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Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery

Journals: October, 1804

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Meriwether Lewis, William Clark
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1803 1805 1806

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Oct 1
Clark: The wind blew hard all last night from the S. E. verry Cold Set out early the wind Still hard We passed a River Comes in from the S W. and is about 400 yards wide, the Current appears gentle, throwing out but little Sands, and appears to throw out but little water Above the mouth of this river the Sand bars are thick and the water Shoal the river Still verry wide and falling a little we are obliged to haul the boat over a Sand bar, after makeing Several attempts to pass. the wind So hard we Came too & Stayed 3 hours after it Slackened a little we proceeded on round a bend, the wind in the after part of the Day a head—the Sand bars now noumerous, & river more than one mile wide including the Sand bars.

Continued on with the wind imediately a head, and Came too on a large Sand bar in the middle of the river, we Saw a man opposit to our Camp on the L. S. which we discovd. to be a Frenchman, a little from Shore among the willows we observed a house, we Call to them to come over, a boy Came in a Canoo & informed that 2 french men were at the house with good to trade with the Seauex which he expected down from the rickerries everry day, Severl large parties of Seauex Set out from the rics for this place to trade with those men— This Mr. Jon Vallie informs us that he wintered last winter 300 Leagues up the Chien River under the Black mountains, he informs that this river is verry rapid and dificiult even for Canoos to assend and when riseing the Swels is verry high, one hundred Leagues up it forks one fork Comes from the S. the other at 40 Leagues above the forks enters the black Mountain.

The Countrey from the Missourie to the black mountain is much like the Countrey on the Missourie, less timber & a greatr perpotion of Ceder. The black Mountains he Says is verry high, and Some parts of it has Snow on it in the Summer great quantities of Pine Grow on the mountains, a great noise is heard frequently on those mountains"— on the mountains great numbers of goat, and a kind of Anamale with large Circuler horns, This animale is nearly the Size of an Argalia Small Elk. White bear is also plenty— The Chayenne Indians are about 300 lodges they inhabit this river principally, and Steel horses from the Spanish Settlements. This frenchman gives an account of a white booted turkey an inhabitant of the Cout Noie—

[NOTE: The "Black Mountains," also "Cote noir" are here the actual Black Hills of South Dakota. What little information whites had about this range came largely from Indian reports, and no one had any clear idea of its extent and location. At this point the captains applied the name to all the eastern outlying ranges of the Rockies. Vallé's north fork of the Cheyenne is the present Belle Fourche River, which meets the Cheyenne in eastern Meade County, South Dakota. Taking a league to be three miles, Vallé's distance estimates are far too great.]

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Oct 4
Clark: the wind blew all night from the NW. Some rain, we were obliged to Drop down 3 miles to get the Chanel Suft. deep to pass up, Several Indians on the Shore viewing of us Called to us to land one of them gave 3 yels and fired his musket sending the ball skipping over the water before us, we payed no attention to him, proceeded on and Came too on the L. S. to breakfast one of those Indians Swam across to us beged for Powder, we gave him a piece of Tobacco & Set him over on a Sand bar, and Set out, Capt. Lewis and 3 men walked on Shore & crossed over to an Island Situated on the S. S. of the Current & near the Center of the river this Isld. is about 1½ miles long & nearly ½ as wide, in the Center of this Island was an old Village of the rickeries [Recorees - Arikara Indians] Called La ho catt it was Circular and walled Containing 17 lodges and it appears to have been deserted about five years, the Island Contains but little timber. we Camped on the Sand bar makeing from this Island, the day verry Cool.

Gass: We set out early; but were obliged to return to the place where we halted yesterday at 12 and to take the other side of the river; the water was so shallow and sand bars so numerous. At 9 o'clock an Indian swam across the river to see us, when we stopped for breakfast. We informed him that we were not traders, that we had seen his chief and told him all we had to say. We proceeded on, passed a creek on the south side, called Teel creek, and encamped on the upper part of an island.

Lewis & Clark Map: 09/01/04 Weather Missouri River The Arikara Indians The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Oct 5
Clark: Frost this morning, we Set out early and proceeded on passed a Small Creek on the Left Side at 7 oclock heard Some yels proceeded on Saw 3 Indians of the Teton band, they called to us to Come on Shore, beged Some Tobacco, we answd. them as usial and proceeded on, Saw a Gang of Goats Swiming across the river out of which we killed four they were not fatt. in the evening passed a Small Island Situated Close to the L. Side,— I walked on the Isd. found it Covered with wild rye, I Shot a Buck, Saw a large gang of Goat on the hills opposit, one Buck killed, also a Prarie wolf this evening, the high Land not So high as below, river about the Same width, the Sand bars as noumerous, the earth Black and many of the Bluffs have the appearance of being on fire, we Came too and Camped on a mud bar makeing from the L. S. The evening is Calm and pleasant

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Oct 6
Clark: a cool morning wind from the North many large round Stones near the middle of the river, those Stones appear to have been washed from the hills passed a village of about 80 neet Lodges covered with earth and picketed around, those loges are Spicious of an Octagon form as close together as they can possibly be placed and appear to have been inhabited last Spring, from the Canoes of Skins Mats buckets [most likely bullboats] found in the lodges, we are of appinion they were the rickeries [Recorees - Arikara Indians]

We found Squashes of 3 Different Kinds growing in the Village, one of our men killed an Elk Close by this Village, I saw 2 wolves in persute of another which appeared to be wounded and nearly tired, we proceeded on found the river Shole we made Severl. attempts to find the main Channel between the Sand bars, and was obliged at length to Drag the boat over to Save a league which we must return to get into the deepest Channel, we have been obgd to hunt a Chanl. for Some time past the river being devided in many places in a great number of Chanels, Saw Gees, Swan, Brants, & Ducks of Different kinds on the Sand bars to day,

Capt. Lewis walked on Shore Saw great numbers of Prarie hens, I observe but fiew Gulls or Pleaver in this part of the river, The Corvos or Magpye is verry Common in this quarter We Camped on a large Sand bar off the mouth of Otter Creek on the S. S. this Creek is about 22 yards wide at the mouth and contains a greater perpotion of water than Common for Creeks of its Sise

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Oct 7
Clark: a Cloudy morning, Some little rain frost last night, we Set out early proceeded on 2 ½ miles to the mouth of a river [today, the Moreau River in Dewey County, South Dakota] on the Left Side and brackfast

this river whin full is 90 yards wide the water is at this time Confined within 20 yards, the Current appears jentle, this river throws out but little Sand at the mouth of this river we Saw the Tracks of White bear which was verry large, I walked up this river a mile— below the mouth of this river, is the remains of a Rickorrie [Recorees - Arikara Indians] Village or Wintering Camp fortified in a circular form of a bout 60 Lodges, built in the Same form of those passed yesterday This Camp appears to have been inhabited last winter, many of their willow & Straw mats, Baskets & Buffalow Skin Canoes [most likely bullboats] remain intire within the Camp

we proceeded on under a gentle Breeze from the S. W. at 10 oClock we Saw 2 Indians, on the S. S. they asked for Something to eate, & informed us they were part of the Beiffs De Medisons Lodge on their way to the Rickerreis

passd. a willow Island on the S. S.— wind hard from the South in the evening I walked on an Island nearly the middle of the river, one of the men killed a Shee Brarrow, another man killed a Black tail Deer, the largest Doe I ever Saw (Black under her breast) this Island is nearly 1¼ ms. Squar no timbr high and Covered with grass wild rye and Contains Great numbers of Grouse, we proceeded on a Short distance above the Island and Camped on the S. S. a fine evening.

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Oct 8
Clark: a Cool morning Set out early the wind from the N. W. great quantities of the red Berries, ressembling Currents, are on the river in every bend—passed the lower pint of an Island close on the L. S. 2 of our men discovered the reckerrei [Recorees - Arikara Indians] village, about the Center of the Island on the L. Side on the main Shore. this Island is about 3 miles long, Seperated from the L. S. by a Channel of about 60 yards wide verry Deep,

The Isld. is covered with fields, where those people raise their Corn Tobacco Beens &c. &c. Great numbers of those People came on the Island to See us pass, we passed above the head of the Island & Capt. Lewis with 2 interpeters & 2 men went to the Village I formed a Camp of the french & the guard on Shore, with one Sentinal on board of the boat at anchor, a pleasent evening all things arranged both for Peace or War, This Village (6) is Situated about the Center of a large Island near the L. Side & near the foot of Some high bald uneaven hills, Several french men Came up with Capt. Lewis in a perogue, one of which is a Mr. Gravellin* a man well versed in the language of this nation and gave us Some information relitive to the Countrey naton

[*Joseph Gravelines was an associate or employee of Régis Loisel and Pierre-Antoine Tabeau, reported in 1811 as having lived among the Arikaras for more than twenty years. The captains found him useful as an Arikara interpreter, and in 1805 he accompanied the Arikara chief who journeyed to Washington. He had to return alone, bearing the news of the chief's death; the Arikaras gave him an unpleasant reception. The government later employed him as its representative among the Arikaras, an indication of the captains' high opinion of him.]

Lewis: On the shore, in the point formed by the junction of the Weterhoo river with the Missouri.
Observed meridian Altd. of 's U. L. with Sextant by the fore observation. 77° 35'
Latitude deduced from this observation N. 45° 39' 5"

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Oct 11
Clark: a fine morning the wind from the S. E. at 11 oClock we met the Grand Chief in Council & and he made a Short Speech thanking us for what we had Given him & his nation promisseing to attend to the Council we had given him & informed us the road was open & no one dare Shut it, & we might Departe at pleasure,

At 1 oClock we Set out for the upper villages 3 miles distant, the Grand Chief & nephew on board, proceeded on at 1 mile took in the 2d Chief & Came too off the first Second village Seperated from the 3rd by a Creek after arrangeing all matters we walked up with the 2d Chief to his village, and Set talking on various Subjects untile late we also visited the upper or 3rd Village each of which gave us Something to eate in their way, and a fiew bushels of Corn Beens

After being treated by everry civility by those people who are both pore & Durtey we returned to our boat at about 10 oClk. P M. informing them before we Departed that we would Speek to them tomorrow at there Seperate Villages. Those people gave us to eate bread made of Corn & Beens, also Corn & Beans boild. a large Been which they rob the mice of the Prarie which is rich & verry nurrishing also squashes all Tranquillity.

[*The bean is the product of the hog peanut or ground bean plant, Amphicarpa bracteata The Arikaras obtained them from the underground stores of the meadow mouse or vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus. It is said that they always left some other food in its place for the mice.]

Lewis: we met in Council to hear what the Grand Chief Ka kaw issassa had to Say in answer to the Speech of yesterday The Grand Chief rose and spoke as follows —

My Fathers—! My heart is glader than it ever was before to See my fathers.— a repetition.

If you want the road open no one Can provent it it will always be open for you.

Can you think any one Dare put their hands on your rope of your boat. No! not one dar

When you Get to the mandans we wish you to Speak good words with that Nation for us. we wish to be at peace with them.

It gives us pain that we do not Know how to work the Beaver, we will make Buffalow roabs the best we Can.

when you return if I am living you will See me again the same man. The Indian in the prarie know me and listen to my words, when you [come] they will meet to See you.

We Shall look at the river with impatienc for your return. Finished

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Oct 12
Clark: I rose early after brackfast we joined the Indians who were waiting on the bank for us to come out and go and Council, we accordingly joined them and went to the house of the 2nd Chief where there was many Chief and warriers & about 7 bushels of Corn, a pr Leagins a twist of their Tobacco & Seeds of 2 Kind of Tobacco

we Set Some time before the Councill Commenced this man Spoke at Some length declareing his dispotion to believe and prosue our Councils, his intention of going to Visit his great father acknowledged the Satisfaction in receiveing the presents. rais'g a Doubt as to the Safty on passing the nations below particularly the Souex. requested us to take a Chief of their nation and make a good pact with Mandins & nations above. after answering those parts of the 2d Chiefs Speech which required it, which appeared to give General Satisfaction we went to the Village of the 3rd Chief and as usial Some Serimony took place before he Could Speek to us on the Great Subject.

This Chief Spoke verry much in the Stile on nearly the Same Subjects of the other Chief who Set by his Side, more Sincear & pleasently, he presented us with about 10 bushels of Corn Some beens & quashes all of which we acksepted with much pleasure, after we had ansd. his Speech & give them Some account of the Magnitude & power of our Countrey which pleased and astonished them verry much we returned to our boat, the Chiefs accompanied us on board, we gave them Some Sugar a little Salt, and a Sun Glass, & Set 2 on Shore & the third proceeded on with us to the Mandens

at 2 oClock we Set out the inhabitints of the two Villages Viewing us from the banks, we proceeded on about 9½ miles and Camped on the Starboard Shore at Some woods passed, the evening Clear & pleasent Cooler

The Nation of the Rickerries [Recorees - Arikara Indians] is about 600 men able to bear arms a Great perpotion of them have fusees they appear to be peacefull, their men tall and perpotiend, womin Small and industerous, raise great quantities of Corn Beens Simmins also Tobacco for the men to Smoke they Collect all the wood and do the drugery as Common amongst Savages.

Thise nations are made up of Different Tribes of the Pania [Pawnee] who had formerly been Seperate, but by Commotion and war with their neighbours have Come reduced and compelled to Come together for protection. The Curruption of the language of those different Tribes has So reduced the language that the Different Villages do not understade all the words of the others.— Those people are Durtey, Kind, pore, & extravigent pursessing national pride. not beggarley reive what is given with great pleasure, Live in worm houses large and built in an octagon form forming a Cone at top which is left open for the Smoke to pass, those houses are generally 30 or 40 foot Diamiter. Covd. with earth on poles willows & grass to prevent the earths passing thro',

Those people express an inclination to be at peace with all nations—The Seaux who trade the goods which they get of the British Traders for their corn, and great influence over the Rickeres [Recorees - Arikara Indians] , poisen their minds and keep them in perpetial dread.

I Saw Some of the Chien or Dog [Cheyenne] Indians This nation is at war with the Crow Indians & have 3 Children prisoners.

a curious Cuistom with the Seaux as well as the reckeres [Recorees - Arikara Indians] is to give handsom Squaws to those whome they wish to Show Some acknowledgements to— The Seaiux we got Clare of without taking their Squars, they followed us with Squars 13th two days. The Rickores [Recorees - Arikara Indians] we put off dureing the time we were at the Towns but 2 Handsom young Squaws were Sent by a man to follow us, they Came up this evening and peresisted in their Civilities.

Dress of the men of this nation is Simply a pr. mockerson, Leagins, flap in front & a Buffalow roabe, with ther arms & ears Deckorated

The women, wore Mockersons leagins fringed and a Shirt of Goat Skins, Some with Sleaves. this garment is longe & Genlry. White & fringed, tied at the waste with a roabe, in Summer without hair.

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Oct 13
Clark: one man J. Newmon [John Newman] Confined for mutinous expression

Set out early proceeded on, passd. a Camp of Seauex on the Starboard Shore those people only viewed us & did not Speak one word— The visiters of last evening all except one returned which is the Brother of the Chief we have on board

21 miles above the Village passed a Creek about 15 yards wide nearly opposit this creek a fiew miles from the river on the S. S. 2 Stones resembling humane persons & one resembling a Dog is Situated in the open Prarie, to those Stone the Rickores [Recorees - Arikara Indians] pay Great reverance make offerings whenever they pass (Infomtn. of the Chief & Intepeter) those people have a Curious Tredition of those Stones, one was a man in Love, one a Girl whose parents would not let marry, the Dog went to mourn with them all turned to Stone gradually, Commenceing at the feet. Those people fed on grapes untill they turned, & the woman has a bunch of grapes yet in her hand on the river near the place those are Said to be Situated, we obsd. a greater quantity of fine grapes than I ever Saw at one place.

We proceeded on under a fine Breeze from the S.E. and Camped late at the upper part of Some wood on the Starboard Side, Cold & Some rain this evening. we Sent out hunters Killed one Deer.

We Tried the Prisoner Newmon [John Newman] last night by 9 of his Peers they did "Centence him 75 Lashes & Disbanded the party."

Ordway: In conformity to the above order the Court martial convened this day for the trial of John Newman, charged with "having uttered repeated expressions of a highly criminal and mutinous nature; the same having a tendency not only to distroy every principle of military discipline, but also to alienate the affections of the individuals composing this Detachment to their officers, and disaffect them to the service for which they have been so sacredly and solemnly engaged."— The Prisonar plead not guilty to the charge exhibited against him. The court after having duly considered the evidence aduced, as well as the defense of the said prisonor, are unanimously of opinion that the prisonar John Newman is guilty of every part of the charge exhibited against him, and do sentence him agreeably to the rules and articles of war, to receive seventy five lashes on his bear back, and to be henceforth discarded from the perminent party engaged for North Western discovery; two thirds of the Court concurring in the sum and nature of the punishment awarded. the commanding officers approve and confirm the sentence of the court, and direct the punishment take place tomorrow between the hours of one and two P. M.— The commanding officers further direct that John Newman in future be attatched to the mess and crew of the red perogue as a labouring hand on board the same, and that he be deprived of his arms and accoutrements, and not be permited the honor of mounting guard untill further orders; the commanding officers further direct that in lue of the guard duty from which Newman has been exempted by virtue of this order, that he shall be exposed to such drudgeries as they may think proper to direct from time to time with a view to the general relief of the detachment.—

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Oct 14
Clark: Some rain last night all wet & Cold, we Set early the rain contind all Day

we passed a Creek in the L. S. 15 yards wide this Creek we Call after the 3rd Chief Piaheto at 1 oClock we halted on a Sand bar & after Dinner executed the Sentence of the Court Martial So far as giveing the Corporal punishment, & proceeded on a fiew miles, the wind a head from N. E. Camped in a Cove of the bank on the S. S. imediately opposit our Camp on the L. Side I observe an antient fortification the walls of which appear to be 8 or 10 feet high,

the evening wet and disagreeable, the river Something wider more timber on the banks

The punishment of this day allarmd. the Indian Chief verry much, he Cried aloud I explained the Cause of the punishment and the necessity He thought examples were also necessary, & he himself had made them by Death, his nation never whiped even their Children, from their burth.

North Dakota Map: 10/14/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery The Arikara Indians Weather Law and Legal Resources The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Oct 15
Clark: rained all last night, we Set out early and proceeded on at 3 Miles passed an Ind. Camp on the Starboard Side we halted above and about 30 of the Indians came over in their Canoos of Skins, we eate with them, they give us meat, in return we gave fishhooks & Some beeds, about a mile higher we came too on the L. S. at a Camp of Ricres [Recorees - Arikara Indians] of about 8 Lodges, we also eate & they gave Some meat, we proceded on

Saw numbers of Indians on both Sides passing a Creek, Saw many Curious hills, high and much the resemblance of a house with a hiped roof, at 12 oClock it Cleared away and the evening was pleasent, wind from the N. E.— at Sunset we arrived at a Camp of Ricares [Recorees - Arikara Indians] of 10 Lodges on the S. S. we Came too and Camped near them Capt Lewis & my Self went with the Chief who accompanis us, to the Huts of Several of the men all of whome Smoked & gave us Something to eate also Some meat to take away, those people were kind and appeared to be much plsd. at the attentioned paid them

Ordway: Some rain last night. Cloudy morning we Set off eairly. passd. a Timbred bottom where we Saw Some Indians. at 7 oC. we met a hunting party of the Rickarees [Recorees - Arikara Indians] comming down the river returning to their village, they had 12 Cannoes made of Bufflow hides loaded with excelent fat meat. we halted with them about 2 hours. they Gave us Some of their fat meat to carry with us & Gave us Some that they cooked to eat. we Smoaked with them. their party consisted of men women & children. our officers Gave them in return Some fish hooks Beeds &.C. we proceeded on passed Barron hills on the South Side of the River.

at 10 oC. we passed another hunting party who were Encamped in a timbred bottom on S. S. passed a handsome Bottom prarie & the Mouth of a creek where their was an old village Some years ago of the Chien [Cheyenne] Nation on S. S. we proceeded on. passed timbred bottoms on each Side of the River we Saw a nomber of Indians on the Shore on N. S. passd. a creek on S. S. at Sunset we Camped on N. S. at a hunting Camp of the R. Ree [Recorees - Arikara Indians] nation. their was abt.30 men & a nomber of women & children at this Camp. they treated us in the Same manner as the rest of their nation did.

the Greatest Curiousity to them was York Capt. Clarks Black Man. all the nation made a Great deal of him. the children would follow after him, & if he turned towards them they would run from him & hollow as if they were terreyfied, & afraid of him.

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Oct 18
Clark: Set out early proceeded on at 6 mes. passed the mouth of la Boulet (or Cannon Ball River) about 140 yards wide on the L. S. Great numbers of Stone perfectly round with fine Grit are in the Bluff and on the Shore, the river takes its name from those Stones which resemble Cannon Balls.— The water of this river is Confined within 40 yards. We met 2 french men in a perogue Desending from hunting, & complained of the Mandans robing them of 4 Traps ther fur & Seeveral othr articles Those men were in the imploy of our Ricaree [Recorees - Arikara Indians] interpeter Mr. Gravelin they turned & followered us.

[*Evins -John Evans, young man from Wales, was an employee of James Mackay. He had made the most formidable effort before Lewis & Clark to explore the Upper Missouri. The expedition was using a copy of his drawn map, which was sent to Lewis by Jefferson]

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Oct 19
Clark: a fine morning wind from the S. E. we Set out early under a gentle Breeze and proceeded on verry well, more timber than Common on the banks on this part of the river— passed a large Pond on the S. S.— I walked out on the Hills & observed Great numbers of Buffalow feedeing on both Sides of the river I counted 52 Gangues of Buffalow & 3 of Elk at one view, all the runs which come from the high hills which is Generally about one or 2 miles from the water is brackish and near the Hills (the Salts** are) and the Sides of the Hills & edges of the Streems, the mineral salts** appear.

I walked out to view those places pointed out by Evins* I saw Som remarkable round hills forming a Cone at top one about 90 foot one 60 & Several others Smaller, the Indian Chief Say that the Callemet bird The Golden Eagle live in the holes of those hills, the holes form by the water washing thro Some parts in its passage Down from the top— near one of those noles, on a point of a hill 90 feet above the lower plane I observed the remains of an old village, which had been fortified, the Indian Chief with us tels me, a party of Mandins lived there, Here first saw ruins of Mandans nation we proceeded on & Camped on the L. S. opposit the upper of those Conocal hills—our hunters killed 4 Elk 6 Deer & a pelican, I saw Swans in a Pond & Killed a fat Deer in my walk, Saw above 10 wolves. This day is pleasent

[*Evins -John Evans, young man from Wales, was an employee of James Mackay. He had made the most formidable effort before Lewis & Clark to explore the Upper Missouri. The expedition was using a copy of his drawn map, which was sent to Lewis by Jefferson]

[**Glauber's Salts, the decahydrate form of sodium sulfate, used as a laxative]

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Oct 20
Clark: Set out early this morning and proceeded on the wind from the S. E after brackfast I walked out on the L. Side to See those remarkable places pointed out by Evins*, I saw an old remains of a villige on the Side of a hill which the Chief with us Too né tels me that nation Mandans lived in a number villages on each Side of the river and the Troubleson Seaux caused them to move about 40 miles higher up where they remained a fiew years & moved to the place they now live,

The Countrey is fine, the high hills at a Distanc with gradual assents, I Kild 3 Deer The Timber Confined to the bottoms as usial which is much larger than below. Great numbers of Buffalow Elk & Deer, Goats. our hunters killed 10 Deer & a Goat today and wounded a white Bear** I saw Several fresh track of those animals which is 3 times as large as a mans track—, The wind hard all Day from the N. E. & East, great numbers of buffalow Swiming the river I observe near all large gangues of buffalow wolves and when the buffalow move those Anamals follow and feed on those that are killed by accident or those that are too pore or fat to Keep up with the gangue

[*Evins -John Evans, young man from Wales, was an employee of James Mackay. He had made the most formidable effort before Lewis & Clark to explore the Upper Missouri. The expedition was using a copy of his drawn map, which was sent to Lewis by Jefferson]

Lewis: Peter Crusat this day shot at a white bear he wounded him, but being alarmed at the formidable appearance of the bear he left his tomahalk and gun; but shortly after returned and found that the bear had taken the oposite rout.— soon after he shot a buffaloe cow broke her thy, the cow pursued him he concealed himself in a small raviene.—

[**This was their first encounter with the grizzly bear and they did not get a specimen.]

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Oct 21
Clark: a verry Cold night wind hard from the N. E Some rain in the night which frosed up it fell at Day light it began to Snow and Continud all the fore part of the Day

passed just above our Camp a Small river on the L. S. Called by the Indians "Chiss-Cho-tar" this river is about 38 yards wide Containing a good Deel of water Some Distance up this River is Situated a Stone which the Indians have great fath in & Say they See painted on the Stone, all the calamities & good fortune to hapin the nation & partes who visit it"— a tree (an oak) which Stands alone near this place about 2 miles off in the open prarie which has with Stood the fire they pay Great respect to, make Holes and tie Strings thro the Skins of their necks and around this tree to make them brave*

(all this is the information of Too ne is a whipper will) the Chief of the Ricares [Recorees - Arikara Indians] who accompanied us to the Mandins, at 2 miles passed the 2nd Villages of the Manden, which was in existance at the Same time with the 1st this village is at the foot of a hill**

on the S. S. on a butifull & extensive plain— at this time Covered with Buffalow— a Cloudy afternoon, I killed a fine Buffalow, we Camped on the L. S. verry Cold ground Covered with Snow. one otter Killd

[*Clark is apparently describing a version of the Sun Dance, practiced by many Great Plains tribes. Endurance of such physical pain was part of the ritual practiced by several, but not all, tribes.]

[**There are a number of prehistoric villages in the area just above the camp for this date.]

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Oct 22
Clark: last night at 1 oClock I was violently and Suddinly attacked with the Rhumitism in the neck which was So violent I could not move Capt. Lewis applied a hot Stone raped in flannel, which gave me some temporry ease,—.

we Set out early, the morning Cold at 7 oClock we Came too at a Camp of Teton Sioux on the L. S. those people 12 in number were naikd and had the appearanc of war, we have every reason to believ that they are going or have been to Steel horses from the Mandins, they tell two Stories, we gave them nothing and refused to put them across the river,

after takeing brackfast proceeded on— my Neck is yet verry painfull at times Spasms.

passed 2 old Villages at the mouth of a large Creek L. S and a Small Island at the head of which is a bad place, an old Village on the S. S. and the upper of the 6 Villages the Mandan occupied about 25 years ago this village was entirely cut off by the Sioux & one of the others nearly, the Small Pox distroyed great Numbers

The hunters killed a buffalow bull, they Say out of about 300 buffalow which they Saw, they did not See one Cow.

Ordway: Some Snow last night. the frenchman in the cannoe who are in company with us have Caught Several large Beaver every night for Several nights back.

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Oct 25
Clark: Cold morning Set out early under a gentle Breeze from the S. E. by E proceeded on, passed the 3rd old Village where the Mandins once lived but which has been Deserted. for many years, This village was Situated on an eminance of about 40 foot above the water on the L. S. back for Several miles is a butifull plain

at a Short distance above this old village on a Continuation of the Same eminance was Situated the Ricares Village [Recorees - Arikara Indians] which have been avacuated only Six years. above this village a large and extensive bottom for Several miles in which the Squaws raised ther Corn, but little timber near the villages, on the S.S. below is a point of excellent timber, and in the point Several miles above is fine timber,

Several parties of Mandins rode to the river on the Starboard. Shore to view us indeed they are continuelly in Sight Satisying their Curiossities as to our apperance etc.

we are told that the Seaux has latterly Stole the horses of the "Big belley" [Hidatsa or Gross Ventre Indians] , on their way home they fell in with the Ossinboin who killed them and took the horses

— a frenchman* has latterly been killed by the Indians on the Track to the tradeing establishment on the Ossinebine R. in the North of this place (or British fort) This frenchman has lived <20> many years with the Mandins

we were frequently called on to land & talk to parties of the Mandins on the Shore,

wind Shifted to the S. W at about 11 oClock and blew hard untill 3 OCk. clouded up river full of Sand bars & we are at a great loss to find the Channel of the river, frequently run on the Sand bars which Detain us much passed a verry bad riffle of rocks in the evining by takeing the L. S. of a Sand bar and Camped on a Sand point on the S. S. opposit a high hill on the L. S.

Several Indians Come to See us this evening, amongst others the Son of the late great Cheif of the Mandins this man has his two little fingers off—; on inqureing the Cause, was told it was Customary for this nation to Show their greaf by Some testimony of pain, and that it was not uncommon for them to take off 2 Smaller fingers of the hand and Some times more with ther marks of Savage effection. Those Indians appear to have Similar Customs with the Ricaras [Recorees - Arikara Indians] , their Dress the Same more mild in their language & justures etc

R Fields with a Rhumitisum in his Neck one man R. in his hips my Self much better,

[*Ménard, a French Canadian possibly bearing the Christian name Pierre and otherwise known as "Manoah" and "old Menard," had lived with the Mandans and Hidatsas since the 1770s. He told Jean Baptiste Truteau that he had been on the Yellowstone River some time before 1795, making him possibly the first white man to have seen that stream. Different sources attribute his death to the Assiniboines, the Hidatsa and the Mandans.]

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Oct 26
Clark: wind from the S. E we Set the Ricara Chief [Recorees - Arikara Indians] on Shore with Some Mandans, many on each Side veiwing of us, we took in 2 Chiefs (Coal and Big Man*) and halted a feiw minits at their Camps on the L. S. fortified in their way, here we Saw a trader from the Ossinniboin River Called McCracken** this man arrived 9 day ago with goods to trade for horses & Roabs one other man with him—

we Camped on the L. Side a Short distanc below the 1st mandan village on the L. S. many men women & Children flocked down to See us— Capt Lewis walked to the Village with the Chief and interpeters, my Rheumitism increasing prevented me from going also, and we had Deturmined that both would not leave the boat at the Same time untill we Knew the Desposition of the Nativs, Some Chieef visited me & I Smoked with them— they appeared delighted with the Corn Mill which we were obliged to use, also with my black servent, Capt Lewis returned late—

[*The Coal, whose name in the Mandan tongue Clark renders as Sho-ta-har ro-ra (otaharore, "it's a white cloud"), was apparently an Arikara by birth, and had been adopted by the Mandans. He was a rival of Black Cat, considered by the captains to be head chief of the Mandans. Big Man, Oh-he-nar (hir, "to be full"), also called "Le Grand," was according to Clark an adopted Cheyenne prisoner. Such adoption was not uncommon; with males it usually occurred in childhood. Both these men were chiefs of the first Mandan village.]

[**Clark writes that Hugh McCracken worked for the North West Company, then corrects it to "Hudsons's Bay." In fact, he appears to have been a free trader working for neither firm. McCracken had been to the Mandans and had resided there several times before he guided David Thompson of the North West Company there in 1797. Lewis and Clark entrusted him with their message to Charles Chaboillez, North West Company factor on the Assiniboine River. In 1806 he accompanied Chaboillez and Alexander Henry the Younger to the Mandan villages. Henry characterizes him as "an old Irishman formerly belonging to the [Royal?] artillery." David Thompson reports him killed by the Sioux on a journey to the Mandans.]

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Oct 27
Clark: we Set out early and Came too at the village on the L. S. where we delayed a few minits, this village is Situated on an eminance of about 50 feet above the Water in a handson Plain it Containes houses in a kind of Picket work. the houses are round and Verry large Containing Several families, as also their horses which is tied on one Side of the enterance, a Discription of those houses will be given hereafter,

I walked up to a Chiefs Lodge & Smoked a pipe with the Cheifs of this Village they were anxious that I would Stay and eat with them, my indisposition provented my eating which displeased them, untill a full explination took place, I returned to the boat and Sent 2 Carrots of Tobacco for them to Smoke,

here I met with Mr: Jessomme*, a frenchman who lived in this nation 18 years, This man has a wife & Children in the Village— I got him to interpet & he proceedd on with us to a Centeral point opposit the Knife River, & formed a Camp and raised a flag Staff— on the S. S. above the 2d mandan village— this Village is Small and Contains but fiew inhabitents. above this village & also above the Knife River on the Same Side of the Missouri the Big bellies [Hidatsa or Gross Ventre Indians] Towns are Situated a further Discription will be given here after as also of the Town of Mandans on this Side of the river— Great numbers on both Sides flocked down to the bank to view us as wee passed.

Capt Lewis with the Interpetr. walked down to the village below our Camp After delaying one hour he returned and informed me the Indians had returned to their village &c., &c., we Sent three Carrots of Tobacco by three young men, to the three Villages above inviting them to come Down & Council with us tomorrow. many Indians Came to view us Some Stayed all night in the Camp of our party— we procured Some information of Mr: Jessomme* of the Chiefs of the Different Nations

.— well to give my ideas as to the impression thais man [Jusseaume] makes on me is a Cunin artfull an insincere— he tels me he was once empld. by my brother [George Rogers Clark] in the Illinois & of his description I conceve as a Spye upon the British of Michillinicknac [Fort Michilimackinac] & St Joseph, we think he may be made use full to us & do employ him as an interpeter— no. of Indians bring their wives &c. to the campes of our party on Shore &c.

[*René Jusseaume, or Jessaume, was a free trader who in 1804 had lived with the Mandans for about fifteen years, drawing his goods on credit from the North West Company. He told Clark he had been a spy for George Rogers Clark in the Illinois country during the Revolutionary War. He acted as Mandan interpreter for many persons, but apparently was not considered a good one. He seems to have participated fully in the social and ceremonial life of the Mandans, which may account for some of the low opinions whites expressed of him. Evans thought that Jusseaume planned his murder in 1796, when Evans tried to exclude him from the Indian trade. David Thompson, whom he accompanied to the Mandans in 1797, was not impressed with his character, and Alexander Henry the Younger called him "that old sneaking cheat." Lewis and Clark also found him "assumeing and discont'd." Nevertheless they hired him to accompany Sheheke (Big White), the Mandan chief, to Washington as interpreter in 1806. During the attempted return of that chief in 1807, which was stopped by the Arikaras, Jusseaume suffered a crippling wound and petitioned Jefferson for a pension. In 1809 he apprenticed his thirteen-year old son to Lewis, to provide for the boy's education. He was still alive at the time of Maximilian's visit to the Mandans in 1833–34, and was still not considered a really good interpreter. ]

Ordway: from the mouth of the Missouri to this place is 1610 miles.

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Oct 28
Clark: windey Day, fair and Clear many of the Grosvantres (or Big Bellies) [Hidatsa or Gross Ventre Indians] Came to See us and hear the Council the wind being So violently hard from the S. W. provented our going into Councel, (indeed the Chiefs of the Manodans from the lower Village Could not Cross, we made up the presents and entertained

Several of the Curious Cheifs whome, wished to See the Boat which was verry Curious to them viewing it as great medison, as they also viewed my black Servent [Ben York] The Black Cat* Grand Chief of the Mandans, Capt Lewis & my Self with an Interpeter walked up the river about 1½ miles our views were to examine the Situation & Timbers for a fort, we found the Situation good but the Timber Scerce, or at least Small timbr

we Cunsulted the Grand Chief in respect to the other Chiefs of the Defferent Villages he gave the names of 12— George Drewyer [George Drouillard] Cought 2 Beaver above our Camp last night, we had Several presents from the Woman of Corn boild homney, Soft Corn etc. I prosent a jar to the Chiefs wife who recved it with much pleasure our men verry Chearfull this evening— we Sent the Cheifs of the Gross Vantres to Smoke a pipe with the Grand Chef of the Mandins in his Village, & told them we would Speek tomorrow.

[* His Indian name was Posecopsahe, variously spelled. It is from the Mandan term, púskapsi, "black cat." The captains were impressed with this chief's intelligence and friendliness, and thought he would be useful to American interests. British traders found him equally hospitable and helpful, but he made a point of displaying the American flag Lewis and Clark had given him when visited by North West Company traders in 1806. He and The Coal were supposed to be rivals, so perhaps Black Cat's authority was not as supreme as the captains imagined.]

Ordway: the form of these Savvages burrying their dead is after they have disceased they fix a Scaffel on & raised 4 forks abt 8 or 10 feet from the Ground. they lye the dead body on the Sd. Scaffel Raped up in a Buffalow Robe a little distance from their villages— their villages are close compact & picketed in. when any of them loose a partickulor friend or relation they morn and cry for Some time after.

Ordway: The officers had the Flag of the United States hoisted, which continued flying the whole of this day & we remain'd still at our encampment on the Beach

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Oct 29
Clark: a fair fine morning after Brackfast we were visited by the old Cheaf of the Big bellies [Hidatsa or Gross Ventre Indians] this man was old and had transfered his power to his Sun, who was then out at war against the Snake Indians [Shoshonean tribes] who inhabit the rockey mountains—

at 10 oClock the S W. wind rose verry high, we Collected the Chiefs and Commened a Council ounder a Orning and our Sales Stretched around to Keep out as much wind as possible, we delivered a long Speech the Substance of which Similer to what we had Delivered to the nations below. the old Chief of the Grossanters [Hidatsa or Gross Ventre Indians] was verry restless before the Speech was half ended observed that he Could not wait long that his Camp was exposed to the hostile Indians, etc. he was rebuked by one of the Chiefs for his uneasiness at Such a time as the present,

we at the end of the Speech mentioned the Ricare [Recorees - Arikara Indians] who Accompanied us to make a firm peace, they all Smoked with him (I gave this Cheaf a Dollar of the American Coin as a Meadel with which he was much pleased) In Councel we prosented him with a Certificate of his Sincrrity and good Conduct etc. we also Spoke about the fur which was taken from 2 french men by a Mandan, and informd of our intentions of Sending back the french hands— after the Council we gave the presents with much ceremony, and put the Meadels on the Cheifs we intended to make viz. one for each Town to whome we gave Coats hats & flags, one Grand Cheif to each nation to whome we gave meadels with President Jeffersons likeness in Councel we requested them to give us an answer tomorrow or as Soon as possible to Some points which required their Deliberation— after the Council was over we Shot the Air gun which appeared to assonish the nativs much, the greater part them retired Soon after—

The Ricare Cheaf Ar-ke-tar-na-shar [Recorees - Arikara Indians] Came to me this evening and tells me that he wishes to return to his Village & nation, I put him off Saying tomorrow we would have an answer, to our talk to the Satisfaction & Send by him a String of wompom informing what had passed here. a Iron or Steel Corn Mill which we gave to the Mandins, was verry Thankfully recived—

The Prarie was Set on fire (or Cought by accident) by a young man of the Mandin, the fire went with Such velocity that it burnt to death a man and woman, who Could not Get to any place of Safty, one man a woman & Child much burnt and Several narrowly escaped the flame— a boy half white was Saved un hurt in the midst of the flaim, Those people Say this boy was Saved by the great Spirit medisin because he was white— The Cause of his being Saved was a Green buffalow Skin was thrown over him by his mother who perhaps had more fore Sight for the pertection of her Son, and less for herself than those who escaped the flame, the Fire did not burn under the Skin leaving the grass round the boy This fire passed our Camp last about 8 oClock P. M. it went with great rapitidity and looked Tremendious

Lewis: Point of Observation No. 50, Monday October 29th 1804

On the stard. shore at council camp, about half a mile above the upper Mandan Village. Observed meridian Altd. of 's U. L. with Sextant by the fore observation 58° 55' 15" Latitude deduced from this observation N. 47° 22' 56.7" The Chronometer ran down today. I was so much engaged with the Indians, that I omited winding her up.—

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Oct 30
Clark: Two Chiefs came to have Some talk one the princapal of the lower Village the other the one who thought himself the principal mane, & requested to hear Some of the Speech that was Delivered yesterday they were gratified, and we put the medal on the neck of the Big White to whome we had Sent Clothes yesterday & a flag, those men did not return from hunting in time to join the Counell, they were well pleased (2d of those is a Chien)

I took 8 men in a Small perogue and went up the river as far as the 1st Island about 7 miles to See if a Situation Could be got on it for our Winter quarters, found the wood on the Isd. as also on the pt. above So Distant from the water that, I did not think that we Could get a good wintering ground there, and as all the white men here informed us that wood was Sceres, as well as game above, we Deturmined to drop down a fiew miles near wood and game

on my return found maney Inds. at our Camp, gave the party a dram, they Danced as is verry Comnon in the evening which pleased the Savages much. Wind S. E

The principal Chief of the Wau te Soon Came and Spoke a fiew words on Various Subjects not much to the purpose. we Smoked and after my Shooting the air gun he departed, Those nations know nothing of reagular Councils, and know not how to proceed in them, they are restless &c—

Ordway: a clear and pleasant morning. we delayed in order to Give the Savvages time to consider & Give an answer to the counsel &.C. at 10 o.C. A. M. Capt. Clark and 8 of the party went in a pearogue Six miles up the River to look on an Isl. for a place for our winter quarters. one or 2 of the natives went with them at 5 oC. P. M. they returned and enformed us that it the place was not Suitable for us to winter etc. the natives were a nomber of the men & women about our camp with Some corn & Bread made of the corn meal parched & mixed with fat etc. which eats verry well, they expect us to give them Some Small article in return for their produce, Such as corn Beans Squasshes etc of which they raise pleanty off for themselves & to trade with other nations etc.—

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This guide last edited 08/11/2006
This guide last revised 09/04/2008
This guide created 10/12/2004