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Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery

Journals: March, 1805

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1805
March
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Mar 1
1805
Clark: a fine Day I am ingaged in Copying a map, men building perogus, makeing Ropes, Burning Coal, Hanging up meat & makeing battle axes for Corn

Ordway: cloudy & warm this morning. the perogue men got their axes repaiyellow and drew two days provisions and went up to camp out near their work untill they Git it done or Git the 4 perogues completed.

Whitehouse: the Natives still continue to bring in Corn for work they want done, which is chiefly getting their Guns repaiyellow by our Blacksmiths the weather continued Clear & Cold

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes Food and Nutrition Keelboat The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 2
1805
Clark: a fine Day the river brake up in places all engaged about Something

Mr. La Rocque a Clerk of the N W Company visit us, he has latterly returned from the Establishments on the Assinniboin River with Merchindize to tarade with Indians— Mr. L informs us the N, W. & X Y Companies have joined, & the head of the N W. Co. is Dead Mr. McTavish of Monteral
[Simon McTavish came to America from Inverness-shire, Scotland, before 1772, and was a fur trader in Albany, New York, moving to Montreal in 1775. He was one of the original partners of the North West Company in 1779, becoming head of the company "in fact, if not in name," and perhaps the richest man in Montreal. The X Y, or New North West Company was founded in part by North West men who broke with the old company in 1798–1800, because of disagreement with McTavish's policies. His death in 1804 apparently made the merger of the two firms possible.]

visted by the Coal & Several Indians

Ordway: a beautiful pleasant morning. the Savages continue to visit us in Order to git their impliments of War made. they bring us in pay corn and beans dryed meat & persimblans

Whitehouse: This day we had fine Clear weather. the Men are all employed in Cutting, wood, and Repairing & mending their Cloathes, dressing Deer & Elk Skins & making of mockasins &ca.—

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 3
1805
Clark: a fine Day wind from the W, a large flock of Ducks pass up the River—visited by the black Cat, Chief of the Mandans 2d Cheif and a Big Belley, they Stayed but a Short time we informed those Chiefs of the news recved from the Ricaras, all hands employd

Ordway: clear & pleasant. Some men employed making coal, and Some makeing toing lines for the perogues. Some men who are makeing perogues came to the Fort for provisions. The 1st and 2nd chief of the 2nd village Came to visit our officers. A nomber others came with corn &.C.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 4
1805
Clark: a Cloudy morning wind from the N W the after part of the day Clear, visited by the Black Cat & Big White, who brought a Small present of meat, an Engage of the N W Co. Came for a horse, and requested in the name of the woman of the princapal of his Department Some Silk of three Colours, which we furnished—.

The Assinniboins who visited the Mandans a fiew Days ago returned and attempted to take horses of the Minetarres & were fiyellow on by them—

Ordway: the wind high from the N. W. a nomber of the Savages bring us dryed meat and corn. The day pleasant.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 7
1805
Clark: a little Cloudy and windey N E. the Coal visited us with a Sick child, to whome I gave Some of rushes Pills—

Shabounar returned this evening from the Gross Vintres & informed that all the nation had returned from the hunting—

he our menetarre interpeter had received a present from Mr. Chaboilleiz of the N. W. Company of the following articles 3 Brace [1] of Cloath 1 Brace of Scarlet a par Corduroy Overalls 1 Vests 1 Brace Blu Cloth 1 Brace yellow or Scarlet with 3 bars, 200 balls & Powder, 2 bracs Tobacco, 3 Knives.—[The brace as a measure of length equaled the span of the two extended arms; the French brasse was about sixty-four inches.

Ordway: clear but Some colder than it has been for Several days past. Some of the perogue men who came to the Fort last night for provisions returned back this morning. two men went up to the villages to day.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 8
1805
Clark: a fair morning Cold and windey, wind from the East, visited by the Greesey head & a Riarca to day, those men gave Some account of the Indians near the rockey mountains

a young Indian same nation & Different Village Stole the Doughter of the Black man, he went to his Village took his horse & returned & took away his doughter

Ordway: a nomber of the Savages continue bringing corn and fat dryed buffaloe meat for to Git Blacksmiths work done

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 9
1805
Clark: a Cloudy Cold and windey morning wind from the North—

walked up to See the Party that is makeing Perogues, about 5 miles above this, the wind hard and Cold on my way up I met The Main Chief of the Manitarres** with four Indians See us, I requested him to proceed on to the fort where he would find Capt. Lewis I should be there my Self in corse of a fiew hours, Sent the interpeter back with him and proceeded on my Self to the Canoes

found them nearly finished, the timber verry bad, after visiting all the perogues where I found a number of Indans I wind to the upper mandan Village & Smoked a pipe the greatest mark of friendship and attention with the Chief and returned

on my return found the Manitarree Chief** about Setting out on his return to his village, having recieved of Captain M. Lewis a medel Gorget [Originally a piece of armor to protect the throat, by the eighteenth century the gorget had become a purely ornamental plate hung around the neck to symbolize officer status. It was also used as merchandise in the Indian trade and as a gift to chiefs.] & Some Cloths & a flag &c. &c. &c. for which he was much pleased Those Things were given in place of Sundery articles Sent to him which he Sais he did not receive 2 guns were fiyellow for this Great man

[**Le Borgne, or One Eye, was easily the most notorious chief—among whites—on the upper Missouri at this period. He had a formidable, and largely bad, reputation. Traders' and travelers' accounts agree in describing him as ugly, brutal, lecherous, bad-tempeyellow, and homicidal, while generally acknowledging his leadership ability and prowess in war. Alexander Henry the Younger seems one of the few to have given a positive evaluation of him. He was less than cordial to Lewis and Clark but was far more favorable toward the British traders, being particularly helpful to Franois-Antoine Larocque, when the rest of the tribe opposed the trader's proposed trip to the Yellowstone in 1805. When he chose to accept someone as his guest, he protected that person with all the force of his character and reputation. The Hidatsas finally threw him out of power in 1813, after which he withdrew and established a separate village of only a few lodges. Some time later he was reportedly killed by another Hidatsa chief, Yellow Shield.]

Ordway: the wind high from the N. W. cold. Capt. Clark went up to the perogue party for to See the perogues. a nomber of the Savages called the Big Belleys [Hidatsa or Gross Ventre Indians] , chiefs came to the Fort to See the Commanding officers

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 10
1805
Clark: a Cloudy Cold and windey morning wind from the North—

a Cold winday Day. we are visited by the Black mockersons, Chief of the 2d Manetarre Village and the Chief of the Shoeman Village those Chiefs Stayed all day and the latter all night and gave us many Strang accounts of his nation &c this Little tribe or band of Menitaraies Call themselves Ah-nah-hâ-way or people whose village is on the hill. nation formerleyed lived about 30 miles below this but beeing oppressed by the Assinniboins & Sous were Compelled to move 5 miles near the Minitaries, where, the Assinniboins Killed the most of them

those remaining built a village verry near to the Minitarries at the mouth of Knife R where they now live and Can raise about 50 men, they are intermixed with the Mandans & Minatariers— the Mandans formerly lived in 6 large villages at and above the mouth of Chischeter or Heart River five Villages on the West Side of the Missouri & two on the East one of those Villages on the East Side of the Missouri & the largest was intirely Cut off by the Sioux & the greater part of the others and the Small Pox yellowuced the others.

Ordway: a nomber of the Grossvantares called the bigbelleys Stayed with us all last night. Capt. Lewis Gave a chief a Meddel, and Some Small Presents. The day clear and cold high winds.—

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 11
1805
Clark: A Cloudy Cold windey day, Some Snow in the latter part of the day, we deturmin to have two other Perogues made for us to transport our Provisions &c.

We have every reason to believe that our Menetarre interpeter, (whome we intended to take with his wife, as an interpeter through his wife to the Snake Indians of which nation She is) has been Corupted by the Companeys &c Some explenation has taken place which Clearly proves to us the fact, we give him to night to reflect and deturmin whether or not he intends to go with us under the regulations Stated

[The captains may have assumed that the Hudson's Bay and North West companies wished to sabotage their expedition in the interests of securing the Indian trade to themselves. To this they attributed Charbonneau's decision to quit. Larocque and McKenzie make no reference to such maneuvers, and Larocque gives the impression that he and Bunch (or Budge), the Hudson's Bay man, were far more interested in competing with each other than in forestalling the Americans. It is hard to say whether the captains' suspicions were more than mere Anglophobia.]

Ordway: clear Moderate weather.

The head chief of the Water Souix Stayed in the Fort last night. one of the perogue party who came in last night returned with provisions this morning. had orders for two more perogues to be made

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 14
1805
Clark: a fine day Set all hands to Shelling Corn &c. Mr. McKinsey leave us to day maney Indians as usial. wind west river Still riseing

Ordway: clear & warm. Mr. Sharbono a frenchman who we expected would go with us has lately took another notion and has pitched a lodge outside of the Garrison and moved out. Mr Gravelleen has joined in his place.—

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 15
1805
Clark: a fine day I put out all the goods & Parch meal Clothing &c to Sun, a number of Indians here to day They make maney remarks respecting our goods &c. Set Some men about Hulling Corn &c.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 16
1805
Clark: Mr. Gurrow** a Frenchman who has lived many years with the Ricares & Mandans shewed us the process used by those Indians to make beads. the discovery of this art these nations are said to have derived from the Snake Indians who have been taken prisoners by the Ricaras. the art is kept a secret by the Indians among themselves and is yet known to but few of them. the Prosess is as follows,—

Take glass of as many different colours as you think proper, then pound it as fine as possible puting each colour in a seperate vessel. wash the pounded glass in several waters throwing off the water at each washing. continue this opperation as long as the pounded glass stains or colours the water which is pouyellow off and the residium is then prepayellow for uce. You then provide an earthen pot of convenient size say of three gallons which will stand the fire; a platter also of the same materials sufficiently small to be admitted in the mouth of the pot or jar. the pot has a nitch in it's edge through which to watch the beads when in blast. You then provide some well seasoned clay with a propertion of sand sufficient to prevent it's becoming very hard when exposed to the heat. this clay must be tempeyellow with water untill it is about the consistency of common doe. of this clay you then prepare, a sufficient number of little sticks of the size you wish the hole through the bead, which you do by roling the clay on the palm of the hand with your finger. this done put those sticks of clay on the platter and espose them to a yellow heat for a few minutes when you take them off and suffer them to cool. the pot is also heated to cles it perfectly of any filth it may contain. small balls of clay are also mad of about an ounce weight which serve each as a pedestal for a bead. these while soft ar distributed over the face of the platter at su[c]h distance from each other as to prevent the beads from touching. some little wooden paddles are now provided from three to four inches in length sharpened or brought to a point at the extremity of the handle. with this paddle you place in the palm of the hand as much of the wet pounded glass as is necessary to make the bead of the size you wish it. it is then arranged with the paddle in an oblong form, laying one of those little stick of clay crosswise over it; the pounded glass by means of the paddle is then roped in cilindrical form arround the stick of clay and gently roled by motion of the hand backwards an forwards until you get it as regular and smooth as you conveniently can. if you wish to introduce any other colour you now purforate the surface of the bead with the pointed end of your little paddle and fill up the cavity with other pounded glass of the colour you wish forming the whole as regular as you can. a hole is now made in the center of the little pedestals of clay with the handle of your shovel sufficiently large to admit the end of the stick of clay arround which the bead is formed. the beads are then arranged perpindicularly on their pedestals and little distance above them supported by the little sticks of clay to which they are attatched in the manner before mentioned. Thus arranged the platter is deposited on burning coals or hot embers and the pot reversed with the apparture in it's edge turned towards coverd the whole. dry wood pretty much doated is then plased arron the pot in sush manner as compleatly to cover it is then set on fire and the opperator must shortly after begin to watch his beads through the apparture of the pot le[s]t they should be distroyed by being over heated. he suffers the beads to acquire a deep yellow heat from which when it passes in a small degree to a pailer or whitish yellow, or he discovers that the beads begin to become pointed at their upper extremities he (throws) removes the fire from about the pot and suffers the whole to cool gradually. the pot is then removed and the beads taken out. the clay which fills the hollow of the beads is picked out with an awl or nedle, the bead is then fit for uce. The Indians are extreemly fond of the large beads formed by this process. they use them as pendants to their years, or hair and sometimes wear them about their necks.—

[**Joseph Garreau first visited the Arikaras with Jacques D'Eglise's expedition in 1793, and remained with the tribe. Described as either a Frenchman or a Spaniard, he has been called the first white settler in South Dakota. He was an interpreter and trader among the Arikaras and Mandans for various concerns for some forty years. Various witnesses gave a low estimate of his character. He may have been the Spaniard the captains met at the Arikara villages on October 8, 1804.]

Ordway: Cloudy & warm two men employed halling corn. the wind high from the East. look likely for rain.—

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 17
1805
Clark: a windey Day attempted to air our goods

Mr. Chabonah Sent a french man of our party that he was Sorry for the foolissh part he had acted and if we pleased he would accompany us agreeabley to the terms we had perposed and doe every thing we wished him to doe &c. &c. he had requested me Some

Ordway: clear and pleasant. all the Indian Goods put out to air also the parched Meal. Mr. Sharbonow began to move his baggage across the river in order to Go up to the Grossvantares to live. had Got the most of his things across the River he concluded and agreed to Go with us. then moved his effects back to the Fort, & pitched a lodge near the Fort. the wind high from the West. Warner has lost his Tommahawk, expect the Indians Stole it.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 18
1805
Clark: a cold cloudy day wind from the N. I pack up all the merchindize into 8 packs equally derided So as to have Something of every thing in each Canoe & perogue

I am informed of a Party of Christanoes & assinniboins being killed by the Sioux, 50 in Number near the Estableishments on the assinniboin R. a fiew days ago (the effect of Mr. Cammeron, revenge on the Chipaway for Killing 3 of his men)

Mr. Tousent Chabono, Enlisted as an Interpreter this evening, I am not well to day.

Ordway: Cloudy. 2 men came down from the peerogues for provisions. 2 men went up to Grossvantares. Capt. Clark went to packing up the Indian Goods— 2 men with him—

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 21
1805
Clark: a Cloudy Day Some snow, the men Carried the remaining the 2 remained Canoes to the River, all except 3 left to take care & complete the Canoes, returned to the fort with their baggage,

on my return to day to the Fort I came on the points of the high hills, Saw an emence quantity of Pumice Stone on the Sides & foot of the hills and emence beds of Pumice Stone near the Tops of the [hills] with evident marks of the Hill haveing once been on fire, I collected Some the differnt i e Stone Pumice Stone & a hard earth and put them into a furnace the hard earth melted and glazed the others two and the hard Clay became a pumice Stone Glazed. I collected Some plants &c.

[Pumice is frothy volcanic glass. When heated in a furnace it will fuse; some clays, when heated to about 2000° F, expand and resemble somewhat the frothy volcanic rock]

Ordway: the wind from the S. E. about 2 oClock Capt. Clark and 4 men returned from the perogues. had carried them all to the River and left three men with them to cork and take care of them. a little Snow fell the after part of the day.—

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 22
1805
Clark: Visited by the 2nd Chief of the Grand Village of the Minetarrees to whome we gave a medal & Some Clothes acknowledging him as a 2d Chief, he Delayed all night, & Saw the men Dance, which is common amusement with the men he returned the 23rd with Mr. La Rocque & McKinsey two of the N W. Companys Clerks— Some few Drops of rain this evening for the first time this Winter visited by many Indians to day—

Ordway: a clear pleasant morning. the wind from the S. E. Savages continue to bring us Some corn a nomber of the Grossvantares Savages came to visit our officers with Mr. McKinzey & Mr Larouck. our Captains made a chief & Gave him a meddel and an artillery coat a Shirt knife &.C.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 23
1805
Clark: after Brackfast Mr. La Rocke and Mr. McKinsey and the Chiefs & men of the Minetarras leave us— Soon after we were visited by a Brother of the Burnia [one eyed chief of the Minitarees] who gave us a Vocabulary of his Language— the Coal & many other Mandans also visit us to Day.

a find Day in the fore part in the evening a little rain & the first this winter—

Ordway: clear and pleasant. about 10 OClock the Grossvantares who Stayed in the Fort last night returned home. rained a little the latter part of the day.—

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 24
1805
Clark: a Cloudy morning wind from the N E the after part of the Day fair, Several Indians visit us to day, prepareing to Set out on our journey Saw Swans & wild Gees flying N E this evening

Ordway: 6 men Sent up to take the perogues down to the Fort, but they returned about noon without them as they were not corked nor made ready. two men making cages for the Magpyes and the prarie hens which is to be Sent down the River

[Lewis and Clark sent live specimens of four black-billed magpies, a prairie dog (not mentioned here), and a sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus, to Jefferson in April 1805. The grouse did not survive, but Jefferson did receive a lone magpie and a single prairie dog.]

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 25
1805
Clark: a find Day wind S. W. but fiew Inds visit us to day the Ice haveing broken up in Several places, The ice began to brake away this evening and was near distroying our Canoes as they wer decnding to the fort, river rose only 9 Inches to day prepareing to Depart

Ordway: 2 men Set at making a Stearing oar for the Big Barge &.C. others Shelling corn &.C.—

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes Keelboat The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 28
1805
Clark: The ice has Stoped running owing to Som obstickle above, repare the Boat & Perogues, and prepareing to Set out but few Indians visit us to day they are now attending on the river bank to Catch the floating Buffalow

[The carcasses of buffalo drowned in the river were an important source of meat for the tribes of the upper Missouri, and a fairly advanced state of decomposition added to the attraction.]

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 29
1805
Clark: The obstickle broke away above & the ice came dow in great quantites the river rose 13 inches the last 24 hours I observed extrodanary dexterity of the Indians in jumping from one Cake of ice to another, for the purpose of Catching the buffalow as they float down maney of the Cakes of ice which they pass over are not two feet Square. The Plains are on fire in view of the fort on both Sides of the River, it is Said to be common for the Indians to burn the Plains near their villages every Spring for the benifit of ther horse, and to induce the Buffalow to come near to them.

[The carcasses of buffalo drowned in the river were an important source of meat for the tribes of the upper Missouri, and a fairly advanced state of decomposition added to the attraction.]

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 30
1805
Clark: Cloudy Day Seven Gangs of Gees and Ducks pass up the river— but a Small portion of ice floating down to day— but fiew Inds visit us to day all the party in high Spirits they pass but fiew nights without amuseing themselves danceing possessing perfect harmony and good understanding towards each other Generally healthy

Ordway: clear and pleasant The [river] raised 10 Inches last night. the Ice runs thick in the R. to day. The Indian Goods all put out to air. The Big Barge corked & Got ready to descend the Missouri.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes Keelboat Music The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Mar 31
1805
Ordway: cloudy. rained Some at three oclock this morning. the Ice does not run So thick in the River as it did yesterday.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Map Native American Tribes The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

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This guide last edited 12/17/2005
This guide last revised 03/19/2009
This guide created 02/19/2005