August 16, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 16, 1806


a cool morning. Sent up Sergt. Pryor to the mandan village, for Some Corn which they offered to give us.    he informed that they had more Corn collected for us than our Canoes Could Carry Six loads of which he brought down. I thanked the Chief for his kindness and informed him that our Canoes would not Carry any more Corn than we had already brought down.    at 10 A. M the Chiefs of the different villages came to See us and Smoke a pipe &c.    as our Swivel [1] Could no longer be Serveceabe to us as it could not be fireed on board the largest Perogue, we Concluded to make a present of it to the Great Chief of the Menetaras (the One Eye) with a view to ingratiate him more Strongly in our favour I had the Swivel Charged and Collected the Chiefs in a circle around it and adressed them with great ceremoney.    told them I had listened with much attention to what the One Eye had Said yesterday and beleived that he was Sincere & Spoke from his heart. I reproached them very Severely for not attending to what had been Said to them by us in Council in the fall of 1804 and at different times in the winter of 1804 & 5, and told them our backs were Scerely turned befor a party followed and killed the pore defenceless snake indians whom we had taken by the hand & told them not to be afraid that you would never Strike them again &c. also mentioned the ricers &c. The little Cherry [2] old Chief of the Menetarras Spoke as follows Viz: "Father we wish to go down with you to See our Great Father, but we know the nations below and are afraid of the Scioux who will be on the river and will kill us on our return home. The Scioux has Stolen our horses and killed 8 of our men Since you left us, and the Ricaras have also Struck us.    we Staid at home and listened to what you had told us.    we at length went to war against the Scioux and met with Ricaras and killed two of them, they were on their way to Strike us. We will attend to your word and not hurt any people all Shall be Welcom and we Shall do as you direct—.["] The One Eye Said his ears would always be open to the word of his great father and Shut against bad Council &c. I then a good deel of Ceremony made a preasent of the Swivel to the One Eye Chief and told him when he fired this gun to remember the words of his great father which we had given him.    this gun had anounced the words of his great father to all the nations which we had Seen &c. &c.    after the council was over the gun was fired & delivered, they Chief appeared to be much pelased and conveyed it immediately to his village &c.    we Settled with and discharged Colter.    in the evening I walked to the village to See the little Crow and know when he would be ready, took with me a flag intending to give him to leave at his lodge but to my astonishment he informed me he had declined going down the reason of which I found was through a jellousy between himself and the principal Chief    he refused a flag & we Sent for Mr. Jessomme and told him to use his influn to provail on one of the Chiefs to accompany us and [3] we would employ him.    he informed us soon after that the big white Chief [4] would go if we would take his wife & Son & Jessoms wife & 2 children    we wer obliged to agree to do


Saturday 16th August 1806.    a clear cool morning.    great numbers of the natives visited us and traded us good robes and mockasons.    towards evening the Big White a head chief of the 1st village of Mandans concluded to go down with us and Mr. Jessom [5] and their wives and three children    Mr. Jessom two and the Big White one and verry handsome children    one of Mr. jessoms has had a little Scooling at the N. W. Company.—


Saturday 16th.    There was a fine cool day; and we yet remained here, waiting an answer from the natives. Some of these Indians are very kind and obliging; furnishing us with corn, beans and squashes; but there are others very troublesome, and steal whenever they have an opportunity. Yesterday and to-day, they stole several knives and spoons; and three powder-horns, and two pouches, filled with ammunition.

In the afternoon the chief, called the Big-White, concluded to go down with us, and we agreed to stay until 12 o'clock to-morrow, that he might have an opportunity to get ready for his voyage and mission. The Commanding Officers gave discharges to the man who agreed to return with the hunters up the river, and the interpreter; [6] who intends settling among these Indians, and to whom they gave the blacksmith's tools; supposing they might be useful to the nation. They also gave a small piece of ordnance [7] to the Grossventers, which they appeared very fond of.

1. The party's small cannon, recently recovered from the cache at the Great Falls of the Missouri; see May 29, 1804. (back)
3. From about here the remainder of the entry appears to be an afterthought, crowded into the bottom of one page and the top of the next in Codex N. (back)
6. Charbonneau, who remained here with Sacagawea and little Jean Baptiste. Only Gass mentions that they gave him the blacksmith's tools, an instance of the Jeffersonian policy of gradually "civilizing" the Indians. (back)
7. The small swivel cannon, which they gave to Le Borgne, or One Eye, the Hidatsa chief. (back)