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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Clark takes a party up the Missouri River where they can make two new canoes. They have difficulty finding suitable cottonwood trees and wood to make handles for their tools. At Upper Portage Camp, Lewis disassembles the iron boat.

late in the afternoon the wind abated a little So we proceeded on within about 3 miles of the upper Camp and halted for the night in a grove of cottonwood    high banks of Sand along this Shore on N. S.    we killed a large rattle Snake near our Camp.—

John Ordway

Missouri River bank

High sandy bank of the Missouri River above Great Falls

found two Trees which I thought would make Canoes, had them fallen, one of them proved to be hollow & Split at one End & verry much win Shaken at the other, the other much win Shaken

William Clark

Cottonwood log with large check

Cottonwood log with a large vertical crack (checking)

they were much at a loss for wood to make axhandles. the Chokecherry is the best we can procure for this purpose and of that wood they made and broke thir 13 handles in the course of this part of a day. had the eyes of our axes been round they would have answered this country much better.

Meriwether Lewis

Square-holed adze

Chopping tool with a square-head handle