September 10, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 10, 1806


we Set out very early this morning and proceeded on very well with wind moderately a head    at [blank] P M we met a Mr. Alexander La fass and three french men from St. Louis in a Small perogue on his way to the River Platt to trade with the Pania Luup or Wolf Indians. [1]    this man was extreemly friendly to us he offered us any thing he had, we axcepted of a bottle of whisky only which we gave to our party, Mr. la frost informed us that Genl. Wilkinson and all the troops had decended the Mississippi and Mr. Pike and young Mr. Wilkinson had Set out on an expedition up the Arkansaw river or in that direction [2]    after a delay of half an hour we proceedd on about 3 miles and met a large perogue and 7 Men from St. Louis bound to the Mahars for the purpose of trade, this perogue was in Charge of a Mt. La Craw, [3] we made Some fiew enquiries of this man and again proceeded on through a very bad part of the river Crouded with Snags & Sawyers and incamped on a Sand bar about 4 miles above the grand Nemahar. [4]    we find the river in this timbered Country narrow and more moveing Sands and a much greater quantity of Sawyers or Snags than above. Great caution and much attention is required to Stear Clear of all those dificuelties in this low State of the water.    we made 65 Miles to day.    we Saw Deer rackoons and turkies on the Shores to day one of the men killed a racoon [5] which the indians very much admired.


Wednesday 10th Sept. 1806.    a fair morning.    we Set out as usal, & procd. on verry well    one of the hunters killed a rackoon    Saw a number of Turkeys    about 3 P. M.    we met four frenchmen [6] with a canoe loaded with goods going up trading.    they gave us a dram    we then procd. on untill evening and Camped on an Island.


Wednesday 10th.    We had a pleasant morning, embarked early and went on very well. At 4 o'clock P. M. we met a periogue with four men, going to trade with the Loups or Wolf Indians, [7] who live up the river Platte. We remained with these men about an hour, got some whiskey from them, and then continued our voyage. In a short time, we met another periogue and seven men, [8] going to trade with the Mahas, [9] who live on the Missouri. We staid some time with these men, then proceeded and at night encamped on a willow island.

2. Zebulon Montgomery Pike, a young army officer, had carried out an expedition to the upper Mississippi in 1805. In July 1806 he set out with a small party to traverse the central Great Plains to the headwaters of the Arkansas River, with the intention of returning down the Red River. Unlike Lewis and Clark, his orders came not from President Jefferson but from General James Wilkinson, whose son Lieutenant James B. Wilkinson accompanied the party part of the way. Pike followed the Arkansas to its upper reaches in present Colorado, discovered but did not climb Pike's Peak, and apparently became lost in the mountains. He was captured by the Spanish authorities of New Mexico, who claimed the territory he had entered and who feared he might be the vanguard of an American army of invasion. Historians now believe that General Wilkinson did indeed have some ulterior purpose, which Pike may or may not have been aware of, but no solid proof has come to light. The Spanish conveyed Pike and his men through northern Mexico and Texas before turning him to the United States in 1807. Some people accused Pike of involvement in Aaron Burr's conspiracies but he was able to continue his army career. He became a brigadier general in the War of 1812, led an invasion into Canada, and was killed there in 1813. Hollon; Jackson (JP); Nasatir (BR), 141–43. (back)
3. This party was bound for the Omaha village in Dakota County, Nebraska. The man in charge was probably Joseph La Croix, an Englishman in spite of his name, who perhaps worked for James Aird. He reportedly cut prices greatly, defeated his competitor Robert McClellan, and even so did not make a profit. Lavender (FW), 66, 74. (back)
4. The camp on the sandbar would have been in either Richardson County, Nebraska, or Holt County, Missouri, above the Big Nemaha River near Rulo, Nebraska. MRC map 19. (back)
5. Procyon lotor. (back)
6. Clark gives one man's name as Alexander "La fass" but later spells it "la frost." (back)
7. The Wolf (Loup) or Skiri Pawnees, on the Platte and Loup rivers. (back)
8. Clark gives the leader's name as La Craw, probably Joseph La Croix. (back)
9. The Omahas. (back)