Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lewis And Clark Celebrate The 4TH...!

Even the explorers Lewis and Clark took the time to celebrate the 4TH of July.

I wonder just how they managed to keep track of what day it was. Did they have a calendar with them? Did they mark the days some other way, or was it just a guess at the date? Kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Jul 4, 1804:
Lewis and Clark celebrate July 4

Staging the first-ever Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi River, Lewis and Clark fire the expedition cannon and order an extra ration of whiskey for the men.

Six weeks earlier, Lewis and Clark left American civilization to depart on their famous journey. Since their departure, the party of 29 men--called the Corps of Discovery--had made good progress, traveling up the Missouri River in a 55-foot keelboat and two dugout canoes. When the wind was behind them, Lewis and Clark raised the keelboat sail, and on a few occasions, managed to travel 20 miles in a single day.

By early July, the expedition had reached the northeastern corner of the present-day state of Kansas. The fertility of the land astonished the two leaders of the expedition. Clark wrote of the many deer, "as plenty as Hogs about a farm," and with his usual creative spelling, praised the tasty "rasberreis perple, ripe and abundant."

On this day in 1804, the expedition stopped near the mouth of a creek flowing out of the western prairie. The men asked the captains if they knew if the creek had a name. Knowing none, they decided to call it Independence Creek in honor of the day.

The expedition continued upstream, making camp that evening at an abandoned Indian village. To celebrate the Fourth of July, Lewis and Clark commanded that the keelboat cannon be fired at sunset. They distributed an extra ration of whiskey to the men, and the explorers settled back to enjoy the peaceful Kansas night. In his final journal entry of the day, Clark wondered at the existence of, "So magnificent a Senerey in a Contry thus Situated far removed from the Sivilised world to be enjoyed by nothing but the Buffalo Elk Deer & Bear in which it abounds & Savage Indians."

The next day, the travelers resumed their journey up the Missouri River toward the distant Pacific Coast. They would not pass by their pleasant camping spot in Kansas again until their return journey, two years and many adventures later.

One can only imagine that the group had a treasure of tales to pass on from their expedition! Probably didn't have any trouble getting listeners for their stories, either!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have some vanilla cream sandwich cookies I'll serve up!


Chickenmom said...

You just have to read their journals - they are amazing! I hope you have a lot of those cookies, Mr. Hermit. They are my favorite. (and yes, I eat the cream filling first)!

Sixbears said...

Keeping track of the day is just a matter of ticking them off as they go. It was a scientific expedition after all so everything was well documented.

I think I'd better lay in an extra ration of whiskey . . .

linda m said...

What an adventure that was. I really need to read their journals. Coffee outside sounds good. Raining here again. (It just doesn't stop)

JO said...

These jounals are a must read in my opion. These early expeditions of discovery must have been really hard on these people so getting to celebrate with extra whiskey must have felt wonderful.Great post.

I'll take a refill please

Mamahen said...

Great post....if only we coulfd find such a " sivilised " spot as this..
thanks for to invite....

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I've never read the journals, but guess I should!

Help yourself to the cookies!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Sixbears...
I was just wondering what method they used.

That extra ration was welcomed, I'm sure!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Linda...
Man, you guys are certainly getting more than your share of rain! Bet you are ready for a break from it!

Many thanks for coming by today!

Hey Jo...
I'm sure that they folks that signed up to go were ready for an adventure...and got one!

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!

Hey Mamahen...
I reckon that most of those spots have been paved over by now.

They call it progress...and it sucks sometimes!

I sure am glad that you could come over today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

I would have loved to be on that expadition. What an adventure they had.

BBC said...

Of course they had a calendar with them, they wasn't dorks.