"A windy day, fair and clear. Many of the Gros Ventres- or Big
Bellies-and Wetersoons came to see us and hear the council. The wind
being so violently hard from the S.W. prevented our going into council.
Indeed the chiefs of the Mandans from the lower village could not
cross. We made up the presents, and entertained several of the curious
chiefs who wished to see the boat, which was very curious to them,
viewing it as great medicine [whatever is mysterious or unintelligible
is called great medicine]-as they also viewed my black servant.
The Black Cat, great chief of the Mandans, Captain Lewis, and
myself, with an interpreter, walked up the river about 1 1/2 miles. Our
views were to examine the situation and timber for a fort. We found the
situation good but the timber scarce; or at least, small timber such as
would not answer us. We consulted the grand chief in respect to the
other chiefs of the different villages. He gave the names of 12. George
Drouilliard caught 2 beaver above our camp last night. We had several
presents from the women of corn, boiled hominy, soft corn, &c. I
presented a jar [earthen jar, glazed] to the chief’s wife, who received
it with much pleasure."
The Journals Lewis and Clark
The University of Virginia
Originally posted 5.18.04