Showing posts with label Lewis and Clark. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lewis and Clark. Show all posts

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Kaw Point Noir

Kaw point, center, with the Missouri River on the left and the Kaw River on the right.  Kansas City skyline in the center.  Cottonwoods in the foreground.  Below, same general view treeless. Lewis and Clark camped just a quarter mile to the left in this picture on their way west and their way back east.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lewis And Clark Return

The Lewis and Clark Discovery Expedition came back to Kaw Point this week and set up camp.  Authentic to the bone in dress, habits, tools, and boats the re-enactors started their voyage in Plattesmith, Nebraska and will return to their base in St. Charles, Missouri on October 1st.  Above is a cooking kettle and flag in the camp with the KC skyline in the background.   The Expedition leaves Sunday morning for Ft. Osage and after that moves on to Lexington and points east.
 The two pirogues tied up on the bank of the Kaw.   Their were three on the first voyage to start out.  They are much larger than I thought.  42 men were part of the original expedition.  These craft frequently had to be rowed or polled even though equipped with sails.  And often carried overland to avoid falls or other obstacles.    Next images Cole, in white garment, explains the use of the craft.

 Above, the large square engine (a modern requirement) is shown... below, Cole shows how the gear was stowed below decks.

 It's not to hard to imagine the scene above without the skyline.... then you have what they saw in 1804.

 Showing how the Captains kept their journals....

 Captain Lewis studied medicine under Dr. Rush in Washington for three weeks prior to the beginning of the voyage.  That training combined with his knowledge of herbal medicine he gained from his mother was all they had in the way of care on the whole trip.   The most serious medical emergency was when Captain Clark was wearing his animal skins and was accidentally shot in the buttocks by one of the crew (true).  He was eventually fine but had to travel on his stomach for a while.

 Above, surgical knife used for amputations.  One of the crew had to have some toes removed due to frostbite... but nothing more serious in the way of limb removal.   Below are some of the herbal treatments that they had.   Some had modern equivalents.  Peruvian Bark below was used to treat malaria... and just happens to naturally contain quinine...   When Sacajawea, their soon to be Indian guide, was having difficult labor at Ft. Mandan, Capt. Lewis was called upon to  aid her in some way.
He had heard from a trapper the rattle from a rattlesnake powered and put in liquid would help.  He instructed she be given that and it worked.    Modern analysis showed that the powder contains one of the same chemical compounds used today to induce labor.

 While the Expedition was essentially military in nature it was run by the Captains in a very democratic fashion with each member of the crew getting one vote... including York, the slave, and Sacajawea...
The first instance of voting by either in what would become the United States.


 Making a "tinder nest" out of hemp.  Create a kind of bird nest, then, using flint and the proper steel create sparks until you get a small ember.  Put the ember in the tinder nest and close with your hands.  Blow on it gently until, voila, fire....

 Above, copperhead skin, below, rattle snake skin.  If you absolutely have to get bitten, choose the copperhead.

 The Mandan Indians were very helpful to the Expedition.  At Ft. Mandan the crew took on Charbonneau and his wife Sacajawea.   She was allowed to go along in order to help negotiate with her original tribe the Shoshone.   In fact her brother was the Chief.  She started on the journey with a 4-month old baby and made the journey, with child in tow, all the way to the west coast and back to Ft. Mandan.  Her daughter and son were taken to St. Louis and educated there.   She died, in only her twenties, just a few years after the expedition.  


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fort Osage

In 1804 Lewis and Clark passed a point of land located in what is now Sibley, Missouri. Clark noted that it would be an excellent place for a fort. In 1808 Clark returned and supervised the start of construction of what is known as Fort Osage. Below is a view of the reconstructed Fort looking northeast. The depression in the foreground was not present 200 years ago and the original fort extended far to the west of this view and included that land. 1/3 of Fort Osage has been reconstructed.
Above, the view from the Missouri River of the Fort.
Modern day entrance next to the Education Center. Fort Osage is roughly 20 miles east of KC off 24-hiway. Directions are on their website:

Lobby area and gift store.... you buy tickets here.
Above and below.... binoculars and a telescope aid visitors in looking for birds that inhabit the area.

Above.... the guards are all dressed as foxes.
The museum in the lower level gives an overall introduction to the plants and animals of the area as well as information about the Osage Indians and the operation of the Fort.

A patio/deck has additional information about wildlife. The Sibley Power Plant can be seen in the distance.
Leaving the visitor center you proceed to the Fort.

A garden was maintained outside the walls as space was at a premium inside.
Outer gate.... there's an inner gate also...

Inner gate with the officer's quarters visible in the opening.
Folks in period garb can answer just about any question you can think of.
Soldiers quarters.... dirt floor and un-compfy bunks.

Another view of the officer's quarters.

Cannon ready for action.... sort of.... along with openings for rifle fire....
Not a bad view.

Although the practice was banned in 1812, soldiers who misbehaved could be lashed in the middle of the courtyard prior to that date.
Looking out the interior gate down to the Factory House where trade was conducted between the Fort and the Indians and between trappers and the Fort. Fort Osage served many purposes including providing protection for trade and being a haven for westward travelers.
Happy visitors... non-period attire.
A demonstration of how to load a firearm from the period. Military standards dictated that a round should be fired every twenty seconds.... not easily done.

Yes.... they had double hung windows in 1808. In fact the Fort has been reconstructed according to the original plans that are still kept in Washington, D.C.

Lowest portion of the Factory House has a red line on the wall. Below the line the wall is original... above reconstructed.
One of the kitchens.

A fire is kept burning outside.... and normally in November would be a welcome place to sit.... but this was last Saturday and it was 75.

There is a boat landing below the Fort.... so, conceivably one could put their modern day boat in the water at Kansas City's (original) Riverfront Park and sail to the Fort for a little day trip.
There is much more to see than what I've shown here.... great trip for kids (we big ones too).