February 11 Sacagawea gives birth to her son, Jean
Baptiste. The men later call him "Pomp" for the proud way he
dances around the camp.
7 April 7 Some corps members take the big boat back
down the river. It is full of samples of plants and minerals for
scientists to study. The rest of the Corps of Discovery heads west to
the Pacific Ocean. Sacagawea and her son go with them.
8 May 31 Lewis and Clark pass into a beautiful
section of the Missouri River Breaks in Montana. Today, these sandstone
cliffs are almost unchanged.
9 June 2 The group reaches a fork in the river. How
will they decide which branch of the river to follow? The leaders know
they must cross the mountains before long. They decide to follow the
south fork because the water is clear. Water coming from the mountains
should be clear. They name the north fork the Marias River. Indians told
the explorers to look for a great waterfall on the Missouri River. If
they find that waterfall, they will be on the right fork of the river.
10 June 13 The corps reaches the Great Falls. It takes
the men almost a month to carry their supplies around the falls. The
ground is rough and covered with cactus.
11 July 30 The corps faces another choice. This time,
there are three forks. They decide to follow the fork they call the
Jefferson. They are right again.
12 August 12 Lewis reaches the source of the
Missouri River. The explorers have answered one question. The Missouri
River does not connect with the Pacific Ocean. There may be another
river nearby that does. On the same day, Lewis reaches the Continental
Divide. The Continental Divide is the point where rivers to the east run
to the Mississippi River and rivers to the west run to the Pacific
Ocean. From the divide at Lemhi Pass, Lewis sees huge mountains ahead.
He is disappointed. He had hoped to see a river flowing toward the
13 August 17 In present-day Idaho, the expedition
meets the Shoshone Indians. Sacagawea’s brother is chief. The Indians
sell the explorers horses to use in crossing the mountains. A member of
the tribe stays with the corps as a guide.
14 September 11 The corps starts climbing the Rocky
Mountains. They get lost, and it takes them eleven days to get across.
To stay alive, they eat a few of their horses and candles made of animal
15 Late September & Early October The corps
staggers out of the mountains. The Nez Perce Indians give them new
supplies and teach them how to hollow out logs with fire to make new
canoes. The corps then speeds down the Snake and Columbia rivers.
16 October 18 Clark sees Mount Hood ahead and knows
they are close to the Pacific Ocean. A British sea captain had named
this mountain in 1792, and it was on maps. European and Asian people had
come by sea to trade along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Lewis and
Clark were the first to come overland from the United States.
17 November 7 Clark thinks he sees the ocean and writes in
his journal: "Ocian in view! O! the joy." Actually, they are
still twenty miles from the sea. Three weeks later, a small group
reaches the Pacific Ocean.
18 November 24 The corps votes on where to stay for the
winter. For the first time, a woman (Sacagawea) and a black man (York)
get to vote in an American election. They build Fort Clatsop and name it
for their neighbors, the Clatsop Indians.