September 12, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 12, 1806


a thick fog a litile before day which blew of[f] at day light.    a heavy Dew this morning.    we Set out at Sunrise the usial hour and proceeded on very well about 7 miles met 2 perogues from St. Louis one contained the property of Mr. Choteau bound to the panias on River Platt, the other going up trapping as high as the Mahars.    here we met one of the french men who had accompanied us as high as the Mandans he informed us that Mr. McClellen was a fiew miles below    the wind blew a head Soon after we pased those perogues, we Saw a man on Shore who informed us that he was one of Mr. McClellens party and that he was a Short distance below, we took this man on board and proceeded on and Met Mr. McClellin [1] at the St. Michl. Prarie [2] we came too here we found Mr. Jo Gravelin [3] the Ricaras enterpreter whome we had Sent down with a Ricaras Chief in the Spring of 1805 and old Mr. Durion [4] the Sieux enterpreter, we examined the instructions of those interpreters and found that Gravelin was ordered to the Ricaras with a Speach from the president of the U. States to that nation [5] and some presents which had been given the Ricara Cheif who had visited the U. States and unfortunately died at the City of Washington, he was instructed to teach the Ricaras agriculture & make every enquirey after Capt Lewis my self and the party— Mr. Durion was enstructed to accompany Gravelin and through his influence pass him with his presents & by the tetons bands of Sieux, and to provale on Some of the Principal chiefs of those bands not exceeding six to visit the Seat of the Government next Spring    he was also enstructed to make every enquirey after us.    we made Some Small addition to his instructions by extending the number of Chiefs to 10 or 12 or 3 from each band including the Yanktons &c. Mr. McClellin receved us very politely, and gave us all the news and occurrences which had taken place in the Illinois within his knowledge    the evening proveing to be wet and Cloudy we Concluded to continue all night, we despatched the two Canoes a head to hunt with 5 hunters in them [6]


Friday 12th Sept. 1806.    a foggy morning.    we Set out as usal and procd. on    about 9 A. M. we met 2 two canoes and 11 frenchman 1 of which was loaded with Mr. Shotoes goods from St. Louis the others going up trapping    one of the men was along which accompanied us to the Mandans in 1804.    he informed us that Mr. McLanen is but a Short distance a head below    the hunters killed a bear    we then procd on    Soon met one of McLanens Hunters who gave us a fat buck    he came on board, and we procd a Short distance and met Mr McLanen with a large keel Boat which roed with 12 oars    he was rejoiced to see us    only two Englishmen beside Mr. McLanen the rest frenchman. Mr. Gravveleen & Mr Drewyong [7] was with him.    this keel Boat was well loaded down with Marchandizes and is going up to the Marhars and yanktons to winter their.    we mooved across the river and Camped on N. S.    2 Small canoes Sent on a head to hunt. Mr. McLanen gave our officers wine and the party as much whiskey as we all could drink. Mr. McLanen informed us that the people in general in the united States were concerned about us as they had heard that we were all killed    then again they heard that the Spanyards had us in the mines &C. [8]    Mr. Gravveleen & Mr Drewyong had orders to make all enquiries for us. Mr. Gravveleen took a chief of the Rickarees [9] on to the Seat of government & he died their and Mr. Gravveleen has got the presents for his nation. Mr. Drewyong took Several Indians of the yanktons and Mahars down to St. Louis and as Capt. Stoddard was absent who had orders to Send all Indians on they were not Sent on and are now on their return. Mr. McLanen informed us that the Spanyards or Spain towards Mexico had broke out against the u. States and have killed a party of americans who went to See their country, and that all or a great number of troops had gone down to New orleans and up red river where a great number of Spaniards have gathred in a body for war. Some of our party exchanged robes &C. for Shirts.    we had Small Showers of rain this evening, and we were treated in the best manner by this party.—


Friday 12th.    The morning was fine and we again embarked early. In half an hour we met two periogues going up to trade; staid with them a short time and went on. About an hour after, we met with a Mr. M'Clelland in a large boat with twelve men, going up to trade with the Mahas. Our commanding officers were acquainted with Mr. M'Clelland, and we halted and remained with him all day, in order to get some satisfactory information from him, after our long absence from the United States. He, and two Frenchmen [10] who were with him had severally instructions from the government to make inquiry after our party; as they were beginning to be uneasy about us.

1. Robert McClellan was already known to Lewis and Clark. He served from 1790 to 1795 as a scout with the U.S. Army in Anthony Wayne's campaigns against the tribes of the Northwest Territory, during which time he had a number of adventures, acquired a considerable reputation, and rose to the rank of lieutenant. For several years he engaged in rather unsuccessful trading ventures on the Missouri, becoming a bitter enemy of Manuel Lisa. In 1810 he joined the overland expedition of the Astorians and went with them to the Columbia. In 1812 he returned overland with Robert Stuart, in the first white party through South Pass in Wyoming. He died in 1815 in Saint Louis and was buried on the farm of his old comrade William Clark. Carter (RM); Irving (Astor), 114–15, and passim; Lavender (FW), 73–75, 88–90, 146–60, 170–77, 192–93, and passim; Oglesby, 32–33, 53, 80, 99–100, 104, 112–13. (back)
2. The site of their camp for this day, St. Michael's Prairie in Buchanan County, Missouri, at present St. Joseph, was first noted on July 7, 1804. MRC map 17. (back)
3. The captains met Joseph Gravelines at the Arikara villages on October 8, 1804, employed him during the winter at Fort Mandan, and sent him to Washington with the unfortunate Arikara chief in the spring of 1805. (back)
5. By this message Jefferson attempted to reassure the Arikaras that there was no foul play in the chief's death and retain their friendship for the United States; he was not successful. Jefferson to the Arikaras, April 11, 1806, Jackson (LLC), 1:306. (back)
6. The remaining half-page (p. 62 of Codex N) is blank after this entry. The entry of September 13, begins at the top of the next page. (back)
8. Only Ordway reports this information on this date. Clark has something similar on September 17, 1806. (back)
9. There is some confusion about the identity of this individual; see Clark's entry of October 9, 1804. (back)
10. Gravelines and Dorion, Sr., both of whom had met the party previously; see June 12 and October 8, 1804, respectively. Clark describes the missions of these men in this day's entry. (back)