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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition travels 28 miles passing the Milk River and camping above present Fort Peck Dam. Lewis describes two edible roots, Wild licorice and Breadroot, collected by Sacagawea.

I took the advantage of this leasure moment and examined the river about 3 miles; I found it generally 150 yards wide, and in some places 200. it is deep, gentle in it's courant and affords a large boddy of water; it's banks which are formed of a dark rich loam and blue clay are abbrupt and about 12 feet high.

Meriwether Lewis

Milk River

Muddy river which recently overflowed

the water of this river possesses a peculiar whiteness, being about the colour of a cup of tea with the admixture of a tablespoonfull of milk. from the colour of it's water we called it Milk river. (we think it possible that this may be the river called by the Minitares the river which scoalds at all others

Meriwether Lewis

Milk River

Small river winding through the plain

Capt Clark...informed me that he had a perfect view of this river and the country through which it passed for a great distance (probably 50 or 60 Miles,) that the country was level and beautifull on both sides of the river, with large herds of Buffaloe distributed throughout:

Meriwether Lewis

Milk River plains and valley

Milk River view

in walking on Shore with the Interpreter & his wife, the Squar Geathered on the Sides of the hills wild Lickerish, & the white apple as called by the angegies and gave me to eat, the Indians of the Missouri make great use of the white apple dressed in different ways—

William Clark

Breadroot (Prairie turnip), Psoralea esculenta

Purple breadroot bloom

Photo created by the U.S. National Park Service at Badlands National Park.

The wild Licquorice is found on the sides of these hills, in great abundance.

Meriwether Lewis

American liquorice, Glycyrrhiza lepidota

American liquorice plant with white blooms

Photo © Stan Shebs. Permission via the Creative Commons 3.0 License.