A further proof of the respect that the expedition leaders held for Heney came when, on the expedition's return from Pacific, Clark sent Sgt. Pryor and some men ahead with a letter to 'Mr. H: Heney' on the Assiniboine River (L&C 3:1145n). This letter requested Heney to persuade some Sioux chiefs to go to Washington. (L&C 3:1065). (Pryor didn't deliver the letter because his party's horses were stolen (L&C 3:1169-1170).)
The Lewis & Clark expedition was a major achievement; the small but significant contribution of Canadians to this American success is one of the many interesting stories of North American history.
Lewis and Clark Timeline May 14 - December 31, 1804
As mentioned earlier, Lewis & Clark obtained geographical information both directly and indirectly from North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company traders. The expedition journals also include a number of explicit references to other, less vital, information learned from the Canadian fur traders (e.g., Lewis & Clark 1:271, 274, 294, 2:493-4, 3:950). After the expedition returned, Lewis wrote his , in which he acknowledges the help the expedition received from the British traders:
Timeline of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - Wikipedia
The rival Hudson's Bay Company also had traders at the Mandan villages during the winter of 1804-1805, but information on the Bay men is less detailed. Charbonneau claimed that HBC men were circulating negative rumours about the expedition among the Turtle Mountain Minnetarees (L&C 1:225). The HBC's 'Mr. Henderson' visited Lewis & Clark at Fort Mandan on December 1, 1804. His post was eight days' journey almost straight north. (L&C 1:207).
Getting Ready - The Lewis and Clark Expedition
On January 30, 1805, Francois Antoine Larocque visited Fort Mandan and asked to travel with the Corps of Discovery. He was anxious to join them, but Lewis & Clark turned him down (L&C 1:228). In March, 1805, Larocque and the rest of the Nor'westers returned north to their fur post. Larocque was still going to go west, however. On June 2, Larocque, McKenzie, Lafrance, and two voyageurs left Fort Assiniboine for the Mandan villages. There Larocque met some Crow Indians, and went with them to a point near the junction of the Yellowstone and Big Horn rivers. He was back at Fort Assiniboine by November 18, 1805 (Russell, 152; Henry, 301n). He spent the summer of 1806 in charge of Fort Assiniboine (Henry, 301).
Lewis and Clark Expedition - helloscience - Google Sites
In general, however, relations between the Nor'westers and the expedition seem to have been fairly good. Lewis & Clark loaned one of their Mandan-language interpreters to Larocque and McKenzie on the understanding that it would be strictly for business interpretation. Larocque and McKenzie were also frequent vistors to Fort Mandan throughout the winter of 1804-1805, often staying overnight (L&C 1:226, 228, 232, 235, 238, 240, 245, 248).
Lewis and Clark Expedition – Exequy's Blog
A party of seven Nor'westers arrived at Fort Mandan on November 27, 1804 : François Antoine Larocque, Jean Baptiste Lafrance, Charles McKenzie, William Morrison, J. B. Turenne, Alexis McKay, and Joseph Azure. Lewis & Clark heard that Lafrance had 'undertaken to circulate among the Indians unfavorable reports' about the expedition, and ordered them to cease and desist or suffer the consequences (L&C 1:203). They also warned Larocque not to give medals or flags to the Indians. Lewis & Clark were giving out flags and medals, as tokens of their country's esteem for the recipients, and the expedition leaders seem to have felt that the Nor'westers were acting on behalf of the British government. In fact, the fur traders' distribution of flags to leading Native traders was a well-established trade practice, and medals were sometimes used by the NWC to reward 'really deserving' Natives.