Lewis and Clark Across Missouri - St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 38° 40.600 W 090° 11.454
15S E 744369 N 4284642
Lewis and Clark historical marker located along St. Louis Riverfront Trail north of downtown St. Louis.
Waymark Code: WM17XH
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 02/16/2007
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member OzarksJim
Views: 20

This marker is number 13 in the series of markers along the route before the actual journey.

[Ed Note: Text added to comply with current instructions}

"a Verry rainey morning the wind from the N,E, crossed the river to St. Louis. Capt. Lewis detain for to acquire information of the Countrey and to prepare Despatchs to the Government by the next Mail. At II o'Clock I proceeded on ... "
William Clark Dec. II, 1803

Cabaret Island, called Gabaret Island today (which is visible upstream from this location flanking the entrance to Chain of Rocks Canal), along with nearby Grande Island, now Chouteau Island, played a significant role in the open range livestock practices of farmers living in the St. Louis region during the Spanish era. According to Nicolas de Finiels, writing in 1803: "There are not enough cattle in this part of Louisiana to supply the needs of the area, and it is often difficult to obtain subsistence here... Animals graze far from the villages--on the lowlands that border the Missouri, or on Grande Island and the Isle à Cabaret, which are located between St. Louis and the mouth of the Missouri. On these low, damp lands the cattle graze on horsetail that grows in the shady woods, and which is their sole source of food during winter...[To keep their cattle from wandering to far as winter approaches, farmers] round up all of their cattle and lead them toward the Isle à Cabaret or Grande Isle. Then the compel them with great difficulty to cross over to one or the other of these islands. In this way they are more likely to find them all when time comes to lead them back."

The morning of Dec. 11, 1803, found the party of the future Lewis and Clark Expedition camped directly across the Mississippi River from the town of St. Louis. St. Louis was the governing center of Spanish Upper Louisiana. Capt. Meriwether Lewis had been unsuccessful in his attempts to gain permission from the Spanish officials there to winter on the Missouri River. Lewis and his co-commander, William Clark, decided to pass the winter on the American side of the Mississippi River at the mouth of Dubois (Wood) River, which was nearly opposite the mouth of the Missouri, and wait till spring when the Louisiana Territory would officially be transferred to the United States. In the meantime, Lewis wanted to be left at St. Louis where he hoped to gather information on Indian tribes who lived along the Missouri River, and on the population and government of Upper Louisiana. He also hoped to obtain the latest available maps of the Missouri River. He intended to forward this intelligence to President Thomas Jefferson.

As soon as the part broke camp, they crossed the Mississippi in the rain and left Lewis in St. Louis. r. 11 p.m., Clark proceeded upstream with the rest of the men. The crews of the keelboat and pirogues of the flotilla found rough going across very swift currents of the river. For the first mile, they passed the town of St. Louis, which consisted of a Catholic Church, warehouses of fur traders, 180 French-style dwellings, and the old round stone fort, Fort San Carlos, that once used to defend the city. The rain continued until 3 p.m. as the part passed two small creeks and several sandbars. They camped on the side of a large island on the east side of the river that was known as Cabaret (today's Gabaret) Island. They had come 6.25 miles that day. The next day they would cover the remaining 11.25 miles to the mouth of the Dubois River.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
Placed by the Missouri Department of Natural History

Additional point: Not Listed

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