Lewis and Clark hold council with Oto and Missouri Indians at Council Bluffs. Peace medals are given, and the air gun is demonstrated. The Frenchman called La Liberte deserts.
after Delivering a Speech informing thos Children of ours of the Change which had taken place, the wishes of our government to Cultivate friendship & good understanding, the method of have good advice & Some Directions, we made 1 Great Chief to the who was not present, to whom we adresed the Speech & Sent Some presents or Meadels & flag, we made 2 Second Chiefs one for the Missouris & another for the Ottos (those two tribes are nearly equal 170 each) and 4 principal men, to thos principal men to thos we gave a Small Comtn. [commission] to each man to whom w[e] gave authority, a preasn of Br. Clt. [breech clout] Gart.[erin]g. Paint & a med. or Contn a Small Coms. was delivered for the whole
each Chief & principal man delivered a Speech acknowledging ther approbation to what they had heard and promised to prosue the good advice and Caustion, they were happy w[ith?] 〈Ther〉 new fathers who gave good advice & to be Depended on all Concluded by asking a little Powder & a Drop of Milk [whiskey].
I answered those Speeches gave them 50 balls one Canister of Powder & a Dram— after Cap Lewis Shot his air gun a few times which astonished the nativs, we Set Sail. recved from thos people water millions &—
from this place I am told by Mr. Faufong the interpeter that it will take a man 25 Days to go to St. a fee pass, the heads of Arkansas, round the Kansas head, across Some mountains from the top of which the City may be Seen the Spaniards have envited those Indians & the Panies to trade with them & Some french & a few indians are gorn from the Panias to that City this Summer—
The Situation of this place which we Call Council Bluff which is handsom ellevated a Spot well Calculated for a Tradeing establishment, the Bank high & leavel on top well Calculated for a fort to Command the Countrey and river the low bottom above high water & well Situated under the Command of the Hill for Houses to trade with the Natives a butifull Plain both abov and below at no other bend on either Side does the High land touch the river for Some distance up, as I am told.
those Bluffs afford good Clay for Brick, a great quantity on the 3 points one Opsd. one abov & one below.— the Situation I am informed is, within 1 Days march of the Ottoes, 1½ of the Panias, 2 of the Mahars, & 2½ of the Loups Villages, also Convenient to the roveing Bands of Soux, Those people are now at war with each other, an establishment here would bring about peace and be the means of Keeping of it.
Augt. 3d Camped on the upper point of a large Sand bar L. S. Misquters verry bad. Some place near Conncill Bluff will be the most proper place for a tradeing establishment, for maney of the nations, the distance is to the Ottoes one Days, Ponies [Pawness] 1½ days, to the Mahar, 2 days, to Loups 2 Days & a half 16 or 1800 men—and convenient for Some 〈The Republicans are also〉 bands of the Sues,
〈Your letter of the 7th of Feby I recved With great pleasure〉
Questions for Discussion:
1 According to the journal entry, what did the expedition do? Identify intentions and actions.
2 What context or additional information does viewing the Vista provide? Describe the environment. What do you see? What don’t you see?