by Susan Page Davis
As I look out the window this morning and see powdery snow falling thick and fast, I’m extremely thankful for my warm home and loving family all around me. What was Christmas like for the ultimate pioneers—those who paved the way westward? Let me share with you how Lewis and Clark spent Christmas in 1805. This excerpt is taken from The Journals of Lewis and Clark, edited by Bernard do Voto.
William Clark wrote in his journal on December 25 at
“At daylight this morning we [were] awoke by the discharge of the fire arm[s] of all our party & a Selute [salute], Shouts and a Song which the whole party joined in under our windows, after which they retired to their rooms
“were chearfull all morning. After brackfast we divided our Tobacco which amounted to 12 carrots one half of which we gave to the men of our party who used tobacco [a note says the rest was saved for trading purposes], and to those who doe not use it we make a present of a handkerchief. The Indians leave us in the evening
“all of the party snugly fixed in their huts. I recvd a presnt of Capt. L. of a fleece hosrie [hosiery] Shirt Draw and Socks, a pr. Mockersons of Whitehouse a Small Indian basket of Gutherich, two Dozen white weazils tails of the Indian woman, & some black root of the Indians before their departure. Drewyer informs me that he saw a Snake pass across the path today. The day proved Showerey wet and disagreeable.
“we would have spent this day the nativity of Christ in feasting, had we any thing either to raise our Sperits or even gratify our appetites, our Diner concisted of pore Elk, so much Spoiled that we eate it thro’ mear necessity, Some Spoiled pounded fish and a fiew roots.”
And that’s not all, folks. Wet, cold rain blew in and soaked everything from blankets to powder horns that night, and
So be thankful for your warm, dry, flealess beds, for the gifts under your tree, for the plentiful “diner” on your Christmas table.
Here’s my question for today: What is the name of my
You can find the answer on my Web site: www.susanpagedavis.com. Leave your answer here in your comment, with a way to contact you, and you may win a copy of my three-book collection, Wyoming Brides.
While you’re at my site, sign up for my monthly drawing over there, too. You may win something to distract you from the spoiled elk meat and fleas!