White Cloud in Doniphan County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
"the water…contains a half…Glass of ooze"
"The water we drink or the Common water of the missourie at this time, contains a half a Comm Wine Glass of ooze or mud to every pint-"
June 21, 1804
The Missouri River of Lewis and Clark's era was wild and unpredictable. It earned the nickname "Big Muddy" due to the abundance of sand, sediment, silt, and clay. In a constant state of change, the river cut side channels, chutes, eddies, boils, sandbars, backwaters, and oxbows - strong currents in some places, slow in others. The flowing water cut into riverbanks, undercutting shorelines and felling trees into the constantly moving water.
Over time, the river meandered back and forth across the flood plain, touching the base of each bluff in tight serpantine [sic] curves. Sometimes these tight "u" shapped [sic] curves would "pinch-off," leaving an oxbow lake stranded from the river. Today the river is a bit different from the times of Lewis and Clark. Channels are maintained for navigation and flood control. Dams further up the river provide power generation, irrigation, recreation, and flood control.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Natural Features • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition series list. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1803.
Location. 39° 58.712′ N, 95° 17.641′ W. Marker is in White Cloud, Kansas, in Doniphan County. Marker is on State Highway 7 near Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is under the pavilion in the riverfront park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: White Cloud KS 66094, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Homeland of the Kanza Indians (here, next to this marker); The Lewis and Clark Expedition (a few steps from this marker); July 10, 1804 (within shouting distance of this marker); Wilbur Chapman (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); "abounds with Beaver" (approx. 7.7 miles away); Louisiana Purchase / Lewis and Clark Expedition / They Passed This Way / Old Trail Road (approx. 8 miles away in Missouri); Holt County (approx. 8 miles away in Missouri); Irvin Hall (approx. 8.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in White Cloud.
More about this marker. The marker was underwater for an extended period in the summer/fall of 2011 due to severe flooding caused by record winter snowfall and record late-May rain far upriver.
Also see . . .
1. Sixteen States, 4,900 miles, one Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. National Park Service National Historic Trail website (Submitted on June 3, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. On This Day in Lewis & Clark History. Discovering Lewis and Clark entry (Submitted on June 3, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Online homepage (Submitted on June 3, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 3, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 416 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 3, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.