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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For June 23:
Captain Lewis (current)
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This morning early, I selected a place for the purpose of constructing my boat, near the water under some shady willows. Captain Clark had the canoe and baggage brought up, after which we breakfasted and nearly consumed the meat which he had left here. He now set out on his return with the party. I employed the three men with me in the forenoon clearing away the brush and forming our camp, and putting the frame of the boat together.
This being done, I sent Shields and Gass to look out for the necessary timber, and with J. Fields descended the river in the canoe to the mouth of Medicine River, in search of the hunters whom I had dispatched thither on the 19th inst. and from whom we had not heard a sentence. I entered the mouth of Medicine River and ascended it about half a mile, when we landed and walked up the starboard side, frequently whooping as we went on in order to find the hunters. At length, after ascending the river about five miles, we found Shannon, who had passed the Medicine River and fixed his camp on the larboard side, where he had killed seven deer and several buffalo, and dried about 600 pounds of buffalo meat; but had killed no elk.
Shannon could give me no further account of R. Fields and Drouilliard than that he had left them about noon on the 19th at the Great Falls and had come on to the mouth of Medicine River to hunt elk as he had been directed, and never had seen them since. The evening being now far spent I thought it better to pass the Medicine River and remain all night at Shannon's camp. I passed the river on a raft which we soon constructed for the purpose.
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.