Lewis's Shortcut Mapped - 1

Scroll down to view menu.

Travelers' Rest to Shishequaw Mountain
July 3-7, 1806

Pass cursor over image to read details.

CClark produced this map of Lewis's route sometime after the Corps was reunited on August 12, 1806, near today's New Town, North Daklota. It is completed on the following page.

Lewis named "Werners Creek" for William Werner, of whom little is known either before or after the expedition. The captains had named a small tributary of the Missouri after him earlier, at the mouth of which they had camped on May 9, 1805. He volunteered to accompany Lewis on the exploration of Maria's River, but was dropped from that detail after 10 of the detachment's 17 horses were stolen at White Bear Islands during the night of July 11, and Lewis was compelled to reduce the size of his party from eight to three. Otherwise, aside from two minor disciplinary problems early in the expedition, Werner did not earn much notice in the journals.

The words "Landers Fork" were penciled in by Elliott Coues in 1892. Frederick Lander was a surveyor with Isaac Stevens' 1853-55 expedition to locate a viable railroad route from St. Paul, Minnesota, to the Pacific Northwest.1

The "wide place" upstream from Lewis's campsite of July 4 is the Potomac Valley where, some seventy-five years after Lewis passed by, a farmer from Virginia started a town in that grew into a stage station boasting two hotels, three saloons, a post office, church, school, and general store. Nostalgically, he named it after the stream he had known back home in the Piedmont—the Potomac River.

Two Rivers

July 4, Hell's Gate

July 4, Confluence

July 4, Cokahlah iskit

Small Grey Squirrel

July 5, Seaman's Creek

Seaman's Fate

Aspen—Populus tremuloides

July 6, Beautiful Plain

Moose—Alces alces

July 7, Lander's Fork

July 7, Alice Creek

July 7, Continental Divide

Lewis's Route Mapped, Part 2

1. Isaac Stevens, Narrative and Final Report of Explorations for a Route for a Pacific Railroad near the Forty-Seventh and Forty-ninth Parallels of North Latitude, from St. Paul to Puget Sound (12 vols, Washington, D.C: House of Representatives, 1855), vol. XII, book I.

Funded in part by a grant from the Montana Cultural Trust.