Fort Mandan (1)
Fort Mandan (1) (1804-1805) - Established in 1804 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in present-day McLean County, North Dakota. Named after the nearby Mandan Indian tribe. Abandoned in 1805 when the expedition left for the Pacific coast.
Lewis & Clark establish Fort Mandan on 2 Nov 1804 just downriver from the Mandan Indian village. The location had been preselected because President Thomas Jefferson had specifically instructed Lewis & Clark to trade and interact with the Mandan. The location was also just about as far up the Missouri River as the expedition needed to go before winter was upon them. The expedition spent the winter at Fort Mandan and departed in the spring on 7 Apr 1805.
During their stay at Fort Mandan Lewis and Clark met and secured the services of Toussaint Charbonneau and his young pregnant Indian wife named Sacagawea. Both would prove invaluable to the expedition.
Fort Mandan was built as a three-sided fortification with pointed pickets forming the outside walls and individual rooms lining two of the interior walls. The third wall formed the gated entrance. Lewis and Clark shared one set of quarters, Charbonneau and Sacagawea shared another while the rest of the men shared the remaining barracks-like quarters.
The post was abandoned when they departed on 7 Apr 1805 for the Pacific coast. On the return trip, they noted that the fort had been partially burned down.
Must See! A fort replica is near the site of the North Dakota Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Part of the Fort Mandan State Historical Site, McLean County, North Dakota. The fort replica includes furnished rooms with period items. Guided tours available.
Visited: 17 Sep 2013