January 13, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

January 13, 1805


a Cold Clear Day (great number of Indians move Down the River to hunt) those people Kill a number of Buffalow near their Villages and Save a great perpotion of the meat, their Custom of makeing this article of life General [NB: see note common] [1] leaves them more than half of their time without meat    Their Corn & Beans &c they Keep for the Summer, and as a reserve in Case of an attack from the Soues, which they are always in dread, and Sildom go far to hunt except in large parties, about ½ the Mandan nation passed this to day to hunt on the river below, they will Stay out Some Days, Mr. Chabonee (our inturpeter) and one man that accompanied him [2] to Some loges of the Minatarees near the Turtle Hill [3] returned, both frosed in their faces.

Chaboneu informs that the Clerk of the Hudsons Bay Co. [4] with the Me ne tar res has been Speaking Some fiew expressns. unfavourable towards us, and that it is Said the N W Co. intends building a    fort at the Mene tar re's —    he Saw the Grand Chief of the Big bellies who Spoke Slightly of the Americans, Saying if we would give our great flag to him he would Come to See us.


Observed Meridian altitude of ☉ U. L. with Sextant and glass artifical Horizon.    43° 18' 30"

Latitude deduced from this observation.    N. 47° 20' 52.6".


Sunday 13th Jany.    a clear cold morning.    2 men went last evening a hunting.    the Savages visit us as meat is Scarce among them    they Intrude on us and we use them as well as possable. Mr Sharbinow [6] arived in the evening with the horses loaded with Grees fat meat &.C.


Sunday 13th.    A clear cold day. A number of the natives went down the river to hunt with our men. In the evening one of our interpreters and another Frenchman who had gone with him to the Assiniboins for fur returned. They had their faces so badly frost bitten that the skin came off, and their guide was so badly froze that they were obliged to leave him with the Assiniboins. This nation live near the Rocky Mountains, and about 90 miles from fort Mandan. [7]


Sunday 13th Jany. 1805.    continues clear & cold.    a nomber of the natives went down the river to hunt, with our men.    in the evening one of our Intrepters & a frenchman returned who had been up the river Some time to a nation of Indians called the osnaboins [8] after fur &c    their guide got froze so that they had to leave him their, & they got their faces frost bit So that the Skin came off.    this nation live near the rockey mountains, about 180–90 miles from this place

Sunday January 13th    The weather still continues clear & Cold, a number of the Natives, went from the Fort down the River to hunt with our Men who was there.—    In the Evening one of our interpreters & a frenchman, came to the Fort, they had been gone up the River some time, and had went to a Nation of Indians called the Oznabone Nation to Trade for furr &ca., They inform'd us that the Guide who went with them, had got so bad frost bitten, that the whole of the skin came off.—    They told our Officers that the Oznabone nation; have their Village near the Rocky Mountains, and between 180 & 190 Miles distant from this place, by land—

1. Biddle's interlined "common" was intended to amplify "General." What Clark meant was that all meat was shared in common among all members of the tribe, instead of being the property of the man who killed it and his family. Coues (HLC), 1:224. Apparently it was also Biddle who crossed through this passage with red ink. (back)
2. Whitehouse identifies Charbonneau's companion as a "Frenchman." (back)
3. Probably the present Killdeer Mountains, in Dunn County, North Dakota, shown as "Turtle Hill" on the copy of David Thompson's 1798 map in the captains' possession. However, the present Turtle Mountain is on the ManitobaNorth Dakota border. Allen, 92. (back)
4. Presumably George Bunch, or Budge, who would have seen Le Borgne, "Grand Chief of the Big Bellies ." (back)
5. Lewis's astronomical observation from Codex O. (back)
7. McKeehan's note: "It is presumed, no part of the great chain of Rocky Mountains comes as near as 90 miles to fort Mandan; but it is not improbable that there may be a mountain, connected with them, which runs a considerable distance eastward along the great dividing ridge; and on some maps a mountain is laid down running east and west, south of the Assiniboin river and lake, which would appear to be not more than 90 or 100 miles from the Mandan villages." McKeehan may have misread Gass's original journal. Whitehouse gives the distance as about 190 miles. (back)
8. Assiniboine Indians. (back)