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Title: Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Volume XIV - Part I of James's Account of S. H. Long's Expedition, 1819-1820
Author: Gunn, James E., 1923-
Language: English
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      This ebook reproduces the 1905 Arthur H. Clark Company
      Edition, which is itself based on an 1823 London edition
      of Part I of James's Account of S. H. Long's Expedition.
      The 1905 edition incorporated portions from several
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A Series of Annotated Reprints of some of the best
and rarest contemporary volumes of travel,
descriptive of the Aborigines and Social and
Economic Conditions in the Middle
and Far West, during the Period
of Early American Settlement

Edited with Notes, Introductions, Index, etc., by

Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D.

Editor of "The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents,"
"Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition,"
"Hennepin's New Discovery," etc.

Volume XIV

Part I of James's Account of S. H. Long's Expedition,

Cleveland, Ohio
The Arthur H. Clark Company

Copyright 1905, by
The Arthur H. Clark Company

All Rights Reserved

The Lakeside Press
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company


  PREFACE TO VOLUMES XIV-XVII. _The Editor_               9

  By order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of
  War, under the command of Maj. S. H. Long, of the
  U. S. Top. Engineers. Compiled from the Notes of
  Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and other Gentlemen of the
  Party. [Part I, being chapters i-x of Volume I of
  the London edition, 1823.] _Edwin James_, Botanist
  and Geologist to the Expedition

    Dedication                                           33

    Preliminary Notice [from Philadelphia edition,
      1823]                                              35

      CHAPTER I--Departure from Pittsburgh.
        North-western slope of Alleghany Mountains.
        Rapids of the Ohio                               39

      CHAPTER II--The Ohio below the Rapids at
        Louisville. Ascent of the Mississippi from
        the mouth of the Ohio to St. Louis               77

      CHAPTER III--Tumuli and Indian graves about
        St. Louis, and on the Merameg. Mouth of the
        Missouri. Charboniere. Journey by land from
        St. Charles to Loutre Island                    108

      CHAPTER IV--Settlement of Cote Sans Dessein.
        Mouths of the Osage. Manito Rocks. Village
        of Franklin                                     136

      CHAPTER V--Death of Dr. Baldwin. Charaton
        River, and Settlement. Pedestrian Journey
        from Franklin to Fort Osage                     153

      CHAPTER VI--Mouth of the Konzas. Arrival at
        Wolf River. Journey by land from Fort Osage
        to the Village of the Konzas                    171

      CHAPTER VII--Further Account of the Konza
        Nation. Robbery of Mr. Say's Detachment by a
        War-party of Pawnees. Arrival at the Platte     199

      CHAPTER VIII--Winter Cantonment near Council
        Bluff. Councils with the Otoes, Missouries,
        Ioways, Pawnees, &c.                            221

      CHAPTER IX--Animals. Sioux and Omawhaw
        Indians. Winter Residence at Engineer
        Cantonment                                      250

      CHAPTER X--Account of the Omawhaws. Their
        Manners, and Customs, and Religious Rites.
        Historical Notices of Black Bird, Late
        Principal Chief                                 288


    "Map of the Country drained by the Mississippi"      30

    Facsimile of title-page to Volume I of James's
      _Account_                                          31

    "Indian Record of a Battle between the Pawnees
      and the Konzas--a Fac-Simile of a Delineation
      upon a Bison Robe"                                202

    "War Dance in the interior of a Konza Lodge"        208

    "Oto Council"                                       238

    "Pawnee Council"                                    246


The present volume and the three which succeed it are devoted to a
reprint of Edwin James's _Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh
to the Rocky Mountains, performed in the Years 1819, 1820, . . .
under the Command of Maj. S. H. Long_. This exploration was the
outcome, and almost the only valuable result, of the ill-starred
project popularly known at the time as the Yellowstone expedition,
which had been designed to establish military posts on the upper
Missouri for the several purposes of protecting the growing
fur-trade, controlling the Indian tribes, and lessening the
influence which British trading companies were believed to exert
upon them.[1] The movement gave rise to great expectations, for
interest in our Western territories was already keen; it was
confidently hoped that an era of rapid development was about to
open in the trans-Mississippi region, under government initiative
and protection.[2]

As originally planned, the scientific observations of the
expedition were to be conducted by a company of specialists under
the command of Major Long, to whom detailed instructions were
issued by Secretary of War Calhoun.[3] The military branch, under
Colonel Henry Atkinson,[4] was set in motion in the autumn of
1818, and a considerable body of troops passed the following
winter near the present site of Leavenworth, Kansas. In the spring
of 1819, however, defects in the plans began to hamper the
execution of the enterprise. Those were the early days of steam
navigation, and the waters of the Missouri had not yet been
stirred by paddle-wheels. Prudence counselled that the success of
the movement should not be staked on the behavior of steamboats in
untried waters. Nevertheless, the authorities decided against the
old-fashioned keel-boats recommended by Atkinson;[5] in arranging
for transportation, a further blunder was made in engaging a
contractor without competition or adequate securities. The service
proved entirely inefficient, and it was not until late in
September of 1819 that the troops were concentrated at Council
Bluffs, where, perforce, a halt was made for the winter.

The scientific members of the expedition had meanwhile assembled
at Pittsburg, and on May 5, 1819, they began the descent of the
Ohio in the steamer "Western Engineer."[6] Stephen Harriman Long,
the chief of this party, was born at Hopkinton, New Hampshire, in
1764. After being graduated at Dartmouth (1809), and teaching for
a few years, he entered the army (1814) as lieutenant in the corps
of engineers. Until 1816 he was assistant professor of mathematics
at West Point, being then transferred to the topographical
engineers, with the brevet rank of major. Previous to the
exploration which forms the subject of our text, he travelled
extensively in the South-west, between the Arkansas and Red
rivers, and his journals, although never published, ranked among
the most useful sources of information for that region. Major
Long's associates in the present undertaking were Major John
Biddle, journalist of the party; Dr. William Baldwin, physician
and botanist; Dr. Thomas Say, zoologist; Augustus Edward Jessup,
geologist; T. R. Peale, assistant naturalist; Samuel Seymour,
painter; and Lieutenant James D. Graham and Cadet William H.
Swift, assistant topographers.[7]

The "Western Engineer" arrived at St. Louis on the ninth of June,
and proceeded again on the twenty-first, after the party had
completed certain arrangements for their journey and examined the
Indian mounds in the vicinity. The voyage up the Missouri was
begun on the twenty-second, being marked by no more important
incident than an occasional halt to repair the machinery or clean
the boiler. Notwithstanding it drew but nineteen inches of water,
the boat grounded twice on sand-bars within four miles of the
Mississippi; but on the whole, it worked fairly well and gave
comparatively little annoyance. At St. Charles, on June 27, the
party was joined by Benjamin O'Fallon, agent for Indian affairs,
and John Dougherty, his interpreter. Here Messrs. Say, Jessup,
Peale, and Seymour left the boat and made a land excursion,
rejoining the party at Loutre Island. At Franklin, then the
uppermost town of any importance on the Missouri, a halt of
several days was made; here Dr. Baldwin, who had been ill since
the departure from Pittsburg, was left behind, his death occurring
on the thirty-first of August. From Franklin a party under Dr. Say
proceeded by land to Fort Osage, where they arrived on July 24, a
week in advance of the boat. On the sixth of August Dr. Say left
Fort Osage in command of a party bound for the principal village
of the Kansa Indians, then situated near the site of the present
village of Manhattan, Kansas. Arriving there on the twentieth,
they were hospitably entertained for four days; but after their
departure were set upon and robbed by a war party of Pawnee
braves, and consequently forced to abandon further progress by
land and return to the boat.

Meantime the steamer had left Fort Osage on August 10, and eight
days later arrived at Cow Island, near Leavenworth, where a
portion of the troops of the Yellowstone expedition had wintered.
Here another week was spent in a council with the Kansa Indians.
On the twenty-ninth of August, Say and his companions arrived at
Cow Island, four days after the departure of the boat; both Say
and Jessup were ill, and the party had decided to return to the
river at that point instead of attempting the longer journey to
Council Bluffs, the appointed rendezvous. The others succeeded in
overtaking the steamer, the invalids remaining for a time at Cow

Near the quarters of the troops at Council Bluffs (Camp Missouri),
Long's party also halted, on September 17, and prepared a winter
camp, named "Engineer Cantonment." Here Long left his companions,
and, accompanied by Jessup, returned to the East for the winter.
His colleagues at the cantonment pursued such studies as were
possible in the winter season, collecting much valuable
information relative to the neighboring tribes of Pawnee, Oto,
Iowa, Missouri, and Omaha Indians, and making short excursions
which gave them some knowledge of the geology and natural history
of the vicinity.

Long returned to the West in the spring of 1820. Leaving St. Louis
on April 24, he crossed the intervening wilderness to Council
Bluffs by land, arriving at Engineer Cantonment on May 28. With
him came Captain J. R. Bell, to replace Major Biddle, also the
author of the account herewith reprinted; the latter assumed the
duties which had originally been assigned to Baldwin and Jessup.
Edwin James was born at Weybridge, Vermont, in 1797, and after
graduation at Middlebury College (1816) pursued the study of
medicine under a brother, Daniel James, who was a practising
physician of Albany, New York. At the same time he prosecuted
studies in botany and geology under Dr. John Torrey and Professor
Amos Eaton, joining the expedition in 1820 fresh from the tutelage
of these men.

Long was also the bearer of fresh instructions. Congress, annoyed
at the first season's operations, the results of which had been
out of all proportion to the heavy expenditures, had refused
further appropriations, and the progress of the Yellowstone
expedition was necessarily arrested. Long's party, however, with
the exception of Lieutenant Graham, who with the steamboat was
assigned to special duty on the Missouri and Mississippi, was to
ascend the Platte to its source, and return to the Mississippi by
way of the Arkansas and the Red.

The company as now organized, in addition to the scientific
gentlemen already named, included Dougherty and four other men to
serve as interpreters, baggage handlers, and the like, and a
detachment of seven soldiers from the troops at Camp Missouri--a
total of twenty. Leaving the Missouri on June 6, the expedition
visited the Pawnee villages on Loup River, where two Frenchmen
were engaged as guides and interpreters. An effort was made to
introduce the process of vaccination among the Pawnee, who, in
common with other tribes, had suffered heavily from the ravages of
smallpox; but the vaccine having been thoroughly drenched by the
wreck of one of the keel-boats of the Yellowstone expedition, the
attempt was unsuccessful. After two days at the villages, progress
was resumed on the thirteenth, and from this time until the
mountains were reached, little was encountered to excite interest,
save herds of buffalo and the mirage. From near Grand Island the
company followed the north bank of the Platte, until they reached
the forks, where they crossed to the south bank of the South Fork.

On the thirtieth the Rockies were first sighted--their route along
the Platte having borne directly towards the mountain which has
since received Long's name, and which was, at first, mistaken for
Pike's Peak. The fourth of July, which they had hoped to celebrate
in the mountains, found them still at some distance from them; on
the fifth they encamped upon the site of the present city of
Denver, and the following day directly in front of the chasm
through which issues the South Platte. Here two days were passed
while James and Peale, with two companions, sought to cross the
first range and gain the valley of the Platte beyond; but after
surmounting several ridges, each of which appeared to be the
summit, only to find higher land beyond, the undertaking was
abandoned. They did reach, however, an elevated point from which
they could distinguish the two forks of the South Platte.

A few days later, members of the expedition performed a more
memorable exploit. On the twelfth of July, the camp then being
a few miles south of the site of Colorado Springs, James set
out with two men, and two days later succeeded in reaching the
summit of Pike's Peak, being, so far as history records, the
first to accomplish this feat. In honor of the achievement,
Major Long christened the mountain James's Peak; but by force
of local usage, the present name supplanted this appropriate
designation. Lieutenant Swift had meanwhile quite accurately
calculated the height of the peak above the basal plains, although
an erroneous estimate of the elevation of the latter produced an
error of nearly three thousand feet in the determination for the
elevation of the summit above sea level. Here, as elsewhere, the
observations for longitude and latitude involved a considerable

On the sixteenth the party again broke camp, and moved southwest
to the Arkansas, which they reached twelve or fifteen miles above
the present city of Pueblo. The following day Captain Bell, Dr.
James, and two of the men ascended the river to the site of Cañon
City, at the entrance of Royal Gorge, where they turned back,
again baffled by what seemed to them impassable barriers.

The expedition began the descent of the Arkansas on the
nineteenth. After two days' march a camp was made a few miles
above the future site of La Junta, Colorado; here a division
into two parties was effected, for the purpose of carrying out
the instructions of the War Department to explore the courses
of both the Arkansas and the Red. The division assigned to the
exploration of Red River, consisting of James, Peale, and seven
men, was commanded by Major Long himself, for this was one of the
principal objects of the expedition; the other division, charged
with the less important task of descending the Arkansas, the
entire course of which had already been examined by Pike and his
assistants, was led by Captain Bell.

Leaving the Arkansas on the twenty-fourth, Long's party crossed
Purgatory Creek and the upper waters of Cimarron River, and after
six days reached a small tributary of Canadian River, which, after
five days' still further travel, brought them to the latter near
the present Texas-New Mexico boundary line. As the region in which
they had encountered the waters of the Canadian was that wherein
the sources of the Red had, previous to that time, been
universally supposed to lie, they naturally at first believed that
they were upon the latter stream. Their suspicions were soon
aroused by the deviation of the river's course from that which
they expected the Red to pursue; but it was not until they arrived
at the confluence of this waterway with the Arkansas that they
became certain of their error. During their descent of the
Canadian they encountered parties of Kaskaia and Comanche Indians,
whose conduct was not uniformly friendly. Few incidents of
interest, however, broke the painful monotony of a journey
accompanied by almost constant suffering from exposure to violent
storms and intense heat, lack of food and water, and the attacks
of wood ticks. On the thirteenth of September the explorers
arrived at Fort Smith, the appointed rendezvous, where they found
Bell's party awaiting them.

The experience of the Arkansas division had, in most particulars,
been quite similar to that of Long's, but on the whole less
vexatious. The chief event, however, involved an irreparable loss
to the expedition. This was the desertion, on the night of the
thirtieth of August, of three soldiers, who wantonly took with
them all the manuscripts completed by Dr. Say and Lieutenant Swift
since leaving the Missouri. The stolen books contained notes on
the manners, habits, history, and languages of the Indians, and on
the animals which had been examined, a journal of the expedition,
and a mass of topographical data. During part of the journey,
Bell's party was even more astray than Long's. Soon after passing
the Great Bend of the Arkansas, they mistook the Nennescah River
for the Negracka, or Salt Fork of the Arkansas; similar errors
added to their bewilderment, and for some time they were unaware
whether they were near Fort Smith or still far distant--until, on
the first of September, they met friendly Osage Indians near
Verdigris River. They reached Fort Smith on the ninth.

From Fort Smith the reunited party followed the Arkansas to the
Cherokee towns on Illinois Creek, in Pope County, Arkansas, whence
they proceeded overland directly to Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
James and Swift, parting from their companions at the Cherokee
towns, visited the Arkansas Hot Springs, now a famous health
resort, and returning to the Arkansas at Little Rock, also crossed
the country to Cape Girardeau, where all members of the expedition
were assembled on October 12. Here nearly all of the party were
attacked by intermittent fever.

Two or three weeks later, the expedition being now disbanded,
Major Long and Captain Bell set out for Washington, leaving their
colleagues to act according to their own pleasure. About the first
of November, Messrs. Say, Seymour, and Peale departed by
steamboat, intending to return home by way of New Orleans. They
were accompanied by Lieutenant Graham, who, on completion of the
special duties assigned to him at Engineer Cantonment, had met the
exploring party at Cape Girardeau with the "Western Engineer."
Lieutenant Swift and Dr. James essayed to ascend the Ohio to
Louisville with the vessel; but at Golconda, Illinois, James
experienced a recurrence of fever, which for some time prevented
his proceeding farther, while Swift, leaving the boat at
Smithland, Kentucky, continued his journey on horseback.

James's _Account_ is the only narrative of the expedition, and his
connection with the party gives his work the authority of an
official report. Moreover, he not only had access to the notes of
his associates, but received much personal assistance, especially
from Long and Say. The original edition was published at
Philadelphia in 1823, by Carey and Lea; it consisted of two
volumes of 503 and 442 pages respectively, containing James's
narrative, with appendices giving a catalogue of animals observed
at Engineer Cantonment, the Indian sign language, Indian speeches
at the councils held by Major O'Fallon, astronomical and
meteorological records, and vocabularies of Indian languages,
especially those of the Oto, Kansa, Omaha, Sioux, Minitaree, and
Pawnee tribes. Extracts from Major Long's report to the secretary
of war, dated January 20, 1821, and from the report made by his
assistants to Long on the mineralogy and geology of the region
explored, were incorporated in the second volume. A third volume
contained the maps and plates, and the edition was provided with a
brief index and "Preliminary Notice."

The same year another edition was published in London, by Longman,
Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown. This edition, the one selected by us
for reprinting, was in three volumes, and contained the text
essentially as printed in the Philadelphia edition.[8] In the
arrangement of notes, however, a different plan was adopted; in
the Philadelphia issue, all annotation was given at the foot of
the appropriate pages, while in the London edition the notes for
each volume were grouped in the back of the book. In the present
reprint the former plan is followed. The Preliminary Notice found
in the Philadelphia edition was omitted from the London version,
but is supplied in the present reprint. The appendices giving
astronomical and meteorological data and Indian vocabularies,
which were omitted from the London edition, are also included in
our reprint. Finally, instead of the atlas which accompanied the
Philadelphia edition, selected illustrations, including a map of
the region explored, were incorporated with the text in the
various volumes of the London print.

In certain ways the results of the expedition were disappointing,
even to those persons whose expectations were far less extravagant
than the Missourian who had declared that "ten years shall not
pass away before we shall have the rich productions of [China]
transported from Canton to the Columbia, up that river to
the mountains, over the mountains and down the Missouri and
Mississippi, all the way (mountains and all), by the potent power
of steam." To this class, the report which the expedition made on
the trans-Mississippi country was far from encouraging. Said Major
Long in his final estimate: "In regard to this extensive section
of country, I do not hesitate in giving the opinion, that it is
almost wholly unfit for cultivation, and of course uninhabitable
by a people depending upon agriculture for their subsistence.
Although tracts of fertile land considerably extensive are
occasionally to be met with, yet the scarcity of wood and water,
almost uniformly prevalent, will prove an insuperable obstacle
in the way of settling the country. This objection rests not
only against the section immediately under consideration, but
applies with equal propriety to a much larger portion of the
country. . . . This region, however, viewed as a frontier, may
prove of infinite importance to the United States, inasmuch as
it is calculated to serve as a barrier to prevent too great an
extension of our population westward, and secure us against the
machinations or incursions of an enemy that might otherwise be
disposed to annoy us in that part of our frontier." In similar
vein is the comment of Dr. James: "We have little apprehension of
giving too unfavourable an account of this portion of the country.
Though the soil is in some places fertile, the want of timber,
of navigable streams, and of water for the necessities of life,
render it an unfit residence for any but a nomad population. The
traveller who shall at any time have traversed its desolate sands,
will, we think, join us in the wish that this region may for ever
remain the unmolested haunt of the native hunter, the bison, and
the jackall." Such a verdict was not welcomed by an expansive
people, eager to enter into and possess a land which imagination
pictured as suitable for the seat of an empire.

The teeming animal life of the great plains might have suggested
to Long and his associates its adaptability to the needs of man;
but for the occupation of the land without political peril, at
least two agencies were required, which were, in their day, hardly
more than dreams. We cannot blame the explorers for failing to
anticipate the marvels of the railroad and the irrigating ditch;
indeed, the repulse of the agricultural vanguard which attempted
the invasion of the plains west of the hundredth meridian only
half a generation ago, vindicates the prediction that the country
could not be possessed by methods then known. It may be doubted
whether their conservatism was not wiser than the confidence of
the more ardent expansionists; yet it is doubtless true that their
report, by depreciating the estimate of the value of the region,
put weapons into the hands of those Eastern men who cherished a
traditional jealousy of Westward expansion, and caused the
government rather to follow than to lead the movement.

Another apparent ground for criticism is the failure of the
expedition to accomplish either of the great objects mentioned in
the instructions--the discovery of the sources of the Platte and
of the Red. The readiness with which the explorers relinquished
their efforts to penetrate the mountains at the cañons of the
Platte and Arkansas, although the season was midsummer, seems to
indicate inefficiency as well as indifference to instructions.
Likewise, when the Canadian was reached and mistaken for the Red,
no effort was made to ascend the stream to its source; the
explorers were content to descend the river, leaving the exact
location of its head undetermined. Some excuse for this conduct is
afforded by the inadequacy of the equipment provided by Congress
for this enterprise. The federal government supplied six horses;
the remainder of the thirty-four were furnished by the members of
the party. "Our saddles and other articles of equipage," wrote
James, "were of the rudest kind, being, with a few exceptions,
such as we had purchased from the Indians, or constructed
ourselves;" and, he adds, that the "very inadequate outfit . . . was
the utmost our united means enabled us to furnish." Consequently,
the party was compelled to subsist largely upon the country
explored, and its movements were in no small degree dictated by
the fear of want. That many of the hardships experienced were due
to the slender outfit, is proved by the comparative comfort with
which later parties followed in their footsteps. Twenty-five years
afterwards, Colonel Abert, starting from Bent's Fort, on the upper
Arkansas, not many miles from the point where Long's forces had
divided, crossed the upland to the Canadian and descended to its
mouth, following essentially Long's route, and making the whole
journey in wagons, for which, save in a few places, a smooth
course was found. This party succeeded in finding sufficient water
at almost every camp, while the entire trip resembled more an
outing for pleasure than it did the harrowing journey of Major
Long. The route up the Canadian afterward became a much-used
pathway to New Mexico.[9]

When all allowances have been made, much carelessness is evident
in the explorations of the Long expedition. The bewilderment
of Bell's party was inexcusable in men of science possessing
instruments for determining latitude and longitude; their
geographical errors to some extent nullified their observations
of natural features. Cimarron River, the most important tributary
of the Arkansas next to the Canadian, they missed entirely, and
the relative size and location of the tributaries of the Arkansas
remained uncertain for years after. Upon beginning the descent
of the Arkansas they travelled two hundred miles without, so
far as James's _Account_ shows, making a note on geography or
topography; but possibly some allowance for this omission should
be made because of the theft of manuscripts by the deserters. Of
the itinerary of the expedition from the Platte to the Canadian,
it has been said, "It would be scarcely possible to find in
any narrative of Western history so careless an itinerary,
and in a scientific report like that of Dr. James it is quite
inexcusable."[10] To the account of the country traversed by
the expedition, James added information relative to portions of
Arkansas and Louisiana, much of which was already accessible to
the public through the reports and writings of Hunter and Dunbar,
Sibley, Darby, Stoddard, Schoolcraft, and others. However, this
portion of James's narrative also draws data from Major Long's
manuscript journals, not elsewhere available, and gives the
only account of the attempted exploration of Red River under
Captain Richard Sparks, based on the memoranda of members of the

After all criticisms have been urged to the utmost, the work of
the expedition was, and is, of considerable value. The exploration
of the Canadian River was an important contribution to American
geography. It was thenceforth evident that the sources of the
Red must be looked for farther south than had previously been
supposed, although a generation was to elapse before their
discovery. Otherwise, the exploration added greatly to the
knowledge of a portion of the country but imperfectly known
through hunters and traders. Especially is this true as regards
details relative to natural history and ethnology; for the work
was done in the spirit of modern scientific investigation, and in
this respect anticipated later expeditions, for which American
public sentiment in 1820 was hardly ripe. The collections included
more than sixty skins of new or rare animals, several thousand
insects, of which many hundreds were new, nearly five hundred
undescribed plants, mineral specimens, many new species of shells,
numerous fossils, a hundred and twenty-two animal sketches, and a
hundred and fifty landscape views. While not primarily designed as
a scientific report on these collections, James's _Account_ gives
in the form of notes[11] much of the more important information
derived from them. Perhaps no other portions of the work,
however equal in value those devoted to the aborigines; as an
authoritative source of knowledge of the sociology of the Kansa
and Omaha tribes, the _Account_ has no rival.

Soon after his return from the Rockies, Major Long was sent upon
another expedition, this time to the sources of the St. Peter's
(now Minnesota) River. This enterprise was contemplated by the
original instructions issued to Long at the time of the
Yellowstone project; but the subsequent abandonment of the latter
compelled alterations in the programme of the scientific division.
As in the case of the first journey, the report of the St. Peter's
exploration is the work of another person--William H. Keating,
author of _Long's Expedition to the Source of St. Peter's River,
Lake of the Woods, etc._ (Philadelphia, 2 vols., 1824).

For these several explorations, Long was breveted lieutenant-colonel.
In 1827 he assumed charge of the survey of the Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad, and for many years thereafter was much engaged in
railroad engineering. His _Railroad Manual_ (1829) was the first
original treatise on railroad building published in this country.
Upon the organization of the Topographical Engineers as a separate
corps (1838), he became a major; later (1861) he was made chief of
the corps, with the rank of colonel. He was retired from active
service in 1863, still being entrusted with important duties, which
were interrupted by his death, occurring at Alton, Illinois, the
following year.

After the publication of his account of Long's expedition, Dr.
James received an appointment as army surgeon, and was on the
frontier for six years, which he utilized in studying Indian
dialects; during this period he translated the New Testament into
the Chippewa tongue (1833), and published _The Narrative of John
Tanner_ (New York, 1830), the story of a child who had been
stolen by the Indians, and became a well-known interpreter.
Resigning his army post (1830), James became associate editor of
the _Temperance Herald and Journal_, at Albany; later (1834) he
removed to Iowa, and settled (1836) as an agriculturist near
Burlington, where he died in 1861.

In the preparation for the press of this reprint of James's
_Account_, the Editor has had throughout the assistance of Homer
C. Hockett, B.A., instructor in history in the University of
                                                  R. G. T.
  MADISON. WIS., March, 1905.


  [1] See statement of the objects of the expedition by Secretary
  Calhoun, in _American State Papers_, "Military Affairs," ii, p.

  [2] See quotations from contemporary sources in Chittenden,
  _American Fur Trade_, ii, p. 562 _et seq._ Chapter ii of that
  volume gives a good account of the Yellowstone expedition.

  [3] See Preliminary Notice to the Philadelphia edition (1823),
  which we supply in its proper place in the present reprint--it
  having been omitted from the London edition which we follow.

  [4] Henry Atkinson of North Carolina, became captain in the
  Third Infantry in 1808. His subsequent record, as given in
  Powell, _List of Officers of the U. S. Army_, is as follows:
  "Col. I. G. 25 April, 1813. Col. 4th Inf., 15 April, 1814.
  Trans. to 37th Inf., 22 April, 1814. Trans. to 6th Inf., 17 May,
  1815. Brig. Gen. 13 May, 1820. Col. A. G., 1 June, 1821 which he
  declined, and on 16 Aug., 1821, was assigned as Col. 6th Inf.
  Retained as Col., 21 Aug., with Bvt. rank of Brig. Gen., 13 May,
  1820. Died 14 June, 1842."

  [5] Atkinson had contrived a device similar to the paddle-wheel
  of a steamer, for propelling keel-boats, but operated by men. It
  was afterwards used successfully.

  [6] See the description of this boat given in note 145, _post_.

  [7] For biographical sketches see footnote 1 of text.

  [8] There are in the two editions differences in phraseology,
  and each contains a few paragraphs omitted from the other. As a
  rule these differences are of minor importance; where important,
  the footnotes to the reprint give both readings. The London
  edition contains a complete copy of Long's report in place of
  mere extracts.

  [9] The expedition was the most extensive which had been sent
  out by the government, up to that time; and, as the _North
  American Review_ remarked, was "in many respects much better
  qualified and fitted out than Lewis and Clark." Nevertheless,
  in commenting on the sentence in the Preliminary Notice, in
  which James explains the scarcity of means for the expedition
  as due to the state of the national finances, the same journal
  exclaims: "Detestable parsimony! The only country but one in
  the world, that has not been reduced to an avowed or virtual
  bankruptcy; the country, which has grown and is growing in
  wealth and prosperity beyond any other and beyond all other
  nations, too poor to pay a few gentlemen and soldiers for
  exploring its mighty rivers, and taking possession of the
  empires, which Providence has called it to govern!"

  [10] Chittenden, _American Fur Trade_, ii, p. 578.

  [11] We have, for convenience, signed James's name to
  all notes reprinted by us from the original issue; it should
  be understood, however, that several members of the party
  contributed these notes--some of them being indicated therein,
  and others not.


Preliminary Notice reprinted from Volume I of Philadelphia
edition, 1823. Text reprinted from Volume I of London edition,

  [Illustration: _Map of the Country_ drained by the

  [Illustration: Facsimile of title-page to Volume I of James's


    OF AN





    IN THE YEARS 1819, 1820.



    VOL. I.








  [From the Philadelphia edition, 1823]

In selecting from a large mass of notes and journals the materials
of the following volumes, our design has been to present a
compendious account of the labors of the Exploring Party, and of
such of their discoveries as were thought likely to gratify a
liberal curiosity. It was not deemed necessary to preserve
uniformity of style, at the expense of substituting the language
of a compiler for that of an original observer. Important
contributions of entire passages from Major Long and Mr. Say, will
be recognized in various parts of the work, though we have not
always been careful to indicate the place of their introduction.
Those gentlemen have indeed been constantly attentive to the work,
both to the preparation of the manuscript and its revision for the

In the following pages we hope to have contributed something
towards a more thorough acquaintance with the Aborigines of our
country. In other parts of our narrative where this interesting
topic could not be introduced, we have turned our attention
towards the phenomena of nature, to the varied and beautiful
productions of animal and vegetable life, and to the more
magnificent if less attractive features of the inorganic creation.

{2} If in this attempt we have failed to produce any thing to
amuse or instruct, the deficiency is in ourselves. The few minute
descriptions of animals and plants that were thought admissible,
have been placed as marginal notes, and we hope they will not be
the less acceptable to the scientific reader, for being given in
the order in which they occurred to our notice.

Descriptions of the greater number of the animals and plants
collected on the Expedition, remain to be given. These may be
expected to appear from time to time, either in periodical
journals or in some other form.

Not aspiring to be considered historians of the regions we
traversed, we only aimed at giving a sketch true at the moment of
our visit, and which, as far as it embraces the permanent features
of nature, will we trust, be corroborated by those who shall
follow our steps. Much remains to be done not only on the ground
we have occupied, but in those vast regions in the interior of our
continent, to which the foot of civilized man has never
penetrated. We cannot but hope, that the enlightened spirit which
has already evinced itself in directing a part of the energies of
the nation, towards the development of the physical resources of
our country, will be allowed still farther to operate; that the
time will arrive, when we shall no longer be indebted to the men
of foreign countries, for a knowledge of any of the products of
our own soil, or for our opinions in science.

We feel it a duty incumbent upon us, to acknowledge our
obligations to many distinguished individuals, both {3} military
and scientific, and particularly to several members of the
Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, for their prompt offers
of any aid in their power to contribute towards advancing the
objects of the expedition at its commencement. We are indebted
more especially to Professors James, Walsh, and Patterson, to
Dr. Dewees and Mr. Duponceau; each of whom furnished a number
of queries, and a list of objects, by which to direct our
observations. These we found eminently useful, and we regret to
state that, with many of our manuscripts they were inadvertently
mislaid, otherwise, they should have been published in this place,
for the information of future travellers.

An interesting communication from Messrs. Gordon and Wells, of
Smithland, Kentucky, was received after the first volume had gone
to press, consequently too late for insertion.

As a farther introduction to our narrative, we subjoin an extract
from the orders of the Honourable Secretary of War to Major Long,
exhibiting an outline of the plan and objects of the Expedition.

  "You will assume the command of the Expedition to explore the
  country between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains."

  "You will first explore the Missouri and its principal
  branches, and then, in succession, Red river, Arkansa and
  Mississippi, above the mouth of the Missouri."

  "The object of the Expedition, is to acquire as thorough and
  accurate knowledge as may be practicable, of a portion of our
  country, which is daily becoming {4} more interesting, but
  which is as yet imperfectly known. With this view, you will
  permit nothing worthy of notice, to escape your attention. You
  will ascertain the latitude and longitude of remarkable points
  with all possible precision. You will if practicable,
  ascertain some point in the 49th parallel of latitude, which
  separates our possessions from those of Great Britain. A
  knowledge of the extent of our limits will tend to prevent
  collision between our traders and theirs."

  "You will enter in your journal, every thing interesting in
  relation to soil, face of the country, water courses and
  productions, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral."

  "You will conciliate the Indians by kindness and presents, and
  will ascertain, as far as practicable, the number and
  character of the various tribes, with the extent of country
  claimed by each."

  "Great confidence is reposed in the acquirements and zeal of
  the citizens who will accompany the Expedition for scientific
  purposes, and a confident hope is entertained, that their
  duties will be performed in such a manner, as to add both to
  their own reputation and that of our country."

  "The Instructions of Mr. Jefferson to Capt. Lewis, which are
  printed in his travels, will afford you many valuable
  suggestions, of which as far as applicable, you will avail

It will be perceived that the travels and researches of the
Expedition, have been far less extensive than {5} those
contemplated in the foregoing orders:--the state of the national
finances, during the year 1821, having called for retrenchments in
all expenditures of a public nature,--the means necessary for the
farther prosecution of the objects of the Expedition, were
accordingly withheld.


  [PART I.]


  Departure from Pittsburgh--North-western slope of the
  Alleghany Mountains--Rapids of the Ohio.

Early in April, 1819, the several persons constituting the
exploring party had assembled at Pittsburgh. It had been our
intention to commence the descent of the Ohio, before the middle
of that month; but some unavoidable delays in the completion of
the steam boat, and in the preparations necessary for a long
voyage, prevented our departure until the first of May. On the
31st of March, the following instructions were issued by the
commanding officer, giving an outline of the services to be
performed by the party, and assigning to each individual[001] the
appropriate duties:--

  "Pursuant to orders from the Hon. Secretary of War, Major Long
  assumes the command of the expedition about to engage in
  exploring the Mississippi, Missouri, and their navigable
  tributaries, on board the United States' steam-boat, Western

  "The commanding officer will direct the movements and
  operations of the expedition, both in relation {2} to military
  and scientific pursuits. A strict observance of all orders,
  whether written or verbal, emanating from him, will be
  required of all connected with the expedition. The prime
  object of the expedition being a topographical description of
  the country to be explored, the commanding officer will avail
  himself of any assistance he may require of any persons on
  board to aid in taking the necessary observations. In this
  branch of duty, Lieutenant Graham and Cadet Swift will
  officiate as his immediate assistants.

  "The journal of the expedition will be kept by Major Biddle,
  whose duty it will be to record all transactions of the party
  that concern the objects of the expedition, to describe the
  manners and customs, &c. of the inhabitants of the country
  through which we may pass; to trace in a compendious manner
  the history of the towns, villages, and tribes of Indians we
  may visit; to review the writings of other travellers, and
  compare their statements with our own observations; and in
  general to record whatever may be of interest to the community
  in a civil point of view, not interfering with the records to
  be kept by the naturalists attached to the expedition.

  "Dr. Baldwin will act as botanist for the expedition. A
  description of all the products of vegetation, common or
  peculiar to the countries we may traverse, will be required of
  him, also the diseases prevailing among the inhabitants,
  whether civilized or savages, and their probable causes, will
  be subjects for his investigation; any variety in the anatomy
  of the human frame, or any other phenomena observable in our
  species, will be particularly noted by him. Dr. Baldwin will
  also officiate as physician and surgeon for the expedition.

  "Mr. Say will examine and describe any objects in zoology, and
  its several branches, that may come under our observation. A
  classification of all land and water animals, insects, &c. and
  a particular description {3} of the animal remains found in a
  concrete state will be required of him.

  "Geology, so far as it relates to earths, minerals, and
  fossils, distinguishing the primitive, transition, secondary,
  and alluvial formations and deposits, will afford subjects of
  investigation for Mr. Jessup. In this science, as also in
  botany and zoology, facts will be required without regard to
  the theories or hypotheses that have been advanced on numerous
  occasions by men of science.

  "Mr. Peale will officiate as assistant naturalist. In the
  several departments above enumerated, his services will be
  required in collecting specimens suitable to be preserved, in
  drafting and delineating them, in preserving the skins, &c. of
  animals, and in sketching the stratifications of rocks,
  earths, &c. as presented on the declivities of precipices.

  "Mr. Seymour, as painter for the expedition, will furnish
  sketches of landscapes, whenever we meet with any distinguished
  for their beauty and grandeur. He will also paint miniature
  likenesses, or portraits, if required, of distinguished Indians,
  and exhibit groups of savages engaged in celebrating their
  festivals, or sitting in council, and in general illustrate any
  subject, that may be deemed appropriate in his art.

  "Lieutenant Graham and Cadet Swift, in addition to the duties
  they may perform in the capacity of assistant topographers,
  will attend to drilling the boat's crew, in the exercise of
  the musket, the field-piece, and the sabre.

  "Their duties will be assigned them, from time to time, by the
  commanding officer.

  "All records kept on board the steam-boat, all subjects of
  natural history, geology, and botany, all drawings, as also
  journals of every kind relating to the expedition, will at all
  times be subject to the inspection of the commanding officer,
  and at the conclusion of each trip or voyage, will be placed
  at his disposal, as agent for the United States' government.

  {4} "Orders will be given, from time to time, whenever the
  commanding officer may deem them expedient.

                          "S. H. LONG, _Major U. S. Engineers,
                                 commanding Expedition_."

On the 3d of May we left the arsenal,[002] where the boat had been
built, and after exchanging a salute of twenty-two guns, began to
descend the Alleghany, towards Pittsburgh. Great numbers of
spectators lined the banks of the river, and their acclamations
were occasionally noticed by the discharge of ordnance on board
the boat. The important duties assigned the expedition rendered
its departure a subject of interest, and some peculiarities in the
structure of the boat attracted attention.

We were furnished with an adequate supply of arms and ammunition,
and a collection of books and instruments.

On Wednesday the 5th of May, having completed some alterations,
which it appeared necessary to make in our engine, and received on
board all our stores, we left Pittsburgh and proceeded on our
voyage. All the gentlemen of the party, except Dr. Baldwin, were
in good health, and entered upon this enterprise in good spirits
and with high expectations. Fourteen miles below Pittsburgh, we
passed a steam-boat lying aground; we received and returned their
salute, as is customary with the merchants' boats on the Ohio and

At evening we heard the cry of the whip-poor-will;[003] and among
other birds saw the pelecanus carbo, several turkey vultures, and
the tell-tale sand-piper. The spring was now rapidly advancing,
the dense forests of the Ohio bottoms were unfolding their
luxuriant foliage, and the scattered plantations assuming the
cheering aspect of summer.

{5} A few weeks' residence at and near Pittsburgh, and several
journies across the Alleghany mountains, in different parts, have
afforded us the opportunity of collecting a few observations
relative to that important section of country, which contains the
sources of the Ohio.

In the Alleghany river we found several of those little animals,
which have been described as a species of Proteus, but which to us
appear more properly to belong to the genus Triton.[004]

The north-western slope of that range of mountains, known
collectively as the Alleghanies, has a moderate inclination
towards the bed of the Ohio, and the St. Lawrence, which run
nearly in opposite directions along its base. This mountain
chain extends uninterrupted along the Atlantic coast, from the
Gulf of St. Lawrence south-west to the great alluvial formation
of the Mississippi. It crosses the St. Lawrence at the rapids
above Quebec, and has been supposed to be connected as a spur
to a group of primitive mountains occupying a large portion of
the interior of the continent, north of the great Lakes.[005] An
inspection of any of the late maps of North America, will show
that this range holds the second place among the mountain chains
of this continent. All our rivers of the first magnitude have
their sources, either in the Rocky Mountains, or in elevated
spurs, projecting from the sides of that range. The largest of
the rivers, flowing from the Alleghanies, is the Ohio; and even
this, running almost parallel to the range, and receiving as
many, and, with a few exceptions, as large rivers from the north
as from the south, seems in a great measure independent of it.
From the most elevated part of the continent, at the sources
of the Platte, and Yellow Stone, branches of the Missouri, the
descent towards the Atlantic is at least {6} twice obstructed by
ranges of hills nearly parallel, in direction, to each other.
Erroneous impressions have heretofore prevailed respecting the
character of that part of the country called the Mississippi
Valley. If we consider attentively that extensive portion of our
continent, drained by the Mississippi, we shall find it naturally
divided into two nearly equal sections. This division is made by
a range of hilly country, to be hereafter particularly described,
running from near the north-western angle of the Gulf of Mexico
north-eastwardly to Lake Superior. Eastward, from this range,
to the summit of the Alleghanies, extends a country of forests,
having usually a deep and fertile soil, reposing upon extensive
strata of argillaceous sandstone, compact limestone, and other
secondary rocks. Though these rocks extend almost to the highest
summits of the Alleghanies, and retain even there the horizontal
position which they have in the plains, the region they underlay
is not to be considered as forming a district of table lands.
On the contrary, its surface is varied by deep vallies and
lofty hills; and there are extensive tracts elevated probably
not less than eight hundred feet above the Atlantic ocean. The
north-western slope of the Alleghany mountains, though more
gradual than the south-eastern, is, like it, divided by deep
vallies, parallel to the general direction of the range. In these
vallies, many of the rivers, which derive their sources from
the interior and most elevated hills of the group, pursue their
courses for many miles, descending either towards the south-west,
or the north-east, until they at length acquire sufficient force
to break through the opposing ridges, whence they afterward pursue
a more direct course. As instances, we may mention the Monongahela
river, which runs nearly parallel, but in an opposite direction,
to the Ohio; the great Kenhawa, whose course above the falls forms
an acute angle with the part below; also the Cumberland, and
Tennessee, which run a {7} long distance parallel to each other,
and to the Ohio. This fact seems to justify the inference, that
some other agent than the rivers has been active in the production
of the vallies between the subordinate ridges of the Alleghany.
There appears some reason to believe that the rocky hills, along
the immediate course of the Ohio and the larger western rivers,
have received, at least, their present form from the operation of
streams of water. They do not, like the accessory ridges of the
Alleghany, form high and continuous chains, apparently influencing
the direction of rivers, but present groups of conic eminences
separated by water-worn vallies, and having a sort of symmetric
arrangement. The structure of these hills does not so much differ
from that of the Alleghany mountains, as their form and position.
The long chains of hills, which form the ascent to the Alleghany,
on the western side, are based either on metalliferous limestone,
or some of the inclined rocks belonging to the transition
formation of Werner, and have their summits capped with the
more recent secondary aggregates in strata without inclination,
and greatly resembling those found in the plains west of the
Ohio. It is not easy to conceive how these horizontal strata,
unless originally continuous, should appear so similar at equal
elevations in different hills, and hills separated by vallies of
several miles in width. If that convulsion which produced the
inclination of the strata, of the metalliferous limestone, the
clay-slate, and the gray wacke, happened before the deposition
of the compact limestone, and the argillaceous sandstones, why
are not these later aggregates found principally in the vallies,
where their integrant particles would be supposed most readily to
have accumulated? On the other hand, if the secondary rocks had
been deposited previous to that supposed change, how have their
stratifications retained the original horizontal {8} position,
while that of the transition strata has been changed?

Most of the rivers which descend from the western side of the
Alleghany mountains are of inconsiderable magnitude, and by
no means remarkable, on account of the straightness of their
course, or the rapidity of their currents. The maps accompanying
this work, will, in the most satisfactory manner, illustrate the
great contrast in this respect, between the district now under
consideration and the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains.
The Tennessee, the Cumberland, the Kentucky, the Kenhawa and
Alleghany rivers, though traversed in their courses by rocky
dikes, sometimes compressing their beds into a narrow compass,
occasioning rapids, and in other instances causing perpendicular
falls, yet compared to the Platte, and the western tributaries
of the Missouri generally, can be considered neither shoal nor
rapid. Their immediate banks are permanent, often rocky, and
the sloping beach covered with trees or shrubs, and the water,
except in time of high floods, nearly transparent. The waters of
the Ohio, and its tributaries, and perhaps of most other rivers,
when they do not suspend such quantities of earthy matter as to
destroy their transparency, reflect, from beneath their surface,
a greenish colour. This colour has been thought to be, in some
instances, occasioned by minute confervas, or other floating
plants, or to result from the decomposition of decaying vegetable
matter. That it depends on neither of these causes, however, is
sufficiently manifest, for when seen by transmitted light, the
green waters are usually transparent and colourless. Some rivers
of Switzerland, and some of South America, which descend from
lofty primitive mountains, consisting of rocks of the most flinty
and indestructible composition, covered with perpetual snows,
and almost destitute of organic beings, or exuviæ, either animal
or {9} vegetable, and whose waters have a temperature, even in
summer, raised but a few degrees above the freezing point, which
circumstance, together with the rapidity of their currents,
render them unfit for the abode of vegetable life, and is
incompatible with the existence of putrefaction, notwithstanding
the transparency of their waters, and the reddish, or yellowish
colour of the rocks which pave their beds, have a tinge of green,
like the Ohio and Cumberland, at times of low water. It is well
known that the water of the ocean, though more transparent than
any other, is usually green near the shores; and on soundings,
while at main ocean, its colour is blue. Perhaps the power which
transparent waters have of decomposing the solar light, and
reflecting principally the green rays, may have some dependence
upon the depth of the stratum. If this were the case, we might
expect all rivers, equally transparent and of equal depth, to
reflect similar colours, which is not always the case.

In the southern part of Pennsylvania, the range called particularly
the Alleghany ridge, is near the centre, and is most elevated of
the group. Its summit divides the waters of the Susquehannah on the
east from those of the Ohio on the west.

This mountain consists principally of argillite and the several
varieties of grey wacke, grey wacke slate, and the other
aggregates, which in transition formations usually intervene
between the metalliferous limestone and the inclined sandstone.
The strata have less inclination than in the Cove, Sideling, and
South mountains, and other ridges east of the Alleghany. The
summit is broad, and covered with heavy forests. Something of the
fertility of the Mississippi valley seems to extend, in this
direction, to the utmost limits of the secondary formation. The
western descent of the Alleghany ridge is more gradual than the
eastern, and the inclination of the strata in some measure
reversed. It is proper to remark, that, {10} throughout this group
of mountains, much irregularity prevails in the direction as well
as of the dip and inclination of strata. If any remark is
generally applicable, it is, perhaps, that the inclination of the
rocks is towards the most elevated summits in the vicinity.

Laurel ridge, the next in succession, is separated from the
Alleghany by a wide valley. Its geological features are, in
general, similar to those of the eastern ranges; but about its
summit, the sandstones of the coal formation begin to appear
alternating with narrow beds of bituminous clay-slate. Near the
summit of this ridge, coal beds have been explored, and, at the
time of our visit, coals were sold at the pits for ten cents per
bushel. In actual elevation, the coal strata at the summit of
Laurel-hill, fall but little below the summits of the Alleghany.
Thus, in traversing from east to west the state of Pennsylvania,
there is a constant but gradual ascent from the gneiss at
Philadelphia, the several rocky strata occurring one above
another, in the inverse order of their respective ages, the points
most elevated being occupied by rocks of recent origin, abounding
in the remains of animal and vegetable life.

Near the summit of this ridge some change is observed in the
aspect of the forest. The deep umbrageous hue of the hemlock
spruce, the Weymouth pine, and other trees of the family of
the coniferæ, is exchanged for the livelier verdure of the
broad-leaved laurel, the rhododendron, and the magnolia acuminata.

Chesnut ridge, the last of those accessary to the Alleghany on the
west, deserving the name of a mountain, is somewhat more abrupt
and precipitous, than those before mentioned. This ridge is
divided transversely by the bed of the Loyalhanna, a rapid, but
beautiful stream, along which the turnpike is built. Few spots in
the wild and mountainous regions {11} of the Alleghanies, have a
more grand and majestic scenery than this chasm. The sides and
summits of the two overhanging mountains, were, at the time of our
journey, brown, and to appearance almost naked; the few trees
which inhabit them being deciduous, while the laurels and rosebays
gave the deep and narrow vallies the luxuriant verdure of spring.

The Monongahela rises in Virginia, in the Laurel ridge, and
running northward, receives in Pennsylvania the Yohogany, whose
sources are in the Alleghany mountain, opposite those of the
Potomac. This river, like most of those descending westward from
the Alleghany, has falls and rapids at the points where it
intersects Laurel-hill, and some of the smaller ranges. Along the
fertile bottoms of the Alleghany river, we begin to discover
traces of those ancient works so common in the lower parts of the
Mississippi valley, the only remaining vestiges of a people once
numerous and powerful, of whom time has destroyed every other
record. These colossal monuments, whatever may have been the
design of their erection, have long since outlived the memory of
those who raised them, and will remain for ages affecting
witnesses of the instability of national, as well as individual
greatness; and of the futility of those efforts, by which man
endeavours to attach his name and his memorial to the most
permanent and indestructible forms of inorganic matter.

In the deep vallies west of the Alleghany, and even west of the
Laurel ridge, the metalliferous limestone, which appears to be the
substratum of this whole group of mountains, is again laid bare.
In this part of the range, we have not observed those frequent
alternations of clay-slate with this limestone, which have been
noticed by Mr. Eaton and others in New England.[006] In its
inclination, and in most particulars {12} of external character, it
is remarkably similar to the mountain limestone of Vermont, and the
western counties of Massachusetts. Many portions of the interior
of the state of Pennsylvania have a basis of this limestone. When
not overlaid by clay-slate, and particularly when not in connexion
with sandstone, the soils resting on the transition limestone are
found peculiarly fertile and valuable, having usually a favourable
disposition of surface for agricultural purposes, and abounding
with excellent water.

The transition limestone is not, however, of frequent occurrence
westward of the Alleghany ridge. It appears only in the
vallies,[007] and is succeeded by clay-slate and the old sandstone
lying almost horizontally. The coal, with the accompanying strata
of argillaceous sandstone and shale, are, as far as we have seen,
entirely horizontal.

The country westward from the base of the Chesnut ridge has an
undulating surface. The hills are broad, and terminated by a
rounded outline, and the landscape, presenting a grateful variety
of fields and forests, is often beautiful, particularly when, from
some elevation, the view overlooks a great extent of country, and
the blue summits of the distant mountains are added to the

Pittsburgh has been so often described, the advantages and
disadvantages of its situation, and the gloomy repulsiveness of
its appearance, have been so often and so justly portrayed, that
we should not think ourselves well employed in recounting our own
observations. The Alleghany and the Monongahela at Pittsburgh,
where they unite to form the Ohio, are nearly equal in magnitude;
the former, however, on account of the rapidity of its current,
and the transparency of its waters, is a far more beautiful river
than the latter. Its sources are distributed along the margin of
Lake Erie, and a portage, of only fifteen miles, connects its
navigation with that of the St. Lawrence.

{13} About the sources of the Alleghany are extensive forests of
pine, whence are drawn great supplies of lumber for the country
below as far as New Orleans. On French Creek, and other tributary
streams, are large bodies of low and rather fertile lands, closely
covered with forests, where the great Weymouth pine, and the
hemlock spruce, are intermixed with beech, birch, and the sugar
maple. The great white or Weymouth pine, is one of the most
beautiful of the North American species. Its trunk often attains
the diameter of five or six feet, rising smooth and straight from
sixty to eighty feet, and terminated by a dense conical top. This
tree, though not exclusively confined to the northern parts of our
continent, attains there its greatest magnitude and perfection. It
forms a striking feature in the forest scenery of Vermont, New
Hampshire, and some parts of Canada, and New York; rising by
nearly half its elevation above the summits of the other trees,
and resembling, like the palms of the tropics, so beautifully
described by M. De Saint Pierre, and M. De Humboldt, "a forest
planted upon another forest."[008] The sighing of the wind in the
tops of these trees, resembles the scarce audible murmurings of a
distant waterfall, and adds greatly to the impression of solemnity
produced by the gloom and silence of the pine forest. In the
southern parts of the Alleghany mountains, pines are less
frequent, and in the central portions of the valley of the
Mississippi, they are extremely rare.

The coal formation, containing the beds which have long been
wrought near Pittsburgh, appears to be of great extent; but we are
unable particularly to point out its limits towards the north and
east.[009] One hundred miles above Pittsburgh, near the Alleghany
river, is a spring, on the surface of {14} whose waters are found
such quantities of a bituminous oil, that a person may gather
several gallons in a day. This spring is most probably connected
with coal strata, as are numerous similar ones in Ohio, Kentucky,
&c.[010] Indeed, it appears reasonable to believe that the coal
strata are continued along the western slope of the Alleghanies
with little interruption, at least as far northward as the brine
springs of Onondago. Of all the saline springs belonging to this
formation, and whose waters are used for the manufacture of salt,
the most important are those of the Kenhawa, a river of Virginia.
Others occur in that country of ancient monuments, about Paint
Creek, between the Sciota and the Muskinghum, near the Silver
Creek hills in Illinois; and indeed in almost all the country
contiguous to the Ohio river. Wherever we have had the opportunity
of observing these brine springs, we have usually found them in
connexion with an argillaceous sandstone, bearing impressions of
phytolytes, culmaria, and those tessellated zoophytes, so common
about many coal beds.[011] It appeared to us worthy of remark, that
in many places, where explorations have been made for salt water,
and where perpendicular shafts have been carried to the depth of
from two to four hundred feet, the water, when found, rises with
sufficient force to elevate itself several feet above the surface
of the earth. This effect appears to be produced by the pressure
of an aërial fluid, existing in connexion with the water, in those
cavities beneath the strata of sandstone, where the latter is
confined, or escaping from combination with it, as soon as the
requisite enlargement is given, by perforating the superincumbent
strata. We have had no opportunity of examining attentively the
gaseous substances which escape from the brine pits, but from
their sensible properties we are induced to suppose, that carbonic
acid, and carburetted hydrogen, are among those of most frequent

{15} The little village of Olean,[013] on the Alleghany river, has
been for many years a point of embarkation, where great numbers of
families, migrating from the northern and eastern states, have
exchanged their various methods, of slow and laborious progression
by land, for the more convenient one of the navigation of the
Ohio. From Olean downward, the Alleghany and Ohio bear along with
their currents fleets of rude arks laden with cattle, horses,
household furniture, agricultural implements, and numerous
families having all their possessions embarked on the same bottom,
and floating onward toward that imaginary region of happiness and
contentment, which, like the "town of the brave and generous
spirits," the expected heaven of the aboriginal American, lies
always "beyond the place where the sun goes down."

This method of transportation, though sometimes speedy and
convenient, is attended with uncertainty and danger. A moderate
wind blowing up the river, produces such swells in some parts of
the Ohio, as to endanger the safety of the ark; and these heavy
unmanageable vessels are with difficulty so guided in their
descent, as to avoid the _planters_, sunken logs, and other
concealed obstructions to the navigation of the Ohio. We have
known many instances of boats of this kind so suddenly sunk, as
only to afford time for the escape of the persons on board.

On the 6th we arrived at Wheeling,[014] a small town of Virginia,
situate on a narrow margin along the bank of the Ohio, at the base
of a high cliff of sandstone. Here the great national road from
Cumberland comes in conjunction with that of Zanesville, Columbus,
and Cincinnati. The town of Cumberland, from which this great
national work has received the appellation of the Cumberland road,
lies on the north side of the Potomac, one hundred and forty miles
E. by S. from Wheeling. The road between these two points was
constructed by the government {16} of the United States, at a cost
of one million eight hundred thousand dollars.[015] The bridges and
other works of masonry, on the western portion of this road, are
built of a compact argillaceous sandstone, of a light gray or
yellowish white colour, less durable than the stone used in the
middle and eastern sections, which is the blue metalliferous
limestone, one of the most beautiful and imperishable among the
materials for building which our country affords. A few miles from
Wheeling, a small but beautiful bridge, forming a part of this
road, is ornamented with a statue of that distinguished statesman,
Mr. Clay; erected, as we were informed, by a gentleman who resides
in that neighbourhood.

In an excursion on shore, near the little village of Charleston,
[016] in Virginia, we met with many plants common to the eastern
side of the Alleghanies; beside the delicate sison bulbosum, whose
fruit was now nearly ripened. In shady situations we found the
rocks, and even the trunks of trees to some little distance from
the ground, closely covered with the sedum ternatum, with white
flowers fully unfolded. The cercis canadensis, and the cornus
florida, were now expanding their flowers, and in some places
occurred so frequently, as to impart their lively colouring to the
landscape. In their walks on shore, the gentlemen of the party
collected great numbers of the early-flowering herbaceous plants,
common to various parts of the United States.[017] An enumeration
of a few of the species most commonly known, with the dates of
their flowering, is given in the note.

The scenery of the banks of the Ohio, for two or three hundred
miles below Pittsburgh, is eminently beautiful, but is deficient
in grandeur and variety. The hills usually approach on both sides
nearly to the brink of the river; they have a rounded and graceful
form, and are so grouped as to produce a pleasing effect. Broad
and gentle swells of two or three hundred feet, covered with the
verdure of the almost unbroken {17} forest, embosom a calm and
majestic river; from whose unruffled surface, the broad outline of
the hills is reflected with a distinctness equal to that with
which it is imprinted upon the azure vault of the sky. In a few
instances near the summits of the hills, the forest trees become
so scattered, as to disclose here and there a rude mass, or a
perpendicular precipice of gray sandstone, or compact limestone,
the prevailing rocks in all this region. The hills are, however,
usually covered with soil on all sides, except that looking
towards the river, and in most instances are susceptible of
cultivation to their summits. These hilly lands are found capable
of yielding, by ordinary methods of culture, about fifty bushels
of maize per acre. They were originally covered with dense and
uninterrupted forests, in which the beech trees were those of most
frequent occurrence. These forests are now disappearing before the
industry of man; and the rapid increase of population and wealth,
which a few years have produced, speaks loudly in favour of the
healthfulness of the climate, and of the internal resources of the
country. The difficulty of establishing an indisputable title to
lands, has been a cause operating hitherto to retard the progress
of settlement, in some of the most fertile parts of the country of
the Ohio; and the inconveniences resulting from this source still
continue to be felt.

On the 7th, we passed the mouth of the Kenhawa, and the little
village of Point Pleasant. The spot now occupied by this village
is rendered memorable, on account of the recollections connected
with one of the most affecting incidents in the history of the
aboriginal population. It was here that a battle was fought, in
the autumn of 1774, between the collected forces of the Shawanees,
Mingoes, and Delawares on one side, and a detachment of the
Virginia militia, on the other. In this battle, Logan, _the friend
of the whites_, avenged himself in a signal manner of the injuries
of one man, by whom all his women {18} and children had been
murdered. Notwithstanding his intrepid conduct, the Indians were
defeated, and sued for peace; but Logan disdained to be seen among
the suppliants. He would not turn on his heel to save his life.
"For my country," said he, "I rejoice in the beams of peace; but,
do not harbour a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never
felt fear. Who is there to mourn for Logan! Not one." This story
is eloquently related by Mr. Jefferson, in his "Notes on
Virginia," and is familiar to the recollection of all who have
read that valuable work.[018]

In the afternoon of the 8th, we encountered a tremendous
thunder-storm, in which our boat, in spite of all the exertions we
were able to make, was driven on shore; but we fortunately escaped
with little injury, losing only our flag-staff with the lantern
attached to it, and some other articles of little importance. On
the following day we passed Maysville,[019] a small town of
Kentucky. On our return to Philadelphia, in 1821, we were delayed
some time at this place; and taking advantage of the opportunity
thus afforded, we made an excursion into that beautiful
agricultural district, south-east of Maysville, about the large
village of Washington.[020] The uplands here are extremely fertile,
and in an advanced state of cultivation. The disposition of the
surface resembles that in the most moderately hilly parts of
Pennsylvania; and to the same graceful undulation of the
landscape, the same pleasing alternation of cultivated fields,
with dense and umbrageous forests, is added an aspect of
luxuriant fertility, surpassing any thing we have seen eastward of
the Alleghanies. Having prolonged our walk many miles, we entered
after sunset a tall grove of elms and hickories; towards which we
were attracted by some unusual sounds. Directed by these, we at
length reached an open quadrangular area of several acres, where
the forest had been in part cleared away, and much grass had
sprung up. Here we found several hundreds of people, part sitting
{19} in tents and booths, regularly arranged around the area, and
lighted with lamps, candles, and fires; part assembled about an
elevated station, listening to religious exhortations. The night
had now become dark, and the heavy gloom of the forest, rendered
more conspicuous by the feeble light of the encampment, together
with the apparent solemnity of the great numbers of people,
assembled for religious worship, made considerable impression on
our feelings.

On the 9th May, we arrived at Cincinnati.[021] Since our departure
from Pittsburgh, Dr. Baldwin's illness had increased, and he had
now become so unwell, that some delay appeared necessary on his
account; as we wished also for an opportunity of making some
repairs and alterations in the machinery of the boat, it was
resolved to remain at Cincinnati some days. Dr. Baldwin was
accordingly moved on shore, to the house of Mr. Glen, and Dr.
Drake was requested to attend him. Cincinnati is the largest town
on the Ohio. It is on the north bank of the river, and the ground
on which it stands is elevated, rising gradually from the water's

Compact limestone appears here, in the bed of the Ohio, and
extends some distance in all directions. This limestone has been
used in paving the streets, for which purpose its tabular
fragments are placed on edge, as bricks are sometimes used in
flagging. The formation of limestone, to which this rock belongs,
is one of great extent, occupying a large part of the country from
the shores of Lake Erie, to the southern boundary of the state of
Tennessee.[023] It appears, however, to be occasionally
interrupted, or overlaid by fields of sandstone. It abounds in
casts, and {20} impressions of marine animals. An orthocerite, in
the museum of the college[024] at Cincinnati, measures near three
feet in length. Very large specimens of what has been considered
lignite, have also been discovered and parts of them deposited in
that collection. We saw here no remains of ammonites. Numerous
other species appear to be similar to those found in the limestone
of the Catskill and Hellebergh mountains.

The soil, which overlays the limestone of Cincinnati, is a deep
argillaceous loam, intermixed with much animal and vegetable
matter. Vegetation is here luxuriant; and many plants unknown
eastward of the Alleghany mountains, were constantly presenting
themselves to our notice. Two species of æsculus are common. One
of these has a nut as large as that of the Æ. hippocastanum, of
the Mediterranean, the common horse-chesnut of the gardens.

These nuts are round, and after a little exposure become
black, except in that part which originally formed the point
of attachment to the receptacle, which is an oblong spot
three-fourths of an inch in diameter; the whole bearing some
resemblance to the eyeball of a deer, or other animal. Hence the
name _buck-eye_, which is applied to the tree. The several species
of æsculus are confined principally to the western states and
territories. In allusion to this circumstance, the indigenous
backwoodsman is sometimes called buck-eye, in distinction from
the numerous emigrants who are introducing themselves from the
eastern states. The opprobrious name of Yankee is applied to
these last, who do not always stand high in the estimation of the
natives of the south and west. Few of these sectional prejudices
are, however, to be discovered in Ohio, the greater part of the
population here having been derived from New England. Cincinnati,
which in 1810, contained 2500 inhabitants, is now said to number
about 12,000.[025] Its plan is regular, and most of the buildings
are of {21} brick. The dwellings are neat and capacious, and
sometimes elegant.

The site of the town was heretofore an aboriginal station, as
appears from the numerous remains of ancient works still visible.
We forbear to give any account of these interesting monuments, as
they have already been repeatedly described.[026]

On Tuesday, the 18th, the weather becoming clear and pleasant, Dr.
Baldwin thought himself sufficiently recovered to proceed on the
voyage; accordingly, having assisted him on board the boat, we
left Cincinnati at ten o'clock.

During our stay at that place, we had been gratified by the
hospitable attentions of the inhabitants of the town. Mr. Glen was
unremitting in his exertions to promote the recovery of Dr.
Baldwin's health; to him, as well as to Dr. Drake, and several
other gentlemen of Cincinnati, all the members of our party were
indebted for many friendly attentions.

Below Cincinnati the scenery of the Ohio becomes more monotonous
than above. The hills recede from the river, and are less elevated.
Heavy forests cover the banks on either side, and intercept
the view from all distant objects. This is, however, somewhat
compensated by the magnificence of the forests themselves. Here the
majestic platanus attains its greatest dimensions, and the snowy
whiteness of its branches is advantageously contrasted with the
deep verdure of the cotton-wood, and other trees which occur in the
low grounds.

The occidental plane tree is, perhaps, the grandest of the
American forest trees, and little inferior, in any respect, to the
boasted plane tree of the Levant. The platanus orientalis attains,
in its native forests, a diameter of from ten to sixteen feet. An
American plane tree, which we measured, on the bank of the Ohio,
between Cincinnati and the rapids at Louisville, was fourteen feet
in diameter. One which stood, some years since, near the village
of {22} Marietta, was found, by M. Michaux, to measure 15-7/10 ft.
in diameter, at twenty feet from the ground.[027] They often rise
to an elevation of one hundred and fifty feet. The branches are
very large and numerous, forming a spreading top, densely covered
with foliage. Many of those trees, which attain the greatest size,
are decayed in the interior of the trunk, long after the annual
increase continues to be added at the exterior circumference. The
growth of the American plane tree does not appear to be very
rapid. It was remarked by Humboldt, that in the hot and damp lands
of North America, between the Mississippi and the Alleghany
mountains, the growth of trees is about one-fifth more rapid than
in Europe, taking for examples the platanus occidentalis, the
liriodendron tulipifera, and the cupressus disticha, all of which
reach from nine to fifteen feet in diameter. It is his opinion
that the growth in these trees does not exceed a foot in diameter
in ten years.[028] As far as our observation has enabled us to
judge, this estimate rather exceeds than falls short of the truth.
This growth is greatly exceeded in rapidity by the baobab, and
other trees in the tropical parts of America; also by the gigantic
adansonia of the eastern continent,[029] and equalled, perhaps, by
several trees in our own climate, whose duration is less extended
than that of those above mentioned.[030]

The sycamore, or occidental plane tree, has been cultivated for
more than one hundred and eighty years in England, yet it does not
appear to have become entirely naturalized there, as we are
informed by President Smith,[031] that great numbers were killed by
the severe frost of the winters of 1810-11. In America this tree
is very widely distributed, and {23} extends northward beyond the
forty-fifth degree of north latitude. In the fertile alluvial
lands of Otter Creek, and other rivers which discharge into Lake
Champlain, the sycamore attains more than one-half the magnitude
which it is seen to reach in the most prolific portions of the
Mississippi valley; it appears, therefore, that some other cause
than the frigidity of the climate, must have occasioned the
destruction of the plane trees in England, since it is well known
that the winters of Vermont and Lower Canada far surpass in
severity those of the island of Great Britain.

The fruit of the sycamore is the favourite food of the paroquet,
and large flocks of these gaily-plumed birds constantly enliven
the gloomy forests of the Ohio.

During the night of the 18th, the weather being clear, we
continued on our voyage, as is customary with most of the
steam-boats navigating the Ohio.

It was long since remarked by Mr. Schulz,[032] and considered by
him as an inexplicable circumstance, that the reflection, by
night, of the image of the banks of the Ohio, does not furnish an
infallible guide to the middle of the bed of the river. Nothing
is more manifest than that the banks at different places, having
different degrees of elevation, and being sometimes naked, and
sometimes covered with very tall trees, must, of necessity, cast
shadows of different lengths, upon the surface of the water;
consequently that the luminous stripe along the middle of the
river, from the surface of which the sky and the stars are
reflected, must be greatly subject to irregularities in position
and direction. This circumstance often proves very annoying to
inexperienced pilots, who attempt to navigate the Ohio, or any
other river of similar character, by night, as we have had
occasion in many instances to experience.

On the morning of the 19th we arrived at Louisville[033] having
passed, in the night, the boats containing {24} the sixth regiment
of infantry, then on their way to the Missouri. At Louisville, we
stopped to procure a pilot to conduct our boat over the rapids.
Two or three pilots appointed pursuant to an act of the
legislature of Kentucky, reside at Louisville, always holding
themselves in readiness to go on board such boats as are about to
descend the rapids, and leaving them again at Shippingsport; for
which service they are entitled to receive two dollars for each
ark or raft.

At these rapids, called usually the falls of the Ohio, the river
descends about twenty-two feet, in a distance of less than two
miles. At times of high water an acceleration of current, not
usual in other parts of the river, is all that is perceived in
passing down this descent: at other times the water is dashed and
broken upon the rocky and uneven bed of the channel, called the
_Indian chute_, through which a great part of the water passes.
The magnificence of a cataract is, however, at no time displayed
here; and it is only in peculiar conditions of the atmosphere,
that the noise of the fall can be heard at the distance of
one-fourth of a mile from the bank of the river.

Large boats ascend the rapids at the time of the spring floods, by
the aid of a cable made fast to a tree, or some other object
above, and taken in by the capstan. In 1821, the Maysville, a
steam-boat of about two hundred tons, was taken up, and had nearly
reached the head of the rapid, when the cable broke; and the boat
swinging round, was thrown against the rocks, in the bed of the
river, and placed in such a situation as to render hopeless all
attempts to get her off before the next annual rise of the water.
Arks and small barges descend, by the aid of skilful pilots, for
great part of the year. It is expected that the navigation of this
dangerous rapid will soon be rendered more convenient, by
canaling, which can be accomplished at a very inconsiderable {25}
expense. The direction of the Ohio, above and below the rapids, is
nearly from north-east to south-west, but where the stream passes
the rocky obstruction occasioning the fall, it is a little
deflected from its course, making a bend towards the west. Thus a
point is formed on the south-eastern side projecting from the
elevated bank, which, from its present position, would seem to
indicate that the bed of the river had changed its place, having
formerly traversed the point from north-east to south-west, in a
direct line. In times of high floods the water is, in part,
discharged through this old channel, and large boats are said to
have ascended by that route within a few years past.

On this point stands the small town of Shippingsport, at the foot
of the rapids.[034] The proposed canal will traverse the point in
the rear of this village. The obstacles to be encountered in
opening a canal at this place are but trifling. The soil is firm
and gravelly, being based on horizontal strata of compact
limestone, and fine argillaceous sandstone.[035]

The sandstone, which is the rock of most common occurrence about
the rapids, very closely resembles that of Pittsburgh. It is
commonly of a compact texture, having an argillaceous cement, with
a laminated structure. At Shippingsport, and at Clarksville,[036]
in Indiana, it is succeeded by bituminous clay-slate. While we
were waiting at the rapids, several of the party made an excursion
to visit the boiling spring, at the foot of the Silver Creek
hills, in Indiana, at a little distance from New Albany.[037] This
spring is small, discharging no water above the surface of the
ground. It is an artificial excavation in the clayey bank of a
small stream, called Fountain Creek. It is filled to the level of
the water in the creek, the spring itself evidently discharging
very little, if any water. That which fills the basin is turbid,
being kept in constant agitation by the bubbles of inflammable air
which rise through it. The {26} smell of sulphuretted hydrogen is
perceptible at considerable distance about the spring; and a piece
of silver, held near the surface of the water, was quickly
tarnished. The Silver Creek hills are of argillaceous sandstone,
and secondary clay-slate; and this spring seems to be placed near
the meeting of the two strata.

In the bed of the Ohio, opposite Shippingsport, is a tabular mass
of rocks, visible above water for great part of the year, and
called Corn Island.[038] On the highest parts of this, are
remaining some small portions of the limestone stratum, which
appears in many places to have been worn through, and removed by
the river. Five or six acres of the surface of this island are of
the smooth compact argillaceous sandrock before mentioned, lying
horizontally, and divided into squares and parallelograms by the
natural fissures. These fissures contain some soil which supports,
in the summer, a dense growth of herbaceous plants. Among these,
we noticed the hypericum sphæcrocarpum of Michaux, (apparently not
the plant mentioned by Nuttall, under that name, which has been
noticed near Philadelphia, by Collins and others, but without
doubt that originally described by Michaux). Two species of
andropogon, the panicum virgatum, solanum nigrum, polygala
verticillata, leplanthus gramineus, chenopodium botrys, &c. The
lower part of the island is covered with loose sand; bearing some
small cotton-wood and willow trees.

The unenclosed grounds, about Louisville and Shippingsport, are
extensive, and afford pasturage to great numbers of domestic
animals. They are, however, much overrun with luxuriant weeds.
The datura strammonium, which is common in every part of Ohio,
is sometimes eaten by sheep; and the spiny capsules of the
seed, when about half ripened, we have seen eaten with apparent
avidity by cows. In addition to this loathsome plant, the common
May-weed (anthemis cotula) has become abundant {27} in all the
waste-grounds, to the exclusion of the native plants. A few of
these, which keep their places with the greatest obstinacy by the
road sides, are the sida abutilon and S. spinosa, and the verbena
hastata; while the thistles, chrysanthemums and Johnsworts, so
common about old fields in New England, are not to be met with. The
eleusine mucronata, of _Pursh_, is one of the most frequent grasses
along the streets.

The Silver Creek hills are elevated about one hundred and fifty or
two hundred feet above the level of the country in the rear of
Jeffersonville.[039] They form a continuous range, crossing the
country from north to south. On the Kentucky side they constitute
the commencement of a rugged and barren district, called the
_Knobs_, and extending far to the south.[040] At some remote period
this range may have formed a barrier, extending across what is now
the immediate valley of the Ohio, and retarding the retreat of the
waters from the tract above the falls.[041] Coal occurs frequently
in this range of hills, on the north side of the Ohio; quarries
have been opened near the Blue river, in Indiana, about the two
Pidgeons, opposite the mouth of Green river, and in various other

The larger steam-boats which run on the Mississippi, and the Ohio,
ascend usually no farther than Shippingsport; and several of them
remain at this place, during several months of the summer, while
the water is too low to admit their passing up and down the
rivers. This time it is often necessary to spend in repairs of
various kinds. The high steam-engines require frequent repairs,
and in the difficult navigation of the Mississippi the hulks of
vessels are often injured. It frequently happens that the boats
built at Pittsburgh, and other places near the sources of the
Ohio, are, within three or four years after they {28} are
launched, in a condition to require the planking of the hulk to be
replaced with new timber. These boats are usually planked with the
upland white oak: we have been informed that such as are built
lower down on the river, and of timber found in the low grounds,
are more durable.


  [001] John Biddle, a Pennsylvanian, entered the army July
  6, 1812, as second lieutenant in the 3d Artillery. In March
  following he became first lieutenant, and in the succeeding
  October captain in the 42d Infantry. He was transferred
  to the artillery corps in 1815, made major and assistant
  inspector-general in 1817, and disbanded in 1821. He was in
  Long's party only during the first season.

  William Baldwin (1779-1819), also of Pennsylvania, was the son
  of a minister of the Society of Friends. He studied medicine
  in the University of Pennsylvania, taking his degree in 1807.
  Meanwhile he had become interested in botany, and upon
  locating at Wilmington, Delaware, to practice his profession,
  studied assiduously the flora of the vicinity. In 1811
  ill-health compelled him to remove to Georgia, but during the
  War of 1812-15 he served as a surgeon in the army. In 1817 he
  was a member of the special commission sent by the federal
  government to investigate the affairs of the Spanish-American
  colonies, then struggling for independence. Some of Dr.
  Baldwin's writings were published in the _Transactions_ of the
  American Philosophical Society and _Silliman's Journal_. He
  died while upon the present expedition, and a further sketch
  will be found in the text, _post_.

  Thomas Say (1787-1834) was also the son of a Pennsylvania
  Friend, Benjamin Say, a physician, and one of the "fighting
  Quakers" of the Revolution. Thomas was one of the founders of
  the Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia, and before
  joining Long's expedition had taken part in a scientific
  exploration of the coasts of Georgia and Florida. He accompanied
  Major Long upon his later expedition up St. Peter's River.
  In 1825 he joined the colony under Robert Dale Owen, at New
  Harmony, Indiana. His principal work was _American Entomology_
  (Philadelphia, 3 vols., 1824-28). He is said to have discovered
  more new species of insects than any predecessor, many of them
  being discovered during the present exploration.

  Augustus Edward Jessup was born at New Richmond, Massachusetts,
  in 1789, and although known chiefly as a prosperous Philadelphia
  business man, was much interested in science, being an early
  member of the Philadelphia Academy. He remained with the
  expedition during the first season only.

  Titian Ramsey Peale (1800-1885) came of a family which has
  produced a remarkable number of artists, the most notable
  being a brother, Rembrandt. His father, an uncle, another
  brother, and three cousins achieved more or less distinction
  in that field. Like his father and brother, T. R. Peale
  divided his attention between art and natural science. He was
  an officer of the Philadelphia Academy, and author of
  _Mammalia and Ornithology_ (1848). From 1838 to 1842 he was a
  member of Lieutenant Charles Wilkes's exploring expedition to
  the South Sea; during the years 1849-72 he was an examiner in
  the patent office.

  The events of the life of Samuel Seymour are now not known.

  James D. Graham (1799-1865), a Virginian, was a West-Pointer
  of the class of 1817. When ordered on Long's expedition he was
  first lieutenant in the artillery corps. From 1822-29 was on
  topographical duty in Vermont and elsewhere. This experience
  was followed by a number of years of railroad surveying, and
  he also took part in nearly all the federal boundary surveys
  of the period, serving on the northeastern, Canadian, and
  Mexican boundary commissions. During the later years of his
  life he was in charge of harbor improvements on the Atlantic
  coast and Great Lakes, and while engaged in the latter work
  discovered the existence of lake tides. At the time of his
  death he was colonel in the corps of engineers.

  William Henry Swift, of Massachusetts, was of mixed Puritan and
  Huguenot stock. His father was an army surgeon, and a brother,
  General Joseph Gardner Swift, was the first graduate of West
  Point. William himself entered the military academy when but
  thirteen years of age (1813), and as his class graduated during
  his absence on Long's expedition, he was, under date of July 1,
  1819, promoted to a lieutenancy in the artillery corps. The map
  of the country explored by the expedition was prepared by him.
  His later career was notable--he was engaged especially on coast
  improvements, fortifications, railroads, and canals; to him more
  than to any one else is attributed the success of the Illinois
  and Michigan canal. His collection of papers relative to the
  latter was, upon his death, presented to the Chicago Historical

  [002] Allegheny arsenal is on the Pittsburg side of Allegheny
  River, opposite the upper end of McCullough's Island. The
  grounds lie between Thirty-ninth and Fortieth streets. The
  site was purchased in 1814; a wall inclosing the grounds was
  completed in 1829. The arsenal was for many years used in the
  manufacture of war materials, a force of twelve hundred men
  being employed there during the War of Secession. Since 1868
  it has been used as a military post, and as a quartermaster's
  depot. There were recently (1904) discovered there the principal
  documents relating to the equipment of the Lewis and Clark
  expedition, which was largely outfitted therefrom.--ED.

  [003] Caprimulgus vociferus.--JAMES.

  [004] _Triton lateralis._ SAY.--_Body_ and extremity above
  brown, with irregular black spots; _tail_ much compressed,
  subacutely edged above and beneath, lanceolate; a black vitta
  from the nostrils passes through the eyes, and is dilated on the
  sides, and becomes obsolete on the tail; a vertebral indented
  line, from the neck to the origin of the caudal carina, more
  faintly indented on the head; _head_ somewhat rectilineary
  attenuated from the anterior branchia, to the vicinity of the
  nostril, and truncate or subemarginate before; _nostrils_
  minute; _eyes_ very small, whitish, crossed with the lateral
  line of the head; _beneath_ pale flesh-colour; _chin_ and _jaws_
  to the branchia, and _tail_ from the posterior feet, with the
  exception of the areola of the anus, coloured like the back;
  _mouth_ moderate, angles beneath the eyes; _lips_ covering
  the jaws freely, inferior lip with a duplicature each side,
  which is white and covered by the superior lip; _tongue_ free,
  fleshy, rounded, extending beyond the angles of the mouth;
  _teeth_, lower jaw in a single row, obtusely conic, small,
  rather distant; a few smaller ones near the angle, elevated on
  a slightly prominent portion of the jaw; _superior jaw_, with
  a double series of teeth similar to the others, but rather
  smaller, an unarmed depression corresponding with the elevation
  in the lower jaw, and a few elevated teeth nearer the angle;
  _throat_ with a duplicated cuticle; branchiæ permanent. Legs
  short, weak, four-toed.

  Total length 10 inches, from the tip of the nose to the vent,
  6-1/2 inches.

  We caught this animal with the hook and line in the neighbourhood
  of Pittsburgh, but it is by no means so common there as the
  Salamandra Alleghaniensis of Michaux, or young alligator.

  The colour above is in reality pale, but it is rendered of a
  brownish appearance by the very numerous confluent points of
  that colour, which nearly cover the surface of the body;
  branchia bright red; peduncles colour of the body. Daudin
  informs us, that Schneider, in his history of Amphibia,
  describes an animal very similar to this, found in Lake
  Champlain, and which Daudin supposes to be the larva of
  _Triton Alleghaniensis_; Daudin, however, is of the opinion,
  that the hind feet were mutilated, from the circumstance of
  their having only four toes.

  The late Professor B. S. Barton had heard of this animal, and
  from the account he received, was led to regard it as a Siren.

  Finally, Dr. Mitchell has autoptically described the animal,
  in the 4th vol. of Silliman's Journal, as a Proteus.

  Not supposing the _lateralis_ to belong, strictly speaking, to
  either of these genera, and with a view to ascertain its real
  nature, we obtained permission from the Academy of Natural
  Science, to open a specimen belonging to their cabinet, and
  which was brought from the Ohio by Mr. J. Speakman. The result
  corresponded with our most confident expectations, showing
  that the number of its vertebræ is greatly inferior to that of
  the Proteus, and corresponding with that of the Tritons; and
  that the pseudo ribs were in an entire series, somewhat
  superior in proportional length and perfection of form to
  those of the Proteus, and resembling those of the Triton. It
  has, therefore, a far more close alliance with the genus
  Triton, than with any other yet established.

  Several animals have been described, to which it is more
  closely related by the character of the persistent branchia,
  than it is to the well-known types of the genus, of which the
  branchia disappear at the age of puberty. Of such animals the
  following may be instanced:

  The _Axolotl_ of Mexico. Siren pisciformis of Shaw. Gen. Zool.

  The _Tetradactyla_ of Lacepede in the Ann. des Mus. vol. x.

  The _Siren Operculée_ of Beauvois in Philos. Trans. of Phila.
  vol. iv.

  And possibly also, the _Proteus Neo Cæsariensis_ of Professor
  Green.--Jour. A. N. S. vol. i.

  These four or five species might with propriety be separated
  from the genus to which they are referable in the present
  state of the system, and placed in a separate genus, the
  external characters of which will be the same as those of
  Triton, with the exception of the persistent branchia. Its
  proper station will doubtless be intermediate between Triton
  and Proteus, but far more closely related to the former.

  It may be proper to mention in this place, that the generic name
  _Triton_, was applied by Laurenti to the Newts, long before
  Montfort made use of it in Conchology to designate the war
  conch of the ancient Romans, and of the present inhabitants of
  Madison's Island.

  We are indebted to Dr. Richard Harlan, for the following
  anatomical observations, on this singular animal.

  Alveolar margins of the maxillæ serrated, the spiculæ pointing
  backwards towards the œsophagus. The œsophagus very large, like
  that of the serpents, gradually expanding as it descends to
  form the stomach, which again contracts at the commencement of
  the intestinal tube; the lining membrane of the œsophagus and
  stomach, thrown into longitudinal folds, which were continued
  throughout the intestines; which tube undergoes several
  enlargements in its course, giving it a sacculated appearance
  similar to the alimentary canal of the alligator; in the animal
  under consideration, they form several convolutions previous
  to their termination into the cloaca; the stomach contained an
  earth worm. The mesentery transparent, displaying a number of
  very large lacteals, which, in the present instance, were filled
  with coagulated chyle. Length of the intestines 10 inches.
  The ovary is of considerable size, of an oblong figure, lying
  close to the vertebræ, and opening by a straight duct into the
  posterior part of the cloaca. _Liver_ very large, and apparently
  (but not certainly) discharged its contents into the stomach.
  _Lungs_ consist of two long membranous bags, which run the whole
  length of the abdomen, anteriorly to the stomach and intestines;
  the opening of the larynx scarcely large enough to admit a pin's
  head; the lungs resemble two long air-bags, more than a true
  pulmonary apparatus; the cartilaginous laminæ of the branchia,
  three in number, attached superiorly to the integuments over the
  cervical vertebræ, converging together beneath or anteriorly,
  and are attached to a cartilage answering to the os hyoides; the
  heart, which was extremely small, consisted apparently of one
  auricle and one ventricle, the aorta soon bifurcated, sending
  one branch to each pulmonary apparatus to be intimately ramified
  upon the branchia, resembling so far the circulation of fishes,
  and differing from the amphibia, in which there is either a
  double or mixed circulation.

  Olfactory apparatus similar to that of fishes, viz. a small
  aperture near the extremity of the snout leads into a cavity
  or _cul de sac_, lined by a delicate membrane, plentifully
  supplied by the fibrillæ of two slender olfactory nerves,
  which go off from the anterior end of each lobe of the
  cerebrum. The brain is of an oblong figure, the cerebrum is
  formed of two lobes, the cerebellum of one lobe situate
  directly posterior, not much thicker than the medulla
  oblongata. The optic nerves, which were large in proportion to
  the organs of vision, took their origin in a very unusual
  manner. On either side of the medulla oblongata, is given off
  a large nerve, which proceeds forwards and outwards, and soon
  after it passes outside of the cavity of the cranium, it
  divides into two branches, the smaller goes to the eye, the
  larger is distributed to the superior maxilla. The eye itself
  is small, and the lens which was coagulated by the spirits, is
  about half the size of a pin's-head, and of the texture of the
  lens of a fish when boiled.

  The number of vertebræ from the atlas to the last lumbar, is
  exactly nineteen; to the transverse processes of all of them
  (after the two first) is attached, by a movable articulation,
  a small slender spicular of bone, or rib-like process, about
  one-eighth of an inch in length, which at the same time, they
  give origin to the large muscles that move the body, offer no
  obstruction to the lateral curvatures of the animal when in
  motion, but as to appearance or function are not to be
  considered as ribs. The number of vertebræ from the first
  sacral to the last caudal, is from twenty to thirty-five; they
  become exceedingly small towards the end of the tail; on the
  back part of the œsophagus, exterior to the cavity of the
  cranium, is found on each side, a calcareous concretion,
  similar to that in the head of the shark.--JAMES.

  [005] Maclure.--JAMES.

  [006] Geological Survey of Rensselaer county, p. 11.--JAMES.

  [007] When central Pennsylvania began to seek an
  outlet for her population, the fertility of the soil produced
  by the disintegration of the limestone flooring of the
  northeast-and-southwest valleys of the mountains, and the
  barriers to Western migration imposed by the parallel ridges,
  directed most of the pioneers southwestward.--ED.

  [008] See Humboldt's Personal Narrative, vol. v. p. 46. Also St.
  Pierre's Paul and Virginia.--JAMES.

  [009] The great coal field of which that of western Pennsylvania
  is a part, is eight hundred miles in length and one hundred and
  eighty in width. Besides Pennsylvania, it includes southeastern
  Ohio, the western part of Maryland, most of West Virginia,
  portions of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the northern end of
  Alabama. In Pennsylvania, the main field does not extend farther
  north than a central east-and-west line, but several great
  projections reach almost to the northern boundary. East of the
  Alleghenies the deposits are anthracite, while the bituminous
  fields occupy the southwestern section of the state.--ED.

  [010] The uses of petroleum have been known from time
  immemorial; but the quantities laboriously gathered from springs
  like those here described were economically insignificant. The
  importance of the industry dates from the discovery, in 1858,
  that vast quantities of oil could be obtained by drilling wells.
  The excitement which ensued was comparable to that caused
  by finding gold in California. Among United States exports,
  petroleum products now rank near the top of the column.--ED.

  [011] James implies that the Onondaga salt deposits are in the
  Carboniferous system. Such deposits, however, occur in almost
  every geological system, from Silurian to Recent, and the New
  York areas are found in the Silurian; the Kanawha salt district
  is Carboniferous. The Onondaga springs were known to Jesuit
  missionaries as early as 1646, and soon after were utilized in
  making salt for the Indian trade. The existence of salt licks
  and springs west of the mountains was an important factor in the
  settlement of the trans-Allegheny country. The pioneers could
  not have ventured so far from the coast without a native supply
  of this necessity.--ED.

  [012] So-called gas springs were known to settlers long before
  any attempt was made to utilize the product; about 1821,
  burners were first devised by which it was made to serve for
  lighting purposes. For several years after the beginning of
  the oil industry, gas was generally considered as a worthless
  and troublesome by-product, and not many wells were drilled
  for it until after 1870. The pressure of the gas is sometimes
  enormous--as much as three hundred and fifty pounds to the
  square inch has been noted. Natural gas consists essentially of
  carburetted hydrogen.--ED.

  [013] Olean is situated at the head of navigation of the
  Allegheny, at the mouth of Olean Creek, in Cattaraugus County,
  New York. The first settlers came prior to 1805. It was the
  southern terminus of the Genesee Valley canal (begun in 1836),
  until in the fifties when that waterway was extended to the
  Pennsylvania line. The growth of Olean has been rapid since the
  inception of the oil industry; it now being one of the most
  important storage and shipping points in the oil fields.--ED.

  [014] For sketch of Wheeling, see André Michaux's _Travels_, in
  our volume iii, note 15.--ED.

  [015] For note on national road, see Harris's _Journal_, in our
  volume iii, note 45.--ED.

  [016] Charleston, the seat of Kanawha County, West Virginia,
  is situated on the Great Kanawha, about fifty miles above its
  mouth. The site was included in a grant made (1772) by Lord
  Dunmore, royal governor of Virginia, to Thomas Bullitt. In 1786
  Bullitt transferred his claim to George Clendenin, who was the
  first settler on the spot; he built Clendenin's fort in 1786 or

  [017] _April_ 3d. Dentaria laciniata, Lamium amplexicaule, Draba
  verna, Poa anua, Alsine media, Houstonia cerulea, Saxifraga

  4th. Anemone hepatica, _Hepatica triloba of Pursh_. Flowers
  varying from blue to white. Alnus serulata, Carpinus Americanus,
  Satyrium repens, root perennial.

  9th. Collected in flower from the south-west side of the Ohio,
  Sanguinaria canadensis, Hydrocotile bipinnata; root small and
  round, with small tubers attached to the fibre like radicles,
  flowers white. Poa brevi-folia.

  13th. Glehoma hederacea; this plant covers not only the low
  grounds, but the wildest hills, particularly in northern
  exposures. Is it native?

  24th. Pulmonaria Virginica: this is a predominant plant on the
  islands, as well as along the shores of the Alleghany on both
  sides. Epigæa repens, Phlox divaricata.

  25th. Corydalis cucullaria, Trillium erectum, flowers varying
  from dark purple to white. Anemone thalictroides, Carex
  oligocarpa, Gnaphalium plantagineum, Potentilla sarmentosa,
  Obolaria virginica, Acer saccharinum, and A. dasycarpum, still
  flowering. Also the Celtis occidentalis, Ulmus Americana, and
  Planera aquatica, past.

  27th. Veronica peregrina, and Ranunculus celeratus; both
  common in the wildest situations and apparently native.

  28th. Stellaria pubera, Turritis lævigata, Arabis lyrata,
  Viola pubescens, Ranunculus hirsutus, Thalictum dioicum,
  Cercis canadensis, Cerastium vulgatum.

  30th. Dentaria diphylla, Trillium sesile, Mitella diphylla,
  Delphinium tricorne, Arabis thaliana, Caulophillum thalictroides.

  _May_ 1st. Carpinus Americanus, Vicia cracca, Ranunculus
  abortivus, Saxifraga Pennsylvanica, Uvularia grandiflora, _Ph._

  3d. Geranium maculatum. Apple-tree flowering. Veronica
  officinalis. _Dr. Baldwin's_ Diary.--JAMES.

  [018] For Point Pleasant and the battle fought there,
  see Thwaites and Kellogg, _Documentary History of Lord
  Dunmore's War_ (Madison, Wis., 1905); Croghan's _Journals_, in
  our volume i, note 101; and Bradbury's _Travels_, in our
  volume v, note 156. Chief Logan was not present at this
  battle. The full text of his famous speech is given in
  Jefferson's "Notes on Virginia;" Ford, _Writings of Thomas
  Jefferson_ (New York, 1894), iii, p. 156; Roosevelt, _Winning
  of the West_ (New York, 1889), i, p. 237. It has long ranked
  as one of the great masterpieces of Indian oratory; but its
  genuineness was attacked by Luther Martin, of Maryland, and
  others. A summary of the evidence pro and con is given in
  Brantz, _Tah-Gah-Jute; or Logan and Cresap_ (Albany, 1867),
  appendix No. 2. It is now generally conceded that it was
  delivered by Logan substantially as we have it.--ED.

  [019] For sketch of Maysville, see André Michaux's _Travels_, in
  our volume iii, note 23.--ED.

  [020] Washington, four miles southwest of Maysville, was
  founded in 1786, and was an important town in the early days of
  Kentucky. It was for some time the seat of Mason County.--ED.

  [021] For the early history of Cincinnati, see Cuming's _Tour_,
  in our volume iv, note 166.--ED.

  [022] For sketches of Glen and Drake, see Nuttall's _Journal_,
  in our volume xiii, note 35.--ED.

  [023] Drake's Picture of Cincinnati, page 64. To that work,
  Cranmer's [Cramer's] "Navigator," published at Pittsburgh in
  1814, and Gilleland's "Ohio and Mississippi Pilot," we refer our
  readers for very minute, and in general very accurate, accounts
  of the country along the Ohio.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ This area, known to geologists as the
  "Cincinnati anticline," is co-extensive with the fertile blue
  grass lands. It consists essentially of an island of Ordovician
  (Lower Silurian) limestone, surrounded by the later systems. The
  Ordovician system is especially characterized by mollusca of
  the cephalopod class, to which _Orthoceras_ belongs, while the
  Ammonites do not appear below the Devonian.

  [024] Cincinnati College, the forerunner of Cincinnati
  University, grew out of a school established in 1814 on the
  model of the new English system of Lancaster and Bell. The
  college was chartered in 1815. Possibly the reference is to the
  recently-established medical college, for which see Nuttall's
  _Journal_, in our volume xiii, note 35.--ED.

  [025] Population by census of 1820, 9,642; of 1830, 24,831.--ED.

  [026] The Cincinnati mounds are now obliterated. A good
  description of them, with diagram, is given in _Smithsonian
  Contributions to Knowledge_ (Washington, 1852), iii, art.

  [027] Voy. a l' ouest des monts Alleghany, 1804. p. 93.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ See F. A. Michaux's _Travels_, in our volume
  iii, p. 175.

  [028] Pers. Nar. vol. i. p. 357. Philadelphia Edition.--JAMES.

  [029] Salt's Abyssinia, p. 49. Amer. Edit.--JAMES.

  [030] The cotton-wood-tree is of very rapid growth. It
  has been ascertained that one individual, in the term of
  twenty-one years, attained the height of one hundred and eight
  feet, and nine inches, and the diameter of twenty and an half
  inches, exclusive of the bark. _Barton's_ Supp. Med. and Phys.
  Jour. p. 71.--JAMES.

  [031] Sir James Edward Smith (1759-1828), founder and
  first president of the Linnæan Society (1788).--ED.

  [032] Charles Schultz, Jr., was the author of _Travels on an
  inland voyage through the states of New York, Pennsylvania,
  Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and through the
  territories of Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Orleans;
  performed in the years 1807 and 1808_ (New York, 1810).--ED.

  [033] On Louisville and the Falls of the Ohio, see Croghan's
  _Journals_, in our volume i, note 106.--ED.

  [034] For sketch of Shippingsport, see Cuming's _Tour_, in our
  volume iv, note 171.--ED.

  [035] For the history of the canal at the Falls of the Ohio, see
  Nuttall's _Journal_, in our volume xiii, note 40.--ED.

  [036] On Clarksville see André Michaux's _Travels_, in our
  volume iii, note 123.--ED.

  [037] New Albany, founded in 1813, is just below Louisville, in
  Floyd County, Indiana.--ED.

  [038] Corn Island was the site of the first settlement
  at Louisville. George Rogers Clark built a fort on the island
  in the spring of 1778, to protect his supplies. The twenty
  families who had followed him to Kentucky established
  themselves at the lower end, where the land was most elevated,
  and during the summer raised the crop of corn from which it is
  said the island derived its name. It stood just above the
  present Louisville-Albany bridge, in the elbow of the stream;
  in Clark's time it had an area of at least seven acres, but it
  has now been almost entirely obliterated both by the erosion
  of the stream and the operations of a neighboring cement mill
  which has used the island as a quarry.--ED.

  [039] Jeffersonville, laid out in 1802, is opposite Louisville,
  in Clark County, Indiana.--ED.

  [040] The same name is applied locally to the hills which extend
  nearly fifty miles to the northward of the river.--ED.

  [041] Volney.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ Constantin François Chassebœuf Boisgirais,
  Comte de Volney, the French traveller and author, member of
  the brilliant group which included Holbach, Madame Helvetius,
  Voltaire, and the encyclopædists, the correspondent of Franklin
  and the friend of Bonaparte, travelled extensively in the
  interior of America during the years 1795 to 1799, and after
  his return to France published an account of his observations
  under the title, _Tableau du Climat et du Sol des Etats-Unis
  d'Amérique_ (Paris, 1803). A translation was published in
  Philadelphia the succeeding year.

  [042] The Indiana coal fields are now known to embrace an area
  of about seven thousand square miles, chiefly in the southwest
  quarter of the state.--ED.


  The Ohio below the Rapids at Louisville--Ascent of the
  Mississippi from the mouth of the Ohio to St. Louis.[043]

Our small boat descended over the rapids without injury; and
having taken on board some wood near New Albany, we proceeded on
our voyage, with a pressure of steam equalling one hundred pounds
to the square inch, upon all parts of the engine exposed to its
immediate operation. This enabled us to descend, at the rate of
ten miles per hour. A small island in the Ohio, about twenty-three
miles below the rapids, is called Flint Island, from the great
numbers of fragments of flints, broken arrow points, and various
instruments of stone, heretofore used by the Indians, which are
found there on turning up the soil. This island has probably been
the favourite residence of some tribe, particularly expert in the
manufacture of those rude implements, with which the wants of the
aboriginal Americans were supplied. The stone employed in these
manufactures appears to have been, in most instances, that compact
flint, which occurs in nodular masses, in the secondary limestones.
In one instance we met with a triangular prism, of a very hard and
compact aggregate of felspar, and hornblende, unlike any rock we
have seen in the valley of the Mississippi. This prism was about
five inches long, with faces of about {30} an inch in width, and
was perforated, from end to end, forming a complete tube, with an
orifice about half an inch in diameter, and smoothly polished,
both within and without. We were never able to discover to what use
this implement could have been applied; nor do we recollect to have
met with accounts of any thing analogous to it, except, perhaps,
those "tubes of a very hard stone" mentioned by the Jesuit Venegas,
as used by the natives of California, in their treatment of the
sick.[044] That it may have passed, by means of the intercourse
of various tribes of Indians, from the primitive mountains of
California to the rapids of the Ohio, is not, perhaps, improbable.
Indirect methods of communication may have conveyed the productions
of one part of the continent to another very remote from it. The
savages of the Missouri receive an intoxicating bean from their
neighbours on the south and west; these again must probably procure
it from other tribes inhabiting, or occasionally visiting, the
tropical regions.

In the Philadelphia museum are many Indian pipes of that red
indurated clay, found only (as far as hitherto known) on the Pipe
Stone branch of the Little Sioux river of the Missouri; one of
these, however, was found on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, in
South America: several were found in the territory now called New
England, and in the north-eastern part of the continent.

On the 26th we passed the mouth of the Wabash, and arrived at
Shawaneetown,[045] ten miles below. Near the mouth of the Wabash,
an accident happened to the engine, which rendered it necessary
for us to drift down, until we should arrive at some place where
repairs might be made. Some of the gentlemen of the party
determined to go on shore, and walk to Shawaneetown. In swimming
across a creek, {31} three miles above that place, Lieutenant
Graham dropped his rifle in the water, and having spent some time
in attempts to recover it, did not arrive at Shawaneetown until
after the boat had reached that place.

On the 27th, several of the party went out to hunt in the forests
and swamps, north-west of Shawaneetown. At about four miles'
distance from the Ohio, they arrived at the banks of a small pond,
three miles long, and only three or four hundred yards wide. Here
they killed a turkey; and some small birds. On the bank of the
pond, was found a specimen of the Lake Erie tortoise,[046]
depositing its eggs in the sand, at about twenty yards' distance
from the water. It had made, with its feet, a hole in the sand,
two inches in diameter and four inches in depth, enlarging towards
the bottom to three inches. This species occurs frequently in the
pools and stagnant waters along the Ohio. We first met with it
near the rapids at Louisville. Among other birds, we noticed about
Shawaneetown, the pileated woodpecker, the minute tern, numerous
flocks of the psittacus caroliniensis, two broods of young wood
duck, some gulls, and semipalmated sandpipers. The terns appear to
be attracted hither by great numbers of a species of phryganea,
with which we found the stomachs of some of them filled. The
semipalmated sandpipers were in large flocks, and did not appear

We left Shawaneetown at twelve o'clock on the 28th, and stopped
three miles below, to take in wood; then proceeding forward, at
four P. M. we ran aground on a sand bar, seven miles above the
"Cave Inn," or "House of Nature."[047] After much exertion, by
means of anchors and poles, with the aid of the engine, and all
the men, who were under the necessity of jumping into the river,
we at length {32} succeeded in getting her off, and ran down to
the cave, where we lay by for the night.

Early the next morning, we went to visit the cave, of the entrance
to which two views were sketched by Mr. Seymour. It is a
perpendicular fissure, extending about one hundred and sixty feet
into the horizontal limestone cliffs, which here form the north
bank of the river. At times of high water, the Ohio flows in, and
fills the cave nearly to its roof. In this cave, it is said, great
numbers of large bones were some time ago found, but we saw no
remains of any thing of this kind. Impressions and casts of the
shells of submarine animals are seen in the rocks, forming the
sides of the cave, as in all the strata of compact limestone, in
this region. The organic remains here, do not appear to be so
numerous as those of the rocks at the falls, and at Cincinnati;
and are much less distinct, and visible in the fracture; indeed
the fracture generally exhibits to the eye no vestige of organic
remains. It is upon the surface only, and more especially in such
parts of it as are in a certain stage of decomposition, that they
are at all to be distinguished.

As far as we could discover, they consist chiefly of the
caryophyllæ, similar to the radiated species, so common at the
falls of Ohio; of the encrinus, but of this our specimens were not
so perfect as to enable us to determine the analogy. Numerous
other remains were exhibited, but not sufficiently characterized
to be referred to their proper places in the system. The top of
the cliff, into which this fissure opens, is said to be the
favourite haunt of great numbers of birds of prey. This is not
improbable, as many hawks and birds of prey always choose high and
inaccessible cliffs to build their nests in. We saw about the tops
of these rocks, only one pair of hawks, which we took to be of the
red-shouldered species, (falco lineatus,) but a heavy rain, which
commenced soon after we had ascended, prevented {33} us from
procuring a specimen. About the cave, we found some fragments of
pottery, arrow points, and other articles of Indian manufacture.

Near Shawaneetown are extensive salt manufactories, at a place
heretofore called United States' Saline, affording employment and
a source of trade to a part of the inhabitants of that village.
Common salt, with the nitrates of lime, potash, &c. occur in great
plenty, in connexion with the horizontal limestones and sandstones
on the Ohio. Of these we subjoin some account, from the
mineralogical report of Mr. Jessup.[048]

On the 29th of May we passed the mouths of the Cumberland and
Tennessee, the two largest rivers, tributary to the Ohio. At the
mouth of the Cumberland is a little village called Smithland;
where, for a considerable part of the year, such goods are
deposited as are designed for Nashville and other places on the

The Cumberland and Tennessee rivers are, for many miles, nearly
parallel in direction, and at no great distance apart. Between
them are some low sandstone hills; but, we believe, no lofty range
of mountains, as has been sometimes represented. About these
hills, also, in the low ridges north of the Ohio, we found the
sandstone, which appears to be the basis rock, often overlaid with
extensive beds of a pudding-stone, wherein pebbles of white,
yellow, and variously coloured quartz, are united in a cement
highly tinged by oxide of iron; extensive fields of compact
limestone also occur in the same connexion.

About half way between the mouth of the Cumberland and Tennessee,
near the old deserted settlement originally called Smithland,[049]
are several large catalpa trees. They do not, however, appear to
be native; nor have we here, or elsewhere, been able to discover
any confirmation of the opinion, that this tree is indigenous to
any part of the United States.

It is here called _petalfra_, which, as well as catalpa, {34} the
received appellation, may be a corruption from Catawba, the name
of the tribe by whom, according to the suggestion of Mr. Nuttall,
the tree may have been introduced. Following the directions of the
Pittsburgh navigator,[050] we kept near the left shore, below the
Cave Inn; by which means we again ran our boat aground, on a
sand-bar, where we spent a considerable part of the night in the
most laborious exertions. These were at length crowned with
success; and having the boat once more afloat, we proceeded with
greater caution.

On the 30th, we arrived at a point a little above the mouth of
Cash river, where a town has been laid out, called America.[051] It
is on the north bank of the Ohio, about eleven miles from the
Mississippi, and occupies the first heights on the former, secure
from the inundation of both these rivers (if we except a small
area three and a half miles below, where there are three Indian
mounds, situated on a tract containing about half an acre above
high-water mark). The land on both sides of the Ohio, below this
place, is subject to be overflowed to various depths, from six to
fourteen feet in time of floods; and on the south side, the flat
lands extend four or five miles above, separated from the high
country by lakes and marshes. The aspect of the country, in and
about the town, is rolling or moderately hilly, being the
commencement of the high lands between the two rivers above
mentioned; below it, however, the land is flat, having the
character of the low bottoms of the Ohio. The growth is
principally cotton-wood, sycamore, walnut, hickory, maple, oak,
&c. The soil is first-rate, and well suited to the cultivation of
all products common to a climate of 37 deg. N. lat. From the
extensive flat, or bottom, in its neighbourhood, and the heavy
growth of timber which here generally prevails, it is probable
that the place will be unhealthy, till extensive clearings are
made in its vicinity.

This position may be considered as the head of constant {35}
navigation for the Mississippi. The Mississippi, from New Orleans
to the Ohio, is navigable for boats of the largest size; and
America may be considered as the head of constant as well as heavy
navigation. Ice is seldom to be found in the Mississippi as low
down as the mouth of the Ohio, and never in so large quantities as
to oppose any serious obstruction to the navigation.

The navigation of the Ohio has a serious impediment about four and
a half miles above the town, occasioned by a limestone bar
extending across the river, called the Grand Chain. This bar is
impassable in the lowest stage of the water, and will not admit
boats of any considerable burden, except in the higher stages.

The Mississippi has, in like manner, two bars, called the Big and
Little Chain, which appear to be a continuation of the same range
of rocks as that in the Ohio, extending across the point of land
situated between the two rivers. These bars are situated a little
above the Tyawapatia Bottom, about thirty miles above the mouth of
the Ohio, and in low water have but a moderate depth of water
across them; which, added to the rapidity of the current,
occasions a serious obstacle to the navigation.

Boats suited to the navigation of both rivers above the bars here
specified, should be of inferior size; those for the Mississippi
not exceeding one hundred tons burden, and those for the Ohio from
fifty to seventy-five tons.

Any position on the Mississippi in the neighbourhood of the Ohio
would be objectionable, for the following reasons:--First, The
rapidity of the current, which renders it difficult to find a safe
and commodious landing, there being no rocky-bound shore within
thirty miles above and a far greater distance below the point. The
Iron Banks,[052] seventeen miles below the mouth of the Ohio, have
been thought by some an eligible position for the extensive
business, {36} which, it is admitted by all, must centre in this
neighbourhood. But at this place there is no safe landing; and
besides, the banks are composed of layers of sand and clay
alternating with each other, of an acclivity nearly perpendicular,
and annually wearing away by the current of the river, which sets
strongly against them. These banks are elevated about one hundred
and thirty feet above the common level of the river, and are
insurmountable, except by a circuitous route, leading from the
river a considerable distance above and below them.

Second, There are no positions on the Mississippi, except the Iron
and Chalk Banks, for a great distance below the Ohio, secure from
inundation. The bottom directly opposite the mouth of the Ohio, on
the west side of the Mississippi is elevated a little above high
water; but as it is an alluvial shore, having no permanent
foundation, and the banks often falling in, it affords no
conveniences or security as a place of business.

Third, No places of anchorage for boats of heavy burden are to be
found, except in the main channel of the river, where they would
be exposed to drift-wood, great quantities of which are brought
down in times of freshet; and when borne along with the rapid
current of the river, occasion serious danger to boats lying in
its way.

The town of America is almost entirely exempt from any of these
objections;--although it has not a rocky foundation, (which may be
said of most of the towns on the Ohio,) the current of the river
is so gentle, that no such guard against the undermining and
wasting away of the banks is required. In case of an excessive
flood, or an unusual quantity of floating ice (which may possibly
be apprehended in remarkably cold seasons), the mouth of Cash
river, five miles below the town, is a harbour in which boats may
lie in perfect security.[053]

We would not encourage the idea, that the site {37} now fixed upon
as a town is exclusively the point where business is to be done;
but that the town will eventually extend along on that side of the
river about four miles, to the Big Chain above described.

In view of the great extent of inland navigation centring at this
place, and the incalculable amount of products to be realized, at
no distant period, from the cultivation of the rich vallies and
fertile plains of the west, a great proportion of which must find
a market here, no doubt can be entertained that it will eventually
become a place of as great wealth and importance as almost any in
the United States.

In the afternoon of the 30th we arrived at the mouth of the Ohio.

This beautiful river has a course of one thousand and thirty-three
miles, through a country surpassed in fertility of soil by none in
the United States. Except in high floods, its water is transparent,
its current gentle, and nearly uniform. For more than half of its
course its banks are high, and its bed gravelly. With the exception
of about two miles at the rapids, at Louisville, it has sufficient
depth of water, for a part of the year, to float vessels of 300
tons burthen to Cincinnati. The country which it washes may, with
propriety, be considered under two divisions. The first, extending
from its head at Pittsburgh to the little town of Rockport,[054]
about 150 miles below the falls or rapids at Louisville, is hilly.
This district forms a portion of one of the sides of that great
formation of secondary rocks, which occupies the basin of the
Mississippi and its tributaries. This formation, like others of
the same period, is rough, with small elevations, which are most
considerable on its borders, and diminish in proportion as we
approach nearer its central parts.

Compact limestone, and sandstone of several varieties, are the
rocks which invariably occur along that portion of the Ohio we
are now considering. Sandstone of a light gray or ashen colour,
of a compact {38} texture, an argillaceous cement, and a slaty or
lamellated structure, is the most abundant, and occupies the lowest
points which we have hitherto been able to examine. This rock
frequently contains alternating beds of coal, bituminous shale,
and its accompanying minerals. The beds of compact limestone,
which occur in this region, usually rest upon the sandstone just
mentioned. Considered as a stratum, its distribution is the
reverse of that of the sandstone. It occupies the central and
least elevated portions of the formation; and on the borders where
the sandstone is most abundant, the limestone is of less extent
and of more uncommon occurrence. These remarks are applicable to
the hilly district on the upper portion of the Ohio river. From
Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, the prospect from the river is that
of hills of moderate elevation, sometimes rocky and abrupt, but
often sufficiently gradual in their ascent to admit of cultivation
to their summits. Their character, as to extent, direction, &c.
seems to be determined by the number, direction, and magnitude of
the streams which traverse them. They are the remains of what was
formerly a continuous and nearly horizontal stratum, with a large
deposit of superincumbent soil, which the flowing of water, during
the lapse of ages, has channelled and excavated to its present
form. These hills diminish in altitude as you approach the falls
from above; there they again rise to a height nearly equal to what
they attain at the head of the river, and from thence gradually
diminish, until they disappear, a little above the confluence of
the Ohio and Green[055] rivers. Here commences the low country,
which extends west to the Mississippi. It is characterized by
the great extent of the river alluvion, the increased width and
diminished velocity of the stream. The river banks are low, but
thickly wooded with sycamore, cotton-wood, river maple, the planera
aquatica, cypress, &c. The river hills, which terminate the
alluvial district, {39} are distant and low; and it often happens
that the surface descends on both sides, from the immediate banks
of the river to these hills. Hence, when the waters of the river
are sufficiently swollen to flow over its banks, they inundate
extensive tracts; from which they cannot return to the channel
of the river, and are left stagnant during the summer months,
poisoning the atmosphere with noxious exhalations. Many of these
inundated tracts have a soil of uncommon fertility, which it is
probable will hereafter be recovered from the dominion of the river
by dikes or levees.

The beach or sloping part of the immediate bank of the Ohio,
throughout its whole extent, is of rather gradual ascent, and
covered with timber a considerable distance below high-water mark.
The average rapidity of the current of the Ohio is about two and a
half miles per hour, and the descent of its surface nine inches
per mile, as estimated by Dr. Drake of Cincinnati. The annual
inundations happen in the spring. The range between extreme high
and low water, in the upper part of the river, is more than 60
feet; but below, where it is not confined by high banks, it is
much less.

About the falls of Ohio, the cane, (myegia macrosperma of Persoon,)
begins to be seen, and increases in quantity thence westward
to the Mississippi. The "Cave Inn Rock," or "House of Nature,"
which we have before mentioned, is an immense cavern penetrating
horizontally into a stratum of compact limestone, which forms
the river bank for some distance above Golconda in Illinois.
Its entrance is a large and regular arch, placed immediately on
the brink of the river, and a similar form is preserved in some
degree through its whole extent. The Battery Rock is a high mural
precipice of the same stratum, running in a straight line, and
forming the northern bank of the river which washes its base. The
face of this precipice is smooth and naked, and it is surmounted
{40} by a heavy growth of timber. This limestone is compact,
entirely horizontal in its position, and filled with organic
remains. It is traversed by veins containing sulphuret of lead;
and at several places near Golconda, this is accompanied by fluat
of lime, in beautiful yellow and violet-coloured crystals. Fluat
of lime is also found disseminated in small and irregular masses
throughout the rock. At Golconda, six miles below the cave, a
coarse gray flinty sandstone is found, extending some distance to
the west. This rock forms broad hills on the Kentucky side, between
the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers; where it abounds in iron ore
of several kinds. Perhaps these hills ought to be considered as
a spur from the Cumberland hills. At the mouth of the Tennessee
river, is a locality of the columnar argillaceous oxide of iron,
which rises from the surface in pyramidal and columnar masses,
somewhat resembling the cypress knees.

An extensive tract of land between the Tennessee and Mississippi
rivers, included in the recent purchase from the Cherokees,[056] is
rocky and broken, abounding in ores of iron and lead, and probably
some other minerals. We have seen a specimen of sulphuret of
antimony, in possession of an inhabitant, who being a sort of
alchymist, greatly delighting in mystery, thought it imprudent to
reveal the secret of its particular locality. It is to be hoped,
future and more minute examinations than we had the opportunity of
making, may hereafter detect valuable mineral depositions in this

The confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi, is in latitude 37° 22′
9″ north, according to the observations of Mr. Ellicott, and in
longitude 88° 50′ 42″ west, from Greenwich.[057] The lands about
the junction of these two great rivers are low, consisting of
recent alluvion, and covered with dense forests. At the time of
our journey, the spring floods having subsided in the Ohio, this
quiet and gentle river {41} seemed to be at once swallowed up, and
lost in the rapid and turbulent current of the Mississippi. Floods
of the Mississippi, happening when the Ohio is low, occasion a
reflux of the waters of the latter, perceptible at Fort Massac,
more than thirty miles above. It is also asserted, that the floods
in the Ohio occasion a retardation in the current of the
Mississippi, as far up as the Little Chain, ten miles below Cape
Girardeau.[058] The navigation of the Mississippi above the mouth
of the Ohio, also that of the Ohio, is usually obstructed for a
part of the winter by large masses of floating ice. The boatmen
observe that soon after the ice from the Ohio enters the
Mississippi, it becomes so much heavier by arresting the sands,
always mixed with the waters of that river, that it soon sinks to
the bottom. After ascending the Mississippi about two miles, we
came to an anchor, and went on shore on the eastern side. The
forests here are deep and gloomy, swarming with innumerable
mosquitoes, and the ground overgrown with enormous nettles. There
is no point near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi, from
which a distant prospect can be had. Standing in view of the
junction of these magnificent rivers, meeting almost from opposite
extremities of the continent, and each impressed with the peculiar
character of the regions from which it descends, we seem to
imagine ourselves capable of comprehending at one view all that
vast region between the summits of the Alleghanies and of the
Rocky Mountains, and feel a degree of impatience at finding all
our prospects limited by an inconsiderable extent of low muddy
bottom lands, and the unrelieved, unvaried, gloom of the forest.

Finding it necessary to renew the packing of the piston in the
steam-engine, which operation would require some time, most of the
gentlemen of the {42} party were dispersed on shore in pursuit of
their respective objects, or engaged in hunting. Deer, turkeys,
and beaver are still found in plenty in the low grounds, along
both sides of the Mississippi; but the annoyance of the mosquitoes
and nettles preventing the necessary caution and silence in
approaching the haunts of these animals, our hunting was without

We were gratified to observe many interesting plants, and among
them several of the beautiful family of the orchidæ,[059]
particularly the orchis spectabile, so common in the mountainous
parts of New England.

The progress of our boat against the heavy current of the
Mississippi, was of necessity somewhat slow. Steam-boats in
ascending are kept as near the shore as the depth of water will
admit; and ours often approached so closely as to give such of the
party as wished, an opportunity to jump on shore. On the first of
June, several gentlemen of the party went on shore, six miles
below the settlement of Tyawapatia bottom, and walked up to that
place through the woods. They passed several Indian encampments,
which appeared to have been recently tenanted. Under one of the
wigwams they saw pieces of honey-comb, and several sharpened
sticks, that had been used to roast meat upon: on a small tree
near by was suspended the lower jaw-bone of a bear. Soon after
leaving these they came to another similar camp, where they found
a Shawanee Indian and his squaw, with four children, the youngest
lashed to a piece of board, and leaned against a tree.

The Indian had recently killed a deer, which they purchased of him
for one dollar and fifty cents--one-third more than is usually
paid to white hunters. They afterwards met with another
encampment, where were several families. These Indians have very
little acquaintance with the English language, and appeared
reluctant to use the few words they {43} knew. The squaws wore
great numbers of trinkets, such as silver arm-bands and large
earrings. Some of the boys had pieces of lead tied in various
parts of the hair. They were encamped near the Mississippi, for
the purpose of hunting on the islands. Their village is on Apple
Creek, ten miles from Cape Girardeau.

June 2d. As it was only ten miles to Cape Girardeau, and the
progress of the boat extremely tedious, several of the party,
taking a small supply of provisions, went on shore, intending to
walk to that place.

Above the settlement of Tyawapatia, and near Cape à la Bruche,[060]
is a ledge of rocks, stretching across the Mississippi, in a
direct line, and in low water forming a serious obstacle to the
navigation. These rocks are of limestone, and mark the commencement
of the hilly country on the Mississippi. Here the landscape begins
to have something of the charm of distant perspective. We seem
released from the imprisonment of the deep monotonous forest, and
can occasionally overlook the broad hills of Apple Creek, and the
Au Vaise,[061] or Muddy river of Illinois, diversified with a few
scattered plantations, and some small natural meadows.

About five miles above Cape Girardeau we found the steam-boat
Jefferson, destined for the Missouri. She had been detained some
time waiting for castings which were on board the Western
Engineer. Several other steam-boats, with stores for the troops
about to ascend the Missouri, had entered that river, and were
waiting to be overtaken by the Jefferson and the Calhoun, which
last we had left at the rapids of the Ohio. On the 3d of June we
passed that insular rock in the middle of the Mississippi, called
the Grand Tower.[062] It is about one hundred and fifty feet high,
and two hundred and fifty in diameter. Between it and the right
shore is a {44} channel of about one hundred and fifty yards in
width, with a deep and rapid current.

In the summer of 1673, Father Marquette and M. Joliet descended
the Mississippi, probably as far as the mouth of the Arkansa.
Their narrative contains sufficient evidence that they passed the
mouth of the Missouri, the Grand Tower, the mouth of the Ohio, &c.
As their work may not be easily accessible to many of our readers,
we subjoin, in a note, an interesting passage, in which these
objects are mentioned.[063]

The strata of sandstone containing the extensive beds of coal
which have been explored, about the Muddy river of Illinois, are
here divided transversely by the bed of the Mississippi. The Grand
Tower, the precipice opposite the mouth of the Obrazo,[064]
containing the singular cavity called the Devil's Oven, the
Cornice Rock, and other remarkable cliffs, are monuments
indicating the great extent to which the Mississippi has
channelled its bed in these strata of horizontal sandstone.

The Grand Tower, from its form and situation, strongly suggests
the idea of a work of art. It is not impossible that a bridge may
be constructed here, for which this rock shall serve as a pier.
The shores, on both sides, are of substantial and permanent rocks,
which undoubtedly extend across, forming the bed of the river. It
is probable, however, that the ledge of rocks called the Two
Chains, extending down to Cape à la Bruche, presents greater
facilities for the construction of a bridge than this point, as
the high lands there approach nearer the river, and are less
broken than in the neighbourhood of the Grand Tower. The Ohio
would also admit of a bridge at the chains, which appear to be a
continuation of the range of rocks here mentioned, crossing that
river fifteen miles above its confluence with the Mississippi. We
look forward to the time when these great works will be completed.

{45} Compact and sparry limestones are frequent in this region; but
all the rocks seem to be acted upon with great rapidity by currents
of water. The country on the east side of the Mississippi, back
of Fort Chartres, and about the river St. Mary, is much broken by
sink holes, having the form of a funnel, and occasioned, probably,
by the action of subterraneous streams of water finding their way
through the friable sandstones, which underlay the deep and fertile
soils in those places. We passed in succession the mouths of the
river St. Mary, opposite to which is the fine settlement of the
Bois Broule bottoms; the Ocoa, or Kaskaskia river; the St. Lora,
a handsome stream, from the west; and the Gabaree Creek, on which
stands the old French town of St. Genevieve.[065] The navigation
of the Mississippi, above the mouth of the Ohio, is at all times
difficult. The current is considerably accelerated by the descent
of the river over the rocky traverses which cross its bed. At times
of low water, innumerable sand-bars occur in various parts of the
channel, rendering the navigation extremely precarious.

A little below the mouth of the Kaskaskia, is a creek called the
Saline, entering on the west side. A grant of a tract of land, one
league square, was here made by the Spanish government, in favour
of a Frenchman named Pegreau, the founder of the deserted town
called New Bourbon.[066] The tract included a valuable brine
spring, near the mouth of the creek. The proprietor built a house
near the bank of the Mississippi, where he resided for some time,
and carried on a manufacture of salt; but having occasion to go to
France, he rented his works to a man, who for want of funds, or
for some other reason, failed to keep them in operation. After the
transfer of Louisiana to the United States' Government, this
grant, among others, became an object of speculation; and
advantage being taken of Pegreau's absence, the worthless tenant
was instigated {46} to prosecute his landlord for breach of
contract, and by a legal process recovered damages to the amount
of nine thousand dollars, for the disbursement of which the
property was sold, and fell into the hands of the present

At the mouth of the Kaskaskia river, on the east bank of the
Mississippi, a town has been recently commenced, called Portland.
The high lands approach here to the brink of the river, affording
an elevated and advantageous site. The landing is said to be good;
and there is reason to expect that Portland will soon rival the
old town of Kaskaskia, the present seat of a great portion of the
mercantile business in this part of Illinois.[067]

On the 5th the wind blew from the south-east, and with the aid of
sails, we were enabled to ascend the river with considerable
rapidity. As we were proceeding briskly forward, our boat struck
upon one of those concealed trunks of trees so frequent in the
Mississippi, and soon afterwards we discovered that a leak had
occurred, which made it necessary for us to lie by. By the
constant use of the pumps during the remainder of the day, and the
following night, we were able to prevent the water from gaining
further upon us; and the next day, having discovered the leak, we
raised the stern of the boat, by means of a pair of shears, and
succeeded in repairing the injury.

On the beach, opposite the place where we lay by for these
repairs, was a large flock of pelicans, which remained in sight
for several hours. We had met with some wild geese; and a swan,
which we saw was unable to fly, having at that time cast its
feathers. The yellow-breasted chat, chuck-wills-widow, the falco
haliatus, the kingfisher, bank swallow, and numerous other birds,

At the mouth of the Kaskaskia river, on the east side of the
Mississippi, commences the celebrated valley called the American
Bottom, extending along {47} the eastern bank of the river last
mentioned to the Piasa hills, four miles above the mouth of the
Missouri. It is several miles in width, and has a soil of
astonishing fertility, consisting of comparatively recent
depositions from the river. It has all the disadvantages usually
attending tracts of recent river alluvion, the most valuable parts
of it being liable to be swept away by the current of the
Mississippi, and its surface descending from the brink of the
river to the stagnant pools and lagoons, at the outskirts of the
valley. But the inexhaustible fertility of its soil makes amends
for the insalubrity of the air, and the inconveniences of a flat
and marshy situation; and this valley is undoubtedly destined to
become one of the most populous parts of America. We were formerly
shown here a field that had been cultivated, without manure, one
hundred years in succession, and which, when we saw it (in August,
1819) was covered with a very luxuriant growth of corn.

The town of Kaskaskia, the villages of Prairie de Roches, Kahokia,
Prairie du Pont, Harrisonville, and Fort Chartres, are situate in
this tract. Some of them are in a flourishing condition. Fort
Chartres, which was built by the French government, at the expense
of one million and a half of dollars, stood near the bank of the
river, about twenty miles from Kaskaskia. Not long after they were
erected, a part of the works were undermined by the washing of the
river; since which time the whole has been suffered to remain in
ruins, which are now one-fourth of a mile distant from the

The country west of the Mississippi, opposite the American Bottom,
is of a very different character. The high lands approach the
river, presenting abrupt declivities, prominent points, and in
many places perpendicular precipices from one to two hundred {48}
feet high, frowning over the brink of the river. One of the most
remarkable of these is known by the name of the Cornice Rock. It
bounds a narrow arm of the river, which has generally sufficient
water to admit the passage of boats. The rock extends nearly in a
straight line, having a front of about four hundred yards, the
brow of the precipice at some points impending over the channel
through which boats pass. The rock rises above, to the height of
fifty or sixty feet, smoothly rounded by the attrition of the
water, which never rising to the upper part of the precipice,
leaves that to project in the form of a cornice. Though the lands
on the west side of the Mississippi are less fertile than those of
the American Bottom, they are of great value, and have long been
objects of scandalous speculation.

Among a variety of stratagems, practised in this part of the
country to obtain titles to lands, was one which will be best
explained by the following anecdote, related to us by a
respectable citizen of St. Genevieve. Preparatory to taking
possession of Louisiana in 1805, the legislature passed a law,
authorising a claim to one section of land, in favour of any
person who should have actually made _improvements_, in any part
of the same, previous to the year 1804. Commissioners were
appointed to settle all claims of this description; more commonly
known by the name of improvement rights. A person, somewhere in
the county of Cape Girardeau, being desirous of establishing a
claim of this kind to a tract of land, adopted the following
method:--The time having expired for the establishment of a right,
agreeably to the spirit of the law, he took with him two witnesses
to the favourite spot, on which he wished to establish his claim,
and in their presence marked two trees, standing on opposite sides
of a spring; one with the figures 1803, the other 1804, and placed
a stalk of growing corn in the spring. He then brought the
witnesses before the commissioners, who upon their {49}
declaration, that they had seen corn growing at the place
specified, in the spring between 1803 and 1804, admitted the claim
of the applicant, and gave him a title to the land. In the old
district of Cape Girardeau, as in other parts of Louisiana, the
difficulty of establishing indisputable titles to the lands,
arising out of the great number of Spanish grants, pre-emption,
and improvement claims, has greatly retarded the settlement of the
country.[069] Establishments were made here more than one hundred
and fifty years since; yet the features of the country are little
changed, retaining the rudeness and gloominess of the original

At five o'clock, on the afternoon of the sixth, we passed the
Platteen rock, a perpendicular precipice, not unlike the Cornice
rock, near the mouth of a creek of the same name. Along the base
of this cliff, we found the water three and sometimes four fathoms
deep. In the evening we arrived at Herculaneum, a small village on
the west side of the Mississippi, depending principally upon the
lead mines for its business.[071]

Here are three shot manufactories, all of them built at the
summits of perpendicular precipices; by which means, the expense
of erecting high towers has been avoided. Thirty or forty miles to
the south-west of Herculaneum, commences the region of the lead
mines, which, though not yet satisfactorily explored, is known to
extend for many miles through the hilly country, at the sources of
the Merameg, the St. Francis, and the other small rivers, rising
in the angle between the Mississippi and Missouri, below the mouth
of the latter river.

Soon after the cession of Louisiana to the United States,
particular care was taken to have all claims to land investigated
and registered. Some few {50} may have been omitted, which may be
hereafter revived, but these cannot be numerous. In all the recent
sales of public lands in the western states and territories,
liberal reservations have been made for the encouragement of
learning. We subjoin some particulars, extracted from a
communication of the commissioner of public lands. From this
statement, it will be easy to form an idea of the liberal
provision made by government, for the future support of schools
and colleges. It is probable, similar grants will be made to the
Eastern States.[072]

On the 7th, after taking in wood at Herculaneum, we moved up the
river; but had scarcely passed the mouth of the Merameg,[073] when
we found ourselves unable to stem the heavy current of the
Mississippi, on account of the great quantities of mud that had
accumulated in the boilers, and prevented our raising the
requisite pressure of steam. While we were lying at anchor, to
afford the steam engineer an opportunity to clean the boilers,
some gentlemen of the party returned along shore to the Merameg, a
beautiful river, whose limpid and transparent waters present a
striking contrast to the yellow and turbid Mississippi. They were
fortunate in meeting with many interesting objects, and, among
others, an undescribed mus, which has received, from Mr. Ord, the
name of floridanus.[074] Upon the specimen, which was a male, was
a dilated, glabrous, ventral line, 2-1/4 inches long. This species
is well known in some districts, under the name of large
hairy-tailed rat, and is by no means rare in Florida. It is as
large as the ordinary stature of the Norway rat, and is equally
troublesome. The contents of its stomach were entirely vegetable,
consisting of the green bark of trees, and the young shoots of
plants. Their nests are large, and are composed of a great
quantity of brush. Dr. Baldwin had rarely been able to join in the
excursions on shore. Plants were, however, collected and brought
to him on board the boat, {51} where he spent much of his time in
the examination of such as were interesting or new.[075]

A few rods above our anchoring ground, were two graves, supposed
to be those of Indians. One of them was quite recent, and both
were covered with heaps of loose stones, probably designed as
monuments, and to protect the graves from the ravages of wolves or
other animals. The eighth of June brought us to the small village
of Vide Poche,[076] and the following day to St. Louis, where our
arrival was noticed by a salute from a six-pounder on the bank of
the river, and the discharge of ordnance on board several of the
steam-boats lying in front of the town.


  [043] Observations were made, at Shippingsport, to ascertain the
  rate of going of our chronometer, the latitude of the place, and
  for other purposes; according to these, the Falls are in 38° 15′
  23″ N.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ The latitude is 38° 15′ 8″.

  [044] Page 108.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ Miguel Venegas, a native of Mexico, was born
  in 1680, joined the Jesuit order in 1700, and after several
  years' service as professor of Latin, rhetoric, and theology,
  went out as a missionary to the Indians. His chief work was,
  _Noticia de la California y su Conquista temporal y espiritual
  hasta el tiempo presente_ (Madrid, 3 vols., 1757). Its
  importance as a contemporary account of the native tribes and
  mission stations of California is attested by the fact that
  translations were promptly made into English, French, and
  Dutch. The English edition is entitled _Natural and Civil
  History of California_ (London, 2 vols., 1759).

  [045] For historical importance of the Wabash River and origin
  of the name, see Croghan's _Journals_, in our volume i, note
  107; for sketch of the site of Shawneetown, see _ibid._, note

  [046] Testudo geographica of Leseuer.--JAMES.

  [047] Usually called Cave-in-Rock. For additional facts relative
  to its history, see Cuming's _Tour_, in our volume iv, note

  [048] _Nitrate of Potash._--This salt occurs in most of the
  caves in the western states and territories. It is found in
  efflorescences and incrustations frequently combined with
  nitrate of lime. Its colour is grayish or yellowish white. The
  manufacture of nitre, in the numerous caves in Kentucky, is
  conducted as follows: The earths containing the nitrates of lime
  and potash are lixiviated; the lixivium is afterwards passed
  through the ashes of wood, by the alkali of which the nitrate of
  lime is decomposed. If the earths, after having been lixiviated,
  are replaced in the caves, they again become impregnated with
  the same salts.

  One bushel of earth commonly yields from one to four pounds of
  nitre. The process by which nature supplies the consumption of
  this important article has not yet been discovered.

  _Muriate of Soda._--In the United States, common salt has been
  usually found in solution combined with the sulphates of lime,
  magnesia, and soda, and with sulphuretted hydrogen gas. The
  springs yielding the greatest quantity of salt, are those of
  the Kenhawa, and Little Sandy rivers, the United States'
  Salines near Shawaneetown, Illinois, Boon's Saline, near
  Franklin, Missouri, and Lockhart's on the Le Mine river.

  The Kenhawa salt-works supply about thirty thousand bushels of
  salt per annum. The rocks about these springs belong to the
  secondary formation, and are limestone, variegated sandstone,
  and bituminous shale: we were informed that two hundred and
  fifty gallons of this water yield one bushel of salt. At
  the Salines of the Little Sandy, ten thousand bushels are
  manufactured yearly. The waters, like those of the Kenhawa,
  hold in solution muriate and sulphate of soda, sulphate of
  lime, and probably a small portion of sulphate of magnesia.
  Limestone and sandstone are the only rocks to be met with in the
  neighbourhood. The United States' salines, near Shawaneetown,
  produce at present about a hundred and thirty thousand bushels
  of salt per annum; they formerly yielded more than two hundred
  thousand in the same time. There are now seven furnaces in
  operation: the water is procured from three wells, two of which
  are rented by Major I. Taylor. At these works the salt water
  formerly issued from the earth at the surface. A well of sixteen
  feet deep brought the workmen to a spring, which now discharges
  sixteen gallons of water per minute. Two hundred and fifty
  gallons yield fifty pounds of salt. About one thousand yards
  to the east of this well is a basin, or hollow, one hundred
  and thirty-five feet in diameter. The soil in and about it is
  intimately blended with fragments of earthen ware.

  In the middle of this basin a well has been sunk, which
  affords a more concentrated brine than that before mentioned;
  one hundred and ten gallons yielding fifty pounds of salt.

  In digging this well, the first fourteen feet was through a
  light earth mixed with ashes and fragments of earthen ware:
  the remaining fourteen through a bed of clay, deeply coloured
  with oxyde of iron, and containing fragments of pottery. The
  clay has something the appearance of having been subjected to
  the action of fire. At the eastern side of the basin appears
  to have been a drain for the purpose of conveying away the
  superabundant water. In this drain, about four feet below the
  surface of the earth, is a layer of charcoal about six inches
  deep. The stones in the vicinity appear as if they had been
  burnt. Four miles west of this point, a well has been sunk
  sixty feet through the following beds.

  First—— twenty feet of tenacious blue clay, at the bottom of
  which they came to a small spring of salt water.

  Second—— another bed of clay, of a similar character,
  twenty-five feet thick.

  Third—— a bed of quicksand, about ten feet deep; in which
  they met with a large vein of salt water.

  Bones of the mammoth, and other animals, were found both in
  the clay and sand. The original reservation at these salines
  comprised ninety-two thousand one hundred and sixty acres of
  woodland, and was transferred from the United States to the
  state of Illinois, at the time of the admission of the latter
  into the union. The rents amount to ten thousand dollars per

  _Nitrate of Lime_ is found in the calcareous caverns of
  Kentucky, accompanying nitrate of potash, with which it is
  intimately blended in the earth, on the floors of the caves:
  it is also sometimes found in delicate accicular crystals,
  shooting up from the walls and floors of the caverns.--JAMES.

  [049] Smithland is now the seat of Livingston County. The
  deserted settlement three miles below the mouth of Cumberland
  River was laid out about 1800 by one Coxe; upon the failure of
  his plans, the site was converted into a farm.--ED.

  [050] See Cuming's _Tour_, in our volume iv, note 43.--ED.

  [051] The correct name of this stream is Cache River. The French
  explorers applied the term "cache" (hiding-place) to many
  streams, probably because of articles hidden there by them. This
  particular stream is about thirty miles long, being navigable
  for small boats about a third of the distance.

  The town of America was laid off in 1818, with the expectation
  that it would attain considerable size. For two or three years
  it grew rapidly; then low water uncovered a long bar which
  excluded steamers from the landing, whereupon the town declined
  and practically disappeared, the site now being occupied by but
  one or two small dwellings.--ED.

  [052] For a description of the Iron Banks, see Nuttall's
  _Journal_, in our volume xiii, note 54.--ED.

  [053] Although the range from extreme high to extreme low water
  amounts to sixty feet perpendicular, in many parts of the Ohio,
  it does not exceed twenty feet at this place, owing to the width
  to which the Ohio spreads in this neighbourhood, when the river
  is high. This may be considered a circumstance much in favour
  of the place, when compared with the disadvantages most other
  positions on the Ohio labour under, from inundation in high
  water, and the difficulty of unlading in low.--JAMES.

  [054] Rockport is the seat of Spencer County, Indiana, one
  hundred and forty miles below Louisville, measured on the
  river's course.--ED.

  [055] Green River enters the Ohio from the Kentucky side,
  thirty-five miles below Rockport.--ED.

  [056] On Cherokee purchase, see Cuming's _Tour_, in volume iv,
  this series, note 190.--ED.

  [057] Latitude 36° 59′ 47.99″; longitude, 89° 9′ 31.2″.--ED.

  [058] Schultz's Travels, vol. 2. p. 92.--JAMES.

  [059] The cymbidium hiemale of Willdenow, which has been placed
  by Mr. Nuttall under the genus corallorhiza of Haller, occurs in
  the fertile soils of the Mississippi, with two radical leaves,
  as described by the early authors. Mr. N.'s amended description
  is therefore only applicable to the plant as it occurs in the
  eastern states, where it is commonly found to have but a single

  [060] Tyawapatia (Tywappity, Tiwappaty) Bottom was the
  name formerly applied to the flood plain on the Missouri side,
  in the present Scott County. It extended from the mouth of the
  Ohio to Commerce, near the site of which was the settlement
  referred to. Americans began to enter the bottom as early as
  1798, and in 1823 the town of Commerce was laid out on the
  site of a trading post already twenty years old.

  The name Cape à la Bruche is probably a corruption of Cape à
  la Broche (spit-like). The point was also called Cape La Croix
  (The Cross), which name alone survives. It is about six miles
  below Cape Girardeau, on the same side of the river.--ED.

  [061] The name Au Vaise is a corruption of Rivière au
  Vase (Muddy River); the present name is Big Muddy. It enters
  the Mississippi from the northeast, at the northwest corner of
  Union County, Illinois, and boats ascend forty or fifty

  [062] Opposite the town of the same name, in Jackson County,

  [063] They left the Illinois about the middle of June. Of
  the rocky cliffs below the confluence of that river, Father
  Marquette speaks as follows: "Among the rocks I have mentioned,
  we found one very high and steep, and saw two monsters painted
  upon it, which are so hideous that we were frightened at first
  sight, and the boldest savages dare not fix their eyes upon
  them. They are drawn as big as a calf, with two horns like a
  wild-goat. Their looks are terrible, though their face has
  something of human figure in it. Their eyes are red, their
  beard is like that of a tiger, and their body is covered with
  scales. Their tail is so long that it goes over their heads,
  and then turns between their fore-legs under the belly, ending
  like a fish-tail. There are but three colours, viz. red,
  green, and black; but those monsters are so well drawn that I
  cannot believe the savages did it; and the rock whereon they
  are painted is so steep that it is a wonder to me how it was
  possible to draw those figures: but to know to what purpose
  they were made is as great a mystery. Whatever it be, our best
  painters would hardly do better.

  "As we fell down the river, following the gentle stream of the
  waters, and discoursing upon those monsters, we heard a great
  noise of waters, and saw several small pieces of timber, and
  small floating islands, which were huddled down the river
  _Pekitanoni_. The waters of this stream (the Missouri) are so
  muddy, because of the violence of its stream, that it is
  impossible to drink of it; and they spoil the clearness of the
  Mississippi, and make its navigation very dangerous in this
  place. This river runs from the north-west; and I hope to
  discover, in following its channel to its source, some other
  river that discharges itself into the _Mar Marvejo_, or the
  _Caliphornian Gulf_.

  "About twenty leagues lower than the Pekitanoni, we met another
  river, called the Ouabouskigon; but before we arrived there,
  we passed through a most formidable place to the savages, who
  believe that a _manito_ or devil resides in that place, to
  deliver such as are so bold as to come near it. This terrible
  _manito_ proves to be nothing but some rocks in a turning of
  the river, about thirty feet high, against which the stream
  runs with great violence." This is probably the Grand Tower.
  "The river _Ouabouskigon_ (Ohio) comes from the eastward. The
  _Chuoanous_ (Shawneese) inhabit its banks; and are so numerous,
  that I have been informed there are thirty-eight villages of
  that nation situated on this river."--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ James dates the start too early, for by
  Marquette's account, it was near the end of June ("sur la fin
  de Juin"); nor is James's version quite accurate. Compare the
  French of Marquette's account in _Jesuit Relations_, lix, p. 138.

  [064] Spelled also Brazos and Brazeau--a Perry County (Missouri)
  tributary of the Mississippi.--ED.

  [065] The Bois Broulé (Burnt Wood) Bottoms lie chiefly in Perry
  County, Missouri. The tract is about eighteen miles long and
  from four to six wide.

  For Kaskaskia River and settlement, see André Michaux's
  _Travels_, in our volume iii, note 132.

  For Ste. Geneviève, see Cuming's _Tour_, in our volume iv, note

  [066] Among the nobles who fled from France during the
  Revolution was the father of Charles Dehault Delassus, last
  governor of Upper Louisiana under Spanish domination. The
  elder Delassus came to Ste. Geneviève, and was placed in
  command of a post established for him on a bluff overlooking
  the river, two or three miles below the town; this post was
  named New Bourbon (La Nouvelle Bourbon), in honor of the
  fallen French dynasty. The town which grew up around it was
  still in existence in 1812.--ED.

  [067] Portland was one of many towns laid out along the
  Mississippi by speculators who hoped that important cities
  would arise on the sites chosen. This particular venture was
  undertaken by a company organized in Cincinnati in 1819; but
  inhabitants failed to come, and the buildings erected by the
  promoters fell into ruins. The site was near the present town
  of Chester; an Illinois state penitentiary now stands on the

  [068] It is stated by Mr. Schultz that Fort Chartres, which
  was originally built one-fourth of a mile from the river, was
  undermined in 1808. Vol. 2, p. 37.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ For Kaskaskia, Prairie du Rocher, Cahokia, and
  Fort Chartres, see André Michaux's _Travels_, in our volume iii,
  notes 132, 133, 135, 136.

  Prairie du Pont, one mile south of Cahokia, grew up about
  a water-mill built in 1754 on a creek of that name, by
  missionaries of St. Sulpice.

  Harrisonville dates from the era of American domination. It
  was laid out in 1808, and named for William Henry Harrison,
  the governor of Indiana Territory, which then included
  Illinois. It was, in early days, the county town.

  [069] Ample information on the subject of land titles,
  is contained in Stoddart's Sketches of Louisiana, pages

  [070] The statement here is not accurate. Marquette's
  descent of the Mississippi was just one hundred and fifty
  years earlier, and the French settlements in Illinois date
  from the beginning of the eighteenth century; while Ste.
  Geneviève, the first in Missouri, was not established before

  [071] Herculaneum, laid out in 1808, was another of the now
  extinct river towns. It was thirty miles below St. Louis, and
  was at one time seat of Jefferson County.--ED.

  [072] A _township_ is a square, whose sides (limited by true
  meridians and parallels to the equator) are each 6 miles in
  length: area 36 square miles, or _sections_, each containing 640
  acres. Each township contains 23,040 acres. A _quarter-section_
  is a square whose sides (bounded by meridians and parallels),
  are each half a mile, and contain 160 acres. The corners of
  each section are distinctly marked by the United States'
  deputy-surveyors. The _sections_ are numbered from 1 to 36,
  beginning at the N. E. corner of the township, and going from
  right to left, to the N. W. corner; and then returning from left
  to right to the east boundary of the township, and so on.

  The act of February 22. 1817, authorizes the sale, in _half
  quarter_ sections, or (80 acres) of the sections 2, 5, 20, 23,
  30, 33, of each township. The subdivision of the quarter
  section is made by true meridians.

  The _section_ No. 16. in every township, is by law reserved
  for the support of schools; the S. E. corner of that section
  is the centre of each township. More than 60 million acres of
  United States' land, have already been surveyed:--1/36 of 60
  millions is 1,666,666 acres, reserved by law for the support
  of schools. The section No. 16. will unquestionably be
  reserved in all future surveys and disposals of public lands.

  For colleges and seminaries of a higher grade, thirteen whole
  townships have already been granted by the United States to
  Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, &c. Thirteen townships are equal to
  299,520 acres.

  By section 2. of the act of April 18. 1806, relative to
  Tennessee, 200,000 acres are in that state reserved for
  colleges and academies.

  The reservations for schools, colleges, &c. are--

  Section No. 16.             1,666,666
  Thirteen townships            299,520
  Reservation in Tennessee      200,000
                              2,166,186 acres;

  which, at the minimum price established previous to the year
  1820, of two dollars per acre, is $4,332,372.

  The area of the whole state of Ohio (the eldest of the states
  north of the Ohio) is about 25 millions of acres; of this
  about 14,400 had been surveyed anterior to the late cessions,
  which embrace the N. W. part of that state: 1/36 of 14,400,000
  is 400,000.

  The free spirit of Ohio, united with signal industry and
  economy, has already given to section 16. in the surveyed
  portion of the state, a value of at least four dollars per
  acre, or of 1,600,000 dollars. There are instances, in which
  section 16. in Ohio, is worth from twenty to thirty dollars per
  acre.--_National Intelligencer of November 10. 1819._--JAMES.

  [073] The Meramec River (the name is a corruption of an Indian
  word meaning "Catfish") forms part of the boundary between
  Jefferson and St. Louis counties, Missouri. It flows from the
  southwest, its chief sources lying in Dent County, and is
  navigable for steamboats for almost a hundred miles.--ED.

  [074] _Genus Mus. L.--M. Floridanus, Ord, Say._ _Body_ robust;
  _back_ plumbeous; sides, sacrum, and origin of the tail,
  ferrugineous-yellowish; _fur_ plumbeous near its base; all
  beneath white; _tail_ hairy, above brown, as long as the body;
  _head_ plumbeous, intermixed with gray, gradually attenuated to
  the nose; _ears_ large, prominent, patulous, obtusely rounded,
  naked or furnished with obsolete sparse hairs behind, and on the
  margin within; _eyes_ moderately prominent; _whiskers_, some
  black, and some white bristles, elongated, longest surpassing
  the tips of the ears, arranged in six longitudinal series,
  superior labia, and those of the angles of the mouth, folded
  into the mouth, and hairy within; _legs_ subequal, robust;
  anterior legs with a few white projecting setæ near the foot
  behind; _feet_ white; _toes_ annulate beneath, with impressed
  lines, intermediate ones equal, exterior ones equal; shorter
  thumb minute; _palm_ with five tuberculous prominences, of
  which the anterior ones are placed triangularly, and the others
  transversely; _nails_ concealed by the hairs; _posterior feet_,
  inner toe shortest, 2d, 3d, and 4th subequal, the third slightly
  longest, all beneath annulated; _nails_ concealed by the hairs;
  _palm_ with six tubercles, of which the three posterior ones
  are distant from each other. Entire length, from nose to tip of
  tail, sixteen inches nearly; _tail_ seven inches, _ear_ rather
  more than 9/10 of an inch long, greatest breadth one inch. From
  tip of nose to anterior canthus of the eye, 1/20 inches. Length
  of the eye nearly 2/5.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ George Ord, a Philadelphia scientist and
  writer, was known especially for his work in ornithology. He
  was at one time a vice president of the American Philosophical
  Society, and from 1851-58 was president of the Academy of
  Natural Sciences at Philadelphia.

  [075] Near the mouth of the Merameg were collected the
  Rudbeckia _hirta_, and R. purpurea, a small white flowering
  species of Houstonia, the Galium tinctorium Smyrnium aureum, a
  phlox, a new species of potentilla, a conyza, the trifolium
  reflexum, a beautiful aira, the campunula perfoliata,
  diospyros virginiana, rhus glabra, and many others. _Dr.
  Baldwin's MS. Notes._--JAMES.

  [076] Vide Poche (Empty Pocket), more properly Carondelet, now
  included in St. Louis, was at this time five miles south of the
  original city. It is of about the same age.--ED.


  Tumuli and Indian Graves about St. Louis, and on the Merameg--
  Mouth of the Missouri--Charboniere--Journey by land from St.
  Charles, to Loutre Island.

Saint Louis, formerly called Pain Court,[077] was founded by Pierre
La Clade [Laclède] and his associates in 1764, eighty-four years
after the establishment of Fort Creve-cœur, on the Illinois river.
Until a recent period, it was occupied almost exclusively by people
of French extraction, who maintained a lucrative traffic with the
Indians. The history, and present condition of this important town,
are too well known to be dwelt upon in this place. Its population
has been rapidly augmented within a few years, by the immigration
of numerous families, and its wealth and business extended by the
accession of enterprising merchants and mechanics from the Eastern
States. As the town advances in importance and magnitude, the
manners and customs of the people of the United States, are taking
the place of those of the French and Spaniards, whose numbers are
proportionably diminishing. As this place seems destined to be the
depôt for such articles of merchandize, as are to be sent from
New Orleans to the upper rivers, it is unfortunate, that no good
harbour offers for the protection of boats against the impetuosity
of the current, and from the danger occasioned by floating ice.
In this respect, the site of a projected town, a few miles below,
has a decided advantage over Saint Louis, as it possesses a good
harbour. It was selected many years since, by some Canadian
Frenchmen, who formed a settlement there.[078]

The horizontal strata of limestone which underlay the town of
Saint Louis and the surrounding country, {53} have strongly
attracted the attention of the curious, on account of having been
found, in one or two instances, to contain distinct impressions of
the human foot. There is now in the possession of Mr. Rapp,[079] of
the Society of the Harmonites, a stone, which has upon its surface
marks that appear to have been formed by the naked feet of some
human being, who was standing upon it while in a plastic state;
also an irregular line, apparently traced by a stick or wand,
held in the hand of the same person. This stone was taken from the
slope of the immediate bank of the Mississippi below the range of
the periodical floods. To us there seems nothing inexplicable or
difficult to understand in its appearance.

Nothing is more probable, than that impressions of human feet made
upon that thin stratum of mud, which was deposited on the shelvings
of the rocks, and left naked by the retiring of the waters, may,
by the induration of the mud, have been preserved, and at length
have acquired the appearance of an impression made immediately
upon the limestone. This supposition will be somewhat confirmed,
if we examine the mud and slime deposited by the water of the
Mississippi, which will be found to consist of such an intimate
mixture of clay and lime, as under favourable circumstances would
very readily become indurated. We are not confident that the
impressions above mentioned have originated in the manner here
supposed, but we cannot by any means adopt the opinion of some, who
have considered them as contemporaneous to those casts of submarine
animals, which occupy so great a part of the body of the limestone.
We have no hesitation in saying, that whatever those impressions
maybe, if they were produced, as they appear to have been by the
agency of human feet, they belong to a period far more recent, than
that of the deposition of the limestone on whose surface they are

The country about St. Louis, like that in the rear {54} of Fort
Chartres, and indeed like the horizontal limestone country
generally, abounds in sink holes sometimes of great depth. These
are very numerous, from five to seven miles back of the town.
They are in the form of vast funnels, having at the surface a
diameter of from twenty to fifty yards. Mr. Say descended into one
of these, for the purpose of ascertaining the medium temperature
below the surface of the earth. This sink opens at the bottom of a
deep ravine. It has two apertures near each other, through which
water is admitted, and each large enough to afford passage to the
body of a man. Within are two chambers from six to twelve feet in
breadth, and thirty-five feet long. At the bottom of the second
chamber is a pool of water rather difficult of access. In this
apartment the mercury stood at 60° fah.: in a shady part of the
ravine about twenty-five feet below the general surface at 75°.
The grassy plains to the west of St. Louis are ornamented with
many beautifully flowering herbaceous plants. Among those
collected there, Dr. Baldwin observed the aristolochia Sipho,
cypripedium spectabile,[080] lilium catesbeiana, bartsia coccinea,
triosteum perfoliatum, cistus canadensis, clematis viorna, and the
tradescantia virginica. The borders of this plain begin to be
overrun with a humble growth of black jack and the witch
hazel,[081] it abounds in rivulets, and some excellent springs of
water, near one of which was found a new and beautiful species of
viburnum. On the western borders of this prairie are some fine
farms. It is here that Mr. John Bradbury,[082] so long and so
advantageously known as a botanist, and by his travels into the
interior of America, is preparing to erect his habitation. This
amiable gentleman lost no opportunity during our stay at St. Louis
to make our residence there agreeable to us. Near the site
selected for his house is a mineral spring, whose {55} waters are
strongly impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen gas. Cattle and
horses, which range here throughout the season, prefer the waters
of this spring to those of the creek in whose bed it rises, and
may be seen daily coming in great numbers, from distant parts of
the prairie, to drink of it.

Tumuli, and other remains of the labours of nations of Indians
that inhabited this region many ages since, are remarkably
numerous about St. Louis. Those tumuli immediately northward of
the town, and within a short distance of it, are twenty-seven in
number, of various forms and magnitudes, arranged nearly in a line
from north to south. The common form is an oblong square, and they
all stand on the second bank of the river. The statement given
below of their forms, magnitudes, and relative positions, is the
result of actual admeasurement taken with care, and with as much
accuracy as their present indefinite boundaries, together with the
dense growth of underwood, covering their surface, and tending to
beguile and obstruct the vision of the observer, will admit.

It seems probable these piles of earth were raised as cemeteries,
or they may have supported altars for religious ceremonies. We
cannot conceive any useful purpose to which they can have been
applicable in war, unless as elevated stations from which to
observe the motions of an approaching enemy; but for this purpose
a single mound would have been sufficient, and the place chosen
would probably have been different.

Nothing like a ditch, or an embankment, is to be seen about any
part of these works.[083]

Indian graves are extremely numerous about St. Louis, though none
are found in the immediate vicinity of the town: they are most
frequent on the hills about the Merameg and on the north side of
the Missouri. On the 12th June, Mr. Say and Mr. Peale, accompanied
by one man, descended the Mississippi,{56} in a small boat to the
mouth of the Merameg, and ascended the latter river about fifteen
miles, to a place where great numbers of graves have been
explored, and have been represented to contain the bones of a
diminutive race of men. Most of these graves are found near the
bank of the Merameg. They do not rise above the general surface,
but their presence is ascertained by the vertical stones which
enclose them, and project a little at either end of the grave.
When the included earth, and the numerous horizontal flat stones
are removed, we find the sides neatly constructed of long flat
stones, vertically implanted and adapted to each other, edge to
edge, so as to form a continuous wall. The graves are usually
three or four feet, though sometimes six feet in length. The bones
they contained appeared to have been deposited after having been
separated from the flesh, and from each other, according to the
custom of some tribes of Indians at the present day.

In the first grave opened by Mr. Say were found the fragments of
an earthen pot, and the bones of an infantine skull; the second
contained what appeared to be the remains of a middle aged man, of
the ordinary stature, laid at full length; the bones much
confused and broken. An inhabitant residing here informed them,
that many similar graves had been found along the summits of most
of the neighbouring hills. In one of these he had found two pieces
of earthenware, one having nearly the form of a porter-bottle; the
other with a wide mouth; but this grave contained no bones. After
spending a night at this place, they crossed the river to the town
of Lilliput, (one of the projected towns here has received this
name,) the place so often mentioned as the locality of the graves
of a pigmy race. Appearances here are in general similar to those
already described. One head that had been dug up was that of an
old person, in whom the teeth had been lost, and the alveolæ {57}
obliterated, leaving the sharp edge of the jaw-bone. From this the
neighbouring settlers had inferred the existence of a race of men
without teeth, having their jaws like those of the turtle. Having
satisfied themselves that all the bones found here were those of
men of the common size, Mr. Say and Mr. Peale "sold their skiff,
shouldered their guns, bones, spade, &c. and bent their weary
steps towards St. Louis, (distant sixteen miles,) where they
arrived at eleven o'clock P. M., having had ample time, by the
way, to indulge sundry reflections on that quality of the mind,
either imbibed in the nursery or generated by evil communications,
which incites to the love of the marvellous, and, by hyperbole,
casts the veil of falsehood over the charming features of simple

These graves evidently contain the relics of a more modern people
than those who erected the mounds.

On the summit of one of the large hillocks, near St. Louis, (No.
27. described in note 83) are several of these graves: we opened
five of them, but in one only were we fortunate in finding any
thing interesting, and all that this contained was a solitary
tooth of a species of rat, together with the vertebræ and ribs of
a serpent of moderate size, and in good preservation; but whether
the animal had been buried by the natives, or had perished there,
after having found admittance through some hole, we could not
determine. If they were buried by the Indians, they are probably
the bones of a species of crotalus, as it is known that many
Indians of the present day have a sort of veneration for animals
of that genus. The circumstance of the discovery of these bones
renders it somewhat probable, that rattlesnakes were formerly
worshipped by the natives of America, and their remains, like
those of the Ibis of Egypt, religiously entombed after death.

Whilst we were at Cincinnati, Dr. Drake exhibited {58} to us, in
his cabinet of natural history, two large marine shells, that had
been dug out of ancient Indian tumuli in that vicinity. These
shells were each cut longitudinally, and the larger half of each
only remained. From this circumstance it seems probable that they
had been used by the aborigines as drinking cups; or, consecrated
to superstition, they may have been regarded as sacred utensils,
and either used in connection with the rites of sacrifice, or in
making libations to their deities; they may, however, like the
cymbium of the Archipelago, have served a more useful and salutary
purpose in bathing.

One of these specimens seems to be a _Cassis cornutus_, of
authors, or great conch shell, though it is proper to observe,
that of the three revolving bands of tubercles, characteristic of
that species, the inferior one in this specimen is double. In
length it is about nine inches and a quarter, and in breadth seven

The other specimen is a heterostrophe shell of the genus _Fulgur_
of Montfort; and, as far as we can judge, in every respect the
same with those which are, at the present day, found on the coast
of Georgia and East Florida, known to naturalists under the name
of _F. perversus_, though it is certainly much larger than any of
the recent specimens we have seen; its length being nine inches,
and breadth six and a half.

Several different countries have been mentioned by authors as the
habitation of the _cornutus_; according to Rumphius, it inhabits
Amboyna, the straits of Malacca, and the shores of the island of
Boeton; Humphreys says it is brought from the East Indies and
China; Linnæus believed it to inhabit the coasts of America; but
Bruguiere, a more recent author, informs us that Linnæus was
probably mistaken in the habitation of this shell, and states it
to be a native of the Asiatic ocean.

The _cornutus_ becomes of some importance in the question relative
to the Asiatic origin of the American {59} Indians. All the
authorities to which we have been able to refer, correspond in
assigning the shores of Asia, or those of the islands which lie
near that continent, as the native territory of this great species
of conch, with the sole exception of Linnæus; but as no other
author has discovered it on the coasts of this continent, we must
believe with Bruguiere, that it is only to be found in the Asiatic

The circumstance then of this shell being discovered in one of the
ancient Indian tumuli, affords, at least, an evidence that an
intercourse formerly existed between the Indians of North America
and those of Asia; and leads us to believe that even a limited
commerce was carried on between them, as it undoubtedly was with
the Atlantic coast, from which the Fulgur was obtained.

But although this isolated fact does not yield a positive proof of
the long asserted migration of the ancestors of the present race
of American Indians from Asia to this country, yet, when taken in
combination with other evidence, which has been collected by
various authors, with so much industry, it will be regarded as
highly corroborative of that popular belief.[084]

In the prairies of Illinois, opposite St. Louis, are numbers of
large mounds. We counted seventy-five in the course of a walk of
about five miles, which brought us to the hill a few years since
occupied by the monks of La Trappe.[085] This enormous mound lies
nearly from north to south, but it is so overgrown with bushes and
weeds, interlaced with briers and vines, that we were unable to
obtain an accurate account of its dimensions.

The survey of these productions of human industry, these monuments
without inscription, commemorating the existence of a people once
numerous and powerful, but no longer known or remembered, never
fails, though often repeated, to produce an impression of sadness.
As we stand upon these {60} mouldering piles, many of them now
nearly obliterated, we cannot but compare their aspect of decay
with the freshness of the wide field of nature, which we see
reviving around us; their insignificance, with the majestic and
imperishable features of the landscape. We feel the insignificance
and the want of permanence in every thing human; we are reminded
of what has been so often said of the pyramids of Egypt, and may
with equal propriety be applied to all the works of men, "these
monuments must perish, but the grass that grows between their
disjointed fragments shall be renewed from year to year."[086]

June 21st. After completing our arrangements at St. Louis, we left
that place at noon, and at 10 o'clock on the following day,
entered the mouth of the Missouri. From St. Louis upward to the
Missouri, the water of the Mississippi, for a part of the year, is
observed to be clear and of a greenish colour on the Illinois
side, while it is turbid and yellow along the western bank. But at
the time of our ascent every part of the Mississippi appeared
equally turbid, its waters soon becoming blended with the heavy
flood of the Missouri.

The Missouri being now swollen by the spring floods, which had
subsided in the Mississippi, entered that river with such
impetuosity, as apparently to displace almost the whole body of
the waters in its channel. We had occasion to observe that the
water of the Missouri passes under that of the Mississippi, rising
and becoming mingled with it on the opposite shore, so that a
portion of the clear, green waters of the latter river run for
some distance in the middle of the channel, and along the surface
of the Missouri waters, rendered perhaps specifically heavier by
the great quantities of earthy matter mingled with them. The
waters of the Missouri are so charged with mud and sand as to be
absolutely opake, and of a clay {61} colour; while those of the
Mississippi being comparatively clear, and having a somewhat
olivaceous tint, afford an opportunity of tracing their respective
courses, after their junction in the same channel. At some stages
of water they run side by side, and in a great measure unmingled
as far as Herculaneum, forty-eight miles below their confluence.

We had the pleasure to find, notwithstanding the furnace was
supplied with wood of an indifferent quality, that the force of
our steam-engine was sufficient to propel the boat against the
current of the Missouri, without recourse to the aid of the
_cordelle_,[087] which we had expected to find necessary.

We were somewhat surprised to see here a flock of black-headed
terns. It is remarkable that these birds, whose ordinary range is
in the immediate vicinity of the sea-coast, should ascend this
river to so great a distance. They are not seen on the Delaware as
high as Philadelphia, unless driven up by storms.

In ascending from the mouth of the Missouri to Bellefontain, a
distance of four miles, our boat grounded twice on the point of the
same sand-bar, and considerable time was consumed in efforts to
get her afloat. A military post was established at Bellefontain,
under the direction of the government of the United States, by
General Wilkinson, in 1803; but the soil on which his works were
erected has disappeared, the place being now occupied by the
bed of the river. A few fruit trees only, which stood in the end
of his garden, are yet standing, but are now on the brink of the
river. The first bank is here ten or twelve feet high, rising
perpendicularly from the water. Near its base are the trunks of
several trees with one end imbedded, and the other projecting
horizontally over the surface of the water, affording an evidence
of the recent deposition of the soil of the low plains, and
an admonition of the uncertainty of tenure, on the first bank
of the river. One of these projecting trunks is still in good
preservation. It is {62} about three feet in diameter, and from
its direction, must pass immediately under the roots of two
large trees, now occupying the surface of the soil.[088] Similar
appearances are frequent along the Mississippi and Missouri, and
furnish abundant evidence that these rivers are constantly changing
their bed, and, from the great rapidity of the stream, as well as
from the appearances presented, we must suppose these changes are
not very slowly produced; but their range is confined to the valley
within the second banks, which are here raised about seventy feet.
On this second bank, in the rear of the site of the former works,
the buildings belonging to the present military establishment have
been erected. They were commenced in 1810. The houses are of one
story, constructed of logs, based upon masonry, and united in the
form of a hollow square. At the foot of the second bank rises a
fine spring of water, which has given name to the place. Cold Water
creek, a very small stream not navigable, discharges itself a few
hundred yards above; in times of high water its mouth might afford
harbour to small boats. Before the recent change in the bed of the
Missouri, this creek entered higher up than at present, and then
afforded a good harbour for boats of all sizes. The sixth regiment
were encamped here at the time of our arrival, waiting for the
contractor's steam-boats, three of which we had passed at the mouth
of the river.[089]

Here we found it necessary to adjust a tube to the boilers of our
steam-engine, in order to form a passage, through which the mud
might be blown out: the method heretofore adopted, of taking off
one end for the purpose of admitting a man to clean them, proving
too tedious when it was found necessary to repeat the operation
daily. The expedient of the tube succeeded to our entire

Dr. Baldwin found here a plant, which he considered as forming a
new genus, approaching astragalus; {63} also the new species of
rose, pointed out by Mr. Bradbury, and by him called Rosa
mutabilis. This last is a very beautiful species, rising sometimes
to the height of eight or ten feet. The linden tree[090] attains
great magnitude in the low grounds of the Missouri; its flowers
were now fully expanded.

In ascending from Bellefontain to Charboniere, where we came to an
anchor, on the evening of the 24th, we were opposed by a very
strong current, and much impeded by sand-bars. On the upper ends
of these sand-bars are many large rafts of drift wood; these are
also frequent along the right hand shore. In several places we
observed portions of the bank in the act of falling or sliding
into the river. By this operation, numerous trees, commonly
cotton-woods and willows, are overturned into the water.

The forests, on the low grounds immediately in the vicinity of the
Missouri, are remarkably dense; but in many instances, the young
willows and poplars (which are the first and almost the only trees
that spring up on the lands left naked by the river) have not
attained half their ordinary dimensions, before, by another change
in the direction of the current, they are undermined, and
precipitated down, to be borne away by the river. The growth of
the cotton-tree is very rapid, that of the salix angustata, the
most common of the willows found here, is more tardy, as it never
attains to great size. The seeds of both these trees are produced
in the greatest profusion, and ripened early in the summer, and
being furnished by nature with an apparatus to ensure their wide
dissemination, they have extended themselves and taken root in the
fertile lands along all the ramifications of the Mississippi,
prevailing almost to the exclusion of other trees.

{64} Charboniere[091] is on the right bank of the Missouri. This
name was given it by the boatmen and the earliest settlers, on
account of several narrow beds of coal, which appear a few feet
from the water's edge, at the base of a high cliff of soft
sandstone. The smell of sulphur is very perceptible along the bank
of the river, occasioned doubtless by the decomposition of
pyrites, in the exposed parts of the coal beds. Some small masses
of sulphate of lime also occur, and have probably derived their
origin from the same source.

At St. Charles we were joined by Maj. O'Fallon, agent for Indian
affairs in Missouri, and his interpreter, Mr. John Dougherty, who
had travelled by land from St. Louis.[092] When Lewis and Clark
ascended the Missouri, the town of St. Charles was said to contain
one hundred houses, the inhabitants deriving their support
principally from the Indian trade. This source having in a great
measure failed, on account of the disappearance of the aborigines,
before the rapid advances of the white population, the town
remained in a somewhat declining condition for several years; but
as the surrounding country was soon occupied by an agricultural
population, a more permanent though less lucrative exchange is
taking the place of the Indian trade. Accordingly within two or
three years, many substantial brick buildings had been added, and
several were now in progress: we could enumerate, however, only
about one hundred houses. There are two brick kilns, a tanyard,
and several stores.[093]

A mile or two below St. Charles, are many trunks of trees
projecting from the bank, like those mentioned at Bellefontain. In
the face of the banks are usually great numbers of the holes made
by the bank-swallow for its nest, and the birds themselves are
frequently seen.

At St. Charles, arrangements were made for the purpose of
transporting baggage for such of the gentlemen {65} of the party
as should choose to ascend the Missouri by land, that they might
have the better opportunities for investigating the natural
history of the country. Messrs. Say, Jessup, Peale, and Seymour,
having provided themselves with a horse and pack-saddle, on which
they fastened their blankets, a tent, and some provisions,
accompanied by one man, left St. Charles at 7 o'clock on the
morning of the 26th, intending to keep nearly an equal pace with
the steam-boat, in order to rejoin it as occasion might require.
Dr. Baldwin, still confined by debility and lameness, was
compelled to forego the pleasure of accompanying them.

The Western Engineer proceeded on her voyage, soon after the
departure of Mr. Say and his detachment. Having grounded several
times in the course of the day, and contending all the way against
a heavy current, she proceeded but a few miles. We passed some
rocky cliffs; but in general the immediate banks of the river
presented the same appearance as below, consisting of a recent
alluvium. After we had anchored at evening, Dr. Baldwin was able
to walk a short distance on shore, but returned much fatigued by
his exertions.[094]

On the morning of the 27th, after having taken in a small supply
of indifferent fuel, we crossed over to the right-hand side of the
river, and took on board one of the party, who had left the boat
at an early hour, to visit a friend residing a short distance from
the river. At evening we came to anchor half a mile below Point
Labidee,[095] a high bluff, where observations for latitude were
taken. Here we were detained a day making some necessary repairs.

A fine field of wheat, which appeared to be ripe, extended down to
the brink of the river opposite the spot where we lay. This
belonged to the plantation of a farmer, recently from Virginia.
From him we obtained a plentiful supply of milk, and some bacon
hams. A portion of the bank had lately fallen into {66} the river,
and with it a part of the wheat field, and the dwelling house and
other buildings seemed destined soon to follow.

The shore here was lined with the common elder, (sambucus
canadensis) in full bloom, and the cleared fields were yellow
with the flowers of the common mullein. This plant, supposed to
have been originally introduced from Europe, follows closely the
footsteps of the whites. The liatris pycnostachia, here called
"pine of the prairies," which was now in full bloom, has a
roundish tuberous root, of a warm somewhat balsamic taste, and is
used by the Indians and others for the cure of gonnorrhœa.

The Indian interpreter, Mr. Dougherty, also showed us some
branches of a shrub, which he said was much used among the natives
in the cure of lues venerea. They make a decoction of the root,
which they continue to drink for some time. It is called "blue
wood" by the French, and is the symphoria racemosa of Pursh,
common to the maritime states, the banks of the St. Lawrence, and
the Missouri. It is here rather taller, and the branches less
flexuous than in the eastern states.[096]

Without meeting any remarkable occurrences, we moved on from day
to day, encountering numerous obstacles in the navigation of the
river, and being occasionally delayed by the failure of some part
of the steam-engine, till on the 2d of July, we arrived at Loutre
Island, where we found Mr. Say and his companions.

After leaving the steam-boat at St. Charles, on the 25th of June,
this party had travelled over a somewhat hilly country, covered
with open oak woods for about ten miles, to a small creek, called
the Darden,[097] entering the Mississippi a few miles above the
Illinois. This stream they crossed three miles from the Missouri,
having in their walk suffered greatly {67} from thirst. At
evening they tied their pack-horse to a bush; and as they
returned, after being absent a few minutes for water, the animal
took fright, and breaking loose, disencumbered himself of his
pack, and set off on a gallop to return to St. Charles; and it was
not without great exertion that he was overtaken and brought back.
They then pitched their tent, and were so fortunate as to find a
house at the distance of half a mile. This belonged to a family
from Carolina, and exhibited great appearance of neatness and
comfort, but the owner was found particularly deficient in
hospitality. He refused to sell or to give any refreshments for
the use of the party, and even granted them some water with
apparent reluctance, marching haughtily about his piazza, while
some person was annoying his family by playing wretchedly on a
flute. Mr. Say and the gentlemen of his party had on the fatigue
dress of common soldiers, to which they probably owed the coldness
of their reception. We are, however, glad to be able, from much
experience, to say that there are few houses in the lately settled
parts of the United States, where common soldiers would have met
such a reception as was accorded by this Mr. N. to the gentlemen
of the party. Want of hospitality is rarely the fault of the
inhabitants of the remote settlements. Being refused refreshments,
they returned to their camp, and with the addition of a hawk which
they had killed, made a supper from the contents of their pack.

On the 27th they crossed the Perogue,[098] about nineteen miles
from St. Charles; and after a fatiguing march of several miles,
were entertained at the house of a very worthy man, who supplied
them with whatever his place afforded. From too long fasting, and
from the effect of exposure and fatigue, Mr. Say and others became
somewhat unwell; and on their account, the party remained at the
house of their friendly host till evening, when they walked four
{68} miles to a place called Fort Kennedy. They purchased a ham,
and a loaf of corn bread of Mr. Kennedy, paying ten cents per
pound for the ham, and twenty-five cents for all the bread, milk,
and corn, consumed during their stay.[099]

The next morning, having travelled about seven miles, they halted
for breakfast; and having fettered their horse, dismissed him to
feed; but when sought for the purpose of continuing their journey,
he could not be found. Two travellers at length arrived, and
informed them that the horse had been seen at about six miles'
distance, on the way towards St. Charles: a horse was therefore
hired, and a person returned in pursuit; but he was not to be
found, having proceeded on his journey previously to the arrival
of the messenger.

The prairie flies (a species of tabanus,) are exceedingly
troublesome to horses and cattle, insomuch that people who cross
these grassy plains usually travel very early in the morning, and
again at evening, resting greater part of the day; some, indeed,
journey only by night. If they travel at all in the day, they have
the precaution to defend the horse, by a covering thrown loosely
over him. The tabani appear about the 10th of June, and are seen
in immense numbers, until about the 10th of August, when they
disappear. Near the farm houses we observed, that cattle, when
attacked by them, ran violently among the bushes, to rid
themselves of their persecutors.--Mosquitoes were not numerous.

As they were fearful of being unable to overtake the steam-boat on
the Missouri, if they made a longer delay to prosecute the search
for their horse, it was determined to abandon him altogether,
rather than return to St. Charles, whither he had doubtless gone;
accordingly, on the 29th of June, they made a division of their
baggage, and each one shouldering his respective portion,
proceeded towards the margin of Loutre Prairie. When they arrived
here, they determined {69} to take the most direct route towards
the Missouri, as it seemed folly for them to attempt, in the
drought and heat, which then prevailed, to cross the extensive
plains of Loutre and the Grand Prairie with their heavy burthens.
They therefore followed a path leading nearly south, along a naked
ridge; where they travelled twelve miles, without finding water,
and arrived at Loutre Island in the evening. They were all the day
tormented with excessive thirst; and being unaccustomed to
travelling on foot, they were much fatigued, and several became
lame. The soil of the extensive prairies which they passed was not
very good; but mixed at the surface with so much vegetable matter,
accumulated by the successive growth and decomposition of the
yearly products, as to give it the aspect of fertility.[100]

On the south side of Loutre Prairie a well has been sunk
sixty-five feet, without obtaining water; on the north water is
readily found, by digging to a moderate depth. Loutre Prairie is
twenty-three, and Grand Prairie is twenty-five miles in length: on
the borders of each are some scattering settlements.

Near Loutre Island are several forts, as they are called by the
inhabitants, built by the settlers during the late war, and
designed to afford protection against the attacks of the
aborigines, chiefly the Kickapoos, and Saukees, who were most
feared in this quarter. They are simply strong log-houses, with a
projecting upper story, and with loop-holes for musketry.

It was within a few miles of this place, that a company of mounted
rangers, commanded by Captain Calloway, were attacked by the
Indians. The assault commenced as the rangers were entering a
narrow defile, near the confluence of the Prairie Forks of Loutre
Creek. Several men were killed at the first fire, and Captain
Calloway received in his body a ball that had passed through his
watch. So furious was the onset, that there was no time for
reloading their pieces after they had discharged them. {70}
Captain Calloway threw his gun into the creek, that it might not
add to the booty of the Indians; and though mortally wounded, drew
his knife, and killed two of the assailants; but seeing no
prospect of success he ordered a retreat, hoping thereby to save
the lives of some of his men. He was the last to leave the ground;
when springing into the creek he received a shot in his head, and
expired immediately.[101]

Loutre Island is something more than nine miles long, and about
one mile wide, and is the residence of several families. Between
it and the main land is an isthmus, which is left naked at times
of low water. Loutre Creek enters at the lower end of the island.
It is not navigable. Mr. Talbot, formerly from Kentucky, has been
resident here for nine years. His farm is in a high state of
cultivation, and furnishes abundant supplies of poultry, eggs,
potatoes, and the numerous products of the kitchen garden, of
which he sent a handsome present on board our boat. He informed us
that peach-trees succeed well in the most fertile parts of the

The first dwellings constructed by the white settlers are nearly
similar in every part of the United States. Superior wealth and
industry are indicated by the number and magnitude of corn-cribs,
smoke-houses, and similar appurtenances; but on the Missouri, we
rarely meet with any thing occupying the place of the barn in the
northern states. The dwellings of people who have emigrated from
Virginia, or any of the more southern states, have usually the
form of double cabins, or two distinct houses, each containing a
single room, and connected to each other by a roof; the
intermediate space, which is often equal in area to one of the
cabins, being left open at the sides, and having the naked earth
for a floor, affords a cool and airy retreat, where the family
will usually be found in the heat of the day. The roof is composed
of from three to five logs, laid longitudinally, {71} and
extending from end to end of the building; on these are laid the
shingles, four or five feet in length; over these are three or
four heavy logs, called weight poles, secured at their ends by
withes, and by their weight supplying the place of nails.

They have corn-mills, consisting of a large horizontal wooden
wheel, moved by a horse, and having a band passed round its
periphery to communicate motion to the stone. These are called
band-mills, and are the most simple and economical of those in
which the power of horses is employed. The solitary planter, who
has chosen his place remote from the habitation of any other
family, has sometimes a mill of a more primitive character, called
a hand-mill, probably differing little from those used among the
ancient Egyptians. It consists of two stones; and while one person
causes the uppermost to revolve horizontally upon the disk of the
other, a second, who is usually a child or a woman, introduces the
corn a few grains at a time, through a perforation in the upper
stone. Some are content with the still ruder apparatus, consisting
of an excavation in the top of a stump; into which the corn is
thrown, and brayed with a pestle. This is the method in use among
many of the agricultural Indians.

A large species of lampyris is common on the lower part of the
Missouri. It is readily distinguished from the smaller species,
the common fire-fly, by its mode of coruscating. It emits from
three to seven or eight flashes, in rapid succession, then ceases;
but shortly after renews its brilliancy. This species appears
early in May. We saw many of them in returning by night from the
Merameg to St. Louis; but before our arrival at Loutre Island they
had disappeared, and were succeeded by great numbers of the
lampyris pyralis, whose coruscations are inferior in quantity of
light, and appear singly.

The black walnut attains, in the Missouri bottoms, {72} its
greatest magnitude. Of one, which grew near Loutre Island, there
had been made two hundred fence-rails, eleven feet in length, and
from four to six inches in thickness. A cotton-tree, in the same
neighbourhood, produced thirty thousand shingles, as we were
informed by a credible witness.


  [077] The name Pain Court (Short of Bread), and the similar
  appellations of Carondelet (_Vide Poche_--Empty Pocket),
  and of Ste. Geneviève (_Misère_--Poverty), are said to have
  originated in the good-natured raillery between the French of
  the several settlements. They probably point also to the want
  often experienced by a trading people who neglected agriculture.
  For further facts relative to the early history of St. Louis,
  see Croghan's _Journals_, in our volume i, note 134, and André
  Michaux's _Travels_, in our volume iii, note 138.--ED.

  [078] The lack of a good harbor at St. Louis has occasioned
  vast trouble and expense. The encroachment of the river on the
  Illinois side caused sand-bars to form along the city water
  front, and for many years it seemed likely that the town would
  eventually be left high and dry. Efforts at improvement were
  begun in 1833, ox-teams and plows being used to loosen the sand
  for high water to remove. Both city and federal governments have
  since made many improvements, the river at that point requiring
  almost continuous care.--ED.

  [079] George Rapp, the founder of the Harmonites, was born in
  Würtemberg in 1770. The sect endeavored to revive the practices
  of the primitive Christian church, communism and celibacy being
  among its tenets. After founding Harmony, Pennsylvania, in 1803,
  and New Harmony, Indiana, in 1815, the community settled at
  Harmony, Pennsylvania, where Rapp died in 1847.--ED.

  [080] C. parviflorum.--JAMES.

  [081] Hamamelis virginica, and quercus nigra.--JAMES.

  [082] Bradbury's _Travels_ are reprinted as volume v of our
  series. See preface of that volume for biographical sketch.--ED.

  [083] What we have called base in the following statement is in
  reality the length of a line passing over the top of the mound,
  from the termination of the base each side.

  The numbers refer to a draft. The heights are estimated, with
  the exception of two.

  No. 2. A square with a hollow way, gradually sloping to the top;
  or, in other words, a hollow square open behind.

  Base                                            50
  Height                                           5
  Distance N. from the Spanish bastion           259

  No. 3. An oblong square.

  Longitudinal base                              114
  Transverse base                                 50
  Length at top                                   80
  Perpendicular height                             4
  Distance from No. 2. N.                        115

  No. 4. An oblong square.

  Longitudinal base                               84
                top                               45
  Perpendicular height                             4
  Distance N.                                    251

  Nos. 2. 3. and 4. are each about 33
  ordinary steps from the edge of the
  second bank of the river.

  No. 5. An oblong square.

  Longitudinal base                               81
                top                               35
  Perpendicular height                             4
  Distance W.                                    155

  No. 6. Different in form from the
    others. It is called the _Falling
    Garden_, and consists of three stages,
    all of equal length, and of the same
    parallelogramic form: the superior
    stage, like the five succeeding mounds,
    is bounded on the east by the edge of
    the second bank of the river: the second
    and third stages are in succession on
    the declivity of the bank, each being
    horizontal; and are connected with each
    other, and with the first, by an
    abruptly oblique descent.

  Longitudinal base                              114
                top                               88
  Transverse base of first stage                  30
             height of first stage                 5
  Declivity to the second stage                   34
  Transverse surface of second stage              51
  Declivity to the third stage                    30
  Transverse surface of third stage               87
  Declivity to the natural slope                  19

  No. 7. Like the three succeeding ones,
         Distance northward                       95
         Base                                     83
         Top                                      34
         Height                                    4-1/2

  No. 8. Distance about N.                        94
         Base                                     98
         Top                                      31
         Height                                    5

  No. 9. Distance about N.                        70
         Base                                    114
         Top                                      56
         Height                                   16

  No. 10. Distance about N.                       74
         Base                                     91
         Top                                      34
         Height                                 8 or 10

  No. 11. Nearly square, with a large area
    on the top (a brick house is erected at
    the S.W. corner). The eastern side
    appears to range with the preceding
         Distance                                158
         Base                                    179
         Top                                     107
         Height W. side, say                       5
         Height S.                                11
         Height E.                             15 or 20

  No. 12. Nearly square, westerly a little
    N. from No. 7. and distant from it            30
         Base                                    129
         Top                                      50
         Height                                   10

  No. 13. A parallelogram, placed
    transversely with respect to the group.

  Distance                                        30
  Distance from No. 5. N. 10 W.                  350
  Longitudinal base                              214
                top                              134
  Transverse base                                188
              top                                 97
  Height                                          12

  No. 14. A convex mound, W.                      55
  Base                                            95
  Height                                        5 or 6

  No. 15. Together with the three
    succeeding ones, more or less square.

  Distance N.W.                                  117
  Base                                            70
  Height                                           4

  No. 16. Distance N. 10 E.                      103
  Base                                           124

  No. 17. Distance N.                             78
  Base                                            82

  No. 18. Distance, N.N.E.                       118
  Base                                            77

  The mounds from 14. to 18. inclusive,
    are so arranged as to describe a curve,
    which, when continued, terminates at the
    larger mounds, Nos. 15. and 19. No. 19.
    A large quadrangular mound, placed
    transversely, and with No. 13., ranging
    in a line nearly parallel to the
    principal series (from 2. to 11.)

  Distance N.N.W. from No. 13.                   484
  Distance E.N.E. from No. 18.                    70
  Base                                           187
  Top                                             68
  (By measurement) Height                         23

  No. 20. A small barrow, perhaps two feet
    high, and of proportionably rather large
    base, say 15 or 20 feet.

  No. 21. A mound similar to the
    preceding, same height. West of No. 16.,
    base 25 feet.

  No. 22. Quadrangular.

  Distance West from No. 16.                     319
  Base                                            73

  No. 23. A mound of considerable
    regularity; but, owing to the
    thickness of the bushes, we cannot at
    present satisfy ourselves of its being
    artificial, though from its
    corresponding with No. 25. we suppose
    it to be so.

  No. 24. Appears to be an irregular mound
    10 or 12 feet high, and 145 feet base.

  No. 25. Distant N. 10 E. 114 feet; and
    following this course 132 feet, we
    arrive at an elevation on its margin,
    as is also the case with No. 24., and
    which we have numbered 26.

  No. 26. Of which the base is 89 feet,
    and height 10 or 12.--It is distant
    W.N.W. from No. 26., 538 feet.

  No. 27. Is the largest mound, of an
    elongated-oval form, with a large step
    on the eastern side.

  Distance N. from No. 26.                      1463
  Longitudinal base                              319
                top                              136
  Transverse base                                158
              top                                 11
  Step transversely                               79
  Height by measurement                           34

  At the distance of a mile to the westward, is said to be another
  large mound.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ These mounds have been effaced by the growth
  of the city. The map of them prepared by Long's party was not
  published until 1861; it will be found on page 387 of the
  Smithsonian Institution _Report_ for that year.

  [084] The uncertainty with which the shell mentioned was classed
  as _Cassis cornutus_ renders its identification in terms of
  modern nomenclature practically impossible; such identification
  could be accurately made only by examination of the same
  specimen. The value of the argument relative to the origin of
  the Indians is, therefore, not easy to estimate.--ED.

  [085] From this fact it derived the name "Monk's Mound." The
  Trappist establishment was made in 1808, but was soon afterwards
  abandoned. The mound is one of the largest in the United
  States--the area of the base is six acres, that of the top two;
  the height is ninety-one feet.--ED.

  [086] Maturin.-JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ Charles Robert Maturin (1782-1816) was a Dublin
  dramatist and novelist. In his writings passages of undoubted
  eloquence were strangely mingled with extravagance and bombast.
  The incoherence of his plots and the inconsistency of his
  characters led many who recognized his genius to believe him mad.

  [087] The cordelle was a rope, often several hundred yards
  long, by means of which men towed boats up rapid streams. When
  the current was especially strong, the end of the cordelle was
  attached to a tree and a windlass used.--ED.

  [088] In a section of forty feet perpendicular, of the alluvion
  of the Mississippi, near New Madrid, Mr. Shultz found seven
  hundred and ninety-eight layers, indicating an equal number of
  inundations, in the time of their deposition. Supposing these
  inundations to have happened yearly, we have an easy method
  of forming an estimate of the rapidity of the elevation of
  the bed of the Mississippi. These layers were found to vary
  in thickness, from one-fourth of an inch to three inches. See
  Shultz's _Travels_, vol. ii. p. 90.--JAMES.

  [089] Bellefontaine, or Fort Bellefontaine (old Fort Charles
  the Prince), was occupied by troops until 1826. See Thwaites,
  _Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition_, v, pp.
  392, 393, note 2. The site of the newer works mentioned in the
  text is now uncertain. An island opposite the mouth of Cold
  Water Creek was the camp of Lewis and Clark the first night
  after beginning the ascent of the Missouri (May 14, 1804).--ED.

  [090] Tilia Americana. The Podalyria alba, anemone virginiana,
  polygala incarnata (prairies) anagallis arvensis, lathyrus
  decaphyllus, ranunculus fluviatalis, carex multiflora, &c. were
  collected at Bellefontain. _Dr. Baldwin's MS. Notes._--JAMES.

  [091] The correct orthography of the word is Charbonnière, which
  means "carrying coals."--ED.

  [092] This was Benjamin O'Fallon, whose mother was the youngest
  sister of George Rogers and William Clark; his father, Dr. James
  O'Fallon, was a Revolutionary character and prominent Kentucky
  pioneer. A brother, John O'Fallon, was in the middle of the
  century, one of the most prominent citizens of St. Louis.

  John Dougherty was later for many years agent for the Oto,
  Pawnee, and Omaha tribes.--ED.

  [093] For St. Charles, see Bradbury's _Travels_, in our volume
  v, note 9.--ED.

  [094] The vegetable productions at this place were, the populus
  deltoides, occupying the narrow margin of the river (not here
  preceded by the salix angustata, as is generally the case in
  recent alluvial grounds on the Ohio and Mississippi); the
  amorpha fruticosa,[A] and platanus occidentalis, next follow.
  The margin of the bluff produces the quercus rubra, juglans
  pubescens, carpinus Americana, (around the latter, we observed
  the celastrus scandens entwined and in fruit,) and on higher
  grounds, the laurus sassafras and juniperus Virginianus. Of
  herbaceous plants, the only one in flower was the rudbeckia
  fulgida. The higher parts of the hills were in many places
  thickly covered with species of elymus and andropogon, the
  summits being usually quite naked, and consisting of horizontal
  masses of ferruginous coloured sandstone. _Baldwin._--JAMES.

  [A] This beautiful flowering shrub occupies the low lands of
  Georgia, on the sea coast, but is not confined to the margin of
  rivers, as appears to be the case on the Missouri.

  [095] On Point L'Abbadie, see Bradbury's _Travels_, comprising
  our volume v, note 13.--ED.

  [096] Baldwin.--JAMES.

  [097] Dardenne Creek flows northeast across St. Charles County
  to the Mississippi, as do nearly all the watercourses of this
  county. It and the township of the same name are so called from
  one of the early settlers.--ED.

  [098] Perruque (Wig) Creek is said to commemorate the adventure
  of a Frenchman whose wig became entangled in the branches of a
  tree while he was crossing the stream.--ED.

  [099] Thomas Kennedy, a Revolutionary veteran from Virginia
  came to Warren County, Missouri, early in 1808. His stockade
  and blockhouse, built for protection against the Indians during
  the War of 1812-15, stood a mile and a half southeast of Wright

  [100] The course of the party had been northwest through St.
  Clair and Warren counties, and thence south by west to the
  river. Loutre Island is on the boundary between Warren and
  Montgomery counties.--ED.

  [101] This affair took place March 7, 1815. Captain James
  Callaway was the grandson of Daniel Boone. His company consisted
  besides himself of a lieutenant and fourteen men.--ED.

  [102] Loutre (Otter) Island was the site of the first
  settlements in Montgomery County, which probably date back
  to 1798. There were two Talbots among the early arrivals,
  Christopher and Hale. Among their neighbors were the Thorps,
  Ashcrafts, Coles, Pattons, and Coopers--there were two or three
  families of each, most of them being from Kentucky. The father
  of "Kit" Carson was another member of the community.--ED.


  Settlement of Cote Sans Dessein--Mouths of the Osage--Manito
  Rocks--Village of Franklin

The left bank of the Missouri at the confluence of Loutre Creek
is precipitous, terminating a group of hills which can be
distinguished running far to the north-east. Towards the river
these fall off in perpendicular precipices, whose bases are
concealed in a dense growth of trees and underwood. From their
summits huge masses of rock have fallen; and some of these are
of such magnitude, that their summits rise above the surrounding
forest. One standing opposite the head of the island next above
Loutre, is marked with numerous rude drawings, executed by the
Indians; some representing men with the heads of bisons, spears,
arrows, bows, &c. Half a mile above this rock the Gasconade enters
the Missouri from the south. The sources of this river are in
the hilly country, near those of some of the larger tributaries
of the Yungar fork of the Osage; its waters are transparent, and
its current rapid. Traversing a rocky and broken country, it has
not the uniformity of current common to many of the branches of
the Missouri, but is varied by numerous cataracts and rapids,
affording convenient stations for water-mills. Some saw-mills
have already been erected; and from them a supply of pine-timber
is brought to the settlements on the Missouri, that tree being
rarely met with here, except in the hilly country. The Gasconade is
navigable for a few miles. As might be expected, a projected town
is placed at the confluence of this {74} river and the Missouri,
and is to be called Gasconade.[103]

Above the Gasconade, the aspect of the shores of the Missouri is
the same as below, except that the hills are discontinued on the
left side, and make their appearance on the right, extending along
eight or nine miles; above this both shores are low bottom

Having received on board Mr. Say and his companions, we left
Loutre Island on the 3d of July; and passing in succession the
mouths of the Gasconade, Bear Creek, the Au Vase, and other
tributaries, we anchored on the evening of the 5th, above the
little village of Cote Sans Dessein.[104] This place contains
about thirty families, mostly French, occupying as many small log
cabins, scattered remotely along the left bank of the river.
Nearly opposite the village is the lower mouth of the Osage. Just
above the town is the elevated insular hill, which has given name
to the place; it extends about eight hundred yards, parallel to
the bank of the river, and terminates at a small stream called
Revoe's Creek. Back of the hill is a marsh, discharging a small
stream of water into the creek. The site of the settlement of Cote
Sans Dessein is remarkable on account of the fertility of the
soil, the black mould extending to the depth of about four feet.
The soil is very rich for twenty or thirty miles, in the rear of
the village; but the uncertainty of the titles, arising from the
conflicting claims, founded on the basis of pre-emption, New
Madrid grants, and the concession of a large tract opposite the
mouth of the Osage, made by the Spanish authorities in favour of Mr.
Choteau, still operates to retard the increase of population.[105]

At the time of the late war the inhabitants of this settlement,
relying on mutual protection, did not retire, but erected two
stockades, and block-houses for their defence; the Sauks, assisted
by some Foxes and Ioways, having by a feigned attack and {75}
retreat, induced the greater part of the men to pursue them,
gained their rear by means of an ambuscade, and entering the
village, raised their war-cry at the doors of the cabins. The
women and children fled in consternation to the block-houses. At
this juncture a young man was seen, who would not abandon his
decrepit mother, even though she entreated him to fly and save his
own life, leaving her, who could at best expect to live but a few
days, to the mercy of the savages. The youth, instead of listening
to her request, raised her upon his shoulders, and ran towards the
stockade, closely pursued by the Indians. They fired several times
upon him, and he must have been cut off had not a sally been made
in his favour.

After killing the villagers who had fallen into their hands, the
Indians proceeded to attack the lower stockade. The block-house at
this work was defended by two men, and several women. On hearing
the war-cry, this little but determined garrison responded to it
in such a manner as to communicate to the Indians the idea that
the block-house contained a considerable number of men. They,
therefore, proceeded to the attack with caution. In the first
onset, one of the two men received a mortal wound, which made him
incapable of further exertion--the other continued to discharge
the guns at the besiegers, they being loaded and put into his
hands by the women. One mode of attack, adopted by the Indians,
had nearly proved successful. They threw burning torches upon the
roof, which was several times on fire; but the women, with
admirable presence of mind, and undaunted intrepidity, ascended to
the top of the building and extinguished the flames. This scene
continued during the entire day; and at evening, when the
assailants withdrew, a small portion only of the roof remained; so
often had the attempt to fire the building been repeated. The loss
sustained by the enemy was never correctly {76} ascertained; it
has since been stated by an Indian, that fourteen were killed and
several wounded, but many are of opinion that two or three only
were killed.

We saw the hero of this affair at the block-house itself, now
converted into a dwelling; but he did not appear to be greatly
esteemed, having perhaps few qualities except personal intrepidity
to recommend him.[106] Cote Sans Dessein contains a tavern, a
store, a blacksmith's shop, and a billiard table.

The Cane[107] is no where met with on the Missouri; but its place
is in part supplied by the equisetum hiemale, which, remaining
green through the winter, affords an indifferent pasturage for
horned cattle and horses: to the latter, it often prove
deleterious. The inhabitants of St. Genevieve placed their horses
upon an island covered with rushes, where great numbers of them
shortly after died; but it was observed that such as received
regularly a small quantity of salt remained uninjured. Of a large
number of horses, placed on an island near the mouth of the
Nishnebottona,[108] to feed upon this plant, no less than twenty
were found dead at the end of five days. May not the deleterious
properties of the equisetum hiemale depend, in some measure, on
the frozen water included in the cavity of the stalk?

We were told the cows on this part of the Missouri, at certain
seasons of the year, give milk so deleterious as to prove fatal,
when taken into the stomach; and this effect is commonly
attributed to a poisonous plant, said to be frequent in the low
grounds, where it is eaten by the cattle. They have a disease
called the _milk sickness_: it commences with nausea and
dizziness, succeeded by headache, pain in the stomach and bowels,
and finally, by a prostration of strength, which renders the
patient unable to stand; a general torpor soon ensues, succeeded
{77} by death. It is a common belief that the flesh of animals,
that have eaten of this poisonous weed, is noxious, and that
horses are destroyed by it.

We have heard it remarked by the inhabitants of the Ohio below
the rapids, that the milk of cows running at large in August is
poisonous; and this they do not fail to attribute to the effect
of noxious plants; and in some places they point out to you one,
and in another place another vegetable, to which they assign these
properties. The inhabitants generally seem to have no suspicion
that milk, unless it is poisoned, can be an unwholesome article
of diet; and we have been often surprised to see it given to
those labouring under fever. Throughout the western states, and
particularly in the more remote settlements, much use is made of
butter-milk, and soured milk in various forms; all of which they
sell to travellers. Below Cote Sans Dessein we paid, for new milk,
twenty-five cents per gallon, and for soured milk, eighteen and
three-fourth cents. At that place twenty-five cents per quart were
demanded by the French settlers. It is commonly remarked that the
French, as well as the Indians, who have been long in the immediate
vicinity of the whites, charge a much higher price for any article
than the Anglo-Americans, under the same circumstances. Emigrants
from the southern states prefer sour milk; and the traveller's
taste in this particular, we have often observed, forms a test
to discover whether he is entitled to the opprobrious name of
_Yankee_, as the people of the northern and eastern states rarely
choose sour milk. We have found that in some of the sickliest parts
of the valley of the Mississippi, where bilious and typhoid fevers
prevail, through the summer and autumn, the most unrestrained use
is made of butter, milk, eggs, and similar articles of diet. Dr.
Baldwin was of opinion that the _milk sickness_ of the Missouri
did not originate from any deleterious vegetable substance eaten
by the cows, but {78} was a species of typhus, produced by putrid
exhalations, and perhaps aggravated by an incautious use of a milk

During the few days we remained at Cote Sans Dessein, Dr. Baldwin,
though suffering much from weakness, and yielding perceptibly
to the progress of a fatal disease, was able to make several
excursions on shore. His devotion to a fascinating pursuit
stimulated him to exertions for which the strength of his wasted
frame seemed wholly inadequate; and it is not, perhaps, improbable
that his efforts may have somewhat hastened the termination of his

Between Loutre Island and Cote Sans Dessein compact limestone
occurs, in horizontal strata, along the sides of the Missouri
valley. It is of a bluish white colour, compact structure, and a
somewhat concoidal fracture, containing few organic remains. It
alternates with sandstones, having a silicious cement.[109] These
horizontal strata are deeply covered with soil, usually a
calcareous loam, intermixed with decayed vegetable matter.

July 6th.--Soon after leaving the settlement of Cote Sans Dessein,
we passed the upper and larger mouth of the Osage river. Here, to
use the language of the country, a town has been _located_, and
the lots lately disposed of at St. Louis, at various prices, from
fifty to one hundred and eighty dollars each.[110] Within the
limits of this town is a considerable hill, rising at the point of
the junction of the two rivers, and running parallel to the
Missouri. From its summit is an extensive view of the village of
Cote Sans Dessein, and the surrounding country.

The river of the Osages, so called from the well-known tribe of
Indians inhabiting its banks, enters the Missouri one hundred and
thirty-three miles above the confluence of the latter river with
the Mississippi. Its sources are in the Ozark mountains, opposite
those of the White river of the Mississippi, and of the Neosho,
{79} a tributary of the Arkansa. Flowing along the base of the
north-western slope of a mountainous range, it receives from the
east several rapid and beautiful rivers, of which the largest is
the Yungar, (so named, in some Indian language, from the great
number of springs tributary to it,) entering the Osage one hundred
and forty miles from the Missouri.

In point of magnitude the Osage ranks nearly with the Cumberland
and Tennessee. It has been represented as navigable for six
hundred miles; but as its current is known to be rapid, flowing
over great numbers of shoals and sand-bars, this must be
considered an exaggeration. In the lower part of its course it
traverses broad and fertile bottom lands, bearing heavy forests of
sycamore and cotton trees. We may expect the country along the
banks of this river will soon become the seat of a numerous
population, as it possesses in a fertile soil and a mild climate,
advantages more than sufficient to compensate for the difficulty
of access, and other inconveniences of situation.

The northern bank of the Missouri, for some distance above the
confluence of the Osage, is hilly. Moreau's Creek enters three
miles above; and at its mouth is Cedar Island, where we anchored
for the night. This island is three miles long, and has furnished
much cedar timber for the settlements below; but its supply is now
nearly exhausted.[111]

In the afternoon of the following day we were entangled among
great numbers of _snags_ and _planters_, and had a cat-head
carried away by one of them. In shutting off the steam on this
occasion, one of the valves was displaced; and as we were no
longer able to confine the steam, the engine became useless, the
boat being thus exposed to imminent danger. At length we succeeded
in extricating ourselves; and came to an anchor near the entrance
of a small stream, called Mast Creek by Lewis and Clarke.[112]

{80} At evening dense cumulostratus and cirrostratus clouds
skirted the horizon: above these we observed a comet bearing
north-west by north. Above the mouth of the Osage, the immediate
valley of the Missouri gradually expands, embracing some wide
bottoms, in which are many settlements increasing rapidly in the
number of inhabitants. The Manito rocks, and some other
precipitous cliffs, are the terminations of low ranges of hills
running in quite to the river. These hills sometimes occasion
rapids in the river, as in the instance of the Manito rocks;
opposite which commences a group of small islands stretching
obliquely across the Missouri, and separated by narrow channels,
in which the current is stronger than below. Some of these
channels we found obstructed by collections of floating trees,
which usually accumulate about the heads of islands, and are here
called rafts. After increasing to a certain extent, portions of
these rafts becoming loosened, float down the river, sometimes
covering nearly its whole surface, and greatly endangering the
safety, and impeding the progress, of such boats as are ascending.
The group above mentioned is called the Thousand Islands.

Nashville, Smithton, Rectorsville, and numerous other towns of
similar character and name, containing from one to half a dozen
houses each, are to be met with in a few miles above the Little
Manito rocks. Almost every settler, who has established himself on
the Missouri, is confidently expecting that his farm is, in a few
years, to become the seat of wealth and business, and the mart for
an extensive district.[113]

The banks of the Missouri, in this part, present an alternation of
low alluvial bottoms and rocky cliffs. Roche à Pierce Creek is a
small stream entering nearly opposite another, called Splice
Creek, a few miles above the Manito rocks. Here is a range of
rocky cliffs, penetrated by numerous cavities and fissures, {81}
hence called by the French boatmen, Roche a Piercè, and giving
name to the creek.[114] These rocks we found filled with organic
remains, chiefly encrinites. About eight or ten miles above this
point the Missouri again washes the base of the rocky hills, which
bound its immediate valley. The rocks advance boldly to the brink
of the river, exhibiting a perpendicular front, variegated with
several colours arranged in broad stripes. Here is a fine spring
of water gushing out at the base of the precipice; over it are
several rude paintings executed by the Indians. These cliffs are
called the Big Manito rocks, and appear to have been objects of
peculiar veneration with the aborigines, and have accordingly
received the name of their Great Spirit.

It is not to be understood that the general surface of the
country, of which we are now speaking, is traversed by continuous
ridges, which, in their course across the valley of the Missouri,
occasion the alternation of hill and plain; which to a person
ascending the river, forms the most conspicuous feature of the
country. The immediate valley of the Missouri preserves great
uniformity in breadth, and is bounded on both sides by chains of
rocky bluffs rising from one to two hundred feet above the surface
of the included valley, and separating it from those vast woodless
plains which overspread so great a part of the country.
Meandering from right to left along this valley the river
alternately washes the base of the bluffs on either side, while,
from a person passing up or down the stream, the heavy forests
intercept the view of the bluffs, except at the points where they
are thus disclosed. Opposite the Big Manito rocks, and the island
of the same name, is the Little Saline river, on the left side;
and three or four miles above, on the opposite side, a stream
called the Big Manito Creek.[115] Here we passed the night of the
12th July. About midnight so violent a storm arose that we were
{82} compelled to leave our encampment on shore, the tent being
blown down, and to seek shelter on board the boat. Though the
storm did not continue long, the water fell to the depth of one
inch and an half.

After taking in a supply of wood, we departed on the morning of
the 13th, and the same day arrived at Franklin. This town, at
present, increasing more rapidly than any other on the Missouri,
had been commenced but two years and an half before the time of our
journey. It then contained about one hundred and twenty log houses
of one story, several framed dwellings of two stories, and two of
brick, thirteen shops for the sale of merchandize, four taverns,
two smiths' shops, two large team-mills, two billiard-rooms, a
court-house, a log prison of two stories, a post-office, and a
printing-press issuing a weekly paper. At this time bricks were
sold at ten dollars per thousand, corn at twenty-five cents per
bushel, wheat one dollar, bacon at twelve and a half cents per
pound, uncleared lands from two to ten or fifteen dollars per
acre. The price of labour was seventy-five cents per day.

In 1816 thirty families only of whites, were settled on the left
side of the Missouri, above Cote Sans Dessein. In three years,
their numbers had increased to more than eight hundred families.

The Missouri bottoms about Franklin are wide, and have the same
prolific and inexhaustible soil as those below. The labour of one
slave is here reckoned sufficient for the culture of twenty acres
of Indian corn, and produces ordinarily about sixty bushels per
acre, at a single crop. In the most fertile parts of Kentucky,
fifteen acres of corn are thought to require the labour of one
slave, and the crop being less abundant, we may reckon the
products of agriculture there, at about one third part less than
in the best lands on the Missouri. Franklin is the seat of {83}
justice for Howard county. It stands on a low and recent alluvial
plain, and has behind it a small stagnant creek. The bed of the
river, near the shore, has been heretofore obstructed by
sand-bars, which prevented large boats from approaching the town;
whether this evil will increase or diminish, it is not possible to
determine; such is the want of stability in every thing belonging
to the channel of the Missouri. It is even doubtful whether the
present site of Franklin will not, at some future day, be occupied
by the river, which appears to be at this time encroaching on its
bank. Similar changes have happened in the short period since the
establishments of the first settlements on the Missouri. The site
of St. Anthony, a town which existed about thirteen years since,
near Bon Homme, is now occupied by the channel of the river.
Opposite Franklin is Boonsville, containing, at the time of our
visit, eight houses, but having, in some respects, a more
advantageous situation, and probably destined to rival, if not
surpass, its neighbour.[116]

Numerous brine springs are found in the country about Franklin.
Boon's Lick, four miles distant, was the earliest settlement in
this vicinity, and for some time gave name to the surrounding
country. Some furnaces have been erected, and salt is manufactured,
in sufficient quantities to supply the neighbouring settlements.
Compact limestone appears to be the prevailing rock, but it is well
known that the coal-beds, and strata of sand-stone, occur at a
little distance from the river.[117] We visited one establishment
for the manufacture of salt. The brine is taken from a spring at
the surface of the earth, and is not remarkably concentrated,
yielding only one bushel of salt to each four hundred and fifty
gallons. Eighty bushels are manufactured daily, and require three
cords of wood for the evaporation of the water. The furnace
consists of a chimney-like funnel, rising obliquely along the side
of a hill, {84} instead of the vertical and horizontal flues,
commonly used in these manufactories. The fire being kindled in
the lower orifice of this, the ascent of the air drives the flame
against forty or fifty iron pots, inserted in a double series;
to these the water is conveyed by small pipes. The banks of the
ravine in which this spring rises, still retain the traces of those
numerous herds of bisons, elk, and other herbivorous animals, which
formerly resorted here for their favourite condiment.

While at Franklin, the gentlemen of the exploring party received
many gratifying attentions, particularly from Gen. T. A. Smith, at
whose house they were often hospitably received, and where they
all dined by invitation on the 17th of July.[118] Here we met
several intelligent inhabitants of the village, and of the
surrounding country, from whose conversation we were able to
collect much information of the character of the country, and the
present condition of the settlements.

Mr. Munroe, a resident of Franklin, related to us, that being on a
hunting excursion, in the year 1816, he remained some time on a
branch of the Le Mine river, where he found the relics of the
encampment of a large party of men, but whether of white troops,
or Indian warriors, he could not determine. Not far from this
encampment, he observed a recent mound of earth, about eight feet
in height, which he was induced to believe must be a cachè, or
place of deposit, for the spoils which the party, occupying the
encampment, had taken from an enemy, and which they could not
remove with them on their departure. He accordingly opened the
mound, and was surprised to find in it the body of a white
officer, apparently a man of rank, and which had been interred
with extraordinary care.

The body was placed in a sitting posture, upon an Indian rush mat,
with its back resting against some logs placed around it in the
manner of a log house, enclosing {85} a space of about three by
five feet, and about four feet high, covered at top with a mat
similar to that beneath. The clothing was still in sufficient
preservation to enable him to distinguish a red coat, trimmed with
gold lace, golden epaulets, a spotted buff waistcoat, finished
also with gold lace, and pantaloons of white nankeen. On the head
was a round beaver hat, and a bamboo walking stick, with the
initials J. M. C. engraved upon a golden head, reclined against
the arm, but was somewhat decayed where it came in contact with
the muscular part of the leg. On raising the hat, it was found
that the deceased had been hastily scalped.

To what nation this officer belonged, Mr. Munroe could not
determine. He observed, however, that the button taken from the
shoulder, had the word Philadelphia moulded upon it. The cane
still remains in the possession of the narrator, but the button
was taken by another of his party.

In relation to this story, Gen. Smith observed, that when he
commanded the United States' troops in this department, he was
informed of an action that had taken place near the Le Mine, in
the Autumn of 1815, between some Spanish dragoons, aided by a few
Pawnee Indians, and a war party of Sauks and Foxes. In the course
of this action, a Spanish officer had pursued an Indian boy, who
was endeavouring to escape with a musket on his shoulder, but who
finding himself nearly overtaken, had discharged the musket behind
him at random, and had killed the officer on the spot. The
skirmish continuing, the body was captured, and recaptured several
times, but at last remained with the Spanish party. This may
possibly have been the body discovered by Mr. Munroe, but by whom
it was buried, in a manner so singular, is unknown.

About the middle of July, the summer freshets in the Missouri
began to subside at Franklin. On the {86} 17th the water fell
twelve inches, though in the preceding week more than two inches
of rain had fallen. We were informed that the floods had continued
longer this year, and had risen higher than usual, owing to the
unusual quantities of rain that had fallen.


  [103] Of Gasconade in 1823 it is said, "very few buildings are
  as yet erected, and it is very doubtful whether its increase
  will be as rapid as was anticipated." It was the first seat of
  Gasconade County, but was supplanted by Hermann. At present its
  population numbers less than one hundred.

  The description of Gasconade River is adequate. The "Yungar"
  fork of Osage is now called Niangua (Osage word for bear).--ED.

  [104] Au Vase (Muddy) has been corrupted to Auxvasse, and there
  are now two streams in Callaway County bearing this name. The
  larger, also called Big Muddy Creek, is the first important
  stream above the Gasconade. Bear (or Loose) Creek, is seven
  miles farther up, and the second Auxvasse, which answers the
  description in the text, is just beyond. Other tributaries are
  Deer Creek, from the south, just above Big Muddy River, and
  Middle River, from the north, opposite Bear Creek. The stream
  called Revoe's Creek a few lines below, is now Rivaux (Rivals)

  For Côte Sans Dessein, see Bradbury's _Travels_, comprising our
  volume v, note 20.--ED.

  [105] The grants of land in Louisiana under Spanish rule were
  in a marked degree irregular and heterogeneous. Only those were
  complete which had received endorsement by the governor-general
  at New Orleans. Most of the settlers were too poor to undertake
  the journey thither and pay the required fees; a tacit right
  of occupation was therefore permitted by the local officials,
  lands were unsurveyed, and much confusion resulted. During the
  last decade of Spanish authority (1794-1804) large numbers of
  Americans had been tempted to cross the Mississippi and stake
  out claims in upper Louisiana. Some of these were bona fide
  settlers, more mere speculators; and after the rumor of Spanish
  cession to France was heard, fraudulent grants were made in
  large numbers. Upon knowledge of this, the congress of the
  United States in the act of March 26, 1804, revoked all grants
  made since the treaty of San Ildefonso (1800) with a proviso
  exempting the rights of actual settlers. This law created much
  dissatisfaction, and petitions for redress were sent from both
  upper Louisiana and Orleans Territory. See _American State
  Papers_, "Miscellaneous," i, pp. 396-405. Thereupon Congress
  passed acts for redress--that for upper Louisiana (March 2,
  1805) creating a commission, which first met in St. Louis,
  September 20, 1806; but its final report was not made until
  1812. See _American State Papers_, "Public Lands," ii, pp.

  The lands set apart for the relief of sufferers by the New
  Madrid earthquakes were known as "New Madrid grants." Auguste
  Chouteau established the first distillery in St. Louis by the
  aid of an extensive grant.--ED.

  [106] The hero of this exploit was a Frenchman bearing the name
  of Baptiste Louis Roi.--ED.

  [107] Miegia macrosperma of Persoon.--JAMES.

  [108] The Nishnebottona (Nishnabotna) enters the Missouri in
  Atchison County, in the northwest corner of the state. See
  _post_, note 166.--ED.

  [109] From Bay Charles Hill, four miles below Hannibal,
  Missouri, we received, through Dr. Sommerville, several organic
  remains. Among them are the following:--

  Carbonate of Lime.

  One specimen contains exclusive quantities of segments of the
  encrinite of small diameter, from one-fourth of an inch down
  to minute.

  Another specimen also, with numerous small encrinites, has a
  very wide and short radiated productus.

  Another specimen, a grayish chert, containing cavities formed
  by the solution and disappearance of encrinites. The parts of
  these which were originally hollow when in the state of
  carbonate of lime, being subsequently filled with chert, now
  show the nature of the fossil, being cylindrical cavities,
  with a solid centre and transverse partitions, the largest
  three-tenths of an inch wide.

  From Rector's-hill, adjoining the village of Clarksville,
  Missouri, from Dr. Sommerville's collection:--

  A specimen of oolite--carbonate of lime.

  It is composed of small spherical granules in contact with
  each other, which, in their fracture, exhibit rather a
  concentric tendency, with the appearance of a central nucleus;
  but we could not perceive any decided evidences of former
  organization in them. Imbedded in the mass are a few columnar
  segments of encrinites, and a portion of a compressed bivalve,
  which, in the form of its radiating lines, resembles a pecten.

  From Charbonière:--

  A specimen in argillaceous sandstone of a portion of a leaf
  like the nelumbium. It is only the middle portion of the
  impression of the leaf that remains, being of an oval form of
  about five inches in greatest diameter, the rest being broken
  away; the stalk has been broken off at the junction of the

  Productus spinosus. SAY.

  A small species of terebratula, in width two-fifths, and in
  length more than seven-tenths of an inch--an internal
  cast--individuals very numerous, varying much in size, the
  smallest being about one-fifth of an inch wide.

  From the Mammelles near St. Charles:--

  Productus: a portion of a valve, and smaller portion of the
  opposite valve of a remarkably large species, of which the
  proportions may have been not dissimilar to that of the Ency.
  Meth. pl. 244. fig. 5. The striæ are similar to those of that
  shell, except in being somewhat smaller; and the groove of one
  valve, and consequent elevation of the other, not so profound,
  less abrupt, and more angular in the middle, and far less
  prominent on the edge of the shell. It may justly be named
  _grandis_, as its hinge width was more than 3-1/2 inches.--JAMES.

  [110] The town established here was Osage City. In 1823 it was
  described as still "nearly in a state of nature." The present
  population is about five hundred.--ED.

  [111] Moreau's Creek (River à Morou, Marrow Creek, Murrow Creek)
  flows from the south. Moreau signifies "extremely black."

  Just above Cedar Island is Jefferson City (Missouriopolis on the
  map,) the state capital.--ED.

  [112] Mast Creek cannot be identified with certainty, as there
  are several small creeks where Lewis and Clark locate it,
  fourteen and a half miles above Cedar Island. The name was given
  because of an accident to the mast of their vessel.--ED.

  [113] Nashville was laid out in 1819, on land owned by a man
  named Nash. The site was on the river, just below Providence,
  Boone County, but the town was destroyed by a change of the

  The site of Smithton was a half mile west of the court house
  in the town of Columbia, but the difficulty in obtaining water
  there led to removal in 1820 to the site of Columbia. The
  original town was named Smithton in honor of Thomas A. Smith,
  land office register at Franklin. See _post_, note 118.--ED.

  [114] Roche à Pierce is a corruption of a phrase meaning
  "pierced rock," which has been restored in the present name of
  the stream (Roche Percée). The mouth of the river is just above

  On some maps, Splice Creek is Spice Creek.--ED.

  [115] The Little Saline (Petite Saline) flows from the south.
  Big Manito Creek (now corrupted to Moniteau) debouches at
  Rocheport, on the north side of the river. Another Moniteau
  Creek enters the Missouri from the south, at the Thousand
  Islands, near the boundary between Cole and Moniteau

  [116] The disaster feared actually occurred in 1828. Franklin
  was laid off in 1816, being named for the famous Philadelphian.
  For a decade it was a town of considerable importance. It was
  the county seat, contained the United States land office, and
  was the point of departure for the Santa Fé country. Most of the
  inhabitants hailed from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, and
  at one time numbered between fifteen hundred and two thousand.
  When the encroachments of the river drove away the residents,
  they founded New Franklin, two miles distant, and thereafter the
  earlier site was known as Old Franklin.--ED.

  [117] In compact limestone, which had been subjected to the
  action of fire, we observed segments of encrinites becoming
  easily detached. They were three-fifths of an inch in diameter,
  varying to the size of fine sand. At Boonsville we found a small
  ostrea and a terebratula, in carbonate of lime.--JAMES.

  [118] Thomas A. Smith, a native of Virginia, attained
  the rank of brigadier-general during the War of 1812-15.
  Resigning his commission in 1818, he was appointed receiver of
  the land office at Old Franklin, Missouri. In 1826 he removed
  to a large tract of prairie land on Salt Fork, Saline County,
  about eight miles from Marshall. This being one of the
  earliest attempts to occupy prairie land, Smith called his
  estate "Experiment." He was an intimate friend of Senator
  Thomas A. Benton. See volume xvi of our series, note 91, for
  his military record.--ED.


  Death of Dr. Baldwin--Charaton River, and Settlement--Pedestrian
  Journey from Franklin to Fort Osage.

Dr. Baldwin's health had so much declined that, on our arrival at
Franklin, he was induced to relinquish the intention of ascending
farther with the party. He was removed on shore to the house of
Dr. Lowry, intending to remain there until he should recover so
much strength as might enable him to return to his family. But the
hopes of his friends, even for his partial recovery, were not to be
realized. He lingered a few weeks after our departure, and expired
on the thirty-first of August. His diary, in which the latest date
is the eighth of August, only a few days previous to his death,
shows with what earnestness, even in the last stages of weakness
and disease, his mind was devoted to the pursuit, in which he had
so nobly spent the most important part of his life. He has left
behind him a name which will long be honoured;--his early death
will be regretted not only by those who knew his value as a friend,
but by all the lovers of that fascinating science, to which his
life was dedicated, and which his labours have so much contributed
to advance and embellish. We regret that it is not in our power to
add to this inadequate testimony of respect, such notices of the
life and writings of Dr. Baldwin, as might be satisfactory to our
readers. His manuscripts were numerous, but his works were left
unfinished. The remarks on the Rotbollia, published in Silliman's
Journal, are his only productions, as far as we are informed,
hitherto before the public.[119] His Herbarium, it is well known,
{88} has contributed to enrich the works of Pursh and Nuttall. He
was the friend and correspondent of the venerable Muhlenbergh, and
contributed materials for the copious catalogue of North American
plants, published by that excellent botanist. In South America
he met with Bonpland, the illustrious companion of Humboldt, and
a friendly correspondence was established between them, which
continued until his death.[120] He had travelled extensively,
not only in South America, but in Georgia, Florida, and other
parts of North America. His notes and collections are extensive
and valuable. During the short period of his connection with the
exploring party, the infirmities, resulting from a long established
and incurable pulmonary disease, then rapidly approaching its fatal
termination, could not overcome the activity of his mind, or divert
his attention entirely from his favourite pursuit. Though unable
to walk on shore, he caused plants to be collected and brought
on board the boat; and not disheartened by the many vexations
attending this method of examination, he persevered, and in the
course of the voyage from Pittsburgh to Franklin, detected and
described many new plants, and added many valuable observations
relating to such as were before known. To show the scope and
accuracy of his method of observation, and for the gratification
of the botanical reader, we subjoin a part of the observations
registered in Dr. Baldwin's diary, from July 15th, the time of our
departure from Cote Sans Dessein, to its conclusion. From this the
reader will be able to form a satisfactory idea of the vegetable
physiognomy of the country on this portion of the banks of the

Messrs. Say, Jessup, Seymour, and Dougherty, accompanied by Major
Biddle, left Franklin on the 19th of July, intending to traverse
the country by land, to Fort Osage, where they proposed to await
the arrival of the steamboat. A pack-horse was purchased {89} for
the transportation of their baggage, and a tent, blankets, and
provisions, furnished for their accommodation.

The party now remaining on board the steam-boat, consisted of
Major Long, Major O'Fallon, Mr. Peale, and Lieutenants Graham and
Swift. Having completed some repairs of machinery, and other
necessary operations, which had occasioned a delay of six days at
Franklin, we left that place on the same day, at four o'clock in
the afternoon. The inhabitants of the village were assembled on
the banks of the river to witness our departure, and signified
their good wishes by repeated cheers and acclamations. The fuel we
had taken on board, being of an indifferent quality, we were able
to make small progress against the rapid current of the Missouri.
We anchored, for the night, three miles above Franklin. Finding
the valves, and other parts of the steam-engine, so much worn by
the fine sand, suspended in the water of the river, as to become
leaky, we were compelled to lie by, and were occupied for a day in
making repairs. In the meantime the boat's crew were employed in
taking on board a supply of dry mulberry wood, which is the best
that the forests along the Missouri afford. The water in the river
was now subsiding, and the rapidity of the current consequently
diminishing; we did not, therefore, so much regret the necessary
delays, as we might otherwise have done. Some of the party went
out on the south-west side of the river, to search for game. Most
of the deer, and larger animals, as well as the turkies, have
fled from this part of the country, though it is but a few years
since they were extremely abundant; they met, however, with a
racoon, the Maryland arctomys, some small birds, and some
interesting little animals. After leaving the river bottom, they
passed some groves of small scattered oak trees, and bushes, and
arrived at the margin of a wide grassy plain, which spread before
them as unvaried, {90} and apparently as boundless as the ocean,
and which is said to extend uninterrupted, near three hundred
miles, to the Arkansa.

At evening a soldier came on board the boat, who had been sent
express from Colonel Chambers' command. He brought intelligence
that the detachment had arrived within fifteen miles of Fort
Osage, and that their provisions were nearly exhausted.

Charaton, where we arrived on the 22d, is a small village, its
settlement having been commenced in the year 1817. It is, however,
in a flourishing condition, and from the advantages of its
situation, promises to become one of the most important towns on
the Missouri. It does not stand immediately on the bank of the
Missouri, but of the Charaton river, about seven hundred yards
above its mouth. Charaton will be the depot of merchandize, for a
large extent of fertile country, which lies towards the north and
east. At this time, the settlement contained about fifty houses,
and near five hundred inhabitants, on a spot where two years
previous, no permanent habitation had been established. Such is
the rapidity, with which the forests of the Missouri are becoming
filled with an enterprising and industrious population.[122]

Charaton river is seventy-five yards wide at its mouth, and
navigable, at high water, one hundred and fifty miles. Half a
mile from its confluence with the Missouri, it receives the
Little Charaton, also a considerable stream, and navigable for
many miles. The Charaton originates near the De Moyen[123] river
of the Mississippi, and traverses a country which is of great
importance, both on account of the fertility of its soil, and its
inexhaustible mines of coal. The Western Engineer, being the first
steam-boat that had ever ascended the Missouri, above Charaton,
great numbers of the settlers were attracted to the banks of the
river, on both sides, to witness our progress. So numerous were
the obstacles to be encountered, that many were of opinion our
progress {91} would soon be arrested. It sometimes happened, that
mistaking the channel, we ran our boat aground in shoal places,
and in some instances it was necessary to fall back, in order to
extricate ourselves from these difficulties. In this way much time
was consumed.

The expansions of the Missouri bottom above Franklin have, since
their settlement, received distinctive names. We pass on the south
the Chenai au Barre, Tabeau, Tite-saw, and Miami bottoms; on the
north, those of Charaton, Sugar-tree, and Grand river. These are
wild and fertile plains, usually covered with heavy forests of
cotton-wood, sycamore, ash, and sugar-maple, and partly encircled
by the bluffs, rising abruptly, about to the elevation of the
highest trees, thence sloping gradually to the prairies, the
region of the Gramina, and the Cyperacæa. Eighteen miles above
Charaton, is the entrance of Grand river an important tributary to
the Missouri from the north. This river is one hundred and fifty
yards wide at its mouth, and is navigable for boats of small
burthen, about two hundred miles. Its waters are transparent,
except in times of high floods, and its current less rapid than
that of the Missouri. There are no settlements on its banks,
except at the mouth, where is a trading house, and the residence
of a single family. The lands are, however, of a good quality, and
the adequate supply of timber, and numerous springs of water, will
ensure their speedy settlement. The Sauks, Foxes, and Ioways, hunt
in the plains towards the sources of Grand river, where elk and
deer are still numerous, and the latter dispose of their pelfries
to the traders on the Missouri.[124]

The navigation of the Missouri, for a few miles above and below
the mouth of Grand river, is supposed to be more difficult than at
almost any other place, owing to the rapidity of the current, and
the numerous sand-bars and snags. Two miles above the confluence
is the channel called Grand river {92} Cut-Off, so thickly set
with snags as to be almost impassable. The distance by the Cut-Off
to the head of the island is three-fourths of a mile; by the
course of the river to the same point it is six miles.[125] We
followed the old channel, which is much obstructed by trunks of
trees and sand-bars, and after a few hours succeeded in ascending
this dangerous pass. Compact limestone, and argillaceous
sandstone, occur frequently along the Missouri, above the mouth of
Grand river, and indications of coal are often met with. In a
country affording but an insufficient supply of timber for the
consumption of a dense population, these extensive beds of fossil
coal will be considered of great value, and the necessities of the
inhabitants will lead to their early exploration. Whenever the
dominion of man is sufficiently established in these vast plains
to prevent the annual ravages of fires, trees will spring up; but
we may expect that before forests originating in this manner can
arrive at maturity, the population along the banks of the Missouri
will become so dense, as to require the greater part of the soil
for the purposes of culture.

The beds of coal in this district lie horizontally, varying much
in thickness, and occurring often at an elevation of a few feet
above the surface of the water in the Missouri.[126]

On the first of August we arrived at Fort Osage, one hundred and
five miles above the mouth of Grand river. Here Mr. Say and his
party had been some days encamped, having arrived on the 24th of
July from their equestrian journey across the country from
Franklin. After leaving that place on the 19th, they passed
through a fine bottom on the left side of the river, closely
covered with forests of oaks, elms, hackberry, walnut, the
mulberry, the gleditschia, the guilandina, and the other trees
common on the Missouri, for twelve miles, when they arrived at
Arrow rock, where is a ferry by which they crossed {93} the
Missouri. In this walk they passed a field of corn, containing
seven hundred acres. The ferry boat used at Arrow rock is one
peculiarly adapted to the navigation of a rapid stream. It
consists of two canoes, on which rests a platform, with a slight
railing to prevent cattle from falling off.

Arrow rock is so called from its having been formerly resorted to,
by the neighbouring Indians, for the stone used to point their
arrows. It is a beautiful situation, and rises to considerable
elevation above the water.[127] From its summit is a pleasing view
of the river, and near the base is a remarkable eddy, which, as
they were crossing, whirled their ferry-boat entirely round. On
the second day they left their encampment at an early hour, and
travelled forward through plains where very few trees were to be
seen. They turned off from the Osage trace, in which they had been
travelling, and went eight miles to visit the salt-works, and some
remarkable diggings, on the saline fork of the Le Mine. Here, at
one establishment, one hundred bushels of salt are manufactured
per week; eight men are employed, and one hundred and eighty
gallons of water are evaporated to produce a bushel of salt.[128]

Two miles from the confluence of the Camp Fork with the Saline,
are the salt-works, and the residence of Mr. Lockhart, who
received the detachment with much hospitality.

His works were not then in operation, but were sufficiently
extensive for the manufacture of five hundred bushels of salt per
week. Near his house are the _diggings_ so often mentioned in this
region as objects of curiosity. These are irregular, but very
numerous excavations of little depth, but evidently the result of
the united labours of many persons who were possessed of
instruments of iron and steel, as no others could have penetrated,
and removed the compact rocky soil, of which the points and brows
of the hills are composed. These excavations occur frequently {94}
in an extent of two or three miles; and from the amount of labour
which appears to have been expended on them, it has been thought
by some, that several hundred men must have been occupied two or
three years in digging them; but this is, doubtless, much
overrated. Whoever were the labourers; it is probable their search
was for the precious metals, though at present no indications of
any metallic ores, except of a little iron, are perceptible about
the diggings. Mr. Lockhart had sunk a shaft to the depth of
twenty-two feet, but the appearances continued the same as at the

After travelling forty miles from Arrow rock, for great part of
the way through open plains, where the high grass and weeds
rendered their progress difficult and laborious, they pitched
their tent, on the evening of July 21st, on a branch of the Le
Mine. Here they saw four Mississippi kites. The forks of the tail
of this bird are so much elongated as to resemble some fortuitous
appendage, for which, at first sight, they are often mistaken.
Sandhill cranes, and flocks of prairie hens were also seen, but
were so shy as not to be taken without much difficulty.

The country about the Le Mine is beautiful and fertile. The
unaccustomed eye, in roving over those extensive undulating
prairies, is beguiled by the alternation of forests and meadows,
arranged with an appearance of order, as if by the labour of men,
and seeks in vain to repose upon some cottage or mansion embosomed
in the little copses of trees, or in the edge of the forest, which
margins the small streams and ravines in the distance.

Their provisions being nearly exhausted, the detachment delayed a
short time at their encampment on the Le Mine, to replenish their
stock by hunting. This camp was near a place called the Grand
Pass, a narrow neck of prairie between the timber of the Saline,
and that of a small creek discharging directly {95} into the
Missouri. Here the Osage trace passes, and a little beyond falls
into a waggon-road leading to the Tabeau settlement.[130]

On the 22nd Major Biddle experienced a severe attack of cramp in
the stomach, but soon found some relief from swallowing a
quantity of ginger, the only medicine with which they were
provided. On the following day they entered the forests of the
Missouri bottom, and soon after crossed the Tabeau, where a town
of the same name, at that time containing two houses, had been
established. Tabeau is the name of a Canadian hunter, who formerly
frequented this region.[131] The creek is navigable to the site of
the projected town, about one mile from the Missouri, having for
this distance about six feet of water. Four miles from this place
they crossed the Little Tabeau, and at evening pitched their tent
on a stream called the Little Chenal au Barre, about a mile and a
half from the Missouri. Here is a good mill seat. The Great and
Little Chenal au Barre, are two creeks entering the Missouri about
a mile and a half from each other. Before the mouths of these two
creeks is a large island, the slough or Chenal dividing this
island from the shore, received the additional name of Au Barre
from a hunter known by that appellation, who was lost here for
some time, successively ascending the two creeks, which he mistook
for the Missouri; hence the name of Chenal au Barre island, Great
and Little Chenal au Barre Creek, &c.[132]

In the afternoon they halted to rest at the cabin of a hunter
on Fire Prairie Creek, so called from the circumstance of three
or four Indians having been burned to death by the sudden
conflagration of the dry grass in the meadows at its source.[133]
Here Mr. Say had an opportunity to examine a young black wolf,
which was confined by a chain at the door of the hut. These
animals are common in this part of the country. This individual
was one of five that had been taken from the same den. It had
become {96} familiar with the hunter and his family, but was shy
towards strangers. When fed on meat the ferocity of his disposition
manifested itself in attempts to bite the children. It was
ordinarily fed on bread and milk.

This man had been settled here two years, but had not "made a
crop," having subsisted himself and his family by hunting, wherein
he had been very successful. In the preceding autumn he had killed
seventy deer and fifty bears. He took great pleasure in relating
his hunting adventures, particularly his engagements with bears.
One bear which he had killed, he said, weighed seven hundred
pounds; but in this instance he was probably mistaken. He had seen
in the winter of 1818, a large herd of bisons near the Grand Pass;
but they had been driven down by the severity of the weather, and
were not ordinarily to be found within the limits of his hunting
excursions. During the severe wintry weather, he affirmed that
bears make for themselves a shelter of brushwood, into which they
creep to secure themselves from the cold.

From May until July the female of the common deer conceals her
young whilst she goes to feed. It is at this time that the hunters
take advantage of the maternal feelings of the animal to secure
their prey. They conceal themselves and imitate the cry of the
fawn. The solicitude of the parent animal for her young overcomes
her usual care for her own safety; and believing she hears the
cries of her offspring in distress, she hurries toward the spot
where the hunter lies concealed, and falls an easy prey.[134]

Mr. Say and his companions were very politely received by Col.
Chambers, then at Fort Osage. The rifle regiment was encamped
here, waiting the arrival of the contractor's boats.[135]

Fort Osage was established in 1808, by Gov. Lewis. It stands on an
elevated bluff, commanding a beautiful view of the river, both
above and below. The {97} works are a stockade, of an irregular
pentagonal form, with strong log pickets perforated with
loop-holes; two block houses are placed at opposite angles; one of
them, however, flanks one of its curtains too obliquely to be of
much service in defending it. There is also a small bastion at a
third angle. Within are two series of buildings for quarters,
store-houses, &c. The position of the fort is not a secure one, on
account of numerous ravines and declivities that would cover an
enemy within a short distance; but is such, that boats ascending
or descending the river must be exposed to its fire. The stream in
the middle of the river, and on the opposite side, is so
remarkably rapid, that it is in vain to contend against it with
the oar or paddle; it is, therefore, usually necessary for
ascending boats to enter the eddy, which brings them within
musket-shot of the fort.[136]

At the time of our journey, Fort Osage, which, according to our
estimate, is one hundred and forty-two miles, by the course of the
river, above Charaton, was the extreme frontier of the settlements.
For a great distance below, the establishments of the white
settlers were confined to the immediate banks of the Missouri. The
inhabitants of this frontier are mostly emigrants from Tennessee,
and are hospitable to strangers. Many of them are possessed of
considerable wealth. In the inhabitants of the new States and
Territories there is a manifest propensity, particularly in the
males, to remove westward, for which it is not easy to account.
The women, having their attention directed almost exclusively to
domestic pursuits, form local attachments, and establish habits,
which are not interrupted without occasioning some disquietude.
They are at first discontented in their new abode; in a few weeks
they become reconciled, but less attached than to their former
home; and, at length, by the habit of frequent migration, they {98}
acquire the same fondness for an adventurous unsettled life, as
characterises the men.

Daniel Boon, whose history is connected with that of all the new
settlements from Kentucky westward, answered to an inquiry
concerning the cause of his frequent change of residence, "I think
it time to remove when I can no longer fall a tree for fuel, so
that its top will lie within a few yards of the door of my
cabin."[137] The charms of that mode of life, wherein the
artificial wants and the uneasy restraints inseparable from a
crowded population are not known, wherein we feel ourselves
dependent immediately and solely on the bounty of nature, and the
strength of our own arm, will not be appreciated by those to whom
they are known only from description, though they never fail to
make an impression upon such as have acquired a knowledge of them
from experience. A settler on the Missouri observed to us, that
the land he at present occupied was not better than that he had
left in Tennessee; but he did not wish to spend all his life in
one place, and he had learned from experience, that a man might
live in greater ease and freedom where his neighbours were not
very numerous.

A person upwards of sixty years old, who had recently arrived at
one of the highest settlements of the Missouri, inquired of us
very particularly of the river Platte, and of the quality of the
lands about its source. We discovered that he had the most serious
intention of removing with his family to that river. On the last
day of July and the first of August, about two inches of rain
fell: the prevailing winds were from the north-east; but the
superior strata of the atmosphere carried clouds of different
descriptions in different, and sometimes opposite directions. The
moon soon after rising, passed behind a long dense body of cirrus
clouds, that floated over the eastern horizon. Long and distinct
radii were soon after seen converging to a point fifteen or twenty
of {99} the moon's diameters to the eastward of its disk. Such is
the refracting power of the aqueous vapors sometimes suspended in
the atmosphere.

Horizontal strata of sandstone and compact lime stone, are
disclosed in the cliffs on both sides the valley of the Missouri.
These rocks contain numerous remains of caryophilla, productus,
and terebratulæ.[138]

Some days passed after our arrival at Fort Osage, before the
weather admitted our making the astronomical observations
necessary to ascertain its position. The mean of the results of
several observations of the meridian altitude of the sun's lower
limb gave 39° 9′ 33-1/2″ north, for the latitude of the place.


  [119] In a letter addressed to Mr. Frazer, an extract
  from which was published in the tenth volume of the London
  Journal of Literature and the Arts, Dr. Baldwin mentions
  having discovered near Monte Video, in South America, the
  _Solanum Tuberosum_ in its native locality. Mr. Lambert,
  however, considered this plant as the _Solanum Commersoni_ of
  Dunal; and though it produces tuberous roots, and in other
  respects makes a near approach to S. tuberosum, he was not
  satisfied of their identity, and remarks that it is yet to be
  proved, that this is the stock from which the common potatoe
  has been derived. It appears, however, that the original
  locality of the solanum tuberosum has been ascertained by Ruiz
  and Pavon, after having escaped the observation of Humboldt
  and Bonpland.--JAMES.

  [120] Frederick Pursh was born in Siberia, in 1774. Coming to
  the United States at the age of twenty-five, he spent twelve
  years in botanical studies, the results of which were published
  in England under the title _Flora Americae Septentrionalis, or
  a Systematic Arrangement and Description of the Plants of North
  America_ (London, 2 vols., 1814). Pursh died at Montreal in
  1820, while preparing a flora of Canada.

  For sketch of Muhlenberg, see F. A. Michaux's _Travels_, in our
  volume iii, note 9.

  Aimé Bonpland (1773-1858) was a French scientist and traveller.
  It has been said that the expedition of Humboldt and Bonpland
  in tropical America (1799-1804) "laid the foundation of the
  sciences of physical geography and meteorology in their larger
  bearings." The fruit of their joint labors appeared at Paris
  in 1807, under the title _Voyage aux régions équinoxiales du
  nouveau continent_.--ED.

  [121] Above Cote Sans Dessein, we saw frequently the Juglans
  nigra, and J. pubescens, called white hickory; also a species of
  Cratægus, which, though sometimes seen in Pennsylvania, appears
  to be hitherto undescribed. Its fruit is large, yellow when
  ripe, and of an agreeable flavour. On the evening of the 11th we
  anchored opposite a steep bank, which I was assisted to climb;
  but night came on, and put an end to our herbarizations before I
  had the opportunity to collect any thing interesting. The soil
  here is a dark vegetable mould, at least five feet in depth, and
  little intermixed with sand. I ascended the same bank on the
  following morning, but found nothing except a species of Carex
  that I do not recollect to have seen before.

  After getting under weigh, we passed high calcareous bluffs on
  the left side of the river, covered with timber, and reminding
  us of the deep umbrageous forests within the tropics.

  Franklin, July 15th. Portulacca sativa, Solanum nigrum,
  Urticapumila, Datura strammonium, and Phytolacca decandra,
  occur by the road side. Blackberries were now ripe, but not
  well-flavoured. Campanula Americana, the large Vernonia
  mentioned at Cote Sans Dessein, now flowering.

  Some plants were brought in, among which we distinguished the
  Monarda fistulosa, Achillea millefolia, Cacalia atriplicifolia,
  called "horse-mint," Queria canadensis, Menispermum lyoni,
  Verbena urticifolia. The Annona triloba is frequent about
  Franklin; also the Laurus benzoin, and the Symphoria now
  in flower, the Rhus glabrum, Cercis canadensis, Ampelousis
  quinquefolia, Eupatorium purpureum, in flower. Cucubalus
  stellatus, still flowering. The Prickly-fruited Æsculus has
  nearly ripened its nut, Zanthoxylon clava herculis, in fruit, a
  "wild gourd" not in flower.

  July 26th. The Gleditschia is a small tree here; Geum album,
  Myosotis virginiana, Amaranthus hybridus, Erigeron canadense,
  Solanum carolinianum, very luxuriant and still flowering. The
  leaf of the Tilia glabra I found to measure thirteen inches in
  length, and eleven in breadth. Bignonia radicans, Dioscorea
  villosa, a Helianthus with a leaf margined with spines, the
  narrow-leaved Brachystemum, the Lyatris pycnostachia, Rudbeckia
  purpurea, and various others in flower. Juglans porcina and
  cinerea, Ostrya virginica, Rhus copallinum.--August 4th. Dr.
  Lowry informed me he has seen Pyrus coronaria, forty feet in
  height, in the forests about Franklin. He showed me a Rudbeckia
  about three feet high with a cone of dark purple flowers,
  probably a new species.

  5th. Eupatorium hieracifolium beginning to flower, Menispermum
  canadense, here called "sarsaparilla," its slender yellow roots
  being substituted for that article.

  6th. A Mimulus is found here resembling M. ringens, but the
  leaves are not sessile; peduncle very short, flowers large,
  pink-coloured, stem acutely quadrangular; Campanula Americana,
  three and a half feet high.--JAMES.

  [122] The name of this river has undergone many changes,
  appearing as Charleton, Charlatan, Chératon, Charliton,
  Chareton, and Charlotte; the form Chariton has now become fixed.
  The origin is unknown.

  The town here mentioned, two miles north of Glasgow, was laid
  out by Duff Green, a famous Jacksonian politician, and other
  associates. The growth was for a few years so rapid that one
  settler exchanged St. Louis lots for an equal number in
  Chariton; but the location proved unhealthful, and was
  abandoned in 1829. Monticello, on higher ground, a mile away,
  and Thorntonsburg, at the mouth of the Chariton, were founded
  in succession, but likewise disappeared. Glasgow, laid out in
  1836, was the first permanent town in the vicinity.--ED.

  [123] The Des Moines River. The Illinois Indians called their
  habitat Moingona. The French contracted this to les Moins, and
  called this stream la Rivière des Moins. Later the name became
  associated with the Trappist monks (moines), and by a play on
  words was changed to la Rivière des Moines.--ED.

  [124] On the Sauk and Foxes, see Bradbury's _Travels_, in our
  volume v, note 21. For the Iowa, see Brackenridge's _Journal_,
  in our volume vi, note 13.--ED.

  [125] Changes in the river have obliterated the channel here
  called the Cut-Off.--ED.

  [126] The coal-fields of Missouri have an area of about
  twenty-six thousand square miles; a line drawn southwest
  from the mouth of the Des Moines River to Vernon County
  roughly bounds the district. Northwest of this line every
  county contains coal, and there are outlying patches on the

  [127] Arrow Rock (the Pièrre à flèche of early French explorers)
  stands on the west side of the river, in Saline County. The
  first settlements in the county were made in the neighboring
  bottoms, and the earliest ferry west of Franklin crossed the
  river at this point. The rock gave its name to a town founded
  in 1829, which for a time was the county seat and an important
  shipping point.--ED.

  [128] Le Mine (Lamine, or La Mine) River empties into
  the Missouri seven miles above Booneville, Cooper County.
  Renaudière named the stream Rivière à la Mine, in 1723. It is
  about a hundred and thirty miles long. Salt Fork, here called
  "saline fork," the principal tributary, crosses Saline county
  roughly parallel with the Missouri.--ED.

  [129] In 1720 Philip Renault, director-general of mines of the
  French colonies in America, sent prospecting parties from Fort
  Chartres, into Missouri and Arkansas, to seek gold and silver.
  These curious "diggings" are by some supposed to have been made
  by his men. Charles Lockhart, mentioned in the text, employed a
  number of men in 1819 in digging over some of these old pits,
  but without making any important discoveries.--ED.

  [130] Grand Pass received its name from the fact that the Osage
  trace, connecting farther west with the Santa Fé trail, here
  followed the narrow divide between Salt Fork and the Missouri
  bottom. This "pass" is about a mile and a half long, and in one
  place so narrow that a stone can be thrown across. A hotel was
  built here in 1835, and a small village now occupies the spot.
  For a short time during a flood in 1875, part of the water of
  Salt Fork flowed across the divide.--ED.

  [131] The entire courses of both the Tabeau and Little Tabeau
  are within Lafayette County. The mouth of the larger is near the
  boundary between Ray and Carroll counties. The name is sometimes
  erroneously spelled Tabo and Tebo.--ED.

  [132] For derivation of this name, see Brackenridge's _Journal_,
  in our volume vi, note 14.--ED.

  [133] This stream debouches at the boundary between Jackson and
  Lafayette counties, south of the Missouri. Its name is usually
  shortened to Fire Creek. Lewis and Clark applied the name Fire
  Prairie Creek to a stream which entered from the north. No
  stream nearer than Clear Creek, or Fishing Creek, five miles
  above Fire Creek, answers their description.--ED.

  [134] A variety of this species, the Cervus Virginianus, three
  specimens of which occurred at Engineer cantonment, had all
  the feet white near the hoofs, and extending to them on the
  hind part from a little above the spurious hoofs. This white
  extremity was divided upon the sides of the foot by the general
  colour of the leg, which extended down near to the hoof, leaving
  a white triangle in front, of which the point was elevated
  rather higher than the spurious hoofs. The black mark upon the
  lower lip, rather behind the middle of the sides, was strongly

                                                      ft.    in.
  Total length, exclusive of hair, at tip of tail      5     4-3/4
  Ear, from the upper part of the head                 0     6-1/2
  Tail, from lateral base, exclusive of the hair       0     9-1/2
  Hind foot, from tip of os calcus to tip of toe       1     6-1/4
  Fore arm                                             1    11-7/8
  Weight, in February, 115lbs.

  This species, common as it is, was never figured, nor indeed
  very well described, until the year 1819, when it appeared in
  the valuable work of Messrs. Geoffroy and F. Cuvier (Hist.
  Nat. des Mammiferes, 2d liv.) Its highest northern range is
  Canada, in North America; and it is found as far south as the
  river Orinoco, in South America.

  This species is leanest in February and March, and in best
  condition in October and November. The rutting season
  commences in November, and continues about one month, ceasing
  generally about the middle of December. During this season the
  neck of the male becomes much dilated.

  The fawn, towards autumn, loses its spots; and the hair
  becomes grayish, and lengthens in the winter. In this state
  the deer is said by the hunters to be _in the gray_. This coat
  is shed in the latter part of May and beginning of June, and
  is then substituted by the reddish coat. In this state the
  animal is said to be _in the red_. Towards the last of August
  the old bucks begin to change to the dark bluish colour; the
  doe commences this change a week or two later. In this state
  they are said to be _in the blue_. This coat gradually
  lengthens until it comes again to the _gray_. The skin is said
  to be toughest in the _red_, thickest in the _blue_, and
  thinnest in the _gray_. The blue skin is most valuable.

  The horns are cast in January. They lose the velvet the last of
  September and beginning of October. About the middle of March,
  Mr. Peale shot a large doe, in the matrix of which were three
  perfectly formed young, of the size of a rabbit.--JAMES.

  [135] This rifle regiment, under Colonel Talbot Chambers, was a
  contingent of the troops assigned to the Yellowstone expedition.
  See preface.--ED.

  [136] Fort Osage was surrounded by a tract six miles square. It
  was the only government trading factory west of the Mississippi.
  The post was occupied at intervals until 1827, when it was
  superseded by Fort Leavenworth and permanently abandoned. The
  site was near that of the present town of Sibley, Jackson
  County, which was named in honor of George C. Sibley (see volume
  v of our series, note 36), who was (1818-25) government agent at
  Fort Osage. The distance above Chariton River, by the government
  survey of the Missouri, is a hundred and twenty miles. See our
  volume v, note 31.--ED.

  [137] A sketch of Boone as a Missouri pioneer will be found in
  Bradbury's _Travels_, in our volume v, note 16.--ED.

  [138] From Fort Osage.

  _Productus spinosus_, SAY.--Longitudinally and transversely
  subequally striated, the transverse striæ somewhat larger than
  the others; a few remote short spines, or acute tubercles, on
  the surface, arising from the longitudinal striæ.

  Breadth an inch and a half; the striæ are somewhat indistinct--
  as in No. 5.

  _Productus incurvus_, SAY.--Shell much compressed; hinge margin
  nearly rectilinear; surface of the valves longitudinally
  striated; convex valve longitudinally indented in the middle;
  the beak prominent and incurved at tip; opposite valve with a
  longitudinal prominence in the middle; the beak incurved into
  the hinge beneath the other beak, and distant from it.

  Width more than 2-2/5 inches. A few univalves also occurred, but
  they were so extremely imperfect that their genera could not be
  made out.

  A dark-coloured carbonate of lime, containing small Terebratulæ
  like the T. ovata of Sowerby, but less than half as long.

  No. 1. a mass of carbonate of lime, containing segments of
  encrinites in small ossicula.

  6. A Caryophylla of a single star, about four inches long, of an
  irregularly transversely undulated surface, imperfect at each
  end, but seems to have been attached at base. Near the base it
  is bent at an angle of about 45 degrees.

  Some small and young specimens of the Terebratula, like T.
  subundata of Sowerby.

  Miliolites centralis. SAY.

  12. Astrea. A species of very minute alveoles. From the state
  of the petrifaction no radii are perceptible, so that the
  genus is not determinable.

  Saltworks near Arrow Rock. Columnar segments of the Encrinus.

  Inferior portion of the head of A. Pentramea. SAY.

  Segments of the column of an oval encrinus, much narrower in
  the middle than the oval vertebra of an encrinite represented
  by Parkinson, Vol. 2. pl. 13. f. 40.--resembling those of the
  genus _Platycrinites_ of Miller.--JAMES.


  Mouth of the Konzas--Arrival at Wolf River--Journey by land
  from Fort Osage to the village of the Konzas.

Wishing to extend our examinations between Fort Osage and the
Konzas river, also between that river and the Platte, a party was
detached from the steam-boat, with instructions to cross the
Konzas at the Konza village, thence to traverse the country by the
nearest route to the Platte, and to descend that river to the
Missouri. The party consisted of Mr. Say, to whom the command was
entrusted, Messrs. Jessup, Peale, and Seymour, Cadet Swift, Mr. J.
Dougherty, and five soldiers. They were furnished with three
pack-horses, and a supply of provisions for ten days. Thus
organized and equipped, they commenced their march on the
afternoon of August 6th, accompanied by Major Biddle and his

After their departure, the steam-boat was delayed a few days at
Fort Osage. On the ninth, a part of the troops destined for the
Missouri service arrived in keel-boats. Colonel Chambers, with the
principal part of his regiment, were still at Fort Osage, awaiting
the arrival of supplies of provisions now daily expected.

On the following day we resumed our journey, and were accompanied
about ten miles by Mr. Sibley, agent of Indian affairs, and his
lady, to whom the gentlemen of the party were indebted for
numerous hospitable attentions during their stay at Fort Osage;
also by Captain Bissel, and Lieutenant Pentland,[139] of the rifle
regiment, who returned in a skiff. Our progress was much impeded
by shoals and rapids in the {101} river, but we succeeded in
passing these without warping, and anchored at sunset, having
ascended eighteen miles.

Between Fort Osage and the mouth of the Konzas river, a distance
of about fifty-two miles, are many rapid places in the Missouri.
We were able to ascend all these, except one, without towing. It
was with some difficulty we supplied our furnace with wood of a
suitable quality. The forests of the Missouri, though limited in
extent, are deep and shady, and though the atmosphere is
perceptibly less humid than in the forests of the Mississippi,
fallen trees, whose wood is soft and porous like that of the
linden and cotton tree, absorb much moisture from the ground. It
was only when we were so fortunate as to find a dry mulberry, ash,
or cotton-wood still standing, that we could procure fuel well
adapted to our purpose. Much time was of necessity expended in
cutting and bringing on board our supplies of this article, and
the additional delay occasioned by the numerous obstacles to the
easy navigation of the river, made our ascent somewhat tedious.

The mouth of the Konzas river was so filled with mud, deposited by
the late flood in the Missouri, as scarcely to admit the passage
of our boat, though with some difficulty we ascended that river
about a mile, and then returning dropped anchor opposite its
mouth. The spring freshets subside in the Konzas, the Osage, and
all those tributaries that do not derive their sources from the
Rocky Mountains, before the Missouri reaches its greatest fulness;
consequently the waters of the latter river, charged with mud,
flow into the mouths of its tributaries, and there becoming nearly
stagnant, deposit an extensive accumulation of mud and slime. The
Konzas river has a considerable resemblance to the Missouri; but
its current is more moderate, and the water less turbid, except at
times of high floods. Its valley, like that of the Missouri, has a
deep and fertile soil, bearing similar {102} forests of
cotton-wood, sycamore, &c., interspersed with meadows; but, in
ascending, trees become more and more scattered, and at length
disappear almost entirely, the country, at its sources, being one
immense prairie.[140]

We sailed from the mouth of the Konzas on the 13th of August.
Numerous sand-bars occur in the Missouri above that point, and
these occasioned us some delay. The water having fallen several
feet, we had less velocity of current to contend against, but
found it more necessary to keep in the channel, and could not so
often take advantage of the eddy currents below the points and
along the shore.

A party of white hunters were encamped on the Missouri, not far
above the Konzas. In the rudeness of their deportment and dress,
they appeared to us to surpass the savages themselves. They are
usually the most abandoned and worthless among the whites who
adopt the life of wandering hunters: frequently they are men whose
crimes have excluded them from society.

Eighteen miles above the Konzas river, and five above the Little
Platte, is a large island, which, from its rhombic form, has
received the name of Diamond island. The principal channel is on
the north side. It is difficult to pass, being much obstructed by
sand-bars. Four miles above this is a small group, called the
Three Islands; and two miles further another cluster, known as the
Four Islands, and by the French as the Isles des Parcs, or Field
Islands. At each of these places, as in the neighbourhood of
islands generally, the navigation is difficult.[141]

The site of an old village of the Konzas, and the remains of a
fortification erected by the French, were pointed out a few miles
below Isle au Vache. This island, which lies about one hundred
miles above Fort Osage, was the wintering post of Capt. Martin's
detachment, destined to proceed in advance of the troops ordered
to the Missouri. Captain Martin, {103} with three companies of the
rifle regiment, left Bellefontain in September 1818, and arrived
at Isle au Vache in October, with the expectation of resuming his
march as early in the following spring as the weather would
permit. But not having received the necessary supplies of
provisions as anticipated, they had been compelled to remain till
the time of our arrival, subsisting themselves principally by
hunting. Fortunately this part of the country afforded so much
game, that a competent supply was easily obtained. Between two and
three thousand deer, beside great numbers of bears, turkies, &c.,
had been taken. The arrival of the boats, laden with provisions,
now furnished them the means of continuing their ascent, and they
had the prospect of departing within a few days.[142]

Previous to our departure from Fort Osage, Major O'Fallon, the
Indian agent who accompanied us, had sent a messenger across the
country by land to the Konzas nation of Indians, residing on the
Konzas river, summoning their chiefs to a council, to be held at
Isle au Vache, on the arrival of the Western Engineer.[143]
Agreeably to the message sent by an interpreter, the Indians had
been expected on the 18th, but did not arrive until the 23d of
August, having been absent, when the messenger reached their
village, on a hunting excursion. As soon as they received the
invitation, they repaired with all convenient speed to the
appointed place, having sent runners before, to apprise us of
their approach.

The interpreter, who returned with them, brought intelligence of
the safe arrival of Mr. Say and his party, and of their kind
reception at the Konza village. We were sorry to learn that Mr.
Say had been in ill health, and had not entirely recovered.

On the 24th, the chiefs and principal men of the Konzas, to the
number of one hundred and fifty, assembled under an arbour
prepared for their reception. The Indian agent addressed them in a
speech {104} adapted to the occasion, setting forth the causes of
complaint which they had given by their repeated insults and
depredations upon the whites, giving them notice of the approach
of a military force, of sufficient strength to chastise their
insolence, and advising them to seize the present opportunity of
averting the vengeance they deserved by proper concessions, and by
their future good behaviour to conciliate those, whose friendship
they would have so much occasion to desire.

The replies of the chiefs were simple and short, expressive of
their conviction of the justice of the complaints made against
them, and of their acquiescence in the terms of reconciliation
proposed by the agent. There were present at this council one
hundred and sixty-one Konzas, including chiefs and warriors, and
thirteen Osages. The most distinguished men were Na-he-da-ba, or
_Long Neck_, one of the principal chiefs. Ka-he-ga-wa-ta-ning-ga,
_Little Chief_, second in rank. Shon-ga-ne-ga, who had been one of
the principal chiefs, but had resigned his authority in favour of
Ka-he-ga-wa-ta-ning-ga. Wa-ha-che-ra, _Big Knife_, a partizan or
leader of war parties. Wom-pa-wa-ra, _He who scares all men_, more
commonly known to the whites as Plume Blanche, or White Plume, a
man rising rapidly in importance, and apparently destined to
become the leader of the nation.[144] In addition to the Indians,
the officers of the garrison and a few gentlemen were present at
the council. The ceremonies were commenced by a discharge of
ordnance from the steamboat; the flags were hoisted in their
appropriate places, a council flag being placed near the chair
occupied by the agent. The Indians appeared gratified at the
displays made on the occasion, but their attention was more
particularly aroused by the exhibition of a few rockets and
shells, fired for their entertainment. At our departure, which, on
account of the Indians, was delayed until the 25th of August, many
{105} of them were present, and manifested some surprise at
witnessing the operations of the steam-boat.[145]

It was thought advisable to make some addition to our force at
Isle au Vache, as we should soon be in advance of the troops on
the Missouri, and might be exposed to insults and depredations,
from some of the numerous tribes of Indians. Accordingly, on
application to Colonel Morgan, a boat and fifteen men, under the
command of Lieutenant Fields, were detailed for this duty, and
directed to regulate their movements agreeably to the orders of
the commanding officer of the exploring expedition.[146] These men
were furnished with provisions for sixty days, and having
embarked on board a keel-boat, called the General Smith, they
sailed in company with the Western Engineer. A favourable wind
springing up, we proceeded in the course of the day about
twenty-three miles, and encamped at night near the entrance of a
small stream, called Independence Creek. A little above, and on
the south side of the river, is the site of an old Konza town,
formerly called the village of the Twenty-four.[147] Above Cow
Island the Missouri is more serpentine in direction than below,
and the difficulties of the navigation we found by no means
diminished as we ascended. The bed of the river in many places is
broad, and the water distributed into small channels separated by
sand-bars. About fifty miles above Cow Island we passed a spot
that had lately been occupied as a hunting camp by Captain Martin,
who had been here to procure the requisite provisions for the
subsistence of his party.

At the Yellow Banks we found the bluffs elevated about one hundred
and fifty feet above the surface of the valley.[148] Barometric
observations, several times repeated, gave nearly the same result
at some points below. One hundred and fifty feet may, therefore,
be assumed as the medium depth of the immediate valley of the
Missouri; its aggregate width, for the {106} first five hundred
miles above the Mississippi, may be estimated at about three
miles. The corresponding appearances in the strata of the opposite
sides of this valley, as well as its entire form and character,
indicate it to have been formed by the river. But far more than
that vast body of soil and of rocky strata, which formerly filled
the space now occupied by the immediate valley of the river, has
been removed by the Missouri. From the summit of the bluffs there
is a sloping ascent towards the interior of the country; and it is
probable the aggregate elevation of the great plains is not less
than three hundred feet above the surface of the river. If we
admit that this great valley, with its numerous ramifications, has
resulted from the operation of currents, wearing down and
transporting to the ocean the solid materials of the earth's
surface, it would appear necessary still farther to acknowledge
that this channel was once much deeper than at present, for we
usually meet with thick alluvial depositions covering the rocks
that line the bottom of the Missouri valley. The manifest tendency
of the operation of the Mississippi, at this time, upon its
valley, is to fill up rather than to excavate; but it may be
doubted whether this is equally, or even to any degree, the case
with the Missouri. The aggregate mass of alluvion within the
valley of the Missouri is, undoubtedly, moving downwards, with
considerable rapidity; for the quantity of earthy matter carried
into the Mississippi is, at all times, very great. In their
descent the alluvial substances are alternately deposited and
swept away, as by the variations in the direction of the current
any particular point is, from time to time, either exposed to, or
sheltered from, the action of the stream.

About eighty-seven miles above Cow Island is the mouth of the
Nodowa, a river of some importance, being about seventy yards
wide, and navigable to some distance. It is not usually seen in
passing, being {107} concealed by the island called the Great
Nodowa, which is about five miles long, and covered with heavy
forests. The lands on the Nodowa are of an excellent quality.[149]

On the 1st of September, we were under the necessity of remaining
encamped near the mouth of Wolf river,[150] that some repairs
might be made to the steam engine. Here we sent out some persons
to hunt, who after a short time returned, having taken a deer, a
turkey, and three swarms of bees, which afforded us about half a
barrel of honey. On the trees which margin the river, we
frequently observed a fine species of squirrel, which possesses
all the graceful activity of the common gray squirrel, as it leaps
from bough to bough.[151] After our machinery was adjusted, we
resumed our ascent, and had proceeded a short distance, when we
were hailed from shore by Mr. Dougherty, who had accompanied Mr.
Say's party across the country. We were not a little surprised at
this unexpected meeting, and were apprehensive some disaster had
befallen the detachment.

Mr. Dougherty being received on board, informed us that Mr. Peale,
Mr. Swift, Mr. Seymour, Chaboneau the Indian interpreter,[152] and
one of the soldiers, were at a little distance in the rear, having
accompanied him across the country, from Cow Island, where they
had arrived five days after our departure. Mr. Say and Mr. Jessup
had been left sick at Cow Island. We encamped immediately, to give
those who were near an opportunity of joining us. It will now be
necessary to return to the time of Mr. Say's departure from Fort
Osage, and briefly to trace the progress of his detachment to the
place where a rencontre with a war-party of Pawnees frustrated
their design, and made it necessary for them to rejoin the

Mr. Say's detachment, consisting of twelve men and a boy,
furnished with three pack-horses for the {108} transportation of
baggage, departed from Fort Osage on the evening of August 6th.
Their route lay westward across the woodless plains about the
sources of the Hay Cabin, Blue Water, and Warreruza Creek. The
cliffs along the Blue Water are naked perpendicular rocks. In the
vallies numerous Indian encampments occurred, which appeared not
long since to have been occupied. These were most frequently seen
at the points, where the streams making almost a complete circuit,
and nearly enclosing a small tract of ground, afforded an
important protection against the approach of an enemy. The
prairies about the head waters of the Warreruza abound in game.
Here ravens were first seen by the party, and numbers of large
banded rattlesnakes were killed. The blowing flies swarmed in
inconceivable numbers, attacking not only the provision of the
party, but depositing their eggs upon the blankets, clothing, and
even on the furniture of the horses. On the 11th of August they
arrived at some elevated ridges, from which they overlooked an
extensive country, and could trace the whole course of the
Wahrengeho, or Full Creek, diverging slightly from the Konzas, and
could readily perceive timber upon several of its head branches.
The lands between the head waters of Full Creek and the Konzas are
not so good as those about the sources of the Warreruza, and
produce less timber. The settlement of this region will be much
retarded on account of the want of trees, these being confined to
the margins of the watercourses, while tracts of valuable soil, of
many miles in extent, have not a single tree or bush upon them.
The soil is, however, well adapted to the culture of some of our
most valuable forest trees. The sugar-maple, and several of the
most important species of carya, the oaks, the tulip-tree, and the
linden, would unquestionably succeed.[153]

In consequence of the excessive heat of the weather, the great
fatigues of the party, and their constant {109} exposure in the
open plains, the health of several of them began to be impaired.
The high and coarse grasses, which now covered the plains, greatly
impeded their progress, and very rapidly destroyed their clothing
and mockasins. Their journey was, therefore, slow and laborious.
On the night of the 13th they encamped on the bank of the Konzas,
having travelled some distance parallel to the course of that
river. The next day several of the party, already much debilitated,
began to be afflicted with dysentery; some accidents also occurred
to retard their progress, and on that and the following day they
advanced only two miles. On the 16th they marched about fifteen
miles, and encamped on the bank of the Konzas. Being now in doubt
as to the situation of the Konza village, and the illness of some
of the party continuing, they determined to remain encamped, while
some persons should be sent out to reconnoitre the country, and
discover, if possible, whether that part of the river at which
they had arrived, was above or below the village they designed
to visit.[154] The Konzas river, in this part, bears the closest
resemblance to the Missouri, both in the turbulence and rapidity of
its current, and the aspect of the country along its banks; it is,
however, so shoal as at almost any point to admit of being forded
without difficulty.

Willow islands, moving sand-bars, and _falling-in_ banks, are as
frequent as in the Missouri. The line of forest which skirts the
banks, including the bed of the river, is about half a mile wide,
but not entirely uninterrupted. The course of the river is
remarkably serpentine, forming woodland points alternately on both

After crossing and recrossing the river, and extending their
search in every direction, they had the satisfaction at last to
fall in with a beaten path leading up the river, and which their
guide and interpreter was confident would conduct them to the
Konza village.

{110} On the morning of the 19th, they passed across a wide and
fertile prairie to the Vermillion, a stream which enters the
Konzas from the north-west. It is four feet deep, and about twenty
yards wide.[155] Here they halted in the middle of the day, and
dined on the flesh of a black wolf, the only game they were able
to procure.

About Vermillion Creek are some open forests of oak, not extending
far on either side. The trees are from fifteen to twenty-five feet
high, and from one foot to eighteen inches in diameter, standing
at a considerable distance from each other.

On the day following, the Konza village was descried at a
distance. The detachment immediately halted to arrange their
dress, and inspect their firearms. This was thought the more
necessary, as no party of whites had visited the village since a
number of the Konzas had received a whipping at Isle au Vache, and
it was a matter of doubt, whether the party would meet a friendly

As they approached the village, they perceived the tops of the
lodges red with the crowds of natives; the chiefs and warriors
came rushing out on horseback, painted and decorated, and followed
by great numbers on foot. Mr. Say and his party were received
with the utmost cordiality, and conducted into the village by the
chiefs, who went before and on each side, to protect them from the
encroachments of the crowd. On entering the village the crowd
readily gave way before the party, but followed them into the
lodge assigned to them, and completely and most densely filled the
spacious apartment, with the exception only of a small space
opposite to the entrance, where the party seated themselves on the
beds, still protected from the pressure of the crowd by the
chiefs, who took their seats on the ground immediately before
them. After the ceremony of smoking with the latter, the object
which the party had in view in passing through their territories
was explained to them, and {111} seemed to be perfectly
satisfactory. At the lodge of the principal chief they were
regaled with jerked bison meat and boiled corn, and were
afterwards invited to six feasts in immediate succession.
Chaboneau and the old Frenchman, who had been despatched from Fort
Osage, to summon the Konzas to meet the agent at Isle au Vache,
had arrived some days previous; but the nation being at that time
absent on a hunting excursion, the interpreters, after reaching
the village, had proceeded immediately into the plains in pursuit
of them. At the time of the arrival of our detachment, the village
was in confusion, the hunters having lately returned, and being
then engaged in preparations for the journey to Isle au Vache. Two
runners were despatched to give notice to Major O'Fallon, that his
summons had been received; and at the same time the chiefs and
principal warriors departed for the place appointed. Before his
departure, the principal chief was careful to appoint a fit person
to attend Mr. Say's party, and arrangements were made to promote
their comfort and convenience, while they should remain at the

Many reports had been circulated among the Konzas respecting the
invitation to council their chiefs had received. They were
conscious of having recently offended, by firing on Major
O'Fallon, and by insulting and plundering several soldiers of
Captain Martin's command. For these offences they had been in some
measure punished at the time, Major O'Fallon having returned their
fire from his boat, and not entirely without effect, as was
supposed; several also had been flogged by the orders of Captain
Martin; yet they did not consider themselves secure from the
vengeance of the whites. Many believed that at the time of the
anticipated council, barrels of gunpowder were to be placed in the
earth to destroy them at once. The two runners, who had been
despatched, quarrelled before they had gone far; one saying, all
{112} the things that had been told them by the interpreters were
lies, for which assertion he was struck to the ground by his
companion. In this situation they were found by the advancing
chiefs. Finally, a dispute happened between the chiefs themselves
respecting rank, in consequence of which ten or twelve of them
returned to the village.

Mr. Say, who spent some time among the Konzas, gives, in his
notes, the following account of that nation:

  "The approach to the village is over a fine level prairie of
  considerable extent; passing which, you ascend an abrupt bank
  of the height of ten feet to a second level, on which the
  village is situate in the distance, within about one-fourth of
  a mile of the river. It consists of about a hundred and twenty
  lodges, placed as closely together as convenient, and
  destitute of any regularity of arrangement. The ground area
  of each lodge is circular, and is excavated to the depth of
  from one to three feet, and the general form of the exterior
  may be denominated hemispheric.

  "The lodge in which we reside is larger than any other in the
  town, and being that of a grand chief, it serves as a
  council-house for the nation. The roof is supported by two
  series of pillars, or rough vertical posts, forked at top for
  the reception of the transverse connecting pieces of each
  series; twelve of these pillars form the outer series, placed
  in a circle; and eight longer ones the inner series, also
  describing a circle; the outer wall, of rude frame-work,
  placed at a proper distance from the exterior series of
  pillars, is five or six feet high. Poles, as thick as the leg
  at base, rest with their butts upon the wall, extending on the
  cross-pieces, which are upheld by the pillars of the two
  series, and are of sufficient length to reach nearly to the
  summit. These poles are very numerous, and, agreeably to the
  position which we have indicated, they are placed all round in
  a radiating {113} manner, and support the roof like rafters.
  Across these are laid long and slender sticks or twigs,
  attached parallel to each other by means of bark cord; these
  are covered by mats made of long grass, or reeds, or with the
  bark of trees; the whole is then covered completely over with
  earth, which, near the ground, is banked up to the eaves. A
  hole is permitted to remain in the middle of the roof to give
  exit to the smoke. Around the walls of the interior, a
  continuous series of mats are suspended; these are of neat
  workmanship, composed of a soft reed united by bark cord, in
  straight or undulated lines, between which lines of black
  paint sometimes occur. The bedsteads are elevated to the
  height of a common seat from the ground, and are about six
  feet wide; they extend in an uninterrupted line around
  three-fourths of the circumference of the apartment, and are
  formed in the simplest manner of numerous sticks, or slender
  pieces of wood resting at their ends on cross pieces, which
  are supported by short notched or forked posts, driven into
  the ground; bison-skins supply them with a comfortable
  bedding. Several medicine or mystic bags are carefully
  attached to the mats of the wall; these are cylindrical, and
  neatly bound up; several reeds are usually placed upon them,
  and a human scalp serves for their fringe and tassels. Of
  their contents we know nothing.

  "The fire-place is a simple shallow cavity, in the centre of
  the apartment, with an upright and a projecting arm for the
  support of the culinary apparatus. The latter is very simple
  in kind, and limited in quantity, consisting of a brass
  kettle, an iron pot, and wooden bowls and spoons; each person,
  male as well as female, carries a large knife in the girdle of
  the breech cloth behind, which is used at their meals, and
  sometimes for self-defence. During our stay with these Indians
  they ate four or five times each day, invariably supplying us
  with the best pieces, or choice {114} parts, before they
  attempted to taste the food themselves.

  "They commonly placed before us a sort of soup, composed of
  maize of the present season, of that description which, having
  undergone a certain preparation, is appropriately named sweet
  corn, boiled in water, and enriched with a few slices of bison
  meat, grease, and some beans, and to suit it to our palates,
  it was generally seasoned with rock salt, which is procured
  near the Arkansa river.

  "This mixture constituted an agreeable food; it was served up
  to us in large wooden bowls, which were placed on bison robes
  or mats, on the ground; as many of us as could conveniently
  eat from one bowl sat round it, each in as easy a position as
  he could contrive, and in common we partook of its contents by
  means of large spoons made of bison horn. We were sometimes
  supplied with uncooked dried meat of the bison, also a very
  agreeable food, and to our taste and reminiscence, far
  preferable to the flesh of the domestic ox. Another very
  acceptable dish was called _leyed corn_; this is maize of the
  preceding season _shelled_ from the cob, and first boiled for
  a short time in a ley of wood-ashes until the hard skin, which
  invests the grains, is separated from them; the whole is then
  poured into a basket, which is repeatedly dipped into clean
  water, until the ley and skins are removed; the remainder is
  then boiled in water until so soft as to be edible. They also
  make much use of maize roasted on the cob, of boiled pumpkins,
  of musk-melons, and water-melons, but the latter are generally
  pulled from the vine before they are completely ripe.

  "Ca-ega-wa-tan-ninga, or the Fool Chief, is the hereditary
  principal chief, but he possesses nothing like monarchical
  authority, maintaining his distinction only by his bravery and
  good conduct. There are ten or twelve inferior chieftains, or
  persons who aspire to such dignity, but these do not appear to
  {115} command any great respect from the people. Civil as well
  as military distinction arises from bravery or generosity.
  Controversies are decided amongst themselves; they do not
  appeal to their chief, excepting for counsel. They will not
  marry any of their kindred, however remote. The females,
  before marriage, labour in the fields, and serve their
  parents, carry wood and water, and attend to the culinary
  duties; when the eldest daughter marries, she commands the
  lodge, the mother, and all the sisters; the latter are to be
  also the wives of the same individual. When a young man wishes
  to marry a particular female, his father gives a feast to a
  few persons, generally old men, and acquaints them with his
  design; they repair to the girl, who generally feigns an
  unwillingness to marry, and urges such reasons as her poverty,
  youth, &c.--the old men are often obliged to return six or
  seven times before they can effect their object. When her
  consent is obtained, the parents of the young man take two or
  three blankets and some meat to the parents of the female that
  they may feast, and immediately return to their lodge. The
  parents put on the meat to cook, and place the same quantity
  of meat and merchandize on two horses, and dress their
  daughter in the best garments they can afford; she mounts one
  of the horses, and leads the other, and is preceded by a crier
  announcing, with a loud voice, the marriage of the young
  couple, naming them, to the people; in this way she goes to
  the habitation of her husband, whose parents take from her
  every thing she brings, strip her entirely naked, dress her
  again in clothes as good as she brought, furnish her with two
  other horses, with meat and merchandize, and she returns with
  her crier to her parents. These two horses she retains as her
  own, together with all the articles she brings back with her.
  Her parents then make a feast, to which they invite the
  husband, his parents and friends; the young couple are seated
  together, and {116} all then partake of the good cheer, after
  which the father of the girl makes a harangue, in which he
  informs the young man that he must now assume the command of
  the lodge, and of every thing belonging to him and his
  daughter. All the merchandize which the bride returned with,
  is distributed in presents from herself to the kindred of her
  husband in their first visit. The husband then invites the
  relatives of his wife to a feast. Whatever peltries the father
  possesses are at the disposal of the son to trade with on his
  own account; and in every respect the parents, in many
  instances, become subservient to the young man.

  "After the death of the husband the widow scarifies herself,
  rubs her person with clay, and becomes negligent of her dress,
  until the expiration of a year, when the eldest brother of the
  deceased takes her to wife without any ceremony, considers her
  children as his own, and takes her and them to his house; if
  the deceased left no brother, she marries whom she pleases.
  They have, in some instances, four or five wives; but these
  are mostly sisters; if they marry into two families the wives
  do not harmonize well together, and give the husband much
  inquietude; there is, however, no restriction in this respect,
  except in the prudence of the husband. The grandfather and
  grandmother are very fond of their grandchildren, but these
  have very little respect for them. The female children respect
  and obey their parents; but the males are very disobedient,
  and the more obstinate they are, and the less readily they
  comply with the commands of their parents, the more the latter
  seem to be pleased, saying, 'He will be a brave man, a great
  warrior; he will not be controlled.'

  "The attachment of fraternity is as strong, if not stronger,
  than with us. The niece has great deference for the uncle. The
  female calls her mother's sister _mother_, and her mother's
  brother _uncle_. The male calls his father's brother _father_,
  his father's sister [106] _aunt_, his mother's sister
  _mother_, and his mother's brother _uncle_. Thirteen children
  have occurred in one family. A woman had three children at a
  birth; all lived.

  "The young men are generally coupled out as friends; the tie
  is very permanent, and continues often throughout life.

  "They bear sickness and pain with great fortitude, seldom
  uttering a complaint; bystanders sympathize with them, and try
  every means to relieve them. Insanity is unknown; the blind
  are taken care of by their friends and the nation generally,
  and are well dressed and fed. Drunkenness is rare, and is much
  ridiculed; a drunken man is said to be bereft of his reason,
  and is avoided. As to the origin of the nation, their belief
  is, that the Master of life formed a man, and placed him on
  the earth; he was solitary, and cried to the Master of life
  for a companion, who sent him down a woman; from the union of
  these two proceeded a son and daughter, who were married, and
  built themselves a lodge distinct from that of their parents;
  all the nations proceeded from them, excepting the whites,
  whose origin they pretend not to know. When a man is killed in
  battle, the thunder is supposed to take him up, they do not
  know where. In going to battle each man traces an imaginary
  figure of the thunder on the soil; and he who represents it
  incorrectly is killed by the thunder. A person saw this
  thunder one day on the ground, with a beautiful mockasin on
  each side of it; having much need of a pair, he took them and
  went his way; but on his return, by the same spot, the thunder
  took him off, and he has not been since heard of. They seem to
  have vague notions of the future state. They think that a
  brave warrior, or good hunter, will walk in a good path; but a
  bad man, or coward, will find a bad path. Thinking the
  deceased has far to travel, they bury with his body mockasins,
  some articles of food, &c. {118} to support him on the
  journey. Many persons, they believe, have become reanimated,
  who had been, during their apparent death, in strange
  villages; but as the inhabitants used them ill, they returned.
  They say they have never seen the Master of life, and
  therefore cannot pretend to personify him; but they have often
  heard him speak in the thunder; they wear often a shell which
  is in honour, or in representation of him, but they do not
  pretend that it resembles him, or has any thing in common with
  his form, organization, or dimensions.

  "This nation having been at profound peace with the Osages,
  since the year 1806,[156] have intermarried freely with them,
  so that in stature, features, and customs, they are more and
  more closely approaching that people. They are large and
  symmetrically well formed, with the usual high cheek bones,
  the nose more or less aquiline, colour reddish coppery, the
  hair black and straight. Their women are small and homely,
  with broad faces. We saw but a single squaw in the village who
  had any pretensions to beauty; she was recently married to an
  enterprizing warrior, who invited us to a feast, apparently in
  order to exhibit his prize to us. The ordinary dress of the
  men is a breech cloth of blue or red cloth, secured in its
  place by a girdle; a pair of leggings, made of dressed
  deer-skin, concealing the leg, excepting a small portion of
  the upper part of the thigh; a pair of mockasins made of
  dressed deer, elk, or bison-skin, not ornamented; and a
  blanket to cover the upper part of the body, often thrown over
  one arm in hot weather, leaving that part naked; or it is even
  entirely thrown aside. The outer cartilage of the ear is cut
  through in three places, and upon the rims, thus separated,
  various ornaments are suspended, such as wampum, string beads,
  silver or tin trinkets, &c. The hair of most of their chiefs
  and warriors is scrupulously removed from the head; being
  careful, however, to leave enough, as in honour {119} they are
  bound to do, to supply their enemy with a scalp, in case they
  should be vanquished. This residuum consists of a portion on
  the back of the head, of about the breadth of the hand,
  rounded at its upper termination near the top of the head, the
  sides rectilinear, and nearly parallel, though slightly
  approaching each other towards the origin of the neck, where
  it abruptly terminates; on the exterior margin, the hair is
  somewhat longer and erect; this strip of hair is variously
  decorated; it is sometimes coloured on the margin with
  vermilion, sometimes a tail feather of the war eagle is
  attached transversely with respect to the head; this feather
  is white at base, and black at tip; but the principal
  ornament, which appears to be worn by some of their chief
  warriors, and which is, at the same time, by far the most
  handsome, is the tail of the common deer; this is attached by
  the base near to the top of the patch of hair, the back of it
  resting on the hair, and the tip secured near the termination
  of the patch; the bristly hair of the tail is dyed red by a
  beautiful permanent colour, and parted longitudinally in the
  middle by a broad silver plate, which is attached at top, and
  suffered to hang loose. Many of them are tattooed on different
  parts of the body. The young boys are entirely naked, with
  the exception of a girdle, generally of cloth, round their
  protruding abdomen. This part of the body in the children of
  this nation is remarkably prominent; it is more particularly
  so when they are very young, but gradually subsides as they
  advance in age. In hot weather the men, whilst in the village,
  generally use fans, with which they cool themselves, when in
  the shade, and protect their heads from the sun whilst walking
  out; they are made of the wing or tail of the turkey. The
  women rarely use them. The dress of the female is composed of
  a pair of mockasins, leggings of blue or red cloth, with a
  broad projecting border on the outside, and covering the leg
  to the knee, or a {120} little above; many, however, and
  perhaps almost a majority of them, do not in common wear this
  part of the dress. Around the waist, secured by a belt or
  cestus, is wrapped a piece of blue cloth, the sides of which
  meet, or come nearly in contact on the outside of the right
  thigh, and the whole extends downward as far as the knee, or
  to the mid-leg; around the left shoulder is a similar piece of
  cloth, which is attached, by two of the corners, at the axilla
  of the right arm, and extends downward as far as the waist.
  This garment is often laid aside, when the body, from the
  waist upward, is entirely exposed. Their hair is suffered to
  grow long; it is parted longitudinally on the top of the head,
  and flows over the shoulders, the line of separation being
  coloured with vermilion. The females, like those of other
  aborigines, cultivate the maize, beans, pumpkins, and
  water-melons; gather and prepare the two former, when ripe,
  and pack them away in skins, or in mats, for keeping; prepare
  the flesh of the bison, by drying, for preservation; attend to
  all the cooking; bring wood and water; and in other respects
  manage the domestic concerns, and appear to have over them
  absolute sway. These duties, as far as we could observe, they
  not only willingly performed as a mere matter of duty, but
  they exhibited in their deportment a degree of pride and
  ambition to acquit themselves well; in this respect resembling
  a good housewife amongst the civilized fair. Many of them are

  "Both sexes of all ages bathe frequently, and enter the water
  indiscriminately. The infant is washed in cold water soon
  after its birth, and the ablution is frequently repeated; the
  mother also bathes with the same fluid soon after delivery.
  The infant is tied down to a board, after the manner of many
  of the Indian tribes.

  "The chastity of the young females is guarded by the mother
  with the most scrupulous watchfulness, {121} and a violation
  of it is a rare occurrence, as it renders the individual unfit
  for the wife of a chief, a brave warrior, or good hunter. To
  wed her daughter to one of these, each mother is solicitous;
  as these qualifications offer the same attractions to the
  Indian mother as family and fortune exhibit to the civilized

  "The men carefully pluck from their chins, axilla of the arms,
  eye-brows, &c. every hair of beard that presents itself: this
  is done with a spiral wire, which, when used, is placed with
  the side upon the part, and the ends are pressed towards each
  other so as to close the spires upon the hairs, which can then
  be readily drawn out; this instrument we observed to be an
  article of dress of the chiefs, who departed to attend the
  council at the Isle au Vache."


  [139] For Bissel, see Cuming's _Tour_, in our volume iv, note

  Charles Pentland, of Pennsylvania, served during the War of
  1812-15 as ensign and third lieutenant in the 4th Rifles.
  Retained in 1815, he was in 1821 transferred to the 6th
  Infantry, in which, two years later, he became captain. He was
  dismissed in 1826.--ED.

  [140] The Kansas River and its tributaries drain most of the
  state of the same name. It heads in the prairies of eastern
  Colorado, and joins the Missouri at the point where the latter
  enters the State of Missouri. It is still sometimes called the
  Kaw. The name appears in various forms on early French maps--as
  Cans, Rivière des Kancés, Rivière des Quans, etc.--ED.

  [141] The Little Platte (which the French called Petite Rivière
  Platte, or Little Shallow River), rises in southern Iowa and
  flows south to its confluence with the Missouri in Platte
  County. Its mouth is now opposite Diamond Island, for the
  channels of the two rivers have, in their shifting, been brought
  together several miles above the old confluence. The abandoned
  lower channel is still visible.

  Diamond Island is near the Kansas side of the Missouri, on the
  line between Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties.

  When Lewis and Clark passed this spot in 1804, the two smaller
  islands of the group called Three Islands had but recently
  appeared. They are opposite the mouth of Nine Mile Creek, five
  or six miles below Leavenworth. The principal member of the
  group is Spar Island.

  The Four Islands are in front of Leavenworth, and one of the
  largest has the same name as the city.--ED.

  [142] Isle au Vache (Isle des Vaches, Isle de Vache, Buffalo
  Island), now Cow Island, is on the line between Atchison and
  Leavenworth counties.

  Wyly Martin, a Tennesseean, had been captain in the 3d Rifle
  regiment at the close of the War of 1812-15, and after an
  honorable discharge in 1815, had been reinstated the same
  year. He was transferred to the 6th Infantry in 1821, and
  resigned two years later.

  Lewis and Clark note the site of the Kansa village and French
  fort. The former stood in a valley between two high elevations,
  and the latter was on another elevation a mile in the rear. They
  found few traces of the village, but there remained the general
  outline of the fortifications and some ruins of chimneys. It was
  near this spot that Fort Leavenworth was established, in 1827.
  See Bradbury's _Travels_, in our volume v, note 37.--ED.

  [143] For the early history of the Kansa, see Bradbury's
  _Travels_, in our volume v, note 37.--ED.

  [144] White Plume became the chief of the tribe, and some
  fifteen years later was still in power. Catlin, in _North
  American Indians_ (London, 1866), ii, p. 23, described him as
  urbane and hospitable, and of portly build.--ED.

  [145] The surprise of the Indians will hardly be cause for
  wonder, after reading the following description of the "Western
  Engineer," which appeared in the St. Louis _Enquirer_, June 19,
  1819, ten days after the expedition arrived at that place: "The
  bow of the vessel exhibits the form of a huge serpent, black and
  scaly, rising out of the water from under the boat, his head
  as high as the deck, darted forward, his mouth open, vomiting
  smoke, and apparently carrying the boat on his back. From under
  the boat, at its stern issues a stream of foaming water, dashing
  violently along. All the machinery is hid. . . . The boat is
  ascending the rapid stream at the rate of three miles an hour.
  Neither wind nor human hands are seen to help her; and to the
  eye of ignorance the illusion is complete, that a monster of the
  deep carries her on his back smoking with fatigue, and lashing
  the waves with violent exertion."

  A resident of Franklin, Missouri, thus described the boat and
  the impression it made upon the savages: "In place of a
  bowsprit, she has carved a great serpent, and as the steam
  escapes out of its mouth, it runs out a long tongue, to the
  perfect horror of all Indians that see her. They say, 'White
  man bad man, keep a great spirit chained and build fire under
  it to make it work a boat.'"--ED.

  [146] Willoughby Morgan, a Virginian, served during the War
  of 1812-15 as captain and major of infantry. In 1815 he was
  retained in the rifle regiment as captain, with brevet of major,
  becoming lieutenant-colonel in 1818. In 1821 he was transferred
  to the infantry; he became colonel of the 1st Infantry in 1830,
  and died in 1832.

  "Lieutenant Fields" is probably Gabriel Field, whose army record
  is given as follows in the registers: "Born in ——. Appointed
  from Mo. 2nd Lieut. Rifles, 24 May, 1817; 1st Lieut., 15 April,
  1818; transferred to 6th Infantry, 1 June, 1821; resigned 16
  April, 1823."--ED.

  [147] Independence Creek owes its name to Lewis and Clark, who
  reached this point on July 4, 1804. Its mouth is on the line
  between Atchison and Doniphan counties, Kansas. Lewis and Clark
  named another small stream, fifteen miles below, Fourth of July
  Creek. They also visited the site of the Indian village here
  mentioned, and thought it must have been a large one, judging
  from the remains.--ED.

  [148] The color is due to the presence of yellow ochre.--ED.

  [149] For data relative to the Nodaway River, see Bradbury's
  _Travels_, in our volume v, note 5.--ED.

  [150] The name of Wolf River or Creek (Rivière du Loup of early
  French maps), is a translation of the Indian name. The stream
  debouches four miles below the town of Iowa Point, in Doniphan
  County, Kansas.--ED.

  [151] _Sciurus macrurus._ SAY.--_Body_ above each side, mixed
  gray and black; fur plumbeous, black at base, then pale
  cinnamon, then black, then cinereous, with a long black tip;
  _ears_ bright ferruginous behind, the colour extending to the
  base of the fur, which, in its winter dress, is prominent beyond
  the edge; within dull ferruginous, the fur slightly tipped with
  black; _side of the head and orbits_ pale ferruginous, cheek
  under the eye and ear dusky; _whiskers_ black, in about five
  series, of which the four inferior ones are more distinct,
  hairs a little flattened; _mouth_ margined with black; _teeth_
  reddish yellow; _head_ beneath, _neck_ and _feet_ above pale
  ferruginous; _belly_ paler; fur pale plumbeous at base; _palms_
  black; _toes_, anterior ones four, the thumb tubercle not longer
  than its lobe in the palm, and furnished with a broad flat
  nail; posterior toes five; _tail_ beneath bright ferruginous,
  the colour extending to the base of the fur, with a submarginal
  black line; above mixed ferruginous and black; fur within pale
  cinnamon, with the base and three bands black; tip ferruginous.

                                                     ft.    in.
  From nose to tip of tail (exclusive of the hair)    1     7-1/4
  Tail, from base to tip (exclusive of the hair)            9-1/10
  Ear, from head to tip                                     0-3/4

  The most common species of squirrel on the banks of the
  Missouri river. It is allied to _S. cinereus_, but cannot be
  considered as a variety of that species; neither does it
  approach any of the numerous varieties of the very variable
  _S. capistratus_ of Bosc.

  The fur of the back in the summer dress is from 3/5 to 7/10 of
  an inch long; but in the winter dress the longest hairs of the
  middle of the back are one inch and 3/4 in length. This
  difference in the length of the hairs, combined with a greater
  portion of fat, gives to the whole animal a thicker and
  shorter appearance; but the colours continue the same, and it
  is only in this latter season that the ears are fringed, which
  is the necessary consequence of the elongation of the hair.
  This species was not an unfrequent article of food at our
  frugal yet social meals at Engineer Cantonment, and we could
  always immediately distinguish the bones from those of other
  animals, by their remarkably red colour.

  The tail is even more voluminous than that of the _S.

  It seems to approach the _Sc. rufiventer_. _Geoff._ v. Dict.
  D. Hist. Nat. article Ecu. p. 104.--JAMES.

  [152] See sketch of Charbonneau in Brackenridge's _Journal_,
  volume vi of our series, note 3.--ED.

  [153] Hay Cabin Creek and Blue Water are now known respectively
  as the Little Blue River and Big Blue River (or Creek; not to
  be confounded with the Big Blue of Kansas). Both debouche in
  Jackson County, Missouri. The Warreruza is the modern Wakarusa
  (the meaning of which is variously given as "thigh deep" and
  "river of big weeds"), which flows across Shawnee and Douglas
  counties, Kansas, to the northeast corner of the latter. Full
  Creek (or River) is the present Upper Mill Creek, another
  southern tributary of the Kansas, the mouth of which is in
  northeastern Wabaunsee County, by a direct line about fifty
  miles above the confluence of the Wakarusa. Pike's chart of
  1806, which Say's party possessed, shows Hay Cabin Creek, Blue
  Water, Warreruza, and Full River successively, south of the
  Missouri and Kansas. There are several other creeks, however,
  between the Blue Water and Warreruza which Pike does not show,
  and the Warreruza is a larger stream than his chart indicates.
  Say's party apparently mistook one of the small streams for the
  Warreruza, and, upon reaching the latter, mistook it in turn for
  Full Creek. They could hardly have traced the course of Full
  Creek from the lower Warreruza, where they must have been on
  August eleventh. This error explains their doubt, while encamped
  on the Kansas on August sixteenth, whether they were above or
  below the Indian village, which is plainly shown on Pike's chart
  as situated at the mouth of Blue Earth (Big Blue) River.--ED.

  [154] When Say's party reached the Kansas, they had crossed
  Johnson and Douglas counties, following the high prairie country
  which lies from six to fifteen miles south of the river. The
  camp on the thirteenth was probably not far from Lecompton; by
  the sixteenth, they must have been near Topeka.

  Big Blue River (Blue Earth on the map), at the mouth of which
  the Kansa village stood, rises in Nebraska, flows through
  Marshall County, Kansas, and forms the boundary between Riley
  and Pottawatomie counties. Near the confluence, a westward bend
  of the Big Blue forms a peninsula about two miles long and half
  a mile wide, which was the site of the village. A few years
  ago the exact locations of the lodges were still indicated by
  circular ridges and depressions, from which a map of the village
  was prepared (see Kansas Historical Society _Transactions_,
  1881, p. 288). The site was partially abandoned in 1830, and
  three villages constructed near Topeka; these in turn were
  abandoned when the territory which contained them was ceded to
  the United States in 1846.--ED.

  [155] The Vermillion is a Pottawatomie County stream about
  twenty miles east of the Big Blue.--ED.

  [156] Pike, p. 144.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ The reference is to _An Account of Expeditions
  to the Sources of the Mississippi and through the Western Parts
  of Louisiana_, etc. (Philadelphia, 1810). Pike mediated a peace
  treaty between the Kansa and Osage, at the Pawnee village on
  Republican River, September 28, 1806.


  Further Account of the Konza Nation--Robbery of Mr. Say's
  Detachment by a War-Party of Pawnees--Arrival at the Platte.

The Konza warriors, like those of some others of the Missouri
tribes on their departure on a war excursion, sometimes make vows,
binding themselves never to return until they have performed some
feat which they mention, such as killing an enemy, striking an
enemy's dead body, or stealing a horse. An instance lately
occurred of a warrior who had been long absent under a vow of this
sort, and finding it impossible to meet an enemy, and being in a
starving condition, he returned to his own village by night, with
the determination of accomplishing his vow, by killing and
scalping the first person he should meet. This person happened to
be the warrior's own mother, but the darkness of the night
prevented the discovery until he had accomplished his bloody

On the 23d of August, Mr. Say's party began to prepare for leaving
the Konza village, where they had been treated with much
hospitality. They purchased a number of articles for their use on
the journey they proposed to take, such as jerked bison meat,
pounded maize, bison fat put up like sausages, mockasins,
leggings, spoons made of the horn of the bison, two large wooden
dishes, &c. They received also an addition to their cavalcade of
two horses, one belonging to Major O'Fallon, and another which
they procured from a Frenchman residing in the village.

A Pawnee prisoner, an interesting young man, {123} was brought to
them, who said he was desirous to accompany them to his nation,
but at the same time was afraid his people would not recognize
him, and would kill him for a Konza. He was promised protection,
but at the same time it was remarked to him, that if he should
attempt to steal the horses of the party on the way, they would
certainly pursue him and take his scalp.

On the 24th, says Mr. Say, having been detained until afternoon in
searching for our horses, we departed, accompanied by several
Indians, who intended to pass the night with us and to return to
the village the following morning.

Our path led along the margin of Blue Earth Creek, a stream of the
width of twenty-five yards, and greatest depth of three feet,
which discharges into the river a mile or two above the Konza
village. The soil supports but a thin growth of grass, and the
timber is far from abundant, consisting principally of different
sorts of oak, confined to the margin of the creek, its ravines and
tributaries. One of our Indian followers, who, although a chief of
the extinct Missouri nation,[157] has yet much influence with the
Konzas, wished to exchange a horse he had with him for one of
ours, which was evidently a less valuable animal. The reason he
assigned in explanation of his desire of such an apparently
disadvantageous exchange was, that his horse had been presented to
him by a person, who, he feared, intended to reclaim him, but that
if he should exchange him for another horse, he would be secure in
the possession of the individual so obtained, as an Indian will
not reclaim a present which is not identically the same he had
given. At the distance of seven miles from the village, our party
encamped by the side of the creek, in a narrow, but beautiful
and level prairie bottom, which was bounded by an abrupt, though
verdant range of bluffs.

  [Illustration: INDIAN RECORD _of a_ BATTLE _between the PAWNEES
  and the KONZAS_.

  A Fac simile _of a Delineation upon a_ BISON ROBE.

  _London, Pub^{d}, by Longman & C^{o.}, 1823_]

Mr. Dougherty and one of the Indians went in {124} quest of game,
and having supplied the two remaining Indians with a pipe and
tobacco, we were partaking of some refreshment, when one of the
party suddenly drew our attention to an extensive cloud of dust,
which arose from the plain, and which we soon perceived but
partially concealed a body of Indians, who had already approached
within a quarter of a mile, and were now running with great
swiftness. Our Indian followers now displayed all their activity;
the chief seized his gun, and ran towards the advancing multitude
to obtain his horse, which he mounted and rode off at full speed,
whilst his companion disappeared in the bushes in an instant. This
was a sufficient intimation that a hostile party was before us,
and a timely admonition of the approach of danger. Our men were
therefore drawn up in a line, and all prepared themselves for
defence in case of extremity.

The advancing party were armed, decorated, and painted, for
battle, but they manifested, as they rushed up to us, the most
pacific deportment, shaking us by the hand, putting their arms
about our necks, and raising their hands with the palm towards us,
in token of peace. We were not, however, disposed to rely upon
these assurances of friendship, being fully aware of the
difficulties which their partizans would have to surmount in
checking the inconsiderate prowess of the younger warriors. We now
observed some of them seizing our horses, which were staked at
some distance: they mounted them and rode swiftly in the direction
that the chief had taken, but they soon returned. It soon became
necessary to protect our baggage by arranging ourselves around
it; still, however, in despite of our vigilance, many of our small
articles were stolen. They begged for whiskey and tobacco; and a
small portion of the latter was given them. Amidst the confusion
arising from the incessant and rapid movements of the Indians, we
observed an individual bearing off a small {125} package of very
fine pounded meat; I immediately pointed out the circumstance to
the partizan, and directed him to recover it and punish the thief;
he complied by wresting the meat from the grasp of the latter, and
from that of several others who had been contending for portions
of it, placed it beneath his feet, and defended it with his lance;
but Chabonneau, to whom the meat belonged, declaring that he had
given it to them, they were permitted to retain it. A tent which
had been pitched for me in consideration of my illness, and in
which my blanket, pistols, together with some small articles, had
been deposited, was plundered of its contents; it was finally cut
down, and would have been taken away, had we not made an effort to
preserve it. During the whole transaction those warriors, who
stood at a short distance, intently watched our movements, as if
they were led to believe, from the attitude we assumed, that we
would attempt to repel them, even with our inadequate force. No
sudden action or motion of any one of the party escaped them; and
individuals were frequently observed to draw their arrows to test
the elasticity of the bows. At a critical juncture, a tall and
graceful Indian cocked his gun fiercely, and put his war whistle
to his mouth, but the signal was not blown. Amongst numerous
incidents that occurred during the half hour that we were
surrounded by them, an individual attempted to seize a knapsack
belonging to one of the soldiers, and immediately under his
observation; the latter placed his foot upon the knapsack to
detain it, and at the same time prepared his gun as if to shoot
the offender, who leaped backward with great agility, and with an
ejaculation of pleasure, drew his arrow to the head. The whole
party precipitately retreated just as Mr. Dougherty returned from
hunting; being briefly informed of the nature of their visit, he
called aloud to the fugitives in their own language, but they
passed on without heeding him, taking our {126} horses with them.
I had by a rough estimate fixed their number at one hundred and
forty; they were chiefly armed with the bow and arrow, and lance,
with the usual accompaniments of tomahawks, war-clubs, and knives,
together with a few guns. Fortunately no personal indignity was
offered us; yet we could not repress a sensation of much
mortification at the prospect of a frustration of our enterprise,
which now seemed inevitable, and of extreme vexation at the
irreparable loss of our horses, which no exertions of ours could
have saved: an appeal to arms, except in the last extremity, would
have been the height of imprudence, conquest being hopeless, and
escape almost impossible.

Soon after their departure Mr. Jessup and Chabonneau set out for
the village to procure assistance, for the purpose of removing our
camp to that place from which we recommenced our journey at a
moment so unpropitious; whilst we busied ourselves in removing the
baggage to a situation amongst the neighbouring bushes, which
appeared favourable for concealment, and for defence, in case of a
night attack, which was confidently anticipated. Several alarms
occurred during the night, and on the return of day we observed
thirty mounted Indians riding swiftly towards us. The chief, who
left us so precipitately the preceding evening, on his arrival at
the village, hastily assembled a little band of warriors for the
purpose of returning immediately to our assistance, and it was he
and his party, that we had now the pleasure to greet. They
expressed great satisfaction, when they learned that we were all
uninjured. After saluting us cordially, they pursued the trail of
the Pawnees for some distance, and from the footsteps in the
grass, and other appearances, to be duly appreciated only by the
eye of an Indian, they estimated the number of the Pawnees at one
hundred and thirty. On their return they restored to us some bacon
and other articles, which had been {127} carried off by the
fugitives, and rejected as not at all to their taste. We were now
supplied with a conveyance for ourselves and our baggage, and were
conducted back to the village.

The Indians who committed this robbery, were a war-party of the
republican Pawnees, and were about one hundred and forty in
number. Their nation was at war with the Konzas.

Mr. Say's party were kindly received at the village they had left
on the preceding day. In the evening they had retired to rest in
the lodge set apart for their accommodation, when they were
alarmed by a party of savages rushing in, armed with bows, arrows,
and lances, shouting and yelling in a most frightful manner. The
gentlemen of the party had immediate recourse to their arms; but
observing that some squaws, who were in the lodge, appeared
unmoved, they began to suspect that no molestation to them was
intended. The Indians collected around the fire in the centre of
the lodge, yelling incessantly; at length their howlings assumed
something of a measured tone, and they began to accompany their
voices with a sort of drum and rattles. After singing for some
time, one who appeared to be their leader, struck the post over
the fire with his lance, and they all began to dance, keeping very
exact time with the music. Each warrior had, besides his arms, and
rattles made of strings of deer's hoofs, some part of the
intestines of an animal inflated, and enclosing a few small
stones, which produced a sound like pebbles in a gourd shell.
After dancing round the fire for some time, without appearing to
notice the strangers, they departed, raising the same wolfish
howl, with which they had entered; but their music and their
yelling continued to be heard about the village during the night.

  [Illustration: War Dance in the interior of a Konza Lodge]

This ceremony, called the _dog dance_, was performed by the Konzas
for the entertainment of their guests. Mr. Seymour took an
opportunity to sketch {128} the attitudes and dresses of the
principal figures.[158]

Finding it impracticable to obtain horses by purchase, out of
their almost exhausted stock of merchandize, to enable them to
prosecute their march to Council Bluff, after due deliberation,
they saw no alternative, but to endeavour to hire horses on
credit, and to make the best of their way for Cow Island, in hopes
of meeting the steamboat there. A Frenchman, Mr. Gunville,
resident with this nation, agreed to furnish two pack horses, and
a saddle horse for Mr. Say, whose state of health would not admit
of his continuing the journey on foot. Thus furnished they
prepared to depart, and in the meantime two runners were
despatched to inform Major Long of their situation by letter.

On the 25th of August, Mr. Say and his party again left the Konza
village, accompanied by the French trader, who had furnished them
two horses, and by a Missouri Indian; but this last had followed
them only a few miles, when he repented of his undertaking and

In pursuing the most direct route from the Konza village to the
Missouri, they crossed at the distance of seventeen miles, the
Vermilion, a small stream bordered with handsome forests. Nineteen
miles beyond this they arrived at the sources of Grasshopper
Creek, where they encamped on the evening of the 27th.[159] Here
the soil changes somewhat abruptly. The high prairies about the
Vermilion and Blue Earth creeks are barren, almost naked, and
inhabited by some orbicular lizards. About Grasshopper Creek the
soil is fertile, the grass dense and luxuriant.

On the 29th they arrived at Isle au Vache, and were hospitably
received by Colonel Morgan and the officers of his command, but
had the mortification to learn that Major Long, after waiting a
sufficient time to enable the Indian agent to complete his
negotiations {129} with the Konzas, had departed with the
steam-boat before the arrival of the messengers, that had been
sent to notify him of their disaster. These runners had been
despatched immediately after their arrival, with instructions to
overtake the steam-boat, and to deliver Mr. Say's letter, but
after some days they returned, without having been able to effect
any thing.

It was now determined that Mr. Say and Mr. Jessup, who on account
of ill health, were unable to travel farther on foot, should for
the present remain at Isle au Vache, while the other gentlemen of
the detachment should continue their journey. Mr. Dougherty, from
his intimate acquaintance with the country, was of opinion that by
crossing in the nearest direction from Isle au Vache to the mouth
of Wolf river, they might yet overtake the steam-boat. They
accordingly placed themselves under his guidance, and, by great
exertion, fortunately arrived at the mouth of Wolf river, on the
evening of the 1st of September, as the steam-boat was passing.

The country south-west of the Missouri, between the Konzas and the
Platte, is drained principally by Wolf river and the Great
Nemahaw. These rivers, like the Nodowa and Nishnebottona, which
enter the Missouri nearly opposite them from the north-east, rise
in the prairies at an elevation probably of forty or fifty feet
above the level of the Missouri. As they descend, their vallies
becoming gradually wider, embosom a few trees, and at length, near
their entrance into the Missouri valley, are forests of
considerable extent. The surface of these prairies presents a
constant succession of small rounded hills, becoming larger and
more abrupt as you approach the beds of the rivers. The soil is
deep, reposing usually on horizontal beds of argillaceous
sandstone, and secondary limestone. In all the limestones along
the Missouri, we observe a tendency to crystalline structure, and
they have often a reddish or yellowish white {130} colour. There
is, however, always something in the arrangement and in the
aspect of the crystals to distinguish these sparry varieties from
the primitive granular limestone, to which they have something of
general resemblance. The horizontal disposition of the strata of
this limestone, the great numbers of organic relics contained in
it, and its intimate connexion with coal strata, indicate with
sufficient clearness its relation to the secondary rocks. No
person who shall examine this stratum with the least attention,
either about the Nemahaw and the Konzas, or in the mining district
at the sources of the Gasconade, the Merameg, and the St. Francis,
will for a moment mistake it for any of those varieties of
transition or primitive limestone, which it in some respects so
closely resembles. The crystalline varieties, no less than the
compact blue limestones, embrace numerous masses of chert or
hornstone. This occurs of various colours, and these are arranged
in spots or stripes. Some specimens have several distinct colours
arranged in zigzag lines, somewhat resembling the fortification
agate. The hunters use fragments of this stone for gun-flints; the
savages also formerly employed it in the manufacture of arrow
points and other implements.[160]

The soil superimposed upon these strata of limestone, is a
calcareous loam. Near the rivers it is intermixed with sand; this
is also the case with the soil of the high prairies about the
Konzas village. In ascending the Konzas river, one hundred, or one
hundred and twenty miles from the Missouri, you discover numerous
indications, both in the soil, and its animal and vegetable
productions, of an approach to the borders of that great Sandy
Desert, which stretches eastward from the base of the Rocky
Mountains. You meet there with the orbicular lizard, or "horned
frog," an inhabitant of the arid plains of {131} New Mexico. You
distinguish also some cacti, as well as many of those plants
allied to chenopodium and salsola, which delight in a thirsty
muriatiferous soil. The catalogue of the forest trees belonging to
the vallies of this region is not very copious. The cotton-wood
and the plane tree, every where form conspicuous features of the
forests. With these are intermixed the tall and graceful acacia,
the honey locust, and the bonduc, or coffee-tree,[161] and several
species of juglans, carya and fraxinus, with pinnated or
many-parted leaves. Trees of the family of the coniferæ are not of
frequent occurrence on the Missouri. About the summits of rocky
cliffs are here and there a few cedars or junipers, the only trees
that retain their verdure during the winter.

The prairies, for many miles on each side of the Missouri, produce
abundance of good pasturage; but as far as our observation has
extended, the best soil is a margin from ten to twelve miles in
breadth, along the western bank of the river. In the summer very
little water is to be found in the prairies, all the smaller
streams failing, even though the season be not unusually dry. On
account of the want of wood and of water, the settlements will be
for a long time confined to the immediate vallies of the Missouri,
the Konzas, and the larger rivers; but it is probable, forests
will hereafter be cultivated in those vast woodless regions,
which now form so great a proportion of the country; and wells may
be made to supply the deficiency of running water.

We have seen at Bellefontain, as well as at several other points
on this river, a pretty species of sparrow, which is altogether
new to us;[162] and several specimens of a serpent have occurred,
which has considerable affinity with the pine-snake of the
southern states, or bull-snake of Bartram.[163]

Having received on board the detachment that had arrived from the
Konza village, except Messrs. {132} Say and Jessup, who, on
account of ill health, remained at Isle au Vache, we left the
mouth of Wolf river on the 2nd of September. A party of hunters,
furnished with a horse for the transportation of game, were
despatched at the same time with instructions to hunt on the south
side of the river, and to join us again in the evening. We had
little difficulty in procuring a constant supply of venison. Deer
are very numerous on this part of the Missouri, and we had several
opportunities to kill them from on board, as they were swimming
across the river.

Twenty-one miles above the mouth of Wolf river, and on the same
side, is the entrance of the Grand Nemahaw, a considerable river
which rises in the plains between the Platte and the Republican
Fork of the Konzas river, and running eastwardly about one hundred
and fifty miles, discharges into the Missouri a little north of
latitude forty degrees. In the straightness of its course, the
rapidity and turbulence of its stream, it has a general
resemblance to the other western tributaries of the Missouri. A
few miles above the Nemahaw, and on the opposite side, is the
mouth of the Tarkio, a smaller stream.[164]

On the 4th of September we were joined by the hunters, who brought
two deer, and informed us they had killed several others.
Lieutenant Field's boat was allowed to remain at the encampment of
the preceding night, after the departure of the steam-boat, for
the purpose of taking on board a large quantity of honey. Swarms
of bees were found here in great numbers, and the honey they
afforded made a valuable addition to our provisions, consisting
now in a great measure of hunters' fare.

Finding one of the valves of the steam-engine much worn and leaky,
we were now under the necessity of stopping for a day to have a
new one, which we had brought, adapted to its place. Several of
the men amused themselves by hunting and fishing. {133} We had now
a plentiful supply of game, and many large catfish were taken,
some of them weighing more than fifty pounds.

We passed in succession the mouths of the Nishnebottona and the
Little Nemahaw,[165] and arrived on the 7th at the Grand Pass.
Here the Nishnebottona, a beautiful river about sixty yards wide,
approaches within one hundred and fifty yards of the Missouri,
being separated from it by a sandy prairie, rising scarcely
twenty feet above the surface of the water. After pursuing for a
short distance a parallel course, the two rivers diverge, and the
Nishnebottona meanders along the side of the Missouri valley, about
sixty miles to its confluence with the latter river.[166] From this
point is a pleasing view of the hills called the Baldpated Prairie,
stretching along the north-eastern side of the Nishnebottona, and
diminished to the size of anthills in the distant perspective.[167]
Here the navigation is much obstructed by sand-bars, and the
ordinary current of the Missouri, according to the statement of
Lewis and Clarke, corroborated by our observation, is something
more than one fathom per second.[168] In many places the Missouri
hurries across concealed sand bars and other obstructions, with the
velocity of seven, eight, or even twelve feet in a second.[169]
Between these obstructions, the channel becomes deeper, and the
current more moderate; consequently the aggregate velocity at times
of low water may be reckoned something less than six feet to the
second. As the volume of water is increased by the heavy rains, and
the melting of the snows within the Rocky Mountains, the current is
proportionably accelerated, and becomes more equable, running for
many miles in succession, not less than seven hundred and twenty
feet per minute. At the time of our ascent the summer floods had
not entirely subsided, and in contending against the current, we
found occasion {134} in a few instances to make use of the towing

About thirteen miles above the Grand Pass is a point where Lewis
and Clarke witnessed the falling of a portion, about three-fourths
of a mile in length, of a high cliff of sandstone and clay.
Appearances have considerably changed since the time of their
journey. There is still an indentation along the bluff, showing
the upper part of the portion which had slid down, but the whole
is now covered with grass. The river has retired from the base of
the cliff it was then undermining. A grassy plain, of some extent,
occupies the spot where the bed of the river must have been; but
this prairie is, in its turn, experiencing the vicissitude
incident to every thing along the bank of the Missouri, and is
evidently very soon to disappear entirely. A mile or two above
this point are cliffs of sandstone and indurated clay, in a state
of rapid disintegration. Here we observed extensive beds of
aluminous earth, of a dark grey colour, alternating with red and
yellowish white sandstone. Here are also numerous vegetable
remains, which Mr. Say thought to consist of the limbs of trees
included in the rock, carbonized and often intermixed with
pyrites; smaller limbs in short fragments lay intermixed, and
crossing each other in every direction.

Among other things, we observed here what appeared to be the cast
of the seed vessel of the nelumbium, of uncommon magnitude.
Fragments of mineral coal were observed scattered about the

The mouth of the Platte,[170] where we arrived on the 15th of
September is, according to our observations, in latitude 41° 3′
13″ north. We shall hereafter have occasion to speak more
particularly of this river. Its mouth now exhibited a great extent
of naked sand-bars, the water, which was transparent and of a
greenish colour, flowing almost unseen through a number of small
channels. Masses of sand accumulate at the mouth of the Platte,
rendering the {135} navigation of the Missouri at that point
extremely difficult. The Platte, during its floods, pours into the
Missouri a volume of water, considerably exceeding in magnitude
that of the latter river, occasioning a reflux of the waters for
many miles. From the Platte upward, the annual range from high to
low water in the Missouri, may be rated at about eighteen feet.

Above the Platte, the scenery of the Missouri becomes much more
interesting. The bluffs on each side are more elevated and abrupt,
and being absolutely naked, rising into conic points, split by
innumerable ravines, they have an imposing resemblance to groups
of high granitic mountains, seen at a distance. The forests within
the valley are of small extent, interspersed with wide meadows
covered with carices and cyperaceæ, with some species of limnetis,
polypogon, and arundo, sometimes sinking into marshes occupied by
sagittarias, alismas, and others of the hydrocharidæ. The
woodlands here, as on the whole of the Missouri below, are filled
with great numbers of pea vines,[171] which afford an excellent
pasturage for horses and cattle. The roots of the apios tuberosa
were much sought after, and eaten by the soldiers, who accompanied
us in our ascent. They are little tubers about half an inch in
diameter, and when boiled are very agreeable to the taste. Two and
a half miles above the mouth of the Platte, and on the same side,
is that of the Papilion, a stream of considerable length, but
discharging little water.[172] Here we found two boats belonging
to the Indian traders at St. Louis. They had passed us some days
before, and were to remain for the winter at the mouth of the
Papilion, to trade with the Otoes, Missouries, and other Indians.

The banks of the Missouri, above the Platte, have long been
frequented by the Indians, either as places {136} of permanent or
occasional residence. Deserted encampments are often seen. On the
north-east side, near the mouth of Mosquito river, are the remains
of an old Ioway village. Four miles above, and on the opposite
side, was formerly a village of the Otoes. On the 17th of
September we arrived at the trading establishment of the Missouri
Fur Company, known as Fort Lisa, and occupied by Mr. Manuel Lisa,
one of the most active persons engaged in the Missouri fur trade.
We were received by a salute from this establishment, and encamped
a little above, on the same side of the river.[173]


  [157] For sketch of the Missouri Indians, see Bradbury's
  _Travels_, in our volume v, note 26.--ED.

  [158] For a description of the dog dance of the Sioux, see
  Smithsonian Institution _Report_, 1885, part ii, pp. 307,

  [159] Grasshopper Creek rises near the northern line of the
  state, its mouth being in Jefferson County, opposite Lecompton.
  The name was changed to Delaware River when the tribe of that
  name was removed to its lower course.

  The route of the party on its return may have been across
  Pottawatomie and Jackson counties, and through southern
  Atchison; or, more probably, northern Jefferson and Leavenworth

  [160] Jessup's MS. Report.--JAMES.

  [161] The guilandina dioica of Linn., Marshall, &c. but referred
  by Michaux to the new genus gymnocladus, of which it is the only
  well ascertained species. It is common throughout the western
  states, and territories, and in Canada, where it is called by
  the French Chicot, or stump tree, from the nakedness of its
  appearance in winter. In the English gardens, where it has been
  cultivated many years under the name of the hardy bonduc, it has
  attained considerable magnitude, but has not hitherto been known
  to produce flowers.--JAMES.

  [162] _Fringilla grammaca_, SAY.--Above blackish-brown; _head_
  lineated; beneath white, a black line from the inferior base
  of the inferior mandible, above this a dilated white line;
  from the angle of the mouth proceeds a black line, which is
  much dilated and ferruginous behind the eye, and terminates
  in a contracted black line; a black line from the eye to the
  superior mandible, enclosed, as well as the eye, by a dilated
  white line, which is more contracted behind the eye; top of
  the head with two dilated lines, which are black on the front
  and ferruginous on the crown and hind head, and separated from
  each other by a cinereous line; interscapulars and lesser wing
  coverts margined with dull cinereous or brownish; _wings_ dusky
  brown, a white spot on the outer webs of the second, third, and
  fourth primaries, near their bases; _back_ dirty olive-brown;
  _tail_ rounded; _tail feathers_ twelve, blackish-brown, two
  intermediate ones immaculate, adjoining ones with a small white
  spot at tip, which, on the lateral ones, increases in size until
  on the exterior one it occupies half of the total length of
  the feather; the exterior web of the outer feather is white to
  its base; _chin_ and _throat_ white; _neck_ and _breast_ dull
  cinereous; _abdomen_ and _vent_ white; _feet_ pale, tinged with
  orange; nail of the middle toe slightly dilated on the inner

  Length six and a quarter inches.

  Shot at Belle Fontain on the Missouri. Many specimens were
  obtained. The auriculars of the female are yellowish-brown.
  They run upon the ground like a lark, seldom fly into a tree,
  and sing sweetly. They were subsequently observed at Engineer

  [163] _Coluber obsoletus_, SAY.--_Body_ black above, beneath
  whitish, with large subquadrate black spots, which are
  confluent, and pale bluish towards the tail; _throat_ and _neck_
  pure white; _sides_ between the scales with red marks.

  Description. _Body_ black, _anterior half_ with a series of
  continuous, dilated dull-red large circles, formed upon the
  skin between the scales, on the side; on many of the scales,
  are white marginal dashes near their bases: these scales are
  placed in groups each side of the vertebræ of the anterior
  moiety of the body; _scales_ bipunctured at tip; _beneath_
  flat, so as to produce an angle or carnia each side; white
  slightly tinged with yellowish red, irrorate with black
  points, and spotted with large oblong quadrate marks, which
  gradually become more continuous, confluent and plumbeous
  towards the tail, occupying nearly the whole surface; _head_
  beneath and _throat_ pure white; posterior _canthus_ of the
  eye two-scaled; _iris_ blackish; _pupil_ deep-blued black,
  enclosed by a silvery line.

  One specimen,      Pl. 228 -- Sc. 67 ?
  Another specimen   Pl. 233 -- Sc. 84
  Another specimen   Pl. 228 -- Sc. 84
  Total length --    4 feet 11-5/8 inches.
  Tail length        4 feet 10-1/8 inches.

  The lateral red marks are not perceptible, unless the skin be
  dilated so as to separate the scales; and the small white
  marginal lines on the bases of some of the scales are
  observable only on close inspection. It varies in being nearly
  or quite destitute of spots on the anterior portion of the
  body beneath, but the posterior half of the inferior surface
  still remains blackish. The whole animal bears strong
  resemblance to C. _constrictor_; but the scales are decidedly
  smaller, and the number of its plates and scales approach it
  still more closely to that uncertain species C. _ovivorus_. It
  is not an uncommon species on the Missouri from the vicinity
  of Isle au Vache to Council Bluff.

  _Penis_ terminated by a hemisphere, covered with compressed,
  white spines, which are reflected at tip; the series interrupted
  on the posterior side of the member by a canal; _it_ is much
  dilated, dark reddish brown, abruptly contracted at base from
  the exterior side, and with a prominent tubercle on the middle
  of the inner side: length one inch and a quarter, width about
  seven-sixteenths of an inch.--JAMES.

  [164] The Grand Nemahaw, now usually called Big Nemaha, does not
  rise so far to the west as is here implied. Its sources are in
  Lancaster County, Nebraska, almost directly north of the mouth
  of Republican River. The confluence of the Big Nemaha is just
  above the Kansas-Nebraska line.

  There are two streams (Big and Little) called Tarkio Creek.
  They flow parallel through Atchison and Holt counties,
  Missouri. The mouth of the Big Tarkio is opposite that of the
  Big Nemaha; that of the Little Tarkio is now about eleven
  miles below, but the channel is very changeable. Tarkio is
  said to mean "full of walnuts."--ED.

  [165] The Little Nemaha flows through the Nebraska county of
  the same name; its mouth is between the towns of Aspinwall and

  [166] Nishnabotna is an Indian word signifying "canoe making
  river." Fifteen years earlier, Lewis and Clark found the
  divide between the rivers about three hundred yards wide. At
  that time the mouth of the Nishnabotna was on the line between
  Atchison and Holt counties, Missouri. Since then its waters
  have found their way across Grand Pass, and the old channel
  below that point has been abandoned. In 1804 the main current
  of the Missouri ran north of L'Isle Chauve (Bald Island), the
  middle of which lay opposite Grand Pass. The channel now runs
  south of this island, while the Nishnabotna, reaching the old
  channel of the Missouri at the middle of the island, follows it
  to the confluence of the island's foot. This was the condition
  in 1879 (see _Map of the Missouri River_, from the government
  survey, plates xx and xxi), but the channels are constantly

  [167] Lewis and Clark applied the name "Bald Hills" to "the
  ridge of naked hills" here described, and "Bald-pated Prairie"
  to the low lands at their base.--ED.

  [168] Lewis and Clarke, vol. i. p. 28.--JAMES.

  _Comment by Ed._ The reference is to Biddle's _History of the
  Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark to
  the Sources of the Missouri_, etc. (Philadelphia, 1814). See
  also Thwaites, _Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark
  Expedition_ (New York, 1904).

  [169] This velocity of current is equalled by that of
  the Cassiquiare in South America, and probably surpassed by
  the Oronoko, the average descent of whose bed is thirteen
  inches to the mile of 950 toises (6 feet 4.376 inches per
  toise). See Humb. Pers. Nar. vol. v. p. 637, and vol. iv. p.
  452. La Condamine and Major Rennel suppose the mean descent of
  the Amazon and the Ganges, scarce four or five inches to the
  mile, which is about equal to that of the Mississippi,
  according to the most satisfactory estimates we have been able
  to make.--JAMES.

  [170] Platte River (sometimes called Flatwater and Nebraska, all
  three names having the same meaning) is the largest tributary
  of the Missouri. It joins the latter between Sarpy and Cass
  counties, Nebraska, 640.8 miles from the Mississippi. Its
  mouth is taken as the line between the "upper" and "lower"

  [171] Species of apios, the glycine of Lin.--JAMES.

  [172] See Bradbury's _Travels_, in our volume v, note 40.--ED.

  [173] The Mosquito is on the Iowa side, in Pottawatomie County,
  its mouth being a few miles below Council Bluffs.

  For the Oto Indians, Missouri Fur Company, and Manuel Lisa,
  see Bradbury's _Travels_, in our volume v, notes 42, 149, 64
  respectively. Lisa established the post named for him, in
  1812, and for a decade it was the most important trading
  station on the Missouri. It stood about twenty miles above the
  present town of Council Bluffs (Iowa), on the opposite side of
  the river.--ED.


  Winter cantonment near Council Bluff--Councils with the Otoes,
  Missouries, Ioways, Pawnees, &c.

The position selected for the establishment of winter quarters for
the exploring party, was on the west bank of the Missouri, about
half a mile above Fort Lisa, five miles below Council Bluff, and
three miles above the mouth of Boyer's river.[174] At this place
we anchored on the 19th of September, and in a few days had made
great progress in cutting timber, quarrying stone, and other
preparations for the construction of quarters.

Cliffs of sparry limestone rise in the rear of the site we had
selected, to an elevation of near three hundred feet.[175] At
times of low water, strata of horizontal sandstone are disclosed
in the bed of the Missouri. These pass under and support the
limestone. Both these strata probably extend in connexion, some
distance to the west; but as they are deeply covered with soil, we
could not accurately ascertain their boundary in that direction.
On the map accompanying this work, we have traced a line running
from the Canadian river of the Arkansa, to the Elk Horn, between
96° and 98° west longitude, and marking what we supposed nearly
the westernmost limit of the horizontal limestones, and the
argillaceous sandstones, disclosed in the beds of the larger

{138} Both these strata embrace numerous relics of marine animals,
many of which we collected.[176]

Immediately after our arrival, an interpreter had been sent across
the country, to intercept the traders then on their way to the
Pawnees, with considerable quantities of merchandize. It was
thought proper to suspend all intercourse with those Indians,
until an adjustment of the recent difficulties should take place.
In addition to the outrage committed on Mr. Say's party, they had
made prisoners of two white hunters from the Arkansa, a father and
son, who had been found hunting in the Indian territories. These
men had been liberated through the interference of some of the
members of the Missouri Fur Company, and had recently arrived at
Fort Lisa. During their captivity, they had been treated with
such severity by the Pawnees, that they had often entreated an end
might be put to their lives.

The interpreter returned on the 20th, having accomplished the
object of his mission. Soon afterwards, Mr. Dougherty arrived from
the Oto village, whither he had been sent with a deputation to
Konzas, to aid in effecting a reconciliation between those
nations. This proposition, which originated with the Konzas, was
favourably received by the Otoes. Mr. D. was soon afterwards
despatched to the Pawnees, with instructions to demand of them the
property plundered from Mr. Say's party, also to require that the
persons who had committed that outrage should be given up. He was
accompanied by two Frenchmen acquainted with the Pawnees and their

A party of Otoes arrived at Fort Lisa on the 26th of September,
with pack-horses laden with pelfries, and bringing with them a
soldier, who, having been accidentally separated from a small
detachment that were driving some beeves from Martin's Cantonments,
towards Council Bluff, had wandered about in the prairie for five
days, without tasting food, {139} when he at last had the good
fortune to fall in with the Otoes, who hospitably fed and conducted
him to the trading house.

The Council Bluff, so called by Lewis and Clarke, from a council
with the Otoes and Missouries held there on the 3d of August 1804,
is a remarkable bank rising abruptly from the brink of the river,
to an elevation of about one hundred and fifty feet. This is a
most beautiful position, having two important military features,
security, and a complete command of the river. Its defects are a
want of wood within a convenient distance, there being little
within a mile above, and much farther below, also a want of stone
and of water, except that of the river. From the summits of the
hills, about one mile in the rear of the bluff, is presented the
view of a most extensive and beautiful landscape. The bluffs on
the east side of the river exhibit a chain of peaks stretching as
far as the eye can reach. The river is here and there seen
meandering in serpentine folds, along its broad valley, chequered
with woodlands and prairies, while at a nearer view you look down
on an extensive plain interspersed with a few scattered copses or
bushes, and terminated at a distance by the Council Bluff.

This position is about five miles above that selected for the
wintering post of the exploring party. At the last mentioned
place, a very narrow plain or beach, closely covered with trees,
intervenes between the immediate bank of the river and the bluffs,
which rise near two hundred feet, but are so gradually sloped as
to be ascended without great difficulty, and are also covered with
trees. This spot presented numerous advantages for the cantonment
of a small party like ours. Here were abundant supplies of wood
and stone, immediately on the spot where we wished to erect our
cabins, and the situation was sheltered by the high bluffs from
the north-west winds. The place was called Engineer Cantonment.
{140} On the 26th of September, Mr. Say and Mr. Jessup arrived in
the flotilla from Cow Island, in company with Col. Morgan, Dr.
Gale, and Captain Magee.[177] They had both nearly recovered their
health, and entertained the liveliest sense of the eminent
politeness and hospitality which had been conferred on them by the
above named gentlemen, as well as the other officers of the
military expedition.

About one hundred Otoes, together with a deputation of the Ioway
nation, who had been summoned to a council by Major O'Fallon,
presented themselves at our camp on the 3d of October. The
principal chiefs advanced before their people, and upon invitation
seated themselves. After a short interval of silence Shonga-tonga,
the Big Horse, a large portly Indian of a commanding presence,
arose and said, "My father, your children have come to dance
before your tent, agreeably to our custom of honouring brave or
distinguished persons."

After a suitable reply, by Major O'Fallon, the amusement of dancing
was commenced by the striking up of their rude instrumental and
vocal music; the former consisting of a gong made of a large keg,
over one of the ends of which a skin was stretched, which was
struck by a small stick; and another instrument, consisting of a
stick of firm wood, notched like a saw, over the teeth of which
a smaller stick was rubbed forcibly backward and forward; with
these, rude as they were, very good time was preserved with the
vocal performers who sat around them, and by all the natives as
they sat in the inflection of their bodies, or the movements of
their limbs; after the lapse of a little time three individuals
leaped up and danced around for a few minutes, then, at a concerted
signal from the master of the ceremonies, the music ceased, and
they retired to their seats uttering a loud noise, which by patting
the mouth rapidly with the hand, was broken into a succession of
similar sounds, somewhat like the hurried barking of a dog. Several
sets {141} of dancers succeeded, each terminating as the first.
In the intervals of the dances, a warrior would step forward and
strike a flagstaff they had erected with a stick, whip, or other
weapon, and recount his martial deeds. This ceremony is called
_striking the post_, and whatever is then said may be relied upon
as rigid truth, being delivered in the presence of many a jealous
warrior and witness, who could easily detect and would immediately
disgrace the _striker_ for exaggeration or falsehood. This is
called the beggars' dance, during which some presents are always
expected by the performers, as tobacco, whiskey, or trinkets.
But on this occasion, as none of those articles were immediately
offered, the amusement was not, at first, distinguished by much
activity. The master of the ceremonies continually called aloud
to them to exert themselves; but still they were somewhat dull
and backward. Ietan now stepped forward and lashed a post with
his whip, declaring that he would thus punish those who did not
dance; this threat from one whom they had vested with authority
for this occasion had a manifest effect upon his auditors, who
were presently highly wrought up by the sight of two or three
little mounds of tobacco twist which were now laid before them, and
appeared to infuse new life.

After lashing the post and making his threat, Ietan went on to
narrate his martial exploits. He had stolen horses seven or eight
times from the Konzas; he had first struck the bodies of three of
that nation slain in battle. He had stolen horses from the Ietan
nation, and had struck one of their dead. He had stolen horses
from the Pawnees, and struck the body of one Pawnee Loup. He had
stolen horses several times from the Omawhaws, and once from the
Puncas. He had struck the bodies of two Sioux. On a war party, in
company with the Pawnees, he had attacked the Spaniards and
penetrated into one of their camps; the Spaniards, {142} excepting
a man and boy, fled; himself being at a distance before his party,
he was shot at and missed by the man, whom he immediately shot
down and struck. "This, my father," said he, "is the only martial
act of my life that I am ashamed of."[178] After several rounds of
dancing, and of striking at the post by the warriors, Mi-a-ke-ta,
or the Little Soldier, a war-worn veteran, took his turn to strike
the post. He leaped actively about, and strained his voice to its
utmost pitch whilst he portrayed some of the scenes of blood in
which he had acted. He had struck dead bodies of individuals of
all the red nations around, Osages, Konzas, Pawnee Loups, Pawnee
Republicans, Grand Pawnees, Puncas, Omawhaws, and Sioux, Padoucas,
La Plais or Bald Heads, Ietans, Sauks, Foxes, and Ioways;[179] he
had struck eight of one nation, seven of another, &c. He was
proceeding with his account when Ietan ran up to him, put his hand
upon his mouth, and respectfully led him to his seat. This act was
no trifling compliment paid to the well-known brave. It indicated
that he had still so many glorious acts to speak of, that he would
occupy so much time as to prevent others from speaking, and put to
shame the other warriors by the contrast of his actions with

Their physical action in dancing is principally confined to
leaping a small distance from the ground with both feet, the body
being slightly inclined, and upon alighting, an additional slight
but sudden inclination of the body is made, so as to appear like
a succession of jerks; or the feet are raised alternately, the
motions of the body being the same. Such are the movements, in
which the whole party correspond; but in the figures, as they are
termed in our assembly rooms, each individual performs a separate
part, and each part is a significant pantomimic narrative. In all
their variety of action they are careful to observe the musical
cadences. In this dance Ietan represented one who was in the act
of stealing {143} horses. He carried a whip in his hand, as did
a considerable number of the Indians, and around his neck were
thrown several leathern thongs, for bridles and halters, the ends
of which trailed upon the ground behind him; after many preparatory
manœuvres, he stooped down, and with his knife represented the act
of cutting the _hopples_ of horses; he then rode his tomahawk, as
children ride their broomsticks, making such use of his whip as
to indicate the necessity of rapid movement lest his foes should
overtake him. Wa-sa-ba-jing-ga, or Little Black Bear, after a
variety of gestures, threw several arrows in succession over his
head, thereby indicating his familiarity with the flight of such
missiles; he at the same time covered his eyes with his hand to
indicate that he was blind to danger. Others represented their
manœuvres in battle, seeking their enemy, discharging at him their
guns or arrows, &c. &c. Most of the dancers were the principal
warriors of the nation, men who had not condescended to amuse
themselves or others in this manner for years before; but they
now appeared in honour of the occasion, and to conciliate in the
best manner the good will of the representative of the government
of the Big-knives.[180] Amongst these veteran warriors Ietan, or
Sha-mon-e-kus-se, Ha-she-a, the broken arm, commonly called Cut
Nose, and Wa-sa-ba-jing-ga, or Little Black Bear, three youthful
leaders, in particular attracted our attention. In consequence
of having been appointed soldiers on this occasion, to preserve
order, they were painted entirely black. The countenance of the
former indicated much wit, and had in its expression something
of the character of that of Voltaire; he frequently excited the
mirth of those about him by his remarks and gestures. Ha-she-a,
called Cut Nose, in consequence of having lost the tip of his nose
in a quarrel[181] with Ietan, wore a handsome robe of white wolf
skin, with an appendage behind him, called a _crow_. This singular
decoration is a large cushion, made of the skin of a crow, {144}
stuffed with any light material, and variously ornamented; it has
two decorated sticks projecting from it upward, and a pendant
one beneath; this apparatus is secured upon the buttocks by a
girdle passing round the body. The other actors in the scene were
decorated with paints of several colours fantastically disposed
upon their persons. Several were painted with white clay, which
had the appearance of being grooved in many places. This grooved
appearance is given by drawing the finger nails over the part so
as to remove the pigment from thence in parallel lines. These
lines are either rectilinear, undulated, or zigzag; sometimes
passing over the forehead transversely or vertically; sometimes in
the same directions, or obliquely over the whole visage, or upon
the breast, arms, &c. Many were painted with red clay, in which
the same lines appeared. A number of them had the representation
of a black hand with outspread fingers, on different parts of the
body, strongly contrasting with the principal colour with which the
body was overspread; the hand was depicted in different positions
upon the face, breast, and back. The face of others was coloured,
one half black, and one half white, or red and white, &c.; many
coloured their hair with red clay; but the eye-lids and base of
the ears were generally tinged with vermilion. At the conclusion
of the ceremony, whiskey, which they always expect on similar
occasions, was produced, and a small portion was given to each. The
principal chiefs of the different nations, who had remained passive
spectators of the scene, now directed their people to return to
their camp. The word of the chiefs was obeyed, excepting by a few
of the Ioways, who appeared to be determined to keep their places
notwithstanding the reiterated command of the chiefs. Ietan now
sprang towards them, with an expression of much ferocity in his
countenance, and it is probable a tragic scene would have been
displayed had not the chiefs {145} requested him to use gentle
means, and thus he succeeded, after which the chiefs withdrew.

October 4th. At ten o'clock, the hour appointed for the council,
the Indians, headed by their chiefs, arrived; and after shaking us
all by the hand took their seats. There were about one hundred
Otoes, seventy Missouries, and fifty or sixty Ioways. They
arranged themselves, agreeably to their tribes, on puncheon
benches, which had been prepared for them, and which described a
semicircle, on the chord of which sat the whites, with Major
O'Fallon and his interpreters in the centre. Sentinels walked to
and fro behind the benches; and a handsome standard waved before
the assembly. The council was opened by a few rounds from the
howitzers. A profound silence reigned for a few minutes, when
Major O'Fallon arose, and in a very animated and energetic manner
addressed his Indian auditors. Suitable replies were given by
Shonga-tonga, the Crenier, and others, with all the extravagant
gesticulation which is one of the prominent features of Indian

  [Illustration: Oto Council]

At the termination of the council, presents were made of blankets,
kettles, strouding, tobacco, guns, powder, and ball, &c. The Big
Horse and the Crenier only were acknowledged as chiefs, and to the
latter, who did not possess a large medal, one was given in
exchange for a smaller one which he possessed. No chief was
acknowledged amongst the Missouries, as it is the wish of Major
O'Fallon to extinguish as much as possible national prejudices
between these two nations or tribes.

Cut Nose now presented to the agent his crow and bison robe
ornamented with hieroglyphicks. The Little Black Bear presented
his robe of white wolf and bison skin, and a pair of handsome
leggings. The Black Bird presented a robe and the serrated
instrument of music before mentioned, observing, significantly,
that the latter was then the only weapon {146} he possessed with
which he could defend his father.

October 5th. Last evening Loutre, an old Missouri Indian died; he
had spoken in the council a few hours before, and remarked then
that he had not long to live. He was buried without ceremony near
the trading house.

October 9th. Messengers who had been sent yesterday for the
Pawnees returned, having met with them on the Elk Horn creek,
twenty-five miles distant, on their way hither.[182] They arrived
about noon, seventy in number, consisting of individuals of each
of the three tribes, called Grand Pawnees, Pawnee Republicans, and
Pawnee Loups, or Pawnemahas, and halted at some distance from our
camp. As we approached them we observed the majority of them
standing in a forest of young willow trees, holding their mules by
the bridles, and looking dubiously around. The chief of the
principal band, Long Hair, was haranguing them in a loud voice,
"Take off your saddles; why do you stand peeping and trembling in
the bushes? you ought to have trembled when the whites were seen
near the Konza village, &c." We saluted the principal men in the
usual manner of shaking by the hand, though not with much
cordiality. Major O'Fallon then said, "Pawnees, encamp here and
smoke your pipes in security; you have conducted yourselves badly,
but the whites will not harm the red-skins when they have them
thus in their power; we fight in the plains, and scorn to injure
men seated peaceably by their fires. Think well of what you will
have to say to me in council to-morrow." These assurances appeared
to annul their present apprehensions, and they proceeded to

Three boats came from Camp Missouri to take on board a quantity
of provisions which are stored here for the troops; we exchanged
salutes with them. The noise of the artillery excited the
apprehensions of the {147} Indians; who, being sensible of having
grossly offended the whites, now anticipated some exemplary
punishment, and were not at ease until reassured of their safety,
and the cause of the firing of such great guns so near them was

In the evening, accompanied by several gentlemen of the party, we
visited the camp of the Pawnees, whom we found sitting round their
fires, smoking their pipes in silence. Some were employed in making
bows, having found plenty of hickory, and hop horn beam wood here,
which are not to be procured in the vicinity of their villages.
Their mules were tied to trees, feeding on the bark of the cotton
wood. The three tribes were seated around different fires. We sat
down in the group of Grand Pawnees, and smoked with their chief
Tar-ra-re-ca-wa-o, or Long Hair. This [is] an hereditary chief,
of a lofty and rather haughty mien; his mouth is, perhaps through
habit, drawn down a little at the corners. He has the appearance
and character of an intrepid man, although not distinguished as
a warrior, having, during his life, killed but a single man,
who was a Spaniard. He is, however, artful and politic, and has
performed some laudable actions. The following anecdote may serve
in part to illustrate the more amiable traits of his character.
Dorion, a Mestizo,[183] on a trading expedition, had accumulated a
considerable quantity of peltry, at the Pawnee republican village,
when it was situated on the Republican fork of the Konza river.
As he had no horses to transport his merchandize, he requested the
chief of that village to assist him in conveying it to the Grand
Pawnees on the Platte, as he intended to descend that river to
trade with the Otoes, on his way to St. Louis; the chief directly
ordered horses to be brought, the furs were packed upon them, and
they departed on the journey; but owing to some alleged misconduct
on the part of Dorion, the chief, when half way, ordered the goods
to be taken from the horses, and to be left on the plain. {148}
He then, with his followers, returned to his village. The trader,
after bewailing his unfortunate condition, at length resolved to
go to the Grand Pawnee village and solicit the aid of Long Hair.
Having arrived at the residence of the chief, he related to him in
what manner he had been used by the Republican chief, and concluded
by requesting assistance to bring in his goods. Long Hair, without
reply, ascended to the top of his lodge and called out to his
people to bring him one hundred horses. Taking the best of these,
and a sufficient number of attendants, he accompanied Dorion, and
assisted him to transport all his peltries, and did not cease with
his good offices, until he had aided him in building a skin canoe,
and had packed all the merchandize aboard, although previously
told by Dorion that he had nothing to reward him with, having, as
he said, traded every thing away, though at the same moment he had
a number of Indian goods concealed in his packs of buffalo robes.
After all was completed, "Now," said the chief, "Dorion, I know
that you are a bad man; I have no doubt but you have a quantity of
such goods as we want, concealed in those packs, and could reward
me if you were liberal enough; but I ask nothing: you have a forked
tongue. You have abused me to the whites, by calling me a rascal,
saying I robbed the traders, &c.; but go, I will not harm you; tell
the red head (Governor Clarke) that I am a rascal, robber, &c., I
am content."[184]

At another fire, surrounded by his particular band, sat the Knife
Chief, La-che-le-cha-ru, principal chief of the Pawneemahas. He is
a large portly man, with a very prepossessing countenance; the
hair on the sides of his head is gray; he has a deep scar on the
right side, from a wound which was inflicted by a female prisoner,
of the Padouca nation, whom he had adopted and taken into his
family. This squaw, becoming infuriated at the prospect of the
state of slavery to which she supposed herself now reduced, {149}
stabbed her child to the heart, mortally wounded the brother of
this chief, and, before she could be despatched, had inflicted
this wound, through which the bowels protruded. The individuals of
this band live in great harmony amongst themselves, owing probably
to their having but two chiefs, who are unrivalled. The second
chief is a Mestizo. Against this band we have no accusation; they
have always demeaned themselves well towards the American whites.

In a third group were collected the representatives of the Pawnee
Republicans; this nation or clan stands accused of whipping,
robbing, and otherwise abusing a white American and his son, whom
they found trapping beaver on the Arkansa river, this season; of
killing two American citizens, two years since, who were also
trapping beaver on the same river; and of robbing our party of
sundry articles and horses, near the Konza village, whilst under
the protection of the flag of our country, of the nature of which
they had been instructed, and perfectly well understood. These
outrages, and many others, they had committed on lands, to which
they do not pretend to have any claim, situated far from their own
territories, and in the immediate vicinity of nations with whom
they then were, and still are, at war.[185]

On the following day the Pawnees were summoned to council, and in
a short time they appeared marching leisurely in a narrow pathway,
in _Indian file_, led by the grand chief; near this pathway the
musical band was stationed, and when Long Hair arrived opposite,
they struck up, suddenly and loudly, a martial air. We wished to
observe the effect which instruments, that he had never seen or
heard before, would produce on this distinguished man, and
therefore {150} eyed him closely, and were not disappointed to
observe that he did not deign to look upon them, or to manifest,
by any motion whatever, that he was sensible of their presence.
The Indians arranged themselves on the benches prepared for them,
and the cessation of the music was succeeded by stillness, which
was suddenly interrupted by loud explosions from our howitzers,
that startled many of us, but did not appear to attract the notice
of the Pawnees.

Major O'Fallon rose and addressed them in a very austere tone and
manner; stating the offences they had committed against the white
people, and admonishing them to a reformation in their conduct,
and to restore the articles they had stolen from us; this was
chiefly directed against the Pawnee Republicans; the Loups were
applauded for their uniformly good deportment.

  [Illustration: Pawnee Council]

The council terminated after much of the property taken from us
near the Konza village was restored, and a promise given that the
offenders should be punished by whipping.[186]

The leisure we enjoyed after our arrival at Engineer Cantonment,
afforded the opportunity of making numerous excursions to collect
animals, and to explore the neighbouring country. We give here
some account of two species of sorex, taken near our cabins.[187]

Early in October the cabins for winter-quarters were completed.
Having made arrangements for the subsistence of the party, and
being about to return to Washington, Major Long issued orders to
the officers and gentlemen of the expedition, for their government
during his absence. The following extract will show to what
objects they were instructed to direct their attention.

  "Mr. Say will have every facility afforded him that circumstances
  will admit to examine the country, {151} visit the neighbouring
  Indians, procure animals, &c. for the attainment of which
  he will call on Lt. Graham, who is authorized to make any
  expenditures in behalf of the expedition that may be deemed
  reasonable and necessary, and afford any aid in his power,
  consistent with the performance of other duties. Mr. Seymour or
  Mr. Peale will accompany him, whenever their services are deemed

  "Major O'Fallon has given permission to Mr. Dougherty to aid the
  gentlemen of the party, in acquiring information concerning
  the Indians, &c.; this gentleman will, therefore, be consulted
  in relation to visits, and all kinds of intercourse with the
  Indians, that may be necessary in the prosecution of the duties
  of the expedition.

  "In regard to these duties, the gentlemen of the expedition will
  consult my orders of March last. The documents transmitted from
  the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, by the Secretary of
  War; and the instructions of Mr. Jefferson to Capt. Lewis, to
  be found in vol. 1st of Lewis and Clarke's expedition,[188] and
  regulate their observations and inquiries accordingly.

  "Lt. Graham will embrace every opportunity for celestial and
  barometric observations, and calculate the latitude, longitude,
  magnetic dip and variation, with the utmost attainable
  precision; also the heights of the neighbouring hills, and
  the adjacent high table lands. He will also continue the
  meteorologic observations as usual, noticing the changes of
  weather, and all celestial and atmospheric phenomena. To aid
  him in these duties, he will call on Lieut. Swift, or any other
  gentleman of the expedition, who may not be particularly engaged
  at the time in other important duties.

  "It is believed, that the field for observation and inquiry is
  here so extensive, that all the gentlemen of the expedition
  will find ample range for the exercise of their talents in
  their respective pursuits; and it is {152} hoped, that through
  their unremitted exertions and perseverance, a rich harvest of
  useful intelligence will be acquired."

On the 11th of October, Major Long and Mr. Jessup took leave of
their friends at Engineer Cantonment, and accompanied by several
other persons, began to descend the Missouri in a canoe, on their
way towards Washington and Philadelphia.


  [174] The camp was in the southeast corner of Washington
  County, Nebraska. Boyer River rises in Sac County, Iowa, flows
  southwest through Crawford and Harrison counties, and debouches
  in Pottawatomie County, nearly opposite the boundary between
  Washington and Douglas counties, Nebraska.--ED.

  [175] Height of the bluff, ascertained by Lieutenant Graham.

  Trigonometrically,  271 feet.
  Barometrically,     277 feet.        --JAMES.

  [176] We add some notices of a few of the most

  1. _Terebratula._--A specimen considerably resembling the T.
  _subundata_ of Sowerby, in the undulated line of the edges of
  the valves; but it is a much more depressed shell, and of a
  much less rounded form.

  In the young state, the undulation of the edge is not very
  distinct; but this character increases with age, so that in
  the young state, it appears like a totally different species
  from the adult.

  2. In the same rock are very numerous arquated spines, like
  ribs of fish, some of them 1-1/2 inches long.

  3. A fragment of a terebratula or productus, imbedded, with
  very long spines, which may possibly be the same with the

  4. A specimen, being a mass of comminuted fragments of shells,
  amongst which are only recognizable a few segments of the
  column of the encrinus, and minute turretted univalves of five
  whirls, which resemble turritella, and are about one-twentieth
  of an inch long.

  5. _Millepora cylindrica_, SAY.--Branched, cylindric; _pores_
  very regular, alternate, oval, placed nearer to each other
  than the length of their own transverse diameters, and
  resembling those of an _alveolite_.

  Diameter, about one-tenth of an inch.

  6. Segments of the column of encrinus of authors, of a
  pentangular form.

  7. Ossiculæ of the body of a crinoid animal of the analogous
  species to No. 21.

  8. Fragment of Perna?

  9. A mass of argillaceous sandstone, containing spines of a
  Linnæan echinus, belonging probably to the genus cidarites
  of Lamarck. Of these spines some are elongate-conic, others
  slightly fusiform, obtuse and slightly dilated near the
  tip, both are armed with short asperities throughout their
  length. They resemble in some degree those of the _cidarites
  pistillaris_ of Lamarck, but they are smaller, less fusiform,
  and the asperities are not prominent.

  In the same mass are segments of encrinus, and fragments of the

  10. Retepore, much resembling the _milleporites flustriformis_
  of Martin, Petrif. Derbi. pl. 43. fig. 1 and 2., but the
  alveoles in our specimens are rather smaller.

  11. _Millepora cylindrica_, SAY.--Of the diameter of half an

  12. _Productus subserratus_, SAY.--Shell transverse, convex
  valve semicircular, destitute of asperities or striæ,
  longitudinally indented in the middle; line of the hinge
  rectilinear, half as long again as the length of the shell, with
  three or four spines or serratures on each side towards the
  angle; _umbo_ not prominent; the beak hardly prominent beyond
  the line of the hinge. Length, more than three-tenths; breadth,
  more than half an inch. A large specimen was four-fifths of an
  inch wide.

  If we except the beak, the outline of this shell, as respects
  the hinge margin and the sides, considerably resembles that of
  P. _spinulosus_ of Sowerby, but the base is far more obtusely
  rounded, and it is a shorter shell comparatively with its
  width. The serratures are very often broken off. The curvature
  of the sides does not in the slightest degree project beyond
  the angles of the hinge line.

  13. An imperfect cast, very like the _terebratula subundata_
  of Sowerby, and of equal magnitude.

  14. Pentagonal ossiculæ of the trunk of encrinus of authors,
  which in outline may be compared to figs. 61 and 62, of plate
  13. vol. 2. of Parkinson's Organic Remains, but their surfaces
  do not now exhibit any sculpture.

  15. Many of these shells exhibit the most unequivocal
  evidences of having been in a plastic state, at some period or
  other, since their deposition in their present situations. The
  fine striæ of a _productus lineolatus_, are so interlaced on
  the middle of a valve of one of our specimens, as at once to
  convince every observer of the shell having been thus
  partially dissolved, and when in this state to have been
  gently rubbed by some other body, in two directions proceeding
  obliquely to the same point, so as to throw the striæ in that
  part entirely out of their proper longitudinal direction. It
  is very common to find shells unnaturally flattened, or
  compressed in various ways and degrees, often without any
  fracture in the shell or cast; a circumstance which certainly
  could never happen to the shell, unless it was in a plastic
  state, or in a state of partial solution.

  16. A specimen of carbonate of lime, on its surface a mass of
  sub-parallel tubes, connected by short lateral processes. The
  whole much resembles, and is probably congeneric with the
  erismatholithus tubiporites (_catenatus_) of Martin's Petrif.
  Derbi. t. 42. fig. 2., but the connecting processes of the
  tubes are much shorter than they are represented in that
  figure; but it corresponds much more exactly with the
  tubiporite, figured by Parkinson in his Organic Remains, vol.
  2. pl. 1. f. 1., and may with great propriety form a new
  genus, the type of which will be the tubipora strues of Lin.

  The genus is probably allied to favosites and tubipora.

  17. _Trilobus._--The abdomen of a species of this singular
  genus frequently occurs in the sandstone of the Missouri; near
  Engineer Cantonment they were very common. The largest was
  rather more than one inch long, by about one and three-tenths
  inches in breadth at base; but the more general length is
  about three-fourths of an inch. The tergum or intermediate
  lobe is narrow, being not more than two-thirds of the width of
  the flanks, and much more convex than those parts.

  But a single specimen occurred, which we can, without any
  doubt, consider as the thorax of a trilobus; but whether or
  not it appertains to the same species with the above, or to
  some other of which we have no other fragment, we are at a
  loss to determine. Like the above-mentioned abdomen, it is
  distinct from any that we have seen figures of. It is of a
  narrow lunate form, highly convex, the disk destitute of
  sculpture, and the eyes prominent.

  18. Many imperfect casts of two different kinds of bivalve
  shells occur near Engineer Cantonment, of which one may
  possibly have been a _cardita_.

  19. Tooth of a squalus, which seems to approach nearest to
  those of _Sq. maximus_, by its compressed conic form.

  Greatest length 2-1/10 inches.

  Thickness more than 2/5 of an inch.

  The sides are rounded, without any appearance of serratures;
  thickened near the tip, and more compressed near the base.

  20. Tooth of a squalus, something like that of _S. galeus_,
  but less of a triangular form, and the lateral processes are
  more distinct, and also less triangular than in that species.

  21. An imperfect body of a crinoid animal, _encrinite_ of
  authors; the fragment is about one-half of the inferior
  portion of the body, from which the following description is
  made out, taking into view the whole circumference. The plates
  composing the _first costal_ series (Miller), five in number,
  are longitudinally pentangular, much curved inwards towards
  the base, to join the _first columnar joint_, or perhaps the
  _pelvis_; at which part the plate is narrow, being about
  one-ninth of an inch, whilst the other sides are nearly
  three-tenths of an inch each, the superior ones being somewhat
  longer than the others; the _second costal plates_, (Miller,)
  five in number, are transversely pentangular, the superior
  joint being long, the lateral ones shortest, the former being
  one-half an inch in length, the latter 3/20, and the inferior
  sides which articulate to the segments of the pelvis, somewhat
  less than 3/10 of an inch; the margins of the first costal
  joints, as well as the superior margins of the segments of the
  pelvis, are armed with a few tubercles, some of which seem to
  have been perforated; all the superior pieces are wanting in
  our specimen, but the truncated surface, on which the
  _scapulars_ (Miller) rested, is of a pentagonal outline, and
  composed of a series of horizontal equilateral triangles, two
  to each side, which are separated on each side from the
  adjacent pairs by a deep groove, which corresponds, and is
  nearly at right angles with the exterior sutures, which join
  the first costal joints to each other; these triangular
  surfaces are also separated from the exterior edge by two
  grooves, which are crenated, and enclose an oblong foramina
  between them; a single _intercostal plate_ occurs, interposed
  between two of the _second costals_; it is of an oblong
  hexagonal form, its base resting upon the extremity of a
  segment of the _first costals_, which is truncated to receive
  it; the superior portion of this plate is much bent inward
  towards the abdominal cavity; its tip is quadrate and concave.

  The whole exterior surface of this reliquium, with the
  exception of the tubercles, and sutural impressed lines, is
  plain and equable.

  If we have not mistaken the pieces of this imperfect specimen,
  the pelvis is wanting, but the cavity in which it existed must
  have been about 3/20 of an inch in diameter.

  The plate-like form of the ossiculæ, and their mode of
  articulation with each other, by an extension horizontally
  inwards, as we have described above, in the case of those
  plates which we have considered as the _second costals_, seem
  to indicate, that this species ought to be referred to the
  second division of the crinoidea, or _semiarticulata_ of
  Miller. It certainly, however, cannot be at all referred to
  poteriocrinites, the only genus which that author has framed
  in this division of the family. We refrain from distinguishing
  it by a name either generic or specific, until other specimens
  can be obtained, in which the characters are less equivocal.

  We have two _second costal plates_, which made part of
  distinct individuals, larger than the above described one. Of
  these the surface of one is perfectly glabrous, whilst that of
  the other has light orbicular indentations instead of
  tubercles; a third very small one is perfectly smooth like the
  first, and doubtless formed part of the body of a young

  Another plate found near the same spot with the above, is of a
  somewhat triangular form exteriorly, or rather like the face
  of a truncated pyramid, of which the middle of the summit is a
  little produced in the form of a right angle, thus offering a
  scollop on each side of the apex for the adaptation of
  superior ossiculæ. On divesting it carefully of its extraneous
  matrix, we discovered that it was readily adjusted by its base
  to the summit of those segments of the fragment above
  described, which we have supposed to be _second costals_, a
  prominent line on its base corresponding with the inner one of
  those grooves which we have described, to characterize the
  superior face of those plates. This plate, then, agreeably to
  the relations in which we have viewed the preceding pieces,
  must be a _scapula_; it is susceptible of considerable
  hinge-like motion, and appears to have been much less firmly
  attached to the costals than the latter are to each other.

  A segment of a crinoid animal, which seemed to have been a
  _first costal joint_ of a _pentacrinus_ of Parkinson, occurred
  near the same place.

  22. _Productus pectinoides_, SAY.--Convex valve, with a
  central longitudinal indentation; the whole surface is
  longitudinally ribbed, each rib being marked by two striæ, in
  addition to the central carina.

  The shell is not of frequent occurrence, and a perfect
  specimen has not yet been obtained, but the portions we have
  examined, are sufficient to show that it is perfectly distinct
  from either of the species we have mentioned. We do not find
  any species figured or described by authors like it.

  23. _Productus compressus_, SAY.--Shell much compressed, with
  numerous acute striæ, upwards of fifty in number on each
  valve, the alternate ones rather smaller; a very slight
  central longitudinal indentation on the convex valve; outline
  suborbicular; hinge edge rectilinear, shorter than the
  greatest breadth of the shell.

  Greatest breadth from 3/5 to 1 inch. In its proportions it
  resembles the truncated portion of the productus of Martin, as
  represented on his plate 22. fig. 3. It is very common.

  24. A shell of the length and breadth of three inches
  sometimes occurs, the convex valve of which is transversely
  undulated, its umbo prominent, and curved like that of a
  gryphæa, its tip resting on the base of the opposite valve
  which is concave, with a transverse linear base; its muscular
  impressions seem to have been lateral.

  25. A single specimen was found of a valve of a shell, in some
  degree resembling a pecten, but without the auricles. Length
  more than 2-3/10 inches.

  26. _Productus lineolatus_, SAY.--Valves with numerous, fine,
  equal, equidistant, longitudinal striæ, and a few small
  tubercles; convex valve very much elongated, its basal portion
  is curved downwards, almost perpendicularly with respect to
  the disk near the umbones.

  So singular is the structure of this shell, that the internal
  cavity appears to have been perfectly transverse, with respect
  to the general length of the shell, and small in comparison
  with the length. It strongly resembles the anomites productus
  of Martin, as represented on plate 22. fig. 102. of his
  Petrif. Derbi., and like that shell it is armed with small
  tubercles, though fewer in number, and the striæ are much more
  numerous and smaller.

  27. Cast of a turretted univalve, probably a cerithium, of the
  length of 2-1/2 inches.

  28. Cast of the anterior portion of a valve of a shell like an
  ostrea, of the breadth of 2-1/2 inches.

  29. On the Missouri near the Platte, occur masses of rock,
  which seem to be almost exclusively composed of a remarkable
  petrifaction, belonging to the family of concamerated shells.
  This shell is elongated, fusiform, and when broken transversely,
  it exhibits the appearance of numerous cells disposed spirally
  as in the _nummulite_, but its longitudinal section displays
  only deep grooves. The shell was therefore composed of tubes or
  syphons, placed parallel to each other, and revolving laterally,
  as in the genus _melonis_ of Lamarck, with which its characters
  undoubtedly correspond. But as in the transverse fracture, its
  spiral system of tubes cannot be traced to the centre in any
  of the numerous specimens we have examined, it would seem to
  have a solid axis, and consequently belongs to that division of
  the genus that Montfort regards as distinct, under the name of
  _miliolites_, which seems to be similar to the _fasciolites_
  of Parkinson, and altogether different from the miliolites
  of Lamarck. Our specimens are conspicuously striated on the
  exterior, which distinction, together with their elongated
  fusiform shape, sufficiently distinguish them as a species
  from the _sabulosus_ which Montfort describes as the type of
  his genus. No aperture is discoverable in this shell, but the
  termination of the exterior volution very much resembles an
  aperture as long as the shell.

  The length is three-tenths of an inch; and its greatest breadth

  We call it _miliolites secalicus_, SAY.--Mr. T. Nuttall
  informs me, that he observed it in great quantities high up
  the Missouri.

  In the same mass were some segments of the encrinus, and a
  terebratula with five or six obtuse longitudinal waves.

  30. Another petrifaction, abundant in some fragments of compact
  carbonate of lime, also found on the shores of the Missouri,
  possesses all the generic characters which we have attributed
  to the preceding species, excepting that in the transverse
  fracture the cells distinctly revolve from the centre itself,
  and of course the shell was destitute of the solid nucleus as in
  melonis, _Lamarck_. It has about four volutions. We have named
  this species, which is, notwithstanding the difference of the
  central portion of the same genus with the preceding _miliolites
  centralis, Say_. As in the preceding, it is entirely filled
  solidly with carbonate of lime, and this substance being of a
  greater purity in the filled-up cavities of the fossil than in
  the mass, its interior divisions are very obvious.

  The latter species we observed about one hundred miles up the
  Konzas river, where it forms the chief body of the rocks in
  extensive ranges. It seems to be a carbonate of lime containing

  [177] John Gale, of New Hampshire, was surgeon in the rifles.
  He entered the army in 1812, as surgeon's mate in the 23d
  Infantry. After an honorable discharge in 1815, he was the same
  year reinstated as surgeon's mate in the 3d Infantry, and in
  1818 made surgeon in the rifles. Three years later he became
  major-surgeon. He died in 1830.

  Matthew J. Magee was captain of a Pennsylvania company of
  volunteers during the first two years of the War of 1812-15.
  In 1814 he was made captain in the 4th Rifles. After being
  discharged at the close of the war, he was reinstated (1816)
  as first lieutenant of ordnance with brevet rank as captain. A
  little later he was made captain, and in 1818 was transferred
  to the rifles. In 1821 he was transferred to the infantry. His
  death occurred in 1824.--ED.

  [178] Ietan, as he was called by the whites, is said to have
  been the son of Big Horse (Shonga-tonga). The name may have been
  given him for some exploit against the Ietan (Comanche) tribe.
  His Indian name (Shamonekusse, Shongmunecuthe) means Prairie
  Wolf. In 1821-22 Ietan accompanied a deputation of chiefs to the
  East; the Indians made careful observations of what they saw,
  after their own fashion, and, it is said, attempted to count the
  people of New York by means of notched sticks. Among his fellows
  Ietan was noted for his wit and sagacity, as well as for warlike
  prowess. His death resulted (April, 1837) from a wound received
  while pursuing some young braves who had seduced two of his

  [179] The Ietan Indians, more commonly known as Comanche, were
  a branch of the Shoshoni family. Their range was the upper
  Arkansas, Canadian, and Red rivers.

  On the Pawnee and Pawnee Loups, see respectively Brackenridge's
  _Journal_, in our volume vi, note 17, and Bradbury's _Travels_,
  in our volume v, note 44. The Pawnee nation consisted of four
  principal tribes: 1. Pawnee proper (Grand Pawnee); 2. Pawnee
  Republican, who dwelt on the Republican fork of Kansas River; 3.
  Tapage, on the Platte; 4. Pawnee Loups (Skidi; Pani-mahas).

  The Omaha and Ponca were closely related tribes of Siouan stock.
  For their early history and present condition, see our volume v,
  notes 49, 63.

  The Sioux (Dakota) were the chief branch of the great family
  to which they have given their name. The branch was divided
  into a number of tribes, including the Yankton and Teton,
  mentioned below in the text.

  Sketches of the Osage, Sauk and Foxes, and Iowa will be found
  in our volume v, notes 21, 22.

  The Padouca were a powerful tribe when visited by Bourgmont in
  1724 (see succeeding volume, note 29), but the nation
  disintegrated and lost its identity before the close of the
  eighteenth century, if, indeed, the name was not from the
  beginning applied collectively to several kindred tribes of
  the plains. Their habitat was the banks of the upper Kansas
  River; later they removed to the Platte, the North Fork of
  which is sometimes designated by their name.

  The Indians here called La Plais (La Playes) were reported by
  Lewis and Clark (_Statistical View_) to be a numerous tribe of
  Shoshoni stock, inhabiting the plains at the heads of the
  Arkansas and Red rivers. Later authorities seem not to have
  distinguished them from the kindred Comanche.--ED.

  [180] The Indian name for Americans. On the origin of
  the term, see Thwaites, _Daniel Boone_ (New York, 1902), p.
  111, note.--ED.

  [181] This quarrel, and the resulting loss of part of
  the nose of one of the contestants, has given rise to a number
  of fables. In one of them Ietan and his brother are the
  combatants, and it is Ietan who loses the tip of his nose. In
  his thirst for revenge he pursues his brother across the
  plains and through the forest, both in friendly and hostile
  villages, only to fall a prey to bitter remorse when, after
  many months, he overtakes the fugitive and slays him.--ED.

  [182] Elkhorn River (Corne de Cerf, of the French explorers) is
  a considerable northern tributary of the Platte, into which it
  falls on the western line of Sarpy County. The head waters are
  only a few miles from the Niobrara River, in Rock County.--ED.

  [183] One of the half-breed sons of Pierre Dorion (Durion),
  who accompanied Lewis and Clark as interpreter. See Bradbury's
  _Travels_, in our volume v, note 7.--ED.

  [184] Red-head was the customary Indian name for Governor
  William Clark, and St. Louis was "Red-head's Town." For sketch
  of Clark, see Nuttall's _Journal_, in our volume xiii, note

  [185] It was a party of the Grand Pawnees that robbed and
  ill-treated Lieutenant Pike and his party, when traversing the
  country within their range.--JAMES.

  [186] See Appendix C at the end of volume xvii.--ED.

  [187] 1. _Sorex parvus_, SAY.--Brownish cinereous above; beneath
  cinereous; teeth blackish; tail short, of moderate thickness.

  _Body_ above brownish cinereous, beneath cinereous; _head_
  elongated; _eyes_ and _ears_ concealed; _whiskers_ long, the
  longest nearly attaining the back of the head; _nose_ naked
  emarginate; _front teeth_ black, lateral ones piceous; _feet_
  whitish, five-toed; _nails_ prominent, acute, white; _tail_
  short, subcylindric, of moderate thickness, slightly thicker in
  the middle, whitish beneath.

  Length from tip of nose to root of tail,        2 3/8 inches.
  Length of tail,                                 0 3/4 inches.
  Length from the upper teeth to tip of nose,     0 3/20 inches.

  Mr. Peale caught this animal in a pitfall, which he had dug
  for the purpose of catching a wolf. It is a female.

  Barton, in his Medical and Physical Journal for 1806, p. 67,
  says, that, "Sorex minutissimus of Zimmerman, has been
  discovered in the trans-Mississippi part of the United States,
  in the country that is watered by the Missouri;"--had he
  reference to this species?

  This _sorex minutissimus_, is probably synonymous with S.
  _exilis_, to which our specimens cannot be referred, whilst
  the character attributed to that species, of "tail very thick
  in the middle," is considered essential.

  2. _Sorex brevicaudus_, SAY.--Blackish-plumbeous above,
  beneath rather lighter; teeth, blackish; tail, short, robust.

  Total length from nose to tip of tail,                4-5/8 inch.
  Total length of the tail,                              1     inch.
  Total length from the upper teeth to the tip of nose,  0-1/8 inch.

  _Above_ blackish plumbeous, when viewed from before; silvery
  plumbeous when viewed from behind; _fur_ dense, rather long;
  _beneath_ rather paler; _head_ large; _eyes_ very minute;
  _ears_ white, entirely concealed beneath the fur, aperture very
  large, with two distinct semisepta, (tragus and antitragus?)
  which are sparsely hairy at tip; _rostrum_ short, with a
  slightly impressed, abbreviated line above; _nose_ livid brown,
  emarginate; _mouth_ margined with whitish and with sparse short
  hairs; _teeth_ piceous-black at tip; _feet_, white, the second,
  third, and fourth toes subequal, the first and fifth shorter,
  the former rather shortest, anterior with but very few hairs,
  nearly naked; _nails_ nearly as long as the toes; _tail_ with
  rather sparse hairs, nearly of equal diameter, but slightly
  thickest in the middle, depressed, and nearly as long as the
  posterior feet.

  This specimen, which is a male, closely resembles _S.
  parvus_, but it is much larger; the head is proportionably
  much larger and more elongated; the tail more robust, and the
  inferior anterior pair of incisores are similar to those of
  S. _constrictus_, fig. 7. pl. 15. of the Mem. du Mus. by Mr.
  Geoffroy St. Hilaire. The incisors of the superior jaw are
  twelve in number, in a cranium belonging to this species, five
  on each side in addition the two larger anterior ones; the
  posterior tooth of the lateral ones is smallest.

  May not this be the animal mentioned by the late professor
  Barton in his Medical and Physical Journal, for March, 1816,
  which, he says, "may be called the black shrew?" I do not know
  that the black shrew has ever received any further notice,
  unless it is the same species to which Mr. Ord has applied the
  name of _Sorex niger_.--JAMES.

  [188] See Thwaites, _Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark
  Expedition_, Appendix, vol. vii, doc. xviii.--ED.


  Animals--Sioux and Omawhaw Indians--Winter Residence at
  Engineer Cantonment

The subsequent account of the transactions at and near Council
Bluff, and of the observations made there, we copy from the
journal of Mr. Say.

Descriptions of some of the animals which occurred, are given in
the notes below.[189]

The prairie wolves[190] roam over the plains in considerable
numbers, and during the night, the principal season of their
hunts, they venture very near to the encampment of the traveller.
They are by far the most numerous of our wolves, and often
unite in packs for the purpose of chasing deer, which they very
frequently succeed in running down, and killing. This, however, is
an achievement attended with much difficulty to them, and in which
the exertion of their utmost swiftness and cunning are so often
unavailing, that they are sometimes reduced to the necessity of
eating wild plums, and other fruits, to them almost indigestible,
in order to distend the stomach, and appease, in a degree, the
cravings of hunger.

Their bark is much more distinctly like that of the domestic dog,
than of any other animal; in fact the first two or three notes
could not be distinguished from the bark of a small terrier, but
these notes are succeeded by a lengthened scream.

The wonderful intelligence of this animal is well worthy of note,
and a few anecdotes respecting it may not be amiss. Mr. Peale
constructed and tried various kinds of traps to take them, one of
which was of the description called "a live trap," a shallow box
reversed, and supported at one end, by the {154} well known kind
of trap sticks, usually called the "figure four," which elevated
the front of the trap upwards of three feet above its slab
flooring; the trap was about six feet long, and nearly the same in
breadth, and was plentifully baited with offal. Notwithstanding
this arrangement, a wolf actually burrowed under the flooring, and
pulled down the bait through the crevices of the floor; tracks of
different sizes were observed about the trap. This procedure would
seem to be the result of a faculty beyond mere instinct.

This trap proving useless, another was constructed in a different
part of the country, formed like a large cage, but with a small
entrance on the top, through which the animals might enter, but
not return; this was equally unsuccessful; the wolves attempted in
vain to get at the bait, as they would not enter by the route
prepared for them.

A large double "steel trap" was next tried; this was profusely
baited, and the whole, with the exception of the bait, was
carefully concealed beneath the fallen leaves. This was also
unsuccessful. Tracks of the anticipated victims were next day
observed to be impressed in numbers on the earth near the spot,
but still the trap, with its seductive charge, remained untouched.
The bait was then removed from the trap, and suspended over it
from the branch of a tree; several pieces of meat were also
suspended in a similar manner, from trees in the vicinity; the
following morning the bait over the trap alone remained.
Supposing that their exquisite sense of smell warned them of the
position of the trap, it was removed, and again covered with
leaves, and the baits being disposed as before, the leaves to a
considerable distance around were burned, and the trap remained
perfectly concealed by ashes; still the bait over the trap was
avoided. Once only this trap was sprung, and had fastened for a
short time upon the foot of a species, which was shot the
following day at no great distance; it proved to be a species
distinct from the {155} prairie wolf, and we have described it
under the name of C. nubilus.

In no respect disheartened by these futile attempts, many times
repeated, and varied in every obvious manner, another scheme was
executed, which eventuated in complete success. This was the log
trap, in which one log is elevated above another at one end, by
means of an upright stick, which rests upon a rounded horizontal
trigger stick, on the inferior log.

The latrans does not diffuse the offensive odour, so remarkable in
the two species of jackalls, (C. aureus and C. anthus) though in
many respects it resembles those animals. Like the Mexicanus, the
hair on the vertebral line is elongated; and we should be disposed
to regard it as the same animal, but it differs from the
description of that species, both in colour and physiognomy. The
ears are proportionally longer than those of C. cancrivorus, and,
as well as the tail, shorter than the corresponding parts of C.

This animal, which does not seem to be known to naturalists,
unless it should prove to be the Mexicanus, is most probably the
original of the domestic dog, so common in the villages of the
Indians of this region, some of the varieties of which still
retain much of the habit and manners of this species.

On the 14th of October, four hundred Omawhaw Indians assembled at
Camp Missouri. Major O'Fallon addressed them in an appropriate
speech, stating the reasons for their being called to council;
upon which Ong-pa-ton-ga, the Big Elk,[191] arose, and after
shaking by the hand each of the whites present, placed his robe of
otter skins, and his mockasins under the feet of the agent, whom
he addressed to the following effect, as his language was
interpreted by Mr. Dougherty.

  "He had heard that his father wished to see him, and he had
  wished to see and to hear the words of his father, ever since he
  learned that he was ascending {156} the river. He was informed
  last fall of his being at the river Platte, and as he could not
  then go to see him, he had now come to visit him; and here I
  am, my father. All these young people you see around here are
  yours; although they are poor and trifling, yet they are your
  children. I have always loved the whites since I first remember
  to have seen them, and this affection increases with my age. All
  my nation loves the whites, and always have loved them. Amongst
  all the good things of this world I place the whites first. But
  it appears that there are many nations that live nearer to you
  than I, that do not love you, though you have done more for
  them, than you have done for me. When they meet with you, they
  flatter you, in order to get presents from you, notwithstanding
  which, they would not hesitate to kill some of your people on
  their way home. Some of them shake hands with you in a friendly
  manner, whilst their hands are yet stained with your blood;
  and if you examine your own hands, my father, I think you would
  find some of it adhering to them yet. For my part, my father,
  I am proud to boast, that my hands are clean. Never has one of
  my nation stained his hands with the blood of a white man. I
  do not understand, my father, your mode of treating those well
  who treat you ill. It is true, I know, that you have more sense
  than I have, but I cannot understand it. I have heard that the
  Pawnees have been to see you; a nation that has killed, robbed,
  and insulted your people. I was also informed that you feasted
  them, and at their departure you put weapons in their hands. I
  should not be surprised to hear, that those very weapons were
  stained with white man's blood before they reached the Pawnee
  village. This is what I cannot understand. This circumstance
  led me to believe, that if you treated those that have injured
  you so well, you surely would treat your poor children the
  Omawhaws, who have never done harm to your people, with much
  kindness {157} also. But I am afraid the transaction will have a
  bad effect on my young men. When they heard of American troops
  ascending this river, they feared and respected them. But I am
  fearful that this transaction will throw them off their guard,
  make them lose their respect for you, and cause them to do
  something that they would not otherwise have done, and thus
  create trouble and difference between us. You said, my father,
  that those troops do not come to harm us. I believe it is
  true. I consider them all my brothers and friends. So far from
  thinking they come to injure me, I regard them as my shield, to
  guard me against bad nations around me. You say, that if ever
  there is a difference between us, that it will be our fault; but
  I hope not, my father, I cannot think that the Omawhaws will
  offer any indignity to your people, now that they have seen all
  those troops, when they have not harmed individuals who have
  resided years in their village unprotected, although we were
  then less enlightened than we now are. Some think, my father,
  that you have brought all these warriors here to take our land
  from us, but I do not believe it. For although I am but a poor,
  simple Indian, yet I know that this land will not suit your
  farmers; if I even thought your hearts bad enough to take the
  land, I would not fear it, as I know there is not wood enough
  on it for the use of whites. You might settle along this river,
  where timber is to be found; but we can always get wood enough
  in our country to make our little fires. There is one thing I
  fear, my father; my nation is coming down here to hunt this
  winter, and if you send out your soldiers to hunt also, they
  will drive off all the game, and our women and children will
  starve. We have heard of the ascent of the troops up this river
  ever since last fall, and we have been told by other nations,
  that if they chance to meet with any squaws unprotected, they
  ravish them. But, my father, we shall soon know if this be true
  or not; because, having {158} but little to eat, our squaws
  will be obliged to go out into the prairies to dig roots; I
  shall trust to you, and not hesitate to let them go." He also
  observed, that he could not see the necessity of stationing so
  many troops here, as there was no one to oppose; he thought it
  desirable that they should go higher up the river, to chastise
  those refractory Indians who will not listen to our words.
  "There is one thing, my father," he observed, "which I wish you
  to inform me of. We have heard of your tying up and whipping
  individuals of several nations, as you ascended this river.
  What is the offence which will subject us to this punishment?
  I wish to know, that I may inform my people, that they may be
  on their guard." He then observed that all his children were
  poor, and that they had come with the expectation of receiving
  something from their father.

This speech, contrary to the usual mode of Indian orators, was
commenced in a low tone, the voice gradually rising as the speaker
proceeded, until it attained its full intonation.

Several speakers subsequently went forward and delivered their
sentiments, generally alluding to the circumstance of our treating
those who injure us kindly, and neglecting our friends.

Ta-sone, the White Cow,[192] spoke with that allusion, and added,
"Look at me, my father, look at my hands; examine me well, I am a
wild man, born in the prairie;" and subsequently, "I told you, my
father, to look at me, that you might see if there is any of the
blood of your people upon me. Some, whose hands have been stained
with blood, endeavour to wash it off, but some of it will still

It is proper to mention, as explanatory of some of the allusions
in the above speeches, that the Pawnees, at the conclusion of
their council, had been invited to dine at Camp Missouri, and that
many of their chiefs were there presented with sabres, as I before
stated. It was to this circumstance that the above-mentioned {159}
speakers had reference, as being inexplicable to them; as it
seemed as if we wished to conciliate the good will of those
evil-doers through fear, and yet they could hardly accuse us of
fear, surrounded as we were by so formidable an array of troops.

It was evident, however, that the speakers had mentally no
reference to Major O'Fallon, as they knew he had not committed or
sanctioned the acts of which they complained in their truly
delicate and peculiar manner. But they looked upon him as
responsible for the actions of his people, knowing him to be the
representative of the government, and that in case of wrong, they
could not obtain redress from any other person. How much soever
Major O'Fallon may have disapproved of the treatment which the
Pawnees had received from the military, he was perfectly conscious
of having conducted himself towards them according to their
deserts, so far as power had been placed in his hands. But being
thus verbally accused, pointedly and repeatedly of injustice, for
acts not his own, he arose and said, "Omawhaws, you say I called
the Pawnees here to feast them and make them presents, after they
had killed and insulted us, but it is not true. I did not smoke
the pipe of peace with them, neither will I, until our differences
are settled. I told the Pawnees that, even if I stood unsupported
before them, I would, nevertheless, either compel them to make
reparation for their offences, or leave my bones amongst them for
my nation to come and bury."

The Big Elk, and Big Eyes, were the only chiefs acknowledged by
Major O'Fallon, who then made liberal presents to them for their

Some of these presents were distributed by the Indians after a
peculiar manner, but which I learn is very common amongst the
Indians of this country. A certain portion of them is placed upon
the ground, and whoever can _strike the post_ the most frequently,
{160} gains them. Another portion is then staked for any other
competitors who may choose to advance. A valuable stake was then
offered, and an aged veteran stepped forth, and looking round upon
his nation with a majestic mien, in which there was not a little
expression of triumph, he seemed to challenge the bravest of the
brave to come forward and compete with him for the possession of
it; but agreeably to his expectations no one advanced, and he bore
off the prize by common consent, without going through the ceremony
of _striking_.

From the 24th of October to the 10th of November, the atmosphere
was generally filled with a dense smoke, like a fog or stratus,
which proceeded from the conflagrated prairies. It sometimes
affected our vision painfully, sometimes it so far intercepted the
rays of the sun that the disk of that luminary appeared of a
blood-red, and the eye could repose upon it uninjured. On the
morning of the 8th instant, it occurred in greater quantity than
at any other time, when it was so extremely dense as to intercept
a view of the opposite shore of the Missouri from Engineer

On the 9th of November some rain fell, attended with thunder and
lightning. The rain continued on the day following, with the wind
from the south-east; at evening the smoke was almost entirely
dissipated, and the clouds, which were cirro-cumuli passing to the
north-north-west, became visible.

A party of Sioux visited us on the 15th of November, to view the
steam-boat. As Major Long had left orders to put the steam
machinery in action occasionally, in order to preserve it from
rust, Lieutenant Graham concluded to exhibit the boat with the
engine in action. The Indians hesitated to enter the boat,
fearing, as they said, that it was, or that it contained some
_great medicine_ of the Big-knives that might injure them. But
when on board and at their ease, one of them observed doubtingly,
{161} "he hardly thought the Big-knives had any medicine to hurt
them." They appeared much delighted with the boat; its size seemed
to surprise them, several measured the width of the deck by
straddling, instead of pacing as we do. We exhibited to them the
air-gun, magnet, &c. which considerably excited their attention.
Two of the howitzers were discharged, loaded with case-shot; the
effect produced, of the shot falling into the water, at unequal
distances and times, was new and unexpected, and they covered
their mouths with the hand, to express their astonishment. Of
these warriors, three are Tetons, one a Yancton, and a Sa-ho-ne;
three different tribes of the great Dacota or Sioux nation. They
are fine looking men, with very prominent cheekbones. They are
more attentive to their dress, and are much neater than the other
Indians we have seen; though it is proper to observe that, as
visitors, they are clothed in their best attire. They decorate
their hair with a profusion of feathers of the war eagle, and of a
species of owl which we have not seen. They also suspend in the
headdress an entire skin of the paroquet. The hair is in great
profusion, and is thrown upon the back in very long rolls; but
upon close inspection, the greater portion of it is perceived to
be false hair artificially attached to their own, the points of
junction being indicated by small masses of clay, with which the
attachment is effected. Two of these Tetons are inseparable
friends, were raised together from their infancy, and although not
allied by blood, there is a strong personal resemblance between
them, which is not a little enhanced by a studied similarity in
dress and ornaments. These two individuals are firm friends to the
whites. One of them was a few years since at the Sa-ho-ne village
in company with a trader, and being invited to a feast, they had
proceeded but a short distance, when a Sa-ho-ne rushed from his
concealment and knocked the trader down with his war-club. The
Teton immediately {162} attacked the assailant, felled him in his
turn to the earth, gashed his body with the spear of his war-club
and left him for dead. This is a strong evidence of the
determination of the savages, as they are called, to protect those
whom they consider under their guardianship. The Teton retaliated
the blow given to the trader, not only at the immediate risk of
his life in the combat, but of having to expiate the deed to many
a kindred exasperated warrior, and also at the hazard of
originating a war between the two bands.

In the course of the winter we received frequent supplies of
provisions from Camp Missouri; and by means of some exertion and
diligence in hunting, we were able to procure plenty of fresh
venison and other game. For coffee we substituted the fruit of the
gymnocladus canadensis, which afforded a palatable and wholesome
beverage. The flesh of the _skunk_ we had sometimes dressed for
dinner, and found it a remarkably rich and delicate food.

On the 5th of December, the gentlemen of the party dined by
invitation with Mr. M. Lisa.

The principal Ioway chief was once at our camp; he is a very
intelligent Indian, with a solemn dignity of deportment, and would
not deign to enter our houses or even to approach them until
invited. He is said to have a more intimate knowledge of the
manners of the whites, than any other Indian of the Missouri, and
to be acquainted with many of the words of our language, but will
not willingly make use of them, fearing to express himself
improperly, or not trusting to his pronunciation. He remained near
Council Bluff in the autumn, in order to be present at the
councils with the different nations, and to observe the conduct of
the whites towards them respectively, a considerable time after
his nation had departed down the river to their beaver trapping.
After this he went with his family to the head waters of the
Boyer, and during his stay there trapped sixty {163} beaver; when
with us he was about to go in search of his people. He had three
wives with him, one of whom appeared to be about nine or ten years
of age, and whom we mistook for his daughter, until he undeceived
us. We showed him our books of engravings, with which he was
highly pleased. The Indians, almost all of them, delight to look
over engravings, particularly those which represent animals; they
are not soon fatigued when employed in this way.

This Indian is known by several names, as Grand Batture, Hard
Heart, Sandbar, and in his own language, Wang-e-waha. During our
late contest with Great Britain, he turned his back upon his
nation, in consequence of their raising the tomahawk upon our
citizens, and crossing the Missouri, united his destiny with the
Otoes, who received and treated him with distinguished respect.
Last autumn his nation joined him, and submitted to his guidance;
so that the Otoes, Missouries, and Ioways were then united.

Some time since in a transaction with a captain, formerly of the
United States' army, he thought himself grossly insulted, and
demanded on the spot personal satisfaction, agreeably to the
custom of the whites, challenging his opponent to single combat,
with pistols or such other weapons as he might choose.

He is esteemed the bravest and most intelligent of the Ioways, and
amongst the Otoes he was associated with many equally brave with
himself. But as there are national prejudices amongst the Indians
as well as amongst the whites, he has not escaped from many a keen
allusion to his nation. In a quarrel, which arose from some
expressions of this nature, Ietan knocked him down with a

He has been in fifty battles, and has commanded in seven.

He says the white people often request the Indians to abstain from
war, and yet the white people continue {164} to fight each other,
as if they wished to monopolize the occupation of war, and thereby
deprive the Indian of his principal avenue to honour and dignity.

Several Omawhaws, who have been trapping in the country opposite
to Blackbird-hill, remained with us last night. The principal one,
A-ha-ga-nash-he, or the Upright Horn, has a rather handsome Sioux
squaw, to whom he appears to be much attached, paying her great
attention in conversation, giving her a portion of his whiskey,
and handing her the pipe to smoke. She is, however, not exempted
from the ordinary employments of the Indian women, and we had an
opportunity to-day of seeing her depart from Mr. Lisa's with a
heavy load, consisting of the goods which her husband had received
in exchange for his beaver, on her back, whilst he carried only a
keg of whiskey slung over his shoulders, and his gun and hunting
apparatus. Previously to the departure of the Omawhaws from our
establishment this morning, the brother of one of them, who,
report said, had been killed by the Sioux, arrived; he has been
with about ten lodges, (about twenty men) of his tribe trapping on
the Elk Horn, and they had taken about two hundred beavers. He has
taken sixty himself, of which he presented his elder brother
twenty, and is on his way to Mr. Lisa, to have a trader with
merchandize sent to his party to deal for the skins. It is a
singular circumstance, that this is the second instance of these
two brothers meeting in this vicinity, after the one had been
supposed to have been killed by the Sioux.

A-ha-ga-nash-he, whom we invited to take up his lodgings for the
night in our room, became alarmed at my repute as a medicine man,
fearing that I would cast some spell upon him, or otherwise injure
him by the operation of some potent mystic medicine: he removed
his quarters to the adjoining room, where he seemed to think he
was safe from my incantations.

Our hunter, whose name is No-zun-da-je; or, "He {165} that does
not dodge," is esteemed a good hunter by his nation; but he is not
a distinguished warrior, although he has been in numerous battles.
He says he has killed several red skins in action, but never yet
had the honour to _strike_ a body. He showed us the scars of many
wounds, most of which he had inflicted on himself, when in
mourning for the death of his relatives and friends, by thrusting
arrows through the skin and a portion of the flesh of his arm. His
brother, at the same time, showed many scars which he had caused
by cutting out pieces from his body with a knife, on the same

Several Omawhaws visited us on the 8th, and a party of three of
them, who were in possession of a keg of whiskey, invited our
hunter to accompany them, for the night, to "make his heart glad"
with a portion of its contents. The Omawhaws, Otoes, Missouries,
and Ioways are excessively attached to this destructive liquor.

On the 9th December, Lieutenant Swift, in company with Mr.
Pilcher[193] of the Missouri Fur Company, set out on a visit to
the Omawhaws. His course was first directed towards the Elk Horn
river, tributary to the Platte, and afterwards along the valley of
the former, to the Omawhaw encampment, which he reached at the
distance of about one hundred and twenty miles. The country over
which he travelled was almost entirely destitute of woodland; the
surface generally cut by numerous ravines; the soil for the most
part sandy, but in some instances enriched by a black loam. He
returned to camp on the 23d, his companion having purchased of the
Indians one hundred and thirty beaver skins, besides raccoon and
deer skins.

10th. By a recent occurrence, the late treaty of peace between the
Otoes and Konzas was on the eve of being infracted. The Otoes, who
were encamped for hunting near the mouth of the Platte, had four
horses stolen from them about two weeks since, and {166}
subsequently ten more. These robberies were immediately attributed
to the Konzas, and a war-party prepared themselves to march and
retaliate upon that nation. Hashea, however, prevented them from
going, saying that their father (Major O'Fallon) had been
instrumental in reconciling them to a peace with the Konzas, and
it would be highly improper for them to strike a blow, without
asking his opinion upon the subject. It seems more probable that
the horses have been taken either by the Sauks or Ioways. The
latter appears to be a faithless people; they obtained a
considerable quantity of goods on credit, last fall, from the
Missouri Fur Company, and now, we are informed, instead of
returning to discharge their debts, they are on their way down the
river to barter their beaver at Fort Osage. It is said they will
inhabit their old village, on the river Des Moines, the ensuing

12th. Many Indians visited us yesterday and to-day, some of whom
brought jerked deer meat, mockasins, &c. to exchange for their
favourite drink, and for trinkets. But as we have none of the
latter, and as the former is interdicted from them by our laws, we
are not authorized to make any purchases. That they do contrive to
get whiskey elsewhere, perhaps of the traders, we have abundant
proof. Yesterday a squaw got drunk, and made much noise; but her
companions, after much ado, carried her off to their encampment.

As we were cutting up a log for fuel, one of the Omawhaws seeing a
knot or protuberance of the wood, suitable to form into a bowl,
requested us to cut it off for him; but not choosing to gratify
him in that manner, we offered the axe we were using, that he
might cut it in his own way; he, however, would not accept of it,
but pointed to the palm of his hand, giving us to understand that
such labour would make his hand sore and hard; he then called one
of his squaws, who immediately went to work, {167} and handled the
axe very dexterously. Observing several young Indians passing, I
indicated to her the propriety of requesting one of them to
assist her, but she laughed significantly, as if she would
say--you are ironical.

The Indians are very fickle in bargaining. An Indian, some time
since, exchanged his rifle for Mr. Dougherty's shot gun; yesterday
he reversed the bargain, giving a pair of mockasins in return; and
this morning he requested to exchange again, in which he was

A squaw offered to exchange mockasins for a couple of our military
stocks. We could not conceive to what use she would apply them,
but, upon inquiry, we learned that she wished to ornament the
crupper of her horse with them.

The stone quarry, which supplied limestone for building chimnies
at camp Missouri, was situate at the distance of an hundred yards
below our cantonment. The labourers that were employed in this
quarry opened upon many large fissures, in which were found a
number of serpents that had entered there for the purpose of
hybernating. Of these, three species appear to be new.[194]

This morning three Omawhaws were fired upon by a war-party of five
Ioway Indians, and two were wounded; this occurred on the east
side of the river, nearly opposite to our cantonment. When they
fired, each one called out his name agreeably to the Indian
custom. A party of Omawhaws then assembled, and pursued them about
fifteen miles, but without success.

Two Oto warriors, and a boy, nephew of Ishta-gre-ja, Gray Eyes the
elder, visited us this afternoon. They have been hunting on Blue
Water creek, in the neighbourhood of the Konzas hunting camps, and
not distant from the village of the latter; they have been so
fortunate as to take one hundred and forty beavers, the skins of
which they left at {168} their village, under the care of the son
of Gray Eyes and their squaws; their business in this quarter is
to look out for the best market for their peltries. They say it
was certainly not the Konzas who stole the horses from their
brethren who are encamped near the confluence of the Platte. They
attribute that theft to the Ioways, who, they say, are still
fools, as they always have proved themselves to be.

30th. In the morning a nimbus from the north. An imperfect
parhelion appeared at sunrise, consisting of three luminous spots,
at about 22° distant from each other in the horizon; one of them
was the real place of the sun, and the others were to the north
and south of it. As the sun ascended towards the zenith, the mock
suns continued to ascend equally and parallel with it, but became
gradually fainter until they disappeared near the zenith.

Evening. A complete paraselene appeared about the moon, of the
diameter of 45 degrees.

The mercury was below Zero the greater part of the day, in
Fahrenheit's thermometer.

31st. Several Canadians in the employ of the Missouri Fur Company,
came this evening to dance and sing before us, agreeably to the
custom of their countrymen, in celebration of the termination of
the year. They were adorned with paint after the Indian manner,
clothed with bison robes, and had bells attached to different
parts of their dress. So completely were they disguised, that
three of their employers, who happened to be present, had much
difficulty in recognizing them. This dance is called _La
Gineolet_,[195] and may have had its origin in the same cause that
produced our _Belshnickles_, who make their appearance on
Christmas-eve. We gave them what was expected, whiskey, flour, and

January 6th, 1820. Mr. Graham and I measured the width of the
river in two places, a short distance below our cantonment, and a
short distance above; [158] the latter gave two hundred and
seventy-seven and one-third yards, and the former one hundred

We hear the barking of the prairie wolves every night about us;
they venture close to our huts; last night they ran down and
killed a doe, within a short distance of our huts; this morning
the remains of the carcass were found, consisting only of bones
and skin.

Mr. Fontenelle,[196] in the employ of the Missouri Fur Company,
who has been absent for some time trading with one of the bands of
the Omawhaws, called to-day on his return; this band had been much
necessitated for food, subsisting for some time upon the fruit of
the red haws, which the squaws sought for beneath the proper
trees, under the snow. He met with some of the nation of Sioux,
called Gens de Feuille[197] by the French. They have been much
thinned in numbers by a disorder, which, from the description
given of it, may be the quinsy. This same band is said to have
suffered much from the small-pox last autumn. They were also now
nearly starved for want of food; but they said if they could hold
out until they arrived at Min-da-wa-cong, or Medicine lake, (on
the maps, Spirit lake,)[198] they would do very well, as they had
there a considerable quantity of wild oats buried, or _caché_, as
the French say.

13th. Ietan,[199] an Oto, of whom we have before spoken, visited
us to-day for the purpose of getting two gun-locks mended. He left
his people at the Republican fork of the Konza river, and intends
as soon as he returns, to lead a party in pursuit of bisons, which
he says are in plenty on the Loup fork of the Platte, about sixty
miles distant from us.[200]

14th. Ietan called this morning, and as some of our party were
going to visit at Camp Missouri, he accompanied them in order to
obtain Major O'Fallon's permission for his nation to go to war
with the {170} Konzas. He informed the agent that individuals of
that nation had sometime since stolen horses from them. That one
of the losers, Big Soldier, had gone to the Konza village to
demand the horses; but seeing a number of horses belonging to that
nation when he arrived near the village, he could not resist the
temptation of immediately retaliating by seizing several, and
appropriating them to his own use. But, Ietan said, he thought the
honour of his nation still called for war, and he solicited the
acquiescence of the agent in that measure. The Major replied, that
his opinion ought to have been asked previously to the retaliatory
measure which had already been prematurely taken, as they were not
certain that the Konzas were the offenders, and that this ought to
have been ascertained before any depredation on the Konzas had
been committed. But the course which he would now advise them to
pursue was, to send a deputation to the Konzas, for the purpose of
ascertaining the fact, to return the Konzas' horses, and to demand
their own. This course seemed satisfactory to the warrior; who,
however, stated that if the Konzas attempted to steal horses from
them in future, he would certainly lead a war party himself
against them.

15th. Mr. Woods, of the Missouri Fur Company, has returned from a
trading excursion. He reports that he saw several of the Pawnee
_caches_, which had been broken open and robbed of their corn by
the Omawhaws. This is by no means a rare occurrence with the
Indians, but it does not appear that it has ever led to
hostilities between nations; they say that when a person is in
want of food, he has a right to take any he can find.

Corporal Norman, who went out this morning to kill rabbits,
returned about noon with twenty-seven, which he had killed with
single balls.

February 9th. Several Oto Indians have visited us within this day
or two, and one of them, Ca-he-ga-in-ya, {171} remained with us
last night; he was finely dressed, had on a chief's coat laced
with silver, and a profusion of wampum about his neck, and
suspended to his ears; he departed this morning on his way to the
Omawhaws, to trade for horses.

The ice on the Missouri is sixteen inches in thickness, that of
the Boyer creek fifteen and three-fourths.

12th. Messrs. Dougherty, Peel [Peale], and myself, with an
assistant, encamped at a pond near the Boyer to obtain fish; we
cut several holes in the ice of the pond, and obtained one otter
and a number of small fishes, amongst which three species appeared
to be new; several specimens were of the genus gasterosteus.

15th. Mr. Zenoni, of the Fur Company, who departed the twenty-seventh
ultimo on a trading expedition, returned and remained with us last
night. He and two men had ascended the Elk Horn about twenty-five
miles higher than Mr. Swift had been, but were not successful
in finding any Indians. And although they saw a few bisons and
antelopes, and elks, they were not so fortunate as to kill any game
for subsistence, excepting three turkeys; so that they returned in
a state of considerable exhaustion, having been for some time on an
allowance of a little maize per day. He found that the upper part
of the Elk Horn had not frozen during the severe weather, but still
remained open. This circumstance seems to indicate the flow of a
great quantity of spring water, or water of a medium temperature,
in that part of the stream, requiring time to cool in its passage,
before it can congeal.

19th. The sand is blown by the violence of the wind from the
sand-bars of the river, so as to resemble a dense fog. We have
been hitherto very well supplied with fresh meat, from game killed
principally by Mr. Peale, who, on one occasion, killed two deer at
a single shot and with one ball, but we are now reduced again to
salt pork of a very inferior quality. {172} The party, with the
exception of myself, continue to enjoy good health.

22d. Messrs. Dougherty and Peale returned from a hunt, having
killed twelve bisons out of a herd of several hundreds they met
with near Sioux river, and brought us a seasonable supply of meat.
They saw several herds of elk, and yesterday they saw swans,
geese, and ducks, flying up the river. A dinner and ball were
given at Camp Missouri, in honour of the day, to which our party
were invited.

24th. Mr. Graham and I endeavoured to ascertain the rapidity of
the current of this part of the Missouri, at the present low
water. We availed ourselves of a long vacancy in the ice to float
a porter bottle, to which the proper specific gravity was given,
by partially filling it with water, it was attached to a cord of
one hundred and twenty-two feet in length; it floated this
distance in six successive experiments in the following several
times 1′ 07″--1′ 04″--1′ 07-1/2″--1′ 05″--1′ 07″--1′ 07″, the mean
of which is 1′ 06-1/2″ nearly, giving a velocity of 1 mile 441
yards 1-1/2 feet per hour.

By these experiments, however, the superficial current or stratum
only was indicated, and as we had reason to suppose that this
stratum was more impeded by friction against the inferior surface
of the ice than it would be by the atmosphere, it became an object
to ascertain the average velocity of the different depths. With
this view a staff ten feet long was made to float vertically, by
means of a weight attached to its inferior extremity; a line of
one hundred and seventy-eight feet in length was run out by this
arrangement, during the following intervals of time, in four
experiments, viz. 1′ 21″--1′ 21″--1′ 19″--1′ 21″, of which the
mean is 1′ 20-1/2″, which would seem to indicate a current of the
velocity of 1 mile 893 yards 1 foot per hour. Thus the average
velocity of ten feet in depth of the current of the Missouri, is
greater by almost 452 yards in a single hour, than {173} that of a
superficial stratum of about six inches depth, during the
ice-bound state of the river. During these experiments the
atmosphere was nearly calm.

25th. Cooked for dinner the entire hump of a bison, after the
manner of the Indians; this favourite part of the animal was
dissected from the vertebræ, after which the spinous processes
were taken out, and the denuded part was covered with skin, which
was firmly sewed to that of the back and sides of the hump; the
hair was burned and pulled off, and the whole mass exhibiting
something of a fusiform shape, was last evening placed in a hole
dug in the earth for its reception, which had been previously
heated by means of a strong fire in and upon it. It was now
covered with cinders and earth, to the depth of about one foot,
and a strong fire was made over it. In this situation it remained
until it was taken up for the table to-day, when it was found to
be excellent food. Mr. Lisa and family dined with us by
invitation. That we have sometimes food in great sufficiency, the
provision upon our table this day will sufficiently attest. It
consisted of the entire bison hump, above mentioned; the rump of a
bison roasted, boiled bison meat, two boiled bison tongues, the
spinous processes roasted in the manner of spare-ribs, sausages
made of minced tender loin and fat, &c. It is true that we have no
vegetables whatever, but having been so long estranged from them,
we scarcely regret their absence. Their place is supplied by
excellent wheat flour, of which our cook prepares us bread fully
equal, in point of excellence, to any that we have ever eaten. The
above repast was prepared for eleven persons, of whom two were
ladies.[201] The collation was succeeded by coffee as a desert.

February 28th. I ascertained the temperature of spring water,
which, however, was somewhat exposed to the atmosphere, but in a
shaded situation, and in a ravine, to be 47°; that of the
atmosphere being at {174} the same time 56°, and that of the river
32°, of Fahrenheit's scale.

Wednesday, March 8th. The Big Elk, Big Eyes, and Wash-co-mo-ne-a
visited us to-day on their way, with their attendants, to the
traders with jerked bison meat. They presented us with five large
pieces. The Big Elk, principal Omawhaw chief, is much pitted with
the smallpox, and is of commanding presence. He speaks with great
emphasis, and remarkably distinct. He observed that we must think
them strange people to be thus constantly wandering about during
the cold of winter, instead of remaining comfortably housed in
their village; "But," said he, "our poverty and necessities compel
us to do so in pursuit of game; yet we sometimes venture forth for
our pleasure, as in the present instance, to visit the white
people, whom we are always delighted to see." Big Eyes is a large
and remarkably muscular man. His nose is that of the European, the
opposite to the Roman curve; he is second chief of the Omawhaws.

The Omawhaw chiefs remained with us the greater part of the
following day, and presented us with eight more pieces of jerked
meat. We presented them in return with some tobacco, &c. The Big
Elk made us a considerable harangue, with all the remarkable
vivacity, fluency, and nerve of Indian eloquence, in which he said
that he would address me by the title of father; "And you," said
he, to Mr. Dougherty, "whom I know so well, I will call brother.
The Indians around," said he, "who tell the white people that they
love them, speak falsely, as is proved by their killing the white
people; but my nation truly love you, they have never stained
their hands with the blood of a white man, and this much cannot be
said by any nation of this land." He added a strong expression,
that such was his attachment to us, that he believed that he
should, at a future day, be a white man himself.

{175} When they took their leave, we advised them not to visit
Camp Missouri, telling them what, in fact, they had already been
informed of, that many of the soldiers were sick; (we did not wish
them to observe the extent of the malady, with which that camp was
afflicted,) but Big Elk remarked, that it had been his intention
to go there, and it was not fear that could prevent him; his life
was at the disposal of the great Wahconda only, and he could not
die before his time; "But," said he, "agreeably to your request I
certainly will not go."

Of all the objects which we exhibited to the view of the chiefs,
quicksilver (mercury) seemed to excite the most surprise; they
weighed the vessel, in which it was contained, in their hands,
dipped their fingers into it, and were surprised at the resistance
which it offered to the immersion, and what appeared most singular
was, that they should be withdrawn without any appearance of
moisture upon them; that they might not be deceived they repeated
the experiment again and again. A couple of iron nails were then
thrown upon the mercury, and as these did not sink to the bottom,
they pressed them down with their fingers; but finding that the
nails constantly arose again to the surface, the Big Elk returned
the vessel to me, saying, with a smile of pleasure strongly
impressed on his strongly marked countenance, that the fluid was
the Omawhaw's Wahconda.

The last load of stone, which was taken from the quarry early in
December last, was prevented from reaching Camp Missouri by the
floating ice; the boat was driven ashore and abandoned. It was now
observed floating down the river, with a large quantity of drift
ice; and, when opposite our cantonment, was readily secured by
Major Ketchum, without having received any injury whatever.[202]
Major Ketchum, with a detachment of men, has been engaged for two
or three days past in cutting out of the ice, three of the boats
from our harbour. These, together with {176} one, which is at Camp
Missouri, are intended to convey the sick from that camp down the
river to Fort Osage. Camp Missouri has been sickly, from the
commencement of winter; but its situation is at this time truly
deplorable. More than three hundred soldiers are, or have been
sick, and nearly one hundred have died. This fatality is
occasioned by the scurvy (scorbutus). Individuals who are seized
rarely recover, as they cannot be furnished with the proper
aliments; they have no vegetables, fresh meat, nor antiscorbutics,
so that the patients grow daily worse, and entering the hospital
is considered by them as a certain passport to the grave. Yet it
is some consolation to reflect that all the science, care, and
attention of the healing art have been exerted for the relief of
the sufferers by Doctors Gale and Moore, as far as their present
insulated situation will admit. The causes which have been
productive of all this disease, are not distinctly known, although
there are many supposed ones to which it has been imputed. But it
was generally remarked, that the hunters, who were much employed
in their avocation, and almost constantly absent from Camp
Missouri, escaped the malady.

On the 19th, Mr. Immel,[203] of the Missouri Fur Company,
returned from an expedition to the Sioux. During his stay in the
vicinity of the pseudo volcanoes, which occur on the banks of the
Missouri, a tremendous subterranean explosion occurred, which much
alarmed the Indians as well as the whites; the concussion was
succeeded by a large volume of dense smoke from the aperture of
the volcano, by the sinking in of a portion of the hill in the
rear, and by the cracking of the ice in the river. Messrs. Peale,
Swift, and Dougherty departed in a periogue yesterday, on their
way to the Bowyer Creek to hunt.

An igneous meteor, or jack-o'-lantern, was seen on the evening of
the 20th, near our cantonment; it was described to me as of the
size of a double fist, {177} with a caudate appendage, or tail, of
the length of about two feet; it emitted a light of the colour of
the flame of burning sulphur; it passed along the river shore
nearly over the observer's head, at but a very small elevation,
nearly in a right line, with an equable motion, about as rapid as
the flight of a bird, and with an audible sound like the blowing
of a moderate stream of air through a thicket; it was visible
about one half a minute, when it crossed the river, became paler,
and disappeared.

The waters of the Missouri have been as clear during the winter as
ordinary rivers; the earthy matter, which they hold in suspension
during the temperate and warm weather, and which every person who
views the river remarks as characteristic of its waters, subsides
as soon as the wintry temperature occurs, but is again renewed in
the spring. They have been gradually more and more turbid, these
two or three days past. The ice in the river broke up on the 29th
ult., and entirely disappeared on the 19th instant.

Great flights of geese, swans, ducks, brant, and cranes have been
passing up the river, at their usual migrating altitude above the
surface of the earth; but this migration of these aquatic birds
has nearly ceased.

April 5th. A war-party of Omawhaws arrived at the trading house of
the Missouri Fur Company. They are one of three parties, which
have been for ten days past in pursuit of a war-party of thirteen
Sauks who carried off a number of horses from near the Omawhaw
village. They pursued the trail of the Sauks, until they lost it
nearly opposite to this place; they, nevertheless, continued the
pursuit in the direction which they supposed the enemy had taken,
but are now returning unsuccessful; they say they are in hopes,
that one of the other parties may overtake them. It seems
probable, that it was this same {178} party of Sauks who fired
upon a soldier on the 30th ult.

6th. The war-party mentioned yesterday visited us this morning, on
their way home. They danced for us, and after receiving bread,
buffaloe meat, and tobacco, departed well pleased. In the
afternoon, another war-party of eleven Omawhaws, who had also been
in pursuit of the same Sauks, arrived. We were notified of their
proximity by hearing their war-song, and going out, we observed
them at a short distance arranged in a line, from the centre of
which were elevated two handsome streamers, which, upon their
approach, we found to be two long lances, to which feathers of
different colours, fancifully arranged, were attached. The
partizan advanced, and made us a speech as usual, in which he gave
an account of their adventures, and concluded by praising the
kindness of the whites, their hospitality, and their greatness in
arts and arms. This address being well understood to aim at food
and lodging, though neither of these were mentioned, we supplied
them with bison meat, bread, and maize, and invited them to remain
with us during the night to rest themselves in comfort and safety.
They immediately sat down, and, the food being portioned out by
one of the warriors, they proceeded to eat with the appearance of
such appetites as convinced us that their fast had been of long
duration. In conversation during the evening the partizan said,
that they had followed a considerable trail, supposing that the
Sauks had taken that direction; that they observed stakes stuck in
the ground at certain distances, and the trees _blazed_ as far as
they went upon that trail. He inquired if we knew the reason of
such marks; he was then informed, that it was to indicate the
course of a road which was to be made in that direction, and that
if he had travelled far enough upon the trail he would have met
with towns of white people, who would have treated him well. After
musing some time, he {179} observed, that they had travelled a
good distance on that route, and having occasion to deviate a
short distance from it, they found when they returned that a white
man and three horses had passed along during their absence; (this
was Lieutenant Fields, the express,) they immediately despatched
two of their young men back to follow him, and to learn if he had
met the fugitive Sauks; but they could not overtake him. "We
continued on," said Naugh-ken-ne (or the Left Hand), "with all
speed; but at length, being almost famished, we were necessitated
to halt and hunt; of course we gave over the pursuit. Not wishing
to return to our nation without obtaining some trophy, we resolved
to go to Nishnebottona, in order to strike upon the Ioways, who,
we had been informed, were at that place; but when we arrived
there, we had the mortification to learn that they were gone; we
must, therefore, return without these poor young men having any
opportunity to distinguish themselves." "Did you not," we asked,
"make peace with the Ioways last season?" "Yes, it is true we made
a kind of peace with them, but you know they are bad men; we do
not like them; the whites do not like them; perhaps it was a party
of that nation, and not Sauks, that stole our horses, and you know
it was very hard to be obliged, after all our difficulties and
starvations, to return to our people without either scalps or
horses. We wished to obtain some trophy that should repay us for
our toils." In the evening they sang for our amusement a number of
tunes, whilst two or three danced as well as they could in our
small chamber. A negro belonging to the Fur Company coming in on
an errand, they spoke of him as the _black white man_, and one of
them jokingly said, he was a Wasabajinga, or little black

The Indians departed early on the 7th, with many thanks for the
attention they had received. Before they went, they presented to
us a wild cat, which {180} they had shot, but we advised them to
keep it to eat on the way home, upon which they thanked us for it,
as if they had never owned it.

11th. We learn that a third war-party of Omawhaws, who departed in
pursuit of the Sauks before either of the others, were met by a
strong party of that nation, who were on their way to the Omawhaw
village; they however escaped from them with the loss of one man
killed and several wounded; the loss of the Sauks is not known.
The party speak highly of one of their number, a boy of twelve
years, who, at a critical juncture of the engagement, ran up to
several of the enemy and flashed his gun three times at them; he
escaped unhurt.


  [189] I. _Vespertilio pruinosus._--Ears large, short,
  not so long as the head, hairy on the exterior side more than
  half their length; _tragus_ very obtuse at tip, arcuated;
  _canine teeth_ large, prominent; _incisors_, only one distinct
  one on each side, placed very near the canine, conic, almost
  on a line with it, and furnished with a small tubercle on its
  exterior base; _nostrils_ distant; _fur_ of the back, long,
  black brown at base, then pale brownish-yellow, then blackish,
  then white; towards the rump dark ferruginous takes the place
  of the brownish-yellow on the fur; _beneath_ the colours are
  similar to those of the back; but on the anterior portion of
  the breast the fur is not tipped with white, and on the throat
  it is dull yellowish-white dusky at base; the brachial
  membrane is densely hairy on the anterior margin beneath;
  interfemoral membrane covered with fur: length nearly 4-1/2

  This bat is common in this region, and was observed by Mr.
  Thomas Nuttall at Council Bluffs. It is a fine large species,
  and remarkable for its many-coloured fur. It has much affinity
  with the New York bat, (V. novaboracensis,) but is more than
  double its size, and is distinguished from it by many minor

  The late professor Barton, presented a specimen of this bat to
  the Philadelphia museum, that had been captured in Philadelphia.

  2. _Vespertilio arquatus._--_Head_ large, _ears_ rather shorter
  than the head, wide, and at tip, rounded, hairy at base,
  posterior edge with two slight and very obtuse emarginations;
  the anterior base distant from the eye; _tragus_ arquated,
  obtuse at tip; interfemoral membrane naked, including the tail
  to one half of the penultimate joint.

  Total length 5 inches: tail 1-1/2 inches.

  Expansion more than 13 inches.

  This bat might be readily mistaken for the Carolina bat,
  (V. carolinensis, Geoff.) which it resembles in colour, but
  differs from it in being of a larger size, the ears broader and
  proportionally shorter, and an arquated tragus, curving in an
  almost luniform manner towards the anterior portion of the ear,
  like that of the V. _serotinus_, Daub. Geoff., though not so
  broad. The upper incisor teeth, like those of several of our
  species of bats, are not prominent; they are very much inclined
  forward, and do not rise at their tips above the level of the
  intermediate callosity.--JAMES.

  [190] 1. _Canis latrans._--Cinereous or gray, varied with
  black above, and dull fulvous, or cinnamon; _hair_ at base
  dusky plumbeous, in the middle of its length dull cinnamon,
  and at tip gray or black, longer on the vertebral line; _ears_
  erect, rounded at tip, cinnamon behind, the hair dark plumbeous
  at base, inside lined with gray hair; _eyelids_ edged with
  black, superior eyelashes black beneath, and at tip above;
  supplemental lid margined with black-brown before, and edged
  with black-brown behind; _iris_ yellow; _pupil_ black-blue;
  spot upon the lachrymal sac black-brown; rostrum cinnamon,
  tinctured with grayish on the nose; _lips_ white, edged with
  black, three series of black seta; _head_ between the ears
  intermixed with gray, and dull cinnamon, hairs dusky plumbeous
  at base; _sides_ paler than the back, obsoletely fasciate with
  black above the legs; _legs_ cinnamon on the outer side, more
  distinct on the posterior hair: a dilated black abbreviated line
  on the anterior ones near the wrist; _tail_ bushy, fusiform,
  straight, varied with gray and cinnamon, a spot near the base
  above, and tip black: the tip of the trunk of the tail, attains
  the tip of the os calcis, when the leg is extended; _beneath_
  white, immaculate; _tail_ cinnamon towards the tip, tip black;
  posterior feet four-toed, anterior five-toed.

                                                       ft. in.
  Total length (excepting the hair at tip of tail)     3   9-1/2
  Trunk of the tail                                    1   0-1/2
  Hind foot os calcis to tip of claw                   0   7-1/5
  Fore foot elbow to tip of claw                       1   0-3/4
  Ears from top of head                                0   4
  Rostrum from anterior can thus of the eye            0   3-3/4

  Taken in a trap, baited with the body of a wild cat.

  The line on the anterior side of the anterior feet, near the
  wrist, is wanting in a second specimen.

  This species varies very much in size; another specimen

                                                       ft.  in.
  In total length (excepting the hair at tip of tail)  3    2-1/2
  Tail (excepting the hair at tip of tail)             0   11-3/4
  Ear from top of head to tip                          0    3-5/8

  The snout was narrower than in the preceding specimens, but in
  colour similar.

  Another specimen was destitute of the cinnamon colour,
  excepting on the snout, where it was but slightly apparent;
  the general colour was, therefore, gray with an intermixture
  of black, in remote spots and lines, varying in position and
  figure with the direction of the hair.

  2. _Canis nubilus._--Dusky, the hair cinereous at base, then
  brownish-black, then gray, then black; the proportion of black
  upon the hair is so considerable as to give to the whole
  animal a much darker colour than the darkest of the _latrans_;
  but the gray of the hairs combining with the black tips, in
  the general effect, produce a mottled appearance; the gray
  colour, predominates on the lower part of the sides; _ears_
  short, deep brownish-black, with a patch of gray hair on the
  anterior side within; _muzzle_ blackish above; _superior
  lips_, anterior to the canine teeth, gray; _inferior jaw_ at
  tip, and extending in a narrowed line backwards, nearly to the
  origin of the neck, gray; _beneath_ dusky ferruginous,
  greyish, with long hair between the hind thighs, and with a
  large white spot on the breast; the ferruginous colour is very
  much narrowed on the neck, but is dilated on the lower part of
  the cheeks; _legs_ brownish-black, with but a slight admixture
  of gray hairs, excepting on the anterior edge of the hind
  thighs, and the lower edgings of the toes, where the gray
  predominates; the _tail_ is short, fusiform, a little tinged
  with ferruginous black above, near the base and at tip, the
  tip of the trunk hardly attaining to the os calcis; the longer
  hairs of the back, particularly over the shoulders, resemble a
  short sparse mane.

                                                             ft.  in.

  Length from the tip of the nose to the origin of the tail   4   3-3/4

  Length of the trunk of the tail                             1   1

  Ear, from anterior angle to the tip                         0   3-3/4

  From the anterior angle of the ear, to the posterior
  canthus of the eye,                                         0   4-3/4

  From anterior canthus of the eye, to the middle of the
  tip of the nose,                                            0   5-1/2

  Between the anterior angles of the ears, rather more than   0   3

  The aspect of this animal is far more fierce and formidable than
  either the common red wolf, or the prairie wolf, and is of a
  more robust form. The length of the ears and tail distinguish
  it at once from the former, and its greatly superior size,
  besides the minor characters of colour, &c., separate it from
  the prairie wolf. As the black wolf (C. lycaon,) is described to
  be of a deep and uniform black colour, and his physiognomy is
  represented to be nearly the same as that of the common wolf, it
  is beyond a doubt different from this species. It has the mane
  of the _mexicanus_. It diffuses a strong and disagreeable odour,
  which scented the clothing of Messrs. Peale and Dougherty, who
  transported the animal several miles from where they killed it
  to the cantonment.

  1. _Sylvia celatus._--_Above_ dull greenish-olive; _rump_ and
  _tail coverts_ purer greenish-olive; _primaries_ and _tail
  feathers_ blackish-brown, olive-green on the exterior margins,
  and white on the interior margin; _head_ very slightly and
  inconspicuously crested; _crest_ with the feathers orange at
  base; _bill_ horn colour, slender, base of the inferior
  mandible whitish beneath; _beneath_ olivaceous yellow;
  _inferior tail coverts_ pure yellow; _legs_ dusky.

  Length 5-1/4 inches.

  Shot at Engineer Cantonment early in May. This bird is
  distinguished by the colour of the feathers on the crown of
  the head, which are of a fulvous colour, tipped with the same
  colour as that of the neck and back, so that the fulvous
  colour does not appear at first sight. The wings are destitute
  of any white band, and the margins of the six exterior
  primaries are much paler than those of the others. We cannot
  find any description of this bird; it seems, however, to
  approach nearest to the S. _leucogastra_, Steph., Nashville
  warbler of Wilson; but in our specimen the belly is not white,
  neither does Wilson's description of the colour of the head of
  his Nashville warbler agree at all with that of our bird.

  2. _Sylvia bifasciata._--Above bluish; all beneath white;
  _head_ highly varied with darker; between the eyes and bill
  blackish; _bill_ black; _interscapulars_ lineate with
  blackish; _wings_ blackish; _shoulders_ bluish; _wing coverts_
  with two white bands; _primaries_ margined with white on the
  inner side, and with plumbeous on the exterior side; _tail_
  black; _feathers_ blackish, white on the inner margin, and
  plumbeous on the exterior margin; and, excepting the two
  middle ones, with a white spot on the inner side, near the
  tip; _flanks_ spotted with plumbeous; _feet_ black.

  Length rather more than 4-3/4 inches.

  Shot in May, near Engineer Cantonment. This species seems to
  approach very closely to S. cærulea.

  _Genus Limosa_, CUV.

  _Limosa scolopacea._--Dusky cinereous; _bill_, straight; upper
  mandible a little longer, and very slightly arquated towards
  the tip; the grooves continue to near the tip, about as long
  again as the head, yellowish green; _tip_ black, dilated,
  rugose, with a dorsal groove; _palate_ with reflected,
  cartilaginous spines; _head_ with a line from the upper
  mandible, passing over the eye and inferior orbit; white
  _cheeks_, _chin_, _throat_, and origin of the _breast_,
  cinereous; the plumage margined with dull whitish; _back_
  beneath the interscapulars, white; _rump_, plumage white,
  fasciate with black; _tail coverts_, and _tail_ white fasciate
  with black, which latter colour is more abundant; _lesser wing
  coverts_ margined with whitish; _greater wing coverts_ black,
  terminal margin white: _secondaries_ black, margin and
  submargin white; _primaries_ black, interior ones very
  slightly edged with white; _outer shaft_ white, a little
  longer than the second; _breast_ and _belly_ white; _sides_
  spotted or undulated with blackish cinereous; _inferior tail
  coverts_ with black abbreviated bands, the white prevailing;
  _feet_ dirty greenish; _toes_ webbed at base, the exterior one
  reaching the first joint of outer toe, the interior one very
  short; _hind toe_ rather long.

  Length from tip of bill to that of the tail,                  11-3/4
  Length of bill,                                                2-3/4
  Length of feet,                                                5-3/4
  Length from the knee to the origin of the feathers,            1-1/10

  Tail projecting more than one inch beyond the tip of the wing.

  Several specimens were shot in a pond near the Bowyer creek.
  Corresponds with the genus scolopax, Cuv. in having the dorsal
  grooves at the tip of the upper mandible, and in having this
  part dilated and rugose; but the eye is not large, nor is it
  placed far back upon the head; which two latter characters,
  combined with its more elevated and slender figure, and the
  circumstance of the thighs being denudated of feathers high
  above the knee, and the exterior toe being united to the middle
  toe by a membrane, which extends as far as the first joint,
  and the toes being also margined, combine to distinguish this
  species from those of the genus to which the form and characters
  of its bill would refer it, and approach it more closely to
  _limosa_. In one specimen the two exterior primaries on each
  wing were light brown, but the quills were white. It may perhaps
  with propriety be considered as the type of a new genus, and
  under the following characters, be placed between the genera
  scolopax and limosa.

  _Bill_ longer than the head, dilated and rugose at tip: _tip_
  slightly curved downwards, and with a dorsal groove: _nasal
  groove_ elongated; _feet_ long, an extensive naked space above
  the knee; _toes_ slightly margined, a membrane connecting the
  basal joints of the exterior toes; first of the primaries
  rather longest.

  _Genus Pelidna_, CUV.

  1. _Pelidna pectoralis._--_Bill_ black, reddish-yellow at
  base; upper mandible with a few indented punctures near the
  tip; _head_ above black, plumage margined with ferruginous, a
  distinct brown line from the eye to the upper mandible;
  _cheeks_ and _neck_ beneath cinereous very slightly tinged
  with rufous, and lineate with blackish; _orbits_ and line over
  the eye white; _chin_ white; _neck_ above dusky, plumage
  margined with cinereous, _scapulars_, _interscapulars_, and
  _wing coverts_ black, margined with ferruginous, and near the
  exterior tips with whitish; _primaries_ dusky, slightly edged
  with whitish, outer quill shaft white; _back_, (beneath the
  interscapulars, _rump_) and _tail coverts_ black, immaculate;
  _tail feathers_ dusky, margined with white at tip, two
  intermediate ones longest, acute, attaining the tip of the
  wings, black, edged with ferruginous: _breast_, _venter_,
  _vent_ and _inferior tail coverts_ white, plumage blackish at
  base; _sides_ white, the plumage towards the tail slightly
  lineate with dusky; _feet_ greenish-yellow; _toes_ divided to
  the base.

  Length nearly     9     inches.
  Bill              1-1/8 inches.

  This bird in many respects resembles _cinclus_, but as the
  average size of that bird is stated at seven inches and one or
  two lines, ours is doubtless a distinct species. Many flocks
  of them were seen at Engineer Cantonment, both in the spring
  and autumn, the individuals of which corresponded in point of
  magnitude: we add a description for the information of
  ornithologists. It is described from a specimen in the
  autumnal plumage. In the spring dress, the colour of the
  superior part of the bird is much paler, almost destitute of
  black, and the feathers are brownish, margined with pale
  cinereous; the superior part of the head is always darker than
  any part of the neck, and margined with ferruginous; the
  plumage of the neck beneath, and the breast, does not appear
  to be subject to so much change, as that of the superior part
  of the body.

  2. _Pelidna cinclus._ VAR.--Above blackish-brown, plumage
  edged with cinereous, or whitish; _head_ and _neck_ above
  cinereous with dilated fuscous lines; _eyebrows_ white; a
  brown line between the eye and corner of the mouth, above
  which the front is white; _cheeks_, _sides of the neck_, and
  _throat_, cinereous, lineate with blackish-brown; _bill_
  short, straight, black; _chin_, _breast_, _belly_, _vent_, and
  _inferior tail coverts_ pure white, plumage plumbeous at base;
  _scapulars_ and _lesser wing coverts_ margined with white;
  _greater wing coverts_ with a broad white tip; _primaries_
  surpassing the tip of the tail, blackish, slightly edged with
  whitish, exterior shaft white, shafts whitish on the middle of
  their length; _rump_ blackish, plumage margined at tip with
  cinereous tinctured with rufous; _tail coverts_ white,
  submargins black; _tail feathers_ cinereous margined with
  white, two middle ones slightly longer, black, margined with
  white; _legs_ blackish. A male.

  Length to tip of tail      7   inches.
  Bill                       7/8 of an inch.

  This bird was shot in November, near Engineer Cantonment, and
  it is probably a variety of the very variable _cinclus_ in its
  winter plumage.--JAMES.

  [191] A sketch of Big Elk is given in Bradbury's _Travels_,
  volume v of our series, note 52.--ED.

  [192] Some reminiscences of White Cow (or White Buffalo), will
  be found in Nebraska Historical Society _Transactions_, i, p. 79
  _et seq._--ED.

  [193] Joshua Pilcher was a Virginian who came to St. Louis when
  a young man, during the War of 1812-15, and there plied his
  trade of hatter. He became a director of the bank of St. Louis,
  and entered the Missouri Fur Company upon its organization,
  succeeding Manuel Lisa as president upon the latter's death.
  Upon the dissolution of this company, he was for a time
  at Council Bluffs in charge of the American Fur Company's
  interests. He succeeded William Clark as superintendent of
  Indian affairs (1838), holding the position until his death, in

  [194] _Coluber flaviventris._--Olivaceous, beneath yellow;
  inferior jaw beneath white; scales destitute of carina.

  Description. _Body_ above, olivaceous; tinged with brown on the
  vertebræ; _scales_ impunctured at tip, posterior edges and basal
  edge black; _skin_ black, beneath yellow, rather paler behind;
  _inferior jaw_ beneath white to the origin of the plates; _head_
  with nine plates above, two longitudinal series, of about four
  large scales each, intervening on each side between the two
  posterior plates and the three posterior supermaxillary plates;
  intermaxillary plate somewhat heptagonal, dilated, emarginate at
  the mouth, superior angle obtusely pointed; _eye_ black-brown,
  pupil deep black, surrounded by a whitish line, posterior
  canthus with two plates.

            Plates 176, scales 84
            Plates 174,   -    ——

                                                         ft.   in.
  Total length                                           3     4-1/2
  Tail                                                         8-5/8
  Head, to the tip of the maxillary bones                      1-3/20

      Another specimen, plates 130, scales 91.
  Total length                                           3     11-3/8
  Tail                                                         11-1/2

  Three specimens were found. The inferior surface of one was
  immaculate, but that of the smaller one had on each side of
  the plates an obsolete double series of reddish-brown spots,
  irregularly alternate on each side; these were so indistinct
  as not to be noticed at the first glance of the eye. The tip
  of the tail in this last is deficient.

  2. _Coluber parietalis._--Above blackish, with three yellowish
  fillets, and about eighty red concealed spots; beneath bluish;
  a series of black dots each side.

  Description. _Body_ above black-brown, a vertebral greenish
  yellow vitta, and a lateral pale yellow one, beneath which is
  a fuliginous shade; between the dorsal and lateral vitta are
  about eighty concealed red spots or semifasciæ, formed upon the
  skin and lateral margins of the scales, obsolete towards the
  cloaca, at which the series terminates; _scales_ elongated,
  all carinate, and slightly reflexed at the lateral edges;
  _head_ dark olive, beneath white, _parietal plates_ with a
  double white spot at the middle of the suture; _intermaxillary
  plate_ subhexagonal, emarginate at the mouth, and at tip hardly
  angulated, almost rounded in that part, transverse diameter
  nearly double the longitudinal; _superior maxillary plates_
  white, intermediate sutures blackish; _eye_ yellowish, pupil
  black, posterior canthus two-scaled, beneath bluish green, a
  longitudinal series of black dots each side at the base of the
  scuta, terminating at the cloaca.

  Plates 165, scales 88.

                   ft.    in.
  Total length      1     3-3/10
  Tail                    4-9/10

  This is a common serpent in this section of country. In order
  to render the lateral red spots very apparent, it is necessary
  to dilate the skin, when they exhibit a very striking
  character, being of a vermilion red. It varies in having the
  lateral series of red spots alternating with a series of
  smaller red spots nearer to the dorsal line.

  In common with _ordinatus_ it has a double common white spot
  on the parietal plates, and a series of black spots on each
  side of the interior surface of the body; but in addition to
  the proportions of plates, and scales, and length of tail, the
  red colour of the lateral concealed spots very sufficiently
  denotes its specific dissimilarity from that most common of
  the serpents of the United States.

  3. _Coluber proximus._--Body above black, trilineate,
  vertebral line ocraceous, lateral one yellowish, a double
  white spot on the parietal plates.

  Description. _Body_ above black, with three vittæ; vertebral
  vitta ocraceous, occupying the dorsal series of scales and a
  moiety of each one of the second series each side; lateral
  vitta greenish-yellow, occupying more than the moiety of the
  seven and eight series of scales: beneath the lateral vitta
  the black is tinged with greenish-blue; _head_ with seven
  olivaceous plates above; parietal ones with a double, white,
  longitudinal spot: _intermaxillary plate_ pentangular, the
  superior termination obtusely rounded; _posterior canthus of
  the eye_ three-scaled, of which the two inferior ones are
  white; _anterior canthus_ white; _supermaxillary plates_
  bluish-green; _maxillary angles_ with a small black dot;
  _inferior maxilla_ white beneath; beneath pale greenish-blue.

  Plates 178, scales 86.

  Total length                          2 ft. 7-1/4 in.
  Tail                                        7-3/4 in.

  Resembles _Coluber saurita_, _ordinatus_ and _parietalis_.
  Numerous longitudinal, abbreviated white lines, may be
  observed by dilating the black portion of the skin as in
  _ordinatus_; these lines or spots are obsolete upon the neck
  and upon the posterior portion of the body. The extreme tip of
  the tail is wanting in this specimen.

  It differs from _saurita_ in the numerical proportion which
  its subcaudal scales bear to its plates; from _ordinatus_ it
  may be distinguished by being destitute of the two series of
  black points beneath; it is a much more slender serpent than
  _parietalis_, and the tail is proportionally longer.--JAMES.

  [195] The name of this dance is apparently a derivative of the
  Canadian-French _gingue_ (_se mettre en_), meaning to engage in
  the gaiety of a lively company. The verb _ginguer_ means to run
  or jump hither and thither; it is a derivative of the Norman
  _giguer_, which has the same meaning.--ED.

  [196] Lucien Fontenelle, born in New Orleans of French parents,
  fled from his home when fifteen years of age, and engaged in the
  fur-trade at St. Louis. Later he became a leader in the mountain
  explorations of the American Fur Company. His wife was an Omaha
  woman, and some of his descendants were prominent in the history
  of Nebraska; a son, Logan Fontenelle, became a chief of the
  Omaha tribe. Fontenelle is supposed by some to have committed
  suicide at Fort Laramie, about 1836, but the manner of his death
  is uncertain.--ED.

  [197] The Gens des Feuilles (People of the Leaves) were the
  Assiniboin tribe of the Siouan family. Lewis and Clark reported
  their numbers at two hundred and fifty men. At that time they
  lived on White River, in South Dakota.--ED.

  [198] In Dickinson County, Iowa.--ED.

  [199] Sha-mon-e-kus-se.--JAMES.

  [200] Loup (Wolf) River is a large northern tributary of
  the Platte, which empties into the latter a few miles below
  Columbus, Platte County. It rises in the arid sand hills of
  northwestern Nebraska, and flows southeast for three hundred
  miles to the confluence. It is sometimes called the Pawnee Loup
  River, from the dominant Indian tribe on its waters.--ED.

  [201] One of the ladies was Madam Lisa; the name of the other is
  not known. They are supposed to have been the first white women
  to ascend the Missouri to this point.--ED.

  [202] Daniel Ketchum owed his title of major to a brevet awarded
  for distinguished services at the battle of Niagara Falls.
  He entered the army early in the war as second lieutenant in
  the 25th Infantry, and rose through a first lieutenancy to a
  captaincy in 1813. He died in 1828.--ED.

  [203] Little is recorded concerning this individual. His name
  was probably Michael, and he had been a United States army
  officer. The circumstances of his death are better known than
  the incidents of his life, he having been killed by the Indians
  (1823) on the Yellowstone.--ED.

  [204] Compare the astonishment of the Indians at the appearance
  of Captain Clark's negro servant York, in Thwaites, _Original
  Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition_, index.--ED.

{181} CHAPTER X[205]

  Account of the Omawhaws--Their manners and customs, and
  religious rites--Historical notices of Black Bird, late
  principal chief.

A great portion of the information contained in the following
pages, respecting the Missouri Indians, and particularly the
Omawhaws, was obtained from Mr. John Dougherty, deputy Indian
agent for the Missouri, who had an excellent opportunity of making
himself acquainted with the natives, by residing for a time in the
Omawhaw village, and by visiting all the different nations of this

This gentleman with great patience, and in the most obliging
manner, answered all the questions which I proposed to him,
relating to such points in their manners, habits, opinions, and
history, as we had no opportunity of observing ourselves. And we
have much to regret that it is not in our power to present the
reader with a biographical sketch of this amiable and intrepid

The permanent Omawhaw village is situate on Omawhaw Creek, within
two and a half miles of the Missouri river, and about one hundred
miles by water above Engineer Cantonment, and seventy by land. It
consists of dirt lodges, similar to those of the Konzas already
described. Omawhaw creek takes its rise from the bluffs in the
rear of the village, and discharges into the river at the distance
of seven miles below. About two miles from the town it dilates
into a large pond, which is filled with luxuriant {182} aquatic
plants, amongst which the zizania and nelumbium, are particularly
worthy of note both for their beauty and importance for economical
purposes. A fertile prairie, of the length of four miles by one
mile and three quarters wide, is outspread in front of the
village, and is bounded near the river by a narrow line of timber.

The inhabitants occupy their village not longer than five months
in the year. In April they arrive from their hunting excursions,
and in the month of May they attend to their horticultural
interests, and plant maize, beans, pumpkins, and water-melons,
besides which they cultivate no other vegetable. They also at this
season dress the bison skins, which have been procured during the
winter hunt, for the traders, who generally appear for the purpose
of obtaining them. The young men, in the mean time, are employed
in hunting within the distance of seventy or eighty miles around
for beaver, otter, deer, musk-rat, elk, &c.

When the trading and planting occupations of the people are
terminated, and provisions begin to fail them, which occurs
generally in June, the chiefs assemble a council for the purpose
of deliberating upon the further arrangements necessary to be
made. This assembly decrees a feast to be prepared on a certain
day, to which all the distinguished men of the nation are to be
invited, and one of their number is appointed to have it prepared
in his own lodge. On the return of this individual to his
dwelling, he petitions his squaws to have pity on him, and proceed
to clean and adjust the apartment, to spread the mats and skins
for seats, and to collect wood and bring water for cooking. He
requests them to provide three or four large kettles, to prepare
the maize, and to kill their fattest dog for a feast. The squaws
generally murmur at this last proposition, being reluctant to
sacrifice these animals, which are so serviceable to them in
carrying burdens, like the dogs of the oberrating Tartars; but
when they are informed {183} of the honour that awaits them, of
feasting all the distinguished men, they undertake their duties
with pride and satisfaction.

When they have performed their part, the squaws give notice to the
husband, who then calls two or three old public criers to his
lodge; he invites them to be seated near him, and after the
ceremony of smoking, he addresses them in a low voice, directing
them to pass through the village, and invite the individuals whom
he names to them, to honour him by their presence at the feast,
which is now prepared, "Speak in a loud voice," says he, "and tell
them to bring their bowls and spoons." The criers having thus
received their instructions, sally out together, and in concert
sing aloud as they pass in various directions through the village.
In this song of invitation, the names of all the elect are
mentioned. Having performed this duty, they return to the lodge,
and are soon followed by the chiefs and warriors.

The host seats himself in the back part of the lodge facing the
entrance, where he remains during the ceremony.

If the host is invested with the dignity of chief, he directs
those who enter, where to seat themselves, so that the chiefs may
be arranged on one side, and the warriors on the other; if he is a
warrior, he seats the principal chief of the village by his side,
who whispers in his ear the situation which those who enter ought
to occupy; this intimation is repeated aloud by the host.

When the guests are all arranged, the pipe is lighted, and the
indispensable ceremony of smoking succeeds.

The principal chief, Ongpatonga, then rises, and extending his
expanded hand towards each in succession,[206] gives thanks to
them individually by name, for the honour {184} of their company,
and requests their patient attention to what he is about to say.
He then proceeds somewhat in the following manner. "Friends and
relatives: we are assembled here for the purpose of consulting
respecting the proper course to pursue in our next hunting
excursion, or whether the quantity of provisions at present on
hand, will justify a determination to remain here to weed our
maize. If it be decided to depart immediately, the subject to be
then taken into view will be the direction, extent, and object
of our route; whether it would be proper to ascend Running-Water
creek, (Ne-bra-ra, or Spreading water), or the Platte, (Ne-bres-kuh,
or Flat water), or hunt the bison between the sources of those two
streams; or whether we shall proceed farther, towards the black
hills of the south-west, in pursuit of wild horses, &c."

Having thus disclosed the business of the council, he is
frequently succeeded by an old chief, who thanks him for his
attention to their wants, and advises the assembly to pay great
attention to what he has said, as he is a man of truth, of
knowledge, and of bravery; he further assures them, that they have
ample cause to return thanks to the great Wahconda or Master of
life, for having sent such a man amongst them.

The assembly then take the subject into consideration, and after
much conversation, determine upon a route, which Ongpatonga
proposed in his speech. This chief, previous to the council, is
careful to ascertain the opinions and wishes of his people, and he
speaks accordingly.

He sometimes, however, meets with opposition from persons who
propose other hunting grounds, but their discourses are filled
with compliments to his superior knowledge and good sense.

The proceedings of the council are uniformly conducted with the
most perfect good order and decorum.

{185} Each speaker carefully abstains from militating against the
sensibility of any of his hearers, and uncourteous expressions
towards each other on these occasions, are never heard. Generally
at each pause of the speaker, the audience testify their
approbation aloud, by the interjection _heh_; and as they believe
that he has a just right to his own opinions, however absurd they
may appear to be, and opposite to their own, the expression of
them excites no reprehension, and if they cannot approve, they do
not condemn, unless urged by necessity.

During the council, the criers remain seated near the fire
listening to the proceedings, and at the same time attending to
the culinary apparatus, as neither the squaws nor the children are

When the food is sufficiently cooked, the criers remove the
kettles from the fire, and, at the proper time, one of them takes
up a portion of the soup in a spoon, and after presenting it
towards each of the cardinal points with one hand, whilst the
other is elevated, and the palm extended, he casts it into the
ashes of the fire; a small piece of the choice part of the meat is
also sacrificed to the great Wahconda with the same formality, and
is doubtless intended as an impetratory oblation.

They then serve out the food to the guests, placing the best
portions of it before the chiefs. Each individual on the
reception of his portion, returns his thanks to the host in
such respectful expressions as become his relative consequence,
as How-je-ne-ha--How-we-sun-guh--How-na-ga-ha, &c.; thank you
father--thank you younger brother--thank you uncle, &c., after
which they eat in silence. The criers help themselves out of the
kettles, but are careful to leave a portion in those that are
borrowed, to compensate for their use.

The feast terminated, the ceremony of smoking succeeds, after
which, the business and enjoyments of the council being concluded,
the guests rise up in {186} succession, and returning thanks to
the host, pass out of the lodge in an orderly manner, first the
warriors and afterwards the chiefs.

The criers now sing through the village in praise of the host,
thanking him before the people for his hospitality, repeating also
the names of the chiefs who were present, and thanking them for
their kindness to the old criers, who, they say, are disqualified
by age for any other occupations than those of eating, smoking,
and talking; they also communicate to the people the resolutions
of the council.

The prospect of a journey is highly grateful to the squaws, who
lose no time in preparing for the day of departure, by actively
and assiduously occupying themselves in mending mockasins and
other clothing, preparing their pack-saddles and dog-sleds, and
depositing in the earth, for safe keeping, all the moveables which
are not to be transported with them on the journey.

The men in the mean time amuse themselves with hunting, playing
with the hoop and stick, cards, dancing, &c.; whilst at night the
young warriors and beaux are occupied with affairs of gallantry,
or contriving assignations. The young men also adorn themselves
with paint, and do honour to chiefs and distinguished braves, by
dancing in their respective lodges.

The day assigned for their departure having arrived, the squaws
load their horses and dogs, and take as great a weight upon their
own backs as they can conveniently transport, and, after having
closed the entrances to their several habitations, by placing a
considerable quantity of brushwood before them, the whole nation
departs from the village.

Those affluent chiefs and warriors who are the owners of many
horses, are enabled to mount their families on horseback, but the
greater portion {187} of the young men and squaws are necessarily

Many of the latter, besides the heavy load upon their backs,
surmounted perhaps by an infant, lead a horse with one hand, on
the load of which another child is often placed, and properly
secured there in a sitting posture. In the other hand they often
bear a heavy staff of wood, sharpened to a broad edge at one end
for the purpose of digging up the _Nu-ga-re_, or ground-apple,
called by the French _Pomme blanche_; a root resembling a long
turnip, about the size of a hen's egg, with a rough thick skin,
and hard pith. It is sometimes eaten raw, and has a sweet taste,
but is rather dry; or it is dried in the sun, and pulverized; in
this state it furnishes the chief ingredient of an excellent soup.

The men scatter about in every direction to reconnoitre the
country for enemies and game; but, notwithstanding the constant
activity of the hunters, the people are often much necessitated
for food previously to their arrival within view of the bisons, an
interval of fifteen or twenty days.

When at length the highly welcome news is brought of the proximity
of a herd of these animals, the nation proceeds to encamp at the
nearest water-course.

The travelling huts, or as they are usually denominated, skin
lodges, are neatly folded up, and suspended to the pack-saddle of
the horse, for the purpose of transportation. The poles intended
to sustain it are at one extremity, laid upon the neck of the
horse, whilst the opposite end trails upon the ground behind. When
pitched, the skin lodge is of a high conic form; they are
comfortable, effectually excluding the rain, and in cold weather a
fire is kindled in the centre, the smoke of which passes off
through the aperture in the top; on one side of this aperture is a
small triangular wing of skin, which serves for a cover {188} in
rainy weather, and during the rigors of winter to regulate the
ascent of the smoke. The doorway is a mere opening in the skin,
and closed when necessary by the same material. They are often
fancifully ornamented on the exterior, with figures, in blue and
red paint, rudely executed, though sometimes depicted with no
small degree of taste.

The hunters, who are in advance of the main body on the march,
resort to telegraphic signals, from an elevated position, to
convey to the people information respecting their discoveries. If
they see bisons, they throw up their robes in a peculiar manner,
as a signal for a halt; another disposition of the robe intimates
the proximity of an enemy; and if one of their party has been
killed, two of the survivors communicate the intelligence by
running towards each other from a little distance, and on passing,
one of them casts himself upon the earth.

On perceiving these latter signals, the warriors of the nation
cast the burdens from the horses, and with their martial weapons
ride in full speed to meet them, exhibiting more the appearance of
a race, than an ordinary advance to mortal combat.

The hunters, after making the signal for bisons, to induce the
people to halt and encamp, return as expeditiously as possible,
and on their approach are received with some ceremony. The chiefs
and magi are seated in front of their people, puffing smoke from
their pipes, and thanking the Master of life, with such
expressions as "How-wa-con-da," "Thanks Master of life,"--
"Thank you, Master of life, here is smoke, I am poor, hungry, and
want to eat." The hunters draw near to the chiefs and magi, and in
a low tone of voice inform them of the discovery of bisons. They
are questioned as to the number, and reply by holding up to the
view some small sticks in a horizontal position, {189} and compare
one herd at a stated distance with this stick, and another with
that, &c.

It is then the business of some old man or crier to harangue the
people, informing them of the discovery, requesting the squaws to
keep in good heart, telling them they have endured many hardships
with fortitude, that there is now a termination to their
difficulties for the present, and that on the morrow the men will
go in pursuit of the bisons, and without doubt bring them plenty
of meat.

On all occasions of public rejoicings, festivals, dances, or
general hunts, a certain number of resolute warriors are
previously appointed, to preserve order, and keep the peace. In
token of their office they paint themselves entirely black;
usually wear the _crow_, and arm themselves with a whip or
war-club, with which they punish on the spot those who misbehave,
and are at once both judges and executioners. Thus, at the bison
hunts, they knock down or flog those whose manœuvres tend to
frighten the game, before all are ready, or previously to their
having arrived at the proper point, from which to sally forth upon

Four or five such officers, or soldiers, are appointed at a
council of the chiefs, held in the evening, to preserve order
amongst the hunters for the succeeding day.

On the following morning, all the men, excepting the superannuated,
depart early in pursuit of the favourite game. They are generally
mounted, armed with bows and arrows. The soldiers of the day
accompany the rapidly moving cavalcade on foot, armed with
war-clubs, and the whole are preceded by a footman bearing a pipe.

On coming in sight of the herd, the hunters talk kindly to their
horses, applying to them the endearing names of father, brother,
uncle, &c.; they petition them not to fear the bisons, but to run
well, {190} and keep close to them, but at the same time to avoid
being gored.

The party having approached as near to the herd as they suppose
the animals will permit, without taking alarm, they halt, to give
the pipe-bearer an opportunity to perform the ceremony of smoking,
which is considered necessary to their success. He lights his
pipe, and remains a short time with his head inclined, and the
stem of the pipe extended towards the herd. He then smokes, and
puffs the smoke towards the bisons, towards the heavens, and the
earth, and finally to the cardinal points successively. These last
they distinguish by the terms _sunrise_, _sunset_, _cold country_,
and _warm country_ or they designate them collectively, by the
phrase of the _four winds_, _Ta-da-sa-ga-to-ba_.

The ceremony of smoking being performed, the word for starting is
given by Ongpatonga. They immediately separate into two bands, who
pass in full speed to the right and left, and perform a
considerable circuit, with the object of enclosing the herd, at a
considerable interval, between them.

They then close in upon the animals, and each man endeavours to
kill as many of them as his opportunity permits.

It is upon this occasion that the Indians display their
horsemanship, and dexterity in archery. Whilst in full run they
discharge the arrow with an aim of much certainty, so that it
penetrates the body of the animal behind the shoulder. If it
should not bury itself so deeply as they wish, they are often
known to ride up to the enraged animal and withdraw it. They
observe the direction and depth to which the arrow enters, in
order to ascertain whether or not the wound is mortal, of which
they can judge with a considerable degree of exactness; when a
death-wound is inflicted, the hunter raises a shout of exultation,
to prevent others from pursuing the individual of which {191} he
considers himself certain. He then passes in pursuit of another,
and so on, until his quiver is exhausted, or the game has passed
beyond his further pursuit.

The force of the arrow, when discharged by a dexterous and
athletic Indian, is very great, and we were even credibly
informed, that under favourable circumstances, it has been known
to pass entirely through the body of a bison, and actually to fly
some distance, or fall to the ground on the opposite side of the

Notwithstanding the apparent confusion of this engagement, and
that the same animal is sometimes feathered by arrows from
different archers, before he is despatched, or considered mortally
wounded, yet as each man knows his own arrows from all others, and
can also estimate the nature of the wound, whether it would
produce a speedy death to the animal, quarrels respecting the
right of property in the prey seldom occur, and it is consigned to
the more fortunate individual, whose weapon penetrated the most
vital part.

The chase having terminated, each Indian can trace back his
devious route to the starting-place, so as to recover any small
article he may have lost.

This surrounding chase the Omawhaws distinguish by the name of

A fleet horse well trained to the hunt, runs at the proper
distance, with the reins thrown upon his neck, parallel with the
bison, turns as he turns, and does not cease to exert his speed
until the shoulder of the animal is presented, and the fatal arrow
is implanted there. He then complies with the motion of his rider,
who leans to one side, in order to direct his course to another
bison. Such horses as these are reserved by their owners
exclusively for the chase, and are but rarely subjected to the
drudgery of carrying burdens.

When the herd has escaped, and those that are {192} only wounded
or disabled are secured, the hunters proceed to flay and cut up
the slain.

Formerly, when the chiefs possessed a greater share of power than
they now do, one of them would advance towards a carcass which
struck his fancy, either from its magnitude or fatness, and the
rightful owner would relinquish it to him without a word; but they
now seldom put the generosity of the people thus to the test.

Some individual will usually offer his bison to the medicine,
either voluntarily, or at the request of a chief, and on the
succeeding day it is cooked, and all the distinguished men are
invited to partake of the feast.

In the operation of butchering, a considerable knowledge of the
anatomical structure of the animal is exhibited, in laying open
the muscles properly, and extending them out into the widest and
most entire surfaces, by a judicious dissection.

If they are much pressed by hunger, they in the first place open
the flank in order to obtain the kidneys, which are then eaten
without waiting for the tardy process of culinary preparation.

A hunter who has been unsuccessful, assists some one in skinning
and cutting up, after which he thrusts his knife in the part he
wishes for his own share, and it is given to him.

If the squaws should arrive, the knife is resigned to them, whilst
the men retire a short distance from the scene, to smoke and rest

The slaughtered animals are chiefly, and almost exclusively, cows
selected from the herd; the bulls being eatable only in the months
of May and June.

Every eatable part of the animal is carried to the camp and
preserved, excepting the feet and the head; but the brains are
taken from the skull for the purpose of dressing the skin, or
converting it into Indian leather. Those skins which are obtained
during this season are known by the name _Summer skins_, and {193}
are used in the construction of their skin lodges, and for their
personal cloathing for summer wear.

Three squaws will transport all the pieces of the carcass of a
bison, excepting the skin, to the camp, if the latter is at any
moderate distance; and it is their province to prepare the meat,
&c. for keeping.

The vertebræ are comminuted by means of stone-axes, similar to
those which are not unfrequently ploughed up out of the earth in
the Atlantic states; the fragments are then boiled, and the rich
fat or medulla which rises, is carefully skimmed off and put up in
bladders for future use. The muscular coating of the stomach is
dried; the smaller intestines are cleaned and inverted, so as to
include the fat that had covered their exterior surface, and then
dried; the larger intestines, after being cleaned, are stuffed
with meat, and cooked for present eating.

The meat, with the exception of that of the shoulders, or hump, as
it is called, is then dissected with much skill into large thin
slices, and dried in the sun, or jerked over a slow fire on a low

The bones of the thighs, to which a small quantity of flesh is
left adhering, are placed before the fire until the meat is
sufficiently roasted, when they are broken, and the meat and
marrow afford a most delicious repast. These, together with the
tongue and hump, are esteemed the best parts of the animals.

The meat, in its dried state, is closely condensed together into
quadrangular packages, each of a suitable size, to attach
conveniently to one side of the packsaddle of a horse. The dried
intestines are interwoven together into the form of mats, and tied
up into packages of the same form and size. They then proceed to
_cache_, or conceal in the earth these acquisitions, after which
they continue onward in pursuit of other herds of their favourite

The nation return towards their village in the month of August,
having visited for a short time the {194} Pawnee villages, for the
purpose of trading their guns for horses.

They are sometimes so successful in their expedition, in the
accumulation of meat, as to be obliged to make double trips,
returning about mid-day for half the whole quantity which was left
in the morning. When within two or three days journey of their own
village, runners are despatched to it, charged with the duty of
ascertaining the safety of it, and the state of the maize.

On the return of the nation, which is generally early in September,
a different kind of employment awaits the ever-industrious squaws.
The property buried in the earth is to be taken up and arranged
in the lodges, which are cleaned out and put in order. The weeds
which, during their absence, had grown up in every direction
through the village, are cut down and removed.

A sufficient quantity of sweet corn is next to be prepared for
present and future use. Whilst the maize is yet in the milk or
soft state, and the grains have nearly attained to their full
size, it is collected and boiled on the cob; but the poor who
have no kettles, place the ear, sufficiently guarded by its husk,
in the hot embers until properly cooked; the maize is then dried,
shelled from the cob, again exposed to the sun, and afterwards
packed away for keeping, in neat leathern sacks. The grain
prepared in this manner has a shrivelled appearance, and a sweet
taste, whence its name. It may be boiled at any season of the year
with nearly as much facility as the recent grain, and has much the
same taste.

They also pound it into a kind of small hominy, which when boiled
into a thick mush, with a proper proportion of the smaller
entrails and jerked meat, is held in much estimation.

When the maize which remains on the stalk is fully ripe, it is
gathered, shelled, dried, and also packed away in leathern sacks.
They sometimes {195} prepare this hard corn for eating, by the
process of leying it, or boiling it in a ley of wood-ashes for the
space of an hour or two, which divests it of the hard exterior
skin; after which it is well washed and rinsed. It may then be
readily boiled to an eatable softness, and affords a palatable

The hard ripe maize is also broken into small pieces between two
stones, one or two grains at a time, the larger stone being placed
on a skin, that the flying fragments may not be lost. This coarse
meal is boiled into a mush called Wa-na-de. It is sometimes
parched previously to being pounded, and the mush prepared from
this description of meal is distinguished by the term Wa-jun-ga.
With each of these two dishes, a portion of the small prepared
intestines of the bison, called Ta-she-ba, are boiled, to render
the food more sapid.

Their pumpkins, Wat-tong, are boiled, or rather steamed, as the
pot is filled with them cut in slices, with the addition of a very
small quantity of water. But the greater number of these
vegetables are cut into long slips, and, as well as the smaller
intestines and stomach of the bison, cut in pieces, are interwoven
as before mentioned into a kind of network.

A singular description of food is made use of by some tribes of
the Snake Indians, consisting chiefly, and sometimes wholly of a
species of ant, (formica, Lin.) which is very abundant in the
region in which they roam. The squaws go in the cool of the
morning to the hillocks of these active insects, knowing that then
they are assembled together in the greatest numbers. Uncovering
the little mounds to a certain depth, the squaws scoop them up in
their hands, and put them into a bag prepared for the purpose.
When a sufficient number are obtained, they repair to the water,
and cleanse the mass from all the dirt and small pieces of wood
collected with them. The ants are then placed upon a flat stone,
and by the pressure of a rolling-pin, are crushed together into a
dense {196} mass, and rolled out like pastry. Of this substance a
soup is prepared, which is relished by the Indians, but is not at
all to the taste of white men. Whether or not this species of ant
is analogous to the vachacos, which Humboldt speaks of, as
furnishing food to the Indians of the Rio Negro and the Guainia,
we have no opportunity of ascertaining.

We could not learn that any one of the nations of the Missouri
Indians are accused, even by their enemies, of eating human flesh
from choice, or for the gratification of a horrible luxury:
starvation alone can induce them to eat of it. An Ioway Indian,
however, having killed an Osage, compelled some children of his
own nation to eat of the uncooked flesh of the thigh of his
victim. And a Sioux of the St. Peter's dried some of the flesh of
a Chippeway whom he had killed, and presented it to some white
men, who ate it without discovering the imposition.

The Indians, like the Hottentots, Negroes, and monkeys, eat the
lice which they detect in each others heads. The squaws search for
these parasites; and we have often seen them thus occupied with
activity, earnestness, and much success. One of them, who was
engaged in combing the head of a white man, was asked why she did
not eat the vermin; she replied, that "white men's lice are not

Although the bison cow produces a rich milk, yet the Indians make
no use of that of the individuals they kill in hunting.

During these active employments, which the squaws cheerfully and
even emulously engage in, the occupations of the men are chiefly
those of amusement or recreation.

Numbers of the young warriors are very officious in offering their
services to the squaws, as protectors during their field labours;
and from the opportunities they enjoy of making love to their
charge in the privacy of high weeds, it is extremely common for
them to form permanent attachments to the wives {197} of their
neighbours, and an elopement to another nation is the consequence.

The men devote a portion of their time to card-playing. Various
are the games which they practise, of which one is called
_Matrimony_; but others are peculiar to themselves: the following
is one, to which they seem to be particularly devoted.

The players seat themselves around a bison robe spread on the
ground, and each individual deposits in the middle the articles
he intends to stake, such as vermilion, beads, knives, blankets,
&c., without any attention to the circumstance of equalizing its
value with the deposits made by his companions.

Four small sticks are then laid upon the robe, and the cards are
shuffled, cut, and two are given to each player, after which the
trump is turned. The hands are then played, and whoever gains two
tricks takes one of the sticks. If two persons make each a trick,
they play together until one loses his trick, when the other takes
a stick. The cards are again dealt, and the process is continued
until all the sticks are taken, If four persons have each a stick,
they continue to play, to the exclusion of the unsuccessful
gamesters. When a player wins two sticks, four cards are dealt to
him, that he may take his choice of them. If a player wins three
sticks, six cards are dealt to him, and should he take the fourth
stick he wins the stake.

They are so inveterately attached to the heinous vice of gambling,
that they are known to squander in this way every thing they
possess, with the solitary exception of their habitation, which,
however, is regarded more as the property of the woman than of the

A game, to which the squaws are very much devoted, is called by
the Omawhaws _Kon-se-ke-da_, or plumstone-shooting. It bears some
resemblance to that of dice. Five plumstones are provided, three of
which are marked on one side only with a greater {198} or smaller
number of black dots or lines, and two of them are marked on both
sides. They are, however, sometimes made of bone, of a rounded and
flattened form, somewhat like an orbicular button-mould; the dots
in this case being impressed. A wide dish, and a certain number
of small sticks, by the way of counters, are also provided. Any
number of persons may play at this game, and agreeably to the
number engaged in it, is the quantity of sticks or counters. The
plumstones or bones are placed in the dish, and a throw is made by
simply jolting the vessel against the ground to cause the dice to
rebound, and they are counted as they lie when they fall. The party
plays round for the first throw. Whoever gains all the sticks in
the course of the game, wins the stake. The throws succeed each
other with so much rapidity, that we vainly endeavoured to observe
their laws of computation, which it was the sole business of an
assistant to attend to.

The squaws sometimes become so highly interested in this game as
to neglect their food and ordinary occupations, sitting for a
whole day, and perhaps night also, solely intent upon it, until
the losers have nothing more to stake.

Having now a plentiful store of provisions, they content
themselves in their village until the latter part of October,
when, without the formality of a council or other ceremony, they
again depart from the village, and move in separate parties to
various situations on both sides of the Missouri, and its
tributaries, as far down as the Platte.

Their primary object at this time, is to obtain, on credit from
the traders, various articles indispensably necessary to their
fall, winter, and spring hunts: such as guns, particularly those
of _Mackinaw_, powder, ball, and flints; beaver-traps, brass, tin,
and camp-kettles; knives, hoes, squaw-axes, and tomahawks.

Having obtained these implements, they go in pursuit {199} of
deer, or apply themselves to trapping for beaver and otter. Elk
was sometime since an object of pursuit, but these animals are
now rather rare in the Omawhaw territories.

This hunt continues until towards the close of December, and
during the rigours of the season they experience an alternation of
abundance and scarcity of food. The men are very much exposed to
the cold, and, in trapping, to the water. They are also frequently
obliged to carry heavy burdens of game from considerable

The assiduous hunter often returns to his temporary residence in
the evening, after unsuccessful exertions continued the live-long
day: he is hungry, cold, and fatigued; with his mockasins,
perhaps, frozen on his feet. His faithful squaw may be unable to
relieve his hunger, but she seats herself by his side near the
little fire, and after having disposed of his hunting apparatus,
she rubs his mockasins and leggings, and pulls them off, that he
may be comfortable; she then gives him water to drink, and his
pipe to smoke. His children assemble about him, and he takes one
of them upon his knee, and proceeds to relate to it the adventures
of the day, that his squaw may be informed of them. "I have been
active all day, but the Master of life has prevented me from
killing any game; but never despond, my children and your mother,
I may be fortunate to-morrow." After some time he retires to rest,
but the wife remains to dry his clothing. He often sings until
midnight, and on the morrow he again sallies forth before the
dawn, and may soon return with a superabundance of food. Such is
the life of the Indian hunter, and such the privations and
pleasures to which his being is habitually incident.

The squaws, in addition to their occupation of flaying the animals
which their husbands entrap, and of preparing and preserving the
skins, are often necessitated to dig the pomme de terre, _noo_;
and to {200} scratch the groundpea, _himbaringa_, (the same word
is also applied to the bean,) from beneath the surface of the
soil. This vegetable is produced on the roots of the apios
tuberosa, they also frequently find it hoarded up in the quantity
of a peck or more in the brumal retreats of the field mouse, (mus
agrarius, Var?) for its winter store. The seeds of the nelumbium
luteum, analogous to the sacred bean of the Brahmins, also
contribute to their sustenance; these are distinguished by the
name Te-row-a, or bison-beaver, [_te_, bison; and _row-a_, beaver;
in the Oto dialect,] and when roasted are much esteemed. The root
of this plant is also an article of food during the privations of
this portion of the year; it is either roasted or boiled; and is
prepared for keeping by boiling, after which it is cut up in small
pieces and dried: in taste it is somewhat similar to the sweet

With the skins of the animals obtained during this hunt, the
natives again repair to the traders to compensate them for the
articles which they had obtained on credit. But owing to the
intrigues of rival traders, the Indians are, with, however,
numerous exceptions, not remarkable for any great degree of
punctuality in making their returns to cancel their debts. Many
obtain credit from one trader, and barter their peltries with
another, to the great injury of the first.

Like genuine traders, the Omawhaws endeavour, by various
subterfuges, to make the best of their market. An artful fellow
will assure a trader that he has a number of skins, but that he
does not wish to bring them forward, until he assembles a still
greater number; but, in the meantime, he must have a keg of
whiskey, otherwise he will barter his skins with another trader.
Another knave owes his trader, perhaps, twenty skins; but in
consequence of the unlucky occurrence of many circumstances, which
he proceeds to particularize, he can at present pay but half that
number, and the other ten, which he {201} brings with him, he
wishes to trade for other articles of merchandize. The trader
submits to the imposition thus practised, rather than lose their
custom; and is thus deservedly punished for his own deceptive
proceedings with respect to his rivals, and for the habit of
practising on the ignorance of the natives, in which many of them
freely indulge.

Thus the Missouri traders are repaid for hardly more than half the
value of the merchandize which they credit; but should they obtain
peltries for one-third of the amount, they clear their cost and

After having discharged their debts wholly, or in part, the
Indians exchange the remainder of their skins, for strouding for
breech-clouts and petticoats, blankets, wampum, guns, powder and
ball, kettles, vermilion, verdigrise, mockasin-awls, fire-steels,
looking-glasses, knives, chiefs' coats, calico, ornamented brass
finger-rings, arm-bands of silver, wristbands of the same metal,
ear-wheels and bobs, small cylinders for the hair, breast
brooches, and other silver ornaments for the head; black and blue
handkerchiefs, buttons, tin cups, pans and dishes, scarlet cloth,

The man is the active agent in this barter, but he avails himself
of the advice of his squaw, and often submits to her dictation.

Each nation of Indians practises every art they can devise, to
prevent white traders from trafficking with their neighbours, in
order to engross as much as possible of the trade themselves, and
to be the carriers at second hand to the others. For this purpose
they sometimes intrigue deeply, and resort to artful expedients.
"You do not treat your traders as we do," said a cunning Oto to
some Pawnees; "we dictate to them the rate of exchanges; and if
they persist in refusing to comply, we use force to compel them;
we flog them, and by these means we obtain our articles at a much
lower rate than you do:"--thus endeavouring to induce those people
{202} to banish traders from their village by ill treatment.

In trade, the largest sized beaver skin is called by the French a
_plus_, and constitutes the chief standard of value. Thus as many
of any other description of skins as are considered of equal value
with this large beaver skin, are collectively denominated a
_plus_; and the number of deer, raccoon, otter, &c. that shall
respectively constitute a plus, is settled between the parties,
previously to the commencement of the exchanges.

Brass kettles are usually exchanged for beaver skins, pound for
pound, which weight of the latter is worth about three dollars at
St. Louis.

The beaver skins are embodied into neat packs by the traders, each
weighing one hundred pounds, and consisting of seventy or eighty
skins, according to their magnitude.

The business of this hunt having terminated with the year, the
Omawhaws return to their village, in order to procure a supply of
maize from their places of concealment, after which they continue
their journey in pursuit of bisons.

On this occasion they divide into two parties, one of which
ascends the Missouri, and the other the Elkhorn rivers. The party
which discovers a herd, gives notice of the fact to the other
party, by an especial messenger, and invites them to join in the
pursuit of it.

This expedition continues until the month of April, when they
return to their village, as before stated, loaded with provisions.

It is during this expedition that they procure all the skins, of
which the bison robes of commerce are made; the animals at this
season having their perfect winter dress, the hair and wool of
which are long and dense.

The process of preparing the hides for the traders falls to the
lot of the squaws. Whilst in the green {203} state, they are
stretched and dried as soon as possible; and, on the return of the
nation to the village, they are gradually dressed during the
intervals of other occupations. The hide is extended upon the
ground; and with an instrument resembling an adze, used in the
manner of our carpenters, the adherent portions of dried flesh are
removed, and the skin rendered much thinner and lighter than
before. The surface is then plastered over with the brains or
liver of the animal, which have been carefully retained for the
purpose, and the warm broth of meat is also poured over it. The
whole is then dried, after which it is again subjected to the
action of the brains and broth, then stretched in a frame, and
while still wet, scraped with pumice-stone, sharp stones, or hoes,
until perfectly dry. Should it not yet be sufficiently soft, it is
subjected to friction, by pulling it backwards and forwards over a
twisted sinew. This generally terminates the operation. On the
commencement of the process, the hides are almost invariably each
divided longitudinally into two parts, for the convenience of
manipulation, and when finished, they are again united by sewing
with sinew. This seam is almost always present in the bison robe;
but one of the largest that we have seen, is used as a covering
for one of our humble beds at this cantonment, and has been
dressed entire, being entirely destitute of a seam.

The brain of an animal is sufficient to dress its skin, and some
persons make two-thirds of it suffice for that purpose.

The skins of the elk, deer, and antelopes are dressed in the same
manner; but those that are intended to form the covering of their
travelling lodges, for leggings, and summer mockasins, &c. have
the adze applied to the hairy side in dressing, instead of the
flesh side.

Great numbers of these robes are annually purchased by the
traders; and Mr. Lisa assured us, that {204} he once transported
fifteen thousand of them to St. Louis in one year.

The Indian form of government is not sufficiently powerful to
restrain the young warriors from the commission of many excesses
and outrages, which continually involve the nations in protracted
wars; and, however well disposed the chiefs may be, and desirous
to maintain the most amicable deportment towards the white people,
they have not the power to enable them to compel those restless
spirits, greedy of martial distinction, to an observance of that
pacific demeanour which their precepts inculcate.

To accomplish this object, much depends upon the course pursued by
the agents of the United States. If the character of these is
dignified, energetic, and fearless, they will certainly meet that
respect from the natives which is due to the importance of their
missions. But, on the contrary, if their conduct is deficient in
promptness, energy, and decision; if their measures are paralyzed
by personal fear of the desperadoes, whom they must necessarily
encounter in the execution of their duties, their counsels will
fall unheeded in the assemblies which they address.[207]

The power of some of the former rulers of the Omawhaws is said to
have been almost absolute. That of the celebrated Black
Bird,[208] Wash-ing-guh-sah-ba, seems to have been actually so,
and was retained undiminished until his death, which occurred in
the year 1800, of the smallpox, which then almost desolated his
nation. Agreeably to his orders, he was interred in a sitting
posture, on his favourite horse, upon the summit of a high bluff
of the bank of the Missouri, "that he might continue to see the
white people ascending the river to trade with his nation." A
mound was raised over his remains, on which food was regularly
placed for many years afterwards; but this rite has been
discontinued, and the staff, that {205} on its summit supported a
white flag, has no longer existence.

This chief appears to have possessed extraordinary mental
abilities, but he resorted to the most nefarious means to
establish firmly the supremacy of his power. He gained the
reputation of the greatest of medicine men; and his medicine,
which was no other than arsenic itself, that had been furnished
him for the purpose, by the villany of the traders, was secretly
administered to his enemies or rivals. Those persons who offended
him, or counteracted his views, were thus removed agreeably to his
predictions, and all opposition silenced, apparently by the
operation of his potent spells.

Many were the victims to his unprincipled ambition, and the nation
stood in awe of him, as of the supreme arbiter of their fate.

With all his enormities he was favourable to the traders; and
although he compelled them to yield to him one half of their
goods, yet he commanded his people to purchase the remainder at
double prices, that the trader might still be a gainer.

He delighted in the display of his power, and, on one occasion,
during a national hunt, accompanied by a white man, they arrived
on the bank of a fine flowing stream, and although all were
parched with thirst, no one but the white man was permitted to
taste of the water. As the chief thought proper to give no reason
for this severe punishment, it seemed to be the result of caprice.

One inferior, but distinguished chief, called Little Bow, at
length opposed his power. This man was a warrior of high renown,
and so popular in the nation, that it was remarked of him, that he
enjoyed the confidence and best wishes of the people, whilst his
rival reigned in terror. Such an opponent could not be brooked,
and the Black Bird endeavoured to destroy him.

{206} On one occasion the Little Bow returned to his lodge, after
the absence of a few days on an excursion. His wife placed before
him his accustomed food; but the wariness of the Indian character
led him to observe some peculiarity in her behaviour, which
assured him that all was not right; he questioned her concerning
the food she had set before him, and the appearance of her
countenance, and her replies, so much increased his suspicions,
that he compelled her to eat the contents of the bowl. She then
confessed that the Black Bird had induced her to mingle with the
food a portion of his terrible medicine, in order to destroy him.
She fell a victim to the machination of the Black Bird, who was
thus disappointed of his object.

With a band of nearly two hundred followers, the Little Bow
finally seceded from the nation, and established a separate
village on the Missouri, where they remained until the death of
the tyrant.

On one occasion, the Black Bird seems to have been touched by
remorse, or perhaps by penitence, in his career of enormity. One
of his squaws having been guilty of some trifling offence, he drew
his knife, in a paroxysm of rage, and stabbed her to the heart.
After viewing her dead body a few moments, he seated himself near
it, and covering his face with his robe, he remained immovable for
three days, without taking any nourishment. His people vainly
petitioned that he would "have pity on them," and unveil his face;
he was deaf to all their remonstrances, and the opinion prevailed
that he intended to die through starvation. A little child was at
length brought in by its parent, who gently raised the leg of the
chief, and placed the neck of the child beneath his foot. The
murderer then arose, harangued his people, and betook himself to
his ordinary occupations.

Towards the latter part of his life, he became very {207}
corpulent, the consequence of indolence and repletion. He was
transported by carriers, on a bison robe, to the various feasts to
which he was daily invited; and should the messenger find him
asleep, they dared not to awaken him by a noise or by shaking, but
by respectfully tickling his nose with a straw.

The successor of Black Bird was the Big Rabbit, Mush-shinga. He
possessed considerable authority, but he lived only a few years to
enjoy it.

Ta-so-ne, or the White Cow, the hereditary successor of
Mush-shinga, being governed by an unambitious wife, remained
inactive; whilst the next important man, Ong-pa-ton-ga, or the Big
Elk, more distinguished for his vigorous intellect than for any
martial qualities, attained to the supreme dignity, which he still

The power of this amiable and intelligent chief was very
considerable during the early part of his administration; and
although not so absolute as his predecessors, yet it is believed
that he could then inflict the punishment of death upon an
individual with his own hands, with impunity. Five years ago he
informed a stranger, in the presence of his people, that he could
compel any one of them to lie down before him, that he might place
his foot upon his neck; this assertion was assented to by his

But the influence of the grand chief of the Omawhaws has very
much diminished, in consequence of the improper distribution of
medals by the whites; so that, although one of the most
intelligent leaders that the nation has probably ever had, yet he
could hardly do more at this time than inflict a blow for the most
serious offence. Still, however, he maintains a supremacy over six
or seven medalled rivals, in despite of the intrigues of the
traders.[209] He does not now attempt to coerce any of his people,
but substitutes advice and persuasion.

{208} By his influence and pacific councils, he has rendered the
Omawhaws a peaceful people, who limit their warfare to the
punishing of war-parties that depredate on them or their
possessions; and he exultingly affirms, that his hands are
unstained with the blood of white men.


  [205] The succeeding chapters [the last in this volume, and the
  first five in the next], which relate to the manners and customs
  of the Indians, chiefly the Omawhaws, are from the notes of Mr.

  _Comment by Ed._ With the account of the Omaha here given,
  compare Dorsey, "Omaha Sociology," in Bureau of Ethnology
  _Report_, 1881-82, p. 205.

  [206] See No. 43 in Language of Signs, Appendix B, volume

  [207] In corroboration of the remarks given in the text, we
  add the following account of an interview which Major O'Fallon
  had with Indians of the Mississippi,[B] whose agent has been
  hitherto unable to restrain them from carrying on warlike
  operations against the Missouri Indians.

  In St. Louis, on the 3d April, 1821, B. O'Fallon, agent for
  Indian affairs on Missouri, met a deputation from the Saukee
  nation of Indians, on the subject of a most destructive war,
  carried on by them against the Otoes, Missouries, and Omawhaws
  of his agency, and spoke to them as follows:--


    "I am glad you have arrived, before my departure for the
    Council Bluff, as it affords me an opportunity to address
    you on a subject that has agitated my mind for some time
    past. Yes, Saukees, for some time past I have wished to
    speak to you on a subject that even now makes the blood run
    warm in my veins.

    "In addressing you upon this important subject, I shall not
    speak to please your ears, but to strike your hearts.

    "Saukees, you must recollect to have seen me frequently; but
    you do not know me, and I know you well. I recollect when I
    first visited your land, your balls whistled round my ears.
    I was then a boy, and wished to be a man--I am now a man,
    with a heart as strong as my strength.

    "A few winters since, I was a chief to the red skins of the
    upper Mississippi (Sioux and Foxes); I am now chief to the red
    skins of Missouri, some of whose blood you have spilt. Listen
    that you may hear me; dispose your minds to understand me; and
    remember well what I am now going to tell you, and carry my
    words to your nation, that they may not deceive themselves.

    "When I first climbed the rapid Missouri, I found the red
    skins as wild as wolves. Without ears they roved through the
    plains, only thirsting for each other's blood. They could
    only see the storm as it gathered around them; they could
    only see the clouds when they obscured the sun, and hear it
    thunder when it rained: but when I sat down on their land,
    they assembled around me; they listened to my words; I
    settled the difference that existed between them, and gave
    peace to the land. They then sat down to rest; but they
    could not rest long, for the Saukees of the Mississippi, you
    whom the Big Knives, like fools, have suffered to live, came
    and disturbed them in their sleep. When disturbed, not like
    women did they mourn their misfortunes; but like men, they
    rose in arms and came to me. I did not consult my feelings;
    I consulted the feelings of my nation, and I was for peace.
    I told them to sit down, and they did so. Keep your ears
    open that you may hear me, and raise your eyes that you may
    see me, for I have saved your blood. Yes, Saukees, I
    restrained their arms, and they sat down in tears. But you
    were not satisfied: you presumed upon their forbearance, and
    came again; but they were not asleep, and you did not spill
    their blood, but you stole their horses: you stole horses
    from the whites, who, like fools, had still suffered you to
    live; and you murdered some traders, who were also white.
    They again raised their arms; every body who were there at
    the time, both whites and red skins, raised their arms, and
    looked around them; but they could not see you; for, like
    the timid wolf, you had sought the wood, where they could
    not follow you, until they had consulted me--I, whose blood
    began to boil in my veins. Saukees, my heart was for war;
    but my nation was too much for peace, and it was my business
    to promote peace; therefore I gave them some tobacco, and
    told them once more to sit down, and endeavour to restrain
    their feelings: they did so; and I left them smoking their
    pipes, and came away to see the great American Chief. After
    I left them, you returned again to their land: you found
    them asleep; you stole their horses, murdered their women
    and children, took their scalps, and carried some of them
    prisoners to your villages.

    "How long, how long, Saukees, will you continue to disturb
    the repose of other nations? How long will you (like the
    serpent creeping through the grass) continue to disturb the
    unsuspecting stranger passing through your country? Be
    cautious how you disturb the red skins of Missouri; or your
    women and children shall mourn the loss of husbands and
    fathers--husbands and fathers shall mourn the loss of wives
    and children.

    "Yes, Saukees, the Otoes, Missouries, and Omawhaws, are
    unwilling to be disturbed any longer. They will no longer
    suffer you to make slaves of their children, and dance their
    scalps in your villages.

    "Saukees, be cautious; you live in the woods, and the game
    of your country is nearly exhausted. You will soon have to
    desert those woods in which the red skins of Missouri cannot
    find you, and follow the buffalo in the plains, where the
    red-skins are not less brave than you, and as numerous as
    the buffalo. As long as you have the wood to conceal your
    warriors, you may continue to disturb the women and children
    of Missouri; but when hunger drives you from those woods,
    your bodies will be exposed to balls, to arrows, and to
    spears. You will only have time to discharge your guns,
    before, on horseback, their spears will spill your blood. I
    know that your guns are better than those of Missouri, and
    you shoot them well: but when you reach the prairies, they
    will avail you nothing against the Otoes, Missouries,
    Omawhaws, and Pawnees. As you have seen the whirlwind break
    and scatter the trees of your woods, so will your warriors
    bend before them on horseback. (Here B. O'Fallon paused, to
    give the Saukees an opportunity to reply; when one of their
    most distinguished partisans arose and spoke with energy and
    animation, recounting many of his feats in war. He mentioned
    how often he had struck upon the tribes of Missouri, and
    that the Otoes had killed his brother, whom he loved as a
    father, and whose spirit could not be appeased as long as an
    Oto walked erect upon the earth. He also spoke of the
    difficulty of restraining his young warriors, who were
    unwilling to die in obscurity. To which B. O'Fallon spoke to
    the following effect:)

    "Saukees, one of your partizans, forgetting to whom he was
    speaking, has had the presumption to recount his feats in
    war, how often he had struck the red skins of Missouri, and
    to insinuate that he was unwilling to restrain his young
    men. I believe him to be a man of sense; but he has spoken
    without reflection, he has spoken like a fool.

    "Saukees, it has always been, and still is, my business to
    prevent (if possible) the effusion of human blood--to give
    peace and happiness to the land: but when I cannot stop the
    running of blood, I will probe the wound, and make it run
    more fast.

    "I wish you to understand that the Otoes and Missouries,
    though few in number, and much exposed, do not beg for
    peace; and I do not ask it for them. They have not as yet
    revenged the death of some of their murdered countrymen: the
    spirits of these dead are not satisfied. No, Saukees, these
    red skins, whom you persecute, have opened their ears to my
    words, and are constantly looking towards me. They do not
    wish a dishonourable peace. I would sooner see you drink
    their blood, than suffer them to make a dishonourable peace.
    You have a few of their children as prisoners among you; if
    you consult the interest of your nation, you will send them
    to their mothers: if you do not deliver them up, the
    red-skins of Missouri will go after them; and in hunting
    them they may find some of yours.

    "I tell you to be cautious, Saukees, how you disturb the red
    skins of Missouri. They call themselves my children: be
    cautious how you disturb my children, or I will no longer
    look to the pacific disposition of my nation, but consult my
    own feelings, and probe the wound which I cannot heal.

    "I am not like many white chiefs whom you have been
    accustomed to see. I never act an humble part. I am one of
    those white men who never fear a red skin--when I move
    amongst them, it is not like a dog with his tail between his
    legs, but as becomes a man; and when I speak, I feel the
    strength of my nation.

    "On the Missouri I have guns, powder and balls, blankets,
    breech-clouts, and leggings, and I am now getting more. I
    know where you have your village, and I know the face of the
    country over which you stretch your limbs. I know how and
    where you are scattered on hunting excursions. I know where
    you are most exposed, and what I do not know I can easily
    learn from the whites, and other red skins of the Mississippi.

    "I have every thing that a red skin wants; and you all know
    he wants only the means of war. You know that all red skins
    are fond of war, and that I can make brother fight brother.

    "Saukees; you are a strong nation of red skins; but if you
    don't endeavour to restrain the ungovernable disposition of
    some of your young men, they will expose your hearts in the
    midst of your strength.

    "Yes, Saukees, be cautious how you offend me; lest I
    assemble an army of red skins, and from some high peak on
    Missouri, show them where to find your village, and your
    exposed and scattered lodges. I know that the red skins of
    Missouri cannot destroy you directly; but they can give you
    unpleasant dreams. Be cautious, Saukees, how you deceive
    yourselves, or suffer others to deceive you, or the day will
    come when some of your children will have the misfortune to
    behold the dogs fighting over the bones of their fathers
    upon this land; and as I may have many years to live, I
    don't intend to sit still; and if I continue to increase in
    strength as I have done, I may live to see the day when I
    can make you smile, or shed tears of blood. Saukees, I have
    done, I am going to the Council Bluff."

    The Chief of the Saukees, after consulting each warrior
    separately, replied, (in substance) as follows:--

    "American Chief, I have been attentive, and I have heard
    your words, and those of the _red head_ (Gov. Clark). Yours
    entered one ear, and his the other: they shall not escape
    until my nation hears them. I feel the truth of all you have
    said, and have never been more for peace than now. All those
    braves have expressed their wish for peace with the red
    skins of Missouri. This partizan, who without reflection
    spoke exultingly of his feats, since he has heard your words
    is also for peace; not from any fear of those whom he has
    bled, but from an unwillingness to displease you, whom he
    conceives to be a man of truth.

    "At our village on Rock river, and encampment at the De
    Moyen, we have five Oto prisoners, whom I will promise to
    deliver up, when you send for them.

    "My brother, I only regret that my nation was not present on
    this occasion, to have heard your words. The wisdom of my
    nation, all the reflecting men, are for peace; but we have
    many young men difficult to restrain, whose ears, (I
    believe,) would open to words coming from your mouth, when
    mine, for the want of strength, may fail.

    "My brother, I wish you to pause--I wish you to forbear
    until I disclose your words to my people, and you hear from

    "My brother, we receive you as the son of the _red head_;
    and inasmuch as we love him, we love you, and do not wish to
    offend you."--JAMES.

  [B] Of the Sauk nation; they call themselves Sauke-waw-ke.

  [208] For a sketch of Blackbird, see Bradbury's _Travels_, in
  our volume v, note 48.--ED.

  [209] On the custom of giving medals to chiefs in recognition of
  their leadership, see Thwaites, _Original Journals of the Lewis
  and Clark Expedition_, index.--ED.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Original spelling, hyphenation, and grammar has been mostly
retained, with a few exceptions.

Page numbers from the 1905 Edition have been omitted herein,
but may be available in other editions of this ebook.

The Illustration "Facsimile of title-page to Volume I of James's
_Account_" on page 31 has been replaced by text, as there were
no graphics on the page.

Hyphenation questions, when the hyphen occurred at the end of
a line, were settled in favor of internal consistency whenever

Footnotes were moved from the bottoms of pages to the ends of
chapters. Footnotes in the Preface have only one or two digits,
e.g. "[11]"; footnotes in the body of the book have three
e.g. "[011]".

In tables, "ditto", "do." were replaced with repetitive text for
clarity. Sometimes blank space represents repetition in a table.
The first table in Footnote 187 is an example, wherein the words
"Length" and "inches." occurred on the first line only, in the
original, but are repeated on each line in this ebook. Whenever it
was perfectly clear to the transcriber that repetition was indeed
meant by white space, text was substituted for the blank.

In the Illustration on page 202 "INDIAN RECORD [...]", The
notation "^{x}" means that "x" should be superscript.

Footnote 055: two periods inserted, to end the sentence, and at the
end of the footnote.

Page 248: "permisssion" changed to "permission".

Page 307: comma inserted after "hoes" in "camp-kettles; knives,
hoes squaw-axes,".

Page 308: period deleted from "having disposed of his hunting
apparatus,. she rubs his".

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Volume XIV - Part I of James's Account of S. H. Long's Expedition, 1819-1820" ***

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