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Entries For February 21:
Captain Clark (current)
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A delightful day. Put out our clothes to sun. Visited by The Big White and Big Man. They informed me that several men of their nation were gone to consult their medicine stone, about 3 days' march to the southwest, to know what was to be the result of the ensuing year. They have great confidence in this stone, and say that it informs them of everything which is to happen, and visit it every spring and sometimes in the summer. "They, having arrived at the stone, give it smoke, and proceed to the woods at some distance to sleep. The next morning, return to the stone, and find marks white and raised on the stone, representing the peace or war which they are to meet with, and other changes which they are to meet." This stone has a level surface about 20 feet in circumference, thick and porous, and no doubt has some mineral qualities affected by the sun. The Big Bellies have a stone to which they ascribe nearly the same virtues.
Captain Lewis returned with 2 sleighs loaded with meat. After finding that he could not overtake the Sioux war party, (who had in their way destroyed all the meat at one deposit which I had made, and burned the lodges), determined to proceed on to the lower deposit which he found had not been observed by the Sioux. He hunted two days; killed 36 deer and 14 elk, several of them so meager that they were unfit for use. The meat which he killed and that in the lower deposit, amounting to about 3,000 pounds, was brought up on two sleighs; one, drawn by 16 men, had about 2,400 pounds on it.
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.