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New Year's Celebration

January 1, 1805, was a day of rest. According to Sergeant John Ordway’s journal, the men were issued a ration of whiskey and the entire company crossed the river to Mitutanka, the nearest Mandan village. The Mandans welcomed the visit, responding with gifts of food and buffalo robes. Ordway noted that the “frolicking” continued into January 2. He did not appear to understand that accepting the hospitality offered by the villagers implied entering into an alliance with them.

Click here to read a description of their New Year's celebrations.