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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

At the Arikara village above present Mobridge, South Dakota, a council is held. Speeches are given, clothes and flags are presented as gifts, and the air gun is demonstrated. The men observe how the Indian lodges are constructed.

In a circle of a size suited to the dimensions of the intended lodge, they set up 16 forked posts five or six feet high, and lay poles from one fork to another. Against these poles they lean other poles, slanting from the ground, and extending about four inches above the cross poles: these are to receive the ends of the upper poles, that support the roof.

Patrick Gass

Mandan lodge

Mandan lodge support beams

Photo taken at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, U.S. National Park Service.

They next set up four large forks, fifteen feet high, and about ten feet apart, in the middle of the area; and poles or beams between these. The roof poles are then laid on extending from the lower poles across the beams which rest on the middle forks, of such a length as to leave a hole at the top for a chimney.

Patrick Gass

Mandan lodge

Mandan lodge entrance and fire ring

Photo taken at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, U.S. National Park Service.

At the hole below they build a pen about four feet wide and projecting ten feet from the hut; and hang a buffaloe skin, at the entrance of the hut for a door.

Patrick Gass

Mandan lodge

Buffalo robe and furnishings in a Mandan lodge

Photo ©2007 Wiki Commons user Gooseterrain2. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.

they Raise considerable of Indian corn, beans pumkins Squasshes water millons a kind of Tobacco &.C. &.C. they Supply Several nations around them in corn as we are told.

John Ordway

Corn and squash

Corn and squash in a Mandan village garden

Photo taken at the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, U.S. National Park Service.

Those Indians wer much astonished at my Servent, They never Saw a black man before, all flocked around him & examind. him from top to toe, he Carried on the joke and made himself more turibal than we wished him to doe.

William Clark

York

Statue of York with rifle

Photo taken at Pompeys Pillar National Monument, U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

after the Council was Over we Shot the air guns which astonished them much, the[y] then Departed and we rested Secure all night

William Clark

Air rifle

Old air rifle with a large, metal stock that holds the air

our officers Gave Each an equal proportion of the Goods. Each an american flag, a red coat (& cocked hat & feathers) & Meddels as abo. mn. [mentioned] Some Paint they divided the Goods & paint among themselves & tobacco &.C. &.C

John Ordway

Trade goods

Cannister with tobacco twists, fancy tomahawk pipe, blue beads, and other trade goods

Trade goods provided by Hog Heaven Muzzle Loaders.