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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For June 26:
Captain Lewis (current)
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Set Frazer to work to sew the skins together for the covering of the boat. Shields and Gass I sent over the river to search a small timbered bottom on that side, opposite to the islands, for timber and bark. And to myself I assign the duty of cook as well for those present as for the party which I expect again to arrive this evening from the lower camp. I collected my wood and water, boiled a large quantity of excellent dried buffalo meat, and made each man a large suet dumpling by way of a treat.
About 4 P.M., Shields and Gass returned with a better supply of timber than they had yet collected, though not by any means enough. They brought some bark, principally of the cottonwood, which I found was too brittle and soft for the purpose. For this article, I find my only dependence is the sweet willow, which has a tough and strong bark.
Shields and Gass had killed seven buffalo in their absence, the skins of which and a part of the best of the meat they brought with them. If I cannot procure a sufficient quantity of elk skins, I shall substitute those of the buffalo. Late in the evening, the party arrived with two more canoe and another portion of the baggage.
Whitehouse, one of them, much heated and fatigued on his arrival, drank a very hearty draught of water and was taken almost instantly extremely ill. His pulse was full, and I therefore bled him plentifully, from which he felt great relief. I had no other instrument with which to perform this operation but my penknife; however, it answered very well. The wind being from S.E. today and favorable, the men made considerable progress by means of their sails.
At the Lower Camp. The party set out very early from this place, and took with them two canoes and a second a lotment of baggage, consisting of parched meal, pork powder, lead, axes, tools, biscuit, portable soup, some merchandise, and clothing. Captain Clark gave Sergeant Pryor a dose of salts this morning, and employed Charbonneau in rendering the buffalo tallow which had been collected there. He obtained a sufficient quantity to fill three empty kegs.
Captain Clark also selected the articles to be deposited in the cache, consisting of my desk - which I had left for that purpose and in which I had left some books, my specimens of plants, minerals, &c., collected from Fort Mandan to that place - also 2 kegs of pork, 1/2 a keg of flour, two blunderbusses, 1/2 a keg of fixed ammunition, and some other small articles belonging to the party which could be dispensed with. Deposited the swivel and carriage under the rocks, a tattle above the camp, near the river.
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.