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Entries For January 16:
Captain Clark (current)
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About thirty Mandans came to the fort today; 6 chiefs. Those Minnetarees told them they were liars; had told them if they came to the fort the white men would kill them. They had been with them all night, smoked the pipe and have been treated well, and the whites had danced for them, observing the Mandans were bad, and ought to hide themselves. One of the first war chiefs of the Big Bellies' nation came to see us today, with one man and his squaw to wait on him. Requested that she might be used for the night. His wife handsome. We shot the air gun and gave two shots with the cannon, which pleased them very much. The Little Crow, second chief of the lower village, came and brought us corn, &c. Four men of ours, who had been hunting, returned; one frosted.
This war chief gave us a chart, in his way, of the Missouri. He informed us of his intentions of going to war in the spring against the Snake Indians. We advised him to look back at the number of nations who had been destroyed by war, and reflect upon what he was about to do; observing, if he wished, the happiness of his nation, he would be at peace with all. By that, by being at peace, and having plenty of goods amongst them, and a free intercourse with those defenseless nations, they would get, on easy terms, a greater number of horses; and that nation would increase. If he went to war against those defenseless people, he would displease his Great Father, and he would not receive that protection and care from him, as other nations who listened to his word. This chief, who is a young man 26 years old, replied that if his going to war against the Snake Indians would be displeasing to us, he would not go, he had horses enough.
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.