The Journals of Lewis & Clark: October 25, 1804

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
October 24, 1804
October 26, 1804

October 25, 1804

25th of October Thursday

a Gentle Breeze from the S. E by E passed an (1) old Village on a high Plain where the Mandans onced lived & after they left the Village & moved higher the Ricaras took possession & live until 1799 when they abandoned it & flew from the just revenge of the Mandans, a verry extensive Bottom above the Village above the Center of which (2) the Mandans lived in the 2 villages on the L. 5., but little timber- Several parties of Indians on each Side of the River going up. in view in every directions- we are informed that the Sioux has latterly taken horses from the Big Bellies or Minitaries and on their way homerwards they fell in with the Assinniboins who killed them and took the horses & a frenchman Menard who resided with the Mandan for 20 years past was Killed a fiew days ago on his way from the Britishment astablishments on the Assineboin River, 150 miles N. of this place to the mandans by the assinniboin Indians- we were frequently Called to by parties of Indians & requested to land & talk, passed a verry bad place & Camped on a Point S S. opposit a high hill Several Indians visit us this evening the Sun of the late great Chief of the Mandans who had 2 of his fingers off and appeared to be pearced in maney places on inquiring the reason, was informed that it was a testimony to their grief for Deceased freinds, they frequently Cut off Sevral fingers & pierced themselves in Different parts, a Mark of Savage effection, wind hard from the S. W. verry Cold R Fields with a Rhumitisum in his Neck one man R. in his hips my Self much better, Those Indians appear to have Similar Customs with the Ricaras, their Dress the Same more mild in their language & justures &c. &c.

25th of October Thursday 1804

a Cold morning Set out early under a gentle Breeze from the S. E. by E proceeded on, passed (1) the 3rd old Village of the Mandans which has been Desd. for many years, This village was Situated on an eminance of about 40 foot above the water on the L. S. back for Several miles is a butifull plain (2) at a Short distance above this old village on a Continuation of the Same eminance was Situated the which have been avacuated only Six years, above this village a large and extensive bottom for Several miles in which the Squars raised ther Corn, but little timber near the villages, on the S. S. below is a point of excellent timber, and in the point Several miles above is fine timber, Several parties of Mandins rode to the river on the S. S. to view us indeed they are continuelly in Sight Satisying their Curiossities as to our apperance &c. we are told that the Seaux has latterly fallen in with & Stole the horses of the Big belley, on their way home they fell in with the Ossiniboin who killed them and took the horses- a frenchman has latterly been killed by the Indians on the Track to the tradeing establishment on the Ossinebine R. in the North of this place (or British fort) This frenchman has lived many years with the Mandins- we were frequently called on to land & talk to parties of the Mandins on the Shore, wind Shifted to the S. W at about 11 oClock and blew hard untill 3 OCk. clouded up river full of Sand bars & we are at a great loss to find the Channel of the river, frequently run on the Sand bars which Detain us much passed a verry bad riffle of rocks in the evining by takeing the L. S. of a Sand bar and Camped on a Sand point on the S. S. opposit a high hill on the L. S. Several Indians Come to See us this evening, amongst others the Sun of the late great Cheif of the Mandins, this man has his two little fingers off-; on inqureing the Cause, was told it was Customary for this nation to Show their greaf by Some testimony of pain, and that it was not uncommon for them to take off 2 Smaller fingers of the hand and Some times more with ther marks of Savage effection

The wind blew verry hard this evening from the S. W. verry Cold

R. Fields with the rhumitim in his neck, P. Crusat with the Same Complaint in his Legs- the party other wise is well, as to my Self I feel but Slight Simptoms of that disorder at this time,