[Clark] had all of our Skins &c. Suned and Stored away in a Storeroom of Mr. Caddy Choteau. payed Some visits of form, to the gentlemen of St. Louis. in the evening a dinner & Ball
Clark makes a good effort towards preserving the many specimens they had returned with. Most of them were still wet from the long river trip and they were properly dried and stored in a room provided my Jean Pierre Chouteau.
The celebration Clark speaks of was held at William Christy's tavern. According to journal records a total of eighteen toasts were drunk, the first to President Jefferson "The friend of science, the polar star of discovery, the philosopher and the patriot," and ending with "Captains Lewis and Clark—Their perilous services endear them to every American heart." One is forced to wonder how well, after seventeen quaffs, the last toast was executed. Evidently the long period of the Party's forced abstention didn't diminish their capacities very much.
[Clark] I sleped but little last night however we rose early and Commencd wrighting our letters Capt. Lewis wrote one to the presidend and I wrote Govr. Harrison & my friends in Kentucky and Sent of George Drewyer with those letters to Kahoka & delivered them to Mr. Hays &. we dined with Mr. Chotoux to day, and after dinner went to a Store and purchased Some Clothes, which we gave to a Tayler and derected to be made. Capt Lewis in opening his trunk found all his papers wet, and Some Seeds spoiled
Tidying up after such a great adventure takes some time, and the two captains are doing their best by it. Writing to old friends and relatives would be about the only way to announce their return.
The letter written by Clark to his Kentucky relatives was probably meant for publication and was in fact published and became the first report that went into print. Actually Lewis wrote the first draft and Clark copied it. Clark wrote several letters to his brother Jonathan that have been preserved.
[Clark] we rose early took the Chief to the publick store & furnished him with Some clothes &c. took an early breckfast with Colo. Hunt and Set out decended to the Mississippi and down that river to St. Louis at which place we arived about 12 oClock. we Suffered the party to fire off their pieces as a Salute to the Town. we were met by all the village and received a harty welcom from it's inhabitants &. here I found my old acquaintance Majr. W. Christy who had Settled in this town in a public line as a Tavern Keeper. he furnished us with Store rooms for our baggage and we accepted of the invitation of Mr. Peter Choteau and [par] took a room in [the] his house of Mr. Peter Cadeaus Choteaus we payed a friendly visit to [Mes. Choteau and] Mr [Ogustus] August Chotau and Some of our old friends this evening. as the post had departed from St. Louis Capt Lewis wrote a note to Mr. Hay in Kahoka to detain the post at that place untill 12 tomorrow which was reather later than his usial time of leaveing it
Well, the much anticipated return celebration sounds like it all went off pretty well. The "Chief" got a new wardrobe and they stored their baggage in the back of a tavern. The Chouteaus were old time French residents of St Louis and seemingly long time friends of Captain Clark.
[Clark] This morning being very wet and the rain Still Continueing hard, and our party being all Sheltered in the houses of those hospitable people, we did not [think?] proper to proceed on untill after the rain was over, and continued at the house of Mr. Proulx. I took this oppertunity of writeing to my friends in Kentucky &c. at 10 A M. it seased raining and we Colected our party and Set out and proceeded on down to the Contonemt. at Coldwater Creek about 3 miles up the Missouri on it's Southern banks, at this place we found Colo. Hunt & a Lieut Peters [in Command of] & one Company of Artillerists we were kindly received by the Gentlemen of this place. Mrs. Wilkinson the Lady of the Govr. & Genl. we wer Sorry to find in delicate health.
we were honored with a Salute of [blank] Guns and a harty welcom— at this place there is a publick Store kept in which I am informed the U. S have 60000$ worth of indian Goods
Clark decides to watch the rain from inside a house, an event he hasn't been able to enjoy for some time. The "Contonemt" was the first fort on the west side of the Missippi and the officers mentioned were both veterans of the Revolution. They're close enough to St Louis now that Clark doesn't mark down the miles traveled.