Lewis and Clark Today Logo

On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

While pulling the boats up the Missouri River in present Harrison county, Iowa, a large bull snake is killed. Lewis describes it and the Least tern. The Captains suspect that Moses Reed has deserted.

From the journals...

I have frequently observed an acquatic bird in the cours of asscending this river but have never been able to procure one before today...they are here more plenty than on the river below. they lay their eggs on the sand bars without shelter or nest, and produce their young from the 15th to the last of June

Meriwether Lewis

Least terns, Sternula antillarum

Two birds on the sand

Photo by Robert Etzel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

a verry large Snake was Killed to day called the Bull Snake, his Colour Some thing like a rattle Snake Something lighter—

Charles Floyd

Bull snake, Pituophis catenifer sayi

Large snake with yellow and brown stripin

This is a display at the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument Interpretive Center, Fort Benton, Montana.