The Journals of Lewis & Clark: September 1, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
August 31, 1806
September 2, 1806

September 1, 1806

Monday 1st of September 1806

Musquitors very troublesom last night, we set out at the usial hour and had not proceeded on far before the fog became So thick that we were oblige to come too and delay half an hour for the fog to pass off which it did in Some measure and we again proceded on R. Jo. Fields and Shannon landed on an Ponceras Island to try to kill Some deer which was Seen on the beech and the Canoes all passed them at 9 A. M we passed the enterance of River Quiequur which had the Same appearance it had when we passed up water rapid and of a milky white Colour about two miles below the Quicurre, 9 Indians ran down the bank and beckened to us to land, they appeared to be a war party, and I took them to be Tetons and paid no kind of attention to them further than an enquirey to what tribe they belonged, they did not give me any answer, I prosume they did not understand the man who Spoke to them as he Spoke but little of their language. as one Canoe was yet behind we landed in an open Commanding Situation out of Sight of the indians deturmined to delay untill they Came up. about 15 minits after we had landed Several guns were fired by the indians, which we expected was at the three men behind. I calld out 15 men and ran up with a fill deturmination to Cover them if possible let the number of the indians be what they might. Capt Lewis hobled up on the bank and formed the remainder of the party in a Situation well calculated to defend themselves and the Canoes &c. when I had proceeded to the point about 250 yards I discovered the Canoe about 1 mile above & the indians where we had left them. I then walked on the Sand beech and the indians came down to meet me I gave them my hand and enquired of them what they were Shooting at, they informed me that they were Shooting off their guns at an old Keg which we had thrown out of one of the Canoes and was floating down. those Indians informed me they were Yanktons, one of the men with me knew one of the Indians to be the brother of young Durion's wife. finding those indians to be Yanktons I invited them down to the boats to Smoke. when we arived at the Canoes they all eagerly Saluted the Mandan Chief, and we all Set and Smoked Several pipes. I told them that we took them to be a party of Tetons and the fireing I expected was at the three men in the rear Canoe and I had went up with a full intention to kill them all if they had been tetons & fired on the Canoe as we first expected, but finding them Yanktons and good men we were glad to See them and take them by the hand as faithfull Children who had opened their ears to our Councils. one of them Spoke and Said that their nation had opened their years, & done as we had directed them ever Since we gave the Meadel to their great Chief, and Should Continue to do as we had told them we enquired if any of their Chiefs had gone down with Mr. Durion, the answered that their great Chief and many of their brave men had gone down, that the white people had built a house near the Mahar village where they traded. we tied a piec of ribon to each mans hair and gave them Some Corn of which they appeared much pleased. The Mandan Cheif gave a par of elegant Legins to the principal man of the indian party, which is an indian fashion. the Canoe & 3 men haveing joined us we took our leave of this party telling them to return to their band and listen to our councils which we had before given to them. Their band of 80 Lodges were on plum Creek a fiew miles to north. those nine men had five fusees and 4 bows & quivers of arrows. at 2 P.M. we came too on the upper point of bon homme opposit the antient fortification and Sent out men to hunt on each Side and on the island. and the canoes on each Side of the island to receive any meat might be killed I walked on the N. E. main Shore found the bottom rich and thickly covered with Peavine rich weed grass interwoven in Such a manner with grape vines that I could not get through and was obliged to assend a high plains the passing through which I also found tiresom. the grass was nearly as high as my head and the musquitors excessively bad. at the lower point of the Island all the Canoes & hunters Came together. Labeech killed an Elk only the flesh of which was brought on in the perogue. at this island we brought 2 years together or on the 1st of Septr. 1804 we Encamped at the lower point of this Island. after we all Came together we again proceeded on down to a large Sand bar imediately opposit to the place were we met the Yanktons in Council at the Calumet Bluffs and which place we left on the it of Septr. 1804. I observed our old flag Staff or pole Standing as we left it. the musquitors excessively troublesom untill about 10 P.M. when the S W wind became Strong and blew the most of them off. we came 52 miles to day only with a head wind. the Country on either Side are butifull and the plains much richer below the Queiquer river than above that river.