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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For September 28:
Captain Clark (current)
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Made many attempts in different ways to find our anchor, but could not; the sand had covered it. From the misfortune of last night, our boat was lying at shore in a very unfavorable situation. After finding that the anchor could not be found, we determined to proceed on. With great difficulty, got the chiefs out of our boat; and when we were about setting out, the class called the soldiers took possession of the cable. The 1st chief, who was still on board, intended to go a short distance with us. I told him the men of his nation sat on the cable. He went out and told Captain Lewis, who was at the bow, the men who sat on the rope were soldiers and wanted tobacco. Captain Lewis would not agree to be forced into anything. The 2nd chief demanded a flag and tobacco, which we refused to give, stating proper reasons to them for it. After much difficulty, which had nearly reduced us to the necessity for hostilities, I threw a carrot of tobacco to 1st chief. Took the port fire from gunner. Spoke so as to touch his pride. The chief gave the tobacco to his soldiers, and he jerked the rope from them, and handed it to the bowman. We then set out under a breeze from the S.E. About two miles up, we observed the 3rd chief on shore, beckoning to us. We took him on board. He informed us the rope was held by the order of the 2nd chief, who was a double-spoken man. Soon after, we saw a man coming full speed through the plains; left his horse, and proceeded across a sand bar near the shore. We took him on board and observed that he was the son of the chief we had on board. We sent, by him, a talk to the nation, stating the cause of our hoisting the red flag under the white. If they were for peace, stay at home and do as we had directed them. If they were for war, or were determined to stop us, we were ready to defend ourselves. We halted one hour and one-half on the S.S. and made a substitute of stones for an anchor, refreshed our men, and proceeded on about two miles higher up, and came to a very small sand bar in the middle of the river, and stayed all night. I am very unwell for want of sleep. Determined to sleep tonight if possible. The men cooked, and we rested well.
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.