October 10, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 10, 1804


10th of October 1804    at 11 oClock the wind Shifted from S. E to N W. Mr. Taboe visited us—    we hear that Some jealousy exists as to the Chiefs to be made—    at 1 oclock the Cheifs all assembled under an orning near the Boat, and under the American Flag.    we Delivered a Similar Speech to those delivered the Ottoes & Sioux, made three Chiefs, one for each Village and gave them Clothes & flags—    1s Chief is name Ka-ha-wiss assa lighting ravin    2d Chief Po-casse (Hay) & the 3rd Piaheto or Eagles Feather—    after the Council was over we Shot the Air gun, which astonished them, & they all 〈Departed〉 left us, 〈we〉 I observed 2 Sioux in the Council one of them I had Seen below, they Came to interceed with the Ricaras to Stop us as we were told—    the Inds. much astonished at my black Servent, who made him Self more turrible in thier view than I wished him to Doe as I am told telling them that before I cought him he was wild & lived upon people, young children was verry good eating    Showed them his Strength &c. &c.— [1]    Those Indians are not fond of Licquer of any Kind— [2]


a fine forming wind from the S. E    at about 11 oclock the wind Shifted, to the N. W.    we prepare all things ready to Speak to the Indians, Mr. Tabo & Mr. Gravolin Came to brackfast with us    the Chiefs &. came from the lower Town, but none from the 2 upper Towns, which is the largest, we Continue to delay & waite for them    at 12 oClock Dispatchd Gravelin to envite them to Come down, we have every reason to believe that a jellousy exists between the Villages for fear of our makeing the 1st Cheif from the lower Village, at one oClock the Cheifs all assembled & after Some little Cerrimony the Council Commenced, we informd them what we had told the others before i' e' Ottoes & Seaux.    made 3 Cheif 1 for each Village.    gave them presents.

after the Council was Over we Shot the air guns [4] which astonished them much, the[y] then Departed and we rested Secure all night,

Those Indians wer much astonished at my Servent, They never Saw a black man before, all flocked around him & examind. him from top to toe, he Carried on the joke and made himself more turibal than we wished him to doe.    (Thos Indians were not fond of Spirits Licquer. of any kind[)]


Wednesday 10th Oct.    a pleasant morning. I went down to the village which was built on the Island.    found their lodges in this village about 60 in nomber and verry close compact.    in a round form large & warm covered    first after the wood is willows and Grass. Then a thick coat of Earth &.C—    except the chimney hole which Goes out at center & top— [5]    they Raise considerable of Indian corn, beans pumkins Squasshes water millons a kind of Tobacco &.C. &.C. [6]    they Supply Several nations around them in corn as we are told.    their is a 2 frenchman who trade here, Mr. Tabbo [7] livees here now.    has Some Goods & trades with them for their peltry &.C.    we left one of our frenchman with Mr. Tabbow & took his Soon in his place. [8]    all things made ready to hold a counsel with the nation.    they have used us in the most friendly manner. Gave us corn & beans dryed pumkins & Squasshes &.C. &.C—    Some of their women are verry handsome & clean &.C. &.C.


A Journal continued from 90th page [10] at R. Ree villge.    10th Oct. About 2 oClock P. M. the chiefs & Warrirs of the Rick a Rees Nation assembled at our Camp under the american flag to Counsel with our Officers. Capt. Lewis read a Speech to them Giving them Good counsel &.C.    after the talk was inded to them three Guns was fired from our Bow peace.    then our officers Gave the three Chiefs Some presents & 〈a〉 3 flags & each Chief a meddel.    their is 3 villages of this nation & three chiefs one at each village. [11]    our officers Gave Each an equal proportion of the Goods. Each an american flag, a red coat (& cocked hat & feathers) & Meddels as abo. mn. [mentioned]    Some Paint    they divided the Goods & paint among themselves & tobacco &.C. &.C    after all was over our Capts. Shot the air Gun.    they appeared to be astonished at the Site of it & the execution it would doe.    they were verry thankful to us for what they had Recd. from us, & Sd. that we were So Good that we must go where we pleased after they would have a talk tomorrow & Give us Some Corn &.C.    the chiefs Shook hands with [our?] officers in the most friendly manner, & returned to their villages. I & one man went to the 2nd village with them in the evening which is about 4 miles from the lower village.    the chief took us into his lodge which was verry large & their village is built nearly in the Same form as the lower village.    the chiefs wife Brought us a bowl full of Beans & corn.    we Eat Some of it. She then brought 3 more one after another of different kinds of victuls.    we Eat Some of each & found it verry Good.    we Smoaked a while with them.    they were verry friendly to us & Seemed to be desirous to talk with us & Scarcely kept their Eyes off us (we returned to camp late)

[undated, after October 10, 1804 [12]]

Latitudes of the Different remarkable places on the Missouri River
    D. M. S.  
  "   of St. Charles 〈Village〉   38 54 39 N.
Mouth Gasconade River   38 44 35 "
Mouth of the osage river   38 31   6 "
Mouth of Grand River   38 47 54 9/10 "
Do    of Kanzas River   39   5 25 N.
  "   1½ miles above dimond Island   39   9 38 N.
  "   3 miles below the 2nd old village of the Kansas   39 25 42 "
  "   of Nordway River   39 39 22 "
at good Island   40 20 12 N.
Mouth of Nemahar river   39 55 56 N.
  "   Bald pated prairie   40 27   6 N
  "   White Cat fish Camp    10 mil abo. R. platte   41   3 19 N
  "   Counsel Bluff   41 17   0 "
Mo. of Stone River or little Souix R.   41 42 34 "
  "   on the South Side where the king of the Ma- } 42   1 3 N.
has was buried 4 years ago
    D. M. S.  
  "   at Fish Camp near the Mahars Village abov. } 42 13 41 N.
mo. of the Creek Augt. 14th 1804
  "   at the Chalk Bluff, (Calumet)   42 53 13  
  "   at Louisells Fort   44 11 13  
  "   at Dog River   44 19 36  
  "   at the mouth of Wa-ter-hoo River,   45 39   5  
the mouth of River Bullette   46 29 00  
Fort Mandans on N. E. Side   47 21 00  

July 24th 1804 [13]

The estimated Distance of the Missouri River from the mouth as taken by Capt. William Clark in May June & July 1804 of remarkable places as follows.    viz.—

  21 miles from the mouth to the Village of St. Charles N. S.
104¾ miles do   to the Gasconnade River S. S.
138¾ miles do   to the Great Osage River, S. S.
201 miles do   to the Mine River—    S. S.
226¾ miles Do   to the Two Rivers of Charlton, N. S.
245 do   do   to the old village of the Missourie N. S.
255 miles   to the Grand River on the—    S. S.
366 miles do   to the Kansas River—    S. S.
433 miles do   to the 2nd old village of the Kansas S. S.
481 miles do   to the Nordaway River—    N. S.
511¼ do   do   to the Grand Ne-ma-har River S. S.
570¾ do   do   to the Bald pated prairie N. S.
632 miles   to the Great River plate or Shoal S. S.
644 miles   to the point of observations on N. S. at W. Camp
     10 miles N. 15 W. from the plate River

above equal to 213 Leagues & ⅔

  D M S  
Latitude 41 3 19¾ N. as Taken 12 miles abv. River Platte
Augt. 1804
  682 miles to the Counsel Bluff on the S. Side
  766 miles to the Little River Souix on N. Side
  870 miles to the Mahars Village S. Side
1235 mls to Isl. of Ceders Louisells Fort on North Side
1275 ml. to the Teton River on the S W. Side
1320 ml. to the mo. of Chien or Shehor c. dog R. S. W. S.
1400 ml. to the mo. of Sur-war-har-na River S. W. Side
1425 ml. to the mo. of We-tor-hoo River S. W. Side
1430 ml. to the Ricaree Village on the S. W. Side
1505 ml. to the River Bullette on the S W. Side
1550 ml. to the River Clifs abo. old vill. of Mandans S. W. S.
1600½ ml. to Fort Mandens on the N. E. Side

Wednesday 10th.    This day I went with some of the men to the lodges, about 60 in number. The following is a description of the form of these lodges and the manner of building them.

In a circle of a size suited to the dimensions of the intended lodge, they set up 16 forked posts five or six feet high, and lay poles from one fork to another. Against these poles they lean other poles, slanting from the ground, and extending about four inches above the cross poles: these are to receive the ends of the upper poles, that support the roof. They next set up four large forks, fifteen feet high, and about ten feet apart, in the middle of the area; and poles or beams between these. The roof poles are then laid on extending from the lower poles across the beams which rest on the middle forks, of such a length as to leave a hole at the top for a chimney. The whole is then covered with willow branches, except the chimney and a hole below to pass through. On the willow branches they lay grass and lastly clay. At the hole below they build a pen about four feet wide and projecting ten feet from the hut; and hang a buffaloe skin, at the entrance of the hut for a door. This labour like every other kind is chiefly performed by the squaws. They raise corn, beans, and tobacco. Their tobacco [14] is different from any I had before seen: it answers for smoking, but not for chewing. On our return, I crossed from the island to the boat, with two squaws in a buffaloe skin stretched on a frame made of boughs, wove together like a crate or basket for that purpose. [15] Captain Lewis and Captain Clarke held a Council with the Indians, and gave them some presents.


Wednesday 10th Oct. 1804. [16]    our officers held a counsel with the natives and gave them Some presents.

Wednesday October 10th    This morning some of our Men, with the Two frenchmen that stayed with us during last night, went off to the Indian Village, they found 〈there to be〉 that Village to contain 60 lodges in number, forming 16 Square 〈in〉 the whole forming a Circle of about 30 feet    〈they are〉    These lodges were about Six feet high—    The lodges are constructed by laying poles from One fork to the other, and the whole is laid on, in the like manner and they had cover'd the Tops of them over with Willows and Grass, and a thick Coat of mud over all, and had left 〈in〉 a hole in the Top which served for a chimney—and a place for a door, at the entry place.—    The〈ir〉 labour is chiefly performed by their Squaws, The Men returned, with three bands of the Rick a Rees, being the whole Nation; and our Officers held a treaty with them on the bank of the River, and made them some presents, And gave them a talk, which they received & seemed highly pleased & They went back to their Villages in the Evening—

1. Legends grew up about York among the Arikaras and also certain stereotypes were added by later writers because of such episodes. Betts (SY), 16–18, 58, 65–66, 69–70. (back)
2. According to Biddle's account the captains offered the Arikaras whiskey, as was customary in such negotiations, but the chiefs refused, "with this sensible remark that, they were surprised that their father should present to them a liquor which would make them fools." See October 18, 1805. Coues (HLC), 1:160. (back)
3. On this date Ordway writes, "we left one of our frenchman with Mr Tabbow & took his Soon in his place." It is unclear whether this is the son of Tabeau (who is not known to have had a son) or the son of the unnamed engagé. Nor is it clear whether the Frenchman intended to remain at the Arikara villages, leaving the expedition, or was only left at the lowest village temporarily. If the former, he was probably paid off in cash, like others discharged that fall, leaving no written record of his departure. Nothing further appears about the son. On February 28, 1805, Ordway notes that a "Mr Roie" came up to Fort Mandan from the Arikara villages with Gravelines. This could be Peter Roi, an expedition engagé, who may be the man left at the Arikaras. Roi could have been discharged at Fort Mandan, however—the lack of a record of his discharge indicating payment in cash in the fall of 1804—and then have gone down to the Arikara villages. (back)
4. This is the only indication that there may have been more than one air gun with the party, and it is very likely a slip of the pen. (back)
5. A good, brief description of a typical earth lodge of the village Indians of the Missouri River and adjacent regions. (back)
6. Corn, beans, pumpkins, and squashes were the principal crops of the village Indians of the Great Plains. The watermelon is probably not the familiar watermelon, an African species (see Clark's entry for August 2, 1804). Indian tobacco is Nicotiana quadrivalvis Pursh. (back)
8. It is unclear whether this is the son of Tabeau (who is not known to have had a son) or the son of an unnamed engagé. The identity of the person who remained behind is also not known. See Clark's entry for this day. (back)
9. The entry for October 10 is divided above this dateline, separated by several pages of miscellaneous notes, reading backwards to the journal entries. Four pages separating the entry have latitude readings along the Missouri River, a blank page, and two pages of estimated distances from the mouth of the Missouri to Fort Mandan. These notes are printed next, and the October 10 entry is brought together here. Following those tables in the journal is one page that has the following:    "S 76 W 3½" and "S. 60 W. 3 a pt."; then the following words crossed out, "Orderly Book For the Detachment Kept by Sert. Ordway—Commenceing on the 1st day of April 1804."    The word "Silas" appears in this title, but upside down to the rest of the text. Four sheets, eight pages, have been cut out at this point and only the stubs remain. (back)
10. Ordway's pages are numbered in the upper corners, but the numbers are not always visible now. (back)
11. Kakawissassa or Lighting Crow, Pocasse or Hay, and Piaheto or Eagle's Feather are the Arikara chiefs. See Clark's entries for October 8–11 for a discussion of the meeting with the Arikaras and notes on the Indian villages. (back)
12. The undated portion of the material that interrupts the entry, apparently completed some time after October 10 since it gives the distance to Fort Mandan. Ordway's "Wa-ter-hoo" River is Grand River, Corson County, South Dakota, which the sergeant apparently missed naming on October 8. His "Bullette" River is the Cannonball River, dividing Morton and Sioux counties, North Dakota, which the party passed on October 18. (back)
13. Another portion of the interrupting material. Although it carries a date of July 24, the entry must have been completed later and even after October 10 since it gives the distance to Fort Mandan. At the top of one page of the table, between entries for miles 570¾ and 632, is the heading, "Sgt. John Ordways Journal Book. Detachment Orders." (back)
14. Nicotiana quadrivalvis Pursh. (back)
15. A bullboat again. (back)
16. This entry in the original version and those for October 11–15 have large "X"s crossed through them. (back)