October 8, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 8, 1804


8th of October Monday 1804    a cool Morning    wind from the N. W.    passed the mouth of a Small Creek on the L. S. [1] about 2½ Miles above the Isd.    Passed the Mouth of a River on the L. S. called by the Ricaries We-tar-hoo. [2]    this river is 120 yards wide, the water Confined within 20 yards, throws out mud with little Sand, great quanties of red Berries, resembling Currents [3] near the mouth of this river    Latd. 45° 39' 5' N. this river heads in the 1s Black Mountain, [4] 2 Miles higher up passed a Small River on the L. S. Called Maropa [5]    25 yards wide Chocked up with mud—    our hunters discovered a Ricara village on an Island a flew miles above [6]    we passed the 1s Ricara Village [7] about the center of the Island, in presence of Great numbers of Spectators and Camped above the Island on the L. S. at the foot of Some high land. (Mr. Gravotine a French man joined us as an interpeter) [8]    The Island on which 1s Ricara Village is Situated, is about 3 miles long Seperated from the Main L. Side by a Narrow Deep Channel, those Indians Cultivate on the Island Corn Beens Simmins, [9] Tobacco &c &c.    after Landing Capt. Lewis with Mr. Gravelin and 3 men went to the Village, I formd a Camp on Shore [10] with the Perogue crew & guard, with the Boat at Anchor, Capt Lewis returned late, a french man and a Spaniard accompanied him [11]

Course Distance &c
N. 70° W. 2 m. to a Tree in a bend to the L. S.    passed a Small creek
L. S.
N. 10° W 1 M. to a point on the S. S.
N 15° E 2 ½ m. to the mouth of We terhoo River in a Bend to the L. S.
N. 40° E 1 m. on the L. S.
N. 30 E 1 m to the mouth of Maropa River on the L. S.
N 15° E 1 m. to the lower point of an Island
North 3 ½ m to a pt. on the L. S    passed the 1s Ricara V. & the Island.

a Cool morning    Set out early    the wind from the N. W.    proceeded on    passed the mouth of a Small Creek on the L. S. about 2½ miles above Grouse Island, (3) passed a willow Island which Divides the Current equilly.    (2) passed the mouth of a River called by the ricares We tar hoo on the L. S.    this river is 120 yards wide, the water of which at this time is Confined within 20 yards, dischargeing but a Small quantity, throwing out mud with Small propotion of Sand, great quantities of the red Berries, ressembling Currents, are on the river in every bend—    77° 33' 0" Lattitude from the Obsevation of to day at the mouth of this river [NB: heads in the Black mountn ] is 45° 39' 5"—North—    proceeded on passed a (3) Small river of 25 yards wide Called (4) 〈 Rear par 〉 or Beaver Dam R    this river [WC: Maropa ] is intirely Chocked up with mud, with a Streem of 1 Inch Diamiter passing through, discharging no Sand, at 1 (5) mile passed the lower pint of an Island close on the L. S.    2 of our men discovered the reckerrei village, about the Center of the Island on the L. Side on the main Shore. this Island is [12] about 3 miles long, Seperated from the L. S. by a Channel of about 60 yards wide verry Deep, The Isld. is covered with fields, where those people raise their Corn Tobacco Beens &c. &c. Great numbers of those People came on the Island to See us pass, we passed above the head of the Island & Capt. Lewis with 2 interpeters & 2 men went to the Village    I formed a Camp of the french & the guard on Shore, with one Sentinal on board of the boat at anchor, a pleasent evening    all things arranged both for Peace or War, This Village (6) is Situated about the Center of a large Island 〈on〉 near the L. Side 〈at the〉 & near the foot of Some high bald uneaven hills, Several french men Came up with Capt Lewis in a Perogue, one of which is a Mr. Gravellin a man well versed in the language of this nation and gave us Some information relitive to the Countrey naton &c

8th Octr

Courses Distance and reffurences
N. 70° W   2 miles to a tree in the bind to the L. Side, passed a small
Creek L. S. (1)
N. 10° W.   1 miles to the pt. on the S. S.
N. 15° E.   2 ½ to the Mo: of a River We ter hoo in the bend to the L. S.,
(2) passing over a 〈low [Bluff?] of Soft Slate Stone〉 120
yds wide 〈passd〉 a willow Island (3)
N. 40° E.   1 mile on the L. Side
N. 30 E   1 mile on the L. S. to the mouth of a Small river Ma-ro-pa
N. 15° E   1 mile to the lower pt. of an Isd. (5)
North   3 ½ miles to a pt. on the S. S.    passd. the head of the Isd. and
the 1st. reckorrees Village (6) opsd. a Creek we Call after
the 1st. Chief Kakawissassa Creek. L. S.

Robert Frazer being regularly inlisted and haveing become on of the Corps of Vollenteers for North Western Discovery, he is therefore to be viewed & respected accordingly; and will be anexed to Sergeant Gass's mess.

Wm Clark Cpt &.
Meriwether Lewis
Capt. 1st U' S. Regt. Infty

River Marapa


On the Lard. shore, in the point fromed [formed] by the junction of the Weterhoo river with the Missouri.

Observed meridian Altd. of ☉'s U. L. with Sextant by the fore observation.    77° 35' "

Latitude deduced from this observation N. 45° 39' 5"


Monday 8th Oct. 1804.    a pleasant morning. We Set off eairly.    proceeded on    passd. high land on S. S.    passd. a run on S. S. named Slate run. [15]    Some hunters out on Shore N. S. hunting in a bottom covered with Timber on N. S.    passd an Island    we halted at 12 oC.    took dinner at the Mouth of a River which came in on S. S.    a large Timber Bottom at the Mouth of this River.    we named this River Marappa—. [16]    the hunters came on board.    they Saw a large flock of goats, wounded an Elk, but killed nothing.    the wind from the North. Capt. Lewis took the Medrian altd. & made the Lat. [blank]    we proceeded on    passd. a Timbered Bottom land on S. S. Barron hills on N. S.    [movd?] on one mile    passd another creek on S. S. [17]    proceeded on    passed an Island [18] on S. S. where we found a large Rickor Ree village on S. S.    a nomber of the Indians assembled on the Sand bar opposite the village to See us.    a frenchman [19] with them.    we took the frenchman on board    he Informed us that they were all friendly & Glad to See us.    we Camped about one mile abo. the first Ricka Ree village. Capt. Lewis went to the village.    carried Some tobacco & Smoaked with the chiefs of thee Nation.    thier is 2 more villages of the Rickarees a Short Distance abo. this place &.C.


Monday 8th.    The morning was pleasant and we set out early: passed high land on the south side and bottom on the north. The river here is very shallow and full of sand bars. We passed a run on the south side called slate run. Two of our hunters went out to some timber land on the north side to look for game. At 12 we came to a river on the south side, 120 yards wide, called the Marapa, [20] where we halted for dinner. The hunters came up, but had killed nothing. We passed a long range of hills on the north side; about two miles from the Marapa we passed a creek 25 yards wide; and about four miles further came to an island, where one band of the Rickarees live; and encamped at the upper end.


Monday 8th Oct. 1804    we Set off eairly, a pleasant morning.    we passed a run on the S. S. called Slate run.    proceeded on    about 12 oClock we passed the mouth of Marroppy River. [21]    we came to the upper end of an Island where one band of the Rick a rees live.    we camped [22] above the Isd on the S. S.

Monday October 8th    We set off early this morning, having pleasant Weather, we passed a Run of water lying on the south side of the River called Slatt Run, and proceeded on, about 12 o'Clock A. M we passed the Mouth of the Marrapy River, and came to the upper end of an Island, where One band of the Rick a Rees Indians lived, and Encamped above the Island on the South side of the River.—

1. Bellsman, or Deadmans, Creek, in Corson County, South Dakota. Atlas map 25 shows it as "Slate Run." MRC map 45; MRY map 106. (back)
2. Present Grand River, in Corson County. Maximilian has penciled in the present name on Atlas map 25. MRC map 45. The word may actually be the Mandan term witahu, "place characterized by oaks." (back)
3. Buffaloberry. (back)
4. The sources of the two principal forks of the Grand are in northwest South Dakota, to the north of the Black Hills as presently defined. (back)
5. Later Rampart, or Oak, Creek, in Corson County. Mattison (OR), 88; Altas map 25; MRC map 45. The word may be mirapa, which is Hidatsa for "beaver." (back)
6. Later Ashley Island, with its village, Sawa-haini. Maximilian would later note that it was abandoned and it may have been he who scribbled across the site pictured on Atlas map 25. Ronda (LCAI), 53; Mattison (OR), 93–94; MRC map 45. (back)
7. The Arikaras belonged to the Caddoan language family, most closely related to the Skiri Pawnees; they called themselves sahnis (people) or Star-rah-he (as Lewis and Clark termed it). As indicated by the many abandoned villages seen by Lewis and Clark, they moved a great deal within the Missouri valley. The Corps of Discovery found them in four villages, in Corson and Campbell counties, South Dakota, above the mouth of the Grand River. Most of the area is now inundated by the Oahe Reservoir.

The Arikaras were sedentary farmers in earth-lodge villages. Their social and political structure was distinctly hierarchical, with hereditary chiefs. Like the other village tribes of the upper Missouri, they were middlemen in intertribal trade. They had by 1804 been in contact with traders for several years, and venereal disease was already a problem.

The friendly relations between whites and Arikaras did not continue. The death of their chief who went to Washington at the captains' invitation apparently antagonized them, and they prevented the return of the Mandan chief Sheheke to his people in 1807.

During the fur-trade days of the 1820s and 1830s they were openly hostile to whites. This hostility must have influenced the unfavorable judgements of many later white traders and travelers, who emphasized the "Rees'" various deviations from Anglo-American mores. Eventually declining numbers, caused by disease and war with the Sioux, forced them to move to Like-a-Fishhook village in North Dakota with the Hidatsas and Mandans. This event, about 1845, finally brought about an alliance suggested by Lewis and Clark. The tribe now resides at Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota. Meyer; Denig; Holder; Parks (BVAP); Ronda (LCAI), 43–53; Thwaites (EWT), 5:127–41, 167–81, 6:111–31, 142–46, 23:386–95; Hodge, 1:83–86; Atlas map 25.

8. Joseph Gravelines was an associate or employee of Régis Loisel and Pierre-Antoine Tabeau, reported in 1811 as having lived among the Arikaras for more than twenty years. The captains found him useful as an Arikara interpreter, and in 1805 he accompanied the Arikara chief who journeyed to Washington. He had to return alone, bearing the news of the chief's death; the Arikaras gave him an unpleasant reception. The government later employed him as its representative among the Arikaras, an indication of the captains' high opinion of him. Henry Dearborn to James Wilkinson, April 9, 1806; Lewis to Pierre Chouteau, June 8, 1809, Jackson (LLC), 1:137 n. 71, 303–5 and n. 1, 2:431 n. 19, 437 n. 1, 455; Graveline; Thwaites (EWT), 4:127 and n. 84; Abel (TN), 41, 106 n. 28, 133 n. 101, 138 n. 109, 140. (back)
9. Apparently Clark's version of "simlin" or "simnel," a term used in the Southern states for summer squashes. Criswell, 78. Probably cultivated varieties of pumpkins and squashes, including possibly Cucurbita moschata Duchesne, crookneck squash. Fernald, 1349. (back)
10. The camp, where they would remain until October 11, was in Corson County, between Rampart (Maropa) Creek and Cathead Creek (Clark's Kakawissassa Creek), above Ashley Island. The area is now inundated by Oahe Reservoir. Mattison (OR), 95; Atlas map 25; MRC map 45; MRY map 107. (back)
11. The Spaniard does not appear in the Codex C version. Possibly he was Joseph Garreau, who had lived with the Arikaras since 1793, and who has been variously described as a Spaniard or a Frenchman. An "old Spaniard" who was living with the Arikaras in 1807 acted as interpreter for Nathaniel Pryor's unsuccessful expedition to return the Mandan chief Sheheke to his home. Pryor's report to Clark on the venture indicates that the latter was already acquainted with the man. See below, March 16, 1805. The Frenchman, if he was not Gravelines, was probably Pierre-Antoine Tabeau. Pryor to Clark, October 16, 1807, Jackson (LLC), 2:434, 438 n. 4; Loos, 809. (back)
12. The text of the entry is interrupted here by the courses and distances; the two parts are brought together for ease of reading. (back)
13. From the Orderly Book in Clark's hand, except for Lewis's own signature. (back)
14. Lewis's astronomical observation in Codex O. (back)
16. Oak Creek, Corson County, according to Ordway's name, but perhaps Grand River according to his position. (back)
17. Probably the actual Oak Creek. (back)
18. Ashley Island, with its Arikara Indian village. (back)
20. Gass is apparently in error here; according to Clark the stream 120 yards wide is the "We tar hoo," the present Grand River, Corson County; the "Maropa" is the next stream on the same side, Rampart, or Oak, Creek, also in Corson County. (back)
21. Clark's Maropa River is present Oak Creek, Corson County. Gass and Ordway, however, seem to confuse it with Clark's "We tar hoo," the Grand River, also in Corson County, a little below Oak Creek. Whitehouse does not give enough detail for us to be sure whether or not he repeats this confusion. (back)
22. In Corson County, between Oak (or Rampart) Creek and Fisher (or Cathead) Creek. (back)