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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For August 12:
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Being anxious to overtake Captain Clark, who from the appearance of his camps could be at no great distance before me, we set out early and proceeded with all possible expedition.
At 8 A.M. the bowsman informed me that there was a canoe and a camp, he believed of white men, on the N.E. shore. I directed the pirogue and canoes to come to at this place, and found it to be the camp of two hunters from the Illinois, by name Joseph Dickson and Forest Hancock.
These men informed me that Captain Clark had passed them about noon the day before. They also informed me that they had left the Illinois in the summer of 1804, since which time they had been ascending the Missouri, hunting and trapping beaver; that they had been robbed by the Indians, and the former wounded last winter by the Tetons of the Burnt Woods; that they had hitherto been unsuccessful in their voyage, having as yet caught but little beaver, but were still determined to proceed.
I gave them a short description of the Missouri, a list of distances to the most conspicuous streams and remarkable places on the river above, and pointed out to them the places where the beaver most abounded. I also gave them a file and a couple of pounds of powder with some lead. These were articles which they assured me they were in great want of. I remained with these men an hour and a half, when I took leave of them and proceeded.
While I halted with these men, Cotter and Collins - - who separated from us on the 3rd inst. - - rejoined us. They were well, no accident having happened. They informed me that after proceeding the first day and not overtaking us, they had concluded that we were behind and had delayed several days in waiting for us, and had thus been unable to join us until the present moment.
My wounds felt very stiff and sore this morning but gave me no considerable pain. There was much less inflammation than I had reason to apprehend there would be. I had, last evening, applied a poultice of Peruvian barks.
At 1 P.M. I overtook Captain Clark and party and had the pleasure of finding them all well. As writing in my present situation is extremely painful to me, I shall desist until I recover, and leave my friend Captain Clark the continuation of our journal.
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.