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December 8, 1803

Lewis visits Carlos DeHault Delassus, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Louisiana, who forbids the Expedition from continuing up the Missouri River. With Louisiana still in Spanish control, Lewis agrees to spend the winter at the Wood River.

Dear Sir [Thomas Jefferson],
I set out...to visit Colo. Lasuse; I proceeded to make him acquainted with the objects of my visit...his duty as an Officer...forbad his granting me permission at this time to asscend the Missouri river; finally as friend advised my remaining at Cahokia untill the next spring, alledging that by that time he had no doubt the Govrs. consent would be obtained and that then all obstructions would be removed to my asscending the Missouri.1

Meriwether Lewis
Painting of Carlos DeHault Delassus

December 8, 1804

Despite a morning low of 12° below 0, Clark leads a successful buffalo hunt. When they return to Fort Mandan, one man has a frostbitten hand, another has frostbitten feet, and York's penis is slightly frostbitten.

Captain Clarke and another party went out though the cold was extreme, to hunt the buffaloe; and killed nine and a deer. One man got his hand frozen; another his foot and some more got a little touched.

Patrick Gass
Bison covered in snow

December 8, 1805

Clark crosses a small range to the west of Fort Clatsop and searches for a location to make salt from ocean water. He sees large trees, bogs, ponds, and a herd of elk. Gass and 11 others canoe up the Netul River to retrieve two shot elk.

I took 5 men and Set out to the Sea to find a place to make Salt
the left of us Bogs & a lake or pond

William Clark
Small lake or large pond in the slashy plains along the beach