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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For October 28:
Captain Clark (current)
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A windy day, fair and clear. Many of the Gros Ventres - or Big Bellies - and Wetersoons came to see us and hear the council. The wind being so violently hard from the S.W. prevented our going into council. Indeed the chiefs of the Mandans from the lower village could not cross. We made up the presents, and entertained several of the curious chiefs who wished to see the boat, which was very curious to them, viewing it as great medicine [whatever is mysterious or unintelligible is called great medicine] - as they also viewed my black servant.
The Black Cat, great chief of the Mandans, Captain Lewis, and myself, with an interpreter, walked up the river about 1 1/2 miles. Our views were to examine the situation and timber for a fort. We found the situation good but the timber scarce; or at least, small timber such as would not answer us. We consulted the grand chief in respect to the other chiefs of the different villages. He gave the names of 12. George Drouilliard caught 2 beaver above our camp last night. We had several presents from the women of corn, boiled hominy, soft corn, &c. I presented a jar [earthen jar, glazed] to the chief's wife, who received it with much pleasure.
Our men very cheerful this evening. We sent the chiefs of the Gros Ventres to smoke a pipe with the grand chief of the Mandans in his village, and told them we would speak tomorrow.
Reprinted by permission of the American Studies Programs at the University of Virginia.
The complete text can also be downloaded for printing from their website.