November 29, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

November 29, 1804


A verry Cold windey day wind from the N. W by W.    Some Snow last night    the Detpt of the Snow is various in the wood about 13 inches, The river Closed at the Village above and fell last night two feet    Mr. La Rock and one of his men Came to visit us    we informed him what we had herd of his intentions of makeing Chiefs &c. and forbid him to give meadels or flags to the Indians, he Denied haveing any Such intention, we agreeed that one of our interpeters Should Speak for him on Conditions he did not Say any thing more than what tended to trade alone—    he gave fair promises &.

Sergeant Pryor in takeing down the mast put his Sholder out of Place, we made four trials before we replaced it [1]    a Cold after noon wind as usial N W.    river begin to rise a little—


Thursday 29th Nov.    the Snow fell yesterday and last night about 12 Inches on a level.    a cold Frosty clear morning.    2 or 3 men out hunting.    the River fell abt. 2 feet last night So that our Boat lay dry on Shore.    we took out the mast & every thing which was in hir & let hir lay as She appeared to be Safe.    one of the hunters killed an old Elk    brot. in the horns which were verry large, but it being poor we did not go for the meat.


Thursday 29th.    This day was clear, but cold. We went to unrig the boat, and by an accident one of the sergeants had his shoulder dislocated. [2] The 30th the weather continued the same. Early in the morning of this day we saw an Indian on the opposite side of the river, and brought him over. He informed us that, a few days ago, eight of his nation were out hunting, and were attacked by a party of the Sioux tribe, who killed one and wounded two more; and also carried off their horses. Captain Clarke and twenty-three men immediately set out with an intention of pursuing the murderers. They went up to the first village of the Mandans, but their warriors did not seem disposed to turn out. They suggested the coldness of the weather; that the Sioux were too far gone to be overtaken; and put off the expedition to the spring of the year. Captain Clarke and his party returned the same evening to the fort. We have been daily visited by the Indians since we came here. Our fort is called Fort Mandan, and by observation is in latitude 47. 21. 32. 8. [3]

1. The treatment was apparently imperfect. Pryor would suffer repeated dislocations of the shoulder during the expedition, and in 1827 Clark reported him as disabled by the injury. Chuinard (OOMD), 257–58 and n. 5; Clark to James Barbour, August 4, 1827, Jackson (LLC), 2:646. (back)
2. Pryor; see Clark's entry for this date. (back)
3. This latitude must be from the captains' observation of November 11, 1804. McKeehan's note: "The course of the Missouri, and distances of places on it appear to be very erroneously laid down upon the maps of Louisiana generally. On these the villages of the Mandans are placed in about 43½ degrees north latitude and 112½ of west longitude from Greenwich. This would place them about 500 miles nearer the mouth of the Columbia on the Pacific ocean, than the mouth of the Missouri: supposing the mouth of the Columbia to be about 124 degrees west of London. But the nearest practicable route from the Mandan villages to the mouth of the Columbia, according to Captain Clarke's estimate, places them 335 miles nearer the mouth of the Missouri than that of the Columbia; and by the route actually taken by the expedition to the mouth of the Columbia, they are 900 miles nearer the mouth of the Missouri.

"By Captain Lewis's observations these villages are in latitude 47. 21. 32. 8. and according to Mr. Mackenzie, Mr. Thompson astronomer to the North West company, in the year 1798, determined the northern bend of the Missouri to be in latitude 47. 32. north, and longitude 101. 25. west. Now this is probably near the longitude of the Mandan villages; for as it appears by the above statement, and by other observations of Captain Lewis nearer the mouth of the Missouri, that the course up the river is, for a considerable distance, nearly due west, and afterwards nearly due north, the difference of longitude and latitude, between the mouth of the Missouri and the point where Mr. Thompson took his observations, may be added together, in estimating the distance: and this will give about 8½ degrees of latitude [a]nd 9 degrees of longitude making in the whole 17½ degrees, which from the very meandring course of the Missouri, may be sufficient to include 1610 miles of it, the distance from the mouth to the villages. In the map of North America included in the Atlas accompanying Pinkerton's Geography, published in 1804, this part of the Missouri appears pretty accurately laid down; but in the map of Louisiana in the same set it is equally erroneous with any other."