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

December 2, 1804


2d of Decr. 1804    Visited by Several Mandan Chiefs and 4 Chyannes Inds. who Came with a pipe to the Mandans, Sent a Speech to ther Nation a flag & Some tobacco, also written a Speech to the Ricaras & Sioux, informe them what they might depend on if they would not open their ears, & &.


The latter part of last night was verry warm and Continued to thaw untill [blank] oClock when the wind Shifted to the North    at 11 oClock the Chiefs of the Lower village of the Mandans with maney of theire young men and 4 of the Shar-ha's who had come to Smoke with the pipe of Peace with the Mandans, we explained to them our intentions our views and advised them to be at peace, Gave them a flag for theire nation, Some Tobacco with a Speech to Deliver to their nation on theire return, also Sent by them a letter to Mrs. Tabbo & Gravoline, at the Ricares Village, to interseid in proventing Hostilities, and if they Could not effect those measures to Send & informe us of what was going on, Stateing to the Indians the part we intend to take if the Rickores & Seauex did not follow our Derections and be at peace with the nations which we had addopted—    We made Some fiew Small presents to those Shar ha's and also Some to the Mandans & at 3 oClock they all Departed well pleased, haveing Seen many Curisossties, which we Showed them—.    river rise one inch


Sunday 2nd Decr.    a pleasant thoughy [thawing?] morning    the work continued on.    a nomber of the Shian or dog Indians came from the village to visit us.    we Gave them victuels & used them friendly.    our officers Gave them Some tobacco & a fiew Small articles of Goods &.C.


Sunday 2nd.    The day was pleasant, and the Snow melted fast. A party of the Chien Indians with some of the Mandans came to the fort: they appeared civil and good natured.

The 3rd 4th and 5th were moderate and we carried on the work; but the 6th was so cold and stormy, we could do nothing. In the night the river froze over, and in the morning was covered with solid ice an inch and an half thick.


2nd [2]    the Big white a Cheif of the mandans Came to Our fort in the Morning to Inform Us that the Buffelow was Close to us a Comeing in [3]    Captn Lewis and 15 Men turnd. Out to Shoot them    the[y] killd 10, And the Indians Killd. 50    the two Captains Lewis & Clark took it in turn day about with a party Each day to goe a hunting And had Great Success until the 15th Inst.    that the Buffelow got neerly twenty miles off    Captn Clark and his party Returned On the Morning of the 16th [4] Inst. but Could find no game But two deer, the[y] Slept in the woods all night    Some Snow fell that made the Air warmir On the Night of the 15th Inst—

Sunday December 2nd    Sunday 16th    This morning the Big white chief came to our Encampment, he being a head Chief of the Mandan Indians, and informed Our Officers, that the Buffalo were in gangs, close to us, coming from the Priaries, in order to get into the River bottoms, which they always do, when the Snow is on the Ground, in Order to get Buds of Trees, and Grass which is at all times are to be found in the River bottoms, to feed on.—    Captain Lewis and fifteen of the Men went out to hunt them—    they returned in about 3 hours, having killed Ten Buffalo which was brought to the Fort.—    They fell in with a large party of the Mandan Indians on their route, who was also going to hunt Buffalo; the Indians accompanied Captain Lewis, and his party; and had great success, they kill'd 50 Buffalo that day.—    From this day to the 15th instant, our Officers took it by turns, with a party of our Men to go out hunting, and met with very great success.—    On the 15th instant, they found that the Buffalo had got nearly twenty Miles off from our Fort.—    Captain Clark, and his party returned on the Morning of the 16th instant with only two Deer, the Buffalo being entirely gone.—    They had remain'd all night in the Woods, & some Snow falling that night (15th instant) the Weather became more moderate, it being extremely Cold the three preceeding days.—

1. This entry returns to document 64 of the Field Notes. (back)
2. In this entry and in the fair copy the writers summarize the events until December 17, where writer No. 1 (presumably Whitehouse) resumes. (back)
3. Clark and Ordway say Big White actually gave this news to the party on December 7. (back)
4. Actually on December 15, according to Clark and Ordway. (back)