A Short Introduction to the Site
The Two Medicine Fight Site struggle on July 27, 1806 was the only violent conflict between the Corps of Discovery and Native Americans and resulted in the only two Indian casualties of the Expedition. Furthermore, it marks the first meeting and conflict between any representative of the American government and the Blackfeet Nation.
The Two Medicine Fight Site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
Full Description of the Historical Site or Museum
According to most history books, on the return trip in 1806 Lewis, Drouillard and the Field brothers also encountered eight members of the Blackfeet Tribe (Pikuni) and made camp for the night. During this first day and night, Lewis explained the United States’ intent to bring about a comprehensive peace between all the Indian tribes of the west. He went on to add that the Shoshones and Nez Perces – mortal enemies of the Blackfeet – had already agreed to this peace and would be receiving guns and supplies because of it.
To the Blackfeet, American plans represented a direct threat. As far as the Indians were concerned, giving guns to their adversaries only could result in a weakening of Blackfeet power. That night, the Blackfeet attempted to steal the expedition’s guns. Their plans went awry and in the chaos that ensued Lewis and Reuben Field each killed a Blackfeet warrior. The surviving Blackfeet returned to their tribe and communicated what they had learned of America’s goals for the region. From that point forward, the Blackfeet regarded the Americans with hostility and acted toward them similarly.
Open MonthsYear Round
Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark
The Two Medicine Fight Site is about 25 miles southeast of Browning, Montana in Pondera County on the eastern edge of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. (Access by permission from private landowner only).