November 2, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

November 2, 1804


2nd Novr. 1804 Friday—    Capt Lewis returned to the Village & I fixed on a place for to build a fort and Set to work [1]    Cap Lewis returned in the eveng with 11 bushels of Corn, the Ricarre Chief Set out for his Village accompanied by Several mandans


This morning at Day light I went down the river with 4 men to look for a proper place to winter    proceeded down the river three miles & found a place well Supld. with wood, & returned, Capt. Lewis went to the village to here what they had to Say & I fell down, and formed a camp near where a Small Camp of Indian were huntig    Cut down the Trees around our Camp, in the evening Capt. Lewis returned with a present of 11 bushe[l]s of Corn, our recaree Chief Set out acccompanied by one Chief [NB: of Mandans 〈& Minetarees] and Several Brave men, [NB: of Minitarees & Mandans ]    he Called for Some Small article which we had 〈given〉 [NB: promised] but as I could not understand him he Could not get [NB: (afd he did get it] [NB: leave out this] [2]    the wind from the S. E. a fine day—    many Indians 〈to view us〉 to day


This morning early we fixed on the site for our fortification which we immediately set about.

This place we have named Fort Mandan in honour of our Neighbours.


Friday 2nd Nov.    a cloudy morning. Capt. Clark went with Some men down the Bottom to look for a place to Build our huts.    they Returned Shortly    had found a Good place a Short distance down where their was an Indian camp in a Grove of large cottonwood Timber.    Sevral Indians at Sd. camp    Capt. Lewis & Several of the party [4] went in a pearogue up to the 1st village of the Mandans in order to Git corn.    we droped down a Short distance farther to a body & Bottom of large Timber where we commenced falling Timber, and fixing a camp close by the place where we intend for to build.    picthed our tents & laid the foundation of one line of our huts, which consisted of 4 Rooms 14 feet Square.    the other line will be the Same    Capt. Lewis returned.    brought us 10 or 12 bushels of Good corn.    we find the cottonwood Timber will Split Tollorable well, and as their is no other building timber in this bottom we expect to Split punchin to cover the huts with.    one of our french hands is discharged & gone down the river.


Friday 2nd.    Captain Lewis, myself and some of the men, went up to the first village of the Mandans, who gave us some corn. Captain Clarke and the rest of our party, having dropt half a mile lower down the river, began to clear a place for a camp and fort. We pitched our tents and laid the foundation of one line of huts.


Friday 2nd November    Began the works of the fort    the weather Continued pleasant for 14 days during which time all the men at Camp Ocepied thair time dilligentntly in Building their huts and got them Made Comfertable in that time to live in—

Friday November 2d    This morning we began to build the Fort, having pleasant weather for 14 days, during which time all hands were busily employed in building of Huts to winter in, they compleated them in that time and made them comfortable to live in.—

1. The site of Fort Mandan, where the Corps of Discovery remained until April 1805, is in McLean County, North Dakota, about fourteen miles west of Washburn. The actual site has been washed away by the Missouri and lies at least partially underwater. Appleman (LC), 341; North Dakota Guide, 204; Atlas map 29; Warren map 88; MRC, map 51. (back)
2. Biddle has made considerable emendations here to get it to read differently, perhaps for his History. He finally concluded: "leave out." (back)
3. Lewis's note from Codex O, though not concerned with astronomy. (back)
4. Including Gass, according to Gass. (back)