of Lewis and Clark: Dates March 1, 1805 - March 9, 1805
excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis
and Clark. Dates: March 1, 1805 - March 9, 1805
March 1, 1805
Friday, March 1. The day is fine, and the whole party is
engaged, some in making ropes and pirogues, others in burning
coal, and making battle axes to sell for corn.
March 2, 1805
Saturday 2. Mr. Laroche one of the N.W. company's
traders has just arrived with merchandise from the British
establishments on the Assiniboine. The day is fine, and
the river begins to break up in some places, the mercury
being between 28° and 36° above 0, and the wind from the
N.E. We were visited by several Indians.
March 3, 1805
Sunday 3. The weather pleasant, the wind from the
E. with clouds; in the afternoon the clouds disappeared
and the wind came from the N.W. The men are all employed
in preparing the boats; we are visited by Poscapsahe and
several other Indians with corn. A flock of ducks passed
up the river to-day.
March 4, 1805
Monday 4. A cloudy morning with N.W. wind, the latter
part of the day clear. We had again some Indian visitors
with a small present of meat. The Assiniboines, who a few
days since visited the Mandans, returned, and attempted
to take horses from the Minnetarees, who fired on them;
a circumstance which may occasion some disturbance between
the two nations.
March 5, 1805
Tuesday 5. About four o'clock in the morning there
was a slight fall of snow, but the day became clear and
pleasant with the mercury 40° above 0. We sent down an Indian
and a Frenchman to the Ricara villages with a letter to
March 6, 1805
Wednesday 6. The day was cloudy and smoky in consequence
of the burning of the plains by the Minnetarees; they have
set all the neighboring country on fire in order to obtain
an early crop of grass which may answer for the consumption
of their horses, and also as an inducement for the buffalo
and other game to visit it. The horses stolen two days ago
by the Assiniboines have been returned to the Minnetarees.
Ohhaw second chief of the lower Minnetaree village came
to see us. The river rose a little and overran the ice,
so as to render the crossing difficult.
March 7, 1805
Thursday, 7th. The day was somewhat cloudy, and colder
than usual; the wind from the northeast. Shotawhorora visited
us with a sick child, to whom some medicine was administered.
There were also other Indians who brought corn and dried
buffalo meat in exchange for blacksmith's work.
March 8, 1805
Friday 8. The day cold and fair with a high easterly
wind: we were visited by two Indians who gave us an account
of the country and people near the Rocky mountains where
they had been.
March 9, 1805
Saturday 9. The
morning cloudy and cool, the wind from the north. The grand
chief of the Minnetarees, who is called by the French Le
Borgne, from his having but one eye, came down for the first
time to the fort. He was received with much attention, two
guns were fired in honor of his arrival, the curiosities
were exhibited to him, and as he said that he had not received
the presents which we had sent to him on his arrival, we
again gave him a flag, a medal, shirt, armbraces and the
usual presents on such occasions, with all which he was
much pleased. In the course of the conversation, the chief
observed that some foolish young men of his nation had told
him there was a person among us who was quite black, and
he wished to know if it could be true. We assured him that
it was true, and sent for York: the Borgne was very much
surprised at his appearance, examined him closely, and spit
on his finger and rubbed the skin in order to wash off the
paint; nor was it until the negro uncovered his head, and
showed his short hair, that the Borgne could be persuaded
that he was not a painted white man.