The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri - Steedman, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 42.483 W 091° 47.930
15S E 604438 N 4285064
Another of a series along the Katy Trail State park.
Waymark Code: WMKWXG
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 06/05/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 1

County of marker: Callaway County
Location of marker: near MO 94, Katy Trail State park (milemarker 120.4), E. of Steedman
Marker erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, The Lewis & Clark Trail Foundation & Missouri Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
Date marker erected: 2004

Marker Text:
   "Several rats of Considerable Size was Cought in the woods to day - Capt Lewis went out to the
   woods & found many curious Plants & Srubs, one deer killed this evening"
   William Clark, May 31, 1804

The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed this place going up the Missouri River on May 30, 1804, on its way to "Grinestone Creek" (today's Deer Creek) opposite the modern-day town of Mokane. It had been a wet spring and at noon that day rain, followed by hail and strong wind, kicked up. The Missouri was extra fast, and on both sides of the river, William Clark wrote, the bottomlands were "full of water." This was the only time the Corps of Discovery saw the Missouri River in flood stage. The party passed Auxvasse Creek, which they called the Big Miry (Muddy) River.

The next day saw more rain and a powerful all-day west wind. The expedition decided to stay in camp because traveling against both current and wind would have been too exhausting. Capt. Meriwether Lewis used the time to explore the countryside, and while doing this he discovered a new animal species, the eastern wood rat. Lewis went on to describe 300 species new to science during the course of the expedition: 122 animals, including the grizzly bear, mountain goats and cutthroat trout; and 178 plants, such as the lodgepole and ponderosa pines, salmonberry and western wallflower

During the May 31 layover, the Corps of Discovery met a trading party coming downriver. The trades -- one French, another French-Indian and an Indian woman -- spent the night with the expedition. They had been at the Big or Grand Osage villages far up the Osage River, trading for bear, deer and beaver skins. The traders also brought important news: one group of Osage had been displeased with the news of the Louisiana Purchase that gave control of the region to the United States, and in fact had burned a letter announcing the transfer of authority. Since the main goals of the expedition included promoting fur trade with the Indians and asserting American dominion over the new Louisiana Territory, this was disturbing news for the captains.

Lewis and Clark received specific instructions from President -- and expedition patron -- Thomas Jefferson: to find "the animals of the country generally, & especially those not known in the U.S." Lewis was the main naturalist of the two, although Clark also made important observations. Before departure, Lewis spent time in and near Philadelphia learning astronomy, medicine and natural science from the nation's leading scientist. While in the field, Lewis made remarkably detailed entries on 300 plant and animal species not yet identified for science. Of course, Indians living in the West had intimate knowledge of these plants and animals and helped Lewis identify many of them, such as the grizzly bear in all it differing color variations.
The captains also took daily weather readings. Lewis collected animal skins, horns and bones, and pressed plants for the President. The expedition even sent back live animals, including four magpies, a sharp-tailed grouse and a prairie dog. Amazingly, one magpie and the prairie dog reached Jefferson at Washington. Two new species, Lewis' woodpecker and Clark's nutcracker, are named in honor of the two explorer-scientists.

Black-tailed prairie dog    Pronghorn
Western hognose snake    Coyote
Yellow-bellied marmot    Mule Deer
Western fence lizard    Least tern
Prairie Rattlesnake    Western gull
White-fronted goose    Blue Catfish
Ring-necked duck    Sage grouse
Western Tanager    Channel Catfish
Steelhead trout    American raven
Western Grebe

Ponderosa Pine   Narrowleaf Cottonwood
Lodgepole Pine    Red alder
Plains cottonwood    Madrone
Black cottonwood    White alder
Western white pine    Oregon grape
Western wallflower    Salomberry
Western larch

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
Please see above

Additional point: Not Listed

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