colour & agreeable sweetish taste; the whortle [1804 berry was also found in the same situation. The l- °^^^ ^^ white maple has now a beautiful appearance, its leaves before their fall first assume a pale yellow, but this soon fades, and they change into a splendid white and present at some distance the appearance of clusters of elegant flowers. Being cloudy at noon we made no observation for the Latitude.

We suppose the river to have risen at least 30 inches and it now flows with great rapidity, which obliges us to pass sometimes among the willows to avoid its impetuosity : this afternoon we passed some reaches of the river, which were very handsome, being of considerable length, and at least 150 yards wide, and flowing with a full current from bank to bank. We found a considerable number of unknown (to us) plants some of them very handsome, but our very limited knowledge in practical botany, did not enable us to discover what they were, particularly as they were not in flower. Made this day 13 miles 39 perches. Therm! at 81? p.m. 66° Extremes 54°-7i°

Therm": 68° — river water 60° fallen 4 inches Wednesday 28' in the night — Cloudy — calm. Set off at 7^ 5' and continued our voyage, meeting the same species of obstacles as yesterday—the river appears to increase in width being sometimes 170


i8o4 1 yards broad, flowing at this time with a full tide November J fj-Qj^ shore to shore. The Current is in some places extremely rapid, that is where the depth of the Channel is diminished and the bed contracted, in such situations we are under the necessity of catching hold of the willows &c, & hauling up along shore, oars and poles being insufficient to stem the violence of the torrent; in other situations for miles together the current is inconsiderable, in fact it is nothing under the shelter of the points, this advantage is the result of the enlargement and encreased depth of the river. Being cloudy we had no observation for the Latitude. Some of our people who walked out with their guns at the hour of dinner discovered some buffalo tracts we are therfore in hopes soon of getting some fresh beef. We past some beautifull Pine Forests. The Lands in many places appeared of a pretty good quality producing trees and a variety of vegetable subjects indicating a good soil. Encamped in the evening after making by our reckoning 12 miles 255 perches. Here we found an old dutch Hunter with his party consisting in all of 5 persons. This man has resided 40 years on the Washita and before that period has been up the arcansa river, the white river and the river S' Francis; the two last he informed us are small rivers of difficult navigation similar to that we are now upon, but the Arcansa river is a river of great magnitude, a large and broad


channel, and when the river is low with long /1804 and great sand beaches like to the missisippi. So \November far as he has been up, the navigation is safe and commodious, without any impediment from rapids or shoals, upon all those rivers, the soil is of the first rate quality, the countries are of easy access, being lofty open forests, unembarrassed by canes & other under growth: the lands on the Arcansa are generally level and not subject to inundation, with here and there gently rising hills. The river is not embarrassed with rocks so far as this informant has ascended, but its bed is composed of mud and sand: the water of the river is extremely bad to drink, being of a disagreeable red colour and very brackish when low, a multitude of creeks which flow into the river furnish sweet water, which the voyager is obliged to carry in vessels on board to supply his immediate wants, hence this inconvenience is not of much moment. This man confirms the frequent reports given of silver being abundant up this river; he has not been so high as to see it himself, but says he has received a silver pin from a hunter who assured him that he himself collected the virgin silver from the rock, out of which he made the Epinglete by hammering it out; The tribe of Ozages live higher up than this position, but the hunters rarely go so high, being afFraid of those savages who are at war with the world and destroy all strangers they can


i8o4 1 meet with. It is reported that the arcansa nation NovernJ)erJ ^j^.j^ ^ ^^^.^ of ^j^g Chactaws, Chicasaws, Shaw-

nese &c. have formed a league and are actually gone or going 800 strong against those depredators, with a view to destroy or drive them entirely off and possess themselves of their fine prairies which are most abundant hunting grounds, being plentifully stocked in Buffalo, Elk, Deer, Bear and every other beast of the chase, common to those Latitudes in America. Our old Dutch Hunter informs us of a saline or salt spring from which he has frequently supplied himself with salt by evaporation, we shall visit it in the morning, being only half a league distant. Made 12 miles 255 perches. Therm*; at 8. p.m. 73° Extremes 68°-78°

Thursday 29 Therm' 72° river water 62°—Cloudy—wind South, blew strong all night — This morning Doctor Hunter went with a party and the old dutch hunter to visit the saline, which was found in the bottom of the bed of a dry gully near a Creek ; after digging a few feet found the water which proved very brackish to the taste; the saline lies about i}^ mile northerly from our encampment, a creek falls into the river a little above our encampment, being the same which communicates with the saline, a quantity of the water was brought into camp whose specific gravity was carefully ascertained by comparison with


the river water and found to be as i .02116 + to i. f 1804 Evaporated 10 quarts of the water which pro- [November duced a saline mass weighing when dry 8 ounces. It began to rain about 9'' a.m. which obHged us to remain in camp untill after dinner, when it cleared up, and we set out at i!" 27' p.m., the water of the river has now become whitish and less transparent in consequence of the rain and appears to be rising again altho' it seemed to have stopped since last night: the water was tol-lerably favorable in the afternoon having met with only one rapid of difficulty and considerable length : since we have had so much difficulty to encounter from the shoals and violence of the current, the Soldiers have exerted themselves with a considerable degree of vigor and perseverence and seem desireous that we should accomplish the end of our voyage. Therms at 8!" p.m. 52° Extremes 52°-76° Made this day 8 miles 2 perches. The weather clears up and begins to grow cold, we expect a north-wester in the morning.

Therm! in air 38° in river water 60° — river Friday 30'? risen 19 inches — clear calm. Set off & continued our voyage against a strong current during the greatest part of the day, altho' frequently we found favorable eddies or little or no Current where the bed of the river became enlarged, which sometimes extended to 150 and even 170


i8o4 1 yards in breadth. Saw great flocks of Turkeys November j ^q ^^y^ ^^^ of which were killed. At lo}^ ^ a.m. arrived at the large branch on the left called * Fourche des Cadaux' (Cadadoquis fork) about I GO yards wide at its entrance into the Washita; immediately beyond which on the same side the land is considerable elevated (ab! 300 feet.) The wind from North and N.W. opposed us most of the day, so that our progress was not very rapid. At noon landed & observed the Sun's altitude in a difficult place, in some measure thro' the branches of trees, the Latitude deduced was 34° 11' 37". As we advance to the north we perceive more of the effects of winter; the trees are now nearly stripped of their foliage, which a week below seemed to be nearly entire, altho' changed in color: Being informed of a saline or salt-lick, we landed before 3^ p.m. and the Doctor with a party went to view it, therm' at 3^ 57° The Doctor returned in the evening with a quantity of water from the saline, which from taste appeared to be less impregnated than the former, and on trial its specific gravity was found to be when compared with the river water, which at that time was principally rain water, i.o 17647. This salt pit was found in a low flat place subject to be overflowed from the river, it was wet and muddy, the earth on the surface yellowish, but on digging into the stratum which yielded the salt water, it was found to be a bluish clay; probably

ably the water was fresher in consequence of J1804 the rain of the day before, which had not fallen [November when the first water was collected. Ten quarts of this last water produced by evaporation six ounces of a saline mass, which from taste was principally marine salt, it was however evident that it contained besides marine salt, some soda and a bitter salt, which last no doubt was muri-ated magnesia, but the marine salt greatly predominated. Made 7 miles 28 perches.

Therm' in air 32? in river water 54° Clear— jSaturday calm — river fallen 18 inches. The morning was [December v} cold & damp; we passed a considerable Island on the right about ^ of a mile in length, called * Isle du bayou des roches' (rocky creek Island) — we were greatly impeded this day by rapids, it was with much difficulty, some hazard, & great exertion of the men, that we ascended some of the rapids: we passed several points of high land full of rocks and stones, much harder and more solid than we have yet seen; the rocks were all silicious, and we began to observe, that their fissures were penetrated by sparry matter: indications of iron were frequent, & even fragments of poor ore, but no rich ores of that or any other mettal have presented themselves to view. Some of the hills appear to be well adapted to the cultivation of the vine, the soil being a sandy loam with a considerable proportion of gravel & stone


1804 1 and a superficial covering of good vegetable black December J g^rth: the natural productions were sufficiently luxuriant, consisting of several varieties of oak, Pine, Dogw^ood, Holly &c with a scattering underwood of Whortleberry, Hawthorn, China-briar and a variety of small vines. It is probable that a skilful Vigneron, who shall undertake the establishment of a Vineyard in a well-chosen position in this neighbourhood, will find his labors amply compensated; the market of New Orleans is at hand, where his wines (if good) may be immediately sold and paid for at a high price. At noon we were detained upon a very bad rapid

6 shoal, by which we lost the opportunity of making a meridian observation: In the evening also we landed a little earlier than usual at the foot of a long and difficult rapid, which we did not think it prudent to encounter so late, from the danger of getting fast upon it all night: we are now encamped upon the declivity of one of those hills about 150 feet high, commanding a fine prospect both up and down the river, & will at a future day become a rich Vineyard. Therms at S!' p.m. 35° Extremes 3 2°-58° Made this day

7 miles 148 perches.

Sunday 2"? Therm' in air 30° in river water 50° Clear — calm—river fallen 4 inches. Continued our voyage and passed over a series of strong rapids, which opposed us untill the hour of breakfast. The


Country appears now to wear a new aspect; high f 1804 lands and rocks frequently approach the river; \December the rocks are extremely hard, and altho' the grain resembles that of free-stone, yet the stone is hard enough to be used for the purpose of hand-mill stones, to which object it has been applied; the river beaches also exhibit a great variety of fragments of flint and other stone of the most solid kinds; the quality of the land seems to improve, the superficial stratum of Vegetable earth being of considerable thickness (from 6 to 12 inches) and of a dark brown color mixed with loam and some sand ; at 2^ ^ p.m. passed a rock on the margin of the river consisting of blue slate, which we shall probably find time to examine on our way down; more of the same is to be seen higher up. About a league from the river a little above the slate quarry is a considerable plane called * prairie de Cham-pignole,' often frequented by Buffalo; some salt licks are to be found near it, and in many situations on both sides of this river at small distances from it, we are informed that Salines or salt-licks exist which may be rendered very productive; when this river comes to be settled, so necessary an article as marine salt will therefore be in sufficient abundance for the consumption of a full population. We are greatly impeded today by rapids and were unable to get ourselves landed in a situation favorable enough to make an observation

[ 8°]

1804 I servation for the Latitude before it was too late.

December j ^^ encamped just below some rapids which we are to encounter in the morning, upon excellent level and rich land, being almost entirely an Oak forest; it is not improbable that this land is sometimes subject to inundation, having the appearance of alluvial Land which has acquired permanency & stability, it is now at least 20 feet above the level of the river water. Thermf at 8*" p.m. 38° Extremes 30°-59!

Monday 3^ Therm! in air 38°—in river water 48°—clear — calm — river fallen 8 inches. Continued our voyage with favorable water until breakfast, after which we encountered a great many very bad rapids during the remainder of the day; some were so difficult, that it was impossible to ascend without sending the greatest part of our people ashore with a good rope, & sometimes they were obliged to walk in the water; the exertions of the Soldiers on some very difficult and trying occasions were equal to every thing which could be expected, and exceeded greatly my expectations : at noon we had a good observation about 4 miles below the * Chutes' (falls) Latitude deduced 34° 21' 25".5 we were now anxious to see the famous Chutes, which it was supposed at the Post, we should never be able to pass with so large a boat. The land on either hand continues to improve in quality ; there appears to be in


general a superficial stratum of good earth of a ri8o4 dark brown color, upon which vegetation is suf- I December ficiently luxuriant; hills frequently arose out of the level country, full of rocks & stones, generally of an extremely hard flinty kind, often resembling the Turkey oil stone, of this kind was a promontory which came in from the right hand, a little before we arrived at the Chutes: this promontory presented some appearance at a distance, of the ancient ruined fortifications & Castles so frequent in Europe, the effect was greatly heightened by a flock of swans which had taken their stations under the Walls which rose out of the Water; as we approached the Birds floated about magestically upon the glassy surface, and in tremulous melancholy accents seemed to consult each other upon measures of safety, the ensemble produced a truly sublime picture: several masses of the same hard rock insulated by the river conveyed the idea of redoubts and out-works; we expect to visit this place in our descent. A little after 4'' p.m. we arrived at the Chutes. We found these falls to be occasioned by a chain of rocks of the same hard nature with those we had just seen below, here they extended quite across the river, the water making its way over the chain thro' a number of breaches, which by the impetuosity of the torrent had been worn out of the rock: this chain seemed to proceed from a lofty rocky


i8o4 1 hill on the left side the appearance of which con-December j yeyed the idea, of its having been cut down by the abrasion of the waters to its present level: the various breaches thro' which the water poured, were so many cascades, thro' one of which it was necessary to pass ; otherwise the Barge must remain below the Chutes: it was quite uncertain which of the Cataracts ought to be preferred ; it was also doubtful whether our barge (9 feet wide) could find sufficient breadth & depth of water clear of pointed rocks to pass over the Chutes. We came up to the rocks & stoped between two of the Cascades, & sent a couple of Men with a small Canoe, who crept along shore & got above the Falls, they made fast a rope to a tree, and letting themselves gradually down by the same rope, came on board in great safety; having now got a number of hands ready to haul in upon the rope, we employed the remainder with poles to give a proper position to the Barge & to guide her into the best passage; we accordingly entered one of the Cascades, but after many fruitless attempts we found there was a deffi-ciency of water; with some pointed rocks which opposed our passage ; we therefore dropped down a little way, and moved laterally by poling to a second Cataract much more considerable than the one we had just attempted: the rolling impetuosity of the water is not easy to describe, above and below the fall there was a rapid descent,


but just at the fall there seemed to be a step of ri8o4 nearly one foot perpendicular; difficult & dan- [December gerous as this place appeared for a frail bark like ours, we were determined to make the attempt & we lost no time in entering the strait, in which our Barge soon stuck fast at the bows, we then concluded it would be impossible to pass; it seemed that an inch or two were just wanting to our success; we however continued our efforts by moving from side to side by the stern, while great effi^rts were making upon the rope; we perceived a small advancement by every new exertion, our hopes revived, the Barge was in this manner forced half way thro' the Cascade, & now she seemed so completely wedged into the narrow passage, that every effort to stir her in any direction proved ineffectual; the water tho' extremely rapid was not deep & we got four of our boldest men into the water at her bows, as far as possible from the suction of the fall, who by feeling for rocks on which she rested, & raising her sides with all their might, enabled us to advance a step or two farther, beyond which it seemed impossible to move : it was now night, the stars were visible, the water was cold, and altho' the weather was not freezing, it was far from being mild, the therms being at 45°; we now repented that we had made the attempt to pass so late in the evening, & wished we had delayed until the morning; at the same time the


i8o4 1 river was falling, & it seemed not proper to defer ecem erj ^^^ attempt, lest we should not get above the Chutes until another swell of the river: in this situation we determined to lighten the Barge, by sending all the men, except four, ashore to haul upon the rope, while the 4 who remained were with hand levers to endeavour to raise up & lighten the bows of the vessel: the first man who went out discovered, that by the violence of our exertions the rope was beginning to give way & that one of the three strands of which the rope was composed, had actually parted; we were now in a perilous situation, for if the rope had separated, no force on board could have prevented our being dashed to pieces upon the rocks: we immediately ordered every man on board to his pole to support the boat; in the mean time a man was dispatched thro' the water with the end of a rope from on board, which being made fast to the same tree, we were again placed in a state of security; we now sent the other men on shore as had been intended, who gaining a firm footing and exerting themselves with great vigor soon extricated us and drew us safely ashore, greatly rejoicing to find ourselves without accident above the * Chutes': we are encamped under the incessant roar of the cataracts, which resembles nothing so much that I have heretofore witnessed, as the horrid din of a hurricane at New Orleans in the year 1779 : the course of the chain of


rocks across the river is nearly S.W. and N.E. [1804 —Made this day 7 miles 218 perches—Therm' t^^^^' at 8^ p.m. 44° — Extremes 3 8''-59°

Thermomi: in air 36° in river water 48° — Tuesday 4''' clear—calm — river fallen 2 inches. Immediately above the Chutes, the water possesses little or no Current, owing no doubt to its depth & breadth & we went on without opposition untill after breakfast; about 8^ a.m. passed a ledge of very hard freestone rocks with moderate current : this reach is spacious being not less than 200 yards wide & is terminated by a high rocky hill (about 350 feet perpendicular) crowned with beautiful pine woods, a fine situation for building : at 10^ ^ passed a bald hill on the left being chiefly uncovered rock, and arrived at the foot of a most tremenduous rapid full of breakers, the passage being studded with pointed rocks of all magnitudes, which raising their rough heads above water, seemed to threaten with destruction the unwary voyager who should presume to attempt their passage ; this place appeared to me much more difficult and dangerous than the Chutes, the water descended along a plane of considerable inclination with a most impetuous velocity, the spray & white foam dashing over the rocks, occasioned a very perceptible mist or vapor which spread about at a small elevation, it is probable it might ascend into the atmosphere

i8o4 \ phere at a higher temperature. We stopped to December J contemplate this embarrasment & ordered out a rope, which was carried along shore by a certain part of the people, the rest using their poles on board; we made many fruitless essays to pass upwards by several openings near the shore ; at length we attempted the center of the Cataract where the current was the most violent, but the water deeper, & by very great exertions we got over into moderate water, having consumed i j^ hour in making about }4 mile; 300 yards of this distance is difficult & perilous, the greatest prudence with unceasing exertion being indis-pensibly necessary to the safety of such a barge as ours. We landed above this rapid & by a good observation found the latitude to be 34° 25' 48"; on our right stood a high rocky hill crowned with very handsome Pine-woods; the strata of this rock were inclined 30° to the Horizon in the direction of the river descending; this hill may be from 300 to 350 feet high: we have now frequently the hills touching the river on both sides; a border or list of green Cane skirts the margin of the river, growing out of the alluvial soil, beyond is generally a high & sometimes barren hill. At 2^ p.m. we passed a hill on the left containing a great body of blue slate, in some places hanging over the river ; a little farther came to another rapid or cataract, which appeared if possible more terrible than


the last, the descent of the water was extremely [1804 precipitate; from the very irregularly undulat- [December ing surface, it was evident that the bottom was composed of innumerable fragments of rock, many of which just shewed their heads out of water; we halted on the right shore & sent up our rope, but after many fruitless & some dangerous attempts, in which we were always repelled by the rocks, we were obliged to give up the expectation of passing up on that shore ; we therefore had recourse to the expedient of swinging the barge into the middle of the river & by the aid of the rudder and the exertions of poling, we with some difficulty got hold on the opposite shore, notwithstanding that the rope was caught under a rock in the middle of the river. We hauled the rope on board and sent it up the shore, and passed up the most violent part of the rapid: we ascended a second rapid of less importance and encamped, our people being almost exhausted with fatigue; on the right is a creek called * bayou de la saline'; about a league up the Creek is a salt-lick, which by digging yields salt water resembling what we have already seen; there is also blue slate near the same situation. This afternoon our hunters shot twice at a Buffalo & wounded him severely, the blood flowing as he run, but he escaped. Our tents were pitched on a stony and gravelly beach, they were completely paved with stones of a


i8o4 1 great variety in kind, color and size. Therm' at December/ gh ^ j^ ^^o—Extremes 36°-5o° Made only 4

miles 164 perches.

Wednesday 5'.'' Therm^ in air 23° in water of the river 47° — very serene — calm — river fallen 2 inches. The morning tho' cold was agreeable, the air being very dry : all night we hear'd the roaring of a Cataract, which we were to encounter this morning; we were presently at the foot of it; the violence of the rapid was about 100 yards in length, & as I sat in the cabin of the barge with my eye lowered to the level of the still water of the reach above the rapid, I found there was a fall of 4^^ feet; we sent our rope a head as usual; but made very little progress for some time, the rope being entangled among sharp rocks which endangered its cutting, the consequence of which might have been fatal to all on board the barge, with the entire destruction of the boat and every thing contained in it; the passage was full of breakers and studded all over with pointed rocks, so that it was necessary to guide with the utmost care, to be able to pass clear of those unfriendly obstacles: the men on shore exerted themselves greatly, but were frequently obliged to rest, & the boat was often at an entire stand, at length the rope escaped from the rock which bent it out of its course, and we began to move up very slowly,


frequent rests were necessary & in about an hour ri8o4 and a half we ascended above the rapid which l December was only about 150 yards in length; a small island here divided the river into two channels, we took the shortest tho' the most rapid, because it was most favorable for the use of the rope: The french hunters have denominated this place * La Cascade' on account of the rapidity & great fall of the water within so small a space : below the Cascade, we had rocky hills on both sides, the quality very hard freestone, but that found in the bed of the river which was rolled down by the floods from the upper countries, was very frequently of the hardest flint, sometimes resembling the Turkey stone. Being embarrassed upon the rapids we could not land to observe at noon. We were obliged to use the rope a second time to ascend a very impetuous rapid, altho' much inferior to that of the morning: at i^ 45' p.m. passed a creek on the right called * fourche au Tigre' (Tiger creek) 4 computed leagues from the Chutes; it would seem that the Early Hunters have calculated their leagues by the time required to ascend the stream, & not by distance, as it appears from our calculation, that the distances passed over are frequently not above half those by computation: we now carry the rocky hills with us very often on both sides; rich bottoms nevertheless are not infrequent, & the upland is sometimes of moderate elevation

i8o4 1 tion & toUerably level: we are informed that up Decemberj ^j^g fourche au Tigre, & other Creeks there are many extensive tracts of rich level land. The stones and rocks we now meet with are chiefly penetrated along their fissures by sparry and chrystaline matter. Last night a band of Wolves howled in our neighbourhood a great part of the night. Turkeys become now much more abundant & less difficult of approach than below, our hunters generally kill some every day. The opposition on the river was to day so great, that we made only 3 miles 128 perches, altho' by the old computation our days voyage was little short of 3 leagues. Therm' at 8^ p.m. 38° Extremes 23°—56°

Thursday 6*> Therm' in air 45° in river water 48°—cloudy —light wind at S.W. river fallen 2 inches. We were encamped last night upon excellent land, tollerably level, and of a good dark brown or blackish soil at the surface, about 12 inches deep, lying upon a yellowish loam ; the growth of timber is large and handsome, chiefly a forest of Oak with an admixture of ash, hickory, elm &c, a field of corn has been formerly cultivated here by one of the hunters during the summer recess from hunting. This morning the Weather being cloudy we apprehended rain, but hoped to reach the * fourche of Calfat' (Caulker's creek) the point which is to terminate our navigation,


& encamp before bad weather; we according- ri8o4 ly proceeded on without material interruption [December until the hour of breakfast, carrying with us high hills on the left and good level lands on the right, subject perhaps to be inundated: at 9^ a.m. arrived at the foot of a very long precipitous rapid, it seemed to be divided into four steps, one of which was at least 15 inches perpendicular exclusive of the inclined plane above and below, the whole could not be less than 5^ feet perpendicular from the beginning to the end, which was about 400 yards, altho' the swift water continued half a mile: the rope was carried along the bank as usual, and many stops were made upon the rocks before coming ' to the great fall; at last the barge entered between two high rocks, the men exerted themselves vigorously both on shore and aboard ; the barge appeared to be ascending an inclined plane of 12 or 15 degrees ; great exertions were necessary, she however passed without touching any other obstacle but the impetuous torrent and in a few seconds was drawn into moderate water to the infinite joy of the whole party; upon another part of the rapid higher up, we got upon a rock, which seemed to serve as a pivot, upon which the boat turned as a Center; after reiterated exertions, we could neither advance nor retreat, we therefore unloaded about one quarter of the cargo which enabled her to pass


i8o4 I up without difficulty: we immediately re-loaded Decembcrj having spent three hours in getting over this rapid, and proceeded a quarter of a mile farther to Ellis' Camp a little below the * fourche au Calfat' (Caulker's creek): Here terminates our voyage upon the river upwards, for the present. Our pilot considers this the most convenient landing, from whence to transport by land our necessary baggage to the hot-springs, the distance being about three leagues. There is a creek about 2 leagues higher up, called * bayou des sources chaudes' (hot-spring Creek) upon the banks of which the hot springs are situated, about 2 leagues only from its mouth, but the road is very hilly and therefore less eligible than the path from this camp or landing, which is almost a level road. Upon ascending the hill to encamp we found the land extremely level and very good, with some plants in flower & a great many evergreen vines; the forest is chiefly oak with an admixture of other timber as before mentioned: soon after we arrived it began to rain, we were however tented before it commenced. Therm' at 8^" p.m. 56? Extremes 54°-67? Our short voyage this day was only 2 miles 32 perches.

Friday f^ Thcrmf before san-rise 38° in river water 47° Cloudy — Wind N.W. river risen 4 inches. In the morning Doctor Hunter with the Pilot &c


went to view a salt-lick about a mile to the [1804 West of our camp but found no salt water ; the 1 December clay was extremely stiff and difficult to dig: after breakfast dispatched the Pilot with the greatest part of our people with their own baggage & some provisions to encamp at the hot-springs, hoping to find Cabins there sufficient to hut our party with orders to return early next morning so as to take out a load of more baggage and instruments. Took the sun's meridian altitude; Latitude deduced 34° 27' 31'.5 — Therm! at 3^ p.m. 50° — the weather cleared up about g^ p.m. and became very serene and cool with wind at N.W. some venison and turkey were procured by the hunters: altho' we have frequently seen the tracks and other marks of buffalo, we are hitherto disappointed in killing any of them.

Therm! in air 10° in river water 43° —very Saturday 8!ll serene—light wind at N.W. river risen 4 inches. We found the weather this morning extremely cold, the therm' having fallen lower, than we expected in this latitude, particularly at the present early period of the winter season; it is perhaps to be ascribed to the elevation of the country and neighbourhood of mountains: as we have no barometer with us to indicate the pressure of the atmosphere, we shall when we get to the hot springs, ascertain the degree of


i8o4 ] the thermometer at which water boils, from Dccemberj ^hjch scientific men may draw their own conclusions respecting the elevation of the land.

At lo^ a.m. our people returned from the hot-springs, each giving his own account of the wonderfril things he had seen: they were unable to keep the finger a moment in the Water as it issued from the rock, they drank of it after cooling a little and found it very agreeable; some of them thinking that it tasted like Spice-wood tea. The people after refreshment were dispatched with another load of necessary baggage.

Took the Sun's meridian altitude again to day & found the latitude to be 34° 27' 27" being 4" less than yesterday; should no more observations for the Latitude be made here, we may consider it as fixed at 34*^ 27' 29". The Thermf at 3^ p.m. 47° We may prepare for another cold night: a flock of swans passed us to day: we have had an abundance of venison & turkey since we landed here, sufficient to supply the whole party with fresh provisions. The bank or hill upon which we are encamped is at least 50 feet perpendicular above the present level of the river, and therefore I presume 30 feet clear of inundation. Some hills of considerable height are in view, clothed with pine trees, but the lands around us extending far beyond our view, lie very handsomely for cultivation ; the superstratum

Stratum is of blackish brown color from 8 to 12 [1804 inches deep, lying upon a yellowish basis, the \ December whole intermixed more or less with stone & gravel & fragments of blue schistus, which is frequently found so far decomposed as to have a strong aluminous taste. The therm!; at 8^ p.m. 26°; very serene and calm, the stars shone with uncommon lustre: in an hour more the face of the heavens was changed, a general cloud produced an intense darkness; the therm! rose to 36? and we expected snow or rain; after midnight notwithstanding, the clouds were dissipated, the face of heaven recovered its brightness & the Stars shone with undiminished splendor. Extremes of the therm! i o°—^y°

Therm! in air 19° in river water 41° very Sunday 9*.'' serene — Wind moderate at N.W. river risen 2 inches. The people returned from the springs between 9*^ & 10^ a.m. and after some time given for repose and refreshment, the party set out again with such baggage as was immediately wanted, and Doctor Hunter and myself accompanied them; the people complained of the length of the road and weight of the loads, we therefore diminished the latter; The Sergeant and one private remained in care of the Barge and her stores. We left the river camp about noon and with many delays and haults for resting we arrived at the hot springs at 4^ ^ p.m.—


i8o4 1 the distance is computed to be 9 miles, which Decemberj ^^ shall verify by actual measurement, probably on our return : the first six miles were in a general westerly direction with many sinuosities and the last three northerly, which courses were necessary to avoid crossing some very steep hills. We found on the way three principal salt-licks & some inferior, which are all frequented by buffalo, deer &c the soil around consisted of a white tenacious clay, probably fit for Potter's ware; hence the name * Glaise' which the french hunters have bestowed upon most of the licks which are frequented by the beasts of the forest, altho' salt is not always to be found in such places so as to merit attention: we saw on the way recent tracts of the Buffalo and several Deer skipped along before us; we did not follow the game, being desireous of arriving at our destination before evening. The people were much fatigued with this days labor, altho' the road is by no means bad or hilly, but there is no doubt that a heavy load constantly bearing a man down must be very fatiguing upon the best of roads: the time and difficulties of moving our small baggage and provisions, altho' nothing but what is essentially necessary, to so small a distance, naturally sugests the inconveniencies which must arise in transporting over unknown mountains between the sources of the red and Arcansa rivers, baggage & provisions indispensibly necessary,

cessary, with tools and implements for the con- ri8o4 struction of a boat or boats to descend the 2*^ [December river. Soldiers accustomed to carry moderate loads only, would find it intoUerable to transport burthens which would be thought light by a Canadian or other woodsman enured to such hardships: a little calculation will shew what ideas we ought to form upon this subject. The provisions, instruments, arms & other baggage which may be deemed indispensible for 15 persons engaged on such an expedition, i. e. what must be transported from the head of one river to the commencement of navigation on the other, are certainly not over-rated at 3000 lib; of the whole party 10 carriers are the highest number we can calculate upon, some being necessary to guard the two camps while the scientific persons unattended would explore the environs : those i o carriers from what we have seen could not be expected to carry for a number of days successively more than 50 pounds each (several of our people were incapable of doing so much) and ten miles to go loaded & return empty day after day even on a tollerably level road, is perhaps beyond what we can flatter ourselves with accomplishing ; thus it would require at least six days to transport the baggage 10 miles, and the seventh would be demanded as a day of repose : now if the heads of navigation should be only 50 miles apart, & the passage not


. [ 98 ]

i8o4 \ rugged or mountainous, it would require at the December J j^^g^ ^^ ^j^yg ^.q p^gg along the unknown region ;

and if allowance be made for such difficulties as ought to be expected including bad weather, we shall perhaps still flatter ourselves, if we expect to complete this portage in 50 days: on due consideration therefore it may be more advantageous (if the expedition is to be carried on by soldiers who cannot travel without their rations, tents, baggage & above all their execrable whisky) to explore one river only at a time. When arrived at the head of Navigation which will constitute a kind of head quarters and point of departure, the scientific men with a sufficient party may make with tollerable convenience excursions of 30, 40 or 50 miles in all directions, prolonging the time according to the fortune of procuring game, which will enable the party to reserve the provisions taken from Camp for their return: an advantage resulting from this plan would be the facility of transporting specimens of natural history meriting attention; it is evident that this benefit must, upon the other plan, be nearly given up excepting on the descent of the second river. I am not ignorant that the plan originally proposed may be carried into efl^ect, but this must be done by persons chosen for the object, in order that it may be done with economy & in a reasonable time: Two young men of science of robust constitutions attended by four Canadian

or other woodsmen inured to fatigue and who ri8o4 can depend altogether on their guns for subsist- I December ence may accomplish this object; they will be able to transport at once, their blankets, their arms and amunition, a little parched meal, very light instruments, such as a 3 inch sextant which may be graduated to 20" of a degree, a pocket case with a few re-agents for mineralogical assays, and 3 or 4 days provisions in case of disappointment in finding game; (spirituous liquors must be out of the question :) Such a party, each carrying a light ax for the purpose of building Canoes &c may accomplish the object proposed, upon supposition that no hostility is to be apprehended from the natives.

From the river camp for about two miles, the lands are level and of second rate quality, the timber chiefly oak intermixed with others common to the climate and a few scattering pine-trees ; further on, the lands on either hand arose into gently swelling hills, clothed chiefly with handsome pine-woods: the road passed along a valley frequently wet, by numerous rills and springs of excellent water which broke from the foot of the hills : as we approached the hot-springs the hills became more elevated and of steep ascent & generally rocky; those hills are here dignified by the name of mountains, altho' none of those yet in view exceed 4 or 500 feet; it is said that mountains of more than five times


1804 1 the elevation of these hills are to be seen in the December j North-west towards the sources of the Washita river; one of those has been called the glass, Chrystal or Shining mountain, on its surface is to be found vast numbers of large hexagonal prisms of very transparent colorless chrystal, generally surmounted by pyramids at one end, rarely at both; they do not produce a double refraction : many searches have been made over those mountains for the precious mettals, but hitherto without success, so far as I can learn.

We found at the Hot-springs an Open Log-Cabin and a few huts of split boards, all calculated for summer encampment, & which have been erected by persons resorting to the Springs for the recovery of their health; we shall endeavour to render our temporary lodging comfortable for the people and ourselves during the short time we expect to stay here: we are a little discouraged by the dilatory ways of the Soldiers; it is evident that to promote the advancement of an object similar to ours, they ought to be commanded by a commissioned officer, whose manners and disposition would render him an agreeable companion to his fellow laborers : it cannot be said that the Soldiers are disobedient, on the contrary they are to me uniformly respectful, but it sometimes appears that a spur is wanting, & there is no person here who treats them otherwise than with civility ;


[ 'o> J

there is also some appearance of design to pro- J1804 long their return to new-orleans, the present 1 December service being much more agreeable to them than the duty of a garrison under the eye of their officer.

On our arrival w^e immediately tasted of the hot-spring water, that is, after a few minutes cooling, for it was impossible to approach it with the lips when first taken up, without scalding : having arrived here without prejudice for or against the springs I did not discover any other taste except that of very good water rendered hot by culinary fire; some of our people pretended to have discovered cathartic properties, which must be feeble, as I have been unable to detect the existence of such a quality in the waters. Therm'at 8^ p.m. 28° Extremes 19^-42?

Therm' 26°—very serene. Wind moderate at Monday io'> N.W. — We spent a cold night in our new lodgings, not being able to keep up a large fire in the Cabin, which is only 12 feet square without a chimney. From the complaints of great fatigue by the people, we found it necessary to allow some repose, and ordered the people to go into the river camp, there to remain during the night and return the day following with more of our baggage, directing the loads to be made still lighter: the day proved serene and fine, but as we had been obliged to leave our instruments

i8o4 1 struments yesterday at the river-camp, no astro-Decemberj nomical observations could be made this day. We visited all the hot springs ; they issue from the sides and foot of a hill placed on the east side of the narrov^ valley where we are hutted, one small spring only rises out of the face of the west bank of the creek; from the quantity of calcareous matter deposited by it it does not appear to be of long standing; a natural conduit probably passes under the bed of the creek to supply it. There are four principal springs arising immediately on the east bank of the Creek, one of which may rather be said to spring out of the gravel bed of run ; a fifth smaller one is that just mentioned rising on the west side of the creek; a sixth of the same magnitude is the highest or most northerly one rising near the bank of the Creek; those are all the sources which merit the name of springs near to our huts; but there is a considerable one some distance below, & all along the creek at intervals the water oozes out or drips from under the bank into the creek, which during the present cool season is very evident from the condensed vapor which floats along the margin of the Creek, where those drippings are visible & even where none is to be seen ; a statement will hereafter be given of the temperatures of the respective springs with the quantity of water delivered and references to their respective positions;


from some slight trials, it appears that the high- [1804 est temperature is about 148° to 150? of Farhe- 1 December neit's thermometer.

In the afternoon we ascended the hill of the hot springs, it is of a conical form terminating at top with a few loose fragments of rocks covering a flat space of twenty five feet diameter: altho' we have said the hill is conical, yet it is not entirely insulated, for it is connected by a very narrow ridge with the neighbouring hills.

The primitive rock of this hill above the base is chiefly Silicious, some part of it being of the hardest flint, others of the nature of freestone extremely compact & solid, and of a great variety of colors; the base of the hill, & indeed for a considerable extent, is composed of blackish blue schistus, which divides into perpendicular laminag like blue slate; The water of the hot springs is therfore delivered from the siliceous rock, but this is generally invisible at the surface, being encrusted by or rather buried in the mass of calcareous matter, perpetually precipitated from the water; iron in small proportion was also deposited in form of a red calx, the colour of which was frequently distinguishable in the lime.

Under the hotest water we observed a lively green appearance, which at first induced us to suppose that copper might be present, but on closer inspection, we found it to be a soft tender


18o4 1 matter, perhaps a feculum deposited by the water;

December J j^ jj^^y. possibly be of the same nature with the green matter found in conduits or even in well buckets under pure water at common temperature, respecting which a dispute arose (I think) between Doctor Priestly and other Philosophers, whether this green mater is a perfect vegetable or only a feculum; the question is perhaps now decided (if we suppose the green matter of the hot springs to be of the same kind) for by reasoning from analogy, no vegetable can be supposed to exist in the temperature of 150°; but we must beware of presuming to set bounds to the powers of Nature: we shall hereafter examine this matter with due attention; we shall only now observe, that this substance seems to be deposited by successive thin laminae.

As we advanced up the calcareous region of the hill, we discovered several patches of rich black earth, which appears to be formed by the decomposition of the calcareous matter: in other situations appeared an incrustation of limestone, i. e. the superficial earth was penetrated, indurated and encrusted by lime with fine laminas or minute fragments of iron ore : we entertained no doubt that the water of the hot springs had here issued formerly from the hill and run over the surface, and that the entire mass of the calcareous rock to the height of one hundred feet perpendicular has been created by the incessant


depositions of the hot springs; in this^igh sit- ri8o4 nation we found a spring whose temperature is 1 December 140°

After passing the calcareous region, we found the primitive hill covered by a forest, whose trees were not of the largest size; they consisted chiefly of Oak, Pine, Cedar, Holly, hawthorn with many others common to the climate, with a great variety of vines, some said to produce black & some yellow grapes, both excellent in their kinds: the soil is extremely rocky, interspersed with gravel, sand & fine black vegetable mold. When we had advanced about 250 feet perpendicular up the hill, we found a change in the soil; it was equally stoney & gravelly as below with a superficial coat of black mold but immediately under the last was found a basis of fat, tenacious, soapy, red clay, inclining to the colour of bright Spanish snuff; it seemed to be very homogeneous with scarcely any admixture of sand and no saline taste, but rather soft and agreeable; the same timber continues but diminishing in size as we ascend the hill, and rocks increasing to the top : We estimate the whole height of the hill to be about 300 feet above the level of the valley where we are hutted. Therm! at 8!" p.m. 28° Extremes 26°-5o°

Thermometer before sun-rise 48° Wind S.E. Tuesday 11"' The weather changed very much in the night;


1804 1 it became much warmer and the heavens were Decemberj overcast with one general cloud; the air was still damp and penetrating, and our mansion pervious to the chilling blast, but we made good fires and comforted ourselves in the expectation of favorable weather to enable us to complete our observations and researches. The People arrived about one o'clock in the afternoon with a few things including the instruments.

At 3^ p.m. the thermometer rose to 59° and in the evening at 8!* fell to 50°, the weather being still disagreeable and cloudy. Some venison was brought in after dinner — The People five in number went back to the river to fetch tools and necessaries, while others were occupied in raising a log-chimney at the end of our Cabin, which we proposed to line with stone as a security against fire. No change in the appearance of the weather at bed-time. Extremes of the therm! 48°-59°

Wednesday 12»> Thermometer before sun-rise 36° The weather has become colder, but still continues overcast, damp and disagreeable, the wind being about north, a few drops of rain fell last evening & during the night. As it still continues cloudy, no astronomical observations could be made, I therefore occupied myself in the forenoon in bringing up and completing my journals, and in the afternoon went to examine all the hot springs with


the thermometer: four principal springs seemed f 1804 only to merit attention; those which yielded the \December greatest quantity of water were of the highest temperature and are in the following order. N° i — 150° N°2 145°—N°3 —136 and N° 4 132° the last in order is the only one on the west side of the creek and I did not perceive any signs of hot water anywhere else on that side of the Creek, I therefore conceived that the spring N? 4 is supplied by a channel under the Creek from the general reservoir in the hill on the East: at the spring N° 3 was a small bason of some little depth, in which was a considerable quantity of the green matter in temperature 134? it had much the appearance of a vegetating body, being detached from the bottom yet connected by something like a stem which rested in Calcareous matter, the body of one of those pseudo-plants was about 4 to 5 inches diameter, the bottom a smooth film of some tenacity & the upper surface divided into ascending fibres of ^ to ^ of an inch long resembling the gills of a fish, formed into a kind of transverse rows ; not being then prepared for a more minute investigation, a future examination will be made with the microscope. Should it prove that this is a vegetable production and not an accumulation caused by precipitation, it will be a new proof of the wonderfull powers of nature in the production of animal & vegetable life in temperatures

[ 'o8]

1804 1 peratures which have been hitherto thought suf-December J fjcjent to extinguish the vital principle: Should this green matter prove to be vegetable, I shall confidently expect the discovery of animal life; for no plant I believe upon due research will be found without its animal inhabitant. A little farther on, we came to another small muddy bason, in which a vermes about ^ an inch long, was moving with a serpentine or vermicular motion, the water was found a little warm to the finger : I observed invariably that the green matter forming on stones & leaves covered a stratum of Calcareous Earth, sometimes a little hard & brittle, but at other times soft and imperfect, but whether the lime favors the production of the green matter or vice versa, we probably shall not have time to ascertain. Therm? at 8 p.m. 36° Extremes 36°-5o°

Thursday 13"' Therm? before sunrise 26° Wind north. The weather still continues cloudy, dark and disagreeable ; finding no probability of making any astronomical observations this day I determined to make an excursion upon the neighbouring western mountain, and having gained one of its summits about y^ a mile from the Camp, took various courses of Hills & points on the river, & having gone to its extreme summit to the westward about a mile distant, I took courses to the same points in order to ascertain nearly their positions:


We had several fine prospects from this hill, ("1804 which we estimated to be 300 feet higher than \December the valley of the hot Springs where we first ascended, and 400 feet at its western ^extremity; the valley of the Washita river comprehended between the hills on either side, seemed a perfect flat & about 12 miles wide, on all hands we saw the hills, called here mountains rising behind each other: in the direction of north the most distant were supposed to be 50 miles off, & are considered to be those of the arcansa river, the rugged mountains which divide the waters of the arcansa from those of the Washita prevent the Osage Indians from visiting the Washita river, of whose existence they are in general ignorant; were it otherwise, their excursions here, would prevent this place being visited by White persons or even Indians of other tribes, as they make no difliculty of traveling round the mountains which give birth to the Washita by the great prairies, which lie east of the great dividing Ridge, and it is known that those robbers plunder indiscriminately all they can find. In the direction of S.W. we saw at about 50 miles distance, a ridge perfectly level which we supposed to be the high prairies or planes of the red river, so that we had under our Eye an horizon whose diameter was 100 miles, incomplete to the East & N.W. Notwithstanding the late severity of the weather, we found along the ridge a considerable


1804 } siderable number and some variety of plants in Decemberj flQ^gr^ ^ others retaining their verdure. We found indeed the ridge much more temperate than the valley; When we left the valley it was extremely damp, cold and penetrating; upon ascending the ridge, the atmosphere became dry & mild, so that walking thereon was perfectly agreeable: a few of the plants in flower were collected for specimens, but what surprised us much was to find upon this ridge a species of Cabbage, the plants grew with expanded leaves spreading on the ground, of a deep green with a shade of purple, the taste of the cabbage was plainly predominant with an agreeable warmth inclining to the raddish ; several tap-roots penetrated into the soil, of a white colour, having the taste of horse raddish, but much milder ; a quantity of them were brought to camp & when dressed proved palatable & mild; it is highly improbable that any Cabbage seed has ever been scattered upon this ridge, the hunters ascending this River have always pursued far different objects ; we must therefore consider this Cabbage (untill farther elucidation) as indigenous to this sequestered quarter & may be denominated the Cabbage raddish of the Washita. I shall preserve and take with me several living plants in hopes of procuring in due time seeds from which the curious may be furnished. We also found growing here a plant which is now green, called by


[ "I ]

the French *racine rouge* (red root) which is ri8o4 said to be a specific in female obstructions, it has l^^^ccinber also been used combined with the china root to die red, which last probably acts as a mordant: having understood that it has also been used with the bark or root of an aromatic Vine, (which I shewed to M' Bartram at Baton Rouge) for the same purpose of fixing a red die. The top of this ridge is in a manner crowned by rocks of a flinty kind. So very hard as to be improper for gun flints ; when applied to that purpose, it very soon digs out cavities in the hammer of the lock. This hard stone is generally white but frequently clouded with red, brown black & some other colours, and no doubt in the hands of a practical mineralogist, would receive a variety of denominations such as agate, jaspar, calcedony, Carne-lian & perhaps some of the adamantine genus. Notwithstanding the abundance of rock, a great deal of excellent black vegetable earth was found along the ridge, and generally an understratum of darkish or greyish brown earth producing oak & Hickory with other woods & a great number of grape vines, said to yield excellent black grapes, there is no doubt that this soil upon the top & sides of these hills is well adapted to reward the labors of an expert Vigneron. Here & there we met with fragments of Iron stone & often where a tree had been overturned by the roots, some schistose stones were brought to view


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i8o4 1 which were suffering decomposition by their December J exposure to the atmosphere; in returning we descended the hill obliquely & found for 200 feet perpendicular the same kind of stone, much broken into loose fragments, and slipping under foot frequently endangered our falling, the hill being in many places extremely precipitous: in this position we dug into the side of the hill and found the 2*^ stratum to consist of a reddish Clay somewhat resembling that found near the top of the Conical hill to the East of our Camp, but not so highly coloured nor so argilacious, the proportion of silex being manifestly much greater. We continued to descend and found at ^ of the hill downwards, the rock to alter considerably. & altho' it still continued siliceous, yet it was rather a very hard freestone mixed with fragments of flint which had probably rolled from above, descending still lower we found a blue schistus, in a state tending to decomposition wherever it was exposed to the atmosphere; more interiorly the schistus was hard resembling coarse Slate. Few other argilacious stones presented themselves to view, the siliceous were always predominant; & we often found what had much the appearance of the Turkey oyl-stone. Towards the base of the hill was a considerable expansion of tollerably good land, lying sufficiently level for cultivation and is supposed to be a good soil for wheat. The timber such as above


described with a large proportion of Pine. ri8o4 Therm^'at 8^ p.m. 30° Extremes 26^-40° wind IDecember North.

Therm^ 28° Wind N.E. Cloudy, dark, cold Friday 14'.^ and sleet—This morning has made no improvement upon the weather; rain & sleet fell in the night & the ground is hard frozen. D-*^ Hunter had proposed an excursion into the mountains with a Party this day, but the appearance of the weather forbids it: the bad state of our mansion calling for further repairs in the present severe weather, we employed some of our people in shutting up the cracks and openings between the logs, which will render our dwelling more comfortable ; placed some of the flowers collected between hortus-siccus-paper and had the roots of the new Cabbage planted so as to be preserved until our return.

The day continues to drip a little from time to time, being still dark, damp and disagreeably cold. Therm^"" at 8^ p.m. 32° Extremes 28°-40° We have news from the Sergeant that the river has fallen 5 feet.

Therm'f 26° Wind N.W. strong. The morn- Saturday 15'!' ing was cloudy, but less dark and disagreeable than the day before. The air became drier and the clouds were dissipating by 9 & 10 o'clock; prepared for a meridian observation; the wind



1804 1 blew very strong down the valley, we are here December J pj^ced as in a point of convergence; for whether the wind blows directly or obliquely into the valley from above or below, it is reflected from the faces of the hills on one hand & by three lesser vallies on the other so as to have its force directed against this point as a Center; there will therefore be a breeze here when there is none upon the adjoining hills, perhaps the rarefaction produced by the hot Springs may also contribute in some measure at this season. At noon had an observation altho' much disturbed by the frequent recurrence of violent blasts of wind which greatly agitated the mercury of the artificial horizon ; it appears that the Lat. here will be about 34° 31', but as I intend to make a short series of observations with the face of the Instrument both East & west, the final result will then appear. Therm*? at 3^ p.m. 32° at S^ p.m. 30°

Sunday le^i^ Thermf 21° Wind moderate N W this morning is cold but promises fine weather, the wind nevertheless arose at 9 o'clock & continued to blow strong all day. Prepared for astronomical observations. Took corresponding equal altitudes of the Sun with corresponding azimuths before & afternoon, with the help of a common circumferenter, by which it appears that the magnetic variation is 8° 20' East; this being


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about the expected variation, we may conclude, ri8o4 that the needle is not here influenced by any "^ ^^^"^ ^^ local attraction Took also equal altitudes for the regulation of the watch before & afternoon. Took also the Suns mer. alt. with the face of the Instrument reversed, and in the Evening between lo & II o'clock, the ThermV being at 22° perfectly serene & calm, took 9 lunar distances between the moon's east limb & a Arie-tis; the evening was perfectly agreeable & not sensibly cold altho' the Therm'f was so low; I conclude these observations to have been made with great accuracy from the advantages of the circumstances, the Circle was mounted on its pedestral very firmly, the Star towards the west & the moon over head so that when both were brought into the field of view & the Star made to move gently across the limb of the moon by a turn of the foot screw backwards & forwards, or by sliding the foot a little to the right & left so as to discover the true point of contact on the moon's limb, the Star being left a little open, the observer had only to wait with his eye fixed on a permanent steady object untill he was convinced of the contact being perfect; I consider one observation made in this way superior to any number or set of observations made by an instrument supported upon the arms of the most experienced observer; I would therefore recommend to all persons using a Sextant or reflecting


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i8o4 1 Circle by land, to adopt a pedestal of support December J ^j^h the three necessary motions; the superiority is so great that he who has accustomed himself to use the one mode cannot reconcile himself to the manifest imperfection of the other; the observation being made the angle is read off without stirring the Instrument, so that every thing is ready fixed to the eye for the next observation ; I perceive that when all things are favorable a set of distances may be taken by the difference of i' of a degree precisely between the observations; i. e. by moving the index before making the observation, exactly one minute in advance, so that it may be written down by the assistant before the time of counting Seconds: this will operate as a check also upon the negligences of young assistants, a mistake in minutes of time would thus be easily detected; this mode I shall follow in future, as being easier and more perfect: Therm? at 8^ p.m. 22° Extremes 21°-


Monday 17"^ Therm^f before Sun rise 26° wind moderate N.W. The morning is bright & promises a fine day. Yesterday Doc? Hunter made an excursion into the mountains, & to day he goes again. He discovered nothing of importance hitherto, the only metal of which we have seen any indications has been Iron, the ore of which is scattered about in small fragments upon the hills and in


the water courses. Prepared for observation— ri8o4 took equal altitudes of the Sun before & after- \ December noon to correct the watch, which compared with the result of yesterday's equal altitudes will give the rate of the watch's going, by which the true time of the Lunar observations will be precisely ascertained: took the Sun's meridian altitude with the face of the Instrument again reversed : prepared to observe the distance of the moon from Aldebaran, expecting fine observations from so bright a Star, but we were disappointed, the evening become hazy, the Stars frequently obscured, and a large halo with a broad white brim appeared around the moon. The night became cloudy & some drops of rain or sleet fell, appearance of bad weather for to morrow ThermV at 8!" p.m. 28° Extremes 26°-42°

ThermV 34° wind north. Cold, damp, dis-Tuesday 18''' agreeable. The appearance of the weather prevents D"'Hunter from making another excursion to day, some rain fell in the night, but the aspect of this morning bespeaks snow or sleet. Having no better occupation in the present state of the weather, I brought up my journals and began to form a list of all the vegetables I had seen here and in the neighbourhood upon the River which will be inserted in this journal when made a little more complete; The day continues dark, cloudy & rainy : in the afternoon it began to


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i8o4 1 hail & in the evening it snowed pretty fast; December J ^\^q^^ ^h ^^^^ j^ ^^g ^ inches thick; Thermf

at the same hour 32° Extremes 32°—36-

This evening Doc? Hunter w^as very much indisposed but was relieved before bed time.

Wednesday 19!^ Therm? 30° wind in the valley West, but changeable; This morning we have a full prospect of a northern winter, the ground is covered 4 inches deep with snow and it continues from time to time to fall, tho' not remarkably fast, the eves of our Cabin hang with beautiful icicles, which we have the pleasure of admiring thro' the logs as we sit by the fire side: out-door business being out of the question, I continue to augment my list of vegetables from memory & with the help of the pilot, who proves to be tolerably intelligent. The Doctor has been unable to discover any thing in the water of the hot springs except some weak acid which is probably carbonic; the water has been from this cause a little hard & therefore not so proper for washing, as the soap is decomposed in some measure : the same state of the weather continues, the therm? at 3^? p.m. being at 30° and at S^ p.m. 28? at bed time the weather still continues dark and threatening more snow.

Thursday 20"" Therm' 30° wind in the valley west. There appears over head driving light clouds from the


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N.W. The snow still continues lying on the f 1804 ground, the night was very cold, but has greatly L December softened towards morning, from appearances we expect a thaw, it becomes a little clearer. The D?5 and myself both a little indisposed probably from cold & wet feet and the inclemency of the weather; after breakfast, some hopes of the clouds dissipating. The Sun has shewn himself thro' the veil of clouds for a. moment. Prepare for observation but disappointed the heavens are again completely veiled in clouds and a thaw comes on, the Therm^' being at 36? at 3^ p.m. Engaged writing great part of the day. Examined some water of one of the hot springs, which stood a little stagnated on one side, its temperature 132° found no living animal in it, by the aid of an excellent microscope examined also some of the green matter and the white coagulum lying under it which I shall further prosecute with day light, being unable yet to determine whether the green matter is vegetable or merely a feculum. Therm- at i o^ p.m. 32° The weather continues cloudy & the snow lies upon the ground the thaw having stopped.

Therm*', 32° Wind N. No favorable change Friday 21" as yet in the weather; cloudy, damp, dark & cold, the snow still lies upon the ground, so that the D-"^ is unable to undertake another more considerable excursion as he intended. We were

i8o4 1 ini hopes also of making another set of astro-December j nomical observations for the Long, of this place, but as the time is now much advanced we shall be desirous of getting away as soon as the weather permits the transport of our baggage: — in the meantime the Doctor is desireous of making another excursion while we are preparing to move: observed a spot of ground on the same side of the creek with the hot Springs, covered with herbage which had not lost but partially its verdure; upon this spot no snow lay, it appeared to thaw as soon as it fell, altho' on other places even very near some of the hot springs the snow remained undissolved; as soon as the weather permits I shall examine this ground and ascertain the temperature which resists the rigours of winter: what a fine situation for a green or hot house, where at a small expence all the tropical fruits may be propagated. Therm^f at 3*? p.m. 36° it has rained a little we were in hopes of seeing the snow carried away, that it might afterwards become dry under foot: yesterday our pilot & some of the people went out a hunting & fell in with some buffalo ; two of them were shot at and grievously wounded, the blood streaming from their sides as this happened in the evening they were unable to follow the chase, but returned to the pursuit this morning, they discovered the tracks and blood which they followed great part of the day without coming

[ '2' ]

ing up with the buffalo & were obliged to re- J1804 turn without success; it appears that the great I December strength of this animal enables him to carry off on many occasions several shots without falling, it is necessary to shoot him thro* the heart to make him fall speedily ; we are told that a rifle bullet is by no means certain (if ever so well directed) of penetrating thro' the scull into the brain, or if it does, provided the ball only reaches into the front or fore part of the brain, the animal will not fall; some even assert that the thickness and strength of the scull with the immense quantity of hair which covers the head of the buffalo will resist the penetration of an ordinary rifle bullet. Some venison was brought in so that we are never without fresh provisions. The Turkeys are not plenty in this neighbourhood, keeping near the river. Found a myrtle wax tree covered with its fruit, which must have hung since July or August, the wax is no longer green having changed its colour to a greyish white by being so long exposed to the atmosphere ; examined the berries with the microscope ; the whole berry is a little oval and less than the smallest garden pea, the nucleus or real seed is as large as a raddish seed covered all over with a number of brownish kidney shaped glands of a brown colour & sweetish taste, those glands secrete the wax, which completely envelopes them & gives the whole the appearance


i8o4 1 at this season of an imperfectly white berry;

Decemberj ^j^jg ^g ^ valuable plant and merits cultivation; its favorite position is a dry soil rather poor & looking dow^n upon the water, it is excellently adapted to ornament the Margins of Canals, lakes or rivulets; the Capina Yapon is equally beautiful & proper for the same purpose. It grows here along the banks of this stoney Creek intermingled with the myrtle, and bears a beautiful little red berry very much resembling the red Currant. Thermal at S^ p.m. 31°

Saturday 22".? Therm^ 31 ° wind N. dark & cloudy, the Snow continues upon the ground, without any prospect of favourable change ; after breakfast it began to rain, the water the rain froze as it fell upon the branches of the trees, many limbs broke down around us in consequence of the weight of the Ice adhering to them; we are still confined within doors by the inclemency of the weather which greatly retards us, so that we cannot even prosecute our intended researches respecting the hot springs. Engaged writing great part of the day ; we had i o quarts of the hot spring water evaporated which produced about 10 grains of matter, of which the chief part appeared to be carbonated lime with some feculum, the greater part disolved with effervescence in the muriatic acid. The Therms at 3*? p. m. 36° The day continues unfavorable & keeps dropping rain


from time to time, yet the snow does not melt: j'1804 The temperature of the hot springs remains the \ December same as in the former trial & the temperature of boiling water was ascertained to be 212° hence it appears that this place is not elevated so as sensibly to alter the pressure of the atmosphere, otherwise water would boil at a smaller temperature. Caused a number of the grape vines to be dug up ready to carry along with us. The Doctor goes on with some more experiments upon the Spring water, the results will be hereafter given. Therm*;^ at 8^ p.m. 34° Snow falls again this Evening — no prospect of a change.

Therm*;' before sunrise 30°. Wind N.W. by Sunday 23"* the clouds, blows down the valley reflected from the side of the hill N.N.E ; this morning some appearance of a change. The clouds (scudding from the N.W.) begin to dissipate, the blue celestial Sky appears in several parts of the heavens. The snow still lies partially on the ground — but we hope it will soon disolve as the Sun appears; prepare for taking equal altitudes in which I succeeded so far as to take the triple contact in the morning for the regulation of the watch and also one azimuth with time & altitude for finding the variation of the magnetic needle; prepared for a meridian observation in order to complete my set of 4 observations for the Latitude of this place, but was disappointed


i8o4 1 by the intervention of Clouds; seeing no pros-December] pgj,^. q£ taking correspondent altitudes in the afternoon determined on visiting the hot springs & adjacent places: It requires a length of time to form a good judgement of a new object, such as the curious one now before us, on the first view we see a creek with a margin of rock & the hot springs here and there trickling over or passing thro' them; the Creek seems to be undermining the rock, which frequently cracks, divides and falls into the Creek; upon a closer examination it will be found that the water of the Creek does not undermine the rock, but on the contrary the rock is continually encroaching upon the breadth of the creek; the hot water is perpetually depositing calcareous matter, perhaps some siliceous matter also : the new formed rock by those means is continually augmenting & projecting its cliffs and promontories over the running water, which prevents this formation below its own surface: wherever the calcareous crust is seen spreading over the bank & margin of the Creek, there most certainly the hot water will be found, either passing over the surface or thro' some channel perhaps below the new rock, or dripping from the projecting edges of the over-hanging precipice ; the progress of nature in the formation of this new rock is curious & worthy the attention of the mineralogist; when the hot water issues from the fountain it frequently

[ "25 ]

quently spreads over a superficies of some extent; J 1804 so far as it reaches on either hand there is a de- \ December position of dark green matter which may either be a plant or only a feculum, I have not yet been able to pronounce w^hich, several laminae of this green matter will be found lying over each other; immediately under and in contact with the inferior lamina which is not thicker than paper is found a whitish matter resembling a coagulum; when viewed with the microscope, this last is also found to consist of several, sometimes a great number of lamina?, of which that next the green matter is the thinest and finest being the last formed, those below encreasing in thickness & tenacity, until the last terminates on a soft earthy matter, and this last reposing on the more solid rock ; each lamina of the coagulum is penetrated in all its parts by calcareous grains which are extremely minute and divided in the more recent web but much larger and occupying the whole of the inferior lamina ; I think it probable that the coagulum is silex and no doubt the grains are lime the under stratum is continually consolidating & adding bulk and heigth to the rock ; when this acquires a certain elevation the water always seeking the quickest descent will find its way over another part of the rock, hill or margin of the creek & forms accumulations by turns over the whole of the adjacent space; the green matter is also designed by nature


[ «26]

1804 1 for a useful purpose; when the water by seeking Decemberj ^g^ channels has entirely forsaken its former situation, the green matter which acquires sometimes a thickness of half an inch, is speedily converted into a rich vegitable earth & becomes the food of plants, the calcareous surface itself decomposes and forms the richest black mold intimately mixed with a considerable proportion of silex (formed as I have supposed from the coagulum) plants and trees of every kind now vegetate luxuriantly upon this soil; many however thrive upon the rock, where very little earth is to be seen, particularly the cedar which seems to grow from between the clefts of the hard rock. The grape vine also seems to prosper in this unpromising situation. I proceeded to examine the piece of ground (above-mentioned) upon which the snow would not lie: I found it covered in a great measure with herbage, which was in part turned brownish by the season, altho' there was on a part of it a very small fine grass which was green, a calcareous Crust appeared in some places at the surface but in general there was a depth of 5 or 6 inches & in some places a foot of the richest black mold, the surface was manifestly warm to the touch; the ThermV in the air was then at 44? when placed 4 inches under the surface & covered with earth, it rose rapidly to 68° and when placed at 8 inches or upon the calcareous rock and covered up it rose to 80?


this result was very uniform over the whole f 1804 surface which was about a quarter of an acre : 1 December in searching we found a spring about 15 inches under the surface which raised the ThermH to 130? Under the black mold was found a brown mixture of lime and silex very loose and divisible, which appeared to be advancing in its progress of decomposition towards the formation of black mold, under the brownish mass it gradually became whiter and harder and at the depth of six to 12 inches was nearly hard calcareous stone sparkling with silex : it was evident from every thing we saw around that the water had passed over this place & formed a flat superficies of siliceous limestone, and that its position nearly level had facilitated the accumulation of earth in proportion as the decomposition advanced : Similar spots of earth were found higher up. The hill resembling little Savannahs near which were always found hot springs, which had once flowed over the Savannahs ; it seems probable that the hot water of the springs, at an early period had all issued from its grand recer-voir in the hill at a much higher elevation than at present, the Calcareous crust may be traced up in most situations on the west side of the hill looking down upon the Creek & valley to a certain heigth,perhaps 100 feet perpend: from that division the hill above rises precipitously & is studded all over with hard siliceous stones;


[ '28 ]

i8o4 1 below the descent is more gradual, the soil cal-Decembcr J careous black earth, the rock itself very often at the surface, & frequently there is a precipice on the margin of the Creek or a very precipitous descent along the calcarious new formed rock. The Therm? at 3^ p.m. was at 44° and at S^ p.m. 38° Doctor Hunter continues indisposed.

Monday 24.^^ Therm? before Sun rise 32? Wind moderate from N.W. Some prospect this morning of a favorable change, the moon is visible, and the Sun yet behind the hill, announces his approach with a bright blase: prepare for observation — took the suns triple contact, hoping to obtain correspondent observations in the afternoon to regulate the watch. The moon was already eclipsed by the Pine tree tops on the western hill before the sun was risen high enough in the East to enable us to take their distance ; We were therefore obliged to wait with patience and ordered all the intervening trees to be cut down to facilitate future observation: at noon obtained a good altitude of the Sun but soon afterwards it became cloudy, so that we got no corresponding altitudes for the regulation of the watch.

The Doctor found himself a little better, we agreed to walk up the hot spring hill to make new observations on this natural curiosity: we


now found it easy to trace out the separation be- f 1804 tween the primitive hill & that which has been t^^^^'"^^'' accumulated upon its west side by precipitation from y' waters of the hot Springs; this last is entirely confined to the west side of the hill washed at its base by the waters of the Creek, no hot spring being visible in any other part of its circumference; by actual measurement along the base of the hill, the influence of the Springs is found to extend 70 perches in a direction a little to the eastward of North; along the whole of this space the Springs have deposited stoney matter, which is probably principally Calcareous, but there is also evidence of Silex and Iron. All the Springs deposit red calx of Iron in their passage to the Creek; the existence of Silex does not appear to me to be so fully decided; there is certainly sparkling chrystals mingled with the lime, particularly remarkable in the calcarious matter partially decomposed, but having observed by the aid of the microscope that the whole of the calcarious rock exhibits nothing but a mass of congregated sparry matter, it is not improbable that those shining chrystals may be chrystalised lime; the Doctor is now employed upon an analysis which will, no doubt, decide the point; from some specimens I shall carry home with me, I shall hope to investigate the matter more at leisure. The accumulation of calcarious matter is much more considerable at the


i8o4 1 north end of the hill than towards the south;

December J ^^le first may be above one hundred feet perpendicular, but sloping much more gradually than the primitive hill above, until it approaches the creek, vv^here not unfrequently it terminates in a precipice of from 6 to 20 feet: the difference between the appearance of the primitive and secondary hill is so striking, that the most superficial observer cannot avoid taking notice of it: the first is regularly very steep studded with rock and stone of the hardest flint and other siliceous compounds all extremely hard, a superficies of two or 3 inches of good mold covers a body of red clay above described: below on the secondary hill, which carries evident marks of recent formation, no flint or siliceous stone is to be seen; the Calcareous rock has concealed all from view, & is itself frequently covered by much fine rich black earth ; it would seem that this compound which is precipitated by the hot waters, encloses in its own bosom the seeds of its destruction, for it is remarkable that when the waters have ceased to flow over any portion of the rock, a superficial decomposition will there speedily take place; tho' I am inclined to suspect that heat communicated from the interior of the hill below contributes much to this operation of nature, because it is observable, that insulated masses of the rock remain without change.


[ '3« ]

The Cedar, the Wax-Myrtle and the Cassina ri8o4 Yapon, all beautiful evergreens attach themselves 1 December particularly to the calcareous region, & seem to grow and thrive in the clefts of the solid rock: at small intervals along the line of separation between the primitive and secondary hill, we discover many sources of hot water; some flowing with some degree of freedom, & others in a manner stagnated and shut in by the accumulations of Stoney Concretion extracted by their own operation from the bowels of the hill. Any spring enjoying a freedom of position proceeds with great regularity in depositing its solid contents ; the border or rim of its bason forms an elevated ridge, from whence proceeds a glacis all around; when the waters have flowed for some time over one part of the brim, this becomes more elevated &c the water can no longer escape on that side, but is compelled to seek a passage where the resistance is least, thus it proceeds with the greatest regularity forming in miniature a Crater resembling in shape the conical summit of a volcano ; the hill being steep above, the progress of petrifaction is stopped on that side, & the waters continue to flow and spread abroad, encrusting the whole face of the hill below. I am persuaded that the accumulations and extent of the calcareous matter would have been vastly greater, perhaps the whole valley might have been filled up with it, did not


i8o4 1 the continual running of the creek water put Decemberj ^ g^^p ^^ j^g progression on that side: the last formed calcareous border of the circular bason, (covered by the green feculum) is soft and easily divided, a little under it is more compact, and at the depth of six inches, it is generally hard white stone; if the bottom of the bason is stirred up, a quantity of red calx of iron arises and escapes over the summit of the crater.

It is surprising to see plants, shrubs and trees with their roots absolutely in the hot water; this circumstance being observed by some of the visitants of the hot springs has induced some of them to try experiments by sticking branches of trees into the run of hot water ; we found some branches of the wax-Myrtle thrust into the bottom of a spring-run, the water being at temperature 130° of Farheneit's thermometer, the foliage & fruit of the branch were not only sound and healthy, but at the very surface of the water fresh roots were actually sprouting from the branch; the whole being pulled up for examination, it was found that the part which had penetrated into the hot mud was decayed: this phenomenon is so new & singular, that few persons will at first be disposed to believe, judging that deception or want of accuracy has led us into error ; it is however in the power of every curious person who will give himself the necessary trouble to try the experiments himself; in


[ '33 ]

the meantime Doctor Hunter and his son are ri8o4 evidences of the truth of the above statement. [December — A luxuriant vegetation clothes the decomposed surface of the calcareous region, the black rich mold being of a good depth in some few places (6 or more inches) & in others shallower, and the rock in other situations is nearly unchanged, giving nourishment however to a mass of very short moss, which is gradually forming a soil different in appearance from that which is generated from the decomposed lime. The primitive part of the hill is greatly inferior in fertility to the secondary or recent portion, but it is far from being sterile: grape vines abound in both, particularly in the calcareous soil.

It may be proper to pause for a moment and enquire what may be the cause of the perpetual fire which keeps up without change the high temperature of so many springs flowing from this hill at considerable distances from each other. Upon looking around us, no data present themselves sufficient for the solution of the problem ; nothing of a volcanic nature is to be seen in this country, neither have we been able to learn that in any part of the hills or mountains connected with this river, there is any evidence in favor of such a supposition. An immense bed of blackish blue schistus appears to form the basis of the hot-spring hill and of all those in its neighbourhood. The bottom or bed of the


[ "34 ]

i8o4 1 creek is composed of scarcely any thing else; I Deccmberj jj^yg frequently taken up pieces of this stone, rendered soft by decomposition and possessing a very strong aluminous taste; it seemed to require nothing but lixiviation and chrystalisation to complete the manufacture of alumn. As all bodies which suffer chemical changes, generally produce an alteration of temperature, it may be enquired whether the decomposing schistus is capable of generating a degree of Caloric corresponding to the temperature of the hot springs. Another cause we shall notice which perhaps will be thought more satisfactory: it is well known that in several positions within the Circle of the waters of this river, vast beds of martial pyrites exist; they have not yet been discovered in the vicinage of the hot springs, but it is extremely probable that they may be accumulated in immense strata under the bases of those hills, and as we have noticed at one place at least some evidence of the existence of bitumen,* we cannot doubt that due proportions of those principles united, will in the progress of decomposition by the admission of air & moisture produce the degrees of heat necessary to support the phenomina of the hot springs. No sulphuric

* Having thrust a stick down into the crater of one of the hot springs some distance up the hill, several drops of petroleum or naphtha rose and spread upon the surface, it ceased to rise after three or four attempts.


[ '35 ]

acid is present in this water; the springs may fi8o4 be supplied by the vapor of heated water ascend- *-ing from the Caverns where the heat is generated ; or the heat may be immediately applied to the bottom of an immense natural Caldron of rock contained in the bowels of the hill, from which as a reservoir the Springs may be supplied. Therm^ at 8!^ p.m. 34° Extremes 32°


Therm! 34° Wind N.W. Cloudy—The state Tuesday is'^ of the heavens did not admit of any astronomical observations in the morning ; it cleared away before noon, so that we had a good meridian altitude of the Sun, which was scarcely over when the clouds overspread again the face of heaven, & it rained a part of the afternoon: the present being Christmas Day, we indulged the men with a holy-day, for which object they had hoarded up their rations of whisky, to be expended in merriment on this occasion, which terminated with inebriety but no ill consequence ensued. We amused ourselves with farther experiments on the hot waters; the conduct of the analysis being left to Doctor Hunter as a professed Chemist, the results will be hereafter given. Thermom! at 8!" p.m. 44° Extremes 34°


Therm 34°. Wind N.W. clear, prepare for Wednesday 26'!'



i8o4 1 observation. Took the Sun's contacts in the Decemberj morning hoping to get equal altitudes in the afternoon; but as this is not always certain, I make it a rule to note down the Sun's altitude, so that the apparent time may be calculated; and if the corresponding altitudes are taken after noon; the calculation of the correction for change of declination during the interval is greatly facilitated by noting the altitudes. Before instruments were brought to their present state of perfection, the method hitherto in use was to be preferred; but no reason can be assigned why we should not now adopt a mode equally correct, which saves half the labor, and more especially that by using the altitudes, we do not require that the Latitude should be previously known.

This afternoon took the Altitude of the hill west of the camp by measurement of a base and two correct angles of elevation with the circle of reflection, and found it to be 300 feet, which is less than we had supposed: very steep hills are extremely imposing ; the ascent of the hill was not much more than double its perpendicular height, i. e. about 700 feet of inclined plane and the angle at its base made by the summit with the horizon above 26° We had no favorable position to ascertain by the same means the height of the hill of the hot springs, but having been on the tops of both distinctiv


[ ^Z7 ]

seen from each other, we judge them to be of ri8o4 equal elevation. \ December

In the morning between lo and 11^ made a set of Lunar observations, by taking twelve distances of the sun and moon's limbs: the moon being advanced within less than 60° of the sun, appeared.with a very faint light in presence of the sun's image altho' darkened considerably, and it required very particular attention to obtain fine contacts, which are supposed to be very correct, altho' the eye remained greatly fatigued. —The afternoon being cloudy prevented taking the correspondent equal altitudes for the regulation of the watch. Therm' at 8!* p.m. 44° Extremes 34°-50?

This morning being fine Doctor Hunter pre- Thursday 27'.^ pared to make his long meditated excursion of 3 or 4 days into the mountains, which the unfavorable state of the weather has hitherto prevented : the thermy stood at 26° before sun rise, and the face of the hill and creek were shrouded in condensed vapor. After breakfast the Doctor set out with our Pilot and three of the people; the rest were dispatched with loads of baggage to the river. Took a set of observations for equal altitudes, but we were again disappointed in obtaining the correspondent afternoon observations by the intervention of clouds; the mornings' altitudes of yesterday and this day will nevertheless


[ '38]

i8o4 \ be sufficient for the regulation of time by the December J ^^tch and obtaining her rate of going. At noon had a very fine altitude of the Sun, which is the seventh observation for the Latitude of this place, and concludes our astronomical observations here, from whence will be deduced (it is hoped) with sufficient precision the Latitude and Longitude of this point of Louisiana, rendered remarkable by the presence of so great a natural curiosity as the Hot-springs. The mean of the seven observations whose respective results were all very near to each other makes the Latitude of the Hot-spring N° 3 to be 34° 30' 59".82. This may be farther corrected by introducing the deviation in north polar distance, occasioned by the nutation of the Earth's axis; this being common to the Sun and to all the Stars ought not to be neglected when great precision is required. The series of observations above mentioned being reduced to the 21^' December as the mean or middle time of the series; it will be found that the Sun's Right ascension was then 9 signs and the place of the moon's ascending node 9 signs 27 degrees; from whence results a correction in the Sun's declination of-4".34 which quantity being additive to the Latitude deduced, gives for the true Latitude 34° 31' 4". 16. The Longitude will be calculated at leisure & will be hereafter noticed.


After the Doctor set out I amused myself f 1804 with pursuing experiments on the analysis of \ December the hot waters &c — Thermometer at 8!* p.m. 38° Extremes 26°-45°

Therm! 34° Wind S.W. — Cloudy — ap-Friday 28'!> pearance of rain or snow — Dispatched six of our people with loads to the river Camp: after breakfast set out upon a geographical tour round the Hill of the hot-springs; young M^ Hunter with one of the people and my negro servant attended: in the course of this survey there was no indication of any hot spring but those of which we have already spoken, all lying on the same side of the hill within a space of 70 perches as has been already noted: Every new inspection of those Curious springs brings forth some addition to the limited knowledge we have acquired of them; we find it now pretty evident that most of the springs if not all have flowed from a more elevated part of the hill than at present ; and the perpetual accumulations of Calcareous matter confining the sources have probably elevated them to nearly the level of the grand recervoir within the bowels of the hill; during this process the calcareous rock has been formed which we now see attached to the side of the hill; at length however the issues of the waters have become so obstructed and probably the level of the water in the grand recervoir so elevated,


[ HO ]

1804 1 that by the superincumbent pressure of the December J waters, new passages have been forced in lower situations: it is evident that the springs which now break forth along the margin of the Creek, cannot be supposed to have flowed for a long time (comparatively) in their present situation; the formation of calcareous rock created by the springs in their actual position, resembling only small excrescences growing from the base of considerable precipices, is a proof of what we have advanced: some of those new springs have formed small flats of 20 to 30 feet extent; in general they have formed little elevations of 5 to 6 feet perpendicular, with a glacis of 10 or 15 feet terminated by a precipitate fall into the creek. Those small accumulations when compared with the great mass of rock spreading along the face of the hill to the perpendicular height of one hundred feet, are certainly a demonstrative proof of the recent existence of the inferior springs: an ingenious observer of Nature, by some years attention might determine the quantity of calcareous matter precipitated in a given time from some one spring, which would furnish us with a datum, from whence to form a proximate calculation of the antiquity of the Springs. We have already noticed that some springs still exist even at the very limit which separates the calcareous region from the primitive hill; their temperature is similar to


[ HI ]

those below, they are all feeble and are soon lost f 1804 upon the face of the hill, & perhaps contribute "^ ^""^ ^^ to augment the inferior springs.

We found the circuit of this hill to be about 3 y^ miles, measuring round its base as correctly as the uneven surface would permit: altho' this hill when seen from the hill to the west of the valley appears to represent a handsome conical monticule in an insulated situation, yet our geographical survey discovered to us that it is connected in the rear by a very narrow ridge, with a chain of inferior hills dividing the Creek of the hot-springs from a branch of the Calfat. We find invariably the upper half of the hills to be filled up with the hardest flinty rocks, with an admixture of the hardest freestone; much of both particularly the first have rolled down & are found all the way to the base: At the foot of those hills & at some elevation are found immense strata of schistus, some of a yellowish color, which forms by decomposition an earth of the same color, presenting at first view the appearance of clay, but it is greatly deficient in tenacity: The base of the hills and the vallies contiguous to the hot-spring hill seem chiefly occupied by a bluish black Schistus, altho' there be veins of the siliceous genus crossing this last in several places: there is no doubt that a manufacture of Alumn might be established here upon an immense scale; the schistus under foot is


i8o4 1 frequently found in a state ready to yield alumn, December j ^g appears from the astringent and sweet taste it possesses.

After our return to Camp, I determined to have another microscopic examination of the green matter and hot water before leaving finally this place. I procured some of the green matter of a very beautiful kind, resembling a moss whose fibres were more than half an inch in length; a film of the same green matter was spread upon a calcareous base, & from the film sprung the fibres representing a beautiful vegetation completely immersed in water of 130° temperature ; This moss (if it shall be found to be vegetable) was brought to this state of perfection by growing in a small natural bason containing some depth of water in a state of comparative repose, communicating freely with one of the springs, but no current passed thro' it.

This moss sparkled before the microscope with innumerable nodules of lime, some part of which seemed to be beautifully chrystalized, and altho' the fine green color of the moss was visible thro' the lime, yet it was thereby so much concealed, that it was impossible to decide whether it possessed the true organic structure of a vegetable; I incline however now to believe that the green matter is a true vegetable, not only from its great resemblance to some of the mosses particularly the Byssi, but also from the


discovery I have just made that this moss is the [1804 residence of animal life: after frequent search 1 December I at length discovered a very minute shell-fish of the bi-valve kind inhabiting this moss; its shape is nearly that of the fresh vv^ater muscle; the color of the shell is greyish brown with certain spots of a slight purplish appearance ; when the animal is undisturbed it opens its shell & thrusts out four legs very transparent, and articulated like those of a quadruped; the extremities of the forelegs are very slender & sharp, but those of the hind legs somewhat broader as if armed with minute toes; from the extremity of each shell, issues 3 or 4 forked hairs, which the animal seems to have the power of moving; the forelegs seem formed for making incisions into the moss for the purpose of procuring access to the juices of the living plant, upon which no doubt it feeds, and I think it highly probable that the animal is provided with a proboscis, tho' I was unable to discover it; the hind legs seem well adapted for propelling the animal in its progress over the moss or thro' the water.

A considerable quantity of snow fell while we were engaged on the survey and after our return. Thermometer at 8^ p.m. 30° Extremes 30°—34° — at 3^ p.m. 32?

Therms 25° Wind at N.W. strong all night, Saturday 29? some flying clouds appear in the morning. — Got


i8o4 1 the people ready with their loads between 9 & December J j ^h ^ j^^ ^^d I set out with them myself for the river camp ; it began to snow at 10 o'clock, but did not continue ; the weather continued cloudy, but the exercize of walking rendered the temperature (tho' cold) very agreeable; the low grounds thro' which we passed were a little watery, in consequence of the rains which had fallen, but not more so, than when we first walked out to the hot springs ; the soil of the flat lands under the stratum of vegetable mould was chiefly yellowish and was evidently decomposed schistus, of which there were immense beds in every stage of its progress from the hard stone recently uncovered, partially decomposed and down to the yellowish earth apparently ho-mogenious. The covering of vegetable mould between the hills and the river is in most places sufficiently thick to constitute a good soil, being from 4 to 6 inches, and it is the opinion of the people upon the Washita that wheat would grow here to great perfection. Altho' the higher hills (300 to 600 feet) are very rocky, yet the inferior hills and sloping bases of the first are generally clothed with a soil of a middling quality, the natural productions are sufficiently luxuriant, consisting chiefly of black and red oak intermixed with a variety of other woods and a considerable undergrowth ; and even on those rocky hills, Nature has bestowed a soil which will


reward the future labors of the industrious Vi- ri8o4 gneron : Nature herself unaided by man has al- t December ready planted on them three or four species of Vines, which are said to produce annually an exuberance of excellent grapes. A great variety of plants, some of which in their season, I am informed produce flowers highly ornamental, would probably reward the researches of the Botanist.

On the way into the river I took the courses by compass and the distances by time ; when the Doctor comes with the last party I have appointed two good hands to chain the same distances, to be noted down by young M.\ Hunter — At 8^ p.m. the therm! was down at 24°—the wind blew strong all the afternoon, but fell calm by night.

I omitted to observe in its proper place that having observed from the bottom of one of the hot springs a frequent ebulition of gas, we should have collected some for examination, but no apparatus was provided for the purpose, it was so unfortunate that we had not even a funnel at the Springs, which with a bottle might have sufficed : it was not hydrogen, because I failed in several attempts to inflame it by a lighted torch : there can be no doubt of its being Carbonic acid, having always found indications of an excess of a weak acid, by which the lime and iron were disolved in the water. With respect to the quantity

i8o4 1 tity of hot water delivered by the springs I made Decemberj ^j^g following rough estimate. — There are four principal springs, two of inferior note, one rising out of the gravel and a number of drippings and drainings all issuing from the margin or from under the rock which overhangs the creek. Of the four first mentioned, three deliver nearly equal quantities, but one (N? i) the most considerable of all and the hottest delivers about five times as much as one of the other three, the 2 of inferior note may be equal to one, and all the drippings & small springs are probably underrated at double the quantity of one of the three; that is, taking all together, the whole will amount to a quantity equal to eleven times the water delivered by the standard spring, which was the only one commodiously situated for measurement ; I neglect the springs up the hill, because it is probable that what is not evaporated unites with the springs below. We found a Kettle containing eleven quarts was filled by the standard Spring in eleven seconds; Hence the whole quantity of hot water delivered by all the springs issuing visibly from the base of the hill may amount in one minute to 165 gallons and in 24 hours to 37713^ Hhds of 63 gallons each, which is equal to a handsome brook and might work an over-shot mill. In cool weather condensed vapor is seen arising out of the gravel bed of the Creek from springs which cannot be taken into


the account; during summer and fall I am in- ri8o4 formed the Creek receives little or no water, but I December what is supplied by the hot-springs, at those seasons probably many small springs may be seen rising out of the bed of the Creek, which are now invisible; during that time the Creek itself is a hot bath, too hot indeed near the springs, so that a person may chuse the temperature most agreeable to himself, by selecting a natural bason nearer to or farther from the principal springs; at 3 or 4 miles below the springs, the water is tepid and unpleasant to drink.

Thermf in air 9° in river water 36° — wind Sunday 30'.^ very light at N.W. This morning & the night past are the coldest we have experienced this winter. The People set off very early to bring in Doctor Hunter's baggage from the springs. Employed myself in bringing up my journals &c — The Doctor arrived with the people about 3!* p.m. — The Sky was most serenely clear this day, its color over head was that of the darkest Prussian blue and during last night the stars shone with uncommon lusture. People have conceived an idea that they see more stars here and at the hot springs than any where else; which idea arises from the extreme transparency of the atmosphere, which causes the stars to strike the eye with greater brightness, and no doubt stars of inferior magnitude will be seen in a


1804 1 pure sky which are invisible in an ordinary one.

December j TJ^ig evening some light clouds appeared about the sun-setting, which is an indication of change of weather; we now anxiously expect rain, as we wait only for the first rise of the river to go down with safety over the falls and rapids; 5 or 6 feet perpendicular will be sufficient. At night the atmosphere became again extremely bright — at 8^ p.m. the therms was at 21° Extremes 9°-38° — It became very cold at lo!" p.m.

Monday 31'.' Therm' in air 29° in river water 36°—Wind S.E. During the night the Weather altered greatly; the temperature was much molified and the stars disappeared; in the morning one general cloud enclosed the horizon, and from the damp penetrating chilliness of the morning we look for snow: ordered setting poles to be made & every thing to be prepared for the first favorable moment to depart. The day continued cloudy, & in the afternoon the therm! having risen to 32° it began to snow and continued all day and part of the night: Examined some of the green moss from the hot-springs, with a view to shew Doctor Hunter one of the Bivalved testaceous animals, found a large one which under the microscope measured V^o of an inch in

length by the micrometer.

1805 1 ^ ^

January >

Tuesday i'.' J This morning the thermometer was at 26° —


[ '49 ]

It had ceased snowing in the night but recom- /1805 menced after day light; the snow was sounded IJ^""^'7 and found in most places to be from 11 to 13 inches ; we are in hopes that the melting of this snow united to the rain which will probably accompany the thaw, will be sufficient to take us down in safety; being desireous however of ascertaining what aid we had to expect from the snow, I made the following experiment — I took a Cylindric Kettle i o inches deep & having by sounding found a flat piece of snow of the same depth, I pressed down the Kettle bottom upwards perpendicularly to the ground; I was thus enabled to return the Kettle completely filled with its column of snow, and having thawed it gradually to the temperature of 33° I found the water to measure exactly 1.07 inches, that is, 9.346 inches of snow will yield one inch of water in the circumstances above mentioned; it is observable that the snow fell lightly without wind, it is therefore probable that the proportion of ten to one may be adopted as a general standard to be varied according to circumstances. The snow continued frozen all day, and the therm!! at 3!* p.m. did not fall below the freezing point and in the evening at 8^ p.m. it was fallen to 18°

Thermometer in air 6° in river water 3 2° Wednesday 2^. Calm — The night proved extremely cold ;


1805 \ large fires with all the covering that could be January] conveniently used were necessary to render our situation comfortable in a bad tent negligently chosen at New Orleans. The sun arose bright and shone with splendor upon the surface of the snow which covered every object upon the ground; the river alone presented a bleak appearance with a condensed vapor floating upon its surface ; the temperature of the river was at the freezing point; a kettle of water being brought up to Camp and placed on the ground four feet from a large fire, its surface began immediately to shoot into icy chrystalizations. — Our hunters are tolerably successful, bringing in every day abundance of Venison and Turkies.— The day became pleasant and agreeable, the temperature at 3^ p.m. being 45° and at 8!" p.m. the thermometer fell to 32°

Thursday 3'! Thermometer in air 22° in river water 34° — wind moderate at N.W. The atmosphere became cloudy in the night and we looked confidently for a change of weather, but this morning it has become serene and fine; the vicissitudes of the weather have of late been frequent, a change is now extremely desireable but the season seems obstinately bent against all change. The day became pleasant and of an agreeable temperature, the thermometer at 3^ p.m. being at 48° and at 8^ in the evening 30°


[ "51 ]

Thermometer in air 22° in river water 36°— fiSos Calm — during the night it became cloudy, not | ^ "J^^'^ ,h a star was to be seen but before morning it cleared away & became perfectly serene and cloudless. The day proved fine, the sky over head of a bright but deep prusian blue, the temperature mild, the thermometer at 3^ p.m. being up to 50° In the afternoon the Doctor made an excursion upon the river to examine some of the neighbouring hills: I continued to bring up and arrange my Journals. The evening was fine, the thermometer at 8^ p.m. was at 32° — no favorable appearance yet of rain to raise the river; the snow is disappearing without producing any beneficial eff^ect: we continue here as prisoners, waiting for what is usually called bad weather, to bear us away from this place.

Thermometer in air 22° in river water 36? Saturday 5*> Wind N.W. The atmosphere became cloudy in the night, but was perfectly serene and clear at day-break, so that we have no near prospect of our departure. The day became fine and seemed to invite us to recommence astronomical observations, and altho' a sufficient series had been made both for Latitude and longitude at the hot-springs connected by survey with this place, yet we began a new series. Equal altitudes of the sun were taken before and after noon; three distances of the moon and sun's limbs


i8o5 1 were taken near 2^ p.m. and in the evening January] thj-ge distances of the moon's west limb from Aldebaran were taken between 6 & 7^ p.m. — a greater number would have been taken, but in the first case the Sun got behind some trees and in the second case, the moon was in a similar situation, if tomorrow proves fine we shall prosecute the same operations to more advantage, having ordered several trees to be cut down which stood in the way — Wind S.E.

The day continued fine and of a mild tem-'perature; some few clouds keep up our hopes of a change — Thermometer at 8^ p.m. 28°— Extremes 2 2°-55°

Sunday 6\'' Thermometer before sun-rise in air 2 8° in river water 38? This morning proved cloudy contrary to expectation and revived our hopes of a change of weather favorable to our descent: This state of the atmosphere continued all day ; from time to time there was a little light rain or mist. The rain increased a little after dark,-but still very light: the snow seems now melted away to about one fifth or sixth of the original quantity; we began to apprehend that the whole would disappear without any influence upon the river, but now it has risen about 12 inches: Thermometer at 8*? p.m. 44° Extremes 28^-50°

Monday 7*> Thermometer in air 64° in river water 44°


Last night it rained very lightly by intervals, so fiSos little indeed that a cylindric vessel placed to re- [January ceive it, did not contain enough to be measured. During the night the temperature was extremely w^arm, and the weather continues to be cloudy, but not very dark, so that our prospect of rain is not very flattering ; the river has nevertheless risen 18 inches since last night, which has no doubt been caused by the melting of the snows. The sun shews himself at intervals between the clouds: it became so warm that we dined abroad under the shade of lofty pine and oak trees, upon the wild game of the forest and the river, such as Venison, wild Turkey, bear. Cygnet &c: The thermometer at the hour of dinner was at y^° which at this season produces the sensation of a summer's sun of 90°; the river continues to rise, and we have taken the resolution to wait the issue of the present state of the weather and to set out at all events; if there be not water enough to go over the falls with safety by the oar, we shall pass along by letting ourselves down by the help of a rope, step by step, until the danger is passed. Thermometer at 8!" p.m. 38° Extremes 38^-78° In the evening the river continues to rise.

Thermometer in air 28? in river water 46° Tuesday 8'> Last night was cloudy, moist and cold, the river rose considerably in the night; we suppose it to


i8o5 1 be about 6 feet perpendicular, higher than the January J jgyel of the river when we came up, we now think ourselves secure of going down with speed and safety; orders were therefore given to embark our baggage and prepare for departing. We had the satisfaction of taking with us an abundance of fresh provision chiefly venison, to supply us to the Post of the Washita. We accordingly set off between 9 & lo o'clock and landed a little below upon the opposite shore and went to examine the first rapids, which we found to be very safe; we re-embarked, and by directing our course between the breakers, passed along with the rapidity of an arrow in perfect security : we continued moving with great rapidity on the face of the current, but thought it prudent to land and view a second rapid, and after exploring the best passage we passed down in perfect safety.

We got over the great * Chutes' about i o'clock, two of our oars having been violently dashed overboard by the willows, the Pilot thinking it safest to keep the eastern shore on board; we halted below and regained our oars by sending up the Canoe. There we dined and went on & stopped a little below to examine the flinty promontory already noticed on the 3*^ December. We took some specimens of the rock resembling the Turkey oil-stone: it appears to me to be too hard; I remarked that the strata


[ '55]

of this chain ran perpendicularly nearly East and [1805 West, crossed by fissures at right angles 5, 6 to [January 8 feet apart; the laminae were from ^ to 4 or 5 inches thick. About a league below on the same side, landed at Whetstone hill and took several specimens; this projecting hill consists of a mass of greyish blue schistus of considerable hardness and about 20 feet perpendicular; near the top, it was in a state of progression towards decomposition, being there extremely crumbly and part of it changing into a dirty yellowish color: the laminae were in general perpendicular, but not regularly so, and from ^ to 2 inches in thickness, but did not split asunder with an even surface: went on and encamped about ten leagues below Ellis' Camp. Thermometer at S^ p.m. 37? Extremes 28°—37° It rained lightly after we encamped, which rendered the flat ground of our encampment very wet and the wood difficult to burn.

Thermometer in air 42°, in river water 44° Wednesday 9^? — The river fallen about six inches — During the night it rained by intervals, but very lightly, the air was moist and cold, the soil here immediately under the vegetable stratum is yellowish and of little consistency, resembling greatly the understratum observed near the hot springs, produced probably by the same cause, the decomposition of schistus. Last evening ordered


1805 ^ provisions to be dressed for the day, to save the January J ^jj^e of landing during the day for that purpose; about two miles below our Camp landed to examine some freestone and blue slate in sight of * Bayou de la Prairie de Champignole' mentioned the 2^ Dec' The freestone of which we took specimens, seems proper for grindstones, scythe-stones &c; but the blue slate as it is called is only bluish schistus, hard & brittle; and not proper for the roofing of houses; we have not seen slate good for that purpose except some discovered on one of the Doctor's excursions on the Bayou Calfat. Much game on the river, such as Geese, ducks, swans &c ; they continue equally wild and difficult of approach as before, so that we derive little benefit from that source.

The day continued dark, cloudy & cold with the wind at North; at 11^ a.m. it began to snow and hail with rain by intervals: we observed nothing this day meriting remark, different from what we saw on our way up. Towards evening it began to clear away; and soon after we encamped the sky became serene. By the Pilot's estimation we made this day nineteen leagues, which probably do not exceed forty miles: we passed five of our night encampments on the way up. Encamped a league above * Cache a Ma9on' —slept a little higher on the 27^!" Novem! Thermometer at 8^ p.m. 24°, Extremes 2\°-\i°. at


2^ p.m. 36° The moon and stars shone with f 1805 uncommon lusture. 1^ January

Thermometer in air 23°, in river water 42°— Thursday io'> river fallen 7 inches. The face of the heavens changed much in the night, it became extremely dark and cloudy, and this morning with the wind at north; it is cold, damp and penetrating; the river fallen seven inches during the night. After setting out, the clouds began to dissipate & the sun to shew himself, a very agreeable sight to travellers in cold & unpleasant weather; it continued never-the-less cold all day, the sun not possessing power to soften the rigorous cold which prevailed, the thermometer not rising above the freezing point from morning ujntil night. We made this day by the Pilots account fourteen leagues and encamped at *auges d'Ar-clon' (Arclon's troughs) three leagues below the little misouri; slept near this place on the 23*^ november: it appears by reference to the Journal, that we were thirteen days in going up from this place to Ellis' Camp, which has required but three broken days to come down, having made several stops to examine certain objects on our way down, and to day we made a more considerable delay at the Camp of a M. Le Fevre. This was an intelligent man, a native of the Illinois, now residing at the Arcansas; he is come here with some Delaware and other


[ >S8 ]

1805 1 Indians whom he has fitted out with goods, and January J receives peltry, fur &c at a stipulated price, as it is brought in by the hunters. This gentleman informs us that a considerable party of the Osages from the Arcansa river have made an excursion round by the prairies towards the red river, and down the little misouri as low as the * fourche d*Antoine', and there meeting with a small party of Cherokees, are supposed to have killed four of their number & others are missing; Three Americans and ten Chicasaws went a hunting into that quarter, who may also have been in danger, those Ozages being no respecters of persons. M. Le Fevre possesses considerable knowledge of the interior of the Country; he confirms the accounts we have already obtained that the hills or mountains which give birth to the various sources of this little river are in a manner insulated ; that is, they are entirely shut in and enclosed by the immense planes or prairies which extend beyond the red river to the South & beyond the Missouri (or at least some of its branches) to the north and range along the eastern base of the great chain or dividing ridge, commonly known by the name of the sand hills, which separate the waters of the Mis-sisippi from those which fall into the western pacific ocean: The breadth of this great plane is not well ascertained, it is said by some to be at certain parts or in certain directions not less


[ '59 ]

than two hundred leagues, but I believe it is fiSos agreed by all that have a knowledge of the U^'^*^^'7 Western Country, that the mean breadth is at least two thirds of this quantity; a branch of the Misouri called the river platte or shallow river is said to take its rise so far south, as to derive its first waters from the neighbourhood of the sources of the Red and Arcansa rivers. By the expression planes or prairies in this place is not to be understood a dead flat resembling certain savannahs, whose soil is stiff and impenetrable, often under water & bearing only a coarse gras§ resembling reeds; very far different are the western Prairies, which expression signifys only a country without timber: Those Prairies are neither flat nor hilly, but undulating into gently swelling lawns and expanding into spacious val-lies in the center of which is always found a little timber growing upon the banks of brooks and rivulets of the finest water, the whole of those prairies is represented to be composed of the richest and most fertile soil; the most luxuriant & succulent herbage covers the surface of the Earth interspersed with millions of flowers and flowering shrubs of the most ornamental and adorning kinds : Those who have viewed only a skirt of those prairies, speak of them with a degree of enthusiasm as if it was only there that Nature was to be found in a state truely perfect; they declare that the fertility and beauty

[ «6o]

1805 1 of the rising grounds, the extreme richness of January] ^y^^ Vallies, the coolness and excellent quality of the waters found in every valley, the Salubrity of the atmosphere and above all the grandeur and Majesty of the enchanting landscape which this Country presents, inspires the Soul with sensations not to be felt in any other region of the Globe. This Paradise is now very thinly inhabited by a few tribes of savages and by immense herds of Wild Cattle (Bison) which people those countries; the Cattle perform regular migrations according to the seasons, from south to north, and from the planes to the mountains; and in due time taught by their instincts take a retrograde direction : those tribes move in the rear of y? Herds and pick up stragglers & such as lag behind, which they kill with the bow and arrow for their subsistence; should it be found that of this rich and desireable Country there is 500 miles square, and from report, there is probably much more, the whole of it being cultivable, it will admit of the fullest population, and will at a future day vie with the best cultivated & most populous countries on the Globe : in this particular the province of Holland exceeds perhaps all others; there, one million of acres support two millions of Inhabitants; but as Maritime Countries enjoy superior advantages respecting population, by the interchange of their manufactures for the necessaries of life, which


[ '61 ]

last in an inland country must be totally drawn fiSos from the product of the proper soil, we shall \January suppose this new Country to be populated in the proportion of one tenth only of that of Holland, in which case it will be capable of subsisting a nation composed of twenty six millions of Souls. This Country is not exposed to be ravaged by those sudden and impetuous deluges of rain which in most hot countries and even in the Missisippi Territory, do sometimes tear up & sweep away with irresistible fury the crop and the soil together; on the contrary, rain is said to become more rare in proportion as the great chain of mountains is approached, and it would seem that within the sphere of attraction of those elevated chains little or no rain falls upon the adjoining planes; this relation is the more credible, as in that respect our new Country may resemble other flat or comparatively low countries similarly situated, such as the Country lying between the Andes and the Western pacific : the planes are supplied with nightly dews so extremely abundant as to have the effect of refreshing showers of rain, and the spacious vallies which are extremely level may with facility be watered by the rills & brooks which are never absent from those situations: such is the description of the better known country lying to the south of the red river, from Nacok-doches towards Sf Antonio in the province of


[ '62]

i8o5 \ Texas:* the richest crops are said to be pro-January j jjuced there without rain, but agriculture in that quarter is at low ebb; the small quantities of maize furnished by the Country, is said to be produced without cultivation, a rude opening is made in the earth just sufficient to deposit the grain at the distance of four or five feet in irregular squares, and the rest is left to nature; the soil is naturally tender, spongy and rich, & seems always to retain humidity sufficient with the bounteous dews of heaven to bring the crops to maturity.

The red and Arcansa rivers whose Courses are very long pass thro' portions of this fine Country, they are both navigable to an unknown distance by boats of proper construction; the Arcansa river is however understood to have greatly the advantage over its neighbour with respect to the facility of Navigation : some difficult places are met with in the red river below the Nakitosh, after which it is good for 150 leagues (probably the computed leagues of the Country of nearly 2 miles each) there the Voyager meets with a very serious obstacle, viz the commencement of the Raft as it is called, that is, a natural covering which conceals the whole river for an extent of 17 leagues continually augmenting by the drift wood brought down by

* The X is pronounced gutturally, precisely in the same tone as the Scotch pronounce the gh in night, light &c


[ '63 ]

every considerable fresh; this covering which [1805 for a time was only drift wood, supports at this IJ*""*'7 time a vegetation of every thing abounding in the neighbouring forest, not excepting trees of considerable size, & the river may be frequently passed without any knowledge of its existence; it is said that the annual inundation is opening for itself a new passage thro' the low grounds near the hills, but it must be a long time before Nature unaided will dig out a passage sufficient for the reception of the waters of the red river; about 50 leagues above the natural bridge is the residence of the Cadeaux or Cadadoquis Nation, of whose good qualities we have already spoken; the Inhabitants estimate the Post of Nakitosh to be half way between New Orleans and the Cadeaux Nation: above this point the red river is said to be embarrassed by many rapids falls and shallows, none of which are said to be met with in the Arcansa river as high as it is known, except in the very lowest state of its waters; the navigation is reported to be safe and agreeable, the lands on either side are of the best quality & well watered with springs, brooks & rivulets, & many situations proper for mill-seats; from the description it would seem, there is along this river a regular gradation of hill and Dale presenting their extremities to the river; the hills are gently swelling eminencies and the Dales are spacious Vales with

1805 1 living water meandering thro' them: the forests January J consist of handsome lofty trees, & chiefly what is called open woods, without cane-brake or much underwood; the quality of its lands is supposed much superior to that of the red river, until it ascends to the Prairie Country, where the lands are probably very similar. About 200 leagues up the arcansa, is an interesting place called the salt Prairie, there is a considerable fork of the river there, and a kind of Savannah where the salt water is continually oozing out & spreading over the surface of a plane; during the hot dry Summer Season, the salt may be raked up into large heaps; a natural crust of a hand-breadth in thickness is formed when the dry season prevails; this place is not often approached on account of the danger from the Ozage Indians ; much less do the White hunters venture to ascend higher where it is generally believed that silver is to be found. We have been also informed that high up the arcansa river, salt is to be found in form of a Solid rock, & may be dug out with the Crow-bar. The waters of the Arcansa like those of the red river, are not potable during their low state; they are both charged highly with a reddish earth or marl and are also extremely brackish ; this inconvenience is not greatly felt upon the Arcansa, where springs, rills & brooks of the finest fresh water are so frequent; the red river I believe is not


SO favorably situated. Every account seems to f 1805 demonstrate that immense natural magazines of 1 January salt must exist in the great chain of mountains to the westward, all rivers flowing from those mountains during the dry season retain a strong impregnation of salt, until that property becomes imperceptible by the accession of the fresh waters of many other rivers.—The great western prairies, besides the herds of wild Cattle (Bison commonly called Buffalo), are also stocked with vast numbers of a species of wild goat, (not resembling the domestic goat) extremely swift of foot; as the description given of this goat has not been very perfect, I have supposed from its swiftness, it might be the antelope; or it may possibly be a goat which has escaped from the Spanish settlements of new Mexico: I have conversed with a Canadian who has been much with the Indians to the westward, this man told me that he had seen great flocks of an wool-bearing animal larger than common sheep; the Wool is much mixed with hair. This is probably the same animal which has been described & of which a plate has been gjven in the medical repository of New York. The Canadian pretends also to have seen an unicorn; the single horn he says rises out of the forehead & curls back, according to his description so as to convey the idea of the fossil Cornu Ammonis; this man says he has travelled beyond the great dividing


1805 I ridge so far as to have seen a large river flow-January j ijjg ^Q tiie westw^ard; the great dividing mountain is so lofty that it requires two days to ascend from its base to its top, other ranges of inferior mountains lie before and behind it; they are all very rocky & sandy, large lakes and vallies lie between the mountains; some of the lakes are so large as to contain considerable islands, and rivers flow from some of them: great numbers of fossil bones of very large dimentions are seen among the mountains, which the Canadian supposed to be of the Elephant; he does not pretend to have seen any of the precious metals, but has seen a mineral which he supposed might yield Copper: from the top of the high mountain, the view is bounded by a curve as upon the ocean and extends over the most beautiful prairies which seem to be unbounded particularly to the East; the finest of the lands he has seen are on the Misouri, no other can compare in point of richness and fertility with those of that river.

This Canadian as well as M. Le Fevre say that the Osages of the tribe of white hairs in the month of December (early in the month), plundered all the white hunters and traders upqn the arcansa river. All the old french hunters agree in accusing the Osages of being extremely faithless, particularly those on the arcansa, the others they say are but very little more to be depended

upon ;

[ '67]

upon; they pretend to make peace & enter into J1805 terms of amity, but on the first favorable occa- [January sion, they rob, plunder and even kill without hezitation. The other indian tribes speak of them with great abhorrence, and say they are a barbarous uncivilized race. The different nations who hunt in their neighbourhood, have been concerting plans for their destruction.

M. Le Fevre informs me that the Nation of the arcansas always waging a defensive war with the Osages, propose sending in the spring of the year a deputation of three Chiefs to the Government of the United States. They say that the Country from the Washita river on the south to the river S! Francis on the north is their property, that they propose to say to the Government of the U. S. "We will relinquish to " your people all our lands to the North of the "arcansa river, on the white river and on the ** river St Francis; we will also relinquish our "lands upon the missisippi lying between the " rivers arcansa and Washita to an extent west-" erly far beyond any settlements which have " been attempted by the white people, the lim-" its of which we will ascertain; but we request " that the powerful arm of the U. S. will de-" fend us their children in the possession of the " remainder of our hunting grounds, lying be-" tween the Arcansa and Washita rivers." — Thermometer at 8^ p.m. 19°, Extremes 19°-

[ '68 ]

i8o5 132° The Moon & Stars shine with uncommon January/ splendor.

Friday ii'? Thermometer in air 11°, in river water 39° River fallen 43^ inches. Wind moderate at North. The morning is fine, the sky perfectly serene, but the air very cold and penetrating: passed the petit ecor a Fabri, the osier which grows abundantly upon the beaches above is not seen any lower upon this river, and at this place we begin to see the small tree called * Charnier' which grows only at the water side, and is to be seen all the way down the Washita below this place, the Latitude here is about 33° 40' which is the limit Nature seems to have placed to those two vegetables, one on the north & the other to the south.

I have already remarked in my Journal of the 17^ November that we saw no long moss (Tilandsia) above Latitude 33° & conjectured that Nature had limited its vegetation to that parallel; having this circumstance in my recollection, I asked M. Le fevre for information respecting its existence at the Arcansa settlement, which is known to be not far beyond 33° of Latitude; he informed me that about ten miles to the south of their settlement the growth of the Tilandsia is limited, & that so curiously as if a line had been drawn East and West for the purpose, as it ceases all at once & not by degrees;


[ '69]

hence it would appear that Nature herself has J1805 marked with a distinguishing feature the line [J^""^^ which Congress has thought proper to draw between the territories of Orleans and of Louisiana. It is a question of curiosity at what Latitude the limit of the Tilansia is found in the atlantic states, and also the Cypress, which last upon this small river is not found higher than 34° of latitude, it is believed to be much higher on the Missisippi: our maps represent a Cypress swamp on the confines of the states of Maryland & Delawar, in Latitude 38°^^ at the sources of Pocomock River. (^ Is it the same species of Cypress which is found in the Carolinas, Missisippi Territory &c ?

The weather continued clear & very cold all day, we landed at the Cadaux path to make a fire and dine, the Thermometer at 3^ p.m. 32° and at 8!" p.m. it fell to 26°—Encamped 1% league below * petite pointe coupee', being nearly the same place where we found the latitude on the 21'.' November to be 33° 29' 29" ; having made by the pilot's reckoning about 15 leagues; we stopped twice to day, which has retarded us nearly two hours; our rate of going has been about 2% of those leagues p: hour.

Thermometer in air 20°, in river water 40° Saturday 12"* — river risen an inch. Much vapor ascending from the river. Part of the night was cloudy


i8o5 1 and this morning the heavens are not entirely January J cloudless, we therefore expect an approaching change of weather. The air is damp and penetrating so that it continues yet very cold on board the boat; as the day advanced, it proved more cloudy and disagreeable and altho' at 2^ P- n^-the thermometer was found at 43°, the sensation of cold to the human body was greater than in a dry air at 22°—the face of the heavens was overspread with clouds & the atmosphere extremely moist: we made a good encampment in the evening called * Campement des bignets' (fritter camp) being about 18 of the Pilots leagues, tho' not much exceeding two days of our voyage up, about 27 oi" 3^ miles by our own reckoning ; we passed this place between breakfast and dinner on the 19^ november. The Thermometer at 8!^ p. m. 30?

Sunday 13'.'^ Thermometer in air 27° in river water 40° — river risen i j4 inches — Calm. The morning is very fine and the atmosphere dry, consequently the temperature not cold to the human body. These two mornings the river has risen a little, notwithstanding that we have been without rain for several days past, & it will be remembered that the three first days of this voyage, the river was found each morning to be fallen ; this is to be accounted for by the boat gaining upon the velocity of the stream more