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November 12, 1803

Lewis and Clark spend the day at Fort Massac near present Metropolis, Illinois. Lewis attempts to make astronomical observations but must stop when evening clouds obscure the sky.

remained, took equal altitudes A. M. but was prevented from compleating the observation by taking an observation in the evening by the clouds—

Meriwether Lewis
Historical sketch of the Ohio river at Fort Massac

November 12, 1804

The day is very cold with ice on the edges of the Missouri River. Big White, a chief from the Lower Mandan Village, visits Fort Mandan and relates the Mandan creation story. He also gives the populations of Mandan, Hidatsa, and Crow.

the Mandan nation as they old men Say Came out of [NB: Subterraneous village & a lake] where they had Gardins, maney years ago they lived in Several Villages on the Missourie low down, the Smallpox destroyed the greater part of the nation and reduced them to one large Village and Some Small ones, all nations before this maladey was affrd. of them after they were reduced the Sioux and other Indians waged war, and killed a great maney, and they moved up the Missourie

William Clark
Historic painting of a Mandan village

November 12, 1805

At 3 am, a storm with high waves and rolling logs threatens the Corps. Later, during low tide, they are able to move camp into the next Columbia River cove. They sink the canoes with rocks, and catch several salmon in the nearby creek.

we moved our Camp a Short distance further up the River to the mouth of a creek and got a more comfortable Camp.

John Ordway
A small coastal creek