Lewis and Clark Today Logo

May 17, 1804

The Expedition waits at St. Charles, Missouri for the arrival of Captain Lewis who is still in St. Louis. Privates Warner, Hall, and Collins are called to a Court Martial because of their actions in town the previous night.

A pleasant morning.    We are still here waiting the arrival of Captain Lewis; in the Evening we had some Rain.—

Joseph Whitehouse

Measured the river    found it to be 720 yards wide, a Keel Boat Came up to day— Several of the inhabitents Came abord to day    receved Several Speces of Vegatables from the inhabitents to day

William Clark
Historic paining of a bateau on the Missouri River

May 17, 1805

With a firm shore to walk on, the men are able to tow the pirogues against the Missouri River current. During the night, a tree catches fire and leans over the Captain's tent. They move it just before the tree topples down.

Capt. Clark narrowly escaped being bitten by a rattlesnake in the course of his walk, the party killed one this evening at our encampment....
this snake is smaller than those common to the middle Atlantic States, being about 2 feet 6 inches long; it is of a yellowish brown colour on the back and sides, variagated with one row of oval spots of a dark brown colour lying transversely over the back from the neck to the tail, and two other rows of small circular spots of the same colour which garnis the sides along the edge of the scuta. it's bely contains 176 scuta on the belly and 17 on the tale.

Meriwether Lewis
Large rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike

May 17, 1806

After a rainy night, the Expedition discovers that the Nez Perce pit which forms the center of their encampment, collects running water. The hunters continue their pursuit of local bears so that they can render their fat for cooking.

it is somewhat astonishing that the grass and a variety of plants which are now from a foot to 18 inches high on these plains sustain no injury from the snow or frost; many of those plants are in blume and appear to be of a tender susceptable texture.

Meriwether Lewis
Yellow glacier lily at Camas Prairie