Lewis and Clark Today Logo

On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition leaves the Three Forks. Clark takes the canoes up the Jefferson River. Lewis travels by foot and Sacajawea shows him the place she was taken prisoner. The two parties fail to meet and camp separately near Willow Creek.

passed the narrow channel to the small island and examined the gravly bar along the edge of the river for the tracks of the men, knowing from the appearance of the river at this place that if they had passed they would have used the cord on the side where I was. I saw no tracks and was then fully convinced that they were below me.

Meriwether Lewis

Jefferson River

Gravel bar opposite a steep rock hill and river

we dined at a Camp where the snake Indians had been camped 4 years ago, and was actacted by the Gross vauntaus. 2 or three of the Snake nation was killed, and Several Squaws taken prisoners    our Intrepters wife was one of them. She tells us that She was taken in the middle of the River as She was crossing at a Shole place to make hir ascape.

John Ordway

Jefferson River

Large river with an island in the middle

I directed my course to the high plain to the right which I gained after some time with much difficulty and waiding many beaver dams to my waist in mud and water. I would willingly have joined the canoes but the brush were so thick, the river crooked and bottoms intercepted in such manner by the beaver dams, that I found it uceless to attempt to find them

Meriwether Lewis

Old beaver dam on the Jefferson River

Old beaver dam and backwater on the Jefferson River