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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For September 11:
Captain Clark (current)
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A cloudy morning. Set out very early. The river wide, and shallow; the bottom narrow, and the river crowded with sand bars. Passed the island on which we lay, at one mile. Passed three islands - one on the L.S., and two on the S.S. Opposite the island on the L.S., I saw a village of barking squirrels [prairie dogs], 970 yards long and 800 yards wide, situated on a gentle slope of a hill. Those animals are numerous. I killed four, with a view to have their skins stuffed.
Here, the man who left us with the horses, 22  days ago, George Shannon - he started 26th August, and has been ahead ever since - joined us, nearly starved to death. He had been twelve days without anything to eat but grapes and one rabbit, which he killed by shooting a piece of hard stick in place of a ball. This man, supposing the boat to be ahead, pushed on as long as he could. When he became weak and feeble, determined to lay by and wait for a trading boat, which is expected, keeping one horse for the last recourse. Thus a man had like to have starved to death in a land of plenty for the want of bullets or something to kill his meat.
We camped on the L.S., above the mouth of a run. A hard rain all the afternoon, and most of the night, with hard wind from the N.W. I walked on shore the fore part of this day, over some broken country, which continues about three miles back, and then is level and rich - all plains. I saw several foxes, and killed an elk and 2 deer, and squirrels. The men with me killed an elk, 2 deer, and a pelican.
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.