Cantonment [Belle Fontaine], Missouri, July 12th, 1806.
Sir: The health of the Osages being now generally restored and all hopes of the speedy recovery of their prisoners from the hands of the Potowatomies being at an end, they have become desirous to commence their journey for their villages; you are therefore to proceed to-morrow.
In addition to the instructions given you on the 24th ultimo, I must request you to have the talks under cover delivered to White Hair and Grand Peste, the chief of the Osage band which is settled on the waters of the Arkansaw, together with the belts which accompany them. You will also receive herewith a small belt for the Panis and a large one for the Tetaus or Comanches.
Should you find it necessary, you are to give orders to Maugraine, the resident interpreter at the Grand Osage, to attend you.
I beg you to take measures for the security and safe return of your boats from the Grand Osage to this place.
Dr. Robinson will accompany you as a volunteer. He will be furnished medicines, and for the accommodations which you give him he is bound to attend your sick.
Should you discover any unlicensed traders in your route, or any person from this territory, or from the United States, without a proper license or passport, you are to arrest such person or persons and dispose of their property as the law directs.
My confidence in your caution and discretion had prevented my urging you to vigilance in guarding against the strategy and treachery of the Indians; holding yourself above alarm or surprise, the composition of your party, though it be small, will secure to you the respect of a host of untutored savages.
You are to communicate, from the Grand Osage and from every other practicable point, directly to the secretary of war, transmitting your letters to this place under cover, to the commanding officer, or by any more convenient route.
I wish you health and a successful and honorable enterprise, and am,
Yours with friendship,
[Signed] James Wilkinson.
Lieutenant Z. M. Pike.