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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For October 14:
Captain Clark (current)
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A very cold morning. At 2 1/2 miles passed a remarkable rock, very large and resembling the hull of a ship. Passed rapids at 6 and 9 miles. At 12 miles we came to at the head of a rapid which the Indians told me was very bad. We viewed the rapid, found it bad in descending. Three stern canoes stuck fast for some time on the head of the rapid, and one struck a rock in the worst part. Fortunately, all landed safe below the rapid, which was nearly 3 miles in length. Here we dined, and for the first time for three weeks past, I had a good dinner of blue-winged teal.
After dinner we set out and had not proceeded on two miles before our stern canoe, in passing through a short rapid opposite the head of an island, ran on a smooth rock and turned broadside. The men got out on the rock, all except one of our Indian chiefs, who swam on shore. The canoe filled and sank. A number of articles floated out, such as the men's bedding, clothes, and skins, the lodge, &c., &c., the greater part of which were caught by 2 of the canoes, while a third was unloading and stemming the swift current to the relief of the men on the rock, who could with much difficulty hold the canoe. However, in about an hour we got the men and canoe to shore, with the loss of some bedding, tomahawks, shot pouches, skins, clothes, &c., &c., all wet. We had every article exposed to the sun to dry on the island.
Our loss in provisions is very considerable. All our roots were in the canoe that sank, and cannot be dried sufficient to save. Our loose powder was also in the canoe and is all wet. This I think may be saved. In this island we found some split timber, the parts of a house which the Indians had very securely covered with stone. We also observed a place where the Indians had buried their fish. We have made it a point at all times not to take anything belonging to the Indians, even their wood. But at this time we are compelled to violate that rule and take a part of the split timber we find here buried for firewood, as no other is to be found in any direction.
Reprinted by permission of the American Studies Programs at the University of Virginia.
The complete text can also be downloaded for printing from their website.