Schoolcraft's Ozark Journey

Northfork Lake

Friday, November 27th, 1818

Having exhausted our provisions and our shot, so that we could procure no support from our guns, we determined on leaving our heavy baggage and horse at the Hunter's Camp, in order that we might travel with greater rapidity in search of a settlement, which we had reason to believe was at no great distance. We had each provided ourselves with knapsacks, in which we put a blanket, and some other indispensables. Our horse, with a bell on, was turned into the adjacent cane-brake, and our baggage piled in one corner of the camp, secured from the weather by boards, bark, etc. With these arrangements we left the camp at an early hour, keeping on the highlands nearly parallel with the river, which ran in a general course south-south-west.

After travelling about six miles, we were rejoiced to hear a gun fired on our left, supposing it to be some hunter who could afford us relief, or at least direct us in what section of the country we were, and with this view made great exertions to find him. We fired several times; we hallooed, and were answered; but after pursuing him for some time, were obliged to give up the attempt, and pursue our way, having lost an hour or two in the search. In going eight miles further, night overtook us, and we encamped in an Indian bark tent on the bank of the river, which had not been occupied for one or two years. Distance fourteen miles. The weather is becoming cooler.

-Henry Schoolcraft

Missouri Humanities Council Logo

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