November 7, 1804
"the day cloudy & foggy. we go on with our work. The Capts. Room being hughn down the inside, we layed the loft* over the hughn punchien** then stopped the cracks with some old tarpolin and grass Some morter then a thick coat of earth over all, which will make it verry warm. "
loft*- Attic-like space below the roof in each cabins. These lofts were used as sleeping quarters.
punchien** - A heavy, broad piece of roughly dressed timber with one side flat
November 8, 1804
"our huts advance very well, and we are visited by numbers of Indians."
November 9, 1804
"The Mandans graze their horses in the day on grass, and at night give them a Stick of Cotton wood to eate. Horses Dogs & people all pass the night in the Same Lodge or round house covd. with earth with a fire in the middle."
November 10, 1804
"Continued to build our fort. Numbers of Indians came to see us."
November 11, 1804
" continued at work at the Fort. Two men cut themselves with an ax. two women* of the Rocky mountains, purchased from the Indians by a frenchmen came down"
two women*- The younger of these women was Sacagawea
November 12, 1804
"early this morning the Big White princapal Chief of the lower Village of the Mandans came down. The interpeter says that the Mandan nation maney years ago they lived in Several Villages on the Missourie low down, the Small pox destroyed the greater part of the nation and reduced them to one large village and some small ones. All nations before this maladey was affrd.. of them, after they were reduced the Seaux and other Indians waged war and killed great maney and they moved up the Missourie."
November 13, 1804
" at 10 oClock AM the Black Cat the Mandin Chief and Lagru Che Chark* Chief & 7 men of note visited us at Fort Mandan, I gave him a twist of Tobacco to smoke with his people & a gold cord with a view to Know him again, the Nation consists of about 600 men, hunt in the plains & winter and trade on the Ossiniboin River, they are decendants of the Siaux and speake their language, they come to the nations to this quarter to trade for horses.""
Lagru Che Chark*- Lagrue in French, or Che Chark, apparently in Cree, means "The Crane."
November 14, 1804
"only two Indians visit us to day owning to a Dance at the village last night in concluding a serimoney of adoption and interchange of property."