Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1804 - Part Six
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: October 27, 1804 - October 31, 1804


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates October 27, 1804 - October 31, 1804.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates October 27, 1804 - October 31, 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1804

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 27, 1804 - October 31, 1804
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: October 27, 1804 - October 31, 1804

October 27, 1804
Saturday, October 27. At an early hour we proceeded and anchored off the village. Captain Clarke went on shore, and after smoking a pipe with the chiefs, was desired to remain and eat with them. He declined on account of his being unwell; but his refusal gave great offence to the Indians, who considered it disrespectful not to eat when invited, till the cause was explained to their satisfaction. We sent them some tobacco, and then proceeded to the second village on the north, passing by a bank containing coal, and a second village, and encamped at four miles on the north, opposite to a village of Ahnahaways. We here met with a Frenchman, named Jesseaume, who lives among the Indians with his wife and children, and who we take as an interpreter. The Indians had flocked to the bank to see us as we passed, and they visited in great numbers the camp, where some of them remained all night. We sent in the evening three young Indians with a present of tobacco for the chiefs of the three upper villages, inviting them to come down in the morning to a council with us. Accordingly the next day,

October 28, 1804
Sunday, October 28, we were joined by many of the Minnetarees and Ahnahaways from above, but the wind was so violent from the southwest that the chiefs of the lower villages could not come up, and the council was deferred till to-morrow. In the mean while we entertained our visitors by showing them what was new to them in the boat; all which, as well our black servant, they called Great Medicine, the meaning of which we afterwards learnt. We also consulted the grand chief of the Mandans, Black Cat, and Mr. Jesseaume, as to the names, characters, &c. of the chiefs with whom we are to hold the council. In the course of the day we received several presents from the women, consisting of corn, boiled hominy, and garden stuffs: in our turn we gratified the wife of the great chief with a gift of a glazed earthen jar. Our hunter brought us two beaver. In the afternoon we sent the Minnetaree chiefs to smoke for us with the great chief of the Mandans, and told them we would speak in the morning.

Finding that we shall be obliged to pass the winter at this place, we went up the river about one and a half miles to-day, with a view of finding a convenient spot for a fort, but the timber was too scarce and small for our purposes.

October 29, 1804
Monday, October 29. The morning was fine and we prepared our presents and speech for the council. After breakfast we were visited by an old chief of the Ahnahaways, who finding himself growing old and weak had transferred his power to his son, who is now at war against the Shoshones. At ten o'clock the chiefs were all assembled under an awning of our sails, stretched so as to exclude the wind which had become high; that the impression might be the more forcible, the men were all paraded, and the council opened by a discharge from the swivel of the boat. We then delivered a speech, which like those we had already made intermingled advice with assurances of friendship and trade: while we were speaking the old Ahnahaway chief grew very restless, and observed that he could not wait long as his camp was exposed to the hostilities of the Shoshones; he was instantly rebuked with great dignity by one of the chiefs for this violation of decorum at such a moment, and remained [120]quiet during the rest of the council. Towards the end of our speech we introduced the subject of our Ricara chief, with whom we recommended a firm peace: to this they seemed well disposed, and all smoked with him very amicably. We all mentioned the goods which had been taken from the Frenchmen, and expressed a wish that they should he restored. This being over, we proceeded to distribute the presents with great ceremony: one chief of each town was acknowledged by a gift of a flag, a medal with the likeness of the president of the United States, a uniform coat, hat and feather: to the second chiefs we gave a medal representing some domestic animals, and a loom for weaving; to the third chiefs medals with the impressions of a farmer sowing grain. A variety of other presents were distributed, but none seemed to give them more satisfaction than an iron corn mill which we gave to the Mandans.

The chiefs who were made to-day are: Shahaka or Big White, a first chief, and Kagohami or Little Raven, a second chief of the lower village of the Mandans, called Matootonha: the other chiefs of an inferior quality who were recommended were, 1. Ohheenaw, or Big Man, a Chayenne taken prisoner by the Mandans who adopted him, and he now enjoys great consideration among the tribe. 2. Shotahawrora, or Coal, of the second Mandan village which is called Rooptahee. We made Poscopsahe, or Black Cat, the first chief of the village, and the grand chief of the whole Mandan nation: his second chief is Kagonomokshe, or Raven man Chief; inferior chiefs of this village were, Tawnuheo, and Bellahsara, of which we did not learn the translation.

In the third village which is called Mahawha, and where the Arwacahwas reside, we made one first chief, Tetuckopinreha, or White buffalo robe unfolded, and recognized two of an inferior order: Minnissurraree, or Neighing Horse, and Locongotiha, or Old woman at a distance.

Of the fourth village where the Minnetarees live, and which is called Metaharta, we made a first chief, Ompsehara, or Black Moccasin: a second chief, Ohhaw, or Little Fox. Other distinguished chiefs of this village were, Mahnotah, or Big Thief, a man whom we did not see as he is out fighting, and was killed soon after; and Mahserassa, or Tail of the Calumet Bird. In the fifth village we made a first chief Eapanopa, or Red Shield; a second chief Wankerassa, or Two Tailed Calumet Bird, both young chiefs; other persons of distinction are, Shahakohopinnee, or Little Wolf's Medicine; Ahrattanamoekshe, or Wolfman chief, who is now at war, and is the son of the old chief we have mentioned, whose name is Caltahcota, or Cherry on a Bush.

The presents intended for the grand chief of the Minnetarees, who was not at the council, were sent to him by the old chief Caltahcota; and we delivered to a young chief those intended for the chief of the lower village. The council was concluded by a shot from our swivel, and after firing the airgun for their amusement, they retired to deliberate on the answer which they are to give to-morrow.

In the evening the prairie took fire, either by accident or design, and burned with great fury, the whole plain being enveloped in flames: so rapid was its progress that a man and a woman were burnt to death before they could reach a place of safety; another man with his wife and child were much burnt, and several other persons narrowly escaped destruction. Among the rest a boy of the half white breed escaped unhurt in the midst of the flames; his safety was ascribed to the great medicine spirit, who had preserved him on account of his being white. But a much more natural cause was the presence of mind of his mother, who seeing no hopes of carrying off her son, threw him on the ground, and covering him with the fresh hide of a buffalo, escaped herself from the flames; as soon as the fire had passed, she returned and found him untouched, the skin having prevented, the flame from reaching the grass on which he lay.

October 30, 1804
Tuesday 30. We were this morning visited by two persons from the lower village, one the Big White the chief of the village, the other the Chayenne called the Big Man; they had been hunting, and did not return yesterday early enough to attend the council. At their request we repeated part of our speech of yesterday, and put the medal round the neck of the chief. Captain Clarke took a pirogue and went up the river in search of a good wintering place, and returned after going seven miles to the lower point of an island on the north side, about one mile in length; he found the banks on the north side high, with coal occasionally, and the country fine on all sides; but the want of wood and the scarcity of game up the river, induced us to decide on fixing ourselves lower down during the winter. In the evening our men danced among themselves to the great amusement of the Indians.

October 31, 1804
Wednesday 31. A second chief arrived this morning with an invitation from the grand chief of the Mandans, to come to his village where he wished to present some corn to us and to speak with us. Captain Clarke walked down to his village; he was first seated with great ceremony on a robe by the side of the chief, who then threw over his shoulders another robe handsomely ornamented. The pipe was then smoked with several of the old men who were seated around the chief; after some time he began his discourse, by observing that he believed what we had told him, and that they should soon enjoy peace, which would gratify him as well as his people, because they could then hunt without fear of being attacked, and the women might work in the fields without looking every moment for the enemy, and at night put off their moccasins, a phrase by which is conveyed the idea of security when the women could undress at night without fear of attack. As to the Ricaras, he continued, in order to show you that we wish peace with all men, that chief, pointing to his second chief, will go with some warriors back to the Ricaras with their chief now here and smoke with that [123]nation. When we heard of your coming all the nations around returned from their hunting to see you, in hopes of receiving large presents; all are disappointed and some discontented; for his part he was not much so, though his village was. He added that he would go and see his great father the president. Two of the steel traps stolen from the Frenchmen were then laid before captain Clarke, and the women brought about twelve bushels of corn. After the chief had finished, captain Clarke made an answer to the speech and then returned to the boat, where he found the chief of the third village and Kagohami (the Little Raven) who smoked and talked about an hour. After they left the boat the grand chief of the Mandans came dressed in the clothes we had given him, with his two children, and begged to see the men dance, in which they willingly gratified him.

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