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Captain Lewis Shoots an Indian

Drawn by an anonymous artist, this illustration prepared for the 1812 edition of Sergeant Gass’s journal depicts Captain Lewis’s confrontation with the young Blackfeet men. After the initial tussle around their campfire, the Americans recovered their weapons only to discover that the fleeing Blackfeet were attempting to steal their horses and leave them stranded on the prairie. Lewis led his men in pursuit. The captain urged his men to hold their fire until one young warrior turned and leveled his gun at the commander. At that point Lewis fired, mortally wounding his adversary in the stomach. The dying Blackfeet man fired at the captain as he fell, missing him.

Patrick Gass. “Captain Lewis Shooting an Indian,” in Journal of the Voyages and Travels of the Corps of Discovery, under the Command of Capt. Lewis and Capt. Clarke, 1812.

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