The Journals of Lewis & Clark: December 7, 1804

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
December 6, 1804
December 8, 1804

December 7, 1804

at Fort mandan

7th of December 1804, we were informed by a Chief that great numbers of Buffalow were on the hills near us Cap Lewis with a party went out & Killed 11three in view of our fort, The weather so excesive Cold & wolves plenty, we only saved 5 of them, I with a party turned on the 8th out and found the Buffalow at 7 ms. distant Killed 8 & a Deer, I returned with 2 Cows leaving men with remaining meat- Several men badly frost bit- The Themormeter Stood this morning at 44 d. below Breizing.

Capt Lewis went out 9th & Stayed all night out Killed 9 buffalowmaney of the Buffalow Killed were So meager that they not fit for use Collected by the ade of Some horses the best of the meat in fact all we could Save from wolves & I went on a hunting party the 14 & 15 of Decr.- much Snow verry cold 52° below freesinge. N W. & H Bay Clerks Visit us the 16th also Mr Hainey, Cold Tem. 74° below freesing

I visit the Mandans on the 1s of January Capt Lewis the 2nd

7th of December Friday 1804

a verry Cold day wind from the N W. the Big White Grand Chief of the 1s Village, Came and informed us that a large Drove of Buffalow was near and his people was wating for us to join them in a Chase Capt. Lewis took 15 men & went out joined the Indians, who were at the time he got up, Killing the Buffalows on Horseback with arrows which they done with great dexterity, his party killed 14 Buffalow, five of which we got to the fort by the assistance of a horse in addition to what the men Packed on their backs- one Cow was killed on the ice after drawing her out of a vacancey in the ice in which She had fallen, and Butchered her at the fort- those we did not get in was taken by the indians under a Custon which is established amongst them i e. any person Seeing a buffalow lying without an arrow Sticking in him, or Some purticular mark takes possesion, many times (as I am told) a hunter who Kills maney Buffalow in a chase only Gets a part of one, all meat which is left out all night falls to the Wolves which are in great numbers, always in the Buffalows- the river Closed opposit the fort last night 11/2 inches thick The Thermometer Stood this morning at 1 d. below o- three men frost bit badly to day