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The next tribe mentioned by the explorers was that of the Missouris, once a powerful nation, but then reduced to about thirty families. They finally united with the Osages and the Ottoes, and as a separate nation became extinct. The Sauks, Ayauways (Iowas), and the Sioux are mentioned as being the enemies of the Osages, and as making frequent excursions against them. On the 26th of June they arrived at the mouth of the Kansas, 340 miles from the Mississippi, where they remained two days for rest and repairs. Here resided the tribe of Indians of the same name, and had two villages not far from the mouth of the river. This tribe at that time had been reduced by the Sauks and Ayauways to only about three hundred men. The party at this stage of their journey, saw numerous buffalo on the prairies. On the 2d of July the party passed Bear Medicine Island, near which were the remains of an old fort, built by the French, the ruins of the chimneys and the general outline of the fortification being visible. On the 8th of July they reached the mouth of the Nodawa. The river is mentioned as navigable for boats some distance. On the 11th they landed at the mouth of the Nemahaw. Mention is made of several artificial mounds on the Nemahaw, about two miles up the stream at the mouth of a small creek. From the top of the highest mound there was a fine view of the country. On the 14th they passed the Nishnahbatona river, finding it to be only three hundred yards from the Missouri at a distance of twelve miles from its mouth. Platte river and other streams, both in Iowa and Nebraska, are mentioned and the country described with great accuracy. Along in this part of the country were the first elk they had seen.
On the 22d of July the explorers encamped on the north (Iowa) side of the river, ten miles above the mouth of the Platte river, to make observations and to hold an interview with the neighboring tribes. They remained here in camp until the 27th. Among the streams mentioned in this vicinity are the Papillon, Butterfly Creek and Moscheto Creek, the last named being a small stream near Council Bluffs. In mentioning them we use the orthography of the explorers, which in some instances differs from that now in use. The Indians who occupied the country about the mouth of Platte river at this time were the Ottoes and Pawnees. The Ottoes were much reduced, and formerly lived about twenty miles above the Platte on the Nebraska side of the river. They lived at this time under the protection of the Pawnees. The latter were also much dispersed and broken. One band of the nation formerly lived on the Republican branch of the Kanzas River. Another band were the Pawnee Loups, or Wolf Pawnees, who resided on the Wolf fork of the Platte. Another band originally resided on the Kanzas and Arkansaw, but in their wars with the Osages they were often defeated and retired to the Red river. Various other tribes living further west, are mentioned. On the 27th they continued their journey, and about ten leagues from their encampment, on the south (Nebraska) side of the river, they saw and examined a curious collection of graves, or inounds. They were of different heights, shapes and sizes. Some were of sand, and others of both earth and sand. They were supposed to indicate the position of the ancient village of the Ottoes before they retired to the protection of the Pawnees. On the 29th they passed the spot where the Ayauway Indians, a branch of the Ottoes, once lived, and who had emigrated from that place to the Des Moines. Mention is here made of an interview with one of the Missouri Indians who lived with the Ottoes, and the resemblance of his language to that of the Osages, particularly in calling a chief inca.
On the 30th of July the party encamped on the south (Nebraska) side of the river. At that place next to the river was a plain, and back of it a wooded ridge, rising about seventy feet above the plain. At the edge of this ridge they formed their camp, and sent an invitation to the Indian's to meet them. From the bluffs at this point they mention a most beautiful view of the river and adjoining country. The latitude of the camp was determined by observation to be 41 degrees 18 minutes and 14 seconds. The messenger sent to invite the Ottoes returned on the evening of the 2d of August, with fourteen Ottoe and Missouri Indians, accompanied by a Frenchman who resided among them, and who acted as interpreter. Lewis and Clarke made them presents of pork, flour and meal, and the Indians returned presents of watermelons. The next morning (Aug. 3d) a council was held with the six chiefs who were of the party of Indians; they were told of the change in the government, and promised protection and advised as to their future conduct. All the chiefs expressed their joy at the change in the government, and wished to be recommended to the Great Father (the President) that they might obtain trade and necessaries. They asked the mediation of the Great Father between them and the Mahas (Omahas), with whom they were then at war. At the conclusion of the council medals and other presents were given to the chiefs, and also some presents to the other Indians who were with them. The grand chief of the Ottoes was not present, but to him was sent a flag, a medal, and some ornaments for clothing. The explorers gave to the place where this council was held the name of Council Bluffs. The reader will remember, however, that it was above the present city of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and was on the Nebraska side of the river.
On the afternoon of the 3d of August they resumed their journey, and on the 7th arrived at the mouth of a river on the north side, called by the Sioux Indians, Eaneahwadepon (Stone river), and by the French, Petite Riviere des Sioux, or in English, Little Sioux river. The explorers were informed by their interpreter (M. Durion) that this river rises within about nine miles of the Des Moines; that within fifteen leagues of that river it passes through a large lake, nearly sixty miles in circumference, and divided into two parts by rocks, which approach each other very closely. Its width is various; it contains many islands, and is known by the name of Lac d' Esprit-Spirit Lake. The country watered by it is open and undulating, and may be visited in boats up the river for some distance. The interpreter further added that the Des Moines was about eighty yards wide where the Little Sioux ap proaches it; that it was shoally, and that one of its principal branches was called Cat river. The interpreter claimed to have been to the sources of the Little Sioux, and those who are familiar with the country about Spirit Lake, will concede that he described it quite accurately. The explorers speak of a long island two miles above the mouth of the Little Sioux, which they named Pelican island, from the large number of pelicans which were feeding on it, one of which they killed. They also killed an elk. On the 10th they passed the first highland near the river, after leaving their encampment at Council Bluffs. Not far from this, on a high bluff, was the grave of Blackbird, one of the great chiefs of the Mahas, who had died of small-pox four years before. The grave was marked by a mound twelve feet in diameter at the base, and six feet high, and was on an elevation about 300 feet above the water. In the center of the grave was a pole eight feet high. Near this the Mahas had a village, and lost four hundred men of their nation, and a like proportion of women and children by the small-pox at the time that Blackbird died.
After this dreadful scourge they burned their village, which had consisted of three hundred cabins. On a hill at the rear of the place where the village stood were the graves of the nation. On the evening of the 18th the explorers were again visited at their camp by a party of Ottoes and Missouris, who entertained them with a dance. The professed object of their visit was to ask intercession for promoting peace between them and the Mahas, but probably the real object was to share a portion of the strangers' provisions and liquors.
The next day, August 20th, after passing a couple of islands, they landed on the north side of the river, under some bluffs the first near the river on that side after leaving the Ayauway village. It was here that the party had the misfortune to lose one of their men-Sergeant Charles Floyd. He had the day before been siezed with a billious colic. Before his death he said to Captain Clarke, "I am going to leave you; I want you to write me a letter." Soon after making this request the brave soldier passed away. He was buried on the top of the bluff, with honors due to a soldier. The place of his interment was marked by a cedar post, on which his name and the day of his death were inscribed. About a mile further up on the same side of the Missouri, they came to a small river, to which they gave the name of Floyd river, in honor of their deceased companion. The place of the burial of Sergeant Floyd was but a short distance below where Sioux City now stands. During a great freshet in the spring of 1857, the Missouri river washed away a portion of the bluff, exposing the remains of the soldier. The citizens of Sioux City and vicinity repaired to the place, and with appropriate ceremonies, reinterred them some distance back from the river on the same bluff. The same cedar post planted by his companions over his grave on that summer day more than half a century before, remained to mark the place of interment up to 1857, although during nearly all this time the country had been inhabited only by savages.
On the 21st of August the expedition passed the site where Sioux City now stands, and noted in their journal the confluence of the Great Sioux river with the Missouri. From their interpreter, M. Durion, they received an account of the Great Sioux river. He stated that it was navigable for more than two hundred miles, to the great falls, and even beyond them. The reader will remember that this was before the time of steamboats on western waters. He mentioned a creek that emptied into the Great Sioux below the falls, which passed through cliffs of red rock, out of which the Indians made their pipes; that the necessity for procuring that article had caused the introduction of a law among the nations, by which the banks of that creek were held to be sacred, and even tribes at war met at the quarries without hostility. These were what are now known as the "Red Pipestone Quarries," in southwestern Minnesota.
A few miles above the mouth of the Great Sioux, on the north, or Dakota side of the river, they killed a buffalo, a deer and a beaver. They also saw some elk. The place where the buffalo was killed they described as a beautiful prairie, and gave it the name of Buffalo Prairie. They mention on the south side of the river, a bluff of blue clay, rising to the height of 180 or 190 feet. Several miles from this, on the south side of the river, Captains Lewis and Clarke, with ten of their men, went to see a mound regarded with great terror by the Indians, and called by them the Mountain of the Little Spirits. They believed it was the abode of little devils in human form, eighteen inches high, and having large heads; that they had sharp arrows,
and were always on the watch to kill those who might approach their place of residence. The Sioux, Mahas and Ottoes never would visit the hill or mound for fear of the vengeance of the Little Spirits. The mound, though extraordinary in its formation, they did not regard as artificial. From its top they could see large herds of buffalo feeding at a distance.
On the 26th they passed the mouth of Yankton river, and, on landing, were met by several Indians, who informed them that a large body of Sioux were encamped near. On the 30th and 31st they held a council with the Sioux, and smoked with them the pipe of peace. The Indians exhibited their skill in dancing and various other amusements to entertain their visitors. These Indians were the Yankton tribe of the Sioux nation. Their grand chief was We-u-cha, or in English, Shake IIand. Speeches were made and presents exchanged.
On the 1st of September the explorers passed Calumet Bluffs, and the next day Bonhomme Island, near which they visited some ancient earthworks, or fortifications, on the south, or Nebraska, side of the Missouri. They made a minute and careful examination of these works. embraced nearly five hundred acres. A day or two after, on a hill to the south, near Cedar Island, they discovered the backbone of a fish, 45 feet long, in a perfect state of petrifaction.
After several conferences with different tribes, and observations in regard to the country, its formation, and the different animals seen, on the 13th of October they reached a small stream on the north side, to which they gave the name of Idol Creek. Near its mouth were two stones resembling human figures, and a third like a dog. These were objects of great veneration among the Ricaras (Ricarees), who occupied the country in that vicinity. They had a legend that a young brave was deeply enamored with a girl whose parents refused their consent to the marriage. The young brave went out into the fields to mourn his misfortunes, and a sympathy of feeling led the lady to the same spot. The faithful dog would not cease to follow his master. The lovers wandered away together with nothing to subsist on but grapes, and they were at last changed into stone, with the lady holding in her hands a bunch of grapes. When the Ricaras pass these sacred stones, they stop to make offerings of dress to propitiate the deities, as they regard them. Such was the account given to Lewis and Clarke, by the Ricara chief. As they found here a great abundance of fine grapes, they regarded one part of the story as very agreeably confirmed.
On the 19th they reached the ruins of one of the Mandan villages. It had been fortified. This, they were informed by the Ricara chief, was one of several villages once occupied by the Mandans until the Sioux forced them forty miles higher up the river. In this vicinity they counted no less than 52 herds of buffalo, and 3 herds of elk at a single view.
About the 1st of November, 1804, the expedition reached the country of the Mandans, where they went into winter quarters. These Indians had raised considerable corn, some of which they presented to the party. During the winter they obtained a great deal of information in regard to the history, traditions, and manners and customs, not only of this peculiar and remarkable nation, but of other tribes Their huts, or cabins, were all completed by the 20th of the month, and the place was named Fort Mandan. It was on the north side of the Missouri, in a grove of cottonwood. The place, as ascertained by observation, was in latitude 47 deg., 21 min. and 47 sec., and the computed distance from the mouth of the Missouri was 1600 miles.
During the winter they were visited by a great many Indians of the Mandan and other tribes. A few French and traders of the Northwest Fur Company also visited them.
The party remained at Fort Mandan until April 7, 1805, when they resumed their journey. There were then thirty-two persons in the expedition, some of the party having returned to St. Louis. In this portion of the country they began to see numbers of white bear, antelope, and other animals, which they had not seer lower down on the river. On the 12th they arrived at the mouth of the Little Missouri, near which they found large quantities of small onions, about the size of a bullet, of an oval form and white. The next day they passed a small stream to which they gave the name of Onion Creek, from the great abundance of that vegetable growing near it. Along this part of the Missouri were large numbers of bald eagles, and also many geese and brant. Numerous deserted Indian lodges were noticed, which they supposed to have belonged to the Assiniboins, as there were the remains of small kegs. That tribe was the only one in this region that then used spirituous liquors. They obtained it from the traders of the Hudson Bay Company, bartering their furs for it. Here many plants and aromatic herbs are mentioned, and some resembling in taste and smell sage, hyssop, wormwood and juniper. On the 26th they camped at the mouth of the Yellowstone, where game of various kinds was very abundant. Frequent mention is made of the burned hills along that part of the Missouri for some distance above and below the Yellowstone. Ainong the animals killed by the hunters of the expedition in this part of the voyage were several brown bears. On the evening of the 14th of May the men in one of the canoes discovered a large brown bear lying in the open grounds about three hundred yards from the river. Six of them, all good hunters, went to attack him, and, concealing themselves by a small eminence, four of them fired at a distance of about forty paces. Each of them lodged a ball in the bear's body, two of them directly through the lungs. The animal sprang up and ran open-mouthed toward them. As he came near, the two hunters who had reserved their fire, gave him two more wounds, one of which, breaking his shoulder, retarded his motion for a moment. Before they could reload he was so near upon them that they were obliged to run to the river, the bear almost overtaking them. Two of the men sprang into the canoe, and the others concealed themselves in some willows and fired as fast as they could reload, striking him several times. The shots seemed only to direct him toward the hunters, till at last he pursued two of them so closely that they threw aside their guns and pouches, and jumped twenty feet down a perpendicular bank into the river. The bear sprang after them, and was within a few feet of the hindmost when one of the hunters on shore shot him in the head, and finally killed him. They dragged the bear to shore and found that eight balls had passed through his body in different directions.
On the 20th of May the party reached the mouth of the Muscleshell, a river of considerable size from the south. They were then 2270 miles above the mouth of the Mississippi, in latitude 47 deg., 24 min. Mention is made of what the French traders called Cote Noire, or Black Hills. On the 26th of May they had the first view of the Rocky Mountains, "the object," as the journalist remarks, "of all our hopes, and the reward of all our ambition." The view was obtained from what they called one of the last ridges of the Black Mountains. On the 30th they had reached that part of the river which passes through between walls of rocks, presenting every form of