September 24, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 24, 1804

Course & Distance & refferan 24th Septr
N. 80° W.   3 miles to a point on the Starboard Side, river wide    Passed
a Creek L. S.
West   2 ½ miles to the S. Side of an Island Situated near the L.
Shore (1)
West   4 miles to a point on the S. S—    passed the Island on the
L. S. (1)
S. 85° W   4 miles to the mouth of Teton River on the L. S. Several
Inds (2)
  (13 ½)  

Monday the 24th of September 1804

a fair morning    Set out early, wind from the East, passed the mouth of a Creek on the L. S. Called Creek in high water. [1]    passed a large (1) Island on the L. S. [2] about 2½ Miles long on which Colter had Camped & Killed 4 Elk.    the wind from the S. E.—    we prepared Some Clothes a few medal for the Chiefs of the Teton band of Sioux we expected to meet at the next River—    much Stone on the S. S. of the River, we Saw one hare to day—    our Perogues Called at the Island for the Elk, Soon after we passed the Island Colter ran up the bank & reported that the Sioux had taken his horse, we Soon after Saw five indians on the bank; who expressed a wish to come on board, we informed them we were friends, and wished to Continue So, we were not abraid any Indians—    Some of their young Men had Stolen a horse Sent by their Great Father to their great Chief, and we Should not Speak to them any more untill the horse was returned to us again—    passed a Island [3] about 1½ m. long on which we Saw maney elk & Buffalow, we Came too off the Mouth of a Small river, The Teton of the burnt woods [4] is Camped 2 Miles up this river, this river we Call Teton is 70 Yds wide and coms in on the S W Side— [5]    I went on Shore and Smoked with a Chief, Called Buffalow Medison, [6] who Came to See us here. The Chief Said he Knew nothing of the horse &c &.    I informed them we would [c]all the grand Chiefs in Council tomorrow, all continued on board all night—

Course Distance & reffurence
N. 80 W.   3 miles a pt. on the S. S.
West   2 ½ miles to the S. S. right of a Isld. Situated on the L. S. (1)
West   4 miles to a Point on the S. S.    passed the Island on the L. S.
S. 85° W.   4 miles to the mouth of a River Called by Evens Little Mis-
   I call it the Teton river as the Teton Bands of the
Soux reside on it—(2)

24th September Monday 1804

Set out early    a fair day the wind from the E, pass the mouth of Creek on the L. S.    called [NB: High Water] Creek on high water; passed (1) a large Island on the L. S. about 2 miles & ½ long on which Colter had Camped & Killed 4 Elk, the wind fair from the S. E.    we prepared Some Clothes and a fiew meadels for the Chiefs of the Teton's hand of Seaux which we expect to See to day at the next river, observe a Great Deel of Stone on the Sides of the hills on the S. S.    we Saw one Hare to day, prepared all things for action in Case of necessity, our Perogus went to the Island for the meet, Soon after the man on Shore run up the bank and reported that the Indians had Stolen the horse    we Soon after met 5 Inds. and ankered out Some distance & Spoke to them    informed them we were friends, & wished to Continue So but were not afraid of any Indians, Some of their young men had taken the horse Sent by their Great father for ther Chief and we would not Speek to them untill the horse was returned to us again.

passed (2) a Island on the S. S. on which we Saw Several Elk, about 1½ miles long Called Good humered [NB: humoured] Islds. Came to about 1½ miles above off the mouth of a Small river about 70 yards wide Called by Mr. Evins the Little Mississou [NB: Missouri] River, [7] The Tribes of the Scouix Called the Teton, is Camped about 2 miles up on the N W Side and we Shall Call the River after that nation, Teton    This river is 70 yards wide at the mouth of water, and has a considerable Current    we anchored off the mouth—

the french Perogue Come up early in the [NB: 〈morning〉 day], the other did not get up untill in the evening Soon after we had Came too. I went & Smoked with the Chief who Came to See us here    all well, we prepare to Speek with the Indians tomorrow at which time we are informed the Indians will be here, The French man who had for Some time been Sick, began to blead which allarmed him—    ⅔ of our party Camped on board    The remainder with the Guard on Shore.


Monday 24th Sept. 1804.    a Clear and pleasant morning.    we Set off eairly.    proceeded on    passed a handsome prarie on N.S. where we found large plumb orcheds covered with ripe plumbs.—    passd. the mo. of a high water creek on S. S.    proceeded on under a gentle breeze from S. E.—    about 1 oClock we Saw Colter who had been with the horse on an Island S. S.    he called for the pearogue to take in the Game he had killed which was 2 Elk & a Deer.    while they were a Dressing and gitting the meat on board the Indians Stole the horse & Some Salt out of his bag &.C.    we Saw 5 Indians on Shore. Colter came running along the Shore Informed us that the Indians had Stole the horse & bridle &.C.    took Colter on bord. Sailed up opposite to the 5 Indians, halted, ankered out 100 yds. from Shore. One of our frenchman Spoke to them in Nemaha language [8] and asked them who their chief is.    they could not understand but little.    they informed us that the Grand chiefs name is the Black Buffalow.    the Captains told them that they or Some of the young men had Stole our horse and if they would bring the horse We would Speak to them, and if they did not we would not Speak to them.    they Said they knew nothing of the horse but if their young men had Stole him they must find him & return him again.    the Capts. told them it was well & we would Speak to their chiefs Tomorrow.    we then proceeded on to the mouth of Teton River where we Encamped on S. S.—    we ankered out 100 yds. from Shore, all remained on bord except the Guard Cooks & frenchman who remained on Shore with one pearogue.    the 5 Indians Stayed with the Guard all night verry peaceable.    we had an old frenchman with us who could speak a little of the Souix language    he found that one of them was a chief.    the Capts Gave them Some Tobacco Shook hands and Smoked with them &.C—. This chiefs name is Buff the Medicine [9]    he told us that all their lodge would come tomorrow.—    they Eat and Slept with us friendly.—    a flag pole hoisted


Monday 24th.    We set sail early with fair weather, and passed a small creek on the south side. About 3 o'clock the man [10] who had gone by land with the horse came to us, and informed us that he had gone that morning on an island to kill elk, and that while he was there the Indians had stolen the horse. He had killed three elk, and the periogues remained behind to bring on the meat. We saw five Indians on the bank, but we could not understand each other. We cast anchor to wait for the periogues; one of which having come up, we went on to the mouth of the Tinton or Teeton river, where we anchored about 100 yards from the shore on the south side. The guard and cooks only landed, the rest slept in the boat. The five Indians remained with us all night. We had a Frenchman aboard a periogue, who understood and could speak a little of the Sioux language. The Indians gave us to understand the chiefs would come to-morrow, and that if their young men had taken the horse, they would have him given up. These Indians are a band of the Sioux, called the Tinton or Teeton-Band. [11]


Monday 24th Sept.    Set off eairly    passed a Small creek on the S. Side    about 3 oClock Coulter came up the bank and told us that he had went on an Island this morning, and while he was their the Indians Stole the horse, he had killed 2 Elk    one perogue Stopd. to dress & take them on board.    we saw 5 Indians on the bank but we could not understand them nor them us.    we ankred the boat out in the river to wait for the perogues.    one came up    we then proceeded on to the mouth of the Teton River on the S. Side where we ankered out 100 yards from Shore and all the men remained on board except the Guard & the cooks.    we had one frenchman on board who could Speak a little of their language.    they told us that their chiefs would come to See us tomorrow.    they Sayd that if their young men had taken the horse they would Git him again.    these are a band of the Souix nation called the Tetons.    those 5 we Saw on Shore Stayed all night.

Monday September 24th    This morning we set off early, & passed a small Creek, lying on the South side of the River, About 3 oClock P. M. One of our Men named Coulter, that was out a hunting, came to the bank of the River, and informed Captain Lewis that he had been On an Iland to hunt this morning; and while he was there, some Indians had stole the Horse he had left on the shore, he had killed 2 Elk, Captain Lewis order'd one of the Pettyaugers to stop, and take them on board.    in a short time after, 5 Indians came to the bank of the River, they spoke to us in their language, but none on board of the boat could understand them, neither could they be made to understand what we said to them.—    We anchor'd the Boat out in the River, to waite for the Pettyaugers that were a distance behind us.    after waiting some time, 〈one〉 they came up to us, We weighed our Anchor, and proceeded on, till we arrived at the Teton River; which lies on the South side of the River Mesouri.    we anchor'd the boat out, opposite the Mouth of the Teton River, at about 100 Yards distance from the Shore, & all the Men remain'd on board, except the Guard & the Cooks, We had among the french Canadians that were with us, One Man that could speak, and understand a little of the language, that was Spoken to us by those 5 Indians, that came to the bank of the River; by him we learnt that they said their Chiefs, would come and see us tomorrow; and added, if their Young Men had taken the Horse, they would get him for us again.—    These Indians are a Band of the Souix Nation called the Tetons.    Those 5 Indians came, and staid on the Shore opposite the boat all this Night.—

1. So named, probably by Clark, on Evans map 3 (Atlas map 9). Now Antelope Creek in Stanley County, South Dakota. Atlas map 23; Nicollet (MMR), 417; MRC map 40. (back)
2. Apparently the later Farm Island, some two miles below present Pierre, Hughes County, South Dakota. It is "Horse Island" on Atlas map 23. It is interesting that on Evans map 3 (Atlas map 9), someone, perhaps Clark, has drawn a horse. (back)
3. The captains called this Good Humored Island, but it is mislabeled "Bad humored Island" on Atlas map 23. It is correct (probably named by Clark) on Evans map 3 (Atlas map 9). It is now La Framboise, or Leframboise, Island within the city of Pierre. See also entry for September 25. South Dakota Guide, 135; Mattison (OR), 17; MRC map 40; MRY map 67. (back)
4. The word "Teton" derived from t'íŋta t'uŋwaŋ , "prairie dwellers" and was used to designate those Sioux who spoke the western or Lak'ota dialect. By mid-nineteenth century the Tetons lived entirely on the western side of the Missouri, although in Lewis and Clark's time they were still occupying both sides of the Missouri. By the middle of the century of the Tetons had developed seven named divisions: Brulés (sic'aŋġu, "burned thigh"); Oglalas (oglala, "scatter one's own"); Miniconjous (mnik'owoju, "planters by water"); Sans Arcs (itazipco, "without bows"); Blackfeet (siha sápa, "black soles"), not to be confused with the Algonquian speaking Blackfeet proper; Two Kettles (o'ohenuŋpa, "two boilings"); and Hunkpapas (húŋkpap'a, "camp circle head"). The captains' description makes it clear that the Tetons were by this time a classic plains people, dependent on the horse and the buffalo and living in tipis the year around. White (WW), 326–27 n. 17; Hodge, 2:736; Hassrick. (back)
5. The captains' name was still used by Nicollet, in the 1830s; by 1855 it was called Bad River, the present name, derived from the Sioux name. It rises in western South Dakota and enters the Missouri in Stanley County, opposite Pierre. The camp for the day was just above the river mouth, in or near present Fort Pierre. Appleman (LC), 351–52. Mattison (OR), 18–19; Atlas map 23; Nicollet (MMR), 418; Warren map 50; MRC map 40. (back)
6. Buffalo Medicine's actual position as a chief is not clear. To Lewis and Clark he was the third chief in relation to Black Buffalo and the Partisan, whom they would meet the next day. Ronda (LCAI), 30–31. Clark gives his name as "Tar-ton-gar-wa-ker" which may be rendered t'at'aŋka wak'aŋ, "sacred buffalo bull." (back)
7. Evans map 3 (Atlas map 9) shows Bad River as the Little Missouri, but it should not be confused with the present Little Missouri in North Dakota. (back)
8. Probably Labiche or Cruzatte speaking Omaha. (back)
9. Buffalo Medicine, perhaps a third chief of this group of Teton Sioux (see the next day's entry for the other chiefs). (back)
10. Colter. (back)
11. Teton Sioux; see note at Clark's entry for this date. (back)