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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Lewis and the men reach the Three Forks of the Missouri where Lewis climbs a limestone hill to survey the land. Clark arrives at the forks in the afternoon tired and ill. The Captains ponder how to continue without horses.

this fork is nearly as large as the North fork & appears to be more rapid, we examined and found no fresh Sign of Indians

William Clark

Madison River

Shallow stoney river and white limestone cliffs

at the distance of 1¾ miles the river was again closely hemned in by high Clifts of a solid limestone rock which appear to have tumbled or sunk in the same manner of those discribed yesterday.

Meriwether Lewis

Lodgepole limestones at the southern end of Mission canyon

Missouri River below a large limestone cliff

about 9 oClock we Came or arived at the 3 forks of the Missourie which is in a valley in open view of the high Mountains which has white Spots on it which has the appearence of Snow

Joseph Whitehouse

Snow peaks viewed from Three Forks

Large valley with snow peaks in the distance

there is a handsom site for a fortification    it consists of a limestone rock of an oblong form; it's sides perpendicular and about 25 ft high except at the extremity towards the middle fork where it ascends gradually and like the top is covered with a fine terf of greenswoard.
the top is level and contains about 2 Acres. the rock [r]ises from the level plain as if it had been designed for some such purpose.

Meriwether Lewis

Fort Rock (looking south)

Small river flowing along, flat-topped mesa

beleiving this to be an essential point in the geography of this western part of the Continent I determined to remain at all events untill I obtained the necessary data for fixing it's latitude Longitude &c.

Meriwether Lewis

Fort Rock (looking north)

A barren plateau in a large valley

1 ¼ to the upper point of a high clift of rocks in a Stard. opposite or a little below the entrance of the S. E. fork of the Missouri which we called Gallitin's river in honor of Albert Gallitin Secretary of the Treasury

Meriwether Lewis

Gallatin River mouth

Small river and white rock cliffs

½ to the confluence of the middle and S. W. forks of the Missouri each 90 yds. wide; the Middle fork we called Maddison's river in honor of James Maddison the Secretary ofState.—

Meriwether Lewis

Madison River

Large river in a wide valley

the S. W. fork we called Jefferson's River in honor that illustratious peronage Thomas Jefferson President of the United States.

Meriwether Lewis

Gallatin River

Two rivers joining in a valley

after resting about an hour, proceeded down to the junction thro a wide bottom which appears to be overflown every year, & maney parts Stoney this river has Several Islands and number of beaver & orter, but little timber

William Clark

Madison River

Small river in a barren valley