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Entries For March 17:
Captain Lewis (current)
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Old Delashelwilt and his women still remain. They have formed a camp near the fort and seem determined to lay close sedge to us, but I believe, notwithstanding every effort of their winning graces, the men have preserved their constancy to the vow of celibacy which they made on this occasion to Captain Clark and myself. We have had our pirogues prepared for our departure, and shall set out as soon as the weather will permit.
Drouilliard returned late this evening from the Cathlahmahs with our canoe, which Sergeant Pryor had left some days since, and also a canoe which he had purchased from those people. For this canoe he gave my uniform laced coat and nearly half a carrot of tobacco. It seems that nothing except this coat would induce them to dispose of a canoe, which, in their mode of traffic, is an article of the greatest value except a wife, with whom it is nearly equal, and is generally given in exchange to the father for his daughter. I think that the United States are indebted to me another uniform coat for that of which he has disposed of on this occasion. It was but little worn.
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.