cian in view! O! the joy," wrote
but the next day, NOVEMBER 8, 1805,
Lewis and Clark
realized they were still only at Gray's Bay, 20 miles from the Pacific.
"We found the swells or waves so high that we thought it imprudent to proceed ...
The seas rolled and tossed the canoes in such a manner this evening that several of our party were sea sick."
The Journal continued:
"We at length turned a point, and found ourselves in a deep bay ...
We coasted round the bay, which is about four miles across ... called by the Indians ... Kilhowanakel ...
We named it Meriwether's Bay, from the Christian name of Captain Lewis, who was, no doubt, the first white man who had surveyed it."
Pinned down by drenching, cold storms for 3 weeks,
Lewis and Clark
let the members of the expedition decide where to build winter camp.
They even allowed
and the woman Indian guide
had a son was named
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau
The Oregon Historical Society erected a maker:
"This site marks the final resting place of the youngest member of the
Lewis and Clark Expedition
at Fort Mandan (North Dakota), on February 11, 1805,
Baptiste and his mother
symbolized the peaceful nature of the 'Corps of Discovery' ...
... Educated by
Captain William Clark
at St. Louis (St. Louis Academy, in 1924 renamed St. Louis University High School),
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau
at 18 traveled to Europe where he spent six years becoming fluent in English, German, French and Spanish ...
... Returning to American in 1829, he ranged the far west for nearly four decades as mountain man, guide, interpreter, magistrate, and forty-niner.
In 1866, he left the California gold fields for a new strike in Montana, contracted pneumonia en route, reached 'Inskips Ranche' here, and died on May 16, 1866."
In 1805, the
Lewis and Clark expedition
celebrated a humble Christmas in their humble new
, near present-day Astoria, Oregon.
Their Journal stated:
"We were awaked at daylight by a discharge of firearms, which was followed by a song from the men, as a compliment to us on the return of Christmas, which we have always been accustomed to observe as a day of rejoicing ...
... The remainder of the day was passed in good spirits, though there was nothing in our situation to excite much gayety. The rain confined us to the house,
and our only luxuries in honor of the season were some poor elk, so much spoiled that we ate it through sheer necessity, a few roots, and some spoiled pounded fish ...
... We ... endeavored to dry our wet articles before the fire.
The fleas ... have taken such possession of our clothes that we are obliged to have a regular search every day through our blankets as a necessary preliminary to sleeping at night ...
Every Indian is constantly attended by multitudes of them, and no one comes into our house without leaving behind him swarms of these tormenting insects."
President Thomas Jefferson
had informed Congress, February 19, 1806:
Captain Meriwether Lewis
, of the First Regiment of infantry, was appointed, with a party of men,
to explore the river Missouri from its mouth to its source, and, crossing the highlands by the shortest portage, to seek the best water communication thence to the Pacific Ocean; and
was appointed second in command."
In concern for Indians, President Jefferson compiled in 1804:
"The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth, being Extracted from the Account of His Life and Doctrines Given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; Being an Abridgement of the New Testament for the Use of the Indians, Unembarrased [uncomplicated] with Matters of Fact or Faith beyond the Level of their Comprehensions."
estimate, their journey had taken them
4,162 miles from the mouth of the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean.
Three months earlier, on August 12, 1805,
with three companions, George Drouillard, Private John Shields and Private Hugh McNeal, reached the
headwaters of the Missouri.
"The road took us to the most distant fountain of the waters of the Mighty Missouri ...
Private McNeal had exultingly stood with a foot on each side of this little rivulet and thanked his God that he had lived to bestride
the mighty and heretofore deemed endless Missouri
They had now reached the hidden sources of that river, which had never yet been seen by civilized man."
American Minute-Notable Events of American Significance Remembered on the Date They Occurred