March 26, 1804
18.62% Complete
Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

March 26, 1804


Monday the 26th of March 1804, a verry Smokey day    I had Corn parched to make parched meal, workmen all at work prepareing the Boat, I visit the Indian Camps, In one Camp found 3 Squars & 3 young ones, another 1 girl & a boy    in a 3rd Simon Girtey [2] & two other familey—    Girtey has the Rhumertism verry bad    those Indians visit me in their turn, & as usial ask for Something    I give them flour &c. Several fish Cought to day, the Mississippi R Continu to rise & discharge great quantity of form [foam?] &.

1. Under this entry, at right angles, Clark has written "Ne Angua Ne unguh," probably an attempt at spelling the Osage name of present Niangua River, a tributary of the Osage River in central Missouri. It may mean "many springs." It appears with its present spelling on Clark's 1804 map prepared at Camp Dubois and on subsequent maps (Atlas maps 6, 32a, 32b, 32c, 125). The attempts at phonetic spelling suggest that the source of information was oral, from traders or Indians. Lewis and Clark did not visit the stream on the expedition. Under the entries on this sheet (document 10) is an apparently conjectural sketch map of the Missouri River and its junction with the Kansas River. See fig. 15. Wood; Missouri Guide, 567. (back)
2. Simon Girty was one of the most hated Americans of his day. As a Loyalist in the Revolution, he led Indian war parties against the settlements of the Ohio Valley and apparently continued the same activity for many years after as a British Indian agent. He may not have been any more active than other British agents, but he acquired among the Americans a special reputation (perhaps greatly exaggerated) for malice and cruelty. From the 1790s on, Girty made his home in Canada, and he believed, probably correctly, that his life would not be safe in the United States. There is no other record of his having crossed the border, except with the British forces in the War of 1812. Apparently he judged that a visit to the sparsely settled region along the Mississippi, in company with a party of peaceful Indians, would be safe enough. Clark is remarkably matter-of-fact about this encounter with a man who must have been one of the prime villains of his boyhood. Osgood (FN), 29 n. 7; Butterfield. (back)