October 18, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 18, 1804


18th of October 1804.    at 6 miles passed the mouth of La Bullet or Cannon Ball River [1] on the L. Side about 140 yards Wide, and heads near the Black Mountains    above the mouth of this River, in and at the foot of the Bluff, and in the water is a number of round Stones, resembling Shells and Cannon balls of Different Sises, and of excellent grit for Grindstons—    the Bluff continus for about a mile, The water of this River is confined within 40 yards—    we met 2 french men in a Canoe, [2] who informed us they wer trapping near the mandans and were robed of 4 Traps, & part of their Skins and Several other articles by Indians he took to be Mandans    those men return with us, Saw emence numbers of Goats all Day S. S.    our hunters Kill Sevral    passed a large Creek Called Che wah or fish Creek on the S. S. 28 yds. wide, [3] passed a Small Creek at 2 m on the L. S. [4]    Camped on the L.S. [5]    Saw a no of Buffalow, & in one gangue 248 Elk    our hunters Killed 6 Deer & 4 Elk this evening, The Countrey is leavel and fine    Some high Short hills, and ridges at a Distance, Bottoms fine and Partially timbered with Cotton wood principally Some ash & Elm. [6]

Course Distance &c.
N. 50° W. 3 m. to Cannon ball River L. S.
N. 20° W. 2 m to a pt. of wood on the S. S. passing f L S
North 2 ½ m to a pt of wood on the L. S.
N. 15° W.    ½ m on the L. S. opsd. a Creek.
N. 10° E. 2 ½ to a point on S S    passd. a Small Creek L. S.
N. 20° E. 3 m to a point of wood on the L. S.

Set out early    proceeded on    at 6 mes. passed the mouth of (1) la Boulet [NB: Le boulet] (or Cannon Ball River) about 140 yards wide on the L. S.    this river heads in the Court noi or Black mountains)    (a fine Day) above the mouth of this river Great numbers of Stone perfectly round with fine Grit are in the Bluff and on the Shore, the river takes its name from those Stones which resemble Cannon Balls.—    The water of this river is Confined within 40 yards. We met 2 french men in a perogue Desending from hunting, & complained of the Mandans robing them of 4 Traps ther fur & Seeveral othr articles    Those men were in the imploy of our Ricaree interpeter Mr. Gravelin    the[y] turned & followered us.

Saw Great numbers of Goats on the S. S. Comeing to the river    our hunters Killed 4 of them    Some run back and others crossed & prosceed on their journey to the Court Noir, at (3) passed a Small River Called Che wah or fish river on the S. S.    this river is about 28 yards wide and heads to the N. E, passed a Small creek on the L. S. 1 mile abov the last, and Camped on a Sand bar on the L. S.    opposit to us we Saw a Gangue of Buffalow bulls which we did not think worth while to kill—    our hunters Killd. 4 Goats 6 Deer 4 Elk & a pelican & informs that they Saw in one Gang 248 Elk, (I walked on Shore, in the evining with a view to See Some of those remarkable places mentioned by evens, none of which I could find,) [7]    The Countrey in this quarter is Generally leavel & fine    Some high Short hills, and some ragid ranges of Hills at a Distans

(18th Octr)

Course Distanc & Refferens
N. 50° W.   3 miles to the mouth of a River (1) Cannon ball L. S.
N. 20° W.   2 miles to a point of wood land on the S. S. passing a Bluff
in which theres round Stone (2)
North   2 ½ miles to a point of wood land on the L. S.
N. 15° W.      ½ mile on the L. S. opsd. a Creek on the S. S. (3).
N. 10° E.   2 ½ miles to a point on the L. S. passing a Small Creek on L. S.
N. 20° E   3 miles to a point of woods on the L. S. passing over a Sand

☞ The ricara Indians inform us that they find no black tail Deer as high up as this place, those we find are of the fallow Deer Kind [8]

☞ The Ricarei are not fond of Spiritous liquers, nor do they apper to be fond of receiveing any or thank full for it [NB: they say we are no friends or we would not give them what makes them fools.] [9]


Thursday 18th Oct.    a clear & pleasant morning    white frost & froze Some last night.    we Set off eairly.    one man out hunting on ech Side of the River.    we proceeded on 2 miles    met a cannoe coming down the River which belonged to the frenchman we had on board Mr. Gravelleen.    their was 2 frenchman in the cannoe who had been a hunting up to the Manden nation and was Robed by a hunting party of the Mandens.    they took their Guns & amunition &.C. axe, & 30 beaver Skins & all they had So they were obledged to turn back but when they met us they turned about in hopes we Should See them & make them Give up all they had taken from them.    we proceeded on    〈passed a Sand Stone Bluff on the S. S.    one of [men?] came on board had killed an Elk & a pillican〉    men went out hunting on N. S.    the man who Stayed out last night joined us.    had killed 2 fat Goats.    we proceeded on    passed the mouth of Cannon Ball River on S. S. about 100 yds. wide    passed Sand Stone Bluff on the Same Side abo. the River where we found round Stone in the form of cannon balls. Some of them verry large    we took one of them on Board to answer for an anker.    one of our hunters joined us here    had killed an Elk & a pillican.    we Saw large flocks of Goats & Buffaloe on N. S.    proceeded on    passed a creek on N. S. [10]    Timbred Bottoms the most of the day on Each Side of the River.    Roed & poled about 16 Miles & Camped on a large Sand beach on the S. S.    our hunters all joined us    had killed Six Deer 4 Goats & 3 Elk    we Got all the Meat except 2 of the Elk which was too late to find them.    the most of the Meat was verry fat.    the Game is verry pleanty here    the man that killed the 3 Elk Said he counted 150 in the Same flock.    (handsome plains back f.[rom?] R.[iver?])


Thursday 18th.    We had a clear pleasant morning with some frost. We set sail early, and a hunter went up each shore. Having proceeded two miles we met a couple of Frenchmen in a canoe, who had been up at the Mandan nation hunting, and met with a party of that nation, who robbed them of their arms, mmunition, and some fur which they had; and therefore they had to return down the river; but, meeting us, went back in hopes of recovering their property. We passed a small river, on the south side called Cannon-ball river. Several hunters went out here. We passed a creek on the north side, called Fish Creek, on which I killed a deer. At night we encamped on the south side, and all the hunters came in having killed six deer, four goats and a pelican.


Thursday October 18th    We set out early, and proceeded on about 2 Miles, where we met 2 frenchmen in a Canoe, who informed our Officers, that they had been up at the Mandan Nation, Trapping Beaver, and on their return, that they were robbed, by a party of the Mandan Indians, who had taken their Traps & furrs from them; 〈and that〉 as they were returning back to the Rick a Ree nation    The owner of the Traps & fur, was one of the french men that we had with us, (Monsier Gravellin)    The two frenchmen returned with us, being in hopes to Recover their Traps & fur from the Indians—

We proceeded on, and passed a small River, lying on the South side of the River; which is called Cannon Ball River, when we put too, and sent several of our Men out a hunting.    we went on, and passed a Creek, lying on the North side of the River, called fish Creek, we continued on, and encamped on the South side of the River.—    Our hunters all came to us, having with them 6 deer, 4 Goats, 3 Elks, and one pelican that they had killed.—    The mouth of the River bullet or Cannon ball River, lies in Latitude 46° 29' N

1. The Cannonball at this point is the boundary of Sioux and Morton counties, North Dakota. It rises in the Badlands of southwestern North Dakota, which Lewis and Clark as usual consider part of the "Black Mountains." The round stones which are the origin of both the French and English names are the result of moisture acting on sandstone. North Dakota Guide, 297; Mattison (OR), 139–40; Atlas map 27; MRC map 48. (back)
2. The identification of these two has become somewhat involved. Quaife's conclusion that they were François Rivet and Phillippe Degie seems doubtful in both cases. Rivet was an expedition engagé from the start; the presence of Degie apparently has no basis except that he was in later years an associate of Rivet. One of the two men was probably Grenier, an employee of Joseph Gravelines and evidently the " Greinyea" Clark notes on August 21, 1806, as having wintered with the party at Fort Mandan in 1804–1805. He may have been Francis Fleury dit Grenier of St. Louis, but there are other possibilities. Quaife (MLJO), 191 nn. 1, 3; Osgood (FN), 162 n. 7; Munnick (FR), 237–43; Abel (TN), 168 n. 22; Thwaites (LC), 5:350 n. 1; Clarke (MLCE), 114; Jackson (LLC), 1:305 n. 1, 2:429 n. 9. (back)
3. Later Long Lake, or Badger, Creek, in Emmons County, North Dakota. In Arikara it is čiwáhtš , "fish." Atlas map 27; MRC map 48. (back)
4. Nameless on Atlas map 27, it is later Long Knife, or Rice, Creek in Morton County. MRC map 48; MRY map 130. (back)
5. In Morton County, just below modern Livona on the opposite shore, and a little above Rice Creek. Atlas map 27; MRC map 48; MRY map 130. (back)
6. The ash is probably green ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh. var. subintegerrima (Vahl) Fern., and the elm is probably the American elm, Ulmus americana L. Barkley, 299, 33. (back)
7. Evans's map 5 (Atlas map 11), shows such features as "Jupiters fort," "Jupiters house," and "the Hermitt" on the west bank. It is not clear whether these refer to natural features or remains of Indian villages. They may be poor translations of French or Indian names or Evans's own inventions. "Jupiters house" might be the "Old fortification" shown on Atlas map 27, in the vicinity of the later Fort Rice Historic Site. There is nothing remarkably different from the rest of the river valley in the area today. The captains may have had notes by Evans or James Mackay giving information not on the map. We have replaced Clark's square brackets around this passage with parentheses. Wood (JE); MRC map 48; MRY map 130. (back)
8. The black tail deer is the mule deer and the fallow deer is the white-tailed deer. See note at September 16, 1804. The mule deer was not so limited in range as Clark suggests. Coues (HLC), 1:172 n. 46; Cutright (LCPN), 83–84, Burroughs, 124–33. (back)
9. Cf. the similar phrasing in Biddle's history. Coues (HLC), 1:160. (back)