Captain Meriwether Lewis

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Captain Meriwether Lewis

Dupuyer 59486,Great Falls Area

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Location: North of Dupuyer

Captain Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, accompanied by three of his men, explored this portion of the country upon their return trip from the coast. On July 26, 1806, they met eight Piegans (Blackfeet), who Lewis mistakenly identified as Gros Ventres, and camped with them that night on Two Medicine Creek at a point northeast of here. Next morning the Indians, by attempting to steal the explorers’ guns and horses, precipitated a fight in which two of the Indians were killed.

This was the only hostile encounter with Indians that the Expedition encountered during their entire trip from St. Louis to the Pacific and back. Lewis unwittingly dropped a bombshell on the Piegans with the news that their traditional enemies, the Nez Perce, Shoshoni, and Kootenai, were uniting in an American-inspired peace and would be getting guns and supplies from Yankee traders. This threatened the Blackfeet’s 20-year domination of the Northern Plains made possible by Canadian guns.

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