Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates November 1804 - Part Four
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: November 22, 1804 - November 30, 1804

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates November 22, 1804 - November 30, 1804.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates November 22, 1804 - November 30, 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates November 1804
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates November 22, 1804 - November 30, 1804
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: November 22, 1804 - November 30, 1804

November 22, 1804
November 22. The morning was fine, and the day warm. We purchased from the Mandans a quantity of corn of a mixed color, which they dug up in ears from holes made near the front of their lodges, in which it is buried during the winter: this morning the sentinel informed us that an Indian was about to kill his wife near the fort; we went down to the house of our interpreter where we found the parties, and after forbidding any violence, inquired into the cause of his intending to commit such as atrocity. It appeared that some days ago a quarrel had taken place between him and his wife, in consequence of which she had taken refuge in the house where the two squaws of our interpreter lived: by running away she forfeited her life, which might have been lawfully taken by the husband. About two days ago she had returned to the village, but the same evening came back to the fort much beaten and stabbed in three places, and the husband now came for the purpose of completing his revenge. He observed that he had lent her to one of our sergeants for a night, and that if he wanted her he would give her to him altogether: we gave him a few presents and tried to persuade him to take his wife home; the grand chief too happened to arrive at the same moment, and reproached him with his violence, till at length they went off together, but by no means in a state of much apparent love.

November 23, 1804
November 23. Again we had a fair and warm day, with the wind from the southeast: the river is now at a stand having risen four inches in the whole.

November 24, 1804
November 24. The wind continued from the same quarter and the weather was warm: we were occupied in finishing our huts and making a large rope of elk-skin to draw our boat on the bank.

November 25, 1804
Sunday, November 25. The weather is still fine, warm and pleasant, and the river falls one inch and a half. Captain Lewis went on an excursion to the villages accompanied by eight men. A Minnetaree chief, the first who has visited us, came down to the fort: his name was Waukerassa, but as both the interpreters had gone with Captain Lewis we were obliged to confine our civilities to some presents with which he was much pleased: we now completed our huts, and fortunately too, for the next day,

November 26, 1804
Monday, November 26, before daylight the wind shifted to the northwest, and blew very hard, with cloudy weather and a keen cold air, which confined us much and prevented us from working: the night continued very cold, and,

November 27, 1804
Tuesday 27, the weather cloudy, the wind continuing from the northwest and the river crowded with floating ice. Captain Lewis returned with two chiefs Mahnotah, an Ahnahaway, and Minnessurraree a Minnetaree, and a third warrior: they explained to us that the reason of their not having come to see us, was that the Mandans had told them that we meant to combine with the Sioux and cut them off in the course of the winter: a suspicion increased by the strength of the fort, and the circumstance of our interpreters having both removed there with their families: these reports we did not fail to disprove to their entire satisfaction, and amused them by every attention, particularly by the dancing of the men which diverted them highly. All the Indians whom Captain Lewis had visited were very well disposed, and received him with great kindness, except a principal chief of one of the upper villages, named Mabpahpaparapassatoo or Horned Weasel, who made use of the civilized indecorum of refusing to be seen, and when Captain Lewis called he was told the chief was not at home. In the course of the day seven of the northwest company's traders arrived from the Assiniboine river, and one of their interpreters having undertaken to circulate among the Indians unfavourable reports, it become necessary to warn them of the consequences if they did not desist from such proceedings. The river fell two inches to-day and the weather became very cold.

November 28, 1804
Wednesday 28. About eight o'clock last evening it began to snow and continued till daybreak, after which it ceased till seven o'clock, but then resumed and continued during the day, the weather being cold and the river full of floating ice: about eight o'clock Poscopsahe came down to visit us, with some warriors; we gave them presents and entertained them with all that might amuse their curiosity, and at parting we told them that we had heard of the British trader, Mr. Laroche, having attempted to distribute medals and flags among them, but that those emblems could not be received from any other than the American nation without incurring the displeasure of their great father the president. They left us much pleased with their treatment. The river fell one inch to-day.

November 29, 1804
Thursday 29. The wind is again from the northwest, the weather cold, and the snow which fell yesterday and this night is thirteen inches in depth. The river closed during the night at the village above, and fell two feet; but this afternoon it began to rise a little. Mr. Laroche, the principal of the seven traders, came with one of his men to see us; we told him that we should not permit him to give medals and flags to the Indians; he declared that he had no such intention, and we then suffered him to make use of one of our interpreters, on his stipulating not to touch any subject but that of his traffic with them. An unfortunate accident occurred to sergeant Pryor, who in taking down the boat's mast dislocated his shoulder, nor was it till after four trials that we replaced it.

November 30, 1804
Friday 30. About eight o'clock an Indian came to the opposite bank of the river, calling out that he had something important to communicate, and on sending for him, he told us that five Mandans had been met about eight leagues to the southwest by a party of Sioux, who had killed one of them, wounded two, and taken nine horses; that four of the Wattasoons were missing, and that the Mandans expected an attack. We thought this an excellent opportunity to discountenance the injurious reports against us, and to fix the wavering confidence of the nation. Captain Clarke therefore instantly crossed the river with twenty-three men strongly armed, and circling the town approached it from behind. His unexpected appearance surprised and alarmed the chiefs, who came out to meet him, and conducted him to the village. He then told them that having heard of the outrage just committed, he had come to assist his dutiful children; that if they would assemble their warriors and those of the nation, he would lead them against the Sioux and avenge the blood of their countrymen. After some minutes conversation, Oheenaw the Chayenne arose; "We now see," said he, "that what you have told us is true, since as soon as our enemies threaten to attack us you come to protect us and are ready to chastise those who have spilt our blood. We did indeed listen to your good talk, for when you told us that the other nations were inclined to peace with us, we went out carelessly in small parties, and some have been killed by the Sioux and Ricaras. But I knew that the Ricaras were liars, and I told their chief who accompanied you, that his whole nation were liars and bad men; that we had several times made a peace with them which they were the first to break; that whenever we pleased we might shoot them like buffalo, but that we had no wish to kill them; that we would not suffer them to kill us, nor steal our horses; and that although we agreed to make peace with them, because our two fathers [136]desired it, yet we did not believe that they would be faithful long. Such, father, was my language to them in your presence, and you see that instead of listening to your good counsels they have spilt our blood. A few days ago two Ricaras came here and told us that two of their villages were making moccasins, that the Sioux were stirring them up against us, and that we ought to take care of our horses; yet these very Ricaras we sent home as soon as the news reached us to-day, lest our people should kill them in the first moment of grief for their murdered relatives. Four of the Wattasoons whom we expected back in sixteen days have been absent twenty-four, and we fear have fallen. But father the snow is now deep, the weather cold, and our horses cannot travel through the plains; the murderers have gone off: if you will conduct us in the spring, when the snow has disappeared, we will assemble all the surrounding warriors and follow you."

Captain Clarke replied that we were always willing and able to defend them; that he was sorry that the snow prevented their marching to meet the Sioux, since he wished to show them that the warriors of their great father would chastise the enemies of his obedient children who opened their ears to his advice; that if some Ricaras had joined the Sioux, they should remember that there were bad men in every nation, and that they should not be offended at the Ricaras till they saw whether these ill-disposed men were countenanced by the whole tribe; that the Sioux possessed great influence over the Ricaras, whom they supplied with military stores, and sometimes led them astray, because they were afraid to oppose them: but that this should be the less offensive since the Mandans themselves were under the same apprehensions from the Assiniboines and Knistenaux, and that while they were thus dependant, both the Ricaras and Mandans ought to keep on terms with their powerful neighbors, whom they may afterwards set at defiance, when we shall supply them with arms, and take them under our protection.

After two hours conversation captain Clarke left the village. The chief repeatedly thanked him for the fatherly protection he had given them, observing that the whole village had been weeping all night and day for the brave young man who had been slain, but now they would wipe their eyes and weep no more as they saw that their father would protect them. He then crossed the river on the ice and returned on the north side to the fort. The day as well as the evening was cold, and the river rose to its former height.

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