October 21, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 21, 1804


21t of October Sunday 1804    a verry Cold night    wind hard from the N. E.    Some rain in the night which feesed [froze] as it fell, at Day began to Snow and Continued all the fore part of the day, at ¼ of a mile passed the Mouth of Chess-che tar (or Heart) River L. S. 38 yards wide, this river heads near Turtle mountain with Knife River [1]    on this River is a Smothe Stone which the Indians have great fath in & Consult the Stone on all great occasions which they Say Marks or Simblems [symbol + emblems] are left on the Stone of what is to 〈pass〉 take place &c.    an old mandan Village above the mouth of this Little River, [2] I saw a Single tree in the open Plains which the Mandans formerly paid great Devotion to    run Cords thro their flesh & tie themselves to the tree to make them brave, [3]    passed an old Village on a Small run on the S S.    one on the bank L. and Camped, [4] I Killed a fat Buffalow this evening—    Little gun all my hunting [5]

Course Distance &c
S. 80° E 2 mi. to bend on S. S. 2d Vig [village]    passed Chess-che-tar
N. 16° W. 1 ½ m to a wood S. S.
N. 40° W 3 ½ m. to a pt. on the S. S.    River wider & more Sand than

a verry Cold night    wind hard from the N. E    Some rain in the night which frosed up it fell    at Day light it began to Snow and Continud all the fore part of the Day    passed just above our Camp (1) a Small river on the L. S. Called by the Indians Chiss-Cho-tar    this river is about 38 yards wide Containing a good Deel of water    Some Distance up this River is Situated a Stone which the Indians have great fath in & Say they See painted on the Stone, ["]all the Calemites & good fortune to hapin the nation & partes who visit it"—    a tree (an oak[)] which Stands alone near this place about 2 miles off in the open prarie which has with Stood the fire they pay Great respect to, make Holes and tie Strings thro the Skins of their necks 〈Skin〉 and around this tree to make them brave [NB: Capt. Clarke saw this tree] (all this is the information of Too ne is a whipper will) the Chief of the Ricares who accompanied us to the Mandins, at 2 miles (2) passed the 2nd Villages of the Manden, which was in existance at the Same time with the 1st    this village is at the foot of a hill on the S. S. on a butifull & extensive plain [NB: nearly opposite is another village in a bottom the other side of Missouri ]—    at this time Covered with Buffalow—    a Cloudy afternoon, I killed a fine Buffalow, we Camped on the L. S.    [NB: below an old Mandan village having passed another up a Creek 3 miles below on S. S]    verry Cold ground Covered with Snow.    one orter Killd. [6]

21t Oct.

Course Distance & reffus.
S. 80° E 2 miles to the place the Mandan had a village formerly at the
foot of a [several words interlined, illegible] on the S. S. passed
a river
N. 16° W. 1 ½ miles to a grove on the S. S.
N. 40° W. 3 ½ miles to a pt. on the S. S.    river wide and Sand bars, a large
willow Island

Sunday 21st Oct. Some frozen rain last night    Snow this morning.    the wind from N. E.    we Set off as usal.    proceeded on    the current Swift.    we passed the mo. of a River called Chifschetar River [7] on S. S. Snowed Slowly untill 12 oClock.    passd Bottom on S. S.    barron hills on the N. S. on the River & back from the [river] is Smoth handsom plains.    about 3 o.C. Capt Clark & one hunter went out hunting on N. S. & in a Short time they Shot a Bull buffaloe which was Tollorable fat.    one of the hunters Shot an otter.    a cool & chilley day    We Camped on the S. S. at a high prarie.—


Sunday 21st.    We had a disagreeable night of sleet and hail. It snowed during the forenoon, but we proceeded early on our voyage, passed bottom on the south side and hills on the north. We also passed a small river on the south side, called Chischeet river [8] and encamped on the south side. Two of the hunters, who had gone out in the morning came in, and had killed a buffaloe and an otter.


Sunday October 21st    Last night we had rainy disagreeable Weather, We set out early this morning, Shortly after we had some Snow, we passed a small River, lying on the South side of the Mesouri, called Chief Charet. [9]    We proceeded on till Evening, & encamped on the South side of the River.—    Our hunters came to us, having killed a Buffalo, and One Otter which they brought to our Camp

1. Clark's "Chess-che tar" or " Chiss-Cho-tar " is the Arikara word čisčítA, "fork (of a river)." Heart River reaches the Missouri at present Mandan, Morton County, North Dakota, opposite Bismarck. Clark's "Turtle Mountain" is the present Killdeer Mountain in western North Dakota. While the range can be considered the source of Knife River, the sources of Heart River in Stark County would more properly be associated with the Badlands. Coues (HLC), 1:174 n. 51; Atlas map 28; MRC map 49. (back)
2. There are a number of prehistoric villages in the area just above the camp for this date. The various villages mentioned in the journals are shown on Atlas map 28, in the vicinity of present Bismarck, North Dakota. None have been investigated in the detail necessary to identify them with Clark's words or map. See Will & Hecker, 81–82. (back)
3. Clark is apparently describing a version of the Sun Dance, practiced by many Great Plains tribes. Endurance of such physical pain was part of the ritual practiced by several, but not all, tribes. George Catlin has left a vivid record of such ceremonies among the Mandans. Catlin (NAI), 1:192–99 and pl. 66; Catlin (OKP); Liberty. (back)
4. In or near present Mandan, North Dakota. Mattison (GR), 11; Atlas map 28; MRC map 50. (back)
5. Clark evidently means that he did all his hunting with a relatively small-caliber "Kentucky" long rifle, or "squirrel gun," probably his own property. Russell (FTT), 38. (back)
6. Their first encounter with the river otter, an animal already known to science. Burroughs, 75. (back)
9. One of the more interesting spellings for the Arikara name for the Heart River. See Clark's entry for this day. (back)