The End of a Long Journey
The End of a Long Journey
The reunited party now set out for the lower river and proceeded rapidly down-stream, favored with a good wind. They made eighty-six miles on the first day, passing the mouth of the Little Missouri early in the forenoon, and camping at Miry River, on the northeast side of the Missouri. On the second day they arrived at the principal village of the Minnetarees, where they were received with cordial welcome by their old friends. The explorers fired their blunderbuss several times by way of salute, and the Indian chiefs expressed their satisfaction at the safe return of the white men. One of the Minnetaree chiefs, however, wept bitterly at the sight of the whites, and it was explained by his friends that their coming reminded him of the death of his son, who had been lately killed by the Blackfoot Indians.
Arriving at the village of the Mandans, of which Black Cat was the chief, a council was called, and the chiefs of the expedition endeavored to persuade some of the leading men of the tribe to accompany them to Washington to see "the Great Father." Black Cat expressed his strong desire to visit the United States and see the Great Father, but he was afraid of the Sioux, their ancient enemies, through whose territory they must pass on their way down to the white man's country. This chief, it will be recollected, was given a flag and a medal by the two captains when they passed up the river on their way to the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific coast. The flag was now brought on and hoisted on the lodge of Black Cat. On that occasion, also, the commanders of the expedition had given the Indians a number of useful articles, among them being a portable corn-mill. But the Indians had other uses for metal, and they had taken the mill apart and used the iron for the purpose of making barbs for their arrows. From the Omahas, who were located here, the white men received a present of as much corn as three men could carry. Black Cat also gave them a dozen bushels of corn.
Their days of starvation and famine were over. They were next visited by Le Borgne, better known as One-eye, the head chief of all the Minnetarees, to whom Lewis and Clark also extended an invitation to go to Washington to see the Great Father. The journal says:--
"Le Borgne began by declaring that he much desired to visit his Great Father, but that the Sioux would certainly kill any of the Mandans who should attempt to go down the river. They were bad people, and would not listen to any advice. When he saw us last, we had told him that we had made peace with all the nations below; yet the Sioux had since killed eight of his tribe, and stolen a number of their horses. The Ricaras too had stolen their horses, and in the contest his people had killed two of the Ricaras. Yet in spite of these dispositions he had always had his ears open to our counsels, and had actually made a peace with the Chayennes and the Indians of the Rocky Mountains. He concluded by saying, that however disposed they were to visit the United States, the fear of the Sioux would prevent them from going with us."
The truth was that One-eye had no notion of going to Washington; he was afraid of nobody, and his plea of possible danger among the Sioux was mere nonsense to deceive the white men. Captain Clark visited the village of Black Cat, and that worthy savage made the same excuse that Le Borgne (One-eye) had already put forth; he was afraid of the Sioux. The journal adds:--
"Captain Clark then spoke to the chiefs and warriors of the village. He told them of his anxiety that some of them should see their Great Father, hear his good words, and receive his gifts; and requested them to fix on some confidential chief who might accompany us. To this they made the same objections as before; till at length a young man offered to go, and the warriors all assented to it. But the character of this man was known to be bad; and one of the party with Captain Clark informed him that at the moment he [this Indian] had in his possession a knife which he had stolen. Captain Clark therefore told the chief of this theft, and ordered the knife to be given up. This was done with a poor apology for having it in his possession, and Captain Clark then reproached the chiefs for wishing to send such a fellow to see and hear so distinguished a person as their Great Father. They all hung down their heads for some time, till Black Cat apologized by saying that the danger was such that they were afraid of sending any one of their chiefs, as they considered his loss almost inevitable."
Although there was so much reluctance on the part of the Indians to leave their roving life, even for a few months, there were some white men among the explorers who were willing to give up their home in "the States." The journal says:--
"In the evening Colter applied to us for permission to join the two trappers who had accompanied us, and who now proposed an expedition up the river, in which they were to find traps and to give him a share of the profits. The offer was a very advantageous one; and as he had always performed his duty, and his services could be dispensed with, we consented to his going upon condition that none of the rest were to ask or expect a similar indulgence. To this they all cheerfully assented, saying that they wished Colter every success, and would not apply for liberty to separate before we reached St. Louis. We therefore supplied him, as did his comrades also, with powder and lead, and a variety of articles which might be useful to him, and he left us the next day. The example of this man shows how easily men may be weaned from the habits of civilized life to the ruder, though scarcely less fascinating, manners of the woods. This hunter had now been absent for many years from the frontiers, and might naturally be presumed to have some anxiety, or at least curiosity, to return to his friends and his country; yet, just at the moment when he was approaching the frontiers, he was tempted by a hunting scheme to give up all those delightful prospects, and to go back without the least reluctance to the solitude of the wilds."
The two captains learned here that the Minnetarees had sent out a war-party against the Shoshonees, very soon after the white men's expedition had left for the Rocky Mountains, notwithstanding their promise to keep peace with the surrounding tribes. They had also sent a war-party against the Ricaras, two of whom they killed. Accordingly, the white chiefs had a powwow with the Indian chiefs, at which the journal says these incidents occurred:--
"We took this opportunity of endeavoring to engage Le Borgne in our interests by a present of the swivel, which is no longer serviceable, as it cannot be discharged from our largest pirogue. It was loaded; and the chiefs being formed into a circle round it, Captain Clark addressed them with great ceremony. He said that he had listened with much attention to what had yesterday been declared by Le Borgne, whom he believed to be sincere, and then reproached them with their disregard of our counsels, and their wars on the Shoshonees and Ricaras. Little Cherry, the old Minnetaree chief, answered that they had long stayed at home and listened to our advice, but at last went to war against the Sioux because their horses had been stolen and their companions killed; and that in an expedition against those people they met the Ricaras, who were on their way to strike them, and a battle ensued. But in future he said they would attend to our words and live at peace. Le Borgne added that his ears would always be open to the words of his Good Father, and shut against bad counsel. Captain Clark then presented to Le Borgne the swivel, which he told him had announced the words of his Great Father to all the nations we had seen, and which, whenever it was fired, should recall those which we had delivered to him. The gun was discharged, and Le Borgne had it conveyed in great pomp to his village. The council then adjourned."
After much diplomacy and underhand scheming, one of the Mandan chiefs, Big White, agreed to go to Washington with the expedition. But none of the Minnetarees could be prevailed upon to leave their tribe, even for a journey to the Great Father, of whose power and might so much had been told them. The journal, narrating this fact, says further:--
"The principal chiefs of the Minnetarees now came down to bid us farewell, as none of them could be prevailed on to go with us. This circumstance induced our interpreter, Chaboneau, to remain here with his wife and child, as he could no longer be of use to us, and, although we offered to take him with us to the United States, he declined, saying that there he had no acquaintance, and no chance of making a livelihood, and preferred remaining among the Indians. This man had been very serviceable to us, and his wife was particularly useful among the Shoshonees: indeed, she had borne with a patience truly admirable the fatigues of so long a route, encumbered with the charge of an infant, who was then only nineteen months old. We therefore paid him his wages, amounting to five hundred dollars and thirty-three cents, including the price of a horse and a lodge purchased of him, and soon afterward dropped down to the village of Big White, attended on shore by all the Indian chiefs, who had come to take leave of him.
"We found him surrounded by his friends, who sat in a circle smoking, while the women were crying. He immediately sent his wife and son, with their baggage, on board, accompanied by the interpreter and his wife, and two children; and then, after distributing among his friends some powder and ball which we had given him, and smoking a pipe, he went with us to the river side. The whole village crowded about us, and many of the people wept aloud at the departure of their chief."
Once more embarked, the party soon reached Fort Mandan, where they had wintered in 1804. They found very little of their old stronghold left except a few pickets and one of the houses. The rest had been destroyed by an accidental fire. Eighteen miles below, they camped near an old Ricara village, and next day, as they were about to resume their voyage, a brother of Big White, whose camp was farther inland, came running down to the beach to bid Big White farewell. The parting of the two brothers was very affectionate, and the elder gave the younger a pair of leggings as a farewell present. The Indian chief was satisfied with his treatment by the whites, and interested himself to tell them traditions of localities which they passed. August 20 they were below the mouth of Cannon-ball River, and were in the country occupied and claimed by the Sioux. Here, if anywhere, they must be prepared for attacks from hostile Indians. At this point, the journal sets forth this interesting observation:--
"Since we passed in 1804, a very obvious change has taken place in the current and appearance of the Missouri. In places where at that time there were sandbars, the current of the river now passes, and the former channel of the river is in turn a bank of sand. Sandbars then naked are now covered with willows several feet high; the entrance of some of the creeks and rivers has changed in consequence of the quantity of mud thrown into them; and in some of the bottoms are layers of mud eight inches in depth."
The streams that flow into the Missouri and Mississippi from the westward are notoriously fickle and changeable. Within a very few years, some of them have changed their course so that farms are divided into two parts, or are nearly wiped out by the wandering streams. In at least one instance, artful men have tried to steal part of a State by changing the boundary line along the bed of the river, making the stream flow many miles across a tract around which it formerly meandered. On this boundary line between the Sioux and their upper neighbors, the party met a band of Cheyennes and another of Ricaras, or Arikaras. They held a palaver with these Indians and reproached the Ricara chief, who was called Gray-eyes, with having engaged in hostilities with the Sioux, notwithstanding the promises made when the white men were here before. To this Gray-eyes made an animated reply:--
"He declared that the Ricaras were willing to follow the counsels we had given them, but a few of their bad young men would not live in peace, but had joined the Sioux and thus embroiled them with the Mandans. These young men had, however, been driven out of the villages, and as the Ricaras were now separated from the Sioux, who were a bad people and the cause of all their misfortunes, they now desired to be at peace with the Mandans, and would receive them with kindness and friendship. Several of the chiefs, he said, were desirous of visiting their Great Father; but as the chief who went to the United States last summer had not returned, and they had some fears for his safety, on account of the Sioux, they did not wish to leave home until they heard of him. With regard to himself, he would continue with his nation, to see that they followed our advice. . . . . . . . . .
"After smoking for some time, Captain Clark gave a small medal to the Chayenne chief, and explained at the same time the meaning of it. He seemed alarmed at this present, and sent for a robe and a quantity of buffalo-meat, which he gave to Captain Clark, and requested him to take back the medal; for he knew that all white people were `medicine,' and was afraid of the medal, or of anything else which the white people gave to the Indians. Captain Clark then repeated his intention in giving the medal, which was the medicine his great father had directed him to deliver to all chiefs who listened to his word and. followed his counsels; and that as he [the chief] had done so, the medal was given as a proof that we believed him sincere. He now appeared satisfied and received the medal, in return for which he gave double the quantity of buffalo-meat he had offered before. He seemed now quite reconciled to the whites, and requested that some traders might be sent among the Chayennes, who lived, he said, in a country full of beaver, but did not understand well how to catch them, and were discouraged from it by having no sale for them when caught. Captain Clark promised that they should be soon supplied with goods and taught the best mode of catching beaver.
"Big White, the chief of the Mandans, now addressed them at some length, explaining the pacific intentions of his nation; the Chayennes observed that both the Ricaras and Mandans seemed to be in fault; but at the end of the council the Mandan chief was treated with great civility, and the greatest harmony prevailed among them. The great chief, however, informed us that none of the Ricaras could be prevailed on to go with us till the return of the other chief; and that the Chayennes were a wild people, afraid to go. He invited Captain Clark to his house, and gave him two carrots of tobacco, two beaver-skins, and a trencher of boiled corn and beans. It is the custom of all the nations on the Missouri to offer to every white man food and refreshment when he first enters their tents."
Resuming their voyage, the party reached Tyler's River, where they camped, on the twenty-seventh of August. This stream is now known as Medicine River, from Medicine Hill, a conspicuous landmark rising at a little distance from the Missouri. The voyagers were now near the lower portion of what is now known as South Dakota, and they camped in territory embraced in the county of Presho. Here they were forced to send out their hunters; their stock of meat was nearly exhausted. The hunters returned empty-handed.
"After a hunt of three hours they reported that no game was to be found in the bottoms, the grass having been laid flat by the immense number of buffaloes which recently passed over it; and, that they saw only a few buffalo bulls, which they did not kill, as they were quite unfit for use. Near this place we observed, however, the first signs of the wild turkey; not long afterward we landed in the Big Bend, and killed a fine fat elk, on which we feasted. Toward night we heard the bellowing of buffalo bulls on the lower island of the Big Bend. We pursued this agreeable sound, and after killing some of the cows, camped on the island, forty-five miles from the camp of last night."
. . . . . . . . .
"Setting out at ten o'clock the next morning, at a short distance they passed the mouth of White River, the water of which was nearly of the color of milk. As they were much occupied with hunting, they made but twenty miles. The buffalo," says the journal, "were now so numerous, that from an eminence we discovered more than we had ever seen before at one time; and though it was impossible accurately to calculate their number, they darkened the whole plain, and could not have been, we were convinced, less than twenty thousand. With regard to game in general, we have observed that wild animals are usually found in the greatest numbers in the country lying between two nations at war."
They were now well into the Sioux territory, and on the thirtieth of August they had an encounter with a party of Indians. About twenty persons were seen on the west side of the river, proceeding along a height opposite the voyagers. Just as these were observed, another band, numbering eighty or ninety, came out of the woods nearer the shore. As they had a hostile appearance, the party in the canoes made preparations to receive them; they were suspected to be Teton-Sioux, although they might be Yanktons, Pawnees, or Omahas. The journal adds:--
"In order, however, to ascertain who they were, without risk to the party, Captain Clark crossed, with three persons who could speak different Indian languages, to a sand-bar near the opposite side, in hopes of conversing with them. Eight young men soon met him on the sand-bar, but none of them could understand either the Pawnee or Maha interpreter. They were then addressed in the Sioux language, and answered that they were Tetons, of the band headed by Black Buffaloe, Tahtackasabah. This was the same who had attempted to stop us in 1804; and being now less anxious about offending so mischievous a tribe, Captain Clark told them that they had been deaf to our councils, had ill-treated us two years ago, and had abused all the whites who had since visited them. He believed them, he added, to be bad people, and they must therefore return to their companions; for if they crossed over to our camp we would put them to death. They asked for some corn, which Captain Clark refused; they then requested permission to come and visit our camp, but he ordered them back to their own people. He then returned, and all our arms were prepared, in case of an attack; but when the Indians reached their comrades, and informed their chiefs of our intention, they all set out on their way to their own camp; though some of them halted on a rising ground and abused us very copiously, threatening to kill us if we came across. We took no notice of this for some time, till the return of three of our hunters, whom we were afraid the Indians might have met. But as soon as they joined us we embarked; and to see what the Indians would attempt, steered near their side of the river. At this the party on the hill seemed agitated; some set out for their camp, others walked about, and one man walked toward the boats and invited us to land. As he came near, we recognized him to be the same who had accompanied us for two days in 1804, and was considered a friend of the whites.
"Unwilling, however, to have any intercourse with these people, we declined his invitation, upon which he returned to the hill, and struck the earth three times with his gun, a great oath among the Indians, who consider swearing by the earth as one of the most solemn forms of imprecation. At the distance of six miles we stopped on a bleak sand-bar, where we thought ourselves secure from any attack during the night, and also safe from the mosquitoes. We had made but twenty-two miles, but in the course of the day had killed a mule-deer, an animal we were very anxious to obtain. About eleven in the evening the wind shifted to the northwest, and it began to rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning, after which the wind changed to the southwest, and blew with such violence that we were obliged to hold fast the canoes, for fear of their being driven from the sand-bar: still, the cables of two of them broke, and two others were blown quite across the river; nor was it till two o'clock that the whole party were reassembled, waiting in the rain for daylight."
The party now began to meet white men in small detachments coming up the river. On the third of September, for example, they met the first men who were able to give them news of home. This party was commanded by a Mr. James Airs (or Ayres), from Mackinaw, by the way of Prairie du Chien and St. Louis. He had two canoes loaded with merchandise which he was taking up the river to trade with the Indians. Among the items of news gathered from him, according to the private journal of one of the Lewis and Clark party, was that General James Wilkinson was now Governor of Louisiana Territory, and was stationed at St. Louis. This is the Wilkinson who fought in the American Revolution, and was subsequently to this time accused of accepting bribes from Spain and of complicity with Aaron Burr in his treasonable schemes. Another item was to this effect: "Mr. Burr & Genl. Hambleton fought a Duel, the latter was killed." This brief statement refers to the unhappy duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, at Weehawken, New Jersey, July 11, 1804. This interesting entry shows with what feelings the long-absent explorers met Mr. Airs:--
"After so long an interval, the sight of anyone who could give us information of our country was peculiarly delightful, and much of the night was spent in making inquiries into what had occurred during our absence. We found Mr. Airs a very friendly and liberal gentleman; when we proposed to him to purchase a small quantity of tobacco, to be paid for in St. Louis, he very readily furnished every man of the party with as much as he could use during the rest of the voyage, and insisted on our accepting a barrel of flour. This last we found very agreeable, although we have still a little flour which we had deposited at the mouth of Maria's River. We could give in return only about six bushels of corn, which was all that we could spare."
Three days later, the voyagers met a trading-boat belonging to Mr. Augustus Chouteau, the founder of a famous trading-house in St. Louis. From this party the captains procured a gallon of whiskey, and with this they served out a dram to each of their men. "This," says the journal, "is the first spirituous liquor any of them have tasted since the Fourth of July, 1805." From this time forward, the returning explorers met trading parties nearly every day; and this showed that trade was following the flag far up into the hitherto unexplored regions of the American continent.
The explorers, hungry for news from home, would have tarried and talked longer with their new-found friends, but they were anxious to get down to civilization once more. Their journal also says: "The Indians, particularly the squaws and children, are weary of the long journey, and we are desirous of seeing our country and friends." This quotation from the journal gives us our first intimation that any Indians accompanied Big White to the United States. He appears to have had a small retinue of followers men, women, and children--with him.
Below the mouth of the Platte, September 12, Lewis and Clark met Gravelines, the interpreter who was sent to Washington from Fort Mandan, in 1805, with despatches, natural history specimens, and a Ricara chief. The chief had unfortunately died in Washington, and Gravelines was now on his way to the Ricaras with a speech from President Jefferson and the presents that had been given to the chief. He also had instructions to teach the Ricaras in agriculture.
It is interesting to note how that the explorers, now tolerably well acquainted with the Indian character since their long experience with the red men, had adopted a very different bearing from that which they had when coming up the river, in 1805. Here is an extract from their journal, September 14:--
"We resumed our journey. This being a part of the river to which the Kansas resort, in order to rob the boats of traders, we held ourselves in readiness to fire upon any Indians who should offer us the slightest indignity; as we no longer needed their friendship, and found that a tone of firmness and decision is the best possible method of making proper impressions on these freebooters. However, we did not encounter any of them; but just below the old Kansas village met three trading-boats from St. Louis, on their way to the Yanktons and Mahas."
Thirty miles below the island of Little Osage village, the party met Captain McClellan, formerly of the United States army. He informed Captain Lewis that the party had been given up for lost, people generally believing that they would never again be heard from; but, according to the journal of one of the party, "The President of the U. States yet had hopes of us." The last news received in "the U. States" from the explorers was that sent from Fort Mandan, by Gravelines, in 1805.
Scarcity of provisions once more disturbed the party, so that, on the eighteenth of September, the journal sets forth the fact that game was very scarce and nothing was seen by the hunters but a bear and three turkeys, which they were unable to reach. The men, however, were perfectly satisfied, although they were allowed only one biscuit per day. An abundance of pawpaws growing along the banks sufficed as nutritious food. The pawpaw is native to many of the Western States of the Republic. It is a fruit three or four inches long, growing on a small tree, or bush. The fruit is sweet and juicy and has several bean-shaped seeds embedded in the pulp. The voyagers now began to see signs of civilization on the banks of the river. Near the mouth of the Gasconade, above St. Louis, they beheld cows grazing in the meadows. The journal says: "The whole party almost involuntarily raised a shout of joy at seeing this image of civilization and domestic life." Men who have been wandering in pathless wildernesses, remote from man, for more than two years, might well be moved by the sights of a homelike farm and a settled life. Soon after this the party reached the little French village of La Charette which they saluted with four guns and three hearty cheers. Then, according to the journal, they landed and were warmly received by the people, who had long since abandoned all hope of ever seeing these far-voyaging adventurers return. Here are the last entries in the journal that has been our guide so long across the continent and back again to the haunts of men:--
"Sunday, September 21st, we proceeded; and as several settlements have been made during our absence, we were refreshed with the sight of men and cattle along the banks. We also passed twelve canoes of Kickapoo Indians, going on a hunting-excursion. At length, after coming forty-eight miles, we saluted, with heartfelt satisfaction, the village of St. Charles, and on landing were treated with the greatest hospitality and kindness by all the inhabitants of that place. Their civility detained us till ten o'clock the next morning,
"September 22d, when the rain having ceased, we set out for Coldwater Creek, about three miles from the mouth of the Missouri, where we found a cantonment of troops of the United States, with whom we passed the day; and then,
"September 23d, descended to the Mississippi, and round to St. Louis, where we arrived at twelve o'clock; and having fired a salute, went on shore and received the heartiest and most hospitable welcome from the whole village."
The two captains were very busily employed, as soon as they arrived in St. Louis, with writing letters to their friends and to the officers of the government who were concerned to know of their safe return to civilization. Captain Lewis' letter to the President of the United States, announcing his arrival, was dated Sept. 23, 1806. President Jefferson's reply was dated October 20 of that year. In his letter the President expressed his "unspeakable joy" at the safe return of the expedition. He said that the unknown scenes in which they had been engaged and the length of time during which no tidings had been received from them "had begun to be felt awfully." It may seem strange to modern readers familiar with the means for rapid travel and communication that no news from the explorers, later than that which they sent from the Mandan country, was received in the United States until their return, two years and four months later. But mail facilities were very scanty in those far-off days, even in the settled portions of the Mississippi Valley, and few traders had then penetrated to those portions of the Lower Missouri that had just been travelled by Lewis and Clark. As we have seen, white men were regarded with awe and curiosity by the natives of the regions which the explorers traversed in their long absence. The first post-office in what is now the great city of St. Louis was not established until 1808; mails between the Atlantic seaboard and that "village" required six weeks to pass either way.
The two captains went to Washington early in the year following their arrival in St. Louis. There is extant a letter from Captain Lewis, dated at Washington, Feb. 11, 1807. Congress was then in session, and, agreeably to the promises that had been held out to the explorers, the Secretary of War (General Henry Dearborn), secured from that body the passage of an act granting to each member of the expedition a considerable tract of land from the public domain. To each private and non-commissioned officer was given three hundred acres; to Captain Clark, one thousand acres, and to Captain Lewis fifteen hundred acres. In addition to this, the two officers were given double pay for their services during the time of their absence. Captain Lewis magnanimously objected to receiving more land for his services than that given to Captain Clark.
Captain Lewis resigned from the army, March 2, 1807, having been nominated to be Governor of Louisiana Territory a few days before. His commission as Governor was dated March 3 of that year. He was thus made the Governor of all the territory of the United States west of the Mississippi River. About the same time, Captain Clark was appointed a general of the territorial militia and Indian agent for that department.
Originally, the territory acquired from France was divided into the District of New Orleans and the District of Louisiana, the first-named being the lower portion of the territory and bounded on the north by a line which now represents the northern boundary of the State of Louisiana; and all above that line was known as the District of Louisiana. In 1812, the upper part, or Louisiana, was named the Territory of Missouri, and Captain Clark (otherwise General), was appointed Governor of the Territory, July 1, 1813, his old friend and comrade having died a few years earlier.
The end of Captain (otherwise Governor) Lewis was tragical and was shadowed by a cloud. Official business calling him to Washington, he left St. Louis early in September, 1809, and prosecuted his journey eastward through Tennessee, by the way of Chickasaw Bluffs, now Memphis, of that State. There is a mystery around his last days. On the eleventh of October, he stopped at a wayside log-inn, and that night he died a violent death, whether by his own hand or by that of a murderer, no living man knows. There were many contradictory stories about the sad affair, some persons holding to the one theory and some to the other. He was buried where he died, in the centre of what is now Lewis County, Tennessee. In 1848, the State of Tennessee erected over the last resting-place of Lewis a handsome monument, the inscriptions on which duly set forth his many virtues and his distinguished services to his country.
The story of the expedition of Lewis and Clark is the foundation of the history of the great Northwest and the Missouri Valley. These men and their devoted band of followers were the first to break into the world-old solitudes of the heart of the continent and to explore the mountain fastnesses in which the mighty Columbia has its birth. Following in their footsteps, the hardy American emigrant, trader, adventurer, and home-seeker penetrated the wilderness, and, building better than they knew, laid the foundations of populous and thriving States. Peaceful farms and noble cities, towns and villages, thrilling with the hum of modern industry and activity, are spread over the vast spaces through which the explorers threaded their toilsome trail, amid incredible privations and hardships, showing the way westward across the boundless continent which is ours. Let the names of those two men long be held in grateful honor by the American people!