September 25, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 25, 1804


a fair Morning    the wind from the S. E.    raised a Flagg Staff and formed an orning & Shade on a Sand bar in the Mouth of Teton R to Council under, the greater portion of the party to Continue on board— about 11 oClock the 1st & 2d Chief arrived, we gave them to eat; they gave us Some meat, (we discover our interpeter do not Speak the language well) [1]    at 12 oClock the Councill Commenced & after Smokeing agreeable to the usial custom C. L. [Lewis] Delivered a written Speech to them, I Some explinations &c.    all party Paraded, gave a Medal to the grand Chief in Indian Un-ton gar-Sar bar, or Black Buffalow[2]    2° Torto-hongar, Partezon (Bad fellow) [3]    the 3d Tar-ton-gar-wa-ker, Buffalow medison—    we invited those Chiefs & a Soldier [4] on board our boat, and Showed them many Curiossites, which they were much Surprised, we gave they ½ a wine glass of whiskey which they appeared to be exceedingly fond of    they took up an empty bottle, Smelted it, and made maney Simple jestures and Soon began to be troublesom    the 2d Chief effecting Drunkness as a Cloak for his vilenous intintious (as I found after wards,) realed or fell about the boat, I went in a perogue with those Chief who left the boast with great reluctians, my object was to reconsile them and leave them on Shore, as Soon as I landed 3 of their young ment Seased the Cable of the Perogue, one Soldiar Huged the mast 〈which was〉 and the 2d Chief was exceedingly insolent both in words and justures to me declareing I Should no go off, Saying he had not recived presents Suffient from us—    〈his〉 I attempted to passify 〈him〉 but it had a contrary effect for his insults became So personal and his intentions evident to do me injurey, I Drew my Sword 〈and ordered all hands under arms〉    at this motion Capt Louis ordered all in the boat under arms, the fiew men that was with me haveing previously taken up their guns with a full deturmination to defend me if possible—    The grand Chief then took hold of the Cable & Sent all the young men off, the Soldier got out of the perogue and the 2nd Chief walked off to the Party at about 20 yards back, all of which had their bows Strung & guns Cocked—    I then Spoke in verry positive terms to them all, 〈but〉 principaly addressing myself to the 1st Chief, who let the roape go and walked to the Indian, party about, 100— I again offered my hand to the 1st Chief who refused it—    (all this time the Indians were pointing their arrows blank—[)] [5]    I proceeded to the perogue and pushed off and had not proceeded far before the 1st & 3r Chief & 2 principal men walked into the water and requested to go on board, I took them in and we proceeded on abot a Mile, and anchored near a Small Island, I call this Island Bad humered Island [6]


a fair morning    the wind from the S. E.    all well, raised a Flag Staff & made a orning or Shade on a Sand bar in the mouth of Teton River for the purpose of Speeking with the Indians under, the Boat Crew on board at 70 yards Distance from the bar    The 5 Indians which we met last night Continued, about 11 oClock the 1s & 2d Chief Came    we gave them Some of our Provsions to eat, they gave us great quantites of meet Some of which was Spoiled    we feel much at a loss for the want of an interpeter    the one we have can Speek but little.

Met in council at 12 oClock and after Smokeing, agreeable to the usial Custom, Cap Lewis proceeded to Deliver a Speech which we oblige to Curtail for want of a good interpeter    all our Party paraded.    gave a medal to the Grand Chief Calld. in Indian Un ton gar Sar bar in French Beefe nure [NB: Beuffle noir ] Black Buffalow Said to be a good man, 2 Chief Torto hon gar—    or the Partisan —or Partizanbad    the 3rd is the Beffe De Medison [NB: Beuffle de Medecine] his name is Tar ton gar wa ker

1. Contesabe [NB: Considerable] man War zing go

2. do Second Bear = Ma to co que pan

Envited those Cheifs on board to Show them our boat and Such Curiossities as was Strange to them, we gave them ¼ a glass of whiskey which they appeared to be verry fond of, Sucked the bottle after it was out & Soon began to be troublesom, one the 2d Cheif assumeing Drunkness, as a Cloake for his rascally intentions    I went with those Cheifs [NB: in one of the Perogues with 5 men 3 & 2 Ints.] (which left the boat with great reluctiance) to Shore with a view of reconseleing those men to us, as Soon as I landed the Perogue three of their young men Seased the Cable of the Perogue [NB: in which we had presents &c.], the Chiefs Soldr. [NB: each Chief has a Soldier] Huged the mast, and the 2d Chief was verry insolent both in words & justures [NB: pretended drunkeness & staggered up against us] declareing I Should not go on, Stateing he had not recved presents Suffient from us, his justures were of Such a personal nature I felt my Self Compeled to Draw my Sword, [NB: and made a Signal to the boat to prepar for action] at this motion Capt. Lewis ordered all under arms in the boat, those with me also Showed a Disposition to Defend themselves and me, the grand Chief then took hold of the roop & ordered the young warrers away, I felt my Self warm & Spoke in verry positive terms

Most of the warriers appeared to have ther Bows Strung and took out their arrows from ther quves.    as I [NB: being surrounded] was not permited [NB: by them] to return, I Sent all the men except 2 Inpt. [interpreters] to the boat, the perogu Soon returned with about 12 of our detumind men ready for any event    this movement 〈in the Is instance after Landing Pointed their arrows blank &c which〉 caused a no: of the Indians to withdraw at a distance,—    [NB: leaving their chiefs soldiers alone with me]    Their treatment to me was verry rough & I think justified roughness on my part, they all left my Perogue and Councild. with themselves the result I could not lern and nearly all went off    after remaining in this Situation Some time I offered my hand to the 1 & 2 Chief who refusd to recve it. I turned off & went with my men on board the perogue, I had not progd. more the 10 paces before the 1st Cheif 3rd & 2 Brave men waded in after me. I took them in & went on board 〈prd on 1 me &〉 [8]

we proceeded on about 1 mile & anchored out off a willow Island placed a guard on Shore to protect the Cooks & a guard in the boat, fastened the Perogues to the boat, I call this Island bad humered Island as we were in a bad humer.


Tuesday 25th Sept. 1804.    a clear and pleasant morning.—    all things made ready to receive the Band of the Souix nation of Indians, Called the Tribe of Tetons.    about 10 o.C. A. M. they Came flocking in from boath Sides of the River.    when 30 odd was selected under the american Collours    Capt. Lewis & Capt Clark went out to Speak and treat with them. Gave the 3 Chiefs 3 niew meddals & 1 american flag Some knives & other Small articles of Goods— & Gave the head chief the Black Buffalow a red coat & a cocked hat & feather &.C—    likewise Some Tobacco.—    We had no good interpreter but the old frenchman [9] could make them understand tollarable well.    but they did not appear to talk much untill they had got the goods, and then they wanted more, and Said we must Stop with them or leave one of the pearogues with them, as that was what they expected. Capt. Lewis Shewed them the air Gun. Shot it Several times.    then the Captains brought the 3 chiefs [10] and one warrier they had with them. Gave the warrier a Sertifficate.    then Shewed the chiefs Some curioussities. Gave them a draghm.    they brought a quantity of fat Buffaloe meat and offered us    the Captains accepted of Some of it & Gave them pork in return—    then the Captains told them that we had a great ways to Goe & that we did not wish to be detained any longer,—    they then began to act as if they were Intoxicated.    with Some difficulty Capt. Clark got them to Shore.    they then began to Show Some Signs of Stopping or attempting to Stop us.    one of them Stayed on board the pearogue when Capt. Clark & the chiefs went out of it.    the head chief the Black Buffaloe, Seized hold of the cable of the pearogue and Set down. Capt. Clark Spoke to all the party to Stand to their arms    Capt. Lewis who was on board ordered every man to his arms.    the large Swivel loaded immediately with 16 Musquet Ball in it    the 2 other Swivels loaded well with Buck Shot, Each of them manned. Capt. Clark used moderation with them told them that we must and would go on and would go.    that we were not Squaws, but warriers.    the chief Sayed he had warriers too and if we were to go on they would follow us and kill and take the whole of us by degrees or that he had another party or lodge above this and that they were able to destroy us.    then Capt. Clark told them that we were Sent by their great father the presidant of the U. S. and that if they misused us that he or Capt. Lewis could by writing to him have them all distroyed as it were in a moment.    they then requested that we would Stay all night; they wished to have their women and children See the Boat as they never Saw Such an one, the Capt. told them that we could not go far as the day was far Spent, but we would let them see that they Should not Stop us and that we Should go a Short distance and Camp for the night.    the chief then let go the Cable, and Sayed that he was Sorry to have us Go for his women and children were naked and poor and wished to Git Some Goods, but he did not think we were Marchants, nor that we were loaded with Goods, but he was Sorry to have us leave them So Soon—    they wished to come on board. Capt. Clark took the chief and warriers on bord to Stay all night with them—    we then Set off and proceeded on about 1 mile and Camped [11]    ankered out.    the Guard and cooks on Shore &.C—    the Indians Camped on S. S.    our Camp was on a willow Isl. in the middle of the river, at our Starbord Side.—


Tuesday 25th.    We stayed here to wait for the Indians, who were expected to arrive, and at 10 o'clock they came, about 50 in number. The commanding officers made three of them chiefs and gave them some presents. Five [12] of them came on board and remained about three hours. Captain Clarke and some of our men in a periogue went ashore with them; but the Indians did not seem disposed to permit their return. They said they were poor and wished to keep the periogue with them. Captain Clarke insisted on coming to the boat; but they refused to let him, and said they had soldiers as well as he had. He told them his soldiers were good, and that he had more medicine aboard his boat than would kill twenty such nations in one day. [13] After this they did not threaten any more, and said they only wanted us to stop at their lodge, that the women and children might see the boat. Four of them came aboard; when we proceeded on a mile, and cast anchor at the point of an island in the middle of the river. The Indians remained with us all night.


Tuesday 25th Sept.    We delayed to wait for the Indian chiefs and warries to come which we expected.    about 10 OClock they came about 50 in nomber.    our officers made three of them chiefs, and Gave them meddels & Some presents.    5 of them came on board & Stayed a long time.    Capt. Clark and Some men took them to Shore in a perogue.    the Indians did not incline to let us Go on any further up the river.    they held the cable of the perogue and Said that they wanted one perogue at least to Stay as they were poor.    Capt. Clark insisted on Going on board but they resisted for a long time.    they Sd. they had Soldiers on Shore as well as he had on board.    Capt. Clark told them that he had men and medican on board that would kill 20 Such nations in one day.    they then began to be Still and only wished that we would Stop at their lodges untill their women & children would see us.    4 of them came on board again, & we proceeded on 1 mile and ankered out at the lower point of an Island in the middle of the river.    the 4 Indians stayed with us all night.

Tuesday Septemr 25th    We waited at an Anchor this morning, in expectation of the Indian Chiefs and Warriors arrival here.    about 10 o'Clock A M they came to the bank of the River, there was fifty in number; our officers went on shore to them, where they held a Council, and made three of them Chiefs, and gave them Medals, and some presents.    five of those Indians came on board the boat, and staid a considerable time; they were curious in examing our boat, having never seen one of the kind before—    Our Captain returned on board, fearing some treachery from those Savages.—    Captain Clarke and some of the Men went on Shore afterwards in one of the Pettyaugers.—    He found that the Indians inclined not to let us pass any further up the Mesouri; on his going to leave the Shore, a number of them held to the Cable of the Pettyauger, saying, they wanted one of the Pettyaugers to stay behind with them, as they were poor.    Captain Clark insisted on going on board, but they resisted him for a long time—    they told Captain Clarke, that they had Soldiers on shore, as well as he had Soldiers on board his Canoes; Captain Clarke then told them that he had Men and Medecine on board the boat, & Pettyaugers, that would kill twenty such nations in a day.—    They then began to be still, and only said, they wished that we would stop at their lodges, untill their Women & chlldren could see us & our boats.—

Four of the Indians came on board of our boat, and we proceeded on one Mile; and Anchor'd the Boat & Pettyaugers out in the River, at the lower point of an Island, which lay in the middle of the River.    Those Indians that came on board the boat staid with us this Night.—

1. Apparently Pierre Cruzatte, who spoke the Omaha language, the tongue of his mother, and who may have been interpreting through some Omaha prisoners of the Tetons. Ordway says, "we had an old frenchman with us who could speak a little of the Souix language." (back)
2. The chief, also known as Untongarabar ( t'at'aŋka sápa , black buffalo bull) or Black Bull, was noted for a consistently friendly attitude toward whites, and is spoken of favorably by Pierre-Antoine Tabeau; he died in 1813. Ronda (LCAI), 27, 31; Abel (TN), 106 and n. 28, 108–9 and n. 38, 110 and n. 42, 111 and n. 45, 113–15, 131; Thwaites (EWT), 5: 222–23. (back)
3. His name may be rendered "war leader" (blotahuŋka). Tabeau echoes Clark's unfavorable judgement of this chief, giving instances of his obstreperousness. He may also have met in council with Zebulon Montgomery Pike in 1805. In 1815 he attended a council at Portage des Sioux to make peace with the United States. Ronda (LCAI), 30–31; Abel (TN), 106 and n. 29, 108 and n. 40, 110–11 and n. 45, 112–18, 134, 211 and n. 14, 214; Jackson (JP), 1:38. (back)
4. The "soldiers," as the French traders called them, were warriors chosen to enforce order and discipline on certain occasions, such as hunts, when irresponsible individual behavior could not be tolerated. Sometimes the duty was assigned to the members of a particular warrior society. They punished offenders by flogging with horsewhips, killing the guilty party's dogs or horses, or by destroying his inanimate property. Since their appointment was temporary, the fear of retaliation sometimes inhibited them in the performance of their duties. Chiefs often appointed a soldier to protect a trader during his sojourn with the tribe. See below, September 26, 1804. Abel (TN), 116–20; Thwaites (EWT), 14:297; Hodge, 2:614–15. (back)
5. Presumably Clark means that the Sioux warriors were pointing their arrows straight at him because they were at "point blank" range—so close that they did not need to elevate their aim to allow for dropping of the missile due to gravity. At such range men with muzzle-loading firearms such as the expedition carried would actually be at a disadvantage against bowmen, because of the amount of time required to reload. The whole Sioux confrontation is discussed in Ronda (LCAI), 27–41. (back)
6. Probably later Marion Island, opposite the city of Pierre. Atlas map 23 shows Bad Humored Island below the mouth of Bad (Teton) River; this is probably a mistake of the copyist, working with Clark's original (now lost) in 1833. Maximilian appears to have penciled in the outline of Bad Humored Island in the correct place when he was in the area. MRC map 40. (back)
7. All the emendations in this entry appear to be in Biddle's hand, but many could be by Clark. Most of the longer insertions are in red while the shorter are in dark ink. (back)
8. This paragraph was misplaced in Codex B after the courses and distances for September 26. Clark may have missed this material in copying and when revising his Field Notes noticed his error and indicated the missing material by asterisks and a pointing hand. (back)
9. Probably Cruzatte. (back)
10. In addition to Black Buffalo were Buffalo Medicine (of previous day's entry) and Partisan. (back)
11. On the expedition's Bad Humored Island, probably later Marion Island, Stanley County, South Dakota, opposite Pierre. (back)
12. The chiefs named above and probably Warzingo and Second Bear (see Clark's entry), but perhaps some unnamed "soldiers." (back)
13. Clark says only that "I felt my Self warm & Spoke in verry positive terms." (back)