Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1804 - Part Two
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: October 5, 1804 - October 10, 1804

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates October 5, 1804 - October 10, 1804.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates October 5, 1804 - October 10, 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1804
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 5, 1804 - October 10, 1804
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: October 5, 1804 - October 10, 1804

October 5, 1804
Friday, October 5. The weather was very cold: yesterday evening and this morning there was a white frost. We sailed along the highlands on the north side, passing a small creek on the south, between three and four miles. At seven o'clock we heard some yells and saw three Indians of the Teton band, who asked us to come on shore and begged for some tobacco, to all which we gave the same answer as hitherto. At eight miles we reached a small creek on the north. At fourteen we passed an island on the south, covered with wild rye, and at the head a large creek comes in from the south, which we named Whitebrant creek, from seeing several white brants among flocks of dark-colored ones. At the distance of twenty miles we came to on a sandbar towards the north side of the river, with a willow island opposite; the hills or bluffs come to the banks of the river on both sides, but are not so high as they are below: the river itself however continues of the same width, and the sandbars are quite as numerous. The soil of the banks is dark colored, and many of the bluffs have the appearance of being on fire. Our game this day was a deer, a prairie wolf, and some goats out of a flock that was swimming across the river.

October 6, 1804
Saturday, October 6. The morning was still cold, the wind being from the north. At eight miles we came to a willow island on the north, opposite a point of timber, where there are many large stones near the middle of the river, which seem to have been washed from the hills and high plains on both sides, or driven from a distance down the stream. At twelve miles we halted for dinner at a village which we suppose to have belonged to the Ricaras; it is situated in a low plain on the river, and consists of about eighty lodges, of an octagon form, neatly covered with earth, placed as close to each other as possible, and picketed round. The skin canoes, mats, buckets, and articles of furniture found in the lodges, induce us to suppose that it had been left in the spring. We found three different sorts of squashes growing in the village; we also killed an elk near it, and saw two wolves. On leaving the village the river became shallow, and after searching a long time for the main channel, which was concealed among sandbars, we at last dragged the boat over one of them rather than go back three miles for the deepest channel. At fourteen and a half miles we stopped for the night on a sandbar, opposite a creek on the north, called Otter creek, twenty-two yards in width, and containing more water than is common for creeks of that size. The sides of the river during the day are variegated with high bluffs and low timbered grounds on the banks: the river is very much obstructed by sandbars. We saw geese, swan, brants and ducks of different kinds on the sandbars, and on shore numbers of the prairie hen; the magpie too is very common, but the gulls and plover, which we saw in such numbers below, are now quite rare.

October 7, 1804
Sunday, October 7. There was frost again last evening, and this morning was cloudy and attended with rain. At two miles we came to the mouth of a river; called by the Ricaras, Sawawkawna, or Pork river; the party who examined it for about three miles up, say that its current is gentle, and that it does not seem to throw out much sand. Its sources are in the first range of the Black mountains, and though it has now only water of twenty yards width, yet when full it occupies ninety. Just below the mouth is another village or wintering camp of the Ricaras, composed of about sixty lodges, built in the same form as those passed yesterday, with willow and straw mats, baskets and buffalo-skin canoes remaining entire in the camp. We proceeded under a gentle breeze from the southwest: at ten o'clock we saw two Indians on the north side, who told us they were a part of the lodge of Tartongawaka, or buffalo Medicine, the Teton chief whom we had seen on the twenty-fifth, that they were on the way to the Ricaras, and begged us for something [100]to eat, which we of course gave them. At seven and a half miles is a willow island on the north, and another on the same side five miles beyond it, in the middle of the river between highlands on both sides. At eighteen and a half miles is an island called Grouse island, on which are the walls of an old village; the island has no timber, but is covered with grass and wild rye, and owes its name to the number of grouse that frequent it. We then went on till our journey for the day was twenty-two miles: the country presented the same appearance as usual. In the low timbered ground near the mouth of the Sawawkawna, we saw the tracks of large white bear, and on Grouse island killed a female blaireau, and a deer of the black-tailed species, the largest we have ever seen.

October 8, 1804
Monday, October 8. We proceeded early with a cool northwest wind, and at two and a half miles above Grouse island, reached the mouth of a creek on the south, then a small willow island, which divides the current equally; and at four and a half miles came to a river on the southern side where we halted. This river, which our meridian altitude fixes at 45 39' 5" north latitude, is called by the Ricaras Wetawhoo; it rises in the Black mountains, and its bed which flows at the mouth over a low soft slate stone, is one hundred and twenty yards wide, but the water is now confined within twenty yards, and is not very rapid, discharging mud with a small proportion of sand: here as in every bend of the river, we again observe the red berries resembling currants, which we mentioned before. Two miles above the Wetawhoo, and on the same side, is a small river called Maropa by the Indians; it is twenty yards in width, but so dammed up by mud that the stream creeps through a channel of not more than an inch in diameter, and discharges no sand. One mile further we reached an island close to the southern shore, from which it is separated by a deep channel of sixty yards. About half way a number of Ricara Indians came out to see us. We stopped and took a Frenchman on board, [101]who accompanied us past the island to our camp on the north side of the river, which is at the distance of twelve miles from that of yesterday. Captain Lewis then returned with four of the party to see the village; it is situated in the centre of the island, near the southern shore, under the foot of some high, bald, uneven hills, and contains about sixty lodges. The island itself is three miles long, and covered with fields in which the Indians raise corn, beans, and potatoes. Several Frenchmen living among these Indians as interpreters, or traders, came back with Captain Lewis, and particularly a Mr. Gravelines, a man who has acquired the language. On setting out we had a low prairie covered with timber on the north, and on the south highlands, but at the mouth of the Wetawhoo the southern country changes, and a low timbered plain extends along the south, while the north has a ridge of barren hills during the rest of the day's course.

October 9, 1804
Tuesday, 9th. The wind was so cold and high last night and during all the day, that we could not assemble the Indians in council; but some of the party went to the village. We received the visits of the three principal chiefs with many others, to whom we gave some tobacco, and told them that we would speak to them to-morrow. The names of these chiefs were first, Kakawissassa or Lighting Crow; second chief Pocasse or Hay; third chief Piaheto or Eagle's Feather. Notwithstanding the high waves, two or three squaws rowed to us in little canoes made of a single buffalo skin, stretched over a frame of boughs interwoven like a basket, and with the most perfect composure. The object which appeared to astonish the Indians most, was captain Clark's servant York, a remarkable stout strong negro. They had never seen a being of that color, and therefore flocked round him to examine the extraordinary monster. By way of amusement he told them that he had once been a wild animal, and caught and tamed by his master, and to convince them, showed them feats of strength [102]which added to his looks made him more terrible than we wished him to be. Opposite our camp is a small creek on the south, which we distinguished by the name of the chief Kakawissassa.

October 10, 1804
Wednesday, 10th. The weather was this day fine, and as we were desirous of assembling the whole nation at once, we dispatched Mr. Gravelines, who with Mr. Tabeau another French trader had breakfeasted with us, to invite the chiefs of the two upper villages to a conference. They all assembled at one o'clock, and after the usual ceremonies we addressed them in the same way in which we had already spoken to the Ottoes and Sioux: we then made or acknowledged three chiefs, one for each of the three villages; giving to each a flag, a medal, a red coat, a cocked hat and feather, also some goods, paint and tobacco, which they divided among themselves: after this the airgun was exhibited, very much to their astonishment, nor were they less surprised at the color and manner of York. On our side we were equally gratified at discovering that these Ricaras made use of no spirituous liquors of any kind, the example of the traders who bring it to them so far from tempting having in fact disgusted them. Supposing that it was as agreeable to them as to the other Indians, we had at first offered them whiskey; but they refused it with this sensible remark, that they were surprised that their father should present to them a liquor which would make them fools. On another occasion they observed to Mr. Tabeau, that no man could be their friend who tried to lead them into such follies. The council being over they retired to consult on their answer, and the next morning,

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