Lewis and Clark
Journal Summary 20: Dates July 18, 1806 - July 27, 1806
is a summary of the journal entries made by Lewis and Clark.
Dates: July 18, 1806 - July 27, 1806
several horses and Lewis encounters the Blackfeet Indians
July 18, 1806
William Clark saw smoke near the end of the Rockies in a
south, south easterly direction. He thought it likely that
the Crow Indians had spotted them and were signaling to
others to let them know where Clark’s party was, either
to trade with them or to be on their guard. Lewis’s party
arrived at the Marias river having crossed a high plain
from where they could see the following mountains: The North
mountains (now known as the Bears Paw Mountains), the South
Mountains (now known as the Highwood Mountains), the Falls
Mountains (now known as either the Big Belt or Little Belt
Mountains) and the Tower Mountains (now known as the Sweetgrass
Hills). Clark searched for trees large enough to make canoes,
but struggled to find any.
July 20, 1806
He settled for some trees
which would be sufficient to make 2 small canoes , 28 feet
long, 16 – 24 inches wide and 16-18 inches deep, which he
intended to lash together for stability. On 21st Clark and
his part woke to find that half of their horses (24) had
gone. He sent some men to search for them, but after traveling
14 miles there was no sign of them. Clark believed that
the Crow Indians had most likely stolen them.
Lewis traveled through an area where the paths were gravelly.
This caused problems with the horses as their hooves became
sore, resulting in slower progress. The land was also bare
with no wood to make fires, however buffalo dung proved
to be a suitable alternative. Meat reserves were very low
and the hunters were unable to kill any animals. Lewis suspected
that Indians had been there and driven the animals away
by hunting them. They tried fishing but only managed to
catch one small trout.
Having sent a few of his men with the horses to meet him
further along, Clark loaded the two canoes and set off down
the river. They met as planned and ferried the men across
the river after driving the horses over it.
July 25, 1806
Lewis sent some hunters
out to find meat. While waiting he and one of his men managed
to kill 9 pigeons which they ate. Later that evening the
hunters returned with a good quality deer for their dinner.
Meriwether Lewis and his party stumbled upon some Indians
that they believed to be Minnetares. In fact they were Piegans,
one of three divisions of the Blackfeet. Lewis’s party and
the Indians cautiously approached each other. After the
initial encounter, they became more relaxed and smoked a
pipe together. Lewis told them of his task to bring peace
amongst the Indian nations and, like many of the tribes
he’d already met with, they stated that they were in favor
of peace. The Indians made camp with them and Lewis ensured
that guards were posted throughout the night in case of
trouble. The following morning he woke to a disturbance
caused by the Indians attempting to steal their guns and
scatter their horses. In the scuffle that followed, 2 Indians
were killed and several horses lost. However Lewis and his
men managed to retain some of the Indians horses in their
place. Having driven the Indians away, Lewis’s party packed
up and rode off as quickly as they could in fear that the
Indians would get reinforcements and follow them. They traveled
so hard that they covered in excess of 100 miles in 24 hours.