The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, July 23, 1806

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Clark, July 23, 1806

Speech for Yellowstone Indians Children. The Great Spirit has given a fair and bright day for us to meet together in his View that he may inspect us in this all we say and do.

Children I take you all by the hand as the children of your Great father the President of the U. States of America who is the great chief of all the white people towards the riseing sun.

Children This Great Chief who is Benevolent, just, wise & bountifull has sent me and one other of his chiefs (who is at this time in the country of the Blackfoot Indians) to all his read children on the Missourei and its waters quite to the great lake of the West where the land ends and the sun sets on the face of the great water, to know their wants and inform him of them on our return.

Children We have been to the great lake of the west and are now on our return to my country. I have seen all my read children quite to that great lake and talked with them, and taken them by the hand in the name of their great father the Great Chief of all the white people.

Children We did not see the ____ or the nations to the North. I have come across over high mountains and bad road to this river to see the ____ Natn. I have come down the river from the foot of the great snowey mountain to see you, and have looked in every detection for you, without seeing you untill now

Children I heard from some of your people ____ nights past by my horses who complained to me of your people haveing taken 24 of their cummerads.

Children The object of my comeing to see you is not to do you injurey but to do you good the Great Chief of all the white people who has more goods at his command than could be piled up in the circle of your camp, wishing that all his read children should be happy has sent me here to know your wants that he may supply them.

Children Your great father the Chief of the white people intends to build a house and fill it with such things as you may want and exchange with you for your skins & furs at a very low price. & has derected me to enquire of you, at what place would be most convenient for to build this house. and what articles you are in want of that he might send them imediately on my return

Children The people in my country is like the grass in your plains noumerous they are also rich and bountifull. and love their read brethren who inhabit the waters of the Missoure

Children I have been out from my country two winters, I am pore necked and nothing to keep of the rain. when I set out from my country I had a plenty but have given it all to my read children whome I have seen on my way to the Great Lake of the West. and have now nothing.

Children Your Great father will be very sorry to here of the ____ stealing the horses of his Chiefs warrors whome he sent out to do good to his red children on the waters of Missoure.

_____ their ears to his good counsels he will shut them and not let any goods & guns be brought to the red people. but to those who open their Ears to his counsels he will send every thing they want into their country. and build a house where they may come to and be supplyed whenever they wish.

Children Your Great father the Chief of all the white people has derected me to inform his red children to be at peace with each other, and the white people who may come into your country under the protection of the Flag of your great father which you. those people who may visit you under the protection of that flag are good people and will do you no harm

Children Your great father has detected me to tell you not to suffer your young and thoughtless men to take the horses or property of your neighbours or the white people, but to trade with them fairly and honestly, as those of his red children below.

Children The red children of your great father who live near him and have opened their ears to his counsels are rich and hapy have plenty of horses cows & Hogs fowls bread &c.&c. live in good houses, and sleep sound. and all those of his red children who inhabit the waters of the Missouri who open their ears to what I say and follow the counsels of their great father the President of the United States, will in a fiew years be as hapy as those mentioned &c.

Children It is the wish of your Great father the Chief of all the white people that some 2 of the principal Chiefs of this ____ Nation should Visit him at his great city and receive from his own mouth. his good counsels, and from his own hands his abundant gifts, Those of his red children who visit him do not return with empty hands, he send them to their nation loaded with presents

Children If any one two or 3 of your great chiefs wishes to visit your great father and will go with me, he will send you back next Summer loaded with presents and some goods for the nation. You will then see with your own eyes and here with your own years what the white people can do for you. they do not speak with two tongues nor promis what they can't perform

Children Consult together and give me an answer as soon as possible your great father is anxious to here from (& see his red children who wish to visit him) I cannot stay but must proceed on & inform him &c.