Crossing the Indian Country, 1804 1806
 
What was Known? 1804 Mandan Winter Salish Rescue Nez Perce Refuge Chinook Country Columbia River Two Dead Blackfeet New Indian Experts
 

 
 

Winter with the Mandans

"The Men commenced dancing … the Natives signify[ed] their approbation by a Whoop….”
(Joseph Whitehouse, January 1, 1805)

The Corps of Discovery established its winter camp close to five Mandan and Hidatsa villages sited along the Missouri River. Although the tribes there already had ties to the Canadian fur trade, they were worried about aggressive Sioux bands pressing them from the south, and therefore had many reasons to forge a partnership with the Americans. The explorers were also eager for allies. They needed food for the coming winter and information about the unknown territory ahead.