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1805 Journal Entry Archives  July 4 - 10, 1805
Portage Map PDF   71 KB

Portaging around the great falls of the Missouri    

July 4, 1805           
 " we gave the men a drink of Sperits, it being the last of our stock, and some of them appeared a little sensible of itís effects the fiddle was plyed and they danced very merrily.  we had a very comfortable dinner, of bacon beans, suit dumplings & buffaloe beaf  in short we had no just cause to covet the sumptuous feasts of our countrymen on this day . - one Elk and a beaver were all that was killed by the hunters today; the buffaloe seem to have withdrawn themselves from this neighbourhood; tho the men inform us that they are still abundant about the falls-"   Lewis

July 5, 1805      
 " This morning I had the boat removed to an open situation, turned her keel to the sun and kindled fires under her to dry her more expediciously. I sincerely hope it may answer yet I fear it will not. The boat in every other rispect completely answers my most sanguine expection; she is not yet dry and eight men can carry her with the greatest ease; she is strong and will carry at least 8,000 lbs." Captain Lewis

July 6, 1805     
 "a roar of thunder rain and hail which was as large as muscket balls covered the ground. we hand some of it collected which kept very well through the day and served to cool our water.  These showers and gusts keep my boat wet in dispite of me exertions.  she is not yet ready for the grease and coal. "

July 7, 1805   
" many of the men are engaged in dressing leather to cloath themselves. Their leather cloathes soon become rotton as they are much exposed to the water and frequently wet.  Capt. Clark's black man York is very unwell today and he gave him a doze of tartar emettic* which operated very well and he was much better in the evening.  This evening hunters returned with the canoes and brought thre buffaloe skins only and two antelope 4 Deer and three wolf skins; they reported that the buffaloe had gone further down river. "  Lewis

tartar emettic*  - Tartar emetic is a white salt compound of potassium, antimony, oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen, soluble in water and used to induce vomiting.

July 8, 1805  
"The day being warm and fair about 12 OCk. the boat was sufficiently dry to receive a coat of the composition which I accordingly applyed.  this adds very much to her appearance whether it will be effectual or not.  it gives her hull the appearance of being formed of one solid piece.   we call her the Experiment and expect she will answer our purpose."  Lewis

July 9, 1805   
 " The morning was fair and pleant.  we corked the canoes and put them in the water and also launched the boat, she lay like a perfect cork on the water.  five men would carry her with the greatest ease.  I now directed seats to be fixed in her and oars to be fitted.  the men loaded the canoes in readiness to depart.  just at that moment a violent wind commenced and blew so hard that we wre obliged to unload the canoes again; a part of the baggage in several of them got wet before it could be taken out.  the wind continued violent untill late in the evening by which time we discovered that a greater part of the compositions had seperated from the skins and left the seams of the boat exposed to the water and she leaked in such manner that she would not answer. To make any further experiments in our present situation seemed to me madness. I therefore relinquished all further hope of my favorite boat, and ordered her to be sunk in the water."   Lewis

 July 10, 1805   
" had a cash dug and deposited the Fraim of the boat, some papers and a few other trivial articles.  the wind blew very hard the greater part of the day.  I also had the truck wheels buried in the pit which had been made to hold tar.   having nothing further to do I amused myself in fishing and caught a few small fish; they were of the species of white chub mentioned below the falls, tho' they are small and few in number.    Capt. Clark proceeded up the river 8 miles by land (distance by water 23 1/4)* and found 2 trees of Cottonwood and cut them down; one proved to be hollow and split in falling at the upper part and was somewhat windshaken at bottom; the other proved to be much windshaken.  he surched the bottom for better but could not find any he therefore determined to make canoes of those which he had fallen; and to contract their length in such manner as to clear the craks and the worst of the windsken parts making up the deficiency by allowing them to be as wide as the trees would permit.  they were much as a loss for this purpose to make axhandles.  the Chokecherry is the best we can procure for this purpose and of that wood they made and broke thir 13 handles in the course of this part of a day.  had the eyes of our axes been round they would have answered this country much better.''    Lewis

(distance by water 23 1/4)*  - This camp, where Clark remained until July 15 making canoes, is in Cascade County, Montana, on the north side of the Missouri, just southeast of Antelope Butte and a few miles east of the present town of Ulm. 

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