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Formidable Account


n October 20, 1804, near the Heart River at today's Mandan, North Dakota, men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition saw their first sign of the grizzly bear. The result was anticlimactic.

Clark wrote,

Our hunters killed 10 Deer & a Goat today and wounded a white Bear I saw Several fresh track of those animals which is 3 times as large as a man's track.

Lewis added a few details:

Peter Crusat this day shot at a white bear he wounded him, but being alarmed at the formidable appearance of the bear he left his tomahalk and gun; but shortly after returned and found that the bear had taken the oposite rout.

It just wasn't Cruzatte's day. "Soon after," continued Lewis, "he shot a buffaloe cow broke her thy, the cow pursued him he concealed himself in a small raviene."

--Joseph Mussulman, 1999

Formidable Account

From Discovering Lewis & Clark ®, http://www.lewis-clark.org © 1998-2014
by The Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, Washburn, North Dakota.
Journal excerpts are from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Moulton
13 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2001)