We have had a very serious decision set before the corps these last few days, there was a fork in the river that was not on the map that the Mandan's had made for us and we did not have the slightest idea which way to go. We sent out two parties one each way to scout for any sign of the great falls I was in a group with captain Lewis and from our expedition I can tell you with around 80% sureness that the great falls are not up that way. but the men from the other party said the same thing though captain Clark seems to be sure that the river he followed was the Missouri. from what I have seen, I would like to go down the rive captain Clark and his party ascended but it is ultimately up to the captains though i do feel like I have a small say in the decision, I do like our captains way of handling decisions. The final decision was to go down the river captain Clark had explored, I am in full support of this decision I just pray that it is the right one.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
April 29th, 1805
We have seen the frizzly bears! It was very exciting, but scary I was walking with captain Lewis and private George Drouillard and the captains dog Seaman. We had been on a walk when Seaman started making a racket about something, we couldn't figure out what it was until we came to the nearby clearing, grizzles! Two of them! They tried to charge us but I shot it square in the chest expecting it to fall on its face and die but it looked like it didn't even feel it. RUN! Seaman ran like I had never seen him, he ran all the way out of the clearing. I was running to when I heard Droullard yell and when I looked back I saw the bear dead in the clearing. When we examined it we concluded it did not live up to its horror stories. I hope this is as big as they
The grizzly we saw☝ My sketch ☝
April 20th, 1805
We have seen THE BIGGEST BEAR TRACK EVER! It must be those grizzly bears that the Indians back at fort Mandan had warned us about. I can defiantly see why they were afraid to face these beasts. I did a two sketches to what I think they will look like, I am terrified but I know if and when we meet one I wont be able to freak out, my life could depend on it.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
February 11th, 1805
Sacagawea went into labor! This was a very exciting for we have all grown very fond of Sacagawea and had begun to look forward to having her little one on the trip. Her labor was long and hard and we were all getting worried that something might be wrong with her. I was by her side for most of the time just talking to her and holding her hand when she had a painful contraction. The captains were fretting and pacing about as if they were waiting for their child to be born. One of the french traders living in the Mandan village suggested that we feed Sacagawea a little bit of rattlesnake rattle. Captain Lewis slipped a little bit into a cup of water and gave it to Sacagawea and just minutes after, Sacagawea gave birth. Its a boy!!! he was named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Captain Clark called him Pomp, it stuck.
Sacagawea and Pomp ☝
November 3rd, 1804
Today we had an interesting visitor, his name was Toussaint Charbonneau a french man from the Hidasta village. He had simply walked in on captain Lewis while he was working on his collection, a mistake on Toussaint's part. He told captain Lewis that he wanted to be the translator for the expedition. Captain Lewis already having his feathers ruffled by this man told him as calmly as he could that they already had a translator and they didn't need another. Yet he persisted, he said that the current translator, George Droullard, did not speak fluent Shoshone and that it would be crucial that you have someone who did if they were going to trade with the Shoshone up river for horses and to make peace. Though Toussaint did not speak fluent Shoshone he did have two wives that had been kidnapped and then won by him who did. Toussaint was also a skilled boatman. The captains held a meeting in their hut while we waited out side, when we were let back in they said that they would have Toussaint along and one of his wives. The following week he brought his two wives, they were very young girls 15 or 16 years of age. He told us that he had decided to bring along the girl named Sacagawea, she was a small girl with little bones and features and her long black hair was braided down her back. Seaman, took a great liking to her. I hope this young girl Sacagawea is strong enough to endure this journey.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
September 6th, 1804
We have found a curious new animal. It has small hoofs with stiff buff colored hair, large eyes and small pronged horns. And it fast to! Private Colter swore that it could outrun a musket ball, this was proved wrong but it sure seemed like it could. We have also discovered a new animal, it looked like a little rat, but one of the french sailors who was with us said that it was called a prairie dog. Captain Clark insisted that president Jefferson get a specimen. Here's the catch, he wanted it alive. We were all jumping and making fools out of ourselves trying to catch this little animal, we tried to dig it out of its burrow but gave up after digging six feet and not seeing hid nor hair of the little fellow. Then it was suggested that we water them out. So we heaved up two tubs of water to the prairie dog town and dumped it down the hole. In just a few minutes the soaked little fellow came up out of its hole. Someone snatched him up and captain Clark put him into a box where he would be safe until next spring when ( god willing) we would return home and president Jefferson could get a look at him.
prairie dog ☝
August 19th. 1804
We have lost Sergent Floyd. we do not know the exact cause of his death but he had severe stomach pains much beyond any ailments we have had on this trip so far. In his last hours captain Clark was by his side. I think the captain knew his end was drawing near because he ordered us to steer the keel boat to shore so he could heat water for a bath. But before the water was even warm sergeant Floyd told captain Clark that he was leaving and he wanted him to write a letter. There was no time, captain Clark didn't even have time to get his writing things before poor Floyd passed. We buried him on a high bluff above the river. We gave him a proper burial with readings from the bible, then marked his grave with a piece of wood. Colter carved the words "Charles Floyd died here, 20 August 1804". Not far from here there was a small river which the captain named after the Sergent. We all voted for a new Sergent and private Patrick Gass was elected, I am very happy about this because I voted for private Gass. Though we all feel sad about what happen To Sergent Floyd no one in the crew blames them self about the death more than captain Lewis. We all reassured him he did everything he could but i could tell he didn't believe it.
August 15Th, 1804
These last few days i have had some discouragement because the river you see seems to loop back on its self! On the 12Th we had a good days travel a whole 18 1\2 miles by boat. but when we got to camp that night captain Lewis sent me back on foot to our last camp and it was meerly 974 yards away by land. Oh! and my suspicion of private Moses Reed was correct, he hadn't lost his knife at all, turns out he had stolen a gun, musket balls and gun powder and deserted the mission. When he didn't return captain Clark sent out a search party to bring private Reed back in. When they returned he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to run the gauntlet. Awful awful treatment, even though i do not like private Reed much it was still hard. But on the brighter side our genius captain Clark constructed a net made out of willow bark and dragged it behind the boat, it caught a total of 800 delicious fish!
August 2ND, 1804
Today we had our first meeting a very large group of Indians. There were about 100 Oto and Missouri Indians, including 6 chiefs. I was very excited but not entirely sure how the meeting would go, we made sure all of our guns were loaded and we were poised just in case. I put on my best clothes and so did the rest of the corps. We had a box filled with gifts for the Indians from president Jefferson filled with leggings, coats and beads. I didn't think that they would be very pleased with these but we had nothing else. When the Indians arrived we gave them quite a show by firing our arms into the air. It was quite startling and astonishing to them. Captain Clark presented his speech about how we wanted to be in peace and to tell their people not to attack us or we would stop traders from coming up the river to trade with them. They had prepared a similar speech saying they wanted peace all the same. I was relived when they departed because even though the meeting had gone well i was still unsure about the Indians. Captain Clark was pleased though which is a good thing. Later that day private Moses Reed had to go back to council bluff for he had left his knife there. The moment i heard this i knew that he was up to no good.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
July 4, 1804
Last night two men form the corps, private Halls and private Hollins, snuck some more whisky. But not just one cup, they had three or four, three or four each! that was an 6 day ration! They were so drunk that they began to sing and yell until they woke the captain and he shut them up. The next day they had an awful punishment. private Hollins got 100 lashes and Halls got 50. We tied them to a tree and each man counted along, private Hollins lost consciousness at 52 lashes. Then they were taken to the river to have their wounds cleaned and dressed. And just because they had been brutally beaten they were still expected to do all of their normal work.
May 23, 1804
Today we had a bit of a fright. captain Lewis had gone on a little walk with to write in his journal with his dog seaman. Apparently they were sitting on a lovely little bluff, when captain Lewis had finished writing he was walking along the edge of a cliff and then suddenly the ground gave way and he was sent tumbling down the side of the cliff. Luckily he was able to get out his knife and stick it into the face of the cliff and climb back up. Now i understand why we have two captains
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Seaman is the captains dog. he is a playful dog that captain Lewis bought for 20 dollars. he always looks at us funny. like, his behavior...... maybe something to look into. maybe it has something to do with his previous owners, from what Ive heard he was first owned by a man name O'mally, who sold him to Brady then a little under a year later her was sold to captain Clark.
An exciting day it is! it is the day we set sail with captain Meriwether Lewis and captain William Clark. I have packed my bag to the brim. On this long and dangerous voyage, it could be fatal to forget something. I have been instructed to keep a journal and record everything i hear, feel, eat and learn. captain Lewis and Clark are two men very alike but so different at the same time. for instance Lewis has brown hair but Clark has red, Lewis is a quiet thoughtful man while Clark talks freely with the men. they are pretty similar in physical appearances, both fit and around 6 feet tall. captain Clark is a talented map maker and is always mapping the landscape around them for Jefferson. captain Lewis is the botanist, collecting samples, leaves, bark and other wilderness items whenever he gets a chance.