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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For June 15:
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A fair morning and warm. We set out at the usual time and proceeded on with great difficulty, as the river is more rapid. We can hear the falls this morning very distinctly. Our Indian woman sick and low-spirited. I gave her the bark and applied it externally to her region, which revived her much.
The current excessively rapid and difficult to ascend. Great numbers of dangerous places, and the fatigue which we have to encounter is incredible: the men in the water from morning until night, hauling the cord and boats, walking on sharp rocks and round slippery stones which alternately cut their feet and throw them down. Notwithstanding all this difficulty, they go with great cheerfulness. Added to those difficulties, the rattlesnakes are innumerable and require great caution to prevent being bitten.
We passed a small river on the larboard side about 30 yards wide, very rapid, which heads in the mountains to the S.E. I went up this river 5 miles. It has some timber in its bottoms and a fall of 15 feet at one place. Above this river, the bluffs are of red earth mixed with strata of black stone. Below this little river, we passed a white clay which mixes with water like flour in every respect.
The Indian woman much worse this evening. She will not take any medicine. Her husband petitions to return, &c. River more rapid.
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.