The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Vol. 3

The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Vol. 3

The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Vol. 3

The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Vol. 3


When the Atlas of the Lewis and Clark Expedition appeared in 1983 critics hailed it as a publishing landmark in western history. The second volume, which began the actual journals, fully lived up to the promise of the first. This eagerly awaited third volume continues the journals of explorers whose epic trail-blazing still excites the imagination.

Instructed by President Jefferson to keep meticulous records bearing on the geography, ethnology, and natural history of the trans-Mississippi West, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and four of their men filled hundreds of notebook pages with observations during their expedition of 1804-6. The result was and is a national treasure: a complete look at the Great Plains, the Rockies, and the Pacific Northwest, reported by men who were intelligent and well prepared, at a time when almost nothing was known about those regions so newly acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.

Volume 3 consists of the journals during the expedition's route from the Vermillion River to Fort Mandan, North Dakota, and their winter encampment there. It describes their encounters with Sioux, Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa Indians, including considerable ethnographic material on these tribes. Some miscellaneous documents containing information gathered during the first year of the expedition, originally published in a separate volume, are here brought together in an appropriate chronological sequence.

Superseding the last edition, published early in this century, the current edition contains new materials discovered since then. It greatly expands and updates the annotation to take account of the most recent scholarship on the many subjects touched on by the journals.


It is a pleasure to acknowledge again all those persons who have helped with this new edition of the journals. the individuals named in volume 2 have continued with their encouragement and assistance, while the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation has given financial support, as has Lyle S. Woodcook of St. Louis. Other persons have been aiding the project more recently: Jeffery R. Hanson, University of Wisconsin--La Crosse, John Ludwickson, Nebraska State Historical Society, and Thomas O. Holtzer, University of Nebraska--Lincoln, answered some difficult ethnological, archaeological, and entomological questions, while Vernon Volpe, University of Nebraska, and Jennifer Frost of the project, assisted in the research tasks.

Linguistic data in the notes were provided by the following individuals. Dakota language: Raymond J. DeMallie, Indiana University. Dakota words are written in the orthography of Eugene Buechel, A Dictionary of the Teton Dakota Sioux Language, edited by Paul Manhart (Pine Ridge: Red Cloud Indian School, 1970). All words are accented on the second syllable unless otherwise indicated. Arikara language: Douglas R. Parks, Indiana University. Hidatsa language: A. Wesley Jones, Mary College, Bismarck, North Dakota. Mandan language: Robert C. Hollow, State Historical Society of North Dakota. Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan words are written in the orthographies given in Douglas R. Parks,A. Wesley Jones , and Robert C. Hollow, eds., Earth Lodge Tales From the Upper Missouri: Traditional Stories of the Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan (Bismarck: Mary College, 1978), pp. 122-24. Two changes have been made in the Mandan orthography: extrashort vowels are written here raised above the line instead of using smaller type size, and nasal vowels are marked by ŋ instead of by a smaller type size n.

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