1819 – Long Expedition in Central Missouri

[excerpt from Edwin James, Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains Performed in the Years 1819 and ’20 by Order of the Hon. J.C. Calhoun, Sec’y of War: Under the Command of Major Stephen H. Long, Vol. I, Philadelphia: H.C. Carey and I. Lea (1823). The book is available online at archive.org. Annotations on plant taxonomy are based on the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (www.itis.gov).]


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 [Niangua River] 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 river, and the Missouri, and is to be called Gasconade.

Above the Gasconade, the aspect of the shores of the Missouri, is the same as below, except that the hills are discontinued [80] on the left side, and make their appearance on the right, extending along eight or nine miles; above this both shores are low bottom grounds.

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 [Auxvasse Creek] tributaries, we anchored on the evening of the 5th [of July 1819], above the little village of Cote Sans Dessein. 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 [Rivaux 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 favor of Mr. Choteau, still operates to retard the increase of population.

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 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 [81] man was seen, who would not abandon his decrepid 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 favor.

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 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 [82] intrepidity to recommend him. Cote Sans Dessein contains a tavern, a store, a blacksmith’s shop, and a billiard table.

The Cane* is no where met with on the Missouri; but its place is in part supplied by the equisetum hiemale [Equisetum hyemale or horsetail], which, remaining green through the winter, affords an indifferent pasturage for horned cattle and horses; to the latter, it often proves 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 [Nishnabotna River], 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?

* Miegia macrosperma of Persoon [Arundinaria gigantea ssp. macrosperma or giant cane].

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, succeded 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 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, [83] 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 was a species of typhus, produced by putrid exhalations, and perhaps aggravated by an incautious use of a milk diet.

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; [84] and it is not, perhaps, improbable that his efforts may have somewhat hastened the termination of his life.

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.* These horizontal strata, are deeply covered [85] with soil, usually a calcareous loam, intermixed with decayed vegetable matter.

* From Bay Charles hill, 4 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 1/4 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 3/10ths 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 Charboniere:

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 leaf.

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 striae 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.

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. Within the limits of this town is a considerable hill [Clark’s 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, 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 [Niangua], (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 [86] a fertile soil and a mild climate, advantages more than sufficient to compensate for the difficulty of access, and other inconveniencies 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.

In the afternoon of the following day we were entangled among great numbers of snags and planters, and had a cat head [cathead: a beam at the bow of a ship] 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 Clark.

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 [Moniteau] 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 [87] 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.

The banks of the Missouri, in this part, present an alternation of low alluvial bottoms and rocky cliffs. Roche a Piercè creek [Perche 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, hence called by the French boatmen, Roche a Piercè, and giving name to the creek. 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 [88] 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 [Petite Saline Creek], on the left side; and three or four miles above, on the opposite side, a stream called the Big Manito creek [Moniteau Creek at present-day Rocheport]. Here we passed the night of the 12th July. About midnight so violent a storm arose that we were 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 [of July], 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 merchandise, 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 an 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.

[89] 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 labor 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 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 establishment of the first settlements on the Missouri. The site of St. Anthony, a town which existed about thirteen years since, near Bonhomme, 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.

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 [90] 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 coal-beds, and strata of sandstone, occur at a little distance from the river.* 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, 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.

* 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.

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. 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 sometime [91] on a branch of the Le Mine river [Lamine 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 cache, 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 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 epaulettes, 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 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, [92] 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 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.


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 eight 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, [94] as far as we are informed, hitherto before the public.*

* 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 [Irish potato] in its native locality. Mr. Lambert, however, considered this plant as the Solanum Commersoni of Dunal [Solanum commersonii or Commerson’s nightshade], 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.

His Herbarium, it is well known, 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. 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 [95] fifteenth, 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 coutry [sic: country] on this portion of the banks of the Missouri.*

* Above Cote Sans Dessein, we saw frequently the Juglans nigra [black walnut], and J. pubescens [Carya tomentosa], called white hickory, also a species of Crataegus [hawthorn] 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 eleventh 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 [sedge], 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 [perhaps Pastinaca sativa or wild parsnip], Solanum nigrum [black nightshade], Urtica pumila [Pilea pumila or Canadian clearweed], Datura strammonium [Datura stramonium or thorn apple or stinkwort], and Phytolacca decandra [Phytolacca americana var. americana or American pokeweed], occur by the road side. Blackberries were now ripe, but not well flavoured. Campanula americana [American bellflower], the large Vernonia [ironweed] mentioned at Cote Sans Dessein, now flowering.

Some plants were brought in, among which we distinguished the Monarda fistulosa [wildbergamot horsemint or beebalm], Achillea millefolia [Achillea millefolium or yarrow or bloodwort], Cacalia atriplicifolia [Arnoglossum atriplicifolium or pale Indian plantain], called “horse mint,” [sic] Queriacanadensis [perhaps Circaea canadensis or broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade], Menispermum lyoni? [perhaps moonseed and Lyonia or staggerbush] Verbena urticifolia [white verbena]. The Annona triloba [Asimina triloba or pawpaw] is frequent about Franklin, also the Lauras benzoin [perhaps Lindera benzoin or spicebush], and the Symphoria [perhaps St. Peterswort or Symphoricarpos or snowberry] now in flower, the Rhus glabrum [Rhus glabra or smooth sumac], Cercis canadensis [redbud], Ampelousis quinquefolia [Parthenocissus quinquefolia or American ivy or Virginia creeper], Eupatorium purpureum [Eutrochium purpureum or sweet joepyeweed], in flower. Cucubalus stellatus [perhaps Silene stellata or whorled catchfly], still flowering. The Prickly fruited Aesculus [buckeye or horsechestnut] has nearly ripened its nut, Zanthoxylonclava herculis [Zanthoxylum clava-herculis or Hercules-club] in fruit, a “wild gourd” not in flower.

July 26th. The Gleditschia [Gleditsia or honeylocust] is a small tree here, Geum album [Geum canadense or white avens], Myosotis virginiana [Hackelia virginiana or virginia stickseed], Amaranthus hybridus [green pigweed]. Erigeron canadense [Conyza canadensis or horseweed], Solanum Carolinianum [Solanum carolinense or Carolina horsenettle], very luxuriant and still flowering. The leaf of the Tilia glabra [Tilia americana var. americana or American basswood], I found to measure thirteen inches in length, and eleven in breadth. Bignonia radicans [Campsis radicans or trumpetcreeper], Dioscorea villosa [wild yam], a Helianthus [sunflower] with a leaf margined with spines, the narrow leaved Brachystemum [perhaps Pycnanthemum or mountainmint], the Liatris pycnostachia [Liatris pycnostachya or cat-tail gayfeather], Rudbeckia purpurea [Echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower], and various others in flower. Juglans porcina [Carya glabra or pignut hickory], and cinerea [Juglans cinerea or white walnut or butternut], Ostrya virginica [Ostrya virginiana or hophornbeam], Rhus copallinum [flameleaf sumac].

August 4th. Dr. Lowry informed me he has seen Pyrus coronaria [Malus coronaria or sweet crabapple], forty feet in height in the forests about Franklin. He showed me a Rudbeckia [coneflower] about three feet high with a cone of dark purple flowers probably a new species.

5th. Eupatorium hieracifolium [perhaps Eupatorium hyssopifolium or hyssopleaf thoroughwort] beginning to flower, Menispermum canadense [Canadian moonseed] here called “sarsaparilla,” its slender yellow roots being substituted for that article.

6th. A Mimulus is found here resembling M. ringens [Mimulus ringens or Allegheny monkeyflower], but the leaves are not sessile; peduncle very short, flowers large, pink coloured, stem acutely quadrangular, Campanula Americana [American bellflower], three and a half feet high?”

Messrs. Say, Jessup, Seymour, and Dougherty, accompanied by major Biddle, left Franklin on the 19th July, intending [96] to traverse the country by land, to Fort Osage, where they proposed to await the arrival of the steam boat. A packhorse was purchased 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 bank 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 lay 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 raccoon, the Maryland arctomys [Marmota or marmot], some small birds, and some interesting little animals. After leaving the river bottom, they passed some groves of small and scattered oak trees, and bushes [97] and arrived at the margin of a wide grassy plain, which spread before them as unvaried, and apparently as boundless as the ocean, and which is said to extend uninterrupted, near three hundred miles to the Arkansa [Arkansas River].

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 [Chariton], 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 merchandise, 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.

Charaton river [Chariton 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 [Little Chariton River], also a considerable stream, and navigable for many miles. The Charaton originates near the De Moyen river [Des Moines 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 [98] to be encountered, that many were of opinion our progress 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 Chney au Barre [originally “Chenal aux Herberts,” now Sni-A-Bar Creek], Tabeau [Tabo Creek], Titesaw [Petite Osage or Petite Saw], and Miami bottoms; on the north, those of Charaton, Sugar tree, and Grand river. These are wide and fertile plains, usually covered with heavy forests of cottonwood, 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 [Poaceae or grasses], and the Cyperacaea [Cyperaceae or sedge]. 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 peltries to the traders on the Missouri.

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 [99] river 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. 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 occuring often at an elevation of a few feet above the surface of the water, in the Missouri.

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 July, from their pedestrian 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 [Gleditsia or honeylocust], the guilandina [perhaps woody shrubs classed as Caesalpinia] 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 the Missouri. In this walk they passed a field of corn, containing seven hundred acres. The [100] 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. 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.

Two miles from the confluence of the Camp Fork [Camp Creek] with the Saline [Salt Fork], 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 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 [101] 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 surface.

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 [Ictinia mississippiensis]. 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 [Grus canadensis], and flocks of prairie hens [perhaps Tympanuchus (prairie-chicken), Phasianinae (pheasant), or Odontophoridae (quail)] 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 detatchment 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 into the Missouri. Here the Osage trace passes, and a little beyond falls into a waggon road leading to the Tabeau [Tabo] Settlement.

On the 22nd Maj. Biddle experienced a severe attack of cramp in the stomach, but soon found some relief from swallowing [102] 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 [Tabo Creek], 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. 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 [Little Tabo Creek], and at evening pitched their tent on a stream called the Little Chneij au Barre, about a mile and an half from the Missouri. Here is a good mill seat. The Great and Little Chneij au Barre [Sni-A-Bar Creek and Little Sni-A-Bar Creek] 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 Chneij 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 Chneij au Barre island, Great and Little Chneij au Barre creek, &c. [Note: “Chneij au Barre” was James’s interpretation of “Chenal aux Herberts” and has since morphed into “Sni-A-Bar.”]

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. 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 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 [103] 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.*

* A variety of this species, the Cervus Virginianus [perhaps Odocoileus virginianus or white-tailed deer instead of a species of Cervus or red deer], 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 noted—

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

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, 2nd liv.)

Its highest northern range is Canada, in North America; and it is found as far south as the river Oronoco, 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 his 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.

Mr. Say and his companions were very politely received [104] by Col. Chambers, then at Fort Osage. The rifle regiment was encamped here, waiting the arrival of the contractor’s boats.

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 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.

[105] 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 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.” 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 [106] 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 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 limestone, are disclosed in the cliffs on both sides the valley of the Missouri. These rocks contain numerous remains of Caryophilla, Productus, and Terebratulae.*

* From Fort Osage.

Productus spinosus. Say. Longitudinally and transversely subequally striated, the transverse striae somewhat larger than the others; a few remote short spines, or acute tubercles, on the surface, arising from the longitudinal striae. Breadth an inch and a half; the striae 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 Terebratulae 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 4 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.

[107] 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. [The latitude at Fort Osage is 39° 11’ 15” according to Google Earth.]


Mouth of the Konzas—Arrival at Wolf River—Journey by land from Isle au Vache to the village of the Konzas.

Wishing to extend our examinations between Fort Osage and the Konzas river [Kansas or Kaw 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 packhorses, and a supply of provisions for ten days. Thus organized and equipped, they commenced their march on the afternoon of August 6th, accompanied by Maj. Biddle and his servant.

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.

Col. 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, of the rifle regiment, who returned in a skiff. Our progress was much impeded by shoals and rapids in the river, but we succeeded in passing these without warping, and anchored at sun-set, having ascended eighteen miles.

* * *