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Lewis and Clark Original Documents

Lewis and Clark Original Documents

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Published by: StanfordSheg on Apr 29, 2013
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Document A: Jefferson’s Letter to Meriwether Lewis (ORIGINAL)
To Meriwether Lewis esq. Capt. of the 1st regimt. of infantry of the U. S. of A.:….In all your intercourse with the natives, treat them in the most friendly &conciliatory manner which their own conduct will admit; allay all jealousies as tothe object of your journey, satisfy them of its innocence, make them acquaintedwith the position, extent, character, peaceable & commercial dispositions of theU.S. of our wish to be neighborly, friendly & useful to them, & of our dispositionsto a commercial intercourse with them; confer with them on the points mostconvenient as mutual emporiums, and the articles of most desireable interchangefor them & us….If a few of their influential chiefs, within practicable distance, wish to visit us,arrange such a visit with them, and furnish them with authority to call on our officers, on their entering the U.S to have them conveyed to this place at thepublic expense. If any of them should wish to have some of their young peoplebrought up with us, & taught such arts as may be useful to them, we will receive,instruct & take care of them. Such a mission, whether of influential chiefs or of young people, would give some security to your own party. Carry with you somematter of the kinepox; inform those of them with whom you may be, of it'[s]efficacy as a preservative from the small-pox; & instruct & incourage them in theuse of it. This may be especially done wherever you winter.Th. JeffersonPr. U.S. of America
Source: The passage above is from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson toMeriwether Lewis on June 20, 1803. The letter gives detailed instructions onhow Lewis and Clark should treat Native Americans.
Lewis and Clark
Document B: William Clark’s Diary Entries (ORIGINAL)January 5, 1805
a Buffalow Dance (or Medeson) (Medecine) for 3 nights passed in the 1st Village,a curious Custom the old men arrange themselves in a circle & after Smoke[ing]a pipe which is handed them by a young man, Dress[ed] up for the purpose, theyoung men who have their wives back of the Circle go [each] to one of the oldmen with a whining tone and request the old man to take his wive (who presents[herself] necked except a robe) and -- the Girl then takes the Old Man (who verryoften can scarcely walk) and leades him to a convenient place for the business,after which they return to the lodge; if the old man (or a white man) returns to thelodge without gratifying the Man & his wife, he offers her again and again; it isoften the Case that after the 2d time without Kissing the Husband throws a newrobe over the old man &c. and begs him not to dispise him & his wife (We Sent aman to this Medisan Dance last night, they gave him 4 Girls) all this is to causethe buffalow to Come near So that they may Kill them.
November 21, 1805
Several Indians and squars came this evening I beleave for the purpose of gratifying the passions of our men, Those people appear to view sensuality as anecessary evill, and do not appear to abhore this as crime in the unmarriedfemales….(second draft)She brought with her 6 young Squars (her daughters & nieces) I believe for thepurpose of Gratifying the passions of the men of our party…
Source: All the men on the journey kept diaries about their experiences. Aboveare two entries from William Clark’s diary. The first describes the ritual of the“Buffalo Dance” among the Mandan Indians. The second entry describes setting up camp near The Dalles Indians in present day Oregon.
Lewis and Clark
Document C:
Time Magazine
Article (ORIGINAL)
Prairie grass ripples along the shores of North Dakota's Lake Sakakawea, and afat rainbow shimmers overhead. Here, if Amy Mossett has her way, an $11million interactive museum will soon welcome visitors to the Lewis and Clark trail.Mossett, tourism director for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes, is buildingreplica earth lodges and planning overnight sleep-in-a-teepee packages withIndian food, ethno-botany hikes, buffalo-hide painting and lectures on tribal tradenetworks — insect repellent included. Her message: "Come and meet thedescendants of the people who provided shelter to Lewis and Clark."If the Mandan are as friendly today as they were 200years ago, their neighbors the Teton Sioux, whowere ornery in their encounters with Lewis andClark, remain almost as testy. A South Dakota"scenic byway" designation drew initial opposition onthe Standing Rock reservation. Traditionalists fear that tourists will loot sacred grave sites. And whilethe tribe is seeking grants for roadside panels andinterpretive centers, the message will be mixed."Our people have for too long put on beads andfeathers and danced for the white man," saysRonald McNeil, a great-great-great grandson of Chief Sitting Bull and presidentof the local community college. "Yes, we'll show how our ancestors lived whenLewis and Clark came up the trail. But then we must say what happened to themsince. I'm tired of playing Indian and not getting to be an Indian."With conflicting emotions running deep among the tribes, Lewis and Clarkboosters hope to bridge the divide by touting the expedition as "a journey of mutual discovery." Their fear: that Indian protests will mar the festivities, ashappened during the 1992 Columbus voyage anniversary. "We're not going torepeat the Columbus debacle," says Michelle Bussard, executive director of theNational Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. The nonprofit group hasassembled a 30-member Circle of Tribal Advisers to promote Indian participation,and the National Park Service has chosen a Mandan-Hidatsa, Gerard Baker, tobe superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. His travelingexhibit, "Corps of Discovery II," will be "a tent of many voices," he says, focusingon native cultures and their "hope for the future."It's all very inclusive, but these aren't Disney Indians. "We're not celebratingLewis and Clark," says Tex Hall, president of the American Congress of Indians,who is scheduled to speak at the January launch of the commemoration atMonticello, in Charlottesville, Va. "Still, people are making money on this, sodon't leave out the Indians. It's an opportunity for us to tell our story." And torevive cultures that are slipping away. In Oregon, the Umatilla tribe, whose
Lewis and Clark

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