History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, Volume 1


Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

Series: American History, Culture and Literature
BISAC: HIS051000

History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, is a fascinating account of the first exploration of the Missouri River, the journey over the Rocky Mountains, and the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. This 2 volume book contains an accurate diary of the journey to discover the Northwest Passage, commissioned by and reported to Thomas Jefferson.

Table of Contents


Life of Captain Lewis

Chapter 1
The Party Set out on the Expedition and Pass Wood River—
Description of the Town of St. Charles—Osage Woman River—Gasconade and Osage Rivers Described—Character of the Osage Indians—Curious Traditionary Account of Their Origin— The Party Proceed and Pass the Mine River—The Two Charitons—The Kanzas, Nodawa, Newahaw, Neeshnabatona, Little Nemahar, Each of Which
Are Particularly Described—They Encamp at the Mouth of the River Platte—A Particular Description of the Surrounding Country—The Various Creeks, Bays, Islands, Prairies, &C., Given in the Course of
the Route

Chapter 2
Some Account of the Pawnee Indians—Council Held with the Otto
and Missouri Indians—Council Held with Another Party of the Ottoes—Death of Sergeant Floyd—The Party Encamp Near the Mouth of Whitestone River—The Character of the Missouri, with the Rivers
That Enter It—The Surrounding Country—The Various Islands, Bays, Creeks, &C. Given in the Course of the Expedition

Chapter 3
Whimsical Instance of Superstition of the Sioux Indians—Council
Held with the Sioux—Character of That Tribe, Their Manners, &C.
—A Ridiculous Instance of Their Heroism—Ancient Fortifications—Quieurre River Described—Vast Herds of Buffaloe—Account of the Petit Chien or Little Dog—Narrow Escape of George Shannon—Description of Whiteriver—Surprising Fleetness of the Antelope—Pass the River of the Sioux—Description of the Grand Le Tour, or Great Bend—Encamp on the Teton River

Chapter 4
Council Held with the Tetons—Their Manners, Dances, &C.—
Chayenne River—Council Held with the Ricara Indians— Their Manners and Habits—Strange Instance of Ricara Idolatry—Another Instance—Cannonball River—Arrival Among the Mandans—
Character of the Surrounding Country, and of the Creeks, Islands, &C.

Chapter 5
Council Held with the Mandans— A Prairie on Fire, and a Singular Instance of Preservation—Peace Established Between the Mandans and Ricaras—The Party Encamp for the Winter—Indian Mode of Catching Goats—Beautiful Appearance of Northern Lights—Friendly Character
of the Indians—Some Account of the Mandans— the Ahnahaways and the Minnetarees— the Party Acquire the Confidence of the Mandans
by Taking Part in Their Controversy with the Sioux—Religion of the Mandans, and Their Singular Conception of the Term Medicine—Their Tradition—The Sufferings of the Party from the Severity of the Season—Indian Game of Billiards Described—Character of the Missouri, of the Surrounding Country, and of the Rivers, Creeks,
Islands, &C.

Chapter 6
The Party Increase in the Favour of the Mandans—Description of a Buffaloe Dance—Medicine Dance—The Fortitude with Which the Indians Bear the Severity of the Season—Distress of the Party for
Want of Provisions—The Great Importance of the Blacksmith In Procuring It—Depredations of the Sioux—The Homage Paid to the Medicine Stone—Summary Act of Justice Among the Minnetarees— The Process by Which the Mandans and Ricaras Make Beads—Character of the Missouri, of the Surrounding Country, and of the Rivers, Creeks, Islands, &C.

Chapter 7
Indian Method of Attacking the Buffaloe on the Ice—An Enumeration
of the Presents Sent to the President of the United States—The Party Are Visited by a Ricara Chief—They Leave Their Encampment, and Proceed on Their Journey—Description of the Little Missouri—Some Account of the Assiniboins—Their Mode of Burying the Dead—Whiteearth River Described—Great Quantity of Salt Discovered on Its Banks—Yellowstone River Described—A Particular Account of the Country at the Confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri—Description of the Missouri, the Surrounding Country, and of the Rivers, Creeks, Islands, &C.

Chapter 8
Unusual Appearance of Salt— The Formidable Character of the
White Bear—Porcupine River Described—Beautiful Appearance of
the Surrounding Country—Immense Quantities of Game—Milk River Described—Extraordinary Character of Bigdry River—An Instance of Uncommon Tenacity of Life in a White Bear—Narrow Escape
of One of the Party from That Animal—A Still More Remarkable Instance—Muscleshell River Described

Chapter 9
The Party Continue Their Route—Description of Judith River—
Indian Mode of Taking the Buffaloe—Slaughter River Described—Phenomena of Nature—Of Walls on the Banks of the Missouri—The Party Encamp on the Banks of the River to Ascertain Which of the Streams Constitute the Missouri—Captain Lewis Leaves the Party to Explore the Northern Fork, and Captain Clarke Explores the Southern—The Surrounding Country Described in the Route of Captain Lewis—Narrow Escape of One of His Party

Chapter 10
Return of Captain Lewis—Account of Captain Clarke’s Researches
with His Exploring Party—Perilous Situation of One of His Party—Tansy River Described— the Party Still Believing the Southern Fork the Missouri, Captain Lewis Resolves to Ascend It—Mode of Making
a Place to Deposit Provisions, Called Cache—Captain Lewis Explores the Southern Fork—Falls of the Missouri Discovered, Which Ascertains the Question—Romantic Scenery of the Surrounding Country—Narrow Escape of Captain Lewis—The Main Body Under Captain Clarke Approach Within Five Miles of the Falls, and Prepare for Making a Portage Over the Rapids

Chapter 11
Description and Romantic Appearance of the Missouri at the Junction
of the Medicine River—The Difficulty of Transporting the Baggage
at the Falls—The Party Employed in the Construction of a Boat of Skins—The Embarrassments They Had to Encounter for Want of Proper Materials—During the Work the Party Much Troubled by
White Bears—Violent Hail-Storm, and Providential Escape of Captain Clarke and His Party—Description of a Remarkable Fountain—Singular Explosion Heard from the Black Mountains— The Boat Feound to Be Insufficient, and the Serious Disappointment of the Party—Captain Clarke Undertakes to Repair the Damage by Building Canoes, and Accomplishes the Task

Chapter 12
The Party Embark on Board the Canoes—Description of Smith’s
River—Character of the Country, &C.—Dearborne’s River Described
—Captain Clarke Precedes the Party for the Purpose of Discovering
the Indians of the Rocky Mountains—Magnificent Rocky Appearances
on the Borders of the River Denominated the Gates of the Rocky Mountains—Captain Clarke Arrives at the Three Forks of the Missouri Without Overtaking the Indians—The Party Arrive at the Three Forks,
of Which a Particular and Interesting Description Is Given

Chapter 13
The Name of the Missouri Changed, as the River Now Divides Itself into Three Forks, One of Which Is Called After Jefferson, the Other Madison, and the Other After Gallatin—Their General Character—The Party Ascend the Jefferson Branch—Description of the River Philosophy Which Enters into the Jefferson—Captain Lewis and A Small Party Go in Advance in Search of the Shoshonees—Description
of the Country, &C. Bordering on the River—Captain Lewis Still Preceding the Main Party in Quest of the Shoshonees—A Singular Accident Which Prevented Captain Clarke from Following Captain Lewis’s Advice, and Ascending the Middle Fork of the River—Description of Philanthropy River, Another Stream Running into the Jefferson—Captain Lewis and a Small Party Having Been Unsuccessful in Their First Attempt, Set off a Second Time in Quest of the Shoshonees

Chapter 14
Captain Lewis Proceeds Before the Main Body in Search of the Shoshonees—His Ill Success on the First Interview—The Party with Captain Lewis at Length Discover the Source of the Missouri—Captain Clarke with the Main Body Still Employed in Ascending the Missouri or Jefferson River—Captain Lewis’s Second Interview with the Shoshonees Attended with Success—The Interesting Ceremonies of His First Introduction to the Natives, Detailed at Large—Their Hospitality—Their Mode of Hunting the Antelope— the Difficulties Encountered
by Captain Clarke and the Main Body in Ascending the River—The Suspicions Entertained of Captain Lewis by the Shoshonees, and His Mode of Allaying Them—The Ravenous Appetites of the Savages Illustrated by a Singular Adventure—The Indians Still Jealous, and the Great Pains Taken by Captain Lewis to Preserve Their Confidence—Captain Clarke Arrives with the Main Body Exhausted by the Difficulties Which They Underwent

Chapter 15
Affecting Interview Between the Wife of Chaboneau and the Chief of the Shoshonees—Council Held with That Nation, and Favourable Result—The Extreme Navigable Point of the Missouri Mentioned—General Character of the River and of the Country Through Which It Passes—Captain Clarke in Exploring the Source of the Columbia Falls in Company with Another Party of Shoshonees—The Geographical Information Acquired from One of That Party—Their Manner of Catching Fish— The Party Reach Lewis River— The Difficulties Which Captain Clarke Had to Encounter in His Route—Friendship and Hospitality of the Shoshonees— The Party with Captain Lewis Employed in Making Saddles, and Preparing for the Journey

Chapter 16
Contest Between Drewyer and a Shoshonee—The Fidelity and Honour of That Tribe— the Party Set Out on Their Journey— The Conduct of Cameahwait Reproved, and Himself Reconciled—The Easy Parturition of the Shoshonee Women—History of This Nation—Their Terror of the Pawkees—Their Government and Family Economy in Their Treatment of Their Women—Their Complaints of Spanish Treachery—Description of Their Weapons of Warfare—Their Curious Mode of Making a Shield—The Caparison of Their Horses—The Dress of the Men and of the Women Particularly Described—Their Mode of Acquiring New Names

Chapter 17
The Party, After Procuring Horses from the Shoshonees, Proceed on Their Journey Through the Mountains—The Difficulties and Dangers of the Route—A Council Held with Another Band of the Shoshonees, of Whom Some Account Is Given—They Are Reduced to the Necessity of Killing Their Horses for Food—Captain Clarke with a Small Party Precedes the Main Body in Quest of Food, and Is Hospitably Received by the Pierced-Nose Indians—Arrival of the Main Body Amongst This Tribe, with Whom a Council Is Held—They Resolve to Perform the Remainder of Their Journey in Canoes—Sickness of the Party—They Descend the Kooskooskee to Its Junction with Lewis River, After Passing Several Dangerous Rapids—Short Description of the Manners and Dress of the Pierced-Nose Indians


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