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Lewis and Clark History

April 7, 1805: Departure from Fort Mandan, North Dakota

The Corps of Discovery proceed westward with the two pirogues and six dugout canoes, Lewis and Clark decide that the keelboat would be difficult to transport and sent it downstream with specimens they had collected, maps, and detailed reports they had been working on since their departure.


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Departure Day and Return Barge continued ...

From  the Journals of Captain Meriwether Lewis

"Having on this day at 4 PM completed every arrangement neccessary for our departure, we dismissed the barge and crew with orders to return without loss of time to St. Louis" 

Corporal Richard Warfington's keelboat crew depart Fort Mandan on April 7, 1805 - St. Louis bound.  The precious cargo onboard included; letters, Native American articles, reports, and live animals. 

April 7, 1805 letter from Captain Meriwether Lewis to President Jefferson included the following inventory of items that had been collected thus far on the expedition and were being sent back to Washington.

Invoice of articles forwarded from Fort Mandan to the President of the United States through Captn. Stoddard at St. Louis and Mr. H.B. Trist the Collector of the Port of New Orleans.
Source:  National Archives

No. Package Contents
1 Box Skins of the Male and female Antelope, with their skeletons. [came.P.]
" do 2 Horns and ears, of the Black tail, or Mule Deer. [came]
" " A Martin skin [came] containing the skin of a weasel [came.P.] and three small squirels of the Rocky Mountains & the tail of a Mule deer fully grown. [came.]
" " Skeletons of the small, or burrowing wolf of the Prairies, the skin haveing been lost by accident. [some skeletons came, not distin-guishable. Sent to P.]
" " 2 skeletons of the White Hare. [as above.P.]
" " A Mandan bow with a quiver of arrows [came] the quiver containing some seed of the Mandan tobacco.[came.]
" " A carrot of Ricara tobacco. [came.]
2 Box 4 Buffalo robes, [came] and an ear of Mandan corn.
3 Box Skins of the male and female Antelope, with thier skeletons [undistinguishable. P.] nand the skin of a brown, or yellow Bear.
4 Box Specimens of earths, salts, and minerals, numbered from 1. to 67. [came.]
" " Specimens of plants numbered from 1 to 60. [came.] [A. Ph. Society.]
" " 1 earthen pot, such as the Mandans manufacture, and use for culinary purposes. [came.]
" " 1 tin box containing insects, mice &c.
" " a specimen of the fur of the Antelope.
" " a specimen of the plant, and a parcel of its roots, highly prized by the natives as an efficatious remidy in the cure of the bite of the rattle snake, or mad dog. in a Large Trunk Skin of a Male and female Braro, or burrowing Dog of the Prairies, with the skeleton of the female. [came. P.]
" in a Large Trunk 1 skin of a red fox containing a Magpie. [came.]
" " 2 cased skins of the white hare. [came. P.]
" " 1 Minetarre Buffalow robe, [came] containing some articles of an Indian dress.[came.]
" " 1 Mandan Buffalow robe, [came] containing a dressed skin of the Louisvire [came] and two cased skins of the burrowing squirels of the Prairies. [came. P.]
" " 13 red fox skins [came.]
" " 4 horns of the mountian ram, or big horn. [came.]
" " 1 Buffalow robe painted by a Mandan man representing a battle which was faught 8 years since by the Siouxs & Ricaras, against the Mandans, Minitarras & Ahwahharways.[came.]
6 Cage Containing four liveing Magpies. [came. P.]
7 do. Containing a liveing burrowing squirel of the prairies. [came. P.]
9 do. Containing one liveing hen of the Prairie.
10 ---- 1 large par of Elk?s horns connected by the frontal bone.


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