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Entries For September 12:
Captain Clark (current)
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We set out at sunrise, the usual hour, and proceeded on very well. About 7 miles we met 2 pirogues from St. Louis one contained the property of Mr. Chouteau bound to the Pawnees, or River Platte; the other going up trapping as high as the Mahas. Here we met one of the Frenchmen who had accompanied us as high as the Mandans. He informed us that Mr. McClellan was a few miles below. The wind blew ahead. Soon after we passed those pirogues, we saw a man on shore who informed us that he was one of Mr. McClellan's party, and that he was a short distance below. We took this man on board and proceeded on and met Mr. McClellan at the St. Michael's Prairie. We came to here.
We found Mr. Jo. Gravelines, the Arikara interpreter whom we had sent down with an Arikara chief in the spring of 1805; and old Mr. Dorion, the Sioux interpreter. We examined the instructions of those interpreters and found that Gravelines was ordered to the Arikaras with a speech from the President of the U. States to that nation, and some presents which had been given the Arikara chief who had visited the U. States, and unfortunately died at the city of Washington. He was instructed to teach the Arikaras agriculture and make every inquiry after Captain Lewis, myself, and the party.
Mr. Dorion was instructed to accompany Gravelines and, through his influence, pass him with his presents &c., by the Teton bands of the Sioux, and to prevail on some of the principal chiefs of those bands, not exceeding six, to visit the seat of the government next spring. He was also instructed to make every inquiry after us. We made some small additions to his instructions by extending the number of chiefs to 10 or 12 - or 3 from each band, including the Yanktons, &c. Mr. McClellan received us very politely, and gave us all the news and occurrences which had taken place in the Illinois within his knowledge. The evening proving to be wet and cloudy, we concluded to continue all night. We dispatched the two canoes ahead to hunt with 5 hunters in them.
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.