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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For August 24:
Captain Clark (current)
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I wrote a letter to Captain Lewis informing him of the prospects before us and information received of my guide which I thought favorable, &c., and stating two plans, one of which for us to pursue, &c., and dispatched one man and horse, and directed the party to get ready to march back. Every man appeared disheartened from the prospects of the river, and nothing to eat. I set out late and camped 2 miles above. Nothing to eat but chokecherries and red haws, which act in different ways so as to make us sick. Dew very heavy, my bedding wet. In passing around a rock, the horses were obliged to go deep into the water.
The plan I stated to Captain Lewis - - if he agrees with me we shall adopt - - is: to procure as many horses (one for each man if possible) and to hire my present guide, whom I sent on to him to interrogate through the interpreter, and proceed on by land to some navigable part of the Columbia River, or to the ocean, depending on what provisions we can procure by the gun added to the small stock we have on hand, depending on our horses as the last resort.
A second plan: to divide the party, one part to attempt this difficult river with what provisions we have, and the remainder to pass by land on horseback, depending on our guns &c., for provisions, &c., and come together occasionally on the river. The first of which I would be most pleased with, &c.
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.