Schoolcraft's Ozark Journey

Near Dawt

On or near this location in the fall of 1818, Henry Schoolcraft, an early Ozarks explorer, spent the night during his three month journey. Schoolcraft observed abundant wildlife as well as the Native American camps that were in evidence during his trip through the area.

Monday, November 23nd, 1818

Our horse was turned loose last night with the poorest prospect of picking up a meal than he has yet experienced, and we had our fears that the sterility of the country would induce him to stray off. In this we were not disappointed, and spent the greater part of the forenoon in looking him up. We then followed down the valley about three miles, and came to the banks of the stream we had the day before left. A considerable change in the face of the country has taken place. Instead of rich bottoms, we have a high oak-prairie. The perpendicular bluffs, and the pine, have also disappeared, and in their place we have long sloping hills, covered by oaks. The stream has also visibly increased in size, and is now deep enough to float a keel-boat of twenty tons burthen. Thinking it had received a considerable tributary from the left bank, at no great distance above, we tied our horse, and pursued up several miles, but were mistaken. On returning, we followed down about three miles, and encamped on the banks of the river. Distance ten miles. We have observed little game to-day; the weather continues pleasant.

-Henry Schoolcraft

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