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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

Washington County description

Distance from Camp Dubois: 681 miles

The Corps established a camp underneath a steep riverbank where they remained several days to meet with the local tribes.  This location is referred to as "Council Bluff" and became the first site for a military fort west of the Missouri River.

July 30, 1804: " proceeded on to a clear open Prarie on the L. S. on a rise of about 70 feet higher than the bottom which is also a Prarie....of High Grass & Plumb bush Grapes &c.

... from the bluff on the 2d rise immediately above our Camp, the most butifull prospect of the River up & Down and the Countrey Opsd (ed. - opposite) prosented it Self which I have ever beheld; The River meandering the open and butifull Plains, interspursed with Groves of timber, and each point Covered with Tall timber, Such as Willow, Cotton (ed. - cottonwood), sum Mulberry, Elm, Sucamore Lynn (ed. - linden) & ash (The Groves contain Hickory, Walnut, coffee nut & Oake in addition.)" Capt. William Clark

August 5, 1804:  "The river here is very crooked and winding.  To arrive at a point only 370 yards from this place, the passage by water is twelve miles." Patrick Gass

 
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