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John Ordway Describes Meeting the Teton Sioux

In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson hired Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the vast territory of the Louisiana Purchase, recently acquired from France. Lewis and Clark followed the path of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers through eleven present-day states to the Pacific Ocean. Both Lewis and Clark, along with several other members of the "Corps of Discovery," recorded their impressions of the expedition's often-perilous journey in detailed journal entries. These entries spanned from March 3, 1804 to September 26, 1806, and altogether totaled more than 140,000 words. The excerpt below, about their first encounter with the Teton Sioux (Lakota), is from U.S. army sergeant John Ordway. Spelling and punctuation have been modernized to improve clarity.

Source | University of Nebraska, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, September 25, 1804,
Creator | John Ordway
Item Type | Diary/Letter
Cite This document | John Ordway, “John Ordway Describes Meeting the Teton Sioux,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed December 6, 2023,

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