All hands that are well employed in cutting logs and raising our winter cabins. Detached two men to split boards. Some rain at intervals all last night and today. The fleas were so troublesome last night that I made but a broken night's rest. We find great difficulty in getting those troublesome insects out of our robes and blankets. In the evening, two canoes of Clatsops visited us. They brought with them wappato, a black sweet root they call shanataque, and a small sea-otter skin, all of which we purchased for a few fishing hooks and a small sack of Indian tobacco which was given us by the Snake Indians.
Those Indians appear well disposed.
We gave a medal to the Principal Chief, named Connyau or Commowol,
and treated those with him with as much attention as we could. I can readily
discover that they are close dealers, and stickle for a very little, never
close a bargain except they think they have the advantage. Value blue beads
highly, white they also prize, but no other color do they value in the
Cuscalah, the Indian who
had treated me so politely when I was at the Clatsops' village,
came up in a canoe with his young brother and two squaws. He laid before
Captain Lewis and myself each a mat and a parcel of roots. Some
time in the evening, two files were demanded for the presentsof mats and
roots. As we had no files to part with, we each returned the present which
we had received, which displeased Cuscalah a little. He then offered
a woman to each of us, which we also declined accepting of, which displeased
the whole party very much. The female part appeared to be highly disgusted
at our refusing to accept of their favors.
At daylight this morning, we were awakened by the discharge of the firearms of all our party and a salute, shouts, and a song which the whole party joined in under our windows, after which they retired to their rooms. Were cheerful all the morning. After breakfast we divided our tobacco, which amounted to 12 carrots, one half of which we gave to the men of the party who used tobacco, and to those who do not use it we made a present of a handkerchief. The Indians left us in the evening. All the party snugly fixed in their huts. I received a present of Captain Lewis of a fleece hosiery shirt, drawers and socks, a pair of moccasins of Whitehouse, a small Indian basket of Goodrich, two dozen white weasels' tails of the Indian woman, and some black root of the Indians before their departure. Drouilliard informs me that he saw a snake pass across the path today. The day proved showery, wet, and disagreeable.
We would have spent this day,
the nativity of Christ, in feasting, had we had anything either to raise
our spirits or even gratify our appetites. Our dinner consisted of poor
elk, so much spoiled that we ate it through mere necessity, some spoiled
pounded fish, and a few roots.
Directed Drouilliard, Shannon,
Labiche, Reuben Fields, and Collins to hunt; Joseph Fields,
Bratton, Gibson to proceed to the ocean, at some convenient place form
a camp, and commence making salt with 5 of the largest kettles, and Willard
and Wiser to assist them in carrying the kettles to the seacoast.
All the other men to be employed about putting up pickets and making the
gates of the fort. My man York very unwell from a violent cold,
and strain by carrying meat from the woods and lifting the heavy logs on
the works, &c.
Our fortification is completed
this evening, and at sunset we let the natives know that our custom will
be in future toshut the gates at sunset, at which time all Indians must
go out of the fort and not return into it until next morning after sunrise,
at which time the gates will be opened.
With the party of Clatsops
who visited us last was a man of much lighter color than the natives
are generally. He was freckled, with long, dusky red hair, about 25 years
of age, and must certainly be half white at least. This man appeared to
understand more of the English language than the others of his party, but
did not speak a word of English. He possessed all the habits of the Indians.
This morning I was awakened at an early hour by the discharge of a volley of small arms, which was fired by our party in front of our quarters to usher in the New Year. This was the only mark of respect which we had it in our power to pay this celebrated day. Our repast of this day, though better than that of Christmas, consisted principally in the anticipation of the 1st day of January, 1807, when, in the bosom of our friends, we hope to participate in the mirth and hilarity of the day; and when, with the zest given by the recollection of the present, we shall completely, both mentally and corporally, enjoy the repast which the hand of civilization has prepared for us. At present we were content with eating our boiled elk and wappato, and solacing our thirst with our only beverage, pure water. Two of our hunters who set out this morning returned in the evening having killed two buck elk. They presented Captain Clark and myself each a marrowbone and tongue, on which we supped.
We were uneasy with respect to
two of our men, Willard and Wiser, who were dispatched on
the 28th ult. with the salt makers, and were directed to return immediately.
Their not having returned induces us to believe it probable that they have
missed their way.
Our party, from necessity having
been obliged to subsist some length of time on dogs, have now become extremely
fond of their flesh. It is worthy of remark that while we lived principally
on the flesh of this animal, we were muchmore healthy, strong, and more
fleshy than we had been since we left the buffalo country. For my own part,
I have become so perfectly reconciled to the dog that I think it an agreeable
food and would prefer it vastly to lean venison or elk.
At 5 P.M., Willard and Wiser returned. They had not been lost as we expected. They informed us that it was not until the fifth day after leaving the fort that they could find a convenient place for making salt; that they had at length established themselves on the seacoast about 15 miles S.W. from this, near the houses of some Clatsop and Tillamook families; that the Indians were very friendly and had given them a considerable quantity of the blubber of the whale which perished on the coast some distance S.E. of them. It was white and not unlike the fat of pork, though the texture was more spongy and somewhat coarser. We had part of it cooked and found it very palatable and tender. It resembles the beaver in flavor.
Those men also informed us that the salt makers with their assistance had erected a comfortable camp, had killed an elk and several deer and secured a good stock of meat. They commenced the making of salt and found that they could make from 3 quarts to a gallon a day. They brought with them a specimen of the salt, of about a gallon. We found it excellent, white, and fine, but not so strong as the rock salt, or that made in Kentucky or the western parts of the U. States. This salt was a great treat to most of the party, having not had any since the 20th ult. As to myself I care but little whether I have any with my meat or not, provided the meat is fat, having from habit become entirely careless about my diet; and I have learned to think that if the cord be sufficiently strong which binds the soul and body together, it does not so much matter about the materials which compose it.
I determined to set out early tomorrow with two canoes and 12 men in quest of the whale, or at all events to purchase from the Indians a parcel of the blubber. For this purpose I made up a small assortment of merchandise and directed the men to hold themselves in readiness.
Captain Clark, Fort Clatsop, 5 January 1806
The last evening Charbonneau
and his Indian woman were very impatient to be permitted to go with
me and were therefore indulged. She observed that she had traveled a long
way with us to see the great waters and, now that monstrous fish was also
to be seen, she thought it very hard that she could not be permitted to
see either. (She had never yet been to the ocean.)
I found our salt makers, and with them Sergeant Gass. George Shannon was out in the woods assisting Joe Fields and Gibson to kill some meat. The salt makers had made a neat, close camp, convenient to wood, salt water, and the fresh water of the Clatsop river, which at this place was l within 100 paces of the oceans. They were also situated near four houses of Clatsops and Tillamooks, who, they informed me, had been very kind and attentive to them.
I hired a young Indian to pilot
me to the whale, for which service I gave him a file in hand and promised
several other small articles on my return. Left Sergeant Gass and
one man of my party, Warner, to make salt, and permitted Bratton
to accompany me.
Proceeded to the place the whale had perished. Found only the skeleton of this monster on the sand, between 2 of the villages of the Tillamook nation. The whale was already pillaged of every valuable part by the Tillamook Indians in the vicinity, of whose villages it lay on the strand, where the waves and tide had driven up and left it. This skeleton measured 105 feet. I returned to the village of 5 cabins on the creek, which I shall call Ecola or Whale Creek. Found the natives busily engaged boiling the blubber, which they performed in a large, square wooden trough, by means of hot stones. The oil, when extracted, was secured in bladders and the guts of the whale. The blubber, from which the oil was only partially extracted by this process, was laid by in their cabins, in large flitches for use. Those flitches they usually expose to the fire on a wooden spit, until it is pretty well warmed through, and then eat it either alone or with roots of the rush, shanataque, or dipped in the oil.
The Tillamooks, although
they possessed large quantities of this blubber and oil, were so penurious
that they disposed of it with great reluctance, and in small quantities
only; insomuch that my utmost exertions, aided by the party, with the small
stock of merchandise I had taken with me, were not able to procure more
blubber than about 300 pounds and a few gallons of oil. Small as this stock
is, I prize it highly; and thank Providence for directing the whale to
us; and think Him much more kind to us than He was to Jonah having sent
this monster to be swallowed by us, instead of swallowing of
us, as Jonah's did.
The persons who usually visit the entrance of this river for the purpose of traffic or hunting, I believe are either English or Americans. The Indians inform us that they speak the same language with ourselves, and give us proofs of their veracity by repeating many words of English, as musket, powder, shot, knife, file, damned rascal, son of a bitch, &c. Whether these traders are from Nootka Sound, from some other late establishment on this coast, or immediately from the U. States or Great Britain, I am at a loss to determine, nor can the Indians inform us.
The Indians whom I have asked in what direction the traders go when they depart from hence or arrive here, always point to the S.W., from which it is presumable that Nootka cannot be their destination; and as, from Indian information, a majority of these traders annually visit them about the beginning of April and remain with them six or seven months, they cannot come immediately from Great Britain or the U. States, the distance being too great for them to go and return in the balance of the year. From this circumstance I am sometimes induced to believe that there is some other establishment on the coast of America, southwest of this place, of which little is but yet known to the world, or it may be perhaps on some little island in the Pacific Ocean, between the continents of Asia and America, to the southwest of us.
This traffic on the part of the
whites consists in vending guns (principally old British or American muskets),
powder, balls and shot, copper and brass kettles, brass teakettles and
coffeepots, blankets from two to three points, scarlet and blue cloth (coarse),
plates and strips of sheet copper and brass, large brass wire, knives,
beads, and tobacco, with fishing hooks, buttons, and some other small articles.
Also a considerable quantity of sailors' clothes, as hats, coats, trousers,
and shirts. For these they receive in return from the natives dressed and
undressed elk skins, skins of the seaotter, common otter, beaver, common
fox, spuck, and tiger cat; also dried and pounded salmon in baskets, and
a kind of biscuit which the natives make of roots, called by them shappellel.
A fine morning. Wind from the N.E. Last night about 10 o'clock, while smoking with the natives, I was alarmed by a loud shrill voice from the cabins on the opposite side. The Indians all ran immediately across to the village. My guide, who continued with me, made signs that someone's throat was cut. By inquiry, I found that one man, McNeal, was l absent. I immediately sent off Sergeant N. Pryor and four men in quest of McNeal, whom they met coming across the creek in great haste, and informed me that the people were alarmed on the opposite side at something, but what he could not tell; a man had very friendlily invited him to go and eat in his lodge; that the Indian had locked arms with him and went to a lodge in which a woman gave him some blubber, that the man invited him to another lodge to get something better, and the woman knowing his design held him [McNeal] by the blanket which he had around him. He, not knowing her object, freed himself and was going off, when this woman a Chinook, an old friend of McNeal's and another, ran out and helloed, and his pretended friend disappeared.
I immediately ordered every man to hold himself in a state of readiness, and sent Sergeant Pryor and four men to know the cause of the alarm, which was found to be a premeditated plan of the pretended friend of McNeal to assassinate him for his blanket and what few articles he had about him, which was found out by a Chinook woman, who alarmed the men of the village who were with me, in time to prevent the horrid act. This man was of another band, at some distance, and ran off as soon as he was discovered.
We have now to look back and shudder at the dreadful road on which we have to return, of 45 miles S.E. of Point Adams and 35 miles from Fort Clatsop. I had the blubber and oil divided among the party, and set out about sunrise and returned by the same route we had gone out. Met several parties of men and women of the Chinook and Clatsop nations on their way to trade with the Tillamooks for blubber and oil.
On the steep descent of the mountain, I overtook five men and six women with immense loads of the oil and blubber of the whale. Those Indians had passed by some route by which we missed them as we went out yesterday. One of the women, in the act of getting down a steep part of the mountain, her load by some means had slipped off her back, and she was holding the load by a strap which was fastened to the mat bag in which it was in, in one hand and holding a bush by the other. As I was in front of my party, I endeavored to relieve this woman by taking her load until she could get to a better place a little below, and to my astonishment found the load as much as I could lift, and must exceed 100 pounds. The husband of this woman, who was below, soon came to her relief.
Those people proceeded on with us to the salt works, at which place we arrived late in the evening. Found them without meat, and three of the party J. Fields, Gibson, and Shannon out hunting. As I was excessively fatigued, and my party appeared very much so, I determined to stay until the morning and rest ourselves a little. The Clatsops proceeded on with their loads. The Clatsops, Chinooks, Tilla- mooks, &c., are very loquacious and inquisitive. They possess good memories and have repeated to us the names, capacitiesof the vessels, &c., of many traders and others who have visited the mouth of this river.
They are generally low in stature,
proportionately small, rather lighter-complexioned, and much more illy
formed than the Indians of the Missouri and those of our frontiers.
They are generally cheerful, but never gay. With us, their conversation
generally turns upon the subject of trade, smoking, eating, or their women.
About the latter they speak without reserve in their presence -- of their
every part, and of the most familiar connection. They do not hold the virtue
of their women in high estimation, and will even prostitute their wives
and daughters for a fishing hook or a strand of beads.
This evening we finished curing
the meat. No occurrence worthy of relation took place today. We have a
plenty of elk beef for the present, and a little salt. Our houses dry and
comfortable. Having made up our minds to stay until the first of April,
everyone appears contented with his situation and his fare.
I completed a map of the country
through which we have been passing from the Mississippi, at the
mouth of the Missouri, to this place. On the map, the Missouri,
Jefferson's River, the S.E. branch of the Columbia or Lewis's
River, Kooskooskee, and Columbia from the entrance of the S.E.
fork to the Pacific Ocean, as well as a part of Clark's River
and our track across the Rocky Mountains, are laid down by celestial
observations and survey. The rivers are also connected at their sources
with other rivers, agreeably to the information of the natives and the
most probable conjecture, arising from their capacities and the relative
positions of their respective entrances, which last have, with but few
exceptions, been established by celestial observations.
This forenoon we were visited by Tabcum, a principal chief of the Chinooks, and 25 men of his nation. We had never seen this chief before. He is a good-looking man about 50 years of age, rather larger in stature than most of his nation. As he came on a friendly visit, we gave himself and party something to eat and plied them plentifully with smoke. We gave this chief a small medal, with which he seemed much gratified.
In the evening at sunset we desired
them to depart, as is our custom, and closed our gates. We never suffer
parties of such number to remain within the fort all night; for, notwithstanding
their apparent friendly disposition, their great avarice and hope of plunder
might induce them to be treacherous. At all events, we determined always
to be on our guard as much as the nature of our situation will permit us,
and never place ourselves at the mercy of any savages. We well know that
the treachery of the aborigines of America and the too great confidence
of our countrymen in their sincerity and friendship has caused the destruction
of many hundreds of us.
We were visited this afternoon,
in a canoe 4 feet 2 inches wide, by Delashelwilt, a Chinook chief,
his wife, and six women of his nation, which the Old Bawd, his wife,
had brought for market. This was the same party which had com- municated
the venereal to several of our party in November last, and of which they
have fully recovered. I therefore gave the men a particular charge with
respect to them, which they promised me to observe.
Old Delashelwilt and his women still remain. They have formed a camp near the fort and seem determined to lay close sedge to us, but I believe, notwithstanding every effort of their winning graces, the men have preserved their constancy to the vow of celibacy which they made on this occasion to Captain Clark and myself. We have had our pirogues prepared for our departure, and shall set out as soon as the weather will permit.
Drouilliard returned late
this evening from the Cathlahmahs with our canoe, which Sergeant
Pryor had left some days since, and also a canoe which he had purchased
from those people. For this canoe he gave my uniform laced coat and nearly
half a carrot of tobacco. It seems that nothing except this coat would
induce them to dispose of a canoe, which, in their mode of traffic, is
an article of the greatest value ex- cept a wife, with whom it is nearly
equal, and is generally given in exchange to the father for his daughter.
I think that the United States are indebted to me another uniform
coat for that of which he has disposed of on this occasion. It was but
This morning we gave Delashelwilt a certificate of his good deportment, &c., and also a list of our names, after which we dispatched him to his village with his female band. These lists of our names we have given to several of the natives, and also pasted up a copy in our room. The object of these lists we stated in the preamble of the same, as follows:
The object of this list is that, through the medium of some civilized person who may see the same, it may be known to the informed world that the party consisting of the persons whose names are hereunto annexed, and who were sent out by the government of the U. States in May 1804 to explore the interior of the continent of North America, did penetrate the same by way of the Missouri and Columbia rivers, to the discharge of the latter into the Pacific Ocean, where they arrived on the 14th of November, 1805, and from whence they departed the [blank in MS.] day of March, 1806, on their return to the United States by the same route they had come out.On the back of some of these lists we added a sketch of the connection of the upper branches of the Missouri with those of the Columbia, particularly of its main S.E. branch, on which we also delineated the track we had come out and that we meant to pursue on our return where the same happened to vary. There seemed so many chances against our government ever obtaining a regular report through the medium of the savages and the traders of this coast, that we declined making any. Our party are also too small to think of leaving any of them to return to the U. States by sea, particularly as we shall be necessarily divided into three or four parties on our return in order to accomplish the objects we have in view, and at any rate, we shall reach the United States, in all human probability, much earlier than a man could who must in the event of his being left here depend for his passage to the United States on the traders of the coast who may not return immediately to the U. States, or if they should, might probably spend the next summer in trading with the natives before they would set out on their return. Captain Lewis, Fort Clatsop, 18 March 1806
Although we have not fared sumptuously
this winter and spring at Fort Clatsop, we have lived quite as comfortably
as we had any reason to expect we should; and have accomplished every object
which induced our remaining at this place, except that of meeting with
the traders who visit the entrance of this river. Our salt will be very
sufficient to last us to the Missouri, where we have a stock in
store. It would have been very fortunate for us had some of those traders.
arrived previous to our departure from hence, as we should then have had
it in our power to obtain an addition to our stock of merchandise, which
would have made our homeward-bound journey much more comfortable.
The rain ceased and it became
fair about Meridian, at which time we loaded our canoes and at 1:00 P.M.
left Fort Clatsop on our homeward-bound journey. At this place we
had wintered and remained from the 7th of December, 1805, to this day,
and have lived as well as we had any right to expect, and we can say that
we were never one day without three meals of some kind a day, either poor
elk meat or roots, notwithstanding the repeated fall of rain which has
fallen constantly since we passed the long narrows on the [blank in MS.]
of November last. Indeed, we have had only [blank in MS.] days fair weather
since that time. Soon after we had set out from Fort Clatsop, we
were met by Delashelwilt and 8 men of the Chinook and Delashelwilt's
wife, the Old Bawd, and his six girls. They had a canoe, a sea otter
skin, dried fish, and hats for sale. We purchased a sea otter skin, and
We had a view of Mount St.
Helens and Mount Hood. The first is the most noble-looking object
of its kind in nature. Its figure is a regular cone. Both these mountains
are perfectly covered with snow -- at least the parts of them which are
visible. The highlands in this valley are rolling, though by no means too
steep for cultivation. They are generally fertile, of a dark rich loam
and tolerably free of stone.
The men who went in quest of the elk and deer which were killed yesterday returned at 8 A.M. We now informed the party of our intention of laying in a store of meat at this place and immediately dispatched two parties, consisting of nine men, to the opposite side of the river.
About this time, several canoes of the natives arrived at our camp, among others two from below with eight men of the Shahala nation. Those men informed us that they reside on the opposite side of the Columbia near some pine trees which they pointed to, in the bottom south of the Dimond Island. They singled out two young men who, they informed us, lived at the falls of a large river which discharges itself into the Columbia on its south side, some miles below us.
We readily prevailed on them to give us a sketch of this river, which they drew on a mat with a coal. It appeared that this river, which they call Multnomah, discharged itself behind the island we call the Image Canoe Island, and as we had left this island to the south in descending and ascending the river we had never seen it. They informed us that it was a large river, and runs a considerable distance to the south between the mountains.
I determined to take a small party and return to this river and examine its size, and collect as much information of the natives on it or near its entrance into the Columbia of its extent; the country which it waters; and the natives who inhabit its banks, &c. I took with me six men: Thompson, J. Potts, Peter Cruzat, P. Wiser, T. P. Howard, Joseph Whitehouse, and my man York in a large canoe, with an Indian whom I hired for a sun-glass to accompany me as a pilot.
At 11:30 A.M., I set out and had not proceeded far ere I saw four large canoes, at some distance above, descending and bending their course toward our camp, which at this time is very weak, Captain Lewis having only 10 men with him. I hesitated for a moment whether it would not be advisable for me to return and delay until a part of our hunters should return to add more strength to our camp, but on a second reflection and reverting to the precautions always taken by my friend Captain Lewis on those occasions, banished all apprehensions, and I proceeded on down.
At 3 P.M. I landed at a large double house of the Ne-er-che-ki-oo tribe of the Shahala nation. I entered one of the rooms of this house and offered several articles to the natives in exchange for wappato. They were sulky, and they positively refused to sell any.
I had a small piece of port fire match in my pocket, off of which I cut a piece one inch in length and put it into the fire, and took out my pocket compass and sat myself down on a mat on one side of the fire, and also showed a magnet, which was in the top of my inkstand. The port fire caught and burned vehemently, which changed the color of the fire. With the magnet I turned the needle of the compass about very briskly, which astonished and alarmed these natives, and they laid several parcels of wappato at my feet, and begged of me to take out the bad fire. To this I consented. At this moment, the match being exhausted was of course extinguished, and I put up the magnet, &c. This measure alarmed them so much that the women and children took shelter in their beds, and behind the men. All this time, a very old blind man was speaking with great vehemence, apparently imploring his god.
I lit my pipe and gave them a
smoke, and gave the women the full value of the roots which they had put
at my feet. They appeared somewhat pacified, and I left them and proceeded
on. At the distance of thirteen miles below the last village and at the
place I had supposed was the lower point of Image Canoe Island,
I entered this river which the natives had informed us of, called Multnomah
River, so called by the natives from a nation who reside on Wappetoe
Island a little below the entrance of this river. Multnomah discharges
itself in the Columbia on the S.E., and may be justly said to be
the size of that noble river.
I prevailed on an old Indian
to mark the Multnomah River down on the sand, which he did, and
it perfectly corresponded with the sketch given me by sundry others, with
the addition of a circular mountain which passes this river at the falls
and connects with the mountains of the seacoast. He also laid down the
Clackamas, passing a high conical mountain near its mouth on the
lower side and heading in Mount Jefferson, which he laid down by
raising the sand as a very high mountain and covered with eternal snow.
The high mountain which this Indian laid down near the entrance of Clackamas
River we have not seen, as the hills in its direction from this valley
are high and obscure the sight of it from us. Mt. Jefferson we can
plainly see from the entrance of Multnomah, from which place it
bears S.E. This is a noble mountain and I think equally as high or something
higher than Mt. St. Helens, but its distance being much greater
than that of the latter, so great a portion of it does not appear above
the range of mountains which lie between both those stupendous mountains
and the mouth of Multnomah. Like Mt. St. Helens, its figure
is a regular cone and is covered with eternal snow.
As the tents and skins which covered both our men and baggage were wet with the rain which fell last evening, and as it continued still raining this morning, we concluded to take our canoes first to the head of the rapids, hoping that by evening the rain would cease and afford us a fair afternoon to take our baggage over the portage. This portage is two thousand eight hundred yards along a narrow, rough, and slippery road. The duty of getting the canoes above the rapid was by mutual consent confided to my friend Captain Clark, who took with him for that purpose all the party except Bratton, who is yet so weak he is unable to work, three others who were lamed by various accidents, and one other to cook for the party.
A few men were absolutely necessary, at any rate, to guard our baggage from the Wabclellahs, who crowded about our camp in considerable numbers. These are the greatest thieves and scoundrels we have met with. By the evening, Captain Clark took four of our canoes above the rapids, though with much difficulty and labor. The canoes were much damaged by being driven against the rocks in spite of every precaution which could be taken to prevent it. The men complained of being so much fatigued in the evening that we postponed taking up our fifth canoe until tomorrow.
These rapids are much worse than they were in the fall when we passed them. At that time there were only three difficult points within seven miles. At present the whole distance is extremely difficult of ascent, and it would be impracticable to descend except by letting down the empty vessels by a cord, and even then the risk would be greater than in taking them up by the same means. The water appears to be considerably upwards of 20 feet higher than when we descended the river. The distance by way of the river bee tween the points of the portage is 3 miles.
Many of the natives crowded about the bank of the rivers where the men were engaged in taking up the canoes. One of them had the insolence to cast stones down the bank at two of the men who happened to be a little detached from the party at the time. On the return of the party in the evening from the head of the rapids, they met with many of the natives on the road, who seemed but illy disposed. Two of these fellows met with John Shields, who had delayed some time in purchasing a dog and was a considerable distance behind the party on their return with Captain Clark. They attempted to take the dog from him and pushed him out of the road. He had nothing to defend himself with, except a large knife which he drew with an intention of putting one or both of them to death before they could get themselves in readiness to use their arrows; but, discovering his design, they declined the combat and instantly fled through the woods.
Three of this same tribe of villains, the Wahclellahs, stole my dog this evening, and took him toward their village. I was shortly afterward informed of this transaction by an Indian who spoke the Clatsop language, some of which we had learned from them during the winter, and sent three men in pursuit of the thieves with orders that, if they made the least resistance or difficulty in surrendering the dog, to fire on them. They overtook these fellows, or rather came within sight of them at the distance of about 2 miles. The Indians, discovering the party in pursuit of them, left the dog and fled. They also stole an ax from us, but scarcely had it in their possession before Thompson detected them and wrested it from them.
We ordered the sentinel to keep
them out of camp, and informed them by signs that if they made any further
attempts to steal our property, or insulted our men, we should put them
to instant death. A chief of the Wahclellahs tribe informed us that
there were two very bad men among the Wahclellahs who had been the
principal actors in these scenes of outrage of which we complained, and
that it was not the wish of the nation by any means to displease us. We
told him that we hoped it might be the case, but we should certainly be
as good as our word if they persisted in their insolence. I am convinced
that no other consideration but our number at this moment protects us.
The chief appeared mortified at the conduct of his people, and seemed friendily
disposed toward us. As he appeared to be a man of consideration, and we
had reason to believe much respected by the neighboring tribes, we thought
it well to bestow a medal of small size upon him.
We employed all hands in attempting
to take up the last canoe. In attempting to pass by a rock against which
the current ran with immense force, the bow unfortunately took the current
at too great a distance from the rock, she turned broadside to the stream,
and the exertions of every man were not sufficient to hold her. The men
were compelled to let go the rope, and both the canoe and rope went with
the stream. The loss of this canoe will, I fear, compel us to purchase
another at an extravagant price.
The loss of one of our large canoes rendered it necessary to divide the loading and men of that canoe between the remaining four, which was done, and we loaded and set out at 8 o'clock A.M. Passed the village immediately above the rapids, where only one house remains entire, the other 8 having been taken down and moved to the opposite side of the Columbia, as already mentioned. The additional men and baggage in each canoe render them crowded and unsafe. Captain Lewis, with two of the smallest canoes of Sergeant Pryor and Gibson, crossed above the rapids to the village on the S.E. side with a view to purchase a canoe of the natives if possible. He took with him some cloth and a few elk skins and deer skins.
At half past 2 P.M. set out and
proceeded on to the bottom, 6 miles, and halted at the next bottom. Formed
a camp and sent out all the hunters. I also walked out myself on the hills,
but saw nothing. On my return, found Captain Lewis at camp with
two canoes which he had purchased at a village for two robes and four elk
skins. He also purchased four paddles and three dogs from the natives,
with deer skins. The dogs now constitute a considerable part of our subsistence,
land with most of the party has become a favorable food. Certain I am that
it is a healthy, strong diet.
About 8 o'clock this morning
I passed the river with the two interpreters and nine men, in order to
trade with the natives for their horses, for which purpose I took with
me a good part of our stock of merchandise. Captain Lewis sent out
the hunters and set several men at work making pack saddles. I formed a
camp on the north side.
I rose early after a bad night's rest, and took my merchandise to a rock which afforded an eligible situation for my purpose and divided the articles of merchandise into parcels of such articles as I thought best calculated to please the Indians. And in each parcel I put as many articles as we could afford to give, and thus exposed them to view, informing the Indians that each parcel was intended for a horse.
They tantalized me the greater part of the day, saying that they had sent out for their horses and would trade as soon as they came. Several parcels of merchandise were laid by for which they told me they would bring horses. I made a bargain with the chief for two horses. About an hour after, he canceled the bargain, and we again bargained for three horses, which were brought forward. Only one of the three could be possibly used, the other two had such intolerable backs as to render them entirely unfit for service. I refused to take two of them, which displeased him, and he refused to part with the third.
I then packed up the articles and was about setting out for the village above, when a man came and sold me two horses, and another man sold me one horse, and several others informed me that they would trade with me if I would continue until their horses could be driven up. This induced me to continue at this village another day. Many of the natives from different villages on the Columbia above offered to trade, but asked such things as we had not, and double as much of the articles which I had as we could afford to give. This was a very unfavorable circumstance, as my dependence for procuring a sufficiency of horses rested on the success above, where I had reasons to believe there was a greater abundance of those animals, and was in hopes of getting them on better terms. I purchased three dogs for the party with me to eat, and some shappellel for myself.
Before procuring the three horses, I dispatched Cruzat, Willard, and McNeal and Peter Wiser to Captain Lewis with a note informing him of my ill success in procuring horses, and advised him to proceed on to this place as soon as possible.That I would, in the meantime, proceed on to the Eneeshur nation, above the Great Falls, and try to purchase some horses of that people.
Soon after I had dispatched this party, the chief of the Eneeshurs and 15 or 20 of his people visited me, and appeared to be anxious to see the articles I offered for the horses. Several of them agreed to let me have horses if I would add sundry articles to those I offered, which I agreed to do, and they laid those bundles by and informed me they would deliver me the horses in the morning. I proposed going with them to their town. The chief informed me that their horses were all in the plains with their women gathering roots. They would send out and bring the horses to this place tomorrow.
This intelligence was flattering, though I doubted the sincerity of those people, who had several times disappointed me in a similar way. However, I determined to continue until tomorrow. In the meantime, industriously employed ourselves with the great mulitude of Indians of different nations about us, trying to purchase horses. Charbonneau purchased a very fine mare for which he gave ermine, elk's teeth, a belt, and some other articles of no great value. No other purchase was made in the course of this day.
In the evening, I received a
note from Captain Lewis by Shannon, informing me that he
should set out early on tomorrow morning.
Collected the four horses purchased yesterday, and sent Frazer and Charbonneau with them to the basin, where I expected they would meet Captain Lewis, and commence the portage of the baggage on those horses. About 10 A.M. the Indians came down from the Eneeshur villages and I expected would take the articles which they had laid by yesterday. But to my astonishment, no one would make the exchange today. Two other parcels of goods were laid by, and the horses promised at 2 P.M. I paid but little attention to this bargain. However, suffered the bundles to lie. I dressed the sores of the principal chief, gave some small things to his children, and promised the chief some medicine for to cure his sores. His wife, whom I found to be a sulky bitch, was somewhat afflicted with pains in her back. This I thought a good opportunity to get her on my side, giving her something for her back. I rubbed a little camphor on her temples and back and applied warm flannel to her back, which, she thought had nearly restored her to her former feelings. This I thought a favorable time to trade with the chief, who had more horses than all the nation besides. I accordingly made him an offer, which he accepted, and sold me two horses. Sergeant Ordway and three men arrived from Captain Lewis. They brought with them several elk skins, two of my coats, and four robes of the party, to add to the stores I had with me for the purchase of horses.
Sergeant Ordway informed
me that Captain Lewis had arrived with all the canoes into the basin
two miles below, and wished some dogs to eat. I had three dogs purchased
and sent down. At 5 P.M. Captain Lewis came up. He in formed me
that he had passed the river to the basin with much difficulty and danger,
having made one portage.
There was great joy with the natives last night, in consequence of the arrival of the salmon. One of those fish was caught. This was the harbinger of good news to them. They informed us that these fish would arrive in great quantities in the course of about five days. This fish was dressed and, being divided into small pieces, was given to each child in the village. This custom is founded on a superstitious opinion that it will hasten the arrival of the salmon. With much difficulty we obtained four other horses from the Indians today. We were obliged to dispense with two of our kettles in order to acquire those. We now have only one small kettle to a mess of eight men.
In the evening Captain Clark set out with four men to the Eneeshur village at the Grand Falls in order to make a further attempt to procure horses. These people are very faithless in their contracts. They frequently receive the merchandise in exchange for their horses and, after some hours, insist on some additional article being given them or revoke the exchange. They have pilfered several small articles from us this evening.
I directed the horses to be hobbled
and suffered to graze at a little distance from our camp under the immediate
eye of the men who had them in charge. One of the men, Willard,
was negligent in his attention to his horse and suffered it to ramble off.
It was not to be found when I ordered the others to be brought up and confined
to the pickets. This, in addition to the other difficulties under which
I labored, was truly provoking. I reprimanded him more severely for this
piece of negligence than had been usual with me. I had the remaining horses
well secured by pickets.
Notwithstanding all the precautions I had taken with respect to the horses, one of them had broken his cord of five strands of elk skin and had gone off spanceled. I sent several men in search of the horse with orders to return at 10 A.M., with or without the horse, being determined to remain no longer with these villains. They stole another tomahawk from us this morning. I searched many of them but could not find it. I ordered all the spare poles, paddles, and the balance of our canoe put on the fire, as the morning was cold, and also that not a particle should be left for the benefit of the Indians.
I detected a fellow in stealing an iron socket of a canoe pole, and gave him several severe blows, and made the men kick him out of camp. I now informed the Indians that I would shoot the first of them that attempted to steal an article from us, that we were not afraid to fight them; that I had it in my power at that moment to kill them all and set fire to their houses, but it was not my wish to treat them with severity provided they would let my property alone. That I would take their horses if I could find out the persons who had stolen the tomahawks, but that I had rather lose the property altogether than take the horse of an innocent | person. The chiefs who were present hung their heads and said nothing.
At 9 A.M. Windsor returned with the lost horse. The others who were in search of the horse soon after returned also. The Indian who promised to accompany me as far as the Chopunnish [Nez Perce] country produced me two horses, one of which he politely gave me the liberty of packing. We took breakfast and departed, a few minutes after 10 o'clock, having nine horses loaded, and one which Bratton rode, not being able as yet to march. The two canoes I had dispatched early this morning.
At 1 P.M., I arrived at the Eneshur village, where I found Captain Clark and party. After dinner, we proceeded on about four miles to a village of 9 mat lodges of the Eneeshur, a little below the entrance of Clark's river [Des Chutes] and encamped.
Our guide continued with us.
He appears to be an honest, sincere fellow. He tells us that the Indians
a little above will treat us with much more hospitality than those we are
now with. We purchased another horse this evening, but his back is in such
a horrid state that we can put but little on him.
At 7 A.M. we set out, having previously sent on our small canoe with Colter and Potts. We had not arrived at the top of a hill over which the road leads, opposite the village, before Charbonneau's horse threw his load and, taking fright at the saddle and robe which still adhered, ran at full speed down the hill. Near the village he disengaged himself from the saddle and robe. An Indian hid the robe in his lodge. I sent our guide and one man who was with me in the rear, to assist Charbonneau in retaking his horse, which having done, they returned to the village on the track of the horse, in search of the lost articles. They found the saddle but could see nothing of the robe. The Indians denied having seen it. They then continued on the track of the horse to the place from whence he had set out with the same success. Being now confident that the Indians had taken it, I sent the Indian woman on, to request Captain Clark to halt the party and send back some of the men to my assistance, being determined either to make the Indians deliver the robe or burn their houses. They have vexed me in such a manner by such repeated acts of villainy that I am quite disposed to treat them with every severity. Their defenseless state pleads forgiveness so far as respects their lives. With this resolution, I returned to their village, which I had just reached when Labiche met me with the robe, which, he in- formed me, he found in an Indian lodge hidden behind their baggage. I now returned and joined Captain Clark who was waiting my arrival with the party.
We now made the following regulations
as to our future order of march, viz., that Captain Clark and myself
should divide the men who were disencumbered by horses and march alternately
each day, the one in front and the other in rear. Having divided the party
agreeably to this arrangement, we proceeded on through an open plain country
about 8 miles to a village of 6 houses of the Eneeshur nation. Here
we observed our two canoes passing up on the opposite side. The wind being
too high for them to pass the river, they continued on.
We sold our canoes for a few
strands of beads. The natives had tantalized us with an exchange of horses
for our canoes in the first instance, but when they found that we had made
our arrangements to travel by land they would give us nothing for them.
We sent Drouilliard to cut them up. He struck one and split her.
They discovered that we were determined to destroy the canoes and offered
us several strands of beads, which were accepted. Most of the party complain
of their feet and legs this evening being very sore. It is no doubt caused
by walking over the rough stone and deep sand after being accustomed to
a soft soil. My legs and feet give me much pain. I bathed them in cold
water from which I experienced considerable relief.
The principal chief of the Wallawallas joined us with six men of his nation. This chief, by name Yellept, had visited us on the morning of the 19th of October  at our encampment a little below this place. We gave him at that time a small medal and promised him a larger one on our return. He appeared much gratified at seeing us return, invited us to remain at his village three or four days, and assured us that we should be furnished with a plenty of such food as they had themselves, and some horses to assist us on our journey. After our scanty repast we continued our march, accompanied by Yellept and his party, to the village.
Yellept harangued his
village in our favor, entreated them to furnish us with fuel and provision,
and set the example himself by bringing us an armful of wood and a platter
of three roasted mullets. The others soon followed his ex- ample with respect
to fuel, and we soon found ourselves in possession of an ample stock.
This morning early, Yellept brought a very elegant white horse to our camp and presented him to Captain Clark, signifying his wish to get a kettle, but, on being informed that we had already disposed of every kettle we could possibly spare, he said he was content with whatever he thought proper to give him. Captain Clark gave him his sword, for which he had expressed a great desire, a hundred balls and powder, and some small articles, with which he appeared perfectly satisfied.
It was necessary before we entered on our route through the plains, where we were to meet with no lodges or resident Indians, that we should lay in a stock of provision and not depend altogether on the gun.
We directed Frazer, to whom we have entrusted the duty of making those purchases, to lay in as many fat dogs as he could procure. He soon obtained ten.
Being anxious to depart, we requested the chief to furnish us with canoes to pass the river, but he insisted on our remaining with him this day at least, that he would be much pleased if we would consent to remain two or three, but he would not let us have canoes to leave him today. That he had sent for the Chymnappos, his neighbors, to come down and join his people this evening and dance for us.
We urged the necessity of our going on immediately in order that we might the sooner return to them with the articles which they wished, but this had no effect. He said that the time he asked could not make any considerable difference. I at length urged that there was no wind blowing and that the river was consequently in good order to pass our horses; and, if he would furnish us with canoes for that purpose, we would remain all night at our present encampment. To this proposition he assented, and soon produced us a couple of canoes by means of which we passed our horses over the river safely, and hobbled them as usual.
We found a Shoshone woman, prisoner among these people, by means of whom and Sacagawea we found the means of conversing with the Wallawallas. We conversed with them for several hours and fully satisfied all their inquiries with respect to ourselves and the objects of our pursuit. They were much pleased.
They brought several diseased persons to us for whom they requested some medical aid. One had his knee contracted by the rheumatism, another with a broken arm, &c., to all of which we administered, much to the gratification of those poor wretches.
We gave them some eye-water, which I believe will render them more essential service than any other article in the medical way which we had it in our power to bestow on them. Captain Clark splinted the arm of the man which was broke. Sore eyes seem to be a universal complaint among these people. I have no doubt but the fine sand of these plains and river fishing on the waters, too contribute much to this disorder. Ulcers and eruptions of the skin on various parts of the body are also common diseases among them.
A little before sunset, the Chymnappos
arrived. They were about 100 men and a few women. They joined the Wallawallas,
who were about the same number, and formed a half circle around our camp,
where they waited very patiently to see our party dance. The fiddle was
played and the men amused themselves with dancing about an hour. We then
requested the Indians to dance, which they very cheer fully complied with.
They continued their dance until ten at night.
At 10 A.M., we had collected
all our horses except the white horse which Yellept had given Captain
Clark. The whole of the men soon after returned without being able
to find this horse. I lent my horse to Yellept to search for Captain
Clark's. About half an hour after he set out, our Chopunnish
man brought up Captain Clark's horse. We now determined to leave
one man to bring on my horse when Yellept returned, and to proceed
on with the party. Accordingly, took leave of these friendly, honest people.
Some time after we had encamped,
three young men arrived from the Wallawalla village bringing with
them a steel trap belonging to one of our party which had been negligently
left behind. This is an act of integrity rarely witnessed among Indians.
During our stay with them, they several times found the knives of the men
which had been carelessly lost by them and returned them. I think we can
justly affirm to the honor of these people that they are the most hospitable,
honest, and sincere people that we have met with in our voyage.
The hills of the creek which we descended this morning are high and in most parts rocky and abrupt. One of our pack horses slipped from one of those heights and fell into the creek with its load, consisting principally of ammunition, but fortunately neither the horse nor load suffered any material injury. The ammunition being secured in canisters, the water did not affect it. After dinner, we continued our route up the west side of the river 3 miles opposite to 2 lodges, the one containing 3 and the other 2 families of the Chopunnish nation. Here we met with Tetoharsky, the youngest of the two chiefs who accompanied us last fall to the Great Falls of the Columbia. We also met with our pilot who descended the river with us as far as the Columbia.
Wearkkoomt, whose people
resided on the west side of Lewis's River above, left us when we
determined to pass the river, and went on to his lodge.
Collected our horses and set out at 7 A.M. At 4 and a half miles we arrived at the entrance of the Kooskooskee, up the N. Eastern side of which we continued our march 12 miles to a large lodge of 10 families, having passed two other large mat lodges.
At the second lodge, we passed an Indian man who gave Captain Clark a very elegant gray mare, for which he requested a phial of eye-water, which was accordingly given him. While we were encamped last fall at the entrance of the Chopunnish river, Captain Clark gave an Indian man some volatile liniment to rub his knee and thigh for a pain of which he complained. The fellow soon after recovered, and has never ceased to extol the virtues of our medicines, and the skill of my friend Captain Clark as a physician. This occurrence, added to the benefit which many of them experienced from the eye-water we gave them about the same time, has given them an exalted opinion of our medicine.
My friend Captain Clark is their favorite physician and has already received many applications. In our present situation, I think it pardonable to continue this deception, for they will not give us any provision without compensation in merchandise, and our stock is now reduced to a mere handful. We take care to give them no article which can possibly injure them.
While at dinner, an Indian fellow very impertinently threw a poor, half-starved puppy nearly into my plate by way of derision for our eating dogs, and laughed very heartily at his own impertinence. I was so provoked at his insolence that I caught the puppy and threw it with great violence at him and struck him in the breast and face, seized my tomahawk, and showed him by signs, if he repeated his insolence I would tomahawk him.
We had several applications to assist their sick, which we refused unless they would let us have some dogs or horses to eat. A chief, whose wife had an abscess formed on the small of her back, promised a horse in the morning, provided we would administer to her. Accordingly, Captain Clark opened the abscess, introduced a tent [a roll of lint], and dressed it with basilicon [an ointment of wax, pitch, resin, and olive oil]. Captain Clark soon had more than fifty applications. I prepared some doses of flower of sulphur and cream of tartar, which were given with directions to be taken on each morning.
A little girl and sundry other patients were offered for cure, but we postponed our operations until morning. They produced us several dogs, but they were so poor that they were unfit for use.
This is the residence of one of the four principal chiefs of the nation, whom they call Neeshneparkkeook, or The Cut Nose, from the circumstance of his nose being cut by the Snake [Shoshone] Indians with a lance, in battle. To this man we gave a medal of the small size, with the likeness of the President. He may be a great chief, but his countenance has but little intelligence, and his influence among his people seems but inconsiderable. A number of Indians besides the inhabitants of these lodges gathered about us this evening and encamped in the timbered bottom on the creek near us.
We met with a Snake Indian
man at this place, through whom we spoke at some length to the natives
this evening with respect to the objects which had induced us to visit
their country. This address was induced at this moment by the suggestions
of an old man who observed to the na- tives that he thought we were bad
men and had come, most probably, in order to kin them. This impression,
if really entertained, I believe we effaced. They appeared well satisfied
with what we said to them, and, being hungry and tired, we retired to rest
at 11 o'clock.
This morning the husband of the sick woman was as good as his word. He produced us a young horse in tolerable order, which we immediately killed and butchered. The inhabitants seemed more accommodating this morning; they sold us some bread. We received a second horse for medicine and prescription for a little girl with the rheumatism. Captain Clark dressed the woman again this morning who declared that she had rested better last night than she had since she had been sick.
Sore eyes are a universal complaint
with Al the natives we have seen on the west side of the Rocky Mountains.
Captain Clark was busily engaged for several hours this morning
in administering eye-water to a crowd of applicants. We once more obtained
a plentiful meal, much to the comfort of all the party.
This morning we collected our horses and set out early, accompanied by the brother of The Twisted Hair as a guide. Wearkkoomt and his party left us. We proceeded up the river 4 miles to a lodge of 6 families just below the entrance of a small creek. Here our guide recommended our passing the river. He informed us that the road was better on the south side, and that game was more abundant also on that side near the entrance of the Chopunnish River. We determined to pursue the route recommended by the guide, and accordingly unloaded our horses and prepared to pass the river, which we effected by means of one canoe in the course of four hours.
A man of this lodge produced us two canisters of powder, which he informed us he had found by means of his dog where they had been buried in a bottom near the river some miles above. They were the same which we had buried as we descended the river last fall. As he kept them safe and had honesty enough to return them to us, we gave him a fire steel by way of compensation.
The Shoshone man of whom
I have before made mention overtook us this evening with Neeshneparkkeook,
and remained with us this evening. We supped this evening, as we had dined,
on horse beef. We saw several deer this evening, and a great number of
the tracks of these animals. We determined to remain here until noon tomorrow
in order to obtain some venison, and accordingly gave orders to the hunters
to turn out early in the morning.
Most of the hunters turned out by light this morning; a few others remained without our permission or knowledge until late in the morning. We chided them severely for their indolence and inattention to the order of last evening. About 8 o'clock Shields returned with a small deer, on which we breakfasted. By 11 A.M. all our hunters returned. Drouilliard and Cruzat brought each a deer. Collins wounded another, which my dog caught at a little distance from the camp. Our stock of provision now consisted of 4 deer and the remnant of the horse which we killed at Colter's Creek.
At half after 3 P.M., we departed for the lodge of The Twisted Hair, accompanied by the chief and sundry other Indians. The relation of The Twisted Hair left us. The road led us up a steep and high hill to a high and level plain mostly unlimbered, through which we passed parallel with the river about 4 miles when we met The Twisted Hair and a party of six men. To this chief we had confided the care of our horses and a part of our saddles when we descended the river last fall.
The Twisted Hair received us very coolly, an occunence as unexpected as it was unaccountable to us. He shortly began to speak with a loud voice and in an angry manner. When he had ceased to speak, he was answered by the Cutnose Chief, or Neeshneparkkeook. We readily discovered that a violent quarrel had taken place between these chiefs but at that instant knew not the cause We afterwards learned that it was on the subject of our horses. This controversy between the chiefs detained us about 20 minutes.
In order to put an end to this dispute, as well as to relieve our horses from the embarrassment of their loads, we informed the chiefs that we should continue our march to the first water and encamp. Accordingly, we moved on and the Indians all followed. About two miles on the road, we arrived at a little branch which ran to the right. Here we encamped for the evening, having traveled 6 miles today. The two chiefs with their little bands formed separate camps a short distance from ours. They all appeared to be in an ill humor. To obtain our horses and saddles as quickly as possible is our wish, and we are somewhat apprehensive that this difference which has taken place between these chiefs may militate against our operations in this respect. We were therefore desirous to bring about a good understanding between them as soon as possible.
The Shoshone boy refused to speak. He alleged it was a quarrel between two chiefs, and that he had no business with it. It was in vain that we urged that his interpreting what we said on this subject was not taking the responsibility of the interference on himself. He remained obstinately silent.
About an hour after we had encamped, Drouilliard returned from hunting. We sent him to The Twisted Hair to make some inquiries relative to our horses and saddles, and to ask him to come and smoke with us. The Twisted Hair accepted the invitation and came to our fire.
The Twisted Hair informed us that, according to the promise he had made us when he separated from us at the falls of the Columbia, he collected our horses on his return and took charge of them. That about this time The Cut Nose, or Neeshneparkkeook, and Tunnachemootoolt, or The Broken Arm, returned from a war excursion against the Shoshones on the south branch of Lewis's River which had caused their absence when we were in this neighborhood. That these men had become dissatisfied with him in consequence of our having confided the horses to his care, and that they were eternally quarreling with him insomuch that he thought it best, as he was an old man, to relinquish any further attention to the horses; that they had consequently become scattered; that most of the horses were near this place, a part were in the Forks between the Chopunnish and Kooskooskee rivers, and three or four others were at the lodge of The Broken Arm, about half a day's march higher up the river.
He informed us with respect to
our saddles that on the rise of the water this spring, the earth had fallen
from the door of the cache and exposed the saddles. He, being informed
of their situation, had taken them up and placed them in another cache,
where they were at this time. He said it was probable that a part of them
had fallen into the water but of this he was not certain. The Twisted
Hair said if we would spend the day, tomorrow, at his lodge, which
was a few miles only from hence and on the road leading to The Broken
Arm's lodge, he would collect such of our horses as were near this
place, and our saddles; that he would also send some young men over the
Kooskooskee to collect those in the forks and bring them to the
lodge of The Broken Arm, to meet us. He advised us to go to the
lodge of The Broken Arm, as he said he was a chief of great eminence
among them, and promised to accompany us thither if we wished him.
Late in the evening, The Twisted
Hair and Willard returned. They brought about half of our saddles,
and some powder and lead which had been buried at that place. My saddle
was among the number of those which were lost. About the same time, the
young men arrived with 21 of our horses. The greater part of our horses
were in fine order. Five of them appeared to have been so much injured
by the Indians riding them last fall, that they had not yet recovered and
were in low order.
At four in the afternoon, we descended the hills to Commearp Creek [Lawyer's Canyon Creek] and arrived at the village of Tunnachemootoolt, the chief at whose lodge we had left the flag last fall. This flag was now displayed on a staff placed at no great distance from the lodge. Underneath the flag, the chief met my friend Captain Clark, who was in front, and conducted him about 80 yards to a place on the bank of the creek where he requested we should encamp. I came up in a few minutes and we collected the chiefs and men of consideration, smoked with them, and stated our situation with respect to provision. The chief spoke to his people, and they produced us about two bushels of the quamash roots, dried, four cakes of the bread of cows, and a dried salmon trout. We thanked them for this store of provision but informed them that, our men not being accustomed to live on roots alone, we feared it would make them sick, to obviate which we proposed exchanging a horse in rather low order for a young horse in tolerable order with a view to kill. The hospitality of the chief revolted at the idea of an exchange. He told us that his young men had a great abundance of young horses, and if we wished to eat them we should be furnished with as many as we wanted. Accordingly, they soon produced us two fat young horses, one of which we killed. The other we informed them we would postpone killing until we had consumed the one already killed.
A principal chief by name Hohastillpilp,
arrived with a party of fifty men mounted on elegant horses. He had come
on a visit to us from his village, which is situated about six miles distant
near the river. We invited this man into our circle and smoked with him.
His retinue continued on horseback at a little distance. After we had eaten
a few roots, we spoke to them as we had promised, and gave Tunnachemooltoolt
and Hohastillpilp each a medal; the former one of the small size
with the likeness of Mr. Jefferson, and the latter one of the sowing
medals struck in the presidency of Washington. We explained to them
the design and the importance of medals in the estimation of the whites
as well as the red men who had been taught their value. The chief had a
large conic lodge of leather erected for our reception, and a parcel of
wood collected and laid at the door; after which he invited Captain
Clark and myself to make that lodge our home while we remained with
At 8 A.M. a chief of great note among these people arrived from his village or lodge on the south side of Lewis's River. This is a stout fellow of good countenance, about 40 years of age, and has lost the left eye. His name is Yoomparkkartim. To this man we gave a medal of the small kind. Those with the likeness of Mr. Jefferson have all been disposed of except one of the largest size, which we reserve for some great chief on the Yellow Rock River.
We now pretty fully informed
ourselves that Tunnachemootoolt, Neeshneparkkeook, Yoomparkkartirn,
and Hohastillpilp were the principal chiefs of the Chopunnish
nation and rank in the order here mentioned. As all those chiefs were present
in our lodge, we thought it a favorable time to repeat what had been said
yesterday and to enter more minutely into the views of our government with
respect to the inhabitants of this western part of the continent; their
intention of establishing trading houses for their relief; their wish to
restore peace and harmony among the natives; the strength, power, and wealth
of our nation, &c. To this end we drew a map of the country, with a
coal on a mat in their way, and, by the assistance of the Snake
boy and our interpreters, were enabled to make ourselves understood by
them, although it had to pass through the French, Minnetaree, Shoshone,
and Chopunnish languages. The interpretation being tedious, it occupied
nearly half the day before we had communicated to them what we wished.
They appeared highly pleased. After this council was over we amused ourselves
with showing them the power of magnetism, the spyglass, compass, watch,
air gun, and sundry other articles equally novel and incomprehensible to
After breakfast I began to administer eye-water and in a few minutes had near 40 applicants with sore eyes, and many others with other complaints most common rheumatic disorders and weaknesses in the back and loins, particularly the women. The Indians had a grand council this morning, after which we were presented each with a horse by two young men at the instance of the nation. We caused the chiefs to be seated and gave them each a flag, a pint of powder, and 50 balls, to the two young men who had presented the horses we also gave powder and ball. The Broken Arm, or Tunnachemootoolt, pulled off his leather shirt, and gave me. In return, I gave him a shirt.
We retired into the lodge, and the natives spoke to the following purpose: i.e., they had listened to our advice and that the whole nation were determined to follow it; that they had only one heart and one tongue on this subject. Explained the cause of the war with the Shoshones. They wished to be at peace with all nations, &c. Some of their men would accompany us to the Missouri, &c., &c., as a great number of men, women, and children were waiting and requesting medical assistance, many of them with the most simple complaints which could be easily relieved, independent of many with disorders entirely out of the power of medicine -- all requesting something!
We agreed that I should administer,
and Captain Lewis hear and answer the Indians. I was closely employed
until 2 P.M., administering eye-water to about 40 grown persons, some simple
cooling medicines to the disabled chief, to several women with rheumatic
affections, and a man who had a swelled hip, &c., &c. In the evening,
three of our horses were brought all in fine order.
Charbonneau's son, a small
child, is dangerously ill. His jaw and throat much swelled. We apply a
poultice of onions, after giving him some cream of tartar, &c. This
day proved to be fine and fair, which afforded us an opportunity of drying
our baggage, which had got a little wet.
The child is something better
this morning than it was last night. We applied a fresh poultice of the
wild onion, which we repeated twice in the course of the day. The swelling
does not appear to increase any since yesterday. The 4 Indians who visited
us today informed us that they came from their village on Lewis's River,
two days' ride from this place, for the purpose of seeing us and getting
a little eye-water. I washed their eyes with some eye-water, and they all
left us at 2 P.M. and returned to the villages on the opposite side of
The child was very restless last night. Its jaw and back of its neck is much more swollen than it was yesterday. I gave it a dose of cream of tartar and a fresh poultice of onions. Ordered Shields, Gibson, Drouilliard, Cruzat, Collins, and Joe and Reuben Fields to turn out hunting and if possible cross Collins Creek and hunt toward the quamash fields. W. Bratton is yet very low. He eats heartily, but he is so weak in the small of his back that he can't walk. We have made use of every remedy to restore him without its having the desired effect.
One of our party, John Shields, observed that he had seen men in similar situations restored by violent sweats, and Bratton requested that he might be sweated in the way Shields proposed, which we agreed to.
Shields dug a round hole 4 feet deep and 3 feet in diameter, in which he made a large fire so as to heat the hole, after which the fire was taken out, a seat placed in the hole. The patient was then set on the seat with a board under his feet and a can of water handed him to throw on the bottom and the sides of the hole, so as to create as great a heat as he could bear, and the hole covered with blankets supported by hoops. After about twenty minutes, the patient was taken out and put in cold water a few minutes and returned to the hole, in which he was kept about an hour, then taken out and covered with several blankets, which were taken off by degrees until he became cool. This remedy took place yesterday and Bratton is walking about today, and is much better than he has been.
At l l A.M. a canoe came down
with the Indian man who had applied for medical assistance while we lay
at The Broken Arm's village. This man I had given a few doses of
flowers of sulphur and cream of tartar and directed that he should take
the cold bath every morning. He conceded himself a little better than he
was at that time. He had lost the use of all his limbs, and his fingers
are contracted. We are at a loss to determine what to do for this unfortunate
man. I gave him a few drops of laudanum and some portable soup l as medicine.
The child something better this
morning, though the swelling yet continues. We still apply the onion poultice.
I directed what should be done for the disabled man, gave him a few doses
of cream of tartar and flowers of sulphur, and some portable soup and directed
that he should be taken home and sweated, &c.
Charbonneau's child is
much better today, though the swel1ing on the side of his neck, I believe,
will terminate in an ugly imposthume, a little below the ear. The Indians
were so anxious that the sick chief (who has lost the use of his limbs
) should be sweated under our inspection, they requested me to make a second
attempt today. Accordingly, the hole was enlarged, and his father a very
good-looking old man performed all the drudgery, &c. We could not make
him sweat as copiously as we wished, being compelled to keep him erect
in the hole by means of cords. After the operation, he complained of considerable
pain. I gave him thirty drops of laudanum, which soon composed him, and
he rested very well.
The Chopunnish held a council in the morning of the 12th, among themselves, in respect to the subject on which we had spoken to them the day before. The result, as we learned, was favorable. They placed confidence in the information they had received, and resolved to pursue our advice. After this council was over, the principal chief, or The Broken Arm, took the flour of the roots of cows and thickened the soup in the kettles and baskets of all his people. This being ended, he made a harangue, the purpose of which was making known the deliberations of their councils and impressing the necessity of unanimity among them, and a strict attention to the resolution which had been agreed on in council. He concluded by inviting all such men as had resolved to abide by the decree of the council to come and eat, and requested such as would not be so bound to show themselves by not partaking of the feast. I was told by one of our men who was present in the house that there was not a dissenting voice on this great national question, but all swallowed their objections if any they had, very cheerfully with their mush.
During the time of this loud
animated harangue of the chief, the women cried, wrung their hands, tore
their hair, and appeared to be in the utmost distress. After this ceremony
was over, the chiefs and considerable men came in a body to where we were
seated at a little distance from our tent, and two young men at the instance
of the nation presented Captain Lewis and myself each a fine horse,
and informed us that they had listened with attention to what we had said
and were resolved to pursue our counsels, &c. That as we had not seen
the Blackfoot Indians and the Minnetarees of Fort de Prairie,
they did not think it safe to venture over to the plains of the Missouri,
where they would fondly go provided those nations would not kill them.
That when we had established a trading house on the Missouri as
we had promised, they would come over and trade for arms, ammunition, &c.,
and live about us. That it would give them much pleasure to be at peace
with those nations although they had shed much of their blood. They said
that they were poor but their hearts were good.
Lepage and Charbonneau set out early this morning to the Indian village in order to trade with them for roots. Sergeant Gass was sent this morning to obtain some goat's hair to stuff the pads of our saddles. He ascended the river on this side and, being unable to pass the river to the village he wished to visit, returned in the evening unsuccessful. Shannon and Collins were permitted to pass the river in order to trade with the natives and lay in a store of roots and bread for themselves, with their proportion of the merchandise, as others had done. On landing on the opposite shore, the canoe was driven broadside, with the full force of a very strong current, against some standing trees and instantly filled with water and sank. Potts, who was with them, is an indifferent swimmer. It was with difficulty he made the land. They lost three blankets and a blanket capote and their pittance of merchandise.
In our bare state of clothing
this was a serious loss. I sent Sergeant Pryor and a party over
in the Indian canoe in order to raise and secure ours but the depth of
the water and the strength of the current baffled every effort. I fear
that we have also lost our canoe. All our invalids are on the recovery.
We gave the sick chief a severe sweat today, shortly after which he could
move one of his legs and thighs and work his toes pretty well. The other
leg he can move a little. His fingers and arms seem to be almost entirely
restored. He seems highly delighted with his recovery. I begin to entertain
strong hope of his recovering by these sweats.
Yesterday evening Charbonneau and Lepage returned, having made a broken voyage. They ascended the river on this side nearly opposite to a village eight miles above us. Here their led horse, which had on him their merchandise, fell into the river from the side of a steep cliff and swam over. They saw an Indian on the opposite side whom they prevailed on to drive their horse back again to them. In swimming the river the horse lost a dressed elk skin of Lepage's and several small articles, and their paint (vermilion) was destroyed by the water. Here they remained and dried their articles.
The evening of the 30th ult.,
the Indians at the village, learning their errand and not having a canoe,
made an attempt yesterday morning to pass the river to them on a raft,
with a parcel of roots and bread in order to trade with them. The Indian
raft struck a rock, upset, and lost their cargo. The river having fallen
heir to both merchandise and roots, our traders returned with empty bags.
McNeal and York were sent on a trading voyage over the river this morning. Having exhausted all our merchandise, we are obliged to have recourse to every subterfuge in order to prepare in the most ample manner in our power to meet that wretched portion of our journey, the Rocky Mountains, where hunger and cold in their most rigorous forms assail the wearied traveler. Not any of us has yet forgotten our suffering in those mountains in September last, and I think it probable we never shall.
Our traders McNeal and York were furnished with the buttons which Captain Clark and myself cut off our coats, some eye-water and basilican which we made for that purpose, and some phials and small tin boxes which I had brought out with phosphorus. In the evening they returned with about three bushels of roots and some bread.
Drouilliard arrived this
morning with Neeshneparkkeook and Hohastillpilp, who had
accompanied him to the lodges of the persons who had our tomahawks. He
obtained both the tomahawks, principally by the influence of the former
of these chiefs. The one which had been stolen we prized most, as it was
the private property of the late Sergeant Floyd, and Captain
Clark was desirous of returning it to his friends. The man who had
this tomahawk had purchased it from the Indian that had stolen it, and
was himself, at the moment of their arrival, just expiring. His relations
were unwilling to give up the tomahawk as they intended to bum it with
the deceased owner, but were at length induced to do so for the consideration
of a handkerchief, two strands of beads, which Captain Clark sent
by Drouilliard, gave there, and two horses given by the chiefs to
be killed, agreeably to their custom, at the grave of the deceased.
About noon the 3 chiefs left
us and returned to their villages. While they were with us, we repeated
the promises we had formerly made them and invited them to the Missouri
with us. They declined going until the latter end of the summer, and said
it was their intention to spend the ensuing winter on the east side of
the Rocky Mountains. They gave us no positive answer to a request
which we made, that two or three of their young men should accompany me
to the Falls of the Missouri, and there wait my return from the
upper part of Maria's River, where it was probable I should meet
with some of the bands of the Minnetarees from Fort de Prairie;
that, in such case, I should endeavor to bring about a good understanding
between those Indians and themselves, which when effected they would be
informed of it through the young men thus sent with me, and that on the
contrary, should I not be fortunate enough to meet with these people nor
to prevail on them to be at peace, they would equally be informed through
those young men, and they might still remain on their guard with respect
to them until the whites had it in their power to give them more effectual
relief. The Broken Arm invited us to his village and said he wished
to speak to us before we set out, and that he had some roots to give us
for our journey over the mountains.
This morning Frazer returned,
having been in quest of some roots and bread, which he had left at the
lodge of The Twisted Hair, when on his way to the fishery on Lewis's
River. The Twisted Hair came with him, but I was unable to converse
with him for the want of an interpreter, Drouilliard being absent
with Captain Clark. This chief left me in the evening and returned
to his village. Captain Clark visited The Broken Arm today
agreeably to his promise. He took with him Drouilliard and several
others. They were received in a friendly manner. The Broken Arm
informed Captain Clark that the nation would not pass the mountain
until the latter end of the summer, and that with respect to the young
men who we had requested should accompany us to the Falls of the Missouri,
they were not yet selected for that purpose, nor could they be so until
there was a meeting of the nation in council.