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1805 Journal Entry Archives  April 12 - 18 , 1805

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April 12, 1805

"set out an early hour.  our peroge and the Canoes passed over to the Lard side in order to avoid a bank which was rappidly falling fast.  We proceeded on six miles and came too on the lower side of the entrance of the little Missouri on the Lard shore in a fine plain where we determined to spend the day for the purpose of celestial observation*.  we sent out 10 hunters to procure some fresh meat."

celestial observation* - The mouth of the Little Missouri may have shifted over the years; in any case, the site, perhaps in Dunn County, North Dakota, is under Garrison Reservoir.

April 13, 1805

 "Being disappointed in my observations of yesterday for longitude, I was unwilling to remain at the entrance of the river another day for that purpose, and therefore determined to set out early this morning, which we did accordingly. The wind was in our favor after 9 A.M., and continued favorable until 3 P.M. We therefore hoisted both the sails in the white perogue, consisting of a small squar sail and spritsail, which carried her at a pretty good gate untill about 2 in the afternoon, when a suddon squall of wind struck us and turned the perogue so much on the side as to alarm Sharbono , who was steering at the time.
In this state of alarm, he threw the perogue with her side to the wind, when the spritsail, gibing, was as near overseting the perogue as it was possible to have missed. The wind, however, abating for an instant, I ordered Drewyer to the helm and the sails to be taken in, which was instantly executed, and the perogue, being steered before the wind, was again placed in a state of security.
This accident was very near costing us dearly. Beleiving this vessel to be the most steady and safe, we had embarked on board of it our instruments, papers, medicine, and the most valuable part of the merchandize which we had still in reserve as presents for the Indians. We had also embarked on board ourselves, with three men who could not swim and the squaw with the young child, all of whom, had the perogue overset, would most probably have perished, as the waves were high, and the perogue upwards of 200 yards from the nearest shore. However, we fortunately escaped, and pursued our journey under the square sail, which, shortly after the accident, I directed to be again hoisted...
Saw some buffaloe and elk at a distance today, but killed none of them...We saw also many tracks of the white bear of enormous size* , along the river shore and about the carcasses of the buffaloe, on which I presume they feed.
We have not as yet seen one of these anamals, though their tracks are so abundant and recent. the men, as well as ourselves, are anxious to meet with some of these bear. The Indians give a very formidable account of the strength and ferocity of this anamal, which they never dare to attack but in parties of six, eight, or ten persons; and are even then frequently defeated with the loss of one or more of their party.
The savages attack this anamal with their bows and arrows and the indifferent guns with which the traders furnish them. With these they shoot with such uncertainty and at so short a distance that, unless shot through head or heart wound not mortal, they frequently mis their aim and fall a sacrefice to the bear. two Minetaries were killed during the last winter in an attack on a white bear This anamall is said more frequently to attack a man on meeting with him, than to flee from him. When the Indians are about to go in quest of the white bear, previous to their departure they paint themselves and perform all those supersticious rightes commonly observed when they are about to make war upon a neighboring nation."

white bear of enormous size* - The bear is the grizzly - a specimen was taken on April 29, 1805

April 14, 1805

" passed an island, above which two small creeks fall in on Lard. Side; the upper creek largest, which we called Sharbono’s Creek*, after our interpreter who encamped several weeks on it with a hunting party of Indians. This is the highest point to which any whiteman had ever ascended, except two Frenchmen ( one of whom LaPage was now with us)."  Lewis

Sharbono’s Creek* - Formerly Indian, now Bear Den, Creek, entering the Missouri near the Dunn-McKenzie county line. 

April 15, 1805

 " in a little pond of water formed by this rivulet where it entered the bottom, I heard the frogs crying for the first time this season; their note was the same with that of the small frogs which are common to the lagoons and swamps of the U. States… saw great quantities of geese and grouse. The grouse appeared to be mating the note of the male, is kuck, ,kuck, kuck, coo, coo, coo."

April 16, 1805

"Killed an antilope which was verry meagre.  Saw great numbers of Elk & some buffalow & deer, a verry large Beaver cought this morning.  Great numbers of Gees in the river & in the Plains feeding on the Grass."

April 17, 1805

" A delightfull morning, set out at an erly hour.  the country though which we passed to day was much the same as that discribed of yesterday... continue to see many tracks of the bear we have seen but very few of them, and those are at a great distance generally runing from us; I therfore presume that they are extremly wary and shy; the Indian account of them dose not corrispond with our experience so far.  Capt Clark saw a Curlou* today."

Curlou* -  Probably the long-billed curlew, and if so, a bird new to science. 

April 18, 1805

"after breakfast this morning Capt. Clark walked on Stad. shore, while the party were assedning by means of their toe lines, I walked with them on the bank; found a species of pea bearing a yellow flower, and now in blume; it seldom rises more than 6 inches high, the leaf & stalk resembles that of the common gardin pea, the root is pirenial*.  I also saw several parsels of buffaloe's hair hanging on the rose bushes**."

pirenial*- Golden pea ( Thermopsis rhombifolia Nutt)

rose bushes** - Western wild Rose ( Rosa woodsii Lindle)

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