The Journals of Lewis & Clark: September 17, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
September 16, 1806
September 18, 1806

September 17, 1806

Wednesday 17th September 1806

We Set out as usial early pass the Island of the little Osage Village which is considered by the navigater of this river to be the worst place in it. at this place water of the Missouri is confined between an Island and the S E main Shore and passes through a narrow chanel for more than 2 miles which is crouded with Snags in maney places quite across obligeing the navigater to pica, his passage between those Snags as he can, in maney places the current passing with great velocity against the banks which cause them to fall &c. at 11 A.M. we met a Captain McClellin late a Capt. of Artily of the U States Army assending in a large boat. this gentleman an acquaintance of my friend Capt. Lewis was Somewhat astonished to See us return and appeared rejoiced to meet us. we found him a man of information and from whome we received a partial account of the political State of our Country, we were makeing enquires and exchangeing answers &c. untill near mid night. this Gentleman informed us that we had been long Since given out by the people of the U S Generaly and almost forgotton, the President of the U. States had yet hopes of us; we received some civilities of Capt. McClellin, he gave us Some Buisquit, Chocolate Sugar & whiskey, for which our party were in want and for which we made a return of a barrel of corn & much obliges to him. Capt. McClellin informed us that he was on reather a speculative expedition to the confines of New Spain, with the view to entroduce a trade with those people. his plan is to proceede up this river to the Entcrance of the river platt there to form an establishment from which to trade partially with the Panas & Ottoes, to form an acquaintance with the Panias and provail Some of their principal Chiefs to accompany him to Santa Fee where he will appear in a stile calculated to atract the Spanish government in that quarter and through the influence of a handsome present he expects to be promited to exchange his merchindize for Silver & gold of which those people abound. he has a kind of introductory Speach from Govr. Wilkinson to the Panias and Ottoes and a quantity of presents of his own which he purposes distributing to the Panias and ELeatans with a view to gain their protection in the execution of his plans, if the Spanish Governmt. favour his plans, he purposes takeing his merchendize on mules & horses which Can easily be procured of the panias, to Some point convenient to the Spanish Settlements within the Louisiana Teritory to which place the inhabitants of New mexico may meet him for the purpose of trade &c. Capt McClellins plan I think a very good one if strictly prosued &c.

we Sent 5 hunters a head with directions to halt below Grand river and hunt untill we arived which would be in the morning. This day proved worme. we decended only 30 miles to day and encamped 4 miles above Grand river on S E. Side.