On this day in Lewis & Clark history...
Near present Old Baldy in South Dakota, the Expedition encounters their first village of prairie dogs. They pour barrels of water down their holes eventually catching one as a specimen. Shannon is still missing.
From the journals...
Having understood that the village of those small dogs was at a short distance from our camp, Captain Lewis and Captain Clarke with all the party, except the guard, went to it; and took with them all the kettles and other vessels for holding water; in order to drive the animals out of their holes by pouring in water; but though they worked at the business till night they only caught one of them.
At the Prairie Dog Village
Painting previously located in Southern Hills Mall, Sioux City, Iowa and created by by Split Rock Studios.
7th Septr. 1804
a verry Cold morning Set out at day light we landed after proceding 5½ miles, near the foot of a round mounting which I saw yesterday resembling a dome.
Photo by Ammodramus who has released it to the public domain.
7th September Friday 1804.
ther mouth resemble the rabit, head longer, legs short, & toe nails long ther tail like a g Squirel which they Shake and make chattering noise ther eyes like a dog, their colour is Gray and Skin contains Soft fur
Prairie dog, Cynomys ludovicianus
7th Septr. 1804
the Village of those animals Covs. about 4 acrs of Ground on a Gradual decent of a hill and Contains great numbers of holes on the top of which those little animals Set erect make a Whistleing noise and whin allarmed Slip into their hole—