Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Waverly in Lafayette County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri

 
 
The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, October 29, 2015
1. The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker
Inscription. On June 16, the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed present-day Waverly in a flotilla consisting of a keelboat and two pirogues. The men were keeping and eye out for good timber with which to replace their oars that had worn out from use in the nearly daily battles with the swift lower Missouri River. Capt.William Clark went ashore in the vicinity of "Snag" (Cranberry) Island to scout for trees to make oars out of, and to look for any trace of an old French fort. He failed to find any remnants of the fort or suitable oar material.

During his walk, Clark struck the bank next to a difficult section of the river that was a gauntlet of rolling water and deadly shifting sandbars. If the boats could not pass this stretch, they would have to fall back several miles. He immediately called this stretch of the river the "worst I ever saw" (this was the forth time in as many days that he made such a statement). The expedition managed with difficulty to get through. They then pitched camp on the northern (right) shore just above the site of present-day Waverly.

The next day the crew only went another mile before stopping to make new oars and a new towrope. At this "rope walk camp", Clark noted that he "Sent out Sjt. [Nathaniel] Pryor and Some men to get ash timber for ores, and Set Some men to make a Toe Rope out of the Cords of a Cable

The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, October 29, 2015
2. The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker
which had been provided by Capt Lewis at Pittsburg..." During their two-day stay here, Clark measured the speed of the river and found that in the swiftest part it was roaring along at 23.66 miles per hour.

Many of the men were now experiencing health problems such as boils and dysentery related to the effects of drinking river water and of receiving numerous mosquito and tick bites that caused infections. Clark was angry with the complaints of the French engagés, who wanted more rest stops, and referred to them as "French higherlins." But he felt growing admiration toward his enlisted soldiers who endured the hardships of the journey without complaint.

"The countrey about this place is butifull on the river rich & well timbered on the S[tarboard or right] S[ide] about two miles back a Prarie com[mence]s which is rich and interspurud with groves of timber, the Count[r]y rises at 7 or 8 miles Still further back and is roleing- on the L[arboard or left] S[ide] the high lnads & Prarie Com[mence]s in the back of the river and Coninus back, well watered and abounds in De[e]r Elk & Bear..."
William Clark, June 17 1804

Fort Orleans
On June 16, William Clark searched for the remains of an old French fort noted on a map that Lewis and Clark carried with them on the expedition. This map was made in 1797 by a Scotsman working for the Spanish named

The Missouri River, upstream from Waverly, MO image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, October 29, 2015
3. The Missouri River, upstream from Waverly, MO
James Mackay. This map showed the location of a "vieux [old[ fort" nearly opposite the abandoned sites of the "ancient villages" of the Little Osage and Missouri Indian tribes, which were also noted on Mackay's map. The old fort Mackay referred to was Fort Orleans, established in 1723 by Etienne de Bourgmont in an effort to establish trade with the Missouri Indians. the site was in present-day Carroll County above the mouth of the Grand River, but to this day the exact location of the fort has never been determined with certainty.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
 
Location. 39° 12.799′ N, 93° 31.028′ W. Marker is in Waverly, Missouri, in Lafayette County. Marker is on Main Street when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located where Main Street meets the Missouri River. Marker is in this post office area: Waverly MO 64096, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Port of Waverly (here, next to this marker); Gen. Joseph O. Shelby Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Santa Fe Trail (approx. 9.4 miles away); Court House Bell (approx. 10 miles away); General James Shields (approx. 10.1 miles away); a different marker also named General James Shields (approx. 11.9 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 11.9 miles away).
 
Categories. Exploration
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 114 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement