The Journals of Lewis & Clark: August 14, 1804

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
August 13, 1804
August 15, 1804

August 14, 1804

14th of August at 12 oClock the Party Sent yesterday to the Towns returned, and informed that they Could not find any Indians, they had not returned from hunting the Buffalow in the Praries, wind Shifted to the N W. Our party Sent after the Deserter and to the Otteau towns, have not Came up as yet

The Situation of this Village, now in ruins Siround by enunbl. hosts of grave the ravages of the Small Pox (4 years ago) they follow the Buf. and tend no Corn

14th August Tuesday 1804

a fine morning wind from the S E The men Sent to the Mahar Town last evening has not returned we Conclude to Send a Spye to Know the cause of Their delay at about 12 oClock the Party returned and in-formed. us that they Could not find the Indians nor any fresh Sign, those people have not returned from their Buffalow hunt, Those people haveing no houses no Corn or any thing more than the graves of their ancesters to attach them to the old Village, Continue in pursuite of the Buffalow longer than others who had greater attachments to their native Villagethe ravages of the Small Pox (which Swept off 400 men & women & Children in perpoposion) has reduced this Nation not exceeding 300 men and left them to the insults of their weaker neighbours which before was glad to be on friendly turms with them- I am told whin this fatal malady was among them they Carried ther franzey to verry extroadinary length, not only of burning their Village, but they put their wives & Children to Death with a view of their all going together to Some better Countrey- They burry their Dead on the tops of high hills and rais mounds on the top of them,- The cause or way those people took the Small Pox is uncertain, the most Probable from Some other Nation by means of a warparty

Observed Time and Distance of the Sun & Moon the Moon East the 13th of August Monday 1804, three Miles NE of the Mahars old village at Fish Camp-