April 8, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

April 8, 1805


April 8th    Set out early this morning, the wind blew hard against us from the N. W.    we therefore traveled very slowly. I walked on shore, and visited the black Cat, took leave of him after smoking a pipe as is their custom, and then proceeded on slowly by land about four miles where I wated the arrival of the party, at 12 Oclock they came up and informed me that one of the small canoes was behind in distress. Capt Clark returned foud she had filled with water and all her loading wet.    we lost half a bag of bisquit, and about thirty pounds of powder by this accedent; the powder we regard as a serious loss, but we spread it to dry immediately and hope we shall still be enabled to restore the greater part of it.    this was the only powder we had which was not perfectly secure from geting wet.    we took dinner at this place, and then proceed on to oure encampment, which was on the S. side opposite to a high bluff. [1]    the Mandan man came up after we had encamped and brought with him a woman who was extreemly solicitous to accompany one of the men of our party, this however we positively refused to permit.

Courses distances and references for Apl. 8th [2]

From the upper point on an island (〈which was〉 being the point to which Capt. Clark took his last course when he assended the river in surch of a place for winter quarters 1st November last) [3] to a point of wood land Stard side, passing a high bluff on the Lard.    N 40° W. 3 ½

Set out verry early    wind hard a head from the N. W.    proceeded on passed all the villages the inhabitents of which flocked down in great numbers to view us, I took my leave of the great Chief of the Mandans who gave me a par of excellent mockersons, one Canoe filed with water every thing in her got wet.    ⅔ of a barrel of powder lost by this accedent.
From the upper part of an island just below Morparperyoo-
camp to a point of wood land on the Stad. Side
passing a high bluff on the Lad. containing many horizon-
tal narrow Stratas of Carbonated wood, wome of which
are Sixty feet above the Surface of the water [4]

N. 40° W. 3 ½

Camped on the S. S. opsd. a high bluff    an Indian Joined us, also an Indian woman with a view to accompany us, the woman was Sent back    the man being acquainted with the Countrey we allowed him to accompanie us


Monday 8th April 1805.    clear and cold.    we Set off eairly.    proceeded on.    passed the 2nd took breakfast at 2[nd] vil. & 3rd villages of Mandans [5]    the [wind] high from the W.    we Saw Some Snow on the N. S. of the hills, and thick Ice on and under the banks of the River.    the current Swift.    we passed two villages of the Grossvantares or Bigbelleys [6]    at the lowermost one comes in a handsom River called Knife River.    these 2 vill. are in a bottom but little timber.    back of which is high open plains which is the Same on the N. S.    we halted on a Sand beach on N. S. for the crafts to come up which was behind as we was informed that one of the Small perogues was in danger.    capt Clark went back to see what was the matter.    they Shortly returned    the perogues had evidently filled and every thing in the perogue was wet    damiged a keg of powder a bag of buiscuit and a nomber of other articles.    we dined and proceeded on    passed an Isld [(]covered with timber) on the N. S.    high bluffs on the S. S.    passed a timbered bottom on the N. S. in which is a Village of the Grossvantares [7] in the lower part of the bottom of cottonwood timber.    we proceded 14 mls. to day and camped at the bottom N. S.    an Indian came from the Mandan nation and joined us to Go and Show us the River as he tells us that he has been near the head.—


Monday 8th.    We set out early and had a clear day. The wind blew hard from the N. W. At 12 the word was passed from a canoe in the rear that it was sinking, when we halted in front and Captain Clarke went back to see what was the matter. This forenoon we passed two villages [8] of the Grossventers, or Big-bellys nation of Indians on the South side and a small river on the same side called Cutteau or Knife river. The canoe which had been in distress, came up, and had received little damage except wetting some powder on board. The woman that is with us is a squaw of the Snake nation of Indians, [9] and wife to our interpreter. We expect she will be of service to us, when passing through that nation. In the afternoon we passed very high bluffs on the South side; one of which had lately been a burning vulcano. The pumice stones lay very thick around it, and there was a strong smell of sulphur. [10] We came about fourteen miles and encamped on the North side.


Monday April 8th    This day we had clear weather, the Wind blowing fresh from the Northwest.    we proceeded on our Voyage, and passed the 2nd Mandan Village, [11] and a River lying on the South side of the Mesouri called the River de Cutto, [12] which is 20 Yards wide at its mouth, We passed in the afternoon 〈a〉 Villages [13] Inhabited by a nation of Indians called the Big belly's, or Gross Vounters, which also lies on the South Side of the Mesouri River, We proceeded on and encamped on the North side of the River on its bank, having come 14 Miles this day.—

The second Village of the Mandan Indians lies on the North side of the River mesouri, it is situated on a Priari, of a vast extent, the Soil of which appears to be exceeding Rich and productive.—    The Natives have large fields, which they Cultivate, and plant the same as those of the first Village, They have among them a number of fine horses, and are very expert in managing them in riding, The Inhabitants of this Village are in Colour and form the same as those of the first Village, This village contains 200 Lodges and by the best calculation 1500 Souls, and is Governed by a Chief who is called Black Cat as before mention'd

1. In McLean County, North Dakota, a mile or so below the Garrison Dam. Mattison (GR), 25; Atlas maps 29, 33, 46, 55; MRC map 52. (back)
2. The courses also appear on Atlas map 33 in Clark's hand. (back)
3. Actually October 30, 1804. The island appears on Atlas maps 29, 33, 46, 55. (back)
4. See geology note for April 9. (back)
5. Somewhat confusing since there were only two Mandan villages, Mitutanka and Ruptáre. (back)
6. The Hidatsa villages Mahawha and Metaharta. (back)
7. The final Hidatsa village, Menetarra, known as the Big Hidatsa site, and the last of the Knife River settlements. (back)
8. There were three Hidatsa villages along the Knife River in McLean County, North Dakota. Gass may be excluding the Awaxawi Hidatsas' village, Mahawha (Amahami site), because these people were somewhat distinct from the other two, and only counting Metaharta (Sakakawea site) and Menetarra (Big Hidatsa site) villages. (back)
9. Meaning the Shoshone Indians. (back)
10. McKeehan's note: " 'Mr. Mackay informed me, that in passing over the mountains, he observed several chasms in the earth that emitted heat and smoke, which diffused a strong sulphureous stench.' Mackenzie's Voyage. These appearances were near the eastern side of the Rocky mountains where they were crossed by Mr. Mackenzie's party; and in about lat. 56 North, and long. 120 West." (back)
12. Knife River, McLean County. The French word for "knife" attemped here is le couteau. (back)