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Entries For September 25:
Captain Clark (current)
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A fair morning. The wind from the S.E. All well. Raised a flagstaff and made an awning or shade on a sand bar in the mouth of Teton River, for the purpose of speaking with the Indians under. The boat crew on board at 70 yards distance from the bar. The five Indians which we met last night continued. About 11 o'clock, the 1st and 2nd chiefs came. We gave them some of our provisions to eat. They gave us great quantities of meat, some of which was spoiled: We feel much at a loss for the want of an interpreter; the one we have can speak but little.
Met in council at 12 o'clock and, after smoking - agreeable to the usual custom - Captain Lewis proceeded to deliver a speech which we were obliged to curtail for want of a good interpreter. All our party paraded. Gave a medal to the grand chief, called in Indian Untongarsarbar, in French Boeuf Noir, Black Buffalo. Said to be a good man. 2nd chief, Tortohongar or The Partisan-bad. The 3rd is the Boeuf de Médecine, his name is Tartongarwaker. 1st considerable man, Warzinggo. 2nd considerable man, Second Bear - Matocoquepar.
Invited those chiefs on board to show them our boat, and such curiosities as were strange to them. We gave them 1/4 glass of whiskey, which they appeared to be very fond of; sucked the bottle after it was out and soon began to be troublesome' one, the second chief, assuming drunkenness as a cloak for his rascally intentions. I went with those chiefs, in one of the pirogues with 5 men - 3 and 2 Indians (which left the boat with great reluctance) - to shore, with a view of reconciling those men to us.
As soon as I landed the pirogue, three of their young men seized the cable of the pirogue [in which we had presents, &c.] The chiefs' soldier [each chief has a soldier] hugged the mast, and the 2nd chief was very insolent, both in words and gestures [pretended drunkenness and staggered up against me], declaring I should not go on, stating he had not received presents sufficient from us. His gestures were of such a personal nature, I felt myself compelled to draw my sword, and made a signal to the boat to prepare for action. At this motion Captain Lewis ordered all under arms in the boat. Those with me also showed a disposition to defend themselves and me. The grand chief then took hold of the rope and ordered the young warriors away.
I felt myself warm and spoke in very positive terms.
Most of the warriors appeared to have their bows strung, and took out their arrows from the quiver. As I, being surrounded, was not permitted by them to return, I sent all the men except two interpreters to the boat. The pirogue soon returned with about 12 of our determined men ready for any event. This movement caused a number of the Indians to withdraw at a distance, leaving their chiefs and soldiers alone with me. Their treatment to me was very rough and, I think, justified roughness on my part. They all left my pirogue, and counciled with themselves. The result I could not learn, and nearly all went off after remaining in this situation some time. I offered my hand to the 1st and 2nd chiefs, who refused to receive it. I turned off and went with my men on board the pirogue. I had not proceeded more than ten paces before the 1st chief, 3rd, and 2 Brave Men waded in after me. I took them in and went on board.
We proceeded on about one mile, and anchored out off a willow island. Placed a guard on shore to protect the cooks and a guard in the boat. Fastened the pirogues to the boat. I called this island Bad Humored Island, as we were in a bad humor.
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.