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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition recovers at the Three Forks of the Missouri. The Captains name the three rivers joining there the Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson. Sacagawea tells how she was taken prisoner in a Minataree raid nearby.

In pursuance of this resolution we called the S. W. fork, that which we meant to ascend, Jefferson's River in honor of Thomas Jefferson. the Middle fork we called Madison's River in honor of James Madison, and the S. E. Fork we called Gallitin's River in honor of Albert Gallitin.

Meriwether Lewis

The Three Forks

Historic painting of three rivers joining to form the Missouri

Painting by Alfred E. Mathews circa 1868.

the beds of all these streams are formed of smooth pebble and gravel, and their waters perfectly transparent; in short they are three noble streams.

Meriwether Lewis

Gallatin River

Small river in a wide valley

there are several small sand-bars along the shores at no great distance of very pure sand and the earth appears as if it would make good brick.

Meriwether Lewis

Madison-Jefferson River

River and bank of sand and gravel

I observe large quantities of the sand rush in these bottoms which grow in many places as high as a man's breast and stand as thick as the stalks of wheat usually do.

Meriwether Lewis

Sandrush (Scouring rush), Equisetum hyemale

Field of green horsetail

Photo ©Beentree. Downloaded from Wikimedia and used with permission of the Creative Commons 3.0 License.

this affords one of the best winter pastures on earth for horses or cows, and of course will be much in favour of an establishment should it ever be thought necessary to fix one at this place.
the grass is also luxouriant and would afford a fine swarth of hay at this time in parsels of ma[n]y acres together.

Meriwether Lewis

Near the Gallatin River

Grassy field with a mountain canyon behind