The Journals of Lewis & Clark: October 12, 1804

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
October 11, 1804
October 13, 1804

October 12, 1804

12th of October Friday after Brackfast we joined the Chiefs & Indians on the bank who wer waiting for us, and proseeded to the 1st village and Lodge of the Pocasse, This man Spok at Some lengths, to the Same purpote of the 1 s Chief, & Declareing his intentions of visiting his great father, Some Doubts as to his Safty in Passing the Sioux, requested us to take a Chief of their nation and make a good peace with the Mandan for them, that they Knew that they were the Cause of the war by Killing the 2 Mandan Chiefs- this Chief & people gave us about 7 bushels of Corn, Some Tobacco of their own make, and Seed Legins & a Robe We proceeded to the 3rd Chiefs Village which is the largest, after the usial Seremoney of Eating Smokg. &. he Spoke to near the Same amount of the last Chief, & more pleasently, he gave us 10 bushels of Corn, Some Beens & Simmins, after he had Spoken, and I gave Some Sketches of the Power & Magnitude of Our Countrey, we returned to our Boat, I have the rhumetism on my neck the Chiefs accompanied us on board, we gave them Some Sugar Salt and a Sun Glass each, and after eating a little they returned on Shore leaveing one to accompany us to the Mandans, and we Set out viewed by men womin & children of each village proceeded on about 91/2 miles and Camped on the S S. Clear & Cold- The Ricaras Are about 500 men Mr. Taboe say 600 able to bear arms, and the remains of ten different tribes of Panias reduced by the Small Pox & wares with the Sioux, they are tall Stout men corsily featured, their womin Small & industerous raise great quantites of corn beans &c also Tobacco for the men to Smoke, they collect all the wood and doe the Drudgery common amongst Savages- Their language is So corrupted that many lodges of the Same village with dificuelty under Stand all that each other Say- They are Dirty, Kind, pore, & extravegent; possessing natural pride, no begers, rcive what is given them with pleasure, Thier houses are close together & Towns inclosed with Pickets, thier Lodges are 30 to 40 feet in Diamuter Covered with earth on Neet Poles Set end wise resting on 4 forks Supporting Beems Set in a Square form near the Center, and lower about 5 feet high other forks all around Supt. Strong Beems, from 8 to 10 of those, with a opening at top of about 5 to 6 feet Square, on the Poles which pass to the top, Small Willow & grass is put across to Support the earth- The Sioux exchange, Some merchndze of Small value which they get from Mr. Cameron of St. Peters for Corn &c and have great influence over this people treat them roughly and keep them in contineal dread- The Ricaras are at war with the Crow Indians and Mandans-&c. &- The Ricaras, have a custom Similar to the Sioux in maney instances, they think they cannot Show a Sufficient acknowledgement without to their guest handsom Squars and think they are despised if they are not recved

The Sioux followed us with women two days we put them off. the Ricarries we put off dureing the time we were near their village- 2 were Sent by a man to follow us, and overtook us this evening, we Still procisted in a refusial-The Dress of the Ricara men is Simpally a pr. of Mockersons & Legins, a flap, and a Buffalow Robe- Their Hair is long and lais loose their arms & ears are decerated with trinkets

The womin Dress Mockersons & Legins & Skirt of the Skin of the Cabre or Antelope, long fringed & roab to the fringes & with Sleaves, verry white, and Roabes- all were Dressed to be without hare in the Summer

Those people make large Beeds of Diferrent colours, out of glass or Beeds of Dift colours, verry ingeniously

12th October Friday 1804

I rose early after brackfast we joined the Indians who were waiting on the bank for us to come out and go and Council, we accordingly joined them and went to the house of the 2nd Chief Lassil where there was many Chief and warriers & about 7 bushels of Corn, a pr Leagins a twist of their Tobacco & Seeds of 2 Kind of Tobacco we Set Some time before the Councill Commenced this man Spoke at Some length declareing his dispotion to believe and prosue our Councils, his intention of going to Visit his great father acknowledged the Satisfaction in receiveing the presents &c. rais'g a Doubt as to the Safty on passing the nations below particularly the Souex. requested us to take a Chief of their nation and make a good pact with Mandins & nations above. after answering those parts of the 2d Chiefs Speech which required it, which appeared to give General Satisfaction we went to the Village of the 3rd Chief and as usial Some Serimony took place before he Could Speek to us on the Great Subject. This Chief Spoke verry much in the Stile on nearly the Same Subjects of the other Chief who Set by his Side, more Sincear & pleasently, he presented us with about 10 bushels of Corn Some beens & quashes all of which we acksepted with much pleasure, after we had ansd. his Speech & give them Some account of the Magnitude & power of our Countrey which pleased and astonished them verry much we returned to our boat, the Chiefs accompanied us on board, we gave them Some Sugar a little Salt, and a Sun Glass, & Set 2 on Shore & the third proceeded on with us to the Mandens by name, at 2 oClock we Set out the inhabitints of the two Villages Viewing us from the banks, we proceeded on about 91/2 miles and Camped on the S. S. at Some woods passed, the evening Clear & pleasent Cooler

The Nation of the Rickerries is about 600 men able to bear arms a Great perpotion of them have fusees they appear to be peacefull, their men tall and perpotiend, womin Small and industerous, raise great quantities of Corn Beens Simmins &c. also Tobacco for the men to Smoke they Collect all the wood and do the drugery as Common amongst Savages.

Thise nation is made up of 10 Different Tribes of the Pania, who had formerly been Seperate, but by Commotion and war with their neighbours have Come reduced and compelled to Come together for protection, The Curruption of the language of those different Tribes has So reduced the language that the Different Villages do not understade all the words of the others.- Those people are Durtey, Kind, pore, & extravigent pursessing national pride. not beggarley reive what is given with great pleasure, Live in worm houses large and built in an oxigon form forming a Cone at top which is left open for the Smoke to pass, those houses are generally 30 or 40 foot Diamiter. Covd. with earth on poles willows & grass to prevent the earths passing thro, Those people express an inclination to be at peace with all nations The Seaux who trade the goods which they get of the British Traders for their corn, and great influence over the Rickeres, poisen their minds and keep them in perpetial dread.

I Saw Some of the Chien or Dog Indians, also a man of a nation under the Court new-This nation is at war with the Crow Indians & have 3 Children prisoners.

a curious Cuistom with the Souix as well as the reckeres is to give handsom Squars to those whome they wish to Show Some acknowledgements to- The Seauix we got Clare of without taking their Squars, they followed us with Squars 13th two days. The Rickores we put off dureing the time we were at the Towns but 2 Handsom young Squars were Sent by a man to follow us, they Came up this evening and peresisted in their Civilities.

Dress of the men of this nation is Simply a pr. mockerson, Leagins, flap in front & a Buffalow roabe, with ther arms & ears Deckorated The women, wore Mockersons leagins fringed and a Shirt of Goat Skins, Some with Sleaves. this garment is longe & Genlry. White & fringed, tied at the waste with a roabe, in Summer without hair.

2nd Chief Ricaras

My Father, I am glad to See this is a fine Day to here the good Councils & talk good talk I am glad to See you & that your intentions are to open the road for all we See that our Grand father has Sent you to open the road we See it Our Grand father by Sending you means to take pity on us Our Grand father has Sent you with tobacco to make peace with all nations, we think

The first nation who has recomended the road to be clear and open. You Come here & have Directed all nations which you have met to open & clear the road. you come to See the water & roads to Clear them as Clear as possible

you just now Come to See us, & we wish you to tell our Grand ftar that we wish the road to be kept Clear & open. I expect the Chief in the next Town will tell you the Same to move on & open the road

I think when you Saw the nations below they wish you to open the road- (or something to that amount) when you passd. the Souex they told you the Same I expect. we See you here to day we are pore our women have no Strouds & Knives to Cut their meat take pitty on us when you return.

you Come here & Derect us to Stay at home & not go to war, we Shall do So, we hope you will when you get to the Mandins you will tell them the Same & Cleer the road, no one Dar to Stop you, you go when you please,

The you tell us to go Down, we will go and See our grand father & here & receve his Gifts, and think fully that our nation will be covered after our return, our people will look for us with the same impatience that our Grand father looks for your return, to Give him

If I am going to See my grand father, many bad nations on the road, I am not afraid to Die for the good of my people (all Cried around him.)

The Chief By me will go to the Mandans & hear what they will Say. (we agree'd.)

The verry moment we Set out to go down we will Send out my Brother to bring all the Nation in the open prarie to See me part on this Great mission to See my Great father.

our people hunting Shall be glad to here of your being here & they will all Come to See, as you Cannot Stay they must wate for your return to See you, we are pore take pity on our wants

The road is for you all to go on, who do you think will injure a white man when they come to exchange for our Roabes & Beaver

after you Set out many nations in the open plains may Come to make war against us, we wish you to Stop their guns & provent it if possible. Finished

3d Chief of Ricares

My fathers I will see the Indians below & See if they have the hart as they tell you

The nation below is the Mahas & Ottes & but one nation, (the Souix) has not a good heart.

I always look at the 1 t Chief & the 2d whin they go & will also follow ther example & go on also

You See those 2 men they are chiefs, when I go they will take Care, they beleve your words.

Mabie we will not tell the trooth, as to the Child perhaps they will not wish to go.

My Children the old women & men whin I return I can then give them, Some a Knife Some powder & others Ball &c. What is the matter if we was to go for nothing my great Chief wish to go, I wish to go also.

when I go to See my Grand father I wish to return quicke for fear of my people being uneasy.

my Children are Small & perhaps will be uneasy whin I may be Safe

I must go, I also wish to go, perhaps I may when I return make my people glad

I will Stay at home & not go to War even if my people are Struck

we will believ your word but I fear the Indians above will not believe your word.

I will think that 1/2 of the men who will return will Stay in this Village 1/2 below in the other villages

what did the Seaus tell you- (we informd them)