Handsom Falls - Clark's Sketch
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"Draught of the Handsom Falls"
Clark made this diagram of the "Handsom Falls of the Missouri" during late June and early July, 1805.1
n the night of 17 June 1805, Clark, with Alexander Willard, John Colter, perhaps Joseph Field, and two others, camped at the mouth of a deep ravine below the south end of Crooked Falls. The next morning, continuing their systematic and detailed survey, the six men
|Set out early and arrived at the second great Cataract a[t] about 200 yds above the last of 19 feet pitch . this is one of the grandest views in nature and by far exceeds any thing I ever Saw. the Missouri falling over a Shelveing rock for 47 feet 8 Inches with a Cascade &c of 14 feet 7 Inches above the Shoot for a 1/4 mile decended the Clift below this Cateract with ease measured the hight of the purpendicular fall of 47 feet 8 Inches2 at which place the river is 473 yards wide as also the hight of the Cascade &c. a continued mist quite across this fall|
Note that Crooked Falls are at "B" in Clark's map, above.
--Joseph Mussulman; 10/03
1. The original is in Voorhis #1, a codex in the Clark Family Collection, William Clark Papers, at the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis. Photographic copy by David Schultz, 1997; NS 21278, copyright 1997.
2. Forty-two feet, according to the Pacific Railroad Survey of the early 1850s. Isaac I. 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 (Washington, D.C., 1855), 173.