Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates December 1804 - Part Four
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: December 24, 1804 - December 31, 1804

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates December 24, 1804 - December 31, 1804.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates December 24, 1804 - December 31, 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates December 1804
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates December 24, 1804 - December 31, 1804
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: December 24, 1804 - December 31, 1804

December 24, 1804
Monday, 24th. The day continued warm and pleasant, and the number of visitors became troublesome. As a present to three of the chiefs, we divided a fillet of sheepskin which we brought for spunging into three pieces each of two inches in width; they were delighted at the gift, which they deemed of equal value with a fine horse. We this day completed our fort, and the next morning being Christmas,

December 25, 1804
Tuesday, 25th, we were awaked before day by a discharge of three platoons from the party. We had told the Indians not to visit us as it was one of our great medicine days; so that the men remained at home and amused themselves in various ways, particularly with dancing in which they take great pleasure. The American flag was hoisted for the first time in the fort; the best provisions we had were brought out, and this, with a little brandy, enabled them to pass the day in great festivity.

December 26, 1804
Wednesday, 26th. The weather is again temperate, but no Indians have come to see us. One of the northwest traders who came down to request the aid of our Minnetaree interpreter, informs us that a party of Minnetarees who had gone in pursuit of the Assiniboines who lately stole their horses had just returned. As is their custom, they came back in small detachments, the last of which brought home eight horses which they had captured or stolen from an Assiniboine camp on Mouse river.

December 27, 1804
Thursday, 27th. A little fine snow fell this morning and the air was colder than yesterday, with a high northwest wind. We were fortunate enough to have among our men a good blacksmith, whom we set to work to make a variety of articles; his operations seemed to surprise the Indians who came to see us, but nothing could equal their astonishment at the bellows, which they considered as a very great medicine. Having heretofore promised a more particular account of the Sioux, the following may serve as a general outline of their history:

Almost the whole of that vast tract of country comprised between the Mississippi, the Red River of Lake Winnepeg, the Saskaskawan, and the Missouri, is loosely occupied by a great nation whose primitive name is Darcota, but who are called Sioux by the French, Sues by the English. Their original seats were on the Mississippi, but they have gradually spread themselves abroad and become subdivided into numerous tribes. Of these, what may be considered as the Darcotas are the Mindawarcarton, or Minowakanton, known to the French by the name of the Gens du Lac, or People of the Lake. Their residence is on both sides of the Mississippi near the falls of St. Anthony, and the probable number of their warriors about three hundred. Above them, on the river St. Peter's, [146]is the Wahpatone, a smaller band of nearly two hundred men; and still farther up the same river below Yellow-wood river are the Wahpatootas or Gens de Feuilles, an inferior band of not more than one hundred men; while the sources of the St. Peter's are occupied by the Sisatoones, a band consisting of about two hundred warriors.

These bands rarely if ever approach the Missouri, which is occupied by their kinsmen the Yanktons and the Tetons. The Yanktons are of two tribes, those of the plains, or rather of the north, a wandering race of about five hundred men, who roam over the plains at the heads of the Jacques, the Sioux, and the Red river; and those of the south, who possess the country between the Jacques and Sioux rivers and the Desmoine. But the bands of Sioux most known on the Missouri are the Tetons. The first who are met on ascending the Missouri is the tribe called by the French the Tetons of the Boise Brule or Burntwood, who reside on both sides of the Missouri, about White and Teton rivers, and number two hundred warriors. Above them on the Missouri are the Teton Okandandas, a band of one hundred and fifty men living below the Chayenne river, between which and the Wetarhoo river is a third band, called Teton Minnakenozzo, of nearly two hundred and fifty men; and below the Warreconne is the fourth and last tribe of Tetons of about three hundred men, and called Teton Saone. Northward of these, between the Assiniboine and the Missouri, are two bands of Assiniboines, one on Mouse river of about two hundred men, and called Assiniboine Menatopa; the other, residing on both sides of White river, called by the French Gens de Feuilles, and amounting to two hundred and fifty men. Beyond these a band of Assiniboines of four hundred and fifty men, and called the Big Devils, wander on the heads of Milk, Porcupine, and Martha's rivers; while still farther to the north are seen two bands of the same nation, one of five hundred and the other of two hundred, roving on the Saskaskawan. Those [147]Assiniboines are recognised by a similarity of language, and by tradition as descendents or seceders from the Sioux; though often at war are still acknowledged as relations. The Sioux themselves, though scattered, meet annually on the Jacques, those on the Missouri trading with those on the Mississippi.

December 28, 1804
Friday, 28th. The wind continued high last night, the frost severe, and the snow drifting in great quantities through the plains.

December 29, 1804
Saturday, 29th. There was a frost fell last night nearly one quarter of an inch in depth, which continued to fall till the sun had gained some height: the mercury at sunrise stood at 9 below 0: there were a number of Indians at the fort in the course of the day.

December 30, 1804
Sunday, 30th. The weather was cold, and the thermometer 20 below 0. We killed one deer, and yesterday one of the men shot a wolf. The Indians brought corn, beans, and squashes, which they very readily gave for getting their axes and kettles mended. In their general conduct during these visits they are honest, but will occasionally pilfer any small article.

December 31, 1804
Monday, 31. During the night there was a high wind which covered the ice with hillocks of mixed sand and snow: the day was however fine, and the Indians came in great numbers for the purpose of having their utensils repaired.

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