October 6, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 6, 1804


6th of October Satturday 1804    Cold Wind from the N.    Saw many large round Stones near the middle of the River    passed an old Ricara village of 80 Lodges Picketed in    those lodges in nearly an octagon form, 20 to 60 feet Diameter    Specious [spacious] Covered with earth and as Close as they Can Stand, [1] a number of Skin Canoes [2] in the huts, we found Squashes of 3 different Kinds growing in the Village    Shields Killed an Elk Close by—    The Magpy is common here, we Camped off the mouth of Otter Creek on the S. S. [3] this Creek is 22 yds. wide & heads near the R. Jacque,—    contains much water.

Course & Distance
N. 4° E. 8 m. to a wood pt. on the L. S.
N. 8° W. 1 m. on the L. S.
N. 32° W 3 m. to a pt. on the S. S.
N. 40° W 2 m. to Otter Creek S. S. [4]

a cool morning wind from the North    Set out early    passed a willow Island (1) Situated near the S. Shore at the upper point of Som timber on the S. S.    many large round Stones near the middle of the river, those Stones appear to have been washed from the hills    (2) passed a village of about 80 neet Lodges covered with earth and picketed around, those loges are Spicious of an Octagon form as close together as they can possibly be placed and appear to have been inhabited last Spring, from the Canoes of Skins Mats buckets [5] found in the lodges, we are of appinion they were the recrereis    we found Squashes of 3 Different Kinds growing in the Village, [6] one of our men killed an Elk Close by this Village, I saw 2 wolves in persute of another which appeared to be wounded and nearly tired, we proceeded on    found the river Shole    we made Severl. attempts to find the main Channel between the Sand bars, and was obliged at length to Drag the boat over to Save a league which we must return to get into the deepest Channel, we have been obgd to hunt a Chanl. for Some time past the river being devided in many places in a great number of Chanels, Saw Gees, Swan, Brants, & Ducks of Different kinds on the Sand bars to day, Capt Lewis walked on Shore Saw great numbers of Prarie hens, [7] I observe but fiew Gulls or Pleaver in this part of the river, The Corvos or Magpye is verry Common in this quarter

We Camped on a large Sand bar off the mouth of 〈Beaver or〉 [8] Otter Creek on the S. S.    this Creek is about 22 yards wide at the mouth and contains a greater perpotion of water than Common for Creeks of its Sise

6th Octr

Course Distance and Reffurencies—
N. 4° E   8 miles to a point of wood land on the L. S.    passed a willow
Isd. S. S.
N. 8° W.   1 me. on the L. Side
N. 32 W.   3 mes. to a point on the S. S.    passed an old village of the
Rickorreis at the Comst. of this Course (2)
N. 40° W.   2 〈½〉 miles the mouth of Beaver Otter Creek on the S. S.    a
large Sand bar opposit
14 ½

Saturday 6th Oct. 1804.    we Set off eairly    proceeded on    passed Black Bluffs on S. S.    high land, hilley & plains on boath Sides of the River    no Timber only in the Bottoms on the River.—    passd a Timbered Bottom on S. S.    2 men went out hunting—    at 1 oClock we halted at an old Rickree Village on S. S.    took dinner.    our hunters came to us    had killed a fat Elk.    we found at this village Some Squashes.    the Rick Rees left it last Spring.    their village was built verry close compact, & covered each Sepperate house with Earth.    we Saw Several canoes made of Buffalow hides which would carry 2 men & considerable baggage, also Some baskets    we took Several of them & Some of the Squashes &.C—&.C—    we proceeded on    Capt. Lewis & one hunter went out hunting in a handsome Bottom covered with Timber on N. S.    passed a creek on the South Side [9]    we Camped on a large Sand beach on N. S. Capt. Lewis & the hunter joined us.    brought no Game with them.—    the 2 Capt. & 2 more knockd for bow pack [10]


Saturday 6th.    We continued our voyage early, and had a clear day; passed bluffs on the south side and a bottom covered with timber on the north. About 11 we passed a handsome bottom, where a band of the Rees lived last winter. They had left a number of round huts covered with earth, some of their water craft made of buffaloe hides, and some garden truck, such as squashes. We proceeded on and passed a small creek on the south side; a handsome bottom on the north; and encamped on a sand beach on the north side.


Saturday 6th Oct.    Set off eairly.    clear & pleasant.    about 11 oC we were passing a bottom covered with timber on the S. S.    2 of our hunters went out and killed 1 Elk.    in this bottom a band of the Rick a rees lived last winter.    they left a nomber of round huts covered with earth, and Some water crafts made out of buffaloe hides.    proceeded on    passed a creek on the S. S.    we Camped on a Sand beach on N. S.

Saturday October 6th    We set off early this morning, having clear pleasant Weather and continued on 'till 11 oClock A. M. and passing by a bottom covered with heavy Timber, one of our Hunters went on shore, and killed an Elk in this bottom, where we found a Band of the Rick ARees Indians had lived, during the last Winter, They had left a number of round huts, which was cover'd with Earth, and some Water Crafts made out of buffalo Hides—

We stopped and took the Man & Elk on board, and proceeded on, and passed a Creek lying on the South side of the River, and in the Evening We encamped on the bank lying on the North side of the River.—

1. Clark is describing the earth lodge characteristic of the sedentary tribes of the Missouri. The area is shown on Atlas map 25. (back)
2. Probably "bullboats," buffalo skins stretched over a hemispherical frame. Though hard to steer, they were handy for crossing the river and could be carried by one person. (back)
3. Later known as Swan Creek, in Walworth County, South Dakota. There is an Otter Creek a few miles farther down the Missouri, but its location does not correspond with that shown on Atlas map 25. The campsite would now be inundated by the Oahe Reservoir. Mattison (OR), 76–77; MRC map 44. (back)
4. In Codex C the distance is 2½ miles, with the fraction possibly crossed out. (back)
5. Biddle apparently added the letters "uc" in red in the middle of this word, blotting out Clark's first spelling. (back)
6. Varieties of Cucurbita pepo L., pumpkins and squashes, and possibly C. maxima Duchesne, hubbard and turban squashes. Fernald, 1349. Gilmore lists eight types of pumpkins and squashes among the Omahas. Gilmore (UPI), 65–66. (back)
7. Perhaps the same as the "grouse" of October 7, below, that is, the sharp-tailed grouse. See April 15, 1805, below, where Lewis notes that grouse are also called "prairie hens." (back)
8. Biddle apparently crossed out "Beaver or" with his usual red ink. (back)
9. Perhaps Four Bears Creek, Dewey County, South Dakota, mentioned by other enlisted men but not by Clark. (back)
10. This final sentence does not make sense. The words "knockd," "bow," and "pack" may not be correct. The other journals are no help. (back)