The Corps of Discovery returned to this location after a two-year absence on September 3, 1806. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark found their "Elk sign" campsite occupied by James Aird, a Scottish fur trader. They pressed him eagerly for news from the United States. Aird informed the party that President Jefferson had been reelected in November 1804, and that former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton had been killed in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.
The Corps of Discovery's last communique to President Jefferson was dispatched with the returning keelboat from the Ft. Mandan winter camp, in the spring of 1805. The expedition received no news from the United States for more than two years - and with but one dispatch received, Jefferson feared that the explorers ad died en route or had been captured by Spanish military forces.
James Aird gave the Captains their first news while taking shelter from the thunderstorm.
End of a Journey
The morning of September 4, 1806 found the expedition heading downriver with fresh stocks of flour and tobacco. Within three hours the Corps arrived at Floyd's Bluff to pay respects the Sgt. Charles Floyd, the expedition's only casualty. Twenty-three days later the Corps of Discovery arrived back in St. Louis to compete
their adventurous twenty-eight-month journey.
"our first enquirey was after the President of our country and the State of politicks.. The State of Indian affairs...
William Clark, September 3, 1806