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Runaway Squaw

from Songs of Lewis & Clark by Sara Bouchard



Clark: 22nd of November Thursday 1804

I was allarmed about 10 oClock by the Sentinal,
who informed that an Indian was about to kill his wife
in the interpeters fire about 60 yards below the works,

I went down and Spoke to the fellow
about the rash act which he was like to commit
and forbid any act of the kind near the fort.

Some missunderstanding took place
between this man & his fife [wife] about 8 days ago,
and She came [here] to this place,
& Continued with the Squars of [our] interpeters,

2 days ago She returned to [her] vill’ge.
[NB: he might lawfully have killed her for running away.]
in the evening of the Same day She came [back] to the interpeters fire
appearently much beat, & Stabed in 3 places.

We Derected that no man of this party have any intercourse
with this woman under the penelty of Punishment.
he the Husband observed that one of our Serjeants Slept with his wife
& if he wanted her he would give her to him,

We derected the Serjeant to give the man Some articles,
at which time I told the Indian that I believed
[that] not one man of the party had [ever] touched his wife
except the one he had given the use of her for a nite,
in his own bed,

[and that] no man of the party Should touch his Squar,
or the wife of any Indian,
nor did I believe they touch a woman
if they knew her to be the wife of another man,
and advised him to take his Squar home
and live hapily together in future.


from Songs of Lewis & Clark, released November 8, 2008


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Sara Bouchard Richmond, Virginia

I am a multi-disciplinary artist and songwriter with a strong foothold in American roots. As an artist, I investigate ways to interact with and represent the American landscape through song. As a musician, I perform original and traditional tunes - drawn from bluegrass, old-time, jazz, country and blues - with my band SALT PARADE. ... more

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