October 12, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 12, 1804


12th of October Friday    after Brackfast we joined the Chiefs & Indians on the bank who wer waiting for us, and proseeded to the 1st village [1] and Lodge of the Pocasse , This man Spok [2] at Some lengths, to the Sam[e] purpote of the 1s Chief, & Declareing his intentions of visiting his great father, Some Doubts as to his Safty in Passing the Sioux, requested us to take a Chief of their nation and make a good peace with the Mandan for them, that they Knew that they were the Cause of the war by Killing the 2 Mandan Chiefs—    this Chief & people gave us about 7 bushels of Corn, Some Tobacco of their own make, [3] and Seed Legins & a Robe    We proceeded to the 3rd Chiefs Village which is the largest, [4] after the usial Seremoney of Eating Smokg. &. he Spoke to near the Same amount of the last Chief, & more pleasently, he gave us 10 bushels of Corn, Some Beens & Simmins, after he had Spoken, and [I] gave Some Sketches of the Power & Magnitude of Our Countrey, we returned to our Boat, I have the rhumetism on my neck [blot]    the Chiefs accompanied us on board, w[e] gave them Some Sugar Salt and a Sun Glass each, and after eating a little they returned on Shore leaveing one to accompany us to the Mandans, and we Set out viewed by men womin & children of each village    proceeded on about 9½ miles and Camped on the S S. [5]    Clear & Cold—    The Ricaras Are about 500 men    Mr. Taboe say 600    able to bear arms, and the remains of ten different tribes of Panias    reduced by the Small Pox & wares [wars] with the Sioux, they are tall Stout men corsily featured, their womin Small & industerous    raise great quantites of corn beans &c also Tobacco for the men to Smoke, they collect all the wood and doe the Drudgery common amongst Savages—    Their language is So corrupted that many lodges of the Same village with dificuelty under Stand all that each other Say—    They are Dirty, Kind, pore, & extravegent; possessing natural pride, no begers, rcive what is given them with pleasure, Thier houses are close together & Towns inclosed with Pickets, thier Lodges are 30 to 40 feet in Diamute[r] Covered with earth on Neet Poles Set end wise resting on 4 forks Supporting Beems Set in a Square form near the Center, and lower about 5 feet high    other forks all around Supt. Strong Beems, from 8 to 10 of those, with a opening at top of about 5 to 6 feet Square, on the Poles which pass to the top, Small Willow & grass is put across to Support the earth— [6]   The Sioux exchange, Some merchndze of Small value which they get from Mr. Cameron [7] of St. Peters for Corn &c and have great influence over this people    treat them roughly and keep them in contineal dread—    The Ricaras are at war with the Crow Indians and Mandans—&c. &—    The Ricaras, have a custom Similar to the Sioux in maney instances, they think they cannot Show a Sufficient acknowledgement without [giving?] to their guest handsom Squars and think they are despised if they are not recved

The Sioux followed us with women two days    we put them off.    the Ricarries we put off dureing the time we were near their village—    2 were Sent by a man to follow us, and overtook us this evening, we Still procisted in a refusial— [8]    The Dress of the Ricara men is Simpally a pr. of Mockersons & Legins, a flap, and a Buffalow Robe—    Their Hair is long and lais loose    their arms & ears are decerated with trinkets—

The womin Dress Mockersons & Legins & Skirt of the Skin of the Cabre or Antelope, long fringed & [roab?] to the fringes & with Sleaves, verry white, and Roabes—    all were Dressed to be without hare in the Summer

Those people make large Beeds of Diferrent colours, out of glass or Beeds of Dift colours, verry ingeniously

Course & Deistance &c.
N. 45°E. 2 m. To the Mouth of a Creek between the two upper Ricara
S. 75 E. 1 ½ m. to a Point on the L. S.
N 45° E 2 m to a pt of wood L. S.
N. 45° E 2 m. to a pt. of wood on the L S [9]
N. 20° W. 2 ½ m to a pt. on the L. S.
N. 8° W 1 ½ m to a pt. on the L S.    river narrow and large wooded points

I rose early    after brackfast we joined the Indians who were waiting on the bank for us to come out and go and Council, we accordingly joined them and went to the house of the 2nd Chief Lassil [Pocasse] where there was many Chief and warriers & about 7 bushels of Corn, a pr Leagins a twist of their Tobacco & Seeds of 2 Kind of Tobacco we Set Some time before the Councill Commenced    this man Spoke at Some length declareing his dispotion to believe and prosue our Councils, his intention of going to Visit his great father    acknowledged the Satisfaction 〈which he〉 in receiveing the presents &c.    rais'g a Doubt as to the Safty on passing the nations below particularly the Souex.    requested us to take a Chief of their nation and make a good pact with Mandins & nations above.    after answering [10] those parts of the 2d Chiefs Speech which required it, which appeared to give General Satisfaction we went to the Village of the 3rd Chief and as usial Some Serimony took place before he Could Speek to us on the Great Subject. This Chief Spoke verry much in the Stile on nearly the Same Subjects of the other Chief who Set by his Side, more Sincear & pleasently, he presented us with about 10 bushels of Corn Some beens & quashes all of which we acksepted with much pleasure, after we had ansd. his Speech & give them Some account of the Magnitude & power of our Countrey which pleased and astonished them verry much we returned to our boat, the Chiefs accompanied us on board, we gave them Some Sugar a little Salt, and a Sun Glass, & Set 2 on Shore & the third proceeded on with us to the Mandens by name _____, [11] at 2 oClock we Set out the inhabitints of the two Villages Viewing us from the banks, we proceeded on about 9½ miles and Camped on the S. S. at Some woods passed, the evening Clear & pleasent Cooler

The Nation of the Rickerrie [NB: Rickaras ] is about [WC: 〈450 men〉 Mr. Taboe says, I think 500 men] 600 men able to bear arms [NB: Mr Tabat is right]    a Great perpotion of them have fusees    they appear to be peacefull, their men tall and perpotiend, womin Small and industerous, raise great quantities of Corn Beens Simmins &c. also Tobacco for the men to Smoke    they Collect all the wood and do the drugery as Common amongst Savages.

Thise 〈nation is〉 [NB: two villages are] made up of 〈10〉 [NB: nine] Different Tribes of the Pania [NB: Panies ], [12] who had formerly been Seperate, but by Commotion and war with their neighbours have Come reduced and compelled to Come together for protection, [13] The Curruption of the language of those different Tribes has So reduced the language that the Different Villages do not understade all the words of the others.—    Those people are Durtey, Kind, pore, & extravigent pursessing 〈Pride〉 national pride.    not beggarley reive what is given with great pleasure, Live in worm houses large and built in an oxigon [octagon] form forming a Cone at top which is left open for the Smoke to pass, those houses are generally 30 or 40 foot Diamiter. Covd. with earth on poles willows & grass [14] to prevent the earths passing thro',

Those people express an inclination to be at peace with all nations—The Seaux who trade the goods which they get of the British Traders for their corn, and great influence over the Rickere, poisen their minds and keep them in perpetial dread.

I Saw Some of the 〈Chien or Dog〉 [NB: Chyenne ] Indians, also a 〈fiew〉 man of a nation under the Court new[15]    This nation is at war with the Crow Indians & have 3 Children prisoners.

a curious Cuistom with the Souix as well as the reckeres is to give handsom Squars to those whome they wish to Show Some acknowledgements to—    The Seauix we got Clare of without taking their Squars, they followed us with Squars 13th [16] two days. The Rickores we put off dureing the time we were at the Towns but 2 Handsom young Squars were Sent by a man to follow us, they Came up this evening and peresisted in their Civilities.

Dress of the men of this nation is Simply a pr. mockerson, Leagins, flap in front & a Buffalow roabe, with ther [their?] arms & ears Deckorated

The women, wore Mockersons leagins fringed and a Shirt of Goat Skins, Some with Sleaves.    this garment is longe & Genlry. White & fringed, tied at the waste with a roabe, in Summer without hair.

12th Octr.

Course Distance & reffurence
N. 45 E 2 Miles to the mouth of a creek between the 2 upper villages
of the Rickere L. S. (1)
S. 75° E. 1 ½ miles the point on the L. S.    passed the Village (2)
N. 45° E. 2 mes. to a point of wood on the L. S.
N. 20° W. 2 ½ miles to a pt. on the S. S.
N. 8° W. 1 ½ miles to a pt. on L. S. passed a Sand bar.
9 ½
2nd Chief Ricaras

My Father, I am glad to See this is a fine Day to here the good Councils & talk good talk

I am glad to See you & that your intentions are to open the road for all

we See that our Grand father has Sent you to open the road    we See it

Our Grand father by Sending you means to take pity on us

Our Grand father has Sent you with tobacco to make peace with all nations, we think

The first nation who has recomended the road to be clear and open.

You Come here & have Directed all nations which you have met to open & clear the road.

[If?] you come to See the water & roads to Clear them as Clear as possible

you just now Come to See us, & we wish you to tell our Grand ftar that we wish the road to be kept Clear & open.

I expect the Chief in the next Town will tell you the Same to move on & open the road

I think when you Saw the nations below the[y] wish you to open the road—    (or something to that amount:

when you passd. the Souex they told you the Same I expect.    we See you here to day    we are pore our women have no Strouds & Knives to Cut their meat    take pitty on us when you return.

you Come here & Derect us to Stay at home & not go to war, we Shall do So, we hope you will when you get to the Mandins you will tell them the Same & Cleer the road, no one Dar to Stop you, you go when you please,—

The you tell us to go Down, we will go and See our grand father & here & receve his Gifts, and think fully that our nation will be covered after our return, our people will look for us with the same impatience that our Grand father looks for your return, to Give him

If I am going to See my grand father, many bad nations on the road, I am not afraid to Die for the good of my people (all Cried around him.)

The Chief By me will go to the Mandans & hear what they will Say.    (we agree'd.)

The verry moment we Set out to go down we will Send out my Brother to bring all the Nation in the open prarie to See me part on this Great mission to See my Great father.

our people hunting Shall be glad to here of your being here & they will all Come to See, as you Cannot Stay they must wate for your return to See you, we are pore take pity on our wants

The road is for you all to go on, who do you think will injure a white man when they come to exchange for our Roabes & Beaver

after you Set out many nations in the open plains may Come to make war against us, we wish you to Stop their guns & provent it if possible. Finished

3d Chief of Ricares

My fathers    I will see the Indians below & See if they have the hart as they tell you

The nation below is the 〈MandanMahas & Ottes & but one nation, (the Souix[)] has not a good heart.

I always look at the 1t Chief & the 2d whin they go & will also follow ther example & go on also

You See those 2 men they are chiefs, when I go they will take Care, they beleve your words.

Mabie we will not tell the trooth, as to the Child    perhaps they will not wish to go.

My Children the old women & men whin I return I can then give them, Some a Knife Some powder & others Ball &c. What is the matter if we was to go for nothing    my great Chief wish to go, I wish to go also.

when I go to See my Grand father I wish to return quicke for fear of my people being uneasy.

my Children are Small & perhaps will be uneasy whin I may be Safe

I must go, I also wish to go, perhaps I may when I return make my people glad

I will Stay at home & not go to War even if my people are Struck

we will believ your word but I fear the Indians above will not believe your word.

I will think that ½ of the men who will return will Stay in this Village ½ below in the other villages

what did the Seaus tell you—    (we informd them)


Friday 12th Oct 1804.    a Clear & pleasant morning.    the Indians assembled on the bank near us for to Trade with us.    they wanted red paint mostly, but would Give whatever they had to Spare for any kind of Goods    one of the men Gave an Indian a pin hook & the Indian Gave him in return a pair of Moggisins    we Gave them Some Small articles of Goods for Buffalow Robes & Moggn. &.C.    the officers went to the villages in order to hear what the chiefs had to Say. They Gave us 10 or 12 bushels of corn & beans &.C. &.C.    the officers came on board about 12 oClock    took a Good Indian with us who had been to the head of the Missouri River.    about 1 oClock we Set off the fiddle playing & the horns Sounding &.C.    little abo. the Towns we Saw a great nomber of Squaws employed in toteing wood across the River in their Buffalow hide cannoes    proceeded on.    passd. a timbred bottom on S. S.    also one on the N. S. where we Camped at the upper end of the Bottom on N. S. Newman & Reed confined. [18]    3 Indians came to Camp


Friday 12th.    We had a pleasant morning, and remained here the forenoon to hear the chief of this village speak. Last night the Indians stole an axe from our cook, which of course in some degree diminished our confidence, and lessened the amicable character we had conceived of them. At 9 o'clock Captain Lewis, Captain Clarke and myself went to the 2nd Village, and talked with its chief; then to the third Village, about half a mile beyond a small creek, [19] and talked with the chief of that Village; and got some corn and beans [20] from them. The third village is nearly of the same size of the second, and has in it a great number of handsome and smart women and children: the men are mostly out hunting. About 12 we left the village and proceeded on our voyage. One of the natives agreed to go with us as far as the Mandans. We encamped on the north side. After dark we heard some person hallooing on the opposite shore; and a periogue went over and brought an Indian and two squaws, who remained with us all night. [21]


Friday 12th Oct. 1804.    about 12 oclock we Set off.    one of the natives went with us, to go as far as the Mandans.    we Camped on the N. S. of the River—

Friday October 12th    This morning we had pleasant weather, the Indians that had been with us, the last Evening, we found had stole one of our Axes, about 2 o'Clock P. M. we set off, one of the Indians came to the Boat & embarked with us, We proceeded on till 4 oClock P. M. and encamped on the North side of the River, We had been encamped but a short time, when some Indians came to the opposite side of the River and called to us, to bring them over.    One of the Pettyaugers was sent, and brought them, they remain'd with us during the Night.—

1. Evidently they walked, which would mean that this village (Rhtarahe) was the nearer to their camp of the two on the larboard side of the Missouri in Corson County, South Dakota. Atlas map 25. (back)
2. For his speech and that of the next chief see below in this day's entry. (back)
3. Nicotiana quadrivalvis Pursh. Goodspeed, 451; Gilmore (SCAT); Cronquist et al., 72. (back)
4. The other village on the larboard shore (Waho-erha), just upstream from the one they had already visited. Atlas map 25. (back)
5. In Campbell County, South Dakota, in an area now inundated by the Oahe Reservoir. Atlas map 25; Mattison (OR), 108–9; MRC map 45. (back)
6. Gass gives an excellent description of an Arikara earth lodge on October 10. (back)
7. Murdoch Cameron, a Scotsman, was a trader on the St. Peters, or Minnesota River,, whom Lewis and Clark believed to have a bad influence on the Indians. They never met him, but in 1805 Zebulon Montgomery Pike warned him against trading liquor to the Sioux. Cameron died in 1811, reportedly from being poisoned by a Sioux. See below, February 28, March 18, 1805, and Lewis's Summary of Rivers and Creeks. Clark to Hugh Heney, July 20, 1806, Observations and Reflections of Lewis [August 1807], Jackson (LLC), 1:312–13 and n. 1, 2:703 and n. 8; Jackson (JP), 1:33 and n. 61, 34, 37, 39, 62 and n. 104, 120, 122. (back)
8. Or perhaps the party did not refuse. See Ronda (LCAI), 62–64. Cultural explanations for this seemingly promiscuous practice are given in ibid. and in Kehoe. It was sanctioned for purposes of trade, for hospitality, and, most importantly, it was a means by which power was transferred from older or more powerful men to aspiring young men via their wives. (back)
9. The line is probably a repeat of the preceding. (back)
10. The text of the entry is interrupted at this point by the courses and distances; the two parts are joined together for ease of reading. (back)
11. If this man was the same as Piaheto, whose name was already recorded, it is hard to see why Clark left a blank, unless he had become aware that the man had a multiplicity of names and was waiting to decide which to use. (back)
12. Atlas map 25 indicates that the village on the starboard side of the Missouri, in Campbell County, was the one composed of nine separate groups of people, and says "The other two villages are Ricaries proper." The reference to "Panias" (Pawnees) refers to their being of the same Caddoan language family as the Pawnees. This shows the diversity of language and culture often found among Indians classed by whites as belonging to the same "tribe." Hodge, 1:83–86; Parks (NCL). (back)
13. Clark here ignores the predominant role played by smallpox in reducing the population of the river tribes. Elsewhere he notes the devastation wrought by the disease. White (WW), 325–27; Stearn & Stearn. (back)
14. Possibly Andropogon gerardi Vitman, big bluestem, or Spartina pectinata Link, prarie cordgrass or sloughgrass. Gilmore (UPI), 16, 14. (back)
15. The Cheyennes were a small tribe of the Algonquian language family, who moved from Minnesota into the Dakotas in the eighteenth century, ahead of the Sioux. In the early 1800s, having adopted the nomadic hunting life of the plains, they became allies of the Sioux. Their role in the wars later in the nineteenth century won them a fame out of proportion to their numbers. The identity of the "nation under the Court new"—that is, Cǒte Noir, Black Hills—is not readily apparent. Possibly they were Kiowas, some of whom were still near the Black Hills near the end of the eighteenth century, or possibly Arapahoes. Hyde (IHP), 144, 151–52. (back)
16. "13th" here may mean that the two Arikara women mentioned below continued to follow them on October 13 as they had on the twelfth. (back)
17. This material is on loose sheets in the Voorhis Collection, Missouri Historical Society. See Indian Speeches, Miscellaneous Documents of Lewis and Clark, Appendix C. The date was established from references in the regular entry. (back)
18. John Newman was tried the next day for "having uttered repeated expressions of a highly criminal and mutinous nature," was found guilty, and sentenced to receive seventy-five lashes on his back. He was also dismissed from the permanent party and had to return with other non-permanent members from Fort Mandan in the spring of 1805. Clark does not mention the incident until the next day and no one mentions Moses B. Reed's connection with the incident. (back)
19. The two villages are Rhtarahe and Waho-erha, Corson County, South Dakota. (back)
20. The beans were the product of the hog peanut, Amphicarpa bracteata (L.) Fern. (back)
21. Gass says nothing of the mutinous conduct of Newman this day, or the confinement of Newman and Reed. (back)