October 11, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 11, 1804


11th of October Thursday 1804    wind S. E.    at 11 oClock met the 1s Chief in Council, [1] he Thanked us for what we had given him & his people promised to attend to our advise, and Said the road was open for us and no one Dar[e] Shut it &c. &.    we took him and one Chief on board and Set out, on our way took in the 2d Chief at the mo of a Small Creek, [2] and Came too off the 2d village which is 3 miles above the Island, we walked up with the 2 & 3 Chiefs to their villages which is Situated on each Side of a Small Creek, [3] the[y] gave us Something to eat in thier way, after Conversations on various Subjects & Beareing the civilities of those people who are both pore & dirtey we informed the Chiefs we would here what they had to Say tomorrow and returned on board about 10 oclock P M.    Those people gave us to eat Corn & Beans, a large well flavoured Been which they rob the Mice of in the Plains and is verry nurishing— [4]    all tranquillity—


a fine morning the wind from the S. E.    at 11 oClock we met the Grand Chief in Council & and he made a Short Speech thanking us for what we had Given him & his nation promisseing to attend to the Council we had given him & informed us the road was open & no one dare Shut it, & we might Departe at pleasure, at 1 oClock we Set out for the upper villages 3 miles distant, the Grand Chief & nephew on board, proceeded on    at 1 mile took in the 2d Chief & Came too off the first Second village Seperated from the 3rd by a Creek    after arrangeing all matters we walked up with the 2d Chief to his village, and Set talking on various Subjects untile late    we also visited the upper or 3rd Village each of which gave us Something to eate in their way, and a fiew bushels of Corn Beens &. &c. after being treated by everry civility by those people who are both pore & Durtey we returned to our boat at about 10 oClk. P M.    informing them before we Departed that we would Speek to them tomorrow at there Seperate Villages. Those people gave us to eate bread made of Corn & Beens, also Corn & Beans boild. a large Been, [NB: of] which they rob the mice of the Prarie [NB: who collect & discover it] which is rich & verry nurrishing also [NB: S]quashes &c.    all Tranquillity.


October the 11th Thursday 1804    we met in Council to hear what the Grand Chief Ka kaw issassa had to Say in answer to the Speech of yesterday

The Grand Chief rose and spoke as follows i, e',—

My Fathers—!    My heart is glader than it ever was before to See my fathers.—    a repetition.

If you want the road open no one Can provent it    it will always be open for you.

Can you think any one Dare put their hands on your rope of your boat. No!    not one dar

When you Get to the mandans we wish you to Speak good words with that Nation for us.    we wish to be at peace with them.

It gives us pain that we do not Know how to work the Beaver, we will make Buffalow roabs the best we Can.

when you return if I am living you will See me again the same man

The Indian in the prarie know me and listen to my words, when you [come] they will meet to See you.

We Shall look at the river with impatienc for your return.    Finished


At our camp on the Lard. shore a small distance above the upper pooint of an Island on which the lower village of the Ricaras is situated.

Observed Equal Altitudes of the ☉ with Sextant.

  h m   s     h m   s
A.M. 9   8   7   P.M. 3 41 49
  " 10   1     " 42 36
  " 11 57     " 44 40

Altitude by Sextant at the time of observtn.    42° 16' 45"


Thursday 11th Oct. 1804.    a clear & cool morning.    the wind from the N. W. Some of the party down at the village below this last night    they informed us that one of the chiefs lost all the good he Recd. from us in the River, Going home.    the Skin cannoe got over Set turned everry thing out of it    he Grieved himself considerable about his loss &.C.    at 11 oClock the Indians assembled at our camp    Brought us Some corn & Beans dryed Squasshes &.C.    we Gave them a Steel Mill which they were verry much pleased with.    the chiefs made a Short Speech & told us that he was verry Glad to See us & that we must pass where we pleased & none of his nation would attempt to hold our cable &.C.    he also desired that we Would Speak a good word for them to the Mandan nation for they wished to make pease with them    about 1 oClock we Set off.    proceeded on    passed a Creek [7] on S. S. & a Timbred Bottom. Sailed on at 4 oC.    arived at the 2nd R. Ree village on the Bank of the River S. Side    a handsome place a high Smoth prarie.    a Timbred Bottom of the opposite Shore    a large Sand beach makes out from the vill.    they had their coulours or flags hoisted that we Gave them, & all assd. on the bank of the river to See us.    we camped on a Sand bar below the ville. Capt. Lewis & Clark took an observation which made them amazed at the instrument    went up to the ville.    took Several of the party with them—    they all returned in the evening.    found that the two upper villages were near each other & built nearly alike.    their is no wood near these 2 villages.    they cross the River for the Greater part of their wood to a Timbred Bottom on N. S. opisite their villages &.C—    in the evening our cooks took the Best axe we had on Shore for to cut Some wood & it was Stole by Some of those Indians.


Thursday 11th.    A clear day. We waited for an answer from the Indians. About 12 o'clock, they came, and brought some corn, beans and squashes, which they presented to us. The chief said he was glad to see us, and wished our commanding officers would speak a good word for them to the Mandans; for they wanted to be at peace with them. These are the best looking Indians I have ever seen. At 1 o'clock P. M. we proceeded on our voyage; passed a creek on the south side 20 yards wide and a handsome bottom covered with timber. Having made about four miles, we came to the second Village of the Rickarees, [8] situated in a prairie on the south side. They had the American flag hoisted which Captain Lewis gave them yesterday. Their lodges are similar to those in the first village, and the same, or perhaps more, in number. They are the most cleanly Indians I have ever seen on the voyage; as well as the most friendly and industrious. We anchored about 50 yards from shore, and sent a periogue over the river for wood. We all slept on board except the cooks, who went on shore to prepare provisions for the next day.


Thursday 11th Oct. 1804.    about 12 oClock the natives came to our camp & Gave us Some corn beans & Squashes & wished our officers to Speak a good word for them at the Mandans, for they Said they wished to make peace.

Thursday October 11th    This day at 12 o'Clock the Indians came to our Camp, and brought to us some Corn, Beans and squashes; They requested of our officers, by their Interpreter, to speak a good word for them to the Mandan Nation of Indians, as they wished to make a peace with them, which our Officers agreed to do.    they mention'd, that they wished to be at peace with all Nations.    At One o'Clock we proceeded on our Voyage, and passed a Creek lying on the South side of the River 20 Yards wide.    about 4 oClock P. M. We came to the Village of the Rick A Rees, they had a Flag hoisted which Captain Lewis had given them the day before.    Their Village is built in a Priari, on the South side of the River, in the same manner that the other Villages were built.    We encamped this night on the South side of the River.—

1. See below with this day's entries for the speech. (back)
2. Possibly Clark's Kakawissassa Creek, later Cathead Creek, now Fisher Creek. Atlas map 25; MRC map 45. (back)
3. The second village may be the one on the starboard shore, in Campbell County, South Dakota. They camped on the opposite side, in Corson County, near the two neighboring villages on that side, which Clark seems alternately to regard as either one or two. The small creek is apparently one which appears nameless on MRC map 45 and MRY maps 113, 114 but not on Atlas map 25. The area is now inundated by Oahe Reservoir. Mattison (OR), 97–98. (back)
4. The bean is the product of the hog peanut or ground bean plant, Amphicarpa bracteata (L.) Fern. Fernald, 938–39. The Arikaras obtained them from the underground stores of the meadow mouse or vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus. It is said that they always left some other food in its place for the mice. Cutright (LCPN), 100; Gilmore (UPI), 43–44. (back)
5. This material is on a loose sheet in the Voorhis Collection, Missouri Historical Society. See Indian Speeches, Appendix C. (back)
6. Lewis's astronomical observation from Codex O. (back)