April 7, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

April 7, 1805


Having on this day at 4 P.M. completed every arrangement necessary for our departure, we dismissed the barge and crew [2] with orders to return without loss of time to S. Louis, a small canoe with two French hunters accompanyed the barge; these men had assended the missouri with us the last year as engages. The barge crew consisted of six soldiers and two [blank] Frenchmen; two Frenchmen and a Ricara Indian also take their passage in her as far as the Ricara Vilages, at which place we expect Tiebeau [Tabeau] to embark with his peltry who in that case will make an addition of two, perhaps four men to the crew of the barge. We gave Richard Warfington, a discharged Corpl., the charge of the Barge and crew, and confided to his care likewise our dispatches to the government, letters to our private friends, and a number of articles to the President of the United States. One of the Frenchmen by the name of [NB?: Joseph] [3] Gravline an honest discrete man and an excellent boat-man is imployed to conduct the barge as a pilot; we have therefore every hope that the barge and with her our dispatches will arrive safe at St. Louis. Mr. Gravlin who speaks the Ricara language extreemly well, has been imployed to conduct a few of the Recara Chiefs to the seat of government who have promised us to decend in the barge to St. Liwis with that view.—

At same moment that the Barge departed from Fort Mandan, Capt. Clark embaked with our party and proceeded up the river. [4]    as I had used no exercise for several weeks, I determined to talk on shore as far as our encampment of this evening; accordingly I continued my walk on the N. side of the River about six miles, to the upper Village of the Mandans, and called on the Black Cat or Pose cop'se há, the great chief of the Mandans; [5] he was not as home; I rested myself a minutes, and finding that the party had not arrived I returned about 2 miles and joined them at their encampment on the N. side of the river opposite the lower Mandan village. [6] Our party now consisted of the following Individuals. Sergts. John Ordway, Nathaniel Prior, & Patric Gass; Privates, William Bratton, John Colter, Reubin, and Joseph Fields, John Shields, George Gibson, George Shannon, John Potts, John Collins, Joseph Whitehouse, Richard Windsor, Alexander Willard, Hugh Hall, Silas Goodrich, Robert Frazier, Crouzatt, John Baptiest la Page, Francis Labiech, Hue McNeal, William Werner, Thomas P. Howard, Peter Wiser, and John B. Thompson.—

Interpreters, George Drewyer and Tauasant Charbono also a Black man by the name of York, servant to Capt. Clark, an Indian Woman wife to Charbono with a young child, and a Mandan man who had promised us to accompany us as far as the Snake Indians with a view to bring about a good understanding and friendly intercourse between that nation and his own, the Minetares and Ahwahharways.

Our vessels consisted of six small canoes, and two large perogues. This little fleet altho' not quite so rispectable as those of Columbus or Capt. Cook [7] were still viewed by us with as much pleasure as those deservedly famed adventurers ever beheld theirs; and I dare say with quite as much anxiety for their safety and preservation.    we were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civillized man had never trodden; the good or evil it had in store for us was for experiment yet to determine, and these little vessells contained every article by which we were to expect to subsist or defend ourselves. however as this the state of mind in which we are, generally gives the colouring to events, when the immagination is suffered to wander into futurity, the picture which now presented itself to me was a most pleasing one.    entertaing 〈now〉 as I do, the most confident hope of succeading in a voyage which had formed a da[r]ling project of mine for the last ten years 〈of my life〉, I could but esteem this moment of my 〈our〉 departure as among the most happy of my life. The party are in excellent health and sperits, zealously attatched to the enterprise, and anxious to proceed; not a whisper of murmur or discontent to be heard among them, but all act in unison, and with the most perfect harmony. I took an early supper this evening and went to bed. Capt. Clark myself the two Interpretters and the woman and child sleep in a tent of dressed skins.    this tent is in the Indian stile, formed of a number of dressed Buffaloe skins sewed together with sniues. [8]    it is cut in such manner that when foalded double it forms the quarter of a circle, and is left open at one side where it may be attached or loosened at pleasure by strings which are sewed to its sides to the purpose.    to erect this tent, a parsel of ten or twelve poles are provided, fore or five of which are attatched together at one end, they are then elivated and their lower extremities are spread in a circular manner to a width proportionate to the demention of the lodge, in the same position orther poles are leant against those, and the leather is then thrown over them forming a conic figure.—


a windey day, The Interpreter we Sent to the Villages returned with Chief of the Ricara's & 3 men of that nation    this Chief informed us that he was Sent by his nation to Know the despositions of the nations in this neighbourhood in respect to the recara's Settleing near them, that he had not yet made those arrangements, he request that we would Speek to the Assinniboins, & Crow Inds. in their favour, that they wished to follow our directions and be at peace with all, he viewed all nations in this quarter well disposed except the Sioux. The wish of those recaras appears to be a junction with the Mandans & Minetarras in a Defensive war with the Sioux who rob them of every Spece [species] of property in Such a manner that they Cannot live near them any longer. I told this Chief we were glad to See him, and we viewed his nation as the Dutifull Children of 〈his〉 a Great father who would extend his protection to 〈them〉 all those who would open their ears to his good advice, we had already Spoken to the Assinniboins, and Should Speeke to the Crow Indians if we Should See them &c.    as to the Sioux their Great father would not let them have any more good Guns &c. would take Care to prosu Such measurs as would provent those Sioux from Murding and taking the property from his dutyfull red Children &c.—    we gave him a certificate of his good Conduct & a Small Medal, a Carrot of Tobacco and a String of Wompom—    he requested that one of his men who was lame might decend in the boat to their nation and returned to the Mandans well Satisfied—

The name of this Chief of War is Kah-kah, we to Raven brave. [10]

This Cheif delivered us a letter from Mr. Taboe. informing us of the wish of the Grand Chiefs of the Ricarras to visit their Great father and requesting the privolage of put'g on board the boat 3000 w of Skins &c. & adding 4 hands and himself to the party.    this preposeal we Shall agree to, as that addition will make the party in the boat 15 Strong and more able to defend themselves from the Seoux &c.


Sunday, at 4 oClock P M, the Boat, in which was 6 Soldiers 2 frenchmen & an Indian, all under the command of a corporal who had the charge of dispatches, &c.—and a Canoe with 2 french men, Set out down the river for St. Louis.    at the same time we Sout out on our voyage up the river in 2 perogues and 6 canoes, and proceded on to the 1st villg. of Mandans & Camped on the S. S.—    our party consisting of Sergt. Nathaniel Pryor Sgt. John Ordway Sgt. Pat: Gass, William Bratten, John Colter Joseph & Reubin Fields, John Shields George Gibson George Shannon, John Potts, John Collins, Jos: Whitehouse, Richard Windser, Alexander Willard, Hugh Hall, Silas Gutrich, Robert Frazure, Peter Crouzat, John Baptiest la page, Francis Labich, Hugh McNeal, William Werner, Thomas P. Howard, Peter Wiser, J. B. Thompson and my Servent york, George Drewyer who acts as a hunter & interpreter, Shabonah and his Indian Squar to act as an Interpreter & interpretress for the snake Indians—one Mandan & Shabonahs infant. Sah-kah-gar we â [12]


Sunday 7th April 1805.    clear and pleasant.    about 9 oclock our Intrepter and them that went with him returned    brought with them 4 of the Rick a Ree Savages.    2 of them Chiefs. [13]    they Informed us that only 10 of their nation had come up to the Mandanes villages to treat & Smoak a peace pipe with them &.c.    they brought a letter from Mr. Tabbo who lives with R. Ree to our officers with news that 3 of the Souix chiefs was going down on the Big barge to see their Great father and that Some of the Rick a Ree chiefs was going also.    one of our hunters went out at 11 oclock and killed a deer.    we Set three of Sd. Rick Rees chiefs across the River.    the other one being lame Stayed in order to go down to his nation in the Barge.

About 5 oClock we all went on board fired the Swivel and Set off on our journey.    at the Same time the barge Set off for St Louis 2 frenchmen in a perogue in company with them. [14]    they took down the letters and all the writings which was necessary to go back to the States    also Some curious animals such as Goat Skins & horns, a barking Squirrell Some Mountain Rams horns a prarie hen & badgers Some birds cauled magpies & a nomber of other curious things too tedious to mention &.c. [15]    we took with us 2 large perogues and 6 small ones which we had loaded with provisions, Indian Goods, ammunition &.c.    we went on verry well with a hard head wind about 4 mls. & Camped    opposite the 1st village of Mandans on N. S.    wind high from N. W. the greater part of the night    their is 30 of the party which continues to Go on. [16]    their was 10 which went down in the barge, but only two who had engaged for the route.—


Sunday 7th.    The men returned and four of the Rickarees with them. The commanding officers held a conversation with these Indians; and they concluded that some of them would go down in the boat from their village to St. Louis. About 5 o'clock in the afternoon we left fort Mandans in good spirits. Thirty one men and a woman went up the river and thirteen returned down it in the boat. [17] We had two periogues and six canoes, and proceeded about four miles, and encamped opposite the first Mandan village, on the North side.


Sunday April 7th    This day we had fair weather,—    in the morning the Rick a Rees chief [18] came to the Fort, on a Visit to our Officers; he informed them, that the Chiefs of their Nation, was ready to descend the River in our boat, in Order to pay a Visit to the President of the United States.    At half past 4 o'Clock P. M; we all embark'd, in our large Canoes and left Fort Mandan, on our way for the Pacific Ocean.—    The boat sett off, Under the command of Corporal Warfington with a Command [19] on board for Saint Louis at same time on board of which was sent the deserter Read    we proceeded on and encamped, on the North side of the Mesouri River, opposite to the first Village of the Mandan Nation.—

This Village lies on the South side of the River and contains 300 Lodges.    the land adjoining it is Priaries, which gradually rise from the River, the Soil is very rich, producing Indian Corn, pumpkins, Squashes & beans in abundance

The Natives have large fields, which they cultivate and which produces plentifully, They have likewise Gardens, which they plant & have several kinds of Garden Vegetables in it, such as Lettuce, Mustard &ca    they have likewise growing in their Gardens, Gooseberrys, [20] which is superior in Size, to any in the United States & Currants of different kinds.—    They are in general peaceable well disposed people—and have less of the Savage nature in them, than any Indians we met with on the Mesouri River.

They are of a very light Colour, the Men are very well featur'd and Stout; the Women are in general handsome; this Town or Village Contains from the best calculation we could make 2,000 Inhabitants, [21] they are Governed by a Chief called the Big White and the Indians here live to a very old age, numbers being 100 Years old.—

1. Here begins Lewis's notebook journal Codex D, running to May 23, 1805. It contains his first known daily journal-keeping since September 17, 1804, except for entries in Clark's Codex C in February 1805. See the Introduction and Appendix C. From this point we have complete journals by Lewis to August 26, 1805. (back)
2. In their entries for this date the captains provide a complete list of their permanent party bound for the Pacific. For the party returning downriver, however, there is no such definite information. Corporal Richard Warfington, in charge of the party, was definitely along, as were the two dishonorably discharged men, John Newman and Moses Reed. So were Warfington's squad, probably consisting now of Privates John Boley, John Dame, Ebenezer Tuttle, and Isaac White. Just possibly the mysterious John Robinson, or Robertson, was present instead of Boley, Tuttle, or White. See Appendix A, and June 12, 1804, above. Newman, Reed, Boley, Tuttle, Dame, and White probably make up the six soldiers Lewis mentions. Joseph Gravelines was present as an interpreter, and as Lewis indicates there was one Arikara. The difficulty arises with the anonymous "Frenchmen" on the keelboat and accompanying the boat in a canoe. The two in the canoe are not readily identifiable. Lewis refers to two French boatmen working the boat, and two more going as far as the Arikaras, who may or may not have been expedition engagés. One of those on the boat was probably Baptiste Deschamps, the boss of the boatmen. Etienne Malboeuf, François Rivet, and Peter Pinaut are other possibilities. The lack of record as to which boatmen left the party in the fall of 1804 complicates matters further. This lack of information concerning these men presumably reflects the captains' own lack of interest in the "hirelings." Clarke (MLCE), 145–46; Jackson (LLC), 1:237 n. 7. (back)
3. "Joseph" appears to be added to a blank space and is written in red, perhaps by Biddle. (back)
4. Ordway says they left at 5:00 p.m. (back)
5. Black Cat is identified in notes for October 28, 1804. (back)
6. On the starboard shore opposite Mitutanka village, in McLean County, North Dakota, some three miles below Stanton. Atlas maps 29, 33, 46, 55; MRC map 52. (back)
7. Captain James Cook of the British Navy, the most famous explorer of his time, made three voyages (1768–79), in which he greatly increased European knowledge of the Pacific. Jefferson's library included Cook's journals of his last voyage, published in 1784, and Lewis was evidently familiar at least with the portions of it dealing with the Northwest coast. Jackson (TJ), 45–46, 55–56. (back)
8. Lewis's spelling of "sinews." The tent is obviously a plains Indian tipi, later referred to by the captains as a "leather lodge." It was apparently Biddle who wrote "Qu" in red across this passage. (back)
9. The last daily entry in Clark's Codex C. (back)
10. Apparently the captains did not meet Kakawita (kaakaawiítA, "raven man") when they were at the Arikara villages in October. He was an important war chief and a rival to Kakawissassa. Ronda (LCAI), 48–49, 52–53, 65. It was probably Gravelines who was sent to the villages. See April 6, 1805. (back)
11. Here begins Clark's notebook journal Voorhis No. 1, which runs to July 3, 1805. On the flyleaf of the journal is a note by Lewis. The first line consists of unidentified courses. The remainder seems to be a reminder of information to be gathered about Indians when inquiries could be made. The use of the word "Kooskooske," a possible Nez Perce name for the Clearwater River in Idaho, and of "Lewis's River" (the Salmon and Snake rivers as named by the captains), shows that Lewis must have made the note some time after the dates of the main text of the journal (April 7–July 3, 1805). Possibly Lewis wrote the note at Fort Clatsop or elsewhere to be filled in when he could ask the Indians, not having had time on the trip west. It reads thus:
N. 42 ½° W.—    N. 78° W.    102 poles.    N. 12° E
Names of Indian nations & } No. of Lodges } { Probable No.
their places of residence of Souls
     of the Kooskooske
     of Lewis's river above the Kooskooske—    120—
     of Lewis's river below the mouth of the Kooskooske
12. Sacagawea's name may have been added as an afterthought, or perhaps later, after Clark came to know her better. The underscore for "Indian Squar" also appears to be an addition. See the entry of November 4, 1804, where she is discussed. (back)
13. Clark mentioned only one chief, Kakawita or Raven Man. (back)
14. Information on the members of the return party is found under Lewis's entry for this day. (back)
15. For lists of the materials sent to St. Louis, see Clark's entry for April 3. The animals Ordway mentioned are pronghorn (goat), prairie dog (barking squirrel), bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis (mountain ram), sharp-tailed grouse (prairie hen), badger, and black-billed magpie. (back)
16. On this day both Lewis and Clark name the members of the permanent party and others who made the trip to the Pacific and back. (back)
17. Gass counts all the party, including York and the two captains, but not the baby Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, making thirty-three persons in the permanent party who would go to the Pacific and return. Gass also did not add the unnamed Mandan who started with them but dropped out on April 9. See the captains' entries for this day for names of the permanent party and a note on the composition of the return party. (back)
18. Kakawita, or Raven Man, an Arikara chief; see Clark's entry for the date. (back)
19. For the names of members of the return party, see Lewis's entry for this day. (back)
20. An unknown gooseberry, Ribes sp. (back)
21. An exaggeration since Clark counts about 1,250 people in both Mandan villages. See Clark's "Estimate of Eastern Indians". (back)