October 20, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 20, 1804


20th of October 1804    wind from the S E, I walked out to view those remarkable places pointed out by Evens, [1] and continud all day    Saw an old Village of the Mandans below the Chess chi ter R. [2]    appear to have been fortified    above the village on the Same L. S. is a coal bank where we Campd. [3]    passed a Small Creek on the S. S. and an Island on the L. S [4] Covered with willows Small Cotton[wood]    the Countrey thro which I passed this day is Delightfull, Timber in the bottoms, Saw great nos. of Buffalow Elk Goats & Deer    as we were in want of them I Killed 3 Deer, our hunters 10 Deer and wounded a white Bear, [5] I Saw Several fresh tracks of that animal double the Sise of the largest track I ever Saw, great numbers of wolves, those animals follow the buffalow and devour, those that die or are Killed, and those too fat or pore to Keep up with the gangue

Course Distance &c
N. 30° W. 2 m to Some timber in a bend to the S. S. at a Creek
N. 10° W. 1 m on the S. S.
N. 54° W. 3 m to a pt. on L S
N. 2 miles to Some trees in a bend to the S. S. opposit an Island
N. 70° W 2 m. to a point on the S S.    passed the Island
N. 50° W 2 m to the upper part of a Coal Bluff L S.    pass an old Mandan
V[illage]. L S
Courses Distance & Reffers.
N. 30° W   2 miles to Some timber in a bend to the S. S. at a Creek (1)
N. 10° W.   1 mile on the S. S
N. 54° W.   3 miles to a pt. on the L. S. Isd passing over a Sand bar S. S.
N.   2 miles to Some high trees in a bend on the S. S. passing the
lowr. pt. Isd. (2)
N. 70° W.   2 miles to a pt. on the S. S. passing the upper pt. of the Island
on the L. S.
N. 50° W   2 mes. to the upper part of a Bluff in which there (3) is Stone
Cole on the L. S. passing the 1st old Mandin Village on the
L. S. (4)

20th of October Satterday 1804

Set out early this morning and proceeded on    the wind from the S. E after brackfast I walked out on the L. Side to See those remarkable places pointed out by Evins, I saw an old remains of a villige [NB: covering 6 or 8 acres] on the Side of a hill which the Chief with us Too né tels me that nation [Mandans] lived in 〈2〉 a number villages on each Side of the river and the Troubleson Seauex caused them to move about 40 miles higher up where they remained a fiew years & moved to the place they now live, (2) passed a Small Creek on the S. S. (3) and one on the L. S. [6]    passed (4) a Island Covered with willows laying in the middle of the river    no current on the L. S.    Camped    on the L. S. above a Bluff containing Coal (5) of an inferior quallity, [7] this bank is imedeately above the old village of the Mandans—    The Countrey is fine, the high hills at a Distanc with gradual assents, I Kild 3 Deer    The Timber Confined to the bottoms as usial which is much larger than below. Great numbers of Buffalow Elk & Deer, Goats.    our hunters killed 10 Deer & a Goat today and wounded a white Bear    I saw Several fresh track of those animals which is 3 times as large as a mans track—, The wind hard all Day from the N. E. & East, great numbers of buffalow Swiming the river

I observe near all large gangues of buffalow wolves and when the buffalow move those Anamals follow and feed on those that are killed by accident or those that are too pore or fat to Keep up with the gangue.


Peter Crusat this day shot at a white bear    he wounded him, but being alarmed at the formidable appearance of the bear he left his tomahalk and gun; but shortly after returned and found that the bear had taken the oposite rout.—    soon after he shot a buffaloe cow broke her thy, the cow pursued him he concealed himself in a small raviene.—


Saturday 20th Oct. Set off eairly    a pleasant morning. Several hunters out hunting on each Side of the River.    we passed a creek on N. S. 20 yds. wide.    passed Bottoms covered with Timber on Boath Sides of the River.    passd. a creek [9] on S. S. opposite the lower point of an Island.    towards evening we passed the 1st old village of the Mandens [10] on the S. S. (Saw Buffalow Swimming the River)    we Camped at a Stone coal Bluff on S. S.    our hunters joined us. Brought in the Game which they had killed this day which was 12 Deer one Goat & a woolf, one of the hunters wounded a White Bare.


Saturday 20th.    We were early under way this morning, which was very pleasant. Two hunters went out and at breakfast time brought a deer to the boat; when four more went out. We passed a creek on the north side, about 20 yards wide; bottom covered with timber on both sides, and a small river on the south side opposite the lower point of an island. At the upper end we passed bluffs on the south side and bottom on the north. We, this day, saw a number of buffaloe, and goats on the sides of the hills. We encamped on the south side, and our hunters came in having killed 14 deer, a goat and a wolf; and one of them wounded a large white bear.


Saturday October 20th    We set off early this morning, having pleasant Weather; and passed a Creek, lying on the North side of the River 20 Yards wide at its mouth, we proceeded on, & passed a River the name unknown and an Island lying on the South side, The land along the River being Rich bottoms, covered with heavy Timber, on both sides of the River, and a great number of Buffaloes, feeding on the Sides of the Hills.—    on the South side of the River    We proceeded on, and in the Evening we encamped on the South side of the River, Our hunters who had went out this morning returned to us, having killed 14 deer 1 Goat and a Wolf, and had wounded a White or brown Bear, which was the first that they had seen, since we enter'd the Mesouri River, They brought in with them the Deer, Goat, and Wolf to our Camp.—

1. See above, October 18, 1804. (back)
2. This village and a number of others are conspicuous on both sides of the river on Atlas map 28. The one mentioned here is called On-a-Slant (or simply Slant) village, now marked by several modern replicas of earth lodges. The river is now Heart River, passed the next day. Mattison (OR), 153; Strong, 360–65; MRC map 49. (back)
3. About five miles south of present Mandan, Morton County, North Dakota, and within Fort Lincoln State Park, commemorating Fort Abraham Lincoln (1873–91). Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, is nearly opposite in Burleigh County. Appleman (LC), 344–45; Mattison (OR), 149–52; Atlas map 28; MRC map 49. (back)
4. The creek is Apple Creek, called "Shepherds Creek" on Atlas map 28, in Burleigh County, and the island is probably later Sibley's Island. MRC map 49. (back)
5. This was their first encounter with the grizzly bear and they did not get a specimen. Lewis's natural history note and weather remarks for this date show that Pierre Cruzatte shot the animal and had to beat such a hasty retreat that he left his gun behind. Burroughs, 57–68. For difficulties in nomenclature, see Jones et al., 266–67, and Hall, 951–58. (back)
6. Clark does not mention this stream in the Field Notes; nameless on Atlas map 28, it is later Little Heart Creek, or River, in Morton County. MRC map 49. (back)
7. Lower Tertiary rocks that contain lignite (low grade coal) crop out in this area. (back)
8. Lewis's natural history notes from Codex Q. See n. 5, above. (back)
10. Now called On-a-Slant (or Slant) Village, below the mouth of Heart River. (back)