Schoolcraft's Ozark Journey

Seward Point

Saturday, November 28th, 1818

We this morning finished the last morsel of our provisions. A dense fog, which prevented us from discerning objects at a distance of fifty yards, detained us in camp until sun-rise, when we ascended the river-hills on our left, and travelled diligently in a south-south-east course, which was that of the river, until late in the afternoon. A want of water now compelled us again to seek the river's bank, and we encamped in a thick cane-brake in season to gather up some wood, and build a fire, before dark. Our route this day has lain across a rough and sterile tract of country, covered with oak, and destitute of streams; and we have seen abundance of deer, for whom it appears to be a favourite range at this season of the year. The rocks are invariably secondary lime-stone, which has continued to be the surface rock, in all the district we have passed over, since last notice. The mineralogy has not been interesting. Iron-ores, some crystallized quartz, pyrites, and horn-stone, are the principal substances noticed. The weather, which has been mild and pleasant, since we commenced our journey, has experienced a change that has gradually been operating for several days, and we have sensibly felt the increase of cold for the last two nights. The uniform temperature, 44 deg. of the air, and the serenity of the atmosphere, have been the subject of frequent remark, while we have been travelling in this section of territory. There have been a few days in which the atmosphere was smoky, but, at the same time, an increased warmth was observable; and with the exception of a slight shower of rain, which fell during the night, while encamped on the Merrimack, and a rain-storm which prevailed while in Ashley's Cave, on the Currents, the sky has remained unclouded. We did not, indeed, expect to find the climate so favourable at this season of the year, and are disposed to believe that the month of November in this region may uniformly be characterized by mild, serene, and pleasant weather. Distance fourteen miles. Acorns for supper.

-Henry Schoolcraft

Missouri Humanities Council Logo

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