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Entries For October 21:
Captain Clark (current)
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A very cold night. Wind hard from the N.E. Some rain in the night which froze as it fell. At daylight it began to snow and continued all the fore part of the day. Passed, just above our camp, a small river on the L.S., called by the Indians, Chisschetar. This river is about 38 yards wide, containing a good deal of water. Some distance up this river is situated a stone which the Indians have great faith in, and say they see, painted on the stone, all the calamities and good fortune to happen to the nation, and parties who visit it. A tree, an oak, which stands alone near this place - about 2 miles off - in the open prairie, which has withstood the fire, they pay great respect to: Make holes and tie strings through the skin of their necks and around this tree, to make them brave. All this is the information of Tooné (Is a Whippoorwill), the chief of the Arikaras, who accompanied us to the Mandans. At 2 miles, passed the second village of the Mandans, which was in existence at the same time with the first. This village is at the foot of a hill on the S.S. in a beautiful and extensive plain, at this time covered with buffalo. Nearly opposite is another village in a bottom, the other side of the Missouri. I killed a fine buffalo. We camped on the L.S., below an old Mandan village, having passed another up a creek 3 miles below on the S.S. Very cold. Ground covered with snow. One otter killed.
Last night at 1 o'clock, I was violently and suddenly attacked with the rheumatism in the neck, which was so violent I could not move. Captain Lewis applied a hot stone wrapped in flannel, which gave me some temporary ease. We set out early; the morning cold. At 7 o'clock, we came to at a camp of Teton Sioux on the L.S. Those people, 12 in number, were naked, and had the appearance of war. We have every reason to believe that they are going, or have been, to steal horses from the Mandans. They tell two stories. We gave them nothing. After taking breakfast, proceeded on. My neck is yet very painful, at times - spasms. Passed old Mandan village, near which we lay - another at 4 miles; one at 8 miles at mouth of large creek 4 miles farther, all on larboard side. The mounds, 9 in number, along river within 20 miles; the fallen-down earth of the houses, some teeth and bones of men and animals mixed in these villages. Human skulls are scattered in these villages.
Camped on the L. side. Passed an island situated on the L. side, at the head of which we passed a bad place, and Mandans' village S.S., 2 miles above. The hunters killed a buffalo bull. They say out of about 300 buffalo which they saw, they did not see one cow. Great deal of beaver sign. Several caught every night.
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.