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

August 30, 1806


Capt. Lewis is mending Slowly.    we set out at the usial hour and proceeded on very well a fiew miles    Jo Field who was on the Shore being behind I derected one of the Small Canoes with R. Fields & Shannon to continue on the point of a Sand bar untill he coms up. I took 3 hunters and walked on the N E Shore with a view to kill Some fat meet.    we had not proceeded far before Saw a large plumb orchd of the most deelicious plumbs, out of this orchard 2 large Buck Elks ran the hunters killed them. I Stoped the Canoes and brought in the flesh which was fat and fine.    here the party Collected as many plumbs as they could eate and Several pecks of which they put by &c.    after a delay of nearly 2 hours we again proceeded on downwards    passed 3 Small Islands and as we were about to land at the place appointed to wait for the 2 fields and Shannon, I saw Several men on horseback which with the help of a Spie glass I found to be Indians on the high hills to the N E    we landed on the S. W. Side and I sent out two men to a village of Barking Squirels to kill Some of those animals imedeatily after landing about 20 indians was discovered on an eminanc a little above us on the opposite Side.    one of those men I took to be a freinch man from his a blanket Capoe & a handkerchief around his head.    imediately after 80 or 90 Indian men all armed with fusees & Bows & arrows Came out of a wood on the opposite bank about ¼ of a mile below us.    they fired of their guns as a Salute we returned the Salute with 2 rounds.    we were at a loss to deturmin of what nation those indians were.    from their hostile appearance we were apprehensive they were Tetons.    but from the Country through which they roved we were willing to believe them eithe the Yanktons, Ponars or Mahars [1] either of which nations are well disposed towards the white people. I deturmined to find out who they were without running any resque of the party and indians, and therefore took three french men [2] who could Speak the Mahar Pania and some Seioux and in a Small canoe I went over to a Sand bar which extended Sufficently near the opposite Shore to Converse.    imedeately after I Set out 3 young men Set out from the opposite Side and Swam next me on the Sand bar. I derected the men to Speak to them in the Pania and mahar Languages first neither of which they could understand    I then derected the man who could Speak a fiew words of Seioux to inquire what nation or tribe they belong to they informed me that they were Tetons and their Chief was Tar-tack-kah-sabbar or the black buffalow [3]    This Chief I knew very well to be the one we had seen with his band at Teton river which band had attempted to detain us in the fall of 1804 as we assended this river and with whome we wer near comeing to blows. I told those Indians that they had been deef to our councils and ill treated us as we assended this river two years past, that they had abused all the whites who had visited them since. I believed them to be bad people & Should not Suffer them to cross to the Side on which the party lay, and directed them to return with their band to their Camp, that if any of them come near our camp we Should kill them certainly. I lef them on the bear and returned to th party and examined the arms &c.    those indians seeing Some Corn in the Canoe requested Some of it which I refused being deturmined to have nothing to do with those people. Several others Swam across one of which understood pania, and as our pania interpreter was a very good one we had it in our power to inform what we wished. I told this man to inform his nation that we had not forgot their treatment to us as we passed up this river &c.    that they had treated all the white people who had visited them very badly; robed them of their goods, and had wounded one man [4] whome I had Seen. we viewed them as bad people and no more traders would be Suffered to come to them, and whenever the white people wished to visit the nations above they would Come Sufficiently Strong to whip any vilenous party who dare to oppose them and words to the Same purpote. I also told them that I was informed that a part of all their bands were gorn to war against the Mandans &c, and that they would be well whiped as the Mandans & Menetarres & had a plenty of Guns Powder and ball, and we had given them a Cannon to defend themselves.    and derected them to return from the Sand bar and inform their Chiefs what we had Said to them, and to keep away from the river or we Should kill every one of them &c. &c.    those fellows requested to be allowed to Come aecross and make Cumerads which we positively refused and I directed them to return imediately which they did and after they had informed the Chiefs &c. as I Suppose what we had Said to them, they all Set out on their return to their Camps back of a high hill.    7 of them halted on the top of the hill and blackguarded us, told us to come across and they would kill us all &c. of which we took no notice.    we all this time were extreamly anxious for the arival of the 2 fields & Shannon whome we had left behind, and were Some what consd. as to their Safty.    to our great joy those men hove in Sight at 6 P. M. Jo. Fields had killed 3 black tail or mule deer.    we then Set out, as I wished to See what those Indians on the hill would act.    we Steared across near the opposit Shore, this notion put them Some agitation as to our intentions, some Set out on the direction towards their Camps    others walked about on the top of the hill and one man walked down the hill to meet us and invited us to land to which invitation I paid no kind of attention.    this man I knew to be the one who had in the fall 1804 accompaned us 2 days and is Said to be the friend to the white people. [5]    after we passd. him he returned on the top of the hill and gave 3 Strokes with the gun [NB?: on the earth—this is swearing by the earth] he had in his hand    this I am informed is a great oath among the indians. [6]    we proceeded on down about 6 miles and encamped on a large Sand bar in the middle of the river [7] about 2 miles above our encampment on Mud Island on the 10th Septr. 1804 haveing made 22 miles only to Day. Saw Several Indians on the hills at a distance this evening viewing us.    our 〈camp〉 encampment of this evening was a very disagreable one, bleak exposed to the winds, and the Sand wet. I pitched on this Situation to prevent being disturbed by those Scioux in the Course of the night as well as to avoid the Musquetors—.    Killed 9 whisteling squirels. [8]


Saturday 30th August 1806.    we set out eairly and procd on as usal    abt. 9 A. M. we halted and killed one buffaloe and 2 deer.    the buffaloe verry pleanty.    procd. on Some distance further halted and killed two Elk and gathered a quantity of fine plumbs.    then procd. on.    three of our hunters [9] Stayed back with a Small canoe to try and kill Some black taild deer.    about [blank] oClock P. M. we discovred a number of Indians on the hills on the North Side, and Soon gathered about two hundred on the Shore besides Some boys and young men    they were in a body and had a great number of horses    we landed on the opposite side of the river.    the Savages hooping and fired & we answered them by fireing our blunderbusses and Small arms 2 rounds.    we concluded to wait here for the hunters to come up.    a number of Indians Set to Swiming the river to us but Capt. Clark took three men in a Small canoe met them on a Sand bar which happened to be near our Side    one of our men Spoke to them in pania tongue and told them that we could not Speak their Language but Soon found that they were the Same band of Tetons [10] that held our boat as we passed up the river    Capt. Clark told them and Signed to them that they were bad Indians and treated the white people bad and they might keep from us for we would have nothing to Say to them nor Suffer them to come to our Canoes.    they then Signed to the rest of the nation to keep back and Capt. Clark returnd.    the most of the Indians returned to the nation    2 or three Stayed on the bar a while and Signed that they were friends to us and wished to have us come over to their Side but we Signed to them to keep off and to go back that we would not hear them &C.    they then all returned to the band and called over to us. Mrs. Jessom [11] could understand Some words they said and he heared them Say that if we came on their Side of the river they would kill us & that we were good for to kill &C.    at length the Savages or the main body of them went their way    our hunters came up    had killed three black taild deer.    we then set out and procd. on    several Indians remaining on Shore called to us and Signed and beckned to us to come to Shore but we passed them Safe and procd on untill dark and Camped on a large Sand bar    two Sentinels placed to guard the Camp.—


Saturday 30th.    We had a pleasant morning, and went on early, three hunters [12] starting ahead. We killed some buffaloe and elk in our way, and about 2 o'clock, we met a band of the Teetons, fifty or sixty in number, and halted on the opposite side of the river as we did not wish to have any intercourse with them. Here we waited for three hunters, who were behind; and during our stay eight or nine of the Indians swam to a sand-bar about sixty yards from us, and we found that they were the same rascals, who had given us trouble as we went up. We could not converse with them, but one of our men understanding the language of the Ponis, [13] of which they understood some words; we through him let them know that we wanted to have nothing to do with them; and that if they troubled us, we would kill every one of them. They then withdrew, and the whole party left the river and went off to the hills. Our three hunters returned, and we proceeded on, and in the evening encamped on a sand bar in the river.

1. The last two would be Poncas and Omahas. (back)
2. Two of them would surely be Pierre Cruzatte and François Labiche; the other might be Jusseaume, or perhaps Jean Baptiste Lepage could speak one of these languages. Ordway seems to indicate that Jusseaume's wife played an important part in this episode, though it is hard to tell from the manuscript whether the husband or wife was involved. Ordway's words read, "Mrs Jessom could understand Some words they Said and he heared them Say that if we came on their Side of the river they would kill us & that we were good for to kill &c." (back)
3. For Black Buffalo, see September 2528, 1804. (back)
4. Joseph Dickson; See Clark's entry, August 11, 1806, and Lewis's entry for August 12, 1806. (back)
6. The earth was one of the four Superior Gods, together with the rock, the sky, and the sun. Hassrick, 207. Biddle underlined a few words in red ink in these passages about the oath; they are not so underlined here. (back)
7. This camp was between Gregory and Charles Mix counties, South Dakota, in the vicinity of the later Hot Springs Island, probably the "Bull Island" of Atlas map 20; the camp of September 10, 1804, was on Pocahontas, or Toehead Island. The site would now be inundated by Fort Randall Reservoir. Cf. Mattes (FR), 505–6; MRC map 35. (back)
8. "Whistling squirrel" seems to have been the captains' name for the Columbian ground squirrel of the Rocky Mountains. Here Clark means the prairie dog. (back)
9. The Field brothers and Shannon, according to Clark. (back)
10. The incident with the Teton Sioux occurred on September 25, 1804. (back)
11. Ordway may mean "Mr." here or he may have been using a form of "Messrs." incorrectly. Another possibility is that Jusseaume's wife was aiding in the communication. (back)
12. Clark says he accompanied this hunting party. (back)
13. Gass may mean either Ponca or Pawnee, and the latter could refer to the Arikaras, who were of the same Caddoan language family as the Pawnees. Clark is not much help here. (back)