The Journals of Lewis & Clark: September 26, 1804

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
September 25, 1804
September 27, 1804

September 26, 1804

26th of Septr Set out early and proceeded on- the river lined with indians, came too & anchored by the particular request of the Chiefs to let their Womin & Boys See the Boat, and Suffer them to Show us some friendship- great members of men womin & Children on the bank viewing us- Those people are Spritely Small legs ille looking Set men perticularly, they grease & Black themselves when they dress, make use of Hawks feathers about thier heads, cover with a Roab each a polecat Skin to hold their Smokeables, fond of Dress, Badly armed. ther women appear verry well, fine Teeth, High Cheek Dress in Skin Peticoats, & a Roabe with the flesh Side out and harey ends turned back over their Sholdes, and look well- they doe all the Laborious work, and I may say are perfect Slaves to thier husbands who frequently have Several wives- Capt Lewis & 5 men went on Shore with the Chiefs, who appeared to wish to become friendly they requested us to remain one night & see them dance &c.- in the evening I walked on Shore, and Saw Several Mahar Womin & Boys in a lodge & was told they were Prisones laterly taken in a battle in which they killed a number & took 48 prisoners- I advised the Chiefs to make peace with that nation and give up the Prisoners, if they intended to follow the words of their great father they promised that they would do So- I was in Several Lodges neetly formed, those lodges are about 15 to 20 feet Diametr Stretched on Poles like a Sugar Loaf, made of Buffalow Skins Dressed about 5 oClock I was approached by 10 well Dressed young men with a neet Buffalow Roab which they Set down before me & requested me to get in they Carried me to ther Council Tents forming 3/4 Circle & Set me down betwn 2 Chefs where about 70 men were Seated in a circle, in front of the Chief 6 feet Square was cleared & the pipe of peace raised on forks & Sticks, under which was Swans down Scattered, the Flags of Spane & the one we gave them yesterday was Displayed a large fire was made on which a Dog was Cooked, & in the center about 400 wt of Buffalow meat which they gave us,- Soon after, I took my Seat the young men went to the boat & brought Capt Lewis in the Same way & placed him by me Soon after an old man rose & Spoke approveing what we had done. requesting us to take pitty on them &C. answered- They form their Camp in a circle

The great Chief then rose in great State and Spoke to the Same purpos and with Solemnity took up the pipe of peace and pointed it to the heavens, the 4 quartrs and the earth, he made Some divistation, & presented the Sten to us to Smoke, after Smokeing & a Short Harrang to his people we were requested to take the meat, and the Flesh of the Dog gavin us to eat- We Smoked untill Dark, at which time all was cleared away & a large fire made in the Center, Several men with Tamborens highly Decorated with Der & Cabra Hoofs to make them rattle, assembled and began to Sing & Beat- The women Came forward highly decerated with the Scalps & Trofies of war of their fathes Husbands & relations, and Danced the war Dance, which they done with great chearfulness untill 12 oClock, when we informed the Chief we intended return on bord, (they offered us women, which we did not except) 4 Chiefs accompanied us to the boat and Staid all night- Those people have a Description of Men which they Call Soldiars, those men attend to the police of the Band, Correct all vices &. I Saw one to day whip 2 Squars who appeared to have fallen out, when the Soldier approached all appeared give way and flee at night they Keep 4 or 5 men at different distances walking around their Camp Singing the acursenes of the night all in Spirits this evening wind hard from the S E

I saw 25 Squars & Boys taken 13 days ago in a battle with the Mahars, in which they destroyed 40 Lodges, Killed 75 men & boys, & took 48 prisones which they promised us Should be delivered to Mr. Durion now with the Yankton _____, we gave our Mahar interpeter a few alls & &. to give those retched Prisonis, I saw Homney of ground Potatos a Spoon of the Big Horn animals which will hold 2 quarts.

26th Septr. 1804 bad hd Isd.

26th of September Wednesday 1804

Set out early proceeded on and Came to by the wish of the Chiefs for to let their Squars & boys See the Boat and Suffer them to treat us well great number of men women & Children on the banks viewing us, these people Shew great anxiety, they appear Spritely, generally ill looking & not well made thier legs & arms Small Generally- they Grese & Black themselves with coal when they dress, make use of a hawks feather about their heads the men a robe & each a polecats Skins, for to hold ther Bais roly for Smokeing fond of Dress & Show badly armed with fuseis &. The Squaws are Chearfull fine lookg womin not handson, High Cheeks Dressed in Skins a Peticoat and roab which foldes back over thir Sholder, with long wool. doe all ther laborious work & I may Say perfect Slaves to the men, as all Squars of nations much at war, or where the womin are more noumerous than the men- after Comeing too Capt. Lewis & 5 men went on Shore with the Chiefs, who appeared desposed to make up & be friendly, after Captain Lewis had been on Shore about 3 hours I became uneasy for fear of Some Deception & sent a Serjeant to See him and know his treatment which he reported was friendly, & thy were prepareing for a Dance this evening

The made frequent Selecitiation for us to remain one night only and let them Show their good disposition towards us, we deturmined to remain, after the return of Capt. Lewis, I went on Shore I saw Several Maha Prisoners and Spoke to the Chiefs it was necessary to give those prisoners up & become good friends with the Mahars if they wished to follow the advice of their Great father I was in Several Lodges neetly formed as before mentioned as to the Bauruly Tribe- I was met by about 10 well Dressd. yound men who took me up in a roabe Highly a decrated and Set me Down by the Side of their Chief on a Dressed robe in a large Council House this house formed a 3/4 Cercle of Skins well Dressed and Sown together under this Shelter about 70 men Set forming a Circle in front of the Chiefs a plac of 6 feet Diameter was Clear and the pipe of peace raised on Sticks under which there was Swans down Scattered, on each Side of the Circle two Pipes, The flags of Spain 2 & the Flag we gave them in front of the Grand Chief a large fire was near in which provisions were Cooking, in the Center about 400 wt. of excellent Buffalo Beif as a present for us

Soon after they set me Down, the men went for Capt Lewis brough him in the same way and placed him also by the Chief in a fiew minits an old man rose & Spoke approveing what we had done & informing us of their Situation requesting us to take pity on them &c which was answered The Great Chief then rose with great State to the Same purpote as far as we Could learn & then with Great Solemnity took up the pipe of peace whin the principal Chiefs Spoke with the pipe of Peace he took in one hand Some of the most Delicate parts of the Dog which was prepared for the feist & made a Sacrifise to the flag- & after pointing it to the heavins the 4 quarter of the Globe & the earth, , lit it and prosist presented the Stem to us to Smoke, after a Smoke had taken place, & a Short Harange to his people, we were requested to take the meal put before us the dog which they had been cooking, & Pemitigon & ground potatoe in Several platters. Pemn is buffo meat dried or baked pounded & mixed with grease raw Dog Sioux think great dishused on festivals. eat little of dog pemn & pote good we Smoked for an hour Dark & all was Cleared away a large fire made in the Center, about 10 misitions playing on tamberins. long sticks with Deer & Goats Hoofs tied So as to make a gingling noise and many others of a Similer kind, those men began to Sing, & Beet on the Tamboren, the women Came foward highly Deckerated in theire way, with the Scalps and Trofies of war of ther father Husbands Brothers or near Connection & proceeded to Dance the war Dance which they done with Great Chearfullness untill 12 oClock when we informed the Cheifs that they were fatigued &c. they then retired & we Accompd. by 4 Chiefs returned to our boat, they Stayed with us all night. Those people have Some brave men which they make use of as Soldiers those men attend to the police of the Village Correct all errors I saw one of them to day whip 2 Squars who appeared to have fallen out, when he approachd all about appeared to flee with great turrow at night thy keep two 3 4 or 5 men at deffinit Distances walking around Camp Singing the accurrunces of the night all the men on board 100 paces from Shore wind from the S. E. moderate one man verry sick on board with a Dangerass abscess on his Hip. all in Spirits this eveninge

In this Tribe I saw 25 Squars and boys taken 13 days ago in a battle with the mahars in this battle they Destroyd 40 lodges, killed 75 men, & Som boys & children, & took 48 Prisones Womin & boys which they promis both Capt. Lewis and my Self Shall be Delivered up to Mr. Durion at the Tribe, those are a retched and Dejected looking people the Squars appear low & Corse but this is an unfavourabl time to judge of them we gave our Mahar inteptr. Some fiew articles to give those Squats in his name Such as alls needle &. &c.

I Saw & eat Pemitigon the Dog, Groud potatoe made into a Kind of homney, which I thought but little inferior- I also Saw a Spoon made of a horn of an animile of the Sheep kind the spoon will hold 2 quarts.