Schoolcraft's Ozark Journey

Dogwood Branch

Friday, November 22nd, 1819

Left alone, my impatience of delay increased, and I lost the benefit of no application which circumstances, diligence, or the united skill of my hostess and myself could supply. Forty-one hours thus devoted, superadded to the advantages of rest, abated the swelling of my ancle, and enabled me without great inconvenience to walk. I determined, therefore, to proceed by easy stages for several days, until it became sufficiently invigorated to permit a bolder step, and crossed the Strawberry River this morning at nine. Proceeding with an easy pace, and by frequent resting, I gained ten miles by night, and stopped at the Dogwood Spring, a noted resting-place on the dividing ridge between Strawberry and Spring Rivers, named in allusion to the cornus florida, abundant there. The alluvial soil continued two miles beyond the banks of Strawberry, and for that distance improved farms and dwellings skirted the road; then commenced a calcareous ridge, undulated by valleys running parallel to the general course of the rivers, sterile in appearance, and wholly without improvements. On every declivity the strata of secondary rock were exposed to view. Within five miles of the Dogwood Spring I passed a large body of vitreous iron ore, (the brown haematite of mineralogists,) on descending a hill on the right side of the road. It lies scattered over the surface of the earth for many acres.

-Henry Schoolcraft

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Funding for the Schoolcraft Journey project on Unlock the Ozarks has been provided by the Missouri Humanities Council.