tv Lewis and Clark Expedition in South Dakota CSPAN December 22, 2017 12:33am-12:44am EST
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the lewis and clark expedition is key in u.s. history. the idea of the expedition was to encourage more american travel up the missouri river and more american trade with the american announced. the story of south dakota, there's some interesting tales, first of all when you come into south dakota, sergeant floyd had died, but the current city of sioux city, but when they got to now what's the current city of elpoint, south dakota, they elected patrick gasse as the mayor. clark was elected in that situation. highly unusual. farther up the river, they saw spirit mound, where it was supposed to be inhabited by 18-inch high devils. and they had to go see these
devils. once they got the top of spirit mound and what did they see but bison, acres and acres of bison. and these are men coming from the eastern united states who are used to trees and forests and hills and rocks and this open plain is like a farmer's delight, as well as a hunter's delight with al those buffalo. as they come up the river a little bit farther, george has been non, the youngest member of the expedition, am in 17, got lost. but the most important thing that happened in south dakota, was the encounter of the lakota here in central south dakota. many historians believe it could have been the end of the expedition, it was a confrontation, it was a great misunderstanding, between the non-indians, lewis and
clark, and the indians here. lewis and clark were walking into a very difficult political situation amongst the american indians here. lewis and clark believed these were just simple people, simple lives and they would do what they were told and life was happy. these were very sophisticated people too. they were having a rival for leadership, between the black buffalo and the partisan, they were fighting over who was going to represent the tribe to these explorers coming up the missouri river. they also wanted to control the trade up and down the missouri river. it was in the lakota's best interest to not allow free trade up and down the missouri river. they got paid good from the explorers and the traders and trappers than indians up the river. of course the american
explorers, the lewis and clark, they wanted to say, no, we want you to trade with us, we want more trade. and it wasn't in the best interest of the lakota to do that. so there was this competition, between the black buffalo, the partisan and buffalo medicine. and that kind of confrontation, they just didn't understand. the other thing lewis and clark did, was they left their best interpreter behind with the lakota people, when earlier on, they have a great relationship with. so here we are, lewis preparing to give what he dubbed his indian speech. and the speeches weren't effective. they lay out all these gifts, they give more gifts to black buffalo, because they see him as the head chief. that didn't do anything with the partisan because they were just -- that didn't go so well,
so lewis and clark said, we'll take them out on the boat, that will impress them. so they loaded them out on the boat and they go out on the river and everything, so when they come back, the partisan's men, grab a hold of the rope and symbolically say, you cannot leave, you cannot leave until you give us more things, more goods. and clark immediately got mad, he ordered guns raised. guns got raised. well along the shores, you got to imagine, both sides of the river are filled with these american indians, men, women, children, watching what's going on, being part of this day, and weapons get drawn on that side. well the good thing is at this point in time. the leader of the black buffalo, really shows and he steps forward and tells them to let go of their ropes. and they did.
like a pause, the tension goes away, and the moment of potential confrontation disappears. when president thomas jefferson sent lewis and clark out on their expedition, they knew they were going to encounter american indians and they wanted to provide a friendly appearance with the american indians. because what's going to be key in the development of this country, to work with the american indians, that were living here. when they came up the river, they lewis and clark had what they call peace medals. those medals were given out to the leaders, the people that were identified as the leaders of the american indians they met along the route. very important in terms of the gifting that they gave.
these were given to the people they saw as the leadership of the tribe and the key people they had to influence, especially when talking about this man, this thomas jefferson, whose image is on this medal is head of this country, and now your new leader too. so that was very important in the whole diplomatic aspect of the lewis and clark expedition. it was something they took great pains to be good at doing. it was a military expedestrian -- expedition, they showed their guns, they showed their mighty guns. they loved the aspect of discovering new things and -- but the diplomatic one, part of their whole mission, was the most important from the standpoint that they were letting people know that there's a new owner, quote, of this land, and it happens to be the united states of america, not only to the american indians who
were here, but also the trappers and traders who were already living among the indians and encouraging trade. the central south dakota, ft. pierce, south dakota is the heart of the lewis and clark story. it is so important about their connections with american indians and how it went and how it could have gone. the pushing of diplomacy, the pushing of trade, the economy, the military strength and scientific exploration. it's all about what's important on the lewis and clark expedition, their whole core of discovery of what they were all about. >> sunday on c-span's q&a, heritage foundation distinguished fellow, lee edwards chronicles his 60 year involvement in the conservative movement. >> i met joe mccarthy through my father, who was something of a confidante to him.
he was a fellow who liked to party and a drink or two. as long as you didn't talk about co communism, you couldn't ask for a more fun guy to be with. he was very serious about that. he was also someone who did not take advice very well and he consequently said things and even did things that hurt the cause of anti-communism for some time. >> q&a, sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history, american university professor aaron bell talks about privacy laws and surveillance of civil rights leaders. >> the head of operations, william sullivan, shortly after the march on washington and
mart martin luther king jr.'s, i have a dream speech. we must mark king as the most dangerous negro in this nation and communism and national security. reflecting on lessons learned and ignored during the war. >> we learned the limits of military power during the vietnam war. we learned that as a society, as a culture that you can't kill an idea with a bullet. >> northwestern history tv this weekend, only on c-span3. >> interested in american history tv? visit our website, c-span.org/history. you can view our tv schedule, preview upcoming and watch college lectures, museum lectures and archival films and more.