October 17, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 17, 1804


17th of October 1804    Wind S. W.    I walked on Shore with the Ricara Chief and an Inteprieter, [1] the[y] told me maney extroadenary Stories, I Killed 3 Dear & a Elk, the Chief Killed a Deer and our hunters Killed 4 Deer, in my absenc the wind rose So high that the Boat lay too all Day; Latd 46° 23' 57" N, I caught a Small uncommon whiperwill [2]    we observe emence herds of Goats, or Antelopes flocking down from the N E Side & Swiming the River, the Chief tels me those animals winter in the Black Mountain, and in the fall return to those mounts from every quarter, and in the Spring disperse in the planes, those emence herds we See all of which is on the N E Side of the River is on their way to the mountain, and in the Spring they will be as noumeroes on their return (some ganges winter on the Missouri)—    camped on the L. S. [3]

Course Distance &c.
N. 10° E. 1 ½ m to a pt. on the L. S.
N.    ½ a m on the L. S.
N. 10° W.    ½ a m. on the L. S.
N 33° W. 3 ½ m. to Some wood on the L. S.
Course Distance & reffurenc.
N. 10° E. 1 ½ miles to a pt. on the L. S.
North    ½ me. on the L. S.
N. 10° W.    ½ me. on the L. S.
N. 33° W. 3 ½ mes. to the Commencement of Some woods on the 〈L〉 S. S.

☞ note from the Ricares to the River Jacque near N. E. is about 40 mes. to the 〈Souex 20〉 Chien a fork of R Rogue 20 [NB: further] passing the Souix River near the Chien    this from information of Mr. Graveline who passed through this Countrey [4]

17th OctoberFriday〉 Wednesday 1804.

Set out early    a fine morning the wind from the N W.    after brackfast I walked on Shore with the Indian Chief & Interpeters, [5] Saw Buffalow Elk and Great numbers of Goats in large gangues    (I am told by Mr. G. that those Animals winter in the Black mountains [NB: to feed on timber &c] and this is about the Season they Cross from the East of the Missouris to go to that Mountain, they return in the Spring and pass the Missourie in Great numbers[)] [NB: to the plains]. This Chief tells me of a number of their Treditions about Turtles, Snakes, &. and the power of a perticiler rock or Cave on the next river which informs of everr thing [6]    none of those I think worth while mentioning—    The wind So hard a head the boats Could not move aftr 10 oClock, Capt Louis Took the altitude of the Sun Latd. 46° 23' 57"    I Killed 3 Deer and the hunters with me killed 3 also    the Indian Shot one but Could not get it—    I Scaffeled up the Deer [7] & returned & met the boat after night on the L. S. about 6 miles above the place we Camped last night—    one of the men Saw a number of Snakes, Capt Lewis Saw a large Beaver house S. S.    I Cought a Whipprwill Small & not Common—.    the leaves are falling fast—.    the river wide and full of Sand bars,—.    Great numbers of verry large Stone on the Sides of the hills & Some rock of a brownish Colour in the Ld. Bend below this—. [8]

Great numbers of Goats are flocking down to the S. Side of the river on their way to the Black Mountains where they winter    those animals return in the Spring in the Same way & Scatter in different directions.


On the Stard. shore, opposite to a high projecting Bluff; which from the great number of rattlesnakes found near it, we called the rattlesnake Bluff .

Observed meridian altd. of ☉'s U. L. with Sextant by the fore observation 69° 17'

Latitude deduced from this observation    N. 46 23 57.1


Wednesday 17th Oct. Eight Indians came on from their Camp last night & brought us Some meat.    they remained with us all night & Sang the most of the night    in the morning our officers gave them Some fancy goods in return for the meat.    the weather clear.    the wind from N. W.    we Set off eairly.    proceeded on.    passed a Bottom covered with Small timber on S. S. Barron hill on N. S. which make in close to the River,—    abt. 10 oC. Capt. Clark our Indian & one hunter went out hunting on S. S. & at 11 oC. the [wind?] arose & blew So hard a head that we were obledged to lay by.    we halted on N. S.    2 men went out hunting.    towards evening the wind abated So that we proceeded on untill some time after dark before we found a good place to camp    the moon Shined pleasant.    we Camped on South Side in a timbred bottom. [10]    Capt. Clark & all the hunters except one who camped on the opposite Shore, joined us    they had killed Six Deer.    Some of them verry fat.    we took care of all the meat & Skins &.C.


Wednesday 17th.    We renewed our voyage early, and had a clear morning. Last night eight of the Indians came over to see us, brought us some meat and remained all night. Captain Lewis, gave them some presents this morning. At half past ten the wind blew so hard down the river that we were obliged to halt. At four we proceeded on with the assistance of the tow line, though the wind still continued against us, and having made about two miles, encamped on the south side. Several hunters went out this day and killed six deer: one of them did not join us at night.


Wednesday October 17th    This morning Early we set out, (having sent some of our Men out a hunting) the Wind blowing hard against us at West, so that it occasion'd our getting on slowly, part of the day, The River running strong against us.    We came too, & Encamped on the South side of the River in the Evening; part of the Men return'd to us, having killed 6 deer, which they brought to us, One of the hunting party did come to us this Night.—

1. The interpreter was probably Joseph Gravelines, but see below, n. 5. (back)
2. The common poorwill. See Lewis's natural history note, October 16, 1804. (back)
3. In Sioux County, North Dakota, a mile or two south of the present village of Cannon Ball. On Atlas map 27 it is erroneously labeled "7th of October." MRC map 48. (back)
4. See above, October 13, 1804, n. 6. (back)
5. The word appears to be plural in Codex C, but in the Field Notes entry it is apparently singular. Later entries refer to "interpreters." Gravelines was certainly with them as interpreter for the Arikara chief. Pierre-Antoine Tabeau could have served in that capacity, but there is no evidence that he accompanied them upriver. Sergeant Ordway's entry of October 10, 1804, says, "we left one of our frenchman with Mr Tabbow & took his Soon in his place." Obviously this person could be either the son of Tabeau, or the son of the unnamed French engagé. If he had been living at the Arikara villages he could have served as a supplementary interpreter, but it is not clear that he actually accompanied the party upriver rather than simply attending the council held October 10. (back)
6. See below, February 21, 1805. (back)
7. He placed the carcass on a improvised scaffold to keep wolves and coyotes from getting it. (back)
8. Upper Cretaceous Fox Hills Formation, mostly sandstones, crops out in this region, which is just within the glacial boundary. The very large stones are probably glacial erratics. (back)
9. Lewis's astronomical observation from Codex O. (back)
10. A mile or two south of the entrance of Cannonball River, Sioux County, North Dakota. (back)