September 26, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 26, 1804

26th S pt.
N.28 W 4 ½ Miles to a pt. on L. S.

26th of Septr    Set out early and proceeded on—    the river lined with indians, came too & anchored [1] by the particular request of the Chiefs to let their Womin & Boys See the Boat, and Suffer them to Show us some friendship—    great members [numbers?] of men womin & Children on the bank viewing us—    Those people are Spritely Small legs ille looking Set men perticularly, they grease & Black themselves when they dress, make use of Hawks feathers about thier heads, cover with a Roab    each a polecat Skin to hold their Smokeables, fond of Dress, Badly armed.    ther women appear verry well, fin[e] Teeth, High Cheek [bones] Dress in Skin Peticoats, & a Roabe with the flesh Side out and harey ends turned back over their Sholdes, and look well—    they doe all the Laborious work, and I may say are perfect Slaves to thier husbands who frequently have Several wives—    Capt Lewis & 5 men went on Shore with the Chiefs, who appeared to wish to become friendly    they requested us to remain one night & see them dance &c.—    in the evening I walked on Shore, and Saw Several Mahar Womin & Boys in a lodge & was told they were Prisones laterly taken in a battle in which they killed a number & took 48 prisoners—    I advised the Chiefs to make peace with that nation and give up the Prisoners, if they intended to follow the words of their great father    they promised that they would do So—    I was in Several Lodges neetly formed, those lodges are about 15 to 20 feet Diametr Stretched on Poles like a Sugar Loaf, made of Buffalow Skins Dressed

about 5 oClock I was approached by 10 well Dressed young men with a neet Buffalow Roab which they Set down before me & requested me to get in    they Carried me to ther Council Tents forming ¾ Circle & Set me down betwn 2 Chefs where 〈they had〉 about 70 men were Seated in a circle, in front of the Chief    6 feet Square was cleared & the pipe of peace raised on forks & Sticks, under which was Swans down 〈Spred〉 Scattered, the Flags of Spane & the one we gave them yesterday was Displayed    a large fire was made on which a Dog was Cooked, & in the center about 400 wt of Buffalow meat which they gave us,—    Soon after, I took my Seat the young men went to the boat & brought Capt Lewis in the Same way & placed him by me    Soon after an old man rose & Spoke approveing what we had done. [2]    requesting us to take pitty on them &C. answered—    They form their Camp in a circle

The great Chief then rose in great State and Spoke to the Same purpos and with Solemnity took up the pipe of peace and pointed it to the heavens, the 4 quartrs and the earth, he made Some divistation [dissertation?], & presented the Sten [stem] to us to Smoke, after Smokeing & a Short Harrang to his people we were requested to take the meat, and the Flesh of the Dog gavin us to eat—    We Smoked untill Dark, at which time all was cleared away & a large fire made in the Center, Several men with Tamborens highly Decorated with Der & Cabra Hoofs to make them rattle, assembled and began to Sing & Beat—    The women Came forward highly decerated with the Scalps & Trofies of war of their fathes Husbands & relations, and Danced the war Dance, which they done with great chearfulness untill 12 oClock, when we informed the Chief we intended return on bord, (they offered us women, which we did not except) [3]    4 Chiefs accompanied us to the boat and Staid all night—    Those people have a Description of Men which they Call Soldiars, those men attend to the police of the Band, Correct all vices &.    I Saw one to day whip 2 Squars who appeared to have fallen out, when the Soldier approached all appeared [to] give way and flee 〈with〉    at night they Keep 4 or 5 men at different distances walking around their Camp Singing the acursenes [occurrences] of the night    all in Spirits this evening    wind hard from the S E

I saw 25 Squars & Boys taken 13 days ago in a battle with the Mahars, in which they destroyed 40 Lodges, Killed 75 men & boys, & took 48 prisones which they promised us Should be delivered to Mr. Durion now with the Yankton [two words illegible], we gave our Mahar interpeter a few alls [awls?] & &. to give those retched Prisonis, I saw Homney [hominy] of 〈wild〉 ground Potatos [4]    a Spoon of the Big Horn animal [5] which will hold 2 quarts.

Course Distance & reffurenc
N. 28° W. 4 ½ miles to a pt. on the L. S. passing a Small willow Island
at 1½ miles & Several Sand bars the Water Shallow Come
too (1)

26th of September Wednesday 1804

Set out early proceeded on and Came to by the wish of the Chiefs for 〈the〉 to let their Squars & boys See the Boat and Suffer them to treat us well    great number of men women & Children on the banks viewing us, these people Shew great anxiety, they appear Spritely, generally ill looking & not well made thier legs & arms Small Generally—[NB: high cheek bones—prominent eyes]    they Grese & 〈Black〉 [NB: paint] themselves with coal when they dress, [NB: the distingd men] make use of a hawks feather [NB: Calumet feather [6] adorned with porcupine quills & fastened to the top of the head & falls backwards] about their heads    the men a robe & each a polecats Skins, for to hold ther Bais roly [NB: Bois roule] [7] for Smokeing    fond of Dress & Show    badly armed with fuseis [fusils] &.    The Squaws are Chearfull fine lookg womin not handson, High Cheeks Dressed in Skins a Peticoat and roab which foldes back over thir Sholder, with long wool. doe all ther laborious work & I may Say perfect Slaves to 〈all〉 the men, as all Squars of nations much at war, or where the womin are more noumerous than the men—    after Comeing too Capt. Lewis & 5 men went on Shore with the Chiefs, who appeared desposed to make up & be friendly, after Captain Lewis had been on Shore about 3 hours I became uneasy for fear of Some Deception & sent a Serjeant [8] to See him and know his treatment which he reported was friendly, & thy were prepareing for a Dance this evening

The made frequent Selecitiation for us to remain one night only and let them Show their good disposition towards us, we deturmined to remain, after the return of Capt. Lewis, I went on Shore 〈on landing I was recved on a elegent painted B. robe & taken to the village by 6 men & was not permited to touch the ground untill I was put down in the grand Councl house on a White dressed robes—〉    I saw Several Maha Prisoners and Spoke to the Chiefs    it was necessary to give those prisoners up & become good friends with the Mahars if they wished to follow the advice of their Great father    I was in Several Lodges neetly formed as before mentioned as to the Bauruly [NB: Bois brulé ] Tribe—    I was [NB: on landing from the boat] met by about 10 well Dressd. yound men who took me up in a roabe Highly a decrated and Set me Down by the Side of their Chief on a Dressed robe in a large Council House    this house formed a ¾ Cercle of Skins well Dressed and Sown together under this Shelter about 70 men Set forming a Circle in front of the Chiefs    a plac of 6 feet Diameter was Clear and the pipe of peace raised on [NB: forked] Sticks [NB: about 6 or 8 inches from the ground] under which there was Swans down Scattered, on each Side of the Circle two Pipes, The [NB: two] flags of Spain 2 & the Flag we gave them in front of the Grand Chief    a large fire was near in which provisions were Cooking, in the Center about 400 wt. of excellent Buffalo Beif as a present for us—

Soon after they set me Down, the men went for Capt Lewis brough him in the same way and placed him also by the Chief    in a fiew minits an old man rose & Spoke approveing what we had done & informing us of their Situation requesting us to take pity on them &c which was answered—The Great Chief then rose with great State to the Same purpote as far as we Could learn & then with Great Solemnity took up the pipe of peace [(NB: see 27 Septr in here)] [9] [NB: this belongs to 26 Sepr] whin the principal Chiefs Spoke with the 〈Knife〉 pipe of Peace he took in one hand Some of the most Delicate parts of the Dog which was prepared for the feist & made a Sacrifise to the flag—    & after pointing it to the heavins the 4 quarter of the Globe & the earth, [NB: then made a Speech] 〈he made Some divistation〉, lit it and prosist presented the Stem to us to Smoke, after a Smoke had taken place, & a Short Harange to his people, we were requested to take the meal [NB: & then put before us the dog which they had been cooking, & Pemitigon [10] & ground potatoe in Several platters. Pemn is buffo meat dried or baked pounded & mixed with grease    raw Dog Sioux think great dish—used on festivals.    eat little of dog    pemn & pote [potato] good]    we Smoked for an hour [NB: till] Dark & all was Cleared away    a large fire made in the Center, about 10 misitions playing on tamberins [NB: made of hoops & skin stretched].    long sticks with Deer & Goats Hoofs tied So as to make a gingling noise and many others of a Similer kind, those men began to Sing, & Beet on the Tamboren, the women Came foward highly Deckerated in theire way, with the Scalps and Trofies of war of ther father Husbands Brothers or near Connection & proceeded to Dance the war Dance which they done with Great Chearfullness untill 12 oClock when we informed the Cheifs that they [NB: must be] were fatigued [NB: amusing us] &c. [NB: women only dance—    jump up & down.    five or six young men selected    accompanied    with songs the tamborin—    making the song extempore words & music—    every now & then one of the men come out & repeat some exploit in a sort of song—    this taken up by the young men and the women dance to it]    they then retired & we Accompd. by 4 Chiefs returned to our boat, they Stayed with us all night. Those people have Some brave men which they make use of as Soldiers    those men attend to the police of the Village Correct all errors    I saw one of them to day whip 2 Squars who appeared to have fallen out, when he approachd all about appeared to flee with great turrow    at night thy keep two 3 4 or 5 men at deffinit Distances walking around Camp Singing the accurrunces of the night

all the men on board 100 paces from Shore    wind from the S. E. moderate    one man verry sick on board with a Dangerass abscess on his Hip.    all in Spirits this eveninge

In this Tribe I saw 25 Squars and boys taken 13 days ago in a battle with the mahars    in this battle they Destroyd 40 lodges, killed 75 men, & Som boys & children, & took 48 Prisones Womin & boys which they promis both Capt. Lewis and my Self Shall be Delivered up to Mr. Durion at the 〈Bous roulee〉 [NB: Bois brulé ] Tribe, those are a retched and Dejected looking people    the Squars appear low & Corse but this is an unfavourabl time to judge of them

we gave our Mahar inteptr. [Cruzatte] Some fiew articles to give those Squars in his name Such as alls needle &. &c.

I Saw & eat Pemitigon the Dog, Groud potatoe made into a Kind of homney, which I thought but little inferior—    I also Saw a Spoon made of a horn of an animile of the Sheep kind [NB: (the mountain ram or Argalia)] [11]    the spoon will hold 2 quarts.


Wednesday 26th Sept 1804.    a clear and pleasant morning, we Set off eairly.    proceeded on 4 or 5 miles    the Indians Strung along the Shore the most of the way.—    We then halted    ankered out 100 yards from Shore.    Capt. Lewis went out with the chiefs to where they had fixed their lodge in the neatest manner near the river.    and their whole lodge had assembled.    brought with them their horses, women & children. Some of their women are verry handsome, & friendly    the nomber of Indians at this lodge of the Teton tribe is between 2 & 300    they had been lately at war with the Mahars.    we [they] have Sixty five of the Sculps and 25 prisonrs Squaws of the Mahars nation which they had with them.    they told us that they had 23 Squaws prisoners more at a lodge above this.—    their lodge is verry handsome in a circle and about 100 cabbins [12] in nomber and all white, made of Buffalow hides dressed white    one large one in the center, the lodge for the war dances.—    they Gave Capt. Lewis Some fine Soup made of what they call white apples. [13]    they Sent all the party Some fat Bufaloe meat cooked and Some dryed and pounnded fine.    the marrow of the Buffalow Bones, mixed together, which Eat verry well.—    Capt Clark went out with some of them, and they made Great preperations for a dance this evening.    they Sent for Capt. Lewis to come and See them    he went over to the Shore    they Spread a Buffaloe robe dressed white on the Ground for him to Git on    as Soon as he landed he Set on it    8 of the Savages carried him to the lodge which is a Great Mark of friendship.    they killed Several dogs and cooked them in a decent manner to treat our people with.    in the evening the 2 Captains myself and a nomber more of the party went to their village to See them dance.    they had a fire in the center of their lodge.    the Band formed a line which were the men.    the Squaws formed on each Side of the fire & danced and Sang as the drumm and other ratles &.C. were playing.    they danced to the center untill they met, then the rattles Shook and the houp was Given.    then the Squaws all fell back to their places.    when the [other?] mens music Seaced the womens voice Sounded one part of the tune delightful.    then the other Music would commence again, our Captains Gave them some Tobacco to Smoke during the dance.    one of the warries thought he had not received a Small peace of the last tobacco they had    he Got mad and broke one of their drumms, hove 2 in the fire and left the line. Some of the rest took them out, they then took a Buffaloe Robe & held up in their hands and beat on it and continued on their dance till late in night.—    The chiefs came on & Selept with us in a friendly manner—


Wednesday 26th. We set out early, and proceeded on four miles. The bank of the river on the south side was covered all the way with Indians; and at 10 o'clock we met the whole band, and anchored about 100 yards from the shore. Captain Lewis, the chiefs, and some men went on shore, the Indians were peaceable and kind. After some time Capt. Lewis returned on board, and Capt. Clarke went on shore. When the Indians saw him coming they met him with a buffaloe robe, spread it out and made him get into it, and then eight of them carried him to the council house. About an hour after some of them came for Captain Lewis, and he landed; and eight of them carried him to the council house in the same manner, they had carried Captain Clarke. They killed several dogs for our people to feast on, and spent the greater part of the day in eating and smoking. At night the women assembled, and danced till 11 o'clock: then the officers came on board with two chiefs, who continued with us until the morning.


Wednesday 26th Sept.    we Set off eairly    proceeded on 4 miles    all the way on the S. Shore was covered with Savages. [14]    at 10 oClock we came to where the whole band had formed a circle of their lodges & pitched in the best order possable.    we ankered out about 100 Yards from Shore.    Capt. Lewis the 4 chiefs & 4 or 5 men went on Shore.    the natives appeared peacable & kind.    Capt. Lewis came on board & Capt. Clark went out.    when the Indians Saw the officers comming they Spread a buffaloe Robe on the Ground and they Set down on it, then it was taken up by 4 warries and carried to the Grand chiefs lodge.    they killed Several fat dogs which they call the best meat that ever was.    at night the women assembled and danced untill 11 oC. at night.    then our officers came on board and 2 chiefs with them.

Wednesday Septemr 26th    We set out early this morning, and proceeded on four Miles.—    as we passed along, the South shore was covered with Indians, at 10 o'Clock we came to where the whole band of these Savages, had their lodges.    They were placed in the form of a Circle, and pitched in the best order possible, We anchor'd our boat, & Pettyaugers 100 Yards from the Shore.—

Captain Lewis, the four Indian chiefs that had staid aboard of 〈us〉 our boat; & five of our Men shortly after went ashore, in one of the Pettyaugers.    The Indians met them, and behaved very peacable, and kind to them.    In a short time Captain Lewis returned, with the Men on board.—    Captain Lewis and Captain Clark in about an hour, went on Shore again, when the Indians perceived our officers coming; they spread a buffalo Robe on the ground, and our Officers at landing set down on it.    The Robe was then taken hold of, by four of their Warriors, and they were carried to the Grand Chiefs lodge, where they remain'd till an entertainment was prepar'd for them.    〈The Indians killed several〉 this consisted of several of their fattest dogs which the Indians had killed & which they Roasted, esteeming dogs flesh, as the best of Meat, which they had served up to our Captains, and their Warriors & chiefs.—    As soon as night had set in, the Indian Women assembled, and commenced dancing, which lasted 'till about eleven o'Clock P. M. (at night,) when our Captains came on board, and brought two of their chiefs with them.—

1. In Stanley County, South Dakota, about four miles north of Fort Pierre and two miles south of the present Oahe Dam. Appleman (LC), 351–52; Atlas map 23; MRC maps 40, 41. (back)
2. The narrative continues on document 59 of the Field Notes. At the top of the page Biddle has "Sept 27," badly smudged, "Sept. 27 1804," and "& 28." (back)
3. The offer of women was a combination of hospitality and diplomacy—a custom repeated by later tribes which the party met. See Ronda (LCAI), 36–37, 62–64. (back)
4. Apios americana Medic., Indian potato, groundnut, or potato-bean, described more extensively by Lewis in an undated entry. Fernald, 936. Cf. Criswell, cx, 67; Cutright (LCPN), 91. The reference to hominy indicates the approximate size of the small starch tubers which when cooked together resemble hominy. Present sources do not show the plant this far north along the Missouri River. Barkley, 159. (back)
5. Their first mention of the bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis, which they would not see alive until the following spring. A description had been published in Great Britain this same year (1804), based on a specimen obtained in the Canadian Rockies. Burroughs, 171–73. (back)
6. The feather used most often in adorning the sacred pipe was that of the golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos [AOU, 349]. The bird is described more fully on March 11, 1806. Coues (HLC), 1:138 n. 2; Burroughs, 205–8. (back)
7. Bois roulé, otherwise kinnickinnick, comes from the Chippewa word, kinikinigân, "something mixed by hand." It was a mixture of bark, perhaps with some tobacco, used by many western tribes for smoking. Types of bark used varied from region to region. Hodge, 1:692; McDermott (GMVF), 29, 92. (back)
8. Neither Ordway nor Gass mentions being sent on this mission; unless one of them simply omitted it, Pryor was the sergeant sent. (back)
9. Biddle indicates that a few lines belonging with the Codex B entry for September 26 entry were somehow misplaced in the September 27 entry. They are placed here as indicated. His insertions are in red for the most part, faint and difficult to read. (back)
10. Pemmican was meat dried and pulverized, mixed with melted fat and stored in sealed leather satchels; various kinds of berries might be added to improve the flavor. Other kinds of meat than buffalo might be used. Best results were obtained in a sunny, dry climate like that of the Great Plains. Pemmican was a basic travel ration with Indians and fur traders. The North West and Hudson's Bay companies carried on a considerable trade with the northern Plains tribes to obtain pemmican for their employees in the subarctic. Pemmican comes from the Cree word pĭmĭkân, "manufactured grease." Wentworth; Hodge, 2:223–24; Secoy, 49–50, 60. (back)
11. Biddle is comparing the argali (Ovis ammon), a big-horned sheep of Asia, with the North American bighorn, either thinking them the same species or finding the argali the only known comparable animal. (back)
12. Probably tipis. (back)
13. Prairie turnip (and other common names), Psoralea esculenta Pursh. (back)
14. The word "Savages" is written over "Indians." (back)