August 30, 1806
Saturday 30th of August 1806
Capt. Lewis is mending Slowly. we set out at the usial hour and proceeded on very well a fiew miles Jo Field who was on the Shore being behind I derected one of the Small Canoes with R. Fields & Shannon to continue on the point of a Sand bar untill he corns up. I took 3 hunters and walked on the N E Shore with a view to kill Some fat meet. we had not proceeded far before Saw a large plumb orchd of the most deelicious plumbs, out of this orchard 2 large Buck Elks ran the hunters killed them. I Stoped the Canoes and brought in the flesh which was fat and fine. here the party Collected as many plumbs as they could eate and Several pecks of which they put by &c. after a delay of nearly 2 hours we again proceeded on downwards passed 3 Small Islands and as we were about to land at the place appointed to wait for the 2 fields and Shannon, I saw Several men on horseback which with the help of a Spie glass I found to be Indians on the high hills to the N E we landed on the S. W. Side and I sent out two men to a village of Barking Squirels to kill Some of those animals imedeatily after landing about 20 indians was discovered on an eminanc a little above us on the opposite Side. one of those men I took to be a freinch man from his a blanket Capoe & a handkerchief around his head. imediately after 80 or 90 Indian men all armed with fusees & Bows & arrows Came out of a wood on the opposite bank about 1/4 of a mile below us. they fired of their guns as a Salute we returned the Salute with 2 rounds. we were at a loss to deturmin of what nation those indians were. from their hostile appearance we were apprehensive they were Tetons. but from the Country through which they roved we were willing to believe them eithe the Yanktons, Ponars or Mahars either of which nations are well disposed towards the white people. I deturmined to find out who they were without running any resque of the party and indians, and therefore took three french men who could Speak the Mahar Pania and some Seioux and in a Small canoe I went over to a Sand bar which extended Sufficently near the opposite Shore to Converse. imedeately after I Set out 3 young men Set out from the opposite Side and Swam next me on the Sand bar. I derected the men to Speak to them in the Pania and mahar Languages first neither of which they could understand I then derected the man who could Speak a fiew words of Seioux to inquire what nation or tribe they belong to they informed me that they were Tetons and their Chief was Tar-tack-kah-sabbar or the black buffalow This Chief I knew very well to be the one we had seen with his band at Teton river which band had attempted to detain us in the fall of 1804 as we assended this river and with whome we wer near comeing to blows. I told those Indians that they had been deef to our councils and ill treated us as we assended this river two years past, that they had abused all the whites who had visited them since. I believed them to be bad people & Should not Suffer them to cross to the Side on which the party lay, and directed them to return with their band to their Camp, that if any of them come near our camp we Should kill them certainly. I lef them on the bear and returned to th party and examined the arms &c. those indians seeing Some Corn in the Canoe requested Some of it which I refused being deturmined to have nothing to do with those people. Several others Swam across one of which understood pania, and as our pania interpreter was a very good one we had it in our power to inform what we wished. I told this man to inform his nation that we had not forgot their treatment to us as we passed up this river &c. that they had treated all the white people who had visited them very badly; robed them of their goods, and had wounded one man whome I had Seen. we viewed them as bad people and no more traders would be Suffered to come to them, and whenever the white people wished to visit the nations above they would Come Sufficiently Strong to whip any vilenous party who dare to oppose them and words to the Same purpote. I also told them that I was informed that a part of all their bands were gorn to war against the Mandans &c, and that they would be well whiped as the Mandans & Menetarres & had a plenty of Guns Powder and ball, and we had given them a Cannon to defend themselves. and derected them to return from the Sand bar and inform their Chiefs what we had Said to them, and to keep away from the river or we Should kill every one of them &c. &c. those fellows requested to be allowed to Come across and make Cumerads which we positively refused and I directed them to return imediately which they did and after they had informed the Chiefs &c. as I Suppose what we had Said to them, they all Set out on their return to their Camps back of a high hill. 7 of them halted on the top of the hill and blackguarded us, told us to come across and they would kill us all &c. of which we took no notice. we all this time were extreamly anxious for the arival of the 2 fields & Shannon whome we had left behind, and were Some what consd. as to their Safty. to our great joy those men hove in Sight at 6 P.M. Jo. Fields had killed 3 black tail or mule deer. we then Set out, as I wished to See what those Indians on the hill would act. we Steared across near the opposit Shore, this notion put them Some agitation as to our intentions, some Set out on the direction towards their Camps others walked about on the top of the hill and one man walked down the hill to meet us and invited us to land to which invitation I paid no kind of attention. this man I knew to be the one who had in the fall 1804 accompaned us 2 days and is Said to be the friend to the white people. after we passd. him he returned on the top of the hill and gave 3 Strokes with the gun he had in his hand this I am informed is a great oath among the indians. we proceeded on down about 6 miles and encamped on a large Sand bar in the middle of the river about 2 miles above our encampment on Mud Island on the 10th Septr. 1804 haveing made 22 miles only to Day. Saw Several Indians on the hills at a distance this evening viewing us. our encampment of this evening was a very disagreable one, bleak exposed to the winds, and the Sand wet. I pitched on this Situation to prevent being disturbed by those Scioux in the Course of the night as well as to avoid the Musquetors-. Killed 9 whistleing squirels.