Taken From the The Centinel, Gettysburg, PA
Lexington (Kentucky) June 18
The party of discovery, under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, left the mouth of the Missouri on the 16th day of May, 1804. An express with dispatches from their winter quarters, which left them the 14th of April, has returned to St. Louis. By this express, letters were received from Captain Clark to his correspondent in Kentucky. A gentleman, from Jefferson county has oblidgingly favoured the Editor of the Kentucky Gazette, with the following account, which he obtained from one of the men who returned with the express, and from letters from some of the party.
They fortified themselves in November last, on the bank of the Missouri, 1609 miles from the mouth by actual measurement, in latitude 47, 21 north, called then Fort Mandane, after a nation of Indians who reside in the neighborhood, and who have been very friendly to them. On their passage up they were delighted with the beautiful appearance of the country for about 200 leagues, or to the mouth of the river La Pate, which comes in from the south; after which, to their winter quarters, it is described not to be so fertile. The person who brought the dispatches speaks of the opening made by the river being about one mile wide with high cliffs on each side. The bed of the river occupies about a fourth part of it, the remainder of the bottom entirely composed of coarie sand covered with cotton wood. This bottom is continually giving away either on one side or the other, and gaining on the opposite side.
The cliffs in some places are covered with red cedar, which with the cotton, and a few small black ash trees, is the only timber described to be in that country. From the height there is not a tree or twig to be seen, as far as the sight can extend, or as these have explored. Out from the river, the land goes off perfectly, with but one exception - and the plains covered with grass. They passed the mouths of a number of streams, the most of which had names given by the French. One they have named, Floyd's River, to perpetuate the name of a young man, of their party, named Charles Floyd, who died, much regretted, on the 20th August.
They represent the Indians to have been friendly, with but a few exceptions. The Soux are the most numerous, are organized in bands, having different names, move about from place to place, from the banks of the river out to the plains, in pursuit of game and plunder, having no fixed place of residence, and in a continual state of warfare. These were the most troublesome Indians to the party of discovery, as they expressed a jealousy, lest they would supply their enemies, higher up with arms &c. The higher up they went, the more friendly they found the savages, and the better armed. They have a more regular trade with the North West Company, and Hudson Bay Company; which supplies come to them by the way of Lake Winnepeck. The Mandans cultivate corn, which is of a small kind, from whom the party was supplied during the winter, and their hunters kept them in abundance of meat.
Buffaloes are said to be in great numbers, and of large size. Two descriptions of deer are described; those resembling the common kind of this country being larger, and their tails 18 inches long and the hair much longer on their bodies; the other having a black tail. Elks and goats are numerous. The grouse or prairie hen, are in plenty; and before the closing of the river in the fall, water fouls in abundance. Fish scarce, and those principally of the cat kind. Some of the white bear-skins had been brought to the fort by visiting Indians from higher up; but the party had seen none of those animals. The Indians keep horses, which are used entirely for the chase, and in war.
From such information as they have received of the country above there, it is about 600 miles to the great falls , which are made by a ledge of mountains, called Rocky Mountains, in which it is presumed the Missouri terminates. At their winter quarters, the river is nearly a quarter of a mile wide; is equally as muddy as at its mouth, and had continued its rapidity with very little alteration, as high as they have gone, though it is considerably more shallow, so that they will not be able to take their barg any higher.
From what information they have obtained of the course of the upper part of the river, the most are at the northwardly part. From where they wintered to the falls is nearly a fourth course. The description given by McKenzie, of the head waters of the river, is accurate.
They have sent on the the President of the United States, an accurate Journal, with a map of the country through which they have passed.
Six of the party were sent back - the party now consistes of 28 men, exclusive of the two officers. They have enjoyed perfect health - not having been sick, except the unfortunate young man before mentioned, and was taken off in a few hours with a cramp in his stomach. The greatest friendship has existed with the party; and the men who have returned, speak in the highest terms of the humanity and uncommon pains and attention of both the captains, Lewis and Clark, towards the whole of them; and that they left them in good spirits, fully convinced they would winter on the Pacific Ocean.
They were told of six nations of Indians they would have to pass, before they would arrive at the falls, from only one of which they apprehended any difficuly. They are called the Snake Tribe, and reside high up.
Curiosities of different kinds, live beasts, birds, several boxes of minerals, a pair of uncommon ram horns, from the Rocky Mountains, scions of a new discovered berry, called the buffaloe berry, &c. have been brought on by the returned party, and deposited with the commanding officer at St. Louis, to be sent by him to the President.
We expect in a few days further particulars relative to his interesting voyage.
Taken From the Sprig of Liberty, Gettysburg, PA
Frankfort, Kentucky, October 9
We congratulate the public at large and the particular friends of Messrs Lewis and Clark and their enterprising companions, on the happy termination of an expedition, which will doubtless by productive in incalculable commercial advantages to the western country, at no very distant future; improve our geographic knowledge of those hitherto unexplored regions; and assist the government of the union in estimating the true value of those boundaries which we claim by the purchase of Louisiana. Whatever differences of opinion may exist on this point, we are persuaded all think and feel alike on the courage, perseverance and prudent deportment displayed on this adventurous party. They are entitled to and will receive the plaudits of their countrymen.
By the mail of this morning, we have received from an obliging friend, the following letter from Captain Clark to his brother, General Clark near Louisville. Captain Clark did not perhaps intend it for publication; but to gratify in some measure, the impatient wishes of his countrymen, the General was prevailed upon to permit its appearance in our paper of today.
St. Louis, 23 September 1806,