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Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery

Journals: November, 1804

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Meriwether Lewis, William Clark
Members of the Expedition
Camp DuBois, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, The Lewis and Clark Trail
Keelboats, Maps, Scientific Discoveries
Lewis and Clark Bicentennial

1803 1805 1806

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Nov 1
Clark: at about 10 OClock the Cheifs of the Lower Village Cam and after a Short time informed us they wished they would us to call at their village & take Some Corn, that they would make peace with the Ricares [Recorees - Arikara Indians] they never made war against them but after the rees [Recorees - Arikara Indians] Killed their Chiefs they killed them like the birds, and were tired and would Send a Chief and Some brave men to the Ricares [Recorees - Arikara Indians] to Smoke with that people

in the evening we Set out and fell down to the lower Village where Capt. Lewis got out and continud at the Village untill after night I proceeded on & landed on the S. S. at the upper point of the 1st Timber on the Starboard Side after landing & Continuinge— all night droped down to a proper place to build Capt. Lewis Came down after night, and informed me he intended to return the next morning by the perticular Request of the Chiefs. We passed the Villages on our Decent in veiw of Great numbers of the inhabitents

Lewis: The wind blew so violently during the greater part of this day that we were unable to quit our encampment; in the evening it abated;— we droped down about seven miles and land on N. E. side of the river at a large point of Woodland

Ordway: at 3 oClock P. M. we Set off to return a Short distance down the River in order to find a Good place for winters quarters. the wind abated. But the River So Shallow the we Struck the Sand bars. Capt. Lewis myself and Several more of the party halted at the 1st village of the Mandens in order to git Some corn. the head chief told us that they had not Got the corn ready. But if we would come tomorrow they [w]ould have it ready. they Gave us 3 kinds of victuls to eat which was verry Good. they were verry friendly Gave the pipe round everry fiew minutes &.C. they live verry well. have pleanty of corn Beans Squashes meat etc. Capt. Lewis told the chief that he would come again tomorrow. then we went on abt. 2 miles down to a Bottom covered with Timber, where we Camped on the N. Side of the Missouris River.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery The Mandan The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Nov 2
Clark: This morning at Day light I went down the river with 4 men to look for a proper place to winter proceeded down the river three miles & found a place well Supld. with wood, & returned, Capt. Lewis went to the village to here what they had to Say & I fell down, and formed a camp near where a Small Camp of Indian were huntig

Cut down the Trees around our Camp, in the evening Capt. Lewis returned with a present of 11 bushels of Corn, our recaree Chief [Recorees - Arikara Indians] Set out acccompanied by one Mandans Chief and Several Brave men, he Called for Some Small article which we had but as I could not understand him he Could not get it

the wind from the S. E. a fine day— many Indians to day

Lewis: This morning early we fixed on the site for our fortification which we immediately set about. This place we have named Fort Mandan in honour of our Neighbours.

Ordway: a cloudy morning. Capt. Clark went with Some men down the Bottom to look for a place to Build our huts. they Returned Shortly had found a Good place a Short distance down where their was an Indian camp in a Grove of large cottonwood Timber. Sevral Indians at Sd. camp Capt. Lewis & Several of the party went in a pearogue up to the 1st village of the Mandans in order to Git corn. we droped down a Short distance farther to a body & Bottom of large Timber where we commenced falling Timber, and fixing a camp close by the place where we intend for to build. picthed our tents & laid the foundation of one line of our huts, which consisted of 4 Rooms 14 feet Square. the other line will be the Same Capt. Lewis returned. brought us 10 or 12 bushels of Good corn. we find the cottonwood Timber will Split Tollorable well, and as their is no other building timber in this bottom we expect to Split punchin to cover the huts with. one of our french hands is discharged & gone down the river.

[The site of Fort Mandan, where the Corps of Discovery remained until April 1805, is in McLean County, North Dakota, about fourteen miles west of Washburn. The actual site has been washed away by the Missouri and lies at least partially underwater.]

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan The Mandan Cottonwood Tree Corn The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Nov 3
Clark: a fine morning wind hard from the West we commence building our Cabins, Send Down in Perogue 6 men to hunt Engaged one man* Set the french who intend to return to build a Perogue, many Indians pass to hunt, Mr. Jessomme with his Squar & Children. come Down to live, as Interpter we hired for our Sirvice,

in the evening the Ka goh ha mi or little ravin Came & brought us on his Squar who carried on her back about 60 Wt. of Dried Buffalow meat a roabe, & Pot of Meal &. they Delayed all night— we gave his Squar an ax & a fiew Small articles & himself a piece of Tobacco, the Men were indulged with a dram, this evening

two Beaver Cought This morning— and one Trap Lost. The Frenchmen 9 engaged thus far now returning. but 2 or 3 volunteered to remain with us the winter.

[*Jean Baptiste LePage took the place of the discharged John Newman and went with the permanent party to the Pacific and back. Most of what is known of him is in this entry and elsewhere in the journals. The information in Biddle's interlineation indicates that he had been to the Black Hills and on the Little Missouri River, in country that few, if any, other whites had seen. He probably contributed some information to the Western map Clark prepared during this winter]

Gass: A clear day; we continued building, and six men went down the river in a periogue to hunt. They will perhaps have to go 30 or 40 miles before they come to good hunting ground.— The following is the manner in which our huts and fort were built; the huts were in two rows, containing four rooms each, and joined at one end forming an angle. When rasied about 7 feet high a floor of puncheons [split logs with one side roughly flattened] or split plank were laid, and covered with grass and clay; which made a warm loft. The upper part projected a foot over and the roofs were made shed-fashion, rising from the inner side, and making the outer wall about 18 feet high. The part not inclosed by the huts we intended to picket. In the angle formed by the two rows of huts we built two rooms, for holding our provisions and stores.

[ Gass gives the most detailed information available about the construction of Fort Mandan. The fort was roughly triangular in outline. Ordway indicates that each row of huts consisted of four rooms each fourteen feet square, making each row approximately 56 feet in length.]

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan The Mandan Food Beaver Buffalo The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Nov 4
Clark: a fine morning we Continued to Cut Down trees and raise our houses,

a Mr. Chaubonée*, interpeter for the Gross Vintre nation Came to See us, and informed that he came Down with Several Indians from a Hunting expedition up the river, to here what we had told the Indians in Councl He Speaks the Big Belley [Hidatsa or Gross Ventre Indians] language he wished to hire & informed us his 2 Squars** were Snake Indians [Shoshonean tribes] , we engau him to go on with us and take one of his wives to interpet the Snake language [Shoshonean tribes]

Great numbers of Indians pass hunting and Some on the return—

Ordway: cold last night & white frost this morning. clear and pleasant. we continued raiseing our huts. Several more of our french hands is discharged and one makeing a pearogue in order to descend the Missourie & Several of the natives come to our Camp to See us build our huts, and to See our boats &.C— we got one line of our huts raised So that we got the Eve Beames on & all of large Timber So that it took all the men hard lifting to put the 16 foot eve Beames.

[*Toussaint Charbonneau is, of course, one of the best-known members of the Corps of Discovery, thanks to his association with Sacajawea. He was a French Canadian, born about 1758, who had worked for the North West Company and had apparently lived among the Hidatsas as an independent trader for several years by 1804. He appears, of course, in all accounts of the expedition and in the various biographies of Sacajawea, but relatively little has been written on the man himself. Estimates of his character have generally been unfavorable, many historians portraying him as a coward, a bungler, and a wife-beater. Lewis described him as "A man of no peculiar merit" who "was useful as an interpreter only"; nonethless, his services in that capacity, together with his wife's, were virtually indispensable, to say nothing of his considerable ability as a cook. Clark evidently had a higher opinion of Charbonneau, for he saw to the education of the couple's son, offered to set Charbonneau up as a farmer or trader, and saw to it that his old associate had employment in the fur trade and government service until his own (Clark's) death. After the expedition Charbonneau worked for Manuel Lisa in the Missouri Fur Company, then carried out diplomatic errands among the Missouri River tribes for the United States during the War of 1812. He joined an expedition to Santa Fe in 1815, where the Spanish briefly imprisoned him, and worked as an interpreter for Major Stephen H. Long, Prince Paul of Wurttemburg, and Prince Maximilian, in addition to serving various fur-trading firms. During Clark's long tenure as superintendent of Indian affairs in the trans-Mississippi West, Charbonneau was on the government payroll much of the time as Mandan and Hidatsa interpreter. He was discharged in 1839, about a year after Clark's death, and thereafter disappears from the record; evidently he was dead by 1843. A probable likeness of him is found in Karl Bodmer painting "The Travelers Meeting with Minataree Indians near Fort Clark," which shows someone, perhaps Charbonneau, interpreting for Maximilian in 1833–34, when he was probably in his seventies.]

[One of them was, of course, Sacajawea, destined to be the most famous member of the Corps of Discovery after the captains themselves. In spite of the multitude of words written about her, most of what we know about her life and personality is to be found in the expedition journals and a few other papers of Clark. A Lemhi Shoshone from the region of the Continental Divide in Idaho and Montana, probably born around 1788, she was taken prisoner by a Hidatsa raiding party near the Three Forks of the Missouri about 1800 and was apparently living at Metaharta, the middle Hidatsa village (now called the Sakakawea site), when purchased by Charbonneau, probably in 1804. Many writers have referred to her as the guide of the expedition, but Lewis and Clark hired her and Charbonneau as interpreters. Her services in that capacity among the Shoshonean-speaking people in the Rockies were indispensable, while her presence with a baby calmed the fears of many tribes that the party was a war expedition. She did provide valuable assistance as a guide in the region of southwestern Montana in which she had spent her childhood. Clark seems to have had a high opinion of her, as he did of Charbonneau and the couple's son, but romantic fantasies concerning the two have no foundation in the record. There is some controversy about whether the name by which we know her was Shoshone or Hidatsa, and the appropriate spelling and pronunciation remain in doubt. All of the captains' attempts to render the name indicate a hard "g" sound in the third syllable. Lewis understood the name to mean "Bird Woman." On her subsequent life there is also little information. The best evidence is that she died at Manuel Lisa's trading post, Fort Manuel, on the Missouri River in Corson County, South Dakota, in 1812. Certainly Clark recorded her as having died by 1825–28. Assertions that she lived to be nearly one hundred, dying in 1884 on the Wind River Shoshone Reservation in Wyoming, rest on shaky evidence.]

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

Nov 5
Clark: I rose verry early and commenced raising the 2 range of Huts the timber large and heavy all to Carry on Hand Sticks, Cotton wood & Elm Som ash Small, our Situation Sandy,

great numbers of Indians pass to and from hunting

a Camp of Mandans, A fiew miles below us Cought within two days 100 Goat, by Driveing them in a Strong pen, detected by a Bush fence widening from the pen &c. &.

the Greater part of this day Cloudy, wind moderate from the N. W. I have the Rhumitisum verry bad, Cap Lewis writeing all Day—

we are told by our interpeter that 4 Ossinboin Indians, have arrived at the Camps of the Gross Venters & 50 Lodges are Comeing

Ordway: a clear & pleasant morning. all hands to work eairly raiseing the other line of our huts & Splitting out punchiens [split logs with one side roughly flattened] for to lay the loft which we intend covering over with earth in order to make the huts more warm and comfortable. we dug a vault [latrine] 100 yds abo. the huts to make or keep the place healthy.

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

Nov 8
Clark: a Cloudy morning Jussome our interpreter went to the Village, on his return he informed us that three English men had arrived from the Hudsons Bay Company, and would be here tomorrow, we Contd. to build our huts, many Indians Come to See us and bring their horses to Grass near us

Ordway: Ordway: we continued building with as much haste as possable in order to Git in them before winter Sets in.

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

Nov 9
Clark: a verry hard frost this morning we Continue to build our Cabens, under many disadvantages, Day Cloudy wind from the N W. Several Indians pass with reports,

we got a White weasel, (Taile excepted which was black at the end) of an Indian

Capt Lewis walked to the hill abt. ¾ of a mile— we are Situated in a point of the Missouri North Side in a Cotton wood Timber, this Timber is tall and heavy Containing an imence quantity of water Brickle & Soft food for Horses to winter (as is Said by the Indians) The Mandans Graze their horses in the day on Grass, and at night give them a Stick of Cotton wood to eate,

Horses Dogs & people all pass the night in the Same Lodge or round House, Covd. with earth with a fire in the middle

great number of wild gees pass to the South, flew verry high

Ordway: Ordway: a hard white frost last night. a clear & pleasant morning. we continued building as usal.

we expect our hunters Soon as we are in Great want of fresh meat.— a nomber of the natives visits us everry day

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Native American Tribes Weather Cottonwood Tree Long-tailed Weasel Geese The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Nov 10
Clark: rose early continued to build our fort

numbers of Indians Came to See us a Chief Half Pania Came & brought a Side of a Buffalow, in return We Gave Some fiew small things to himself & wife & Son, he Crossed the river in the Buffalow Skin Canoo [most likely bullboats] & and, the Squar carried the Boat on her back and proceeded on to the Town 3 miles

the Day raw and Cold wind from the N W, the Gees Continue to pass in gangues, Some Ducks also pass

Ordway: Cloudy & cold. the 2nd Chief & a Squaw came from the 1st village down in a buffaloe hide cannoe. brought us Som fat buffalow meat we finished raising one line of our huts. commenced hughing & Guttering the punchien [split logs with one side roughly flattened] for the purpose of covering the huts.

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

Nov 11
Clark: a Cold Day

Continued at work at the Fort Two men Cut themselves with an ax,

The large Ducks pass to the South an Indian gave me Several roles of parched meal

two Squars of the Rock Mountain*, purchased from the Indians by a frenchmen Came down

The Mandans out hunting the Buffalow—

Lewis: Observed Meridian altitude of 's U. L. with Sextant by the fore observation 51° 4' 52" Latitude deduced from this observation N. 47° 21' 32.8"

Ordway: a clear and pleasant morning. we commenced dobbing our huts & covering them &.C. a frenchmans Squaw* came to our camp who belonged to the Snake nation. She came with our Intreperters wife & brought with them 4 buffalow Robes and Gave them to our officers. they Gave them out to the party. I Got one fine one myself. chilly this evening &.c.

[*It is likely one of these squaws was Sacagawea, but it is impossible to comfirm this.]

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Native American Tribes Weather Global Positioning Health Care Buffalo Duck The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Nov 12
Clark: a verry Cold night early this morning

the Big White princapal Chief of the lower Village of the Mandans Came Down, he packd about 100 W. of fine meet on his Squar for us, we made Some Small presents to the Squar, & Child gave a Small ax which She was much pleased—

3 men Sick

Wind Changeable verry cold evening, freesing all day Some ice on the edges of the river. Swans passing to the South, the Hunters we Sent down the river to hunt has not returned

The interpeter Says that the Mandan nation, as they old men Say, [was created from an underground village beside a small lake] where they had Gardens. maney years ago they lived in Several Villages on the Missourie low down, the Smallpox destroyed the greater part of the nation and reduced them to one large Village and Some Small ones, all nations before this maladey was afraid of them

after they were reduced the Sioux and other Indians waged war, and killed a great maney, and they moved up the Missourie, those Indians Still continued to wage war, and they moved Still higher, untill they got in the Countrey of the Panias, whith this nation they lived in friendship maney years, inhabiting the Same neighbourhood untill that people waged war,

They moved up near the watersoons [Gros Ventre/Hidatsa] & winataree [Amahami] where they now live in peace with those nations, the mandans Specke a language peculial to themselves verry much. they can rase about 350 men, the Winatarees [Amahami] about 80 and the Big bellies [Shoshone]about 600 or 650 men.

the mandans and Seauex have the Same word for water— The Big bellies [Shoshone] Winitarees [Amahami] & ravin [Crow] Indians Speake nearly the Same language and the presumption is they were origionally the Same nation

The Ravin Indians [Crow] "have 400 Lodges & about 1200 men, & follow the Buffalow, or hunt for their Subsistance in the plains & on the Rock Mountains, & are at war with the Sioux Snake Indians["] The Big bellies [Shoshone] & Watersoons [Gros Ventre/Hidatsa] are at war with the Snake [Shoshone] Indians & Seaux, and were at war with the Ricares [Recorees - Arikara Indians] untill we made peace a fiew days passd.— The Mandans are at War with all who make war on them, at present with the Seauex only, and wish to be at peace with all nations, Seldom the agressors—

Ordway: Clear & cold this morning. a verry hard frost. froze Some last night. we continued our buildings as usal. the chief of the lower village of the Mandens brought us Some buffalow meat which we were in want as our hunters has not arived yet. we unloaded the pearogue in order to fetch Stone.

[*It is likely one of these squaws was Sacagawea, but it is impossible to comfirm this.]

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

Nov 15
Clark: a Cloudy morning, the ice run much thicker than yesterday at 10 oClock

G Drewyer & the frenchman we Dispatched yesterday came up from the Hunters, who is incamped about 30 miles below— after a about one hour we Dispatched a man with orders to the hunters to proceed on without Delay thro the floating ice, we Sent by the man Tin, to put on the parts of the Perogue exposed to the ice & a toe roape—

The wind Changeable— all hands work at their huts untill 1 oClock at night— Swans passing to the South— but fiew fowls water to be Seen— not one Indian Came to our fort to day

Ordway: Cloudy. George Drewyer arived with the frenchman who went after them. he Informed us that the pearogue was abt. 18 mls. below loaded with meat. the frenchman Sent back to the pearogue with a kittle to put on the Bow of the pearogue was cut with the Ice &.C

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

Nov 16
Clark: a verry white frost all the trees all Covered with ice, Cloudy, all the men move into the huts which is not finishd

Several Indians Come to Camp to day, The Ossinboins is at the Big bellie [Shoshone] Camp, Some trouble like to take place between them from the loss of horses &c. as is Said by an old Indian who visited us with 4 buffalow robes & Corn to trade for a pistol which we did not let him have,

men imployed untill late in dobing [coating the walls with clay to close the chinks between the logs] their huts,

Some horses Sent down to Stay in the woods near the fort, to prevent the Ossinboins Steeling them

Ordway: a cold frosty night. the Trees were covered with frost which was verry course white & thick even on the Bows of the trees all this day. Such a frost I never Saw in the States. we continued building. raised a provision & Smoak house 24 feet by 14 f. the air verry thick with fogg from the R.

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

Nov 17
Clark: a fine morning, last night was Cold, the ice thicker than yesterday, Several Indians visit us, one Chief Stayed all day we are much engaged about our huts.

Ordway: a cold clear morning. the frost fell from the trees by the Sun Shineing upon them. at 11 o.C. the frenchman arived with a fat Elk from our pearogue.

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Nov 18
Clark: a Cold morning Some wind

the Black Cat, Chief of the Mandans Came to See us, he made Great inquiries respecting our fashions. he also Stated the Situation of their nation, he mentioned that a Council had been held the day before and it was thought advisable to put up with the resent insults of the Ossinboins & Christonoes untill they were Convinced that what had been told thim by us, Mr. Evins had deceived them & we might also. Evins promised to return & furnish them with guns & amunitiion,

we advised them to remain at peace. The Ossinboins &c have the trade of those nations in their power and treat them badly as the Soux does the Ricarees [Recorees - Arikara Indians] and they cannot resent for fear of loseing their trade &.

Ordway: clear & cold. we raised the roof of the meat & Smoak house bringing it up with Timber cross drawing in, So as to answer with chinking & dobbing & covering with earth & ashes for the covering without plank, as it is Troublesom to Git any more than to cover our huts. abt. noon a chief came down from the villages. his Squaw brought a back load of corn in ears for us.—

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

Nov 19
Clark: a Cold day the ice Continue to run our Perogue of Hunters arrive with 32 Deer, 12 Elk & a Buffalow, all of this meat we had hung up in a Smoke house, a timeley supply— Several Indians here all day— the wind bley hard from the N. W. by W. our men move into their huts, Several little Indian anecdotes told me to day

Ordway: the River Riseing the wind from S. W. the weather moderates as the day is pleasant. we dobbed the Store & Smoak house. all hands employed at different Sort of work. abt. 3 o.C. P. M. our hunters arived with the pearogue loaded with meat consisting of 5 buffalow 11 Elk & 30 Deer also Several kinds of Small Game of which they brought the Skins, all the meat we put up on poles in the Roofs of our meat & Smoak houses.—

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

Nov 22
Clark: a fine morning Dispatched a Perogue and 5 Men under the Derection of Sergeant Pryor to the 2nd Village for 100 bushels of Corn in ears which Mr. Jessomme, let us have did not get more than 80 bushels

— I was allarmed about 10 oClock by the Sentinal, who informed that an Indian was about to Kill his wife in the interpeters hut fire about 60 yards below the works, I went down and Spoke to the fellow about the rash act which he was like to commit and forbid any act of the kind near the fort—

Some missunderstanding took place between this man & his fife about 8 days ago, and She came to this place, & Continued with the Squars of the interpeters, 2 days ago She returned to the Villg. in the evening of the Same day She came to the interpeters fire— We advised the Indian to take his Squar home and live hapily together in future,— at this time the Grand Chief of the nation [Black Cat] arrived, & lecturd him, and they both went off

The grand Chief stayed with ua all day a warm Day fair afternoon— many Indian anickdotes one Chief & his familey Stay all night.

Ordway: pleasant & warm Sgt. Pryor & 5 men Sent with a pearogue to the 2nd village of the mandens for corn we completed building the backs of our chimneys. the pearogue returned towards evening with abt. 12 bushels of mixed coullourd corn in ears traied which the natives took out of the Ground where they burry it in holes in their village—

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Nov 23
Clark: a fair warm Day, wind from the S. E. Send after Stone Several men with bad Colds, one man Sheilds with the Rhumitism the river on a Stand haveing rose 4 Inches in all

Ordway: pleasant & warm the pearogue Sent for Stone. Rope works fixed. Several hands employed makeing a large Rope for the purpose of drawing the Barge up the Bank &.C.

North Dakota Map: 10/26/04 Lewis & Clark Map: 10/14/04 Fort Mandan Weather Common Cold The Lewis and Clark Trail University of Nebraska

Nov 24
Clark: a warm Day Several men with bad Coalds we continue to Cover our Huts with hewed punchens [split logs with one side roughly flattened] finishd. a Cord to draw our boat out on the bank, this is made 9 Strans of Elk Skin,— the wind from the S. E.—

Ordway: warm & pleasant. the work continued on as usal. the Guard reduced to a Sgt. & 3 men. a nomber of the natives visits us everry day.

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Nov 29
Clark: A verry Cold windey day wind from the N. W by W. Some Snow last night the Detpt of the Snow is various in the wood about 13 inches, The river Closed at the Village above and fell last night two feet

Sergeant Pryor in takeing down the mast put his Sholder out of Place, we made four trials before we replaced it

a Cold after noon wind as usial N W. river begin to rise a little—

Ordway: the Snow fell yesterday and last night about 12 Inches on a level. a cold Frosty clear morning. 2 or 3 men out hunting. the River fell abt. 2 feet last night So that our Boat lay dry on Shore. we took out the mast & every thing which was in hir & let hir lay as She appeared to be Safe.

one of the hunters killed an old Elk brot. in the horns which were verry large, but it being poor we did not go for the meat.

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Nov 30
Clark: This morning at 8 oClock an Indian Calld from the other Side and informed that he had Something of Consequence to Communicate. we Sent a perogue for him & he informed us as follows. Viz: "five men of the Mandan Nation out hunting in a S. W. derection about Eight Leagues was Suprised by a large party of Sceoux & Panies [Arikara Indians] , one man was Killed and two wounded with arrows & 9 Horses taken, 4 of the We ter Soon nation was missing, & they expected to be attacked by the Soiux

we thought it well to Show a Disposition to ade and assist them against their enimies, perticularly those who Came in oppersition to our Councils, and I Deturmined to go to the town with Some men, and if the Sceoux were comeing to attact the nation to Collect the worriers from each Village and meet them, thos Ideas were also those of Capt Lewis,

I crossed the river in about an hour after the arrival of the Indian express with 23 men including the interpeters and flankd the Town & came up on the back part—The Indians not expecting to receive Such Strong aide in So Short a time was much Supprised, and a littled allarmed at the formadable appearance of my party— The principal Chiefs met me Some Distance from the town (Say 200 yards) and invited me in to town, I ord my pty into dft. lodges & I explained to the nation the cause of my comeing in this formadable manner to their Town, was to asst and Chastise the enimies of our Dutifull Children,— I requested the Grand Cheif to repeat the Circumstancies as they hapined which he did as was mentioned by the Express in the morning— I then informed them that if they would assemble their warrers and those of the different Towns I would to meet the Army of Souix & Chastise thim for takeing the blood of our dutifull Children &c.

after a conversation of a fiew minits anongst themselves, one Chief the Big Man Cien Said they now Saw that what we hade told them was the trooth, whin we expected the enimies of their Nation was Comeing to attact them, or had spilt their blood were ready to protect them, and Kill those who would not listen to our Good talk— his people had listened to what we had told them and Carelessly went out to hunt in Small parties believing themselves to be Safe from the other Nations— and have been killed by the Panie [Arikara Indians] s & Seauex.

"I knew Said he that the Panies [Arikara Indians] were liers, and told the old Chief who Came with you (to Confirm a piece with us) that his people were liers and bad men and that we killed them like the Buffalow, when we pleased, we had made peace Several times and your Nation have always Condemmed the war, we do not want to Kill you, and will not Suffer you to Kill us or Steal our horses, we will make peace with you as our two fathers have derected, and they Shall See that we will not be the Ogressors, but we fear the Ricares [Recorees - Arikara Indians] will not be at peace

"My father those are the words I Spoke to the Ricare [Recorees - Arikara Indians] in Your presents— you See they have not opened their ears to your good Councils but have Spuilt our blood." two Ricarees [Recorees - Arikara Indians] whome we Sent home this day for fear of our peoples Killing them in their greaf—informed us when they Came here Several days ago, that two Towns of the Ricares [Recorees - Arikara Indians] were makeing their Mockersons, and that we had best take care of Our horses &."— a number of Sieuex were in their Towns, and they believed not well disposed towards us—

four of the Wetersoons are now absent they were to have been back in 16 days they have been Out 24 we fear they have fallen. my father the Snow is deep and it is cold our horses Cannot travel thro the the plains,— those people who have Spilt our blood have gorn back? if you will go with us in the Spring after the Snow goes off we will raise the Warriers of all the Towns & nations around about us, and go with you."

I told this nation that we Should be always willing and ready to defend them from the insults of any nation who would dare to Come to doe them injurey dureing the time we would remain in their neighbourhood, and requstd. that they would inform us of any party who may at any time be discovered by their Patroles or Scouts; I was Sorry that the Snow in the Plains had fallen So Deep Sence the Murder of the young Chief by the Scioux as prevented, their horses from traveling I wished to meet those Scioux & all others who will not open their ears, but make war on our dutiful! Children, and let you See that the Wariers of your great father will Chastize the enimies of his dutifull Children the Mandans, wetersoons & Winitarees, who have opend. their ears to his advice—

you Say that the Panies or Ricares [Recorees - Arikara Indians] were with the Sciaux, Some bad men may have been with the Sciaux you know there is bad men in all nations, do not get mad with the racarees [Recorees - Arikara Indians] untill we know if those bad men are Countenced by their nation, and we are Convinced those people do not intend to follow our Councils—

you know that the Sceaux have great influence over the ricarees [Recorees - Arikara Indians] and perhaps have led Some of them astray— you know that the Ricarees [Recorees - Arikara Indians] , are Dependant on the Sceaux for their guns, powder, & Ball, and it was policy in them to keep on as good terms as possible with the Sciaux untill they had Some other means of getting those articles &c. &. you know your Selves that you are Compelled to put up with little insults from the Christinoes & Ossinboins because if you go to war with those people, they will provent the traders in the north from bringing you Guns Powder & Ball and by that means distress you verry much, but whin you will have Certain Suppliers from your Great American father of all those articls you will not Suffer any nation to insult you &c.

after about two hours conversation on various Subjects all of which tended towards their Situation &c. I informed them I Should return to the fort, the Chief Said they all thanked me verry much for the fatherly protection which I Showed towards them, that the Village had been Crying all the night and day for the death of the brave young man, who fell but now they would wipe away their tears, and rejoice in their fathers protection—and Cry no more—

I then Paraded & Crossed the river on the ice and Came down on the N. Side the Snow So deep, it was verry fatigueing arrved at the fort after night, a Cold night the river rise to its former hite— The Chief frequently thanked me for Comeing to protect them— and the whole Village appeared thankfull for that measure

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

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This guide last edited 12/17/2005
This guide last revised 10/31/2007
This guide created 10/21/2004