tv Lewis and Clark Expedition in South Dakota CSPAN October 8, 2017 4:21pm-4:31pm EDT
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> interested in american history tv? visit our website, c-span.org /history. look at the schedule, c programs, college lectures, museum tours, archival films, and more. c-span.org/history. >> behind me is the dam that sits in the north of the city of pierre. it was built after lewis and clark came through this area. come with us to learn more about their journey. >> although the lewis and clark expedition is key in u.s. history, the idea was to
encourage more american travel of the missouri river and more american trade with the indians. the story of south dakota, there are interesting tales. when you come into south dakota, sergeant lloyd had just died. they got to elk point, south dakota. interestingly, clark's slave -- sergeant floyd had just died. they got to elk point, south dakota. interestingly, clark's slave york was able to vote in the election. very unusual. they had to go see these devils. once they got to the top of the spirit mounts, what did they see? their first bison.
acres and acres of bison. these are men coming from the eastern united states who are used to seeing trees and forests and heal -- and fields and rocks. this was a farmer's delight as well as a hunter's delight. the youngest member of the expedition got lost. but the most important thing that happened, the lakota here, many historians believe it could have been the end of the expedition because it was a confrontation. it was a great misunderstanding between the non-indians, lewis and clark, in the indian people here at the confluence of the river. they were walking into a very difficult political situation.
these were just simple people, simple lives. they were sophisticated people, too. they were having a contest of leadership. they got more goods and service from traders and trappers than the indians of the river. of course, the american explorers, lewis and clark, they wanted to say, no, we want you to trade with us.
so, there was a competition and that kind of confrontation, they just did not understand. the other thing lewis and clark did, they left their interpreter behind with the lakota people. who earlier on the they had a great relationship with. they did not have a proper translator, so the speeches were not effective. they lay out all of these wonderful gifts to black buffalo. that did not do anything with buffalo madison. they were angry because they were just as important, so they wanted more goods. that did not go over well. lewis and clark said, oh, take them out on the boat. so, when they come back, the
partisan's men grab a hold of the rope and symbolically say you cannot leave until you give us more things, more goods. and clark immediately got mad. he ordered guns raised. imagine, the river is filled with these american indians watching what is going on. and weapons get drawn on that side. the good thing is for this moment in time, the leadership of black buffalo really shows. he steps forward, tells the warriors to let go of the rope, and they do. the tension goes away and the moment of potential confrontation disappears.
when president thomas jefferson asked lewis and clark on the expedition, they knew that they would confront american indians and they wanted a friendly appearance with the american indians. they knew this would be key with this country. when they came up the missouri river, lewis and clark had peace medals with them. on the front face of the metal -- of the medal is the image of president thomas jefferson. on the back, his hands are clasped in an image of friendship. those were given to leaders along the route. very important in terms of the gifting. the key people that they had to influence, especially talking
about this man, this thomas jefferson, whose image is on this medal is the head of the country and now your new leader, chia. that was very important. the diplomatic part, i think was important. and something that they took great pains to do. they were dressed in military uniforms. they showed their mighty guns. they loved the aspect of creating new things. they were letting people know that there was a new "owner" of this land and it happened to be the united states of america. and it was encouraging trade. in south dakota, it is the hearts of the lewis and clark story. there is so much about american connections with american
indians and how that went into how it could have gone. they are pushing up diplomacy, trade, the military strength. it is all about importance with the lewis and clark expedition. it is core to what they were all about. >> this weekend, we are featuring the history of pierre, south dakota. andn more about pierre other stops on our cities tour at c-span.org/citiestour. you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3.
>> during world war ii, the picture unit was comprised entirely of film industry professionals and many films included hollywood stars like james stewart and ronald reagan. american history tv, national archives motion picture specialist and heidi hellstrom show clips from these films made by the first motion picture unit efforts tohives preserve these films. the national archives hosted this hour-long event. >> today we are broadcasting live from the national archives building in washington, d.c. welcome. glad you are here with us either on-site or online on youtube. before we begin i would like to give you some instructions on