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Lewis and Clark Trail "Re-live the Adventure"

From the Journals of
Lewis and Clark



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Journal Entry Archives
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1804 Journal Entry Archives  September 1 - 7, 1804 

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September 1, 1804

"Renewed our voyage.  proceeded on pass the Bluffs Compsd. of a yellowish red, & brownish White Clay which is a hard Chalk  ... oppposit the Bluffs is Situated a large Island covered with timber close under the L.S.  above the Isd the high land approach & form a Bluff Clift to the river on the S.S. this Clift is Called White Bear Clift*  one of those animals haveing been killed in a whole in it."  Clark

White Bear Clift* - The name has remained on the map in Bon Homme County.  I t is also known as Gavins Point, though Gavins Point Dam is some three miles below.  The "white Bear" is the Grizzly, here referred to for the first time in the journals, but not encounterd until October 20. 

September 2, 1804

"Set out early in the morning. About twelve the wind blew so hard down the river that we could not proceed. "  Clark

September 3, 1804 ( Camped in Knox County, Nebraska, probably near the western boundary of the Santee Sioux Reservation.)

"There is no timber in this part of the country; but continued prairie on both sides of the river. A person by going on one of the hills may have a view as far as the eye can reach without obstruction and enjoy the most delightful prospects."

September 4, 1804( Camped at the mouth of the Niobrara River, Knox County, Nebraska.)

"Captain Clark asscended three miles to a beautiful plain where the Pawnees once had a village. He found the river widened above its mouth, and much divided by sands and islands which joined to the great rapidity of the current, makes the navigation very difficult, even for small boats."

September 5, 1804 (Camped on an island that lay between southeastern Charles Mix County, South Dakota and northwestern Knox County, Nebraska.)

"The tribe of the Poncaras, who are said to have once numbered four hundred men are now reduced to about fifty, and have asociated for mutual protection with the Mahas, who are about two hundred in number. These two nations are allied by a similarity of misfortun; they were once both numerous, both resided in villages and cultivated Indian corn; their common enemies, the Sioux and small –pox drove them from their towns."

September 6, 1804

"wind high, and weather very cold; the number of sandbars added to the rapidity of the current obliged us to have recourse to the towline. Great numbers of buffalo."

September 7, 1804 (Old Baldy - Lynch, Nebraska)

"A very cold morning wind SE. Set out at day light we landed after proceeding 5 ˝ miles, near the foot of a round Mounting, which I saw yesterday, resembling a dome. Capt. Lewis and Myself walked up to the top which forms a Cone and is about 70 feet higher than the high lands around it, the Base is about 300 foot in descending this cupola.  As we descended from this dome, we arrived at a spot, on the gradual descent of the hill, nearly four acres in extent, and covered with small holes: these are the residence of a little animal [prairie dog], called by the French petit chien (little dog), who sit erect near the mouth, and make a whistling noise, but when alarmed take refuge in their holes.  In order to bring them out, we poured into one of the holes five barrels of water without filling it, but we dislodged and caught the owner. After digging down another of the holes for six feet, we found, on running a pole into it, that we had not yet dug half way to the bottom: we discovered, however, two frogs in the hole, and near it we killed a dark rattlesnake, which had swallowed a small prairie dog: we were also informed, though we never witnessed the fact, that a sort of lizard, and a snake, live habitually with these animals. The petit chien are justly named, as they resemble a small dog in some particulars, though they have also some points of similarity to the squirrel. The head resembles the squirrel in every respect, except that the ear is shorter, the tail like that of the ground-squirrel, the toe-nails are long, the fur is fine, and the long hair is gray. Killed one and caught one a live ..."

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