Pike’s 1st Expedition – IL
Aug 9- Sep 2, 1805 and Apr 23-30, 1806
Pike’s 1st Expedition – IL

Pike’s 1st Expedition – IL

Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike, two corporals, and 17 privates left Cantonment BelleFontaine, North of St. Louis on August 8th, 1805 with provisions for four months of travel and a keelboat.

Of the 25 days they spent in Illinois (or adjacent Missouri and Iowa) on the ascent of the Mississippi River, nine encampments were in Illinois and one on an island. On the descent they used many encampments established on the ascent including Catfish Creek on Julien Dubuque’s property (4/23), LaClare, IA (4/24), Muscatine, IA (4/26), Nauvoo, IL (4/27). Return encampments for 4/28 and 29 cannot be determined.

On the return trip they hurried and spent just eight days either encamped  in Illinois or Missouri. They were able to move quickly because they were moving downstream.

Pike and his men used they keelboat with sail when they were able. Otherwise they had to pull the boat and their supplies with ropes through sand bars and rapids. It was toilsome and slow on the ascent.

Pike, of course, aided in pulling, noted on his maps geological features, took astronomical latitude readings (using the moons of Jupiter- a long time technique) and met and negotiated with the Indians and French.

At  Nauvoo, IL (in Hancock County) on August 20, they met Sac Indians who were flying the US flag. The Sacs helped them move the keelboat up the rapids.

They were able to catch fish to consume, replenishing supplies.

Pleasant scenery near Nauvoo, IL. The 1st Expedition saw on August 20, 1805 & April 27, 1806
Pleasant scenery near Nauvoo, IL. The 1st Expedition saw on August 20, 1805 & April 27, 1806
One of many falls cascading into the Mississippi River at Nauvoo, IL. Pike and his men saw on August 20, 1805 & April 27, 1806
One of many falls cascading into the Mississippi River at Nauvoo, IL. Pike and his men saw on August 20, 1805 & April 27, 1806
Looking east at Nauvoo, IL and the Mississippi River where Pike camped on August 20, 1805 & April 27, 1806
Looking east at Nauvoo, IL and the Mississippi River where Pike camped on August 20, 1805 & April 27, 1806

Pike’s field maps (below) are excellent. Matches are good when overlaid on modern maps or compared to the modern map above. The four Pike Field Maps included line up north to south with each other. Plate 12 above 11, 11 above 10, and so on.

    PIKE’S FIELD MAPS- Plates 9, 10, 11 and 12

Field Map/ Plate 9 Mississippi: St. Louis to Hamburg, IL
Field Map/Plate 10 Mississippi: Hamburg, IL to Sauk Village/ Nauvoo
Field Map/ Plate 11 Mississippi: Nauvoo to Wapsipinicon River
Field Map/ Plate 12 Mississippi: Wipsipinicon River the Lynxville, WS

Designation of Pike Trail in States & Federally

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $1.00