August 14, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 14, 1806


Set out at Sunrise and proceeded on.    when we were opposit the Minetares Grand Village [2] we Saw a number of the Nativs viewing of    we derected the Blunderbuses fired Several times, Soon after we Came too at a Croud of the nativs on the bank opposit the Village of the Shoe Indians or Mah-har-ha's at which place I saw the principal Chief of the Little Village of the Menitarre [3] & the principal Chief of the Mah-har-has. [4]    those people were extreamly pleased to See us.    the Chief of the little Village of the Menetarias cried most imoderately, I enquired the Cause and was informed it was for the loss of his Son who had been killed latterly by the Blackfoot Indians.    after a delay of a fiew minits I proceeded on to the black Cats [NB: Mandan ] Village [5] on the N. E. Side of the Missouri where I intended to Encamp but the Sand blew in Such a manner that we deturmined not to continu on that Side but return to the Side we had left. here we were visited by all the inhabitants of this village [6] who appeared equally as well pleased to See us as those above. I walked up to the Black Cats village & eate some Simnins [7] with him, and Smoked a pipe    this Village I discovered had been rebuilt Since I left it and much Smaller than it was; on enquirey into the Cause was informed that a quarrel had taken place and [NB: a number of] [8] Lodges had removed to the opposd Side. I had Soon as I landed despatched Shabono to the Minetarras inviting the Chiefs to visit us, & Drewyer down to the lower Village of the Mandans [9] to ask Mr. Jessomme [10] to Come and enterpret for us. Mr. Jessomme arived and I spoke to the chiefs of the Village [11] informing them that we Spoke to them as we had done when we were with them last and we now repeeted our envitation to the principal Chiefs of all the Villages to accompany us and to the U States &c. &c.    the Black Cat Chief of the Mandans, Spoke and informed me that he wished to Visit the United States and his Great Father but was afraid of the Scioux who were yet at war with them and had killed Several of their men Since we had left them, and were on the river below and would Certainly kill 〈this〉 him if he attempted to go down. I indeavered to do away with his objections by informig him that we would not Suffer those indians to hurt any of our red Children who Should think proper to accompany us, and on their return they would be equally protected, and their presents which would be very liberal, with themselves, Conveyed to their own Country at the expence of the U. States &c. &c. The chief promised us Some corn tomorrow. after the Council I directed the Canoes to cross the river to a brook opposit where we Should be under the wind and in a plain where we would be Clear of musquetors & [12]    after Crossing the Chief of the Mah har has told me if I would Send with him he would let me have some corn. I directed Sergt Gass & 2 men to accompany him to his Village, they Soon returned loaded with Corn.    the Chief and his wife also came down. I gave his wife a fiew Needles &c.— The great Chif of all the Menitarres the one eye [13] Came to Camp also Several other Chiefs of the different Villages. I assembled all the Chiefs on a leavel Spot on the band and Spoke to them &    see next book. [14]


Thursday 14th August 1806.    a fair morning    we Set out eairly and procd. on    about 9 A. M. we arived at our old neighbours the Grousevauntaus [15] and Mandans.    we Saluted them by firing our Swivvel and blunderbusses a number of times    they answered us with a blunderbuss and Small arms and were verry glad to See us    we halted a Short time at the Grousevauntaus village then mooved down convenient to boath the Grousevauntaus and Mandans and Campd. in order to Stay 2 or 3 days to try to git Some of these chiefs to do down with us to Show them the power of the united States &C.    they gave us corn & beans &C. &C. Capt. Lewis fainted as Capt. Clark was dressing his wound, but Soon came too again.— [16]


Thursday 14th.    The morning of this day was pleasant, and we embarked early. In a short time we arrived near to our old friends the Grossventres and Mandans; and fixed our encampment in a central position, so as to be most convenient to the different villages. The inhabitants of all the villages appeared very glad to see us, and sent us presents of corn, beans and squashes.

1. This entry ends the daily entries in Codex M. There follows (reading backwards) Clark's weather diaries for June, July, and August 1806, and then some miscellaneous notes on the back flyleaf. One of the items is a weather observation from August 1, 1806, and is placed at that date. Another item reads: "From the head of Jeffersons River through Snake Mountain is North 12 miles thence to Wisdom river is N. 20° E." Assuming the "head of Jefferson river" to be the forks of the Beaverhead in Beaverhead County, Montana, "Snake Mountain" is probably the Rattlesnake Cliffs. Wisdom River is the Big Hole River. See August 3 and 10, 1805. Atlas maps 65, 66. A final miscellaneous item reads:
1st. Complete the maps
2. copy of Sketch of the rochejhone
3. a Copy of Courses & distances
4. to fill up vacinces in my book

Clark obviously intended to remind himself of tasks needed to complete the record of the expedition. "Complete the maps" may refer to maps begun at Fort Clatsop; see Atlas, 12, 19 n. 129. "Copy a Sketch of the rochejhone" obviously refers to maps of the Yellowstone River, which helps to date the memorandum after the completion of that stage of the journey, though which maps are meant is not clear; see Atlas, 11, 19 n. 119. "A copy of the Courses & distances" may be a reminder to copy the draft material giving courses and distances for July 1319 and July 24August 3, 1806. "To fill up vacinces in my book" may refer to some sort of blanks in Clark's journals; see Introduction to the Journals. (back)
2. For these Hidatsa and Mandan villages in Mercer and McLean counties, North Dakota, see October 26 and 27, 1804. Atlas maps 29, 33, 46, 55; MRC map 52. (back)
3. Black Moccasin; see October 29, 1804. Biddle, in later conversations with Clark, expands on Black Moccasin's recollection of his son's death. Biddle Notes [ca. April 1810], Jackson (LLC), 2:522. (back)
4. White Buffalo Robe Unfolded; see October 29, 1804. (back)
5. For Black Cat, see October 29, 1804. It was probably Biddle who underlined his name with red ink. (back)
6. Evidently Rooptahee, or Ruptare, village in McLean County. Atlas map 29. (back)
7. Summer squashes; see October 8, 1804. (back)
8. Biddle placed the words at a blank space. (back)
11. Black Cat. What seems to be the number "63," perhaps in Clark's hand, appears above the word "spoke," but its purpose is unclear. (back)
12. This would seem to place the camp on the west side in Mercer County, North Dakota, and considerably below the first (or lower) Mandan village, Matootonha. Atlas map 29; MRC maps 51, 52. (back)
14. The next book, Codex N, begins with the date August 15, 1806, but continues with the same conference with the chiefs, and is clearly about events of the same day as the end of Codex M. It is impossible to say where August 14 actually ends and the fifteenth begins. Presumably the material covering these days was written later and the heading for August 15 was misplaced. Coues (HLC), 3:1182 n. 10, believes most of the events given under August 14 belong to the fifteenth. Ordway notes on this date that "Capt Lewis fainted as Capt Clark was dressing his wound, but Soon came too again." (back)
15. Here meaning the Hidatsa Indians. (back)
16. Only Ordway records Lewis fainting. (back)