather table for August 1806. Along with his other journal
writings he refrained from further entries after August 12, 1806 leaving those
responsibilites to Captain Clark and the other journal writers in the party. Clark's
weather table appears separately at the end of the month of August.]
August 12, 1806
a fair morning. we Set out eairly and procd. on about 8
A.M. we met two trappers Americans by the names of Jos Dixon & forrest Handcock [Joseph
Dickson, or Dixon, and Forrest Hancock; See Lewis's entry for this day.]
they were from the Ellynoise country, and have gathered a great deal of
peltry Since they have been out about 2 years and have carshed the most of it in the
ground they tells us that they are determined to Stay up this river and
go to the head where the beaver is pleanty and trap and hunt untill they make a fortune
before they return, they had 20 odd good traps and tools for bulding canoes
&C. they informed us that Capt. Clark passed here about 12 oClock
yesterday and Said that they would go on Slowly untill we come up. Capt. Lewis gave
them Some powder and Several articles while we were here Colter and
Collins Come up and joined us. they informed us that they had waited
expected we were behind they had killed 6 buffaloe 13 deer 5 Elk &
31 beaver. Mr Dixon concludes to go back to the Mandans in hopes to git a frenchman
or Some body to go with him to the head of the river. So we procd.
on about 10 A.M. we overtook Capt Clark and party all alive and well [The
two parties reunited approximately six miles south of Sanish, ND and a little below Little
Knife River.] they informed us that they after they left us at the three
forks followed on up the South fork or Gallentines River nearly to its head which was
about 30 miles, and that the beavers abound on that river that their
dams overflowed the bottoms So that they had difficulty to cross the river
they then Struck for the River Roshjone leaving the Mountn.
a Short distnce to the right crossd over a low ridge 10 miles then come on
the head waters of the roshjone followed down Some distance before they found
any timber that they could make canoes of. they Saw no Indians but Saw Indn.
tracks and the Indn. Stole 25 of the horses they having the two Small
canoes done lashed them and Sergt. pryor Set out with 3 men and the rest of the horses by
land in order to take them to the Mandans 25 in number which now remained, but the 2nd
night the Indn. Stole all the horses and they had to return to the Roshjone and killd.
buffaloe and made leather canoes for them and followed on down they
informed us that the distance from where they Struck the River Roshjone to its mouth is
836 miles and a pleasant river bottoms and timber on this river the
buffaloe So pleanty and Swimming the river So that they could Scarsely pass down this
river mountan. Sheep also in many places. we fired the
blunderbusses and Small arms being rejoiced to meet all together again. 2 of Capt.
Clarks party were a hunting and killed a Spotted Elk had white spots
about it and different from any we have ever Seen before. we left their
buffaloe canoes and after a delay of three hours we procd. on. Mr. Dixon and
Handcock accompy. us to the Mandans. we Camped on a Sand beach on acct. of the
Musquetoes a little rain this evening &C--
August 12, 1806
The morning was pleasant and we proceeded on. Captain Lewis is in good spirits;
but his wound stiff and sore. Having gone about nine miles we met with two men [Joseph
Dickson and Forrest Handcock.] on the river trapping and hunting. Captain
Lewis gave them some ammunition and directions with respect to the river above. They
informed us that Captain Clarke and party has passed them yesterday at noon. We
proceeded on and at 10 o'clock overtook Captain Clarke and his party [Both parties
reunited where Clark had stopped for lunch, approximately six miles south of Sanish and
below Little Knife River.], all in good health. . The two men [Colter
and Collins.] with the small canoe, who had been some time absent, came down and
joined at the place where we met with the two strangers; and now, (thanks to God) we are
all together again in good health, except Capt. Lewis, and his wound is not serious.
After the Corp were separated among the mountains [Clark's account of the
exploration of the Yellowstone appears in his journal for July 3 to August 12, 1806.],
as before mentioned, Captain Clarke's party proceeded on to the Canoe deposit, near the
head of the main branch of the Missouri (called Jefferson's river) and having descended
with the canoes to the mouth of the branch, which they called Gallatin, Captain Clarke
with ten men left those, who were to take down the canoes to the falls; travelled three
days up Gallatin's river towards the south, when they crossed a ridge and came upon the
waters of the Jaune or Yellow-stone river. Having gone about 100 miles down this
river by land they made two canoes, and Captain Clarke having set off a sergeant and three
men with the horses to the Mandan villages, went down himself with six other men by water.
On the second day after the sergeant and his party had started for the Mandan
villages, the Indians stole the whole of the horses, and the party were obliged to descend
the river in skin canoes. Captain Clarke's party in their route had found game
pleanty of different kinds, buffaloe, elk, deer beaver, otter and some other animals.
They also found the Yellow-Stone river a pleasant and navigable stream, with a rich
soil along it; but timber scarce.
We here took the men on board, and left the buffaloe canoes. At night we encamped
on a sand beach, as the musquitoes are not so bad there as in the woods.
August 12, 1806
I set out early this morning and had not proceeded on far before Shannon discovered he
had lost his Tomahk. I derected him to land his Skin Canoe and go back to our Camp
of last night in Serch of it, and proceeded on my self with the two wood and one Skin
Canoe to a large bottom on the N. E Side above the had of Jins [NB: Qu: an]
island and landed to take brackfast as well as to delay untill Shannon & Gibson Should
arive. Sent out Shields & Labiech to hunt deer in the bottom, at 2 <a> P m.
Shannon and gibson arived having found the tomahawk at our camp they killed 3 Elk &c.
one of the Canoes of Buffalow Skin by accident got a hole peirced in her of about 6
inches diamuter. I derected two of the men to patch the Canoe with a piece of Elk skin
over the hole, which they did and it proved all Sufficient, after which the Canoe did not
leak one drop. The two hunters returned without haveing killed any thing. at
Meridian Capt Lewis hove in Sight with the party which went by way of the Missouri as well
as that which accompanied him from Travellers rest on Clarks river; I was alarmed on the
landing of the Canoes to be informed that Capt. Lewis was wounded by an accident--.
I found him lying in the Perogue, he informed me that his would was slight and would be
well in 20 or 30 days this information relieved me very much. I examined the wound and
found it a very bad flesh wound the ball had passed through the fleshey part of his left
thy below the hip bone and cut the cheek of the right buttock for 3 inches in length and
the debth of the ball. Capt L. informed me the accident happened the day before by one of
the men Peter Crusat misstakeig him in the thick bushes to be an Elk. Capt Lewis
with this Crusat and Several other men were out in the bottoms Shooting of Elk, and had
Scattered in a thick part of the woods in pursute of the Elk. Crusat Seeing Capt L.
passing through the bushes and takeing him to be an Elk from the Colour of his Cloathes
which were of leather and very nearly that of the Elk fired and unfortunately the ball
passed through the thy as aforesaid. Capt Lewis thinking it indians who had Shot him
hobbled to the canoes as fast as possible and was followered by Crusat, the mistake was
then discovered. This Crusat is near Sighted and has the use of but one eye, he is an
attentive industerous man and one whome we both have placed the greatest Confidence in
dureing the whole rout.-- After Capt. Lewis and my Self parted at Travellers rest,
he with the Indians proceeded down the West Side of Clarks river Seven miles and crossed
on rafts 2 miles below the East fork 120 yards wide, after Crossing the river he proceeded
up the North Side of the east fork and encampd. here the Indians left him and
proceeded down Clarks river in Serch of the Tushepaws. an Indian man Came up with
Cap L. from the W. of the mountains and proceeded on with those who had accompanied us.
Capt. L. proceeded up the E. fork of Clarks river 17 ms. to the enterance of
Cokahlarishkit river or the river to buffalow, he proceeded up on the North Side of this
river which is 60 yards wide crossing Several Small Streams and the N. fork, and passing
over part of the dividing mountain onto the waters of deabourns river in the plains and in
a Derection to the N. extremity of Easte range of rocky mountians which pass the Missouri
at the pine Island Rapid. from thence he bore his Course to the N E untill he Struck
Meadcin river near where that river Enters the rocky Mts. and proceeded down Medicine
river to the Missouri at the white bear Islands at the upper part of the portage.
this rout is a very good one tho not the most derect rout, the most derect rout would be
to proceed up the Missouri above Dearborns river and take a right hand road & fall on
a South branch of the Cokatlarishkit R. and proceed down that river to the main
road but the best rout would be from the falls of the Missouri by fort
mountain and passing the N. extremity of the range of Rocky Mountains which pass the
Missouri at the pine Island rapid Course nearly S.W. and to the gap through which
the great road passeds the dividing mountain the distance from the falls to this gap about
45 miles through a tolerable leavel plain on an old indian road. and the distance
from thence to Clarks river is 105 miles. The total distance from the falls of the
Missouri to Clarks river is only 150 miles of a tolerable road--
Capt L. arived at the white Bear Islands and encampd. on the West Side of the Missouri and
in the morning he discovered that the Indians had taken of Seven of his best horses,
drewyer prosued the indians two day's on the rout towards Clarks river. he Saw their
camp on Dearborns river near the road on which Capt. Lewis & party Come on a by place
where they had left only one or two day at this encampment he Saw great appearanc of
horses-- on the return of Drewyer Capt L. took Drewyer & the 2 fieldses &
proceeded on his intended rout up Marias river leaving Sergt. Gass, Thompson, Frazier,
Werner, McNeal & Goodrich at the portage to prepare Geer and repar the wheels &
Carrage against the arial of the Canoes and he also left 4 horses for the purpose of
hauling the Canoes across. The Canoes arived on the 16th. and on the 26th they had all
except one across, the Plains becom So muddy from the emence rains which had fallen, that
they Could not get her over the portage. on the 28th they joined Capt Lewis at the
Grog Spring a fiew miles above the enterance of Marias river--. From the Falls of Missouri
Capt. L. proceeded on with Drewyer & the 2 fieldses Courss
[GM: The courses and distances match Lewis's, but the dates and separations are
|N. 10o W.
||miles from the Great falls of the Missouri to
rose river through an open fertile plain
|N. 25o W.
||miles to the Sourse of Buffalow Creek, passing a
dividing ridge dividing the waters of Mairias river from rose river at 6 miles
Country hilly &c.
|N. 15o W.
||Miles down Buffalow Creek here the timber
Commences Creek 25 Yds wide no running water.
||miles to Marias river 130 yards wide 3 feet
deep. here Capt Lewis
||encamped the 18th July 1806
|N. 80o W.
||miles up Marias river on its North Side
passed a large Creek on the South Side with Some timber in it's vally at 8
miles also another large Creek on the N. Side at 15 miles 30 yards wide with
but little water--.
|S. 80o W.
||Miles with the river in it's course upwds.
on it's N. Side river 120 yds wide, passed a creek on South Side at 6 miles, one at
22 miles on the N. Side the last has no water, Some little timber, the genl. course of
this river is very Streight its vally 1/2 m. wide.
|S. 80o W.
||Miles to the forks of the river the Main
Southern branch bears S. 75o W. about 30 miles to the rocky Mountains.
|N. 40o W.
||miles up the North branch 30 yds wd. confined
close between clifts of rocks, Shallow, rapid and not navagable.
|N. 25o W.
||Miles up the North fork, hills broken &
|N. 30o W.
||M. up the river, water transparent.
|S. 80o W.
||M. through the plains the river
maeking a considerable bend to the right or N W.
|S. 75o W.
||M. through the plains on the N. Side of the
river which here made a considerable bend to the left or S. haveing passed the river twice
here Capt Lewis Continued the 23rd 24th & 25th of July to make Some
celestial observations but the weather proved So Cloudy that he only made the following
observations on the 23rd of July <which gave>
Observed Meridian Altd. of Sun's L.L. with Octant by the back observation--
62o 00' 00"
Latitude deduced from this observation [blank] observed equal altitudes of the Sun with
Altitude of Sun 56o 8' 45"
On the 26th of July Capt Lewis Set out on his return to the enterance of Marias river
to meet with the party with, the Canoes from the falls. his course was through the plains
||Miles-- passing a Small Creek from
|S. 70o E.
||Miles to a principal branch of Marias River 65
yards wide not very deep at 7 mile.
|this last branch is Shallow and
rapid about the Size of the former from the <N W> S W. both of those Streams Contain
a great preportion of timber-- here we find the 3 Specis of Cotton before mentioned.
|N. 80o E.
||miles down Marias river and met with 8 Indians
of the Blackfoot nation with about
|30 horses, those Indians professed
friendship and Set out with him and encamped together the night of the 26th of July, thy
informed him that there was two large bands of their nation in the quarter one of which
would be at the enterance of Marias river in a fiew days. they also informed that a
french Trader was with one of those bands, that they traded with the white people on the
Suskashwen River at 6 easy days march or about 150 miles distant from whome they precured
Guns Powder Lead blankets &c. in exchange for wolf and beaver Skins. Capt Lewis gave
them a Flag Meadel & Handkerchief Capt. L. informed those Indians where he was from
& where he had been and his objects & friendly views &c. of which they
appeared to be well Satisfied.
"on the morning of the 27th at day light the indians
got up and crouded around the fire, Jo. Field who was on post had carelessly laid his gun
down behind him near where his brother was Sleeping. one of the Indians Slipd.
behind him and took his gun and that of his brother unperceived by him, at the Same
instant two others advanced and Seized the guns of Drewyer and Capt Lewis who were yet
asleep. Jo. Fields Seeing this turned about to take his gun and Saw the fellow running off
with his and his brothers, he called to his brother who instantly jumped up and
prosued the indian with him whome they overtook at the distance of 50 or 60 paces Siezed
their guns and rested them from him and R. Field as he Seized his gun Stabed the indian to
the heart with his knif who fell dead; (this Cap L. did not know untill Some time after.[)]
drewyer who awoke at the first alarm jumped up and Seized & rested his
gun from the indian &c. Capt L. awoke and asked what was the matter Seeing Drewyer in
a Scuffle for his gun he turned to get his gun and found her gorn, he drew a pistol from
his holsters and prosued the Indian whom he Saw in possession of his gun making off
he presented the pistol and the indian lay down the gun. the two Fields
Came up and drew up to Shoot the Indain which Capt L. forbid the indians then attempted to
drive off all the horses. Capt L. derected the men to fire on them if they attempted
to drive off the horses, and prosued two fellows who Continued to drive of his horses he
Shot the indian who had taken his gun and then in possession of his horse through the
belly, he fell and raised on his elbow and fired at Capt L. the other made his
escape into a nitch out of Sight with his bow and arrows and as Capt L. guns was empty and
he without his Shot pouch he returnd. to the Camp where the 2 fields and Drewyer joind him
having prosued the indians across the river they were now in possession of the
most of their own as well as the indian horses and a gun Several bows & arrows and all
the indians baggage the gun & Some feathers and flag they took and burnt all the
<rest> other articles. and Saddled up a many of the best horses as they wished
with Some Spear horses, and Set out for to intersept the party at Marias river and
proceded on a little to the S. of East 112 Miles to the Missouri at the Grog
Spring. here they met with Canoes and prty decending joined them leaving their
horses on the river bank, and proceeded on to the enterance of Marias river opened the
deposits, found Several articles damaged. 3 Beaver traps could not be found, the red
perogue unfit for Service, from thenc they proceeded without delay to the River Rochejhone
See cources of Capt Lewis rout in next book.["] [Lewis's courses
from Traveler's Rest to the Great Falls is found after Lewis's entry of July 10, 1806.
Clark has summarized Lewis's events of July 27-28, 1806.]
at 2 P.M. Shannon & Gibson arived in the Skin Canoe with the Skins and
the greater part of the flesh of 3 Elk which they had killed a fiew miles above. the
two men Dixon & Handcock the two men we had met above came down intending to proceed
on down with us to the Mandans. at 3 P M we proceded on all together <after>
having left the 2 leather Canoes on the bank. a little below the enterance of
<Jos> Shabonos Creek we Came too on a large Sand point from the S.E. side and
Encamped. [Bear Den Creek beneath Garrison Reservoir. "Shabonos Creek"
to the party, which they passed on their westward journey on April 14, 1805.]
the wind blew very hard from the S W. and Some rain. I washed Capt L. wound which
has become Sore and Somewhat painfull to him.