Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates February 1805 - Part Three
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: February 15, 1805 - February 21, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates February 15, 1805 - February 21, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates February 15, 1805 - February 21, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates February 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates February 15, 1805 - February 21, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: February 15, 1805 - February 21, 1805

February 15, 1805
Friday 15, at sunrise with twenty-four men. The morning was fine and cool, the thermometer being at 16° below 0. In the course of the day one of the Mandan chiefs returned from Captain Lewis's party, his eye-sight having become so bad that he could not proceed. At this season of the year the reflexion from the ice and snow is so intense as to occasion almost total blindness. This complaint is very common, and the general remedy is to sweat the part affected by holding the face over a hot stone, and receiving the fumes from snow thrown on it. A large red fox was killed to-day.

February 16, 1805
Saturday 16. The morning was warm, mercury at 32° above 0, the weather cloudy: several of the Indians who went with Captain Lewis returned, as did also one of our men, whose feet had been frostbitten.

February 17, 1805
Sunday 17. The weather continued as yesterday, though in the afternoon it became fair. Shotawhorora and his son came to see us, with about thirty pounds of dried buffalo meat and some tallow.

February 18, 1805
Monday 18. The morning was cloudy with some snow, but in the latter part of the day it cleared up. Mr. M‘Kenzie who had spent yesterday at the fort now left us. Our stock of meat is exhausted, so that we must confine ourselves to vegetable diet, at least till the return of the party: for this, however, we are at no loss, since both on this and the following day,

February 19, 1805
Tuesday 19, our blacksmith got large quantities of corn from the Indians who came in great numbers to see us. The weather was fair and warm, the wind from the south.

February 20, 1805
Wednesday, 20th. The day was delightfully fine; the mercury being at sunrise 2° and in the course of the day 22° above 0, the wind southerly. Kagohami came down to see us early: his village is afflicted by the death of one of their eldest men, who from his account to us must have seen one hundred and twenty winters. Just as he was dying, he requested his grandchildren to dress him in his best robe when he was dead, and then carry him on a hill and seat him on a stone, with his face down the river towards their old villages, that he might go straight to his brother who had passed before him to the ancient village under ground. We have seen a number of Mandans who have lived to a great age; chiefly however the men, whose robust exercises fortify the body, while the laborious occupations of the women shorten their existence.

February 21, 1805
Thursday 21. We had a continuation of the same pleasant weather. Oheenaw and Shahaka came down to see us, and mentioned that several of their countrymen had gone to consult their medicine stone as to the prospects of the following year. This medicine stone is the great oracle of the Mandans, and whatever it announces is believed with implicit confidence. Every spring, and on some occasions during the summer, a deputation visits the sacred spot, where there is a thick porous stone twenty-feet in circumference, with a smooth surface. Having reached the place the ceremony of smoking to it is performed by the deputies, who alternately take a whiff themselves and then present the pipe to the stone; after this they retire to an adjoining wood for the night, during which it may be safely presumed that all the embassy do not sleep; and in the morning they read the destinies of the nation in the white marks on the stone, which those who made them are at no loss to decypher. The Minnetarees have a stone of a similar kind, which has the same qualities and the same influence over the nation.

Captain Lewis returned from his excursion in pursuit of the Indians. On reaching the place where the Sioux had stolen our horses, they found only one sled, and several pair of moccasins which were recognised to be those of the Sioux. The party then followed the Indian tracks till they reached two old lodges where they slept, and the next morning pursued the course of the river till they reached some Indian camps, where captain Clarke passed the night some time ago, and which the Sioux had now set on fire, leaving a little corn near the place in order to induce a belief that they were Ricaras. From this point the Sioux tracks left the river abruptly and crossed into the plains; but perceiving that there was no chance of overtaking them, Captain Lewis went down to the pen where captain Clarke had left some meat, which he found untouched by the Indians, and then hunted in the low grounds on the river, till he returned with about three thousand pounds of meat, some drawn in a sled by fifteen of the men, and the rest on horseback; having killed thirty-six deer, fourteen elk, and one wolf.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: February 15, 1805 - February 21, 1805

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