previous   |   next

[Lewis] 
Wednesday April 30th 1806.
 

       This morning we had some difficulty in collecting our horses notwithstanding we had hubbled and picquited those we obtained of these people.    we purchased two other horses this morning and several dogs. we exchanged one of our most indifferent horses for a very good one with the Chopunnish man who has his family with him.    this man has a daughter new arrived at the age of puberty, who being in a certain situation [WC?: mences] is not permitted to ascociate with the family but sleeps at a distance from her father's camp and when traveling follows at some distance behind.  [1]    in this state I am informed that the female is not permitted to eat, nor to touch any article of a culinary nature or manly occupation.    at 10 A. M. we had collected all our horses except the white horse which yellept had given Capt. C. the whole of the men soon after returned without being able to find this horse. I lent my horse to Yellept to surch Capt. C's    about half an hour after he set out our Chopunnish man brought up Capt. C'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 we took leave of these friendly honest people the Wollahwollahs and departed at 11 A. M. accompanyed by our guide and the Chopunnish man and family.    we continued our rout N. 30 E. 14 ms.  [2] through an open level sandy plain to a bold Creek 10 yds. wide.  [3]    this stream is a branch of the Wallahwollah river into which it discharges itself about six miles above the junction of that river with the Columbia.    it takes it's rise in the same range of mountains  [4] to the East of the sources of the main branch of the same.    it appears to be navigable for canoes; it is deep and has a bold current.    there are many large banks of pure sand which appear to have been drifted up by the wind to the hight of 15 or 20 feet, lying in many parts of the plain through which we passed today.    this plain as usual is covered with arromatic shrubs hurbatious plants and a short grass.  [5]    many of those plants produce those esculent roots which form a principal part of the subsistence of the natives.  [6]    among others there is one which produces a root somewhat like the sweet pittaitoe.—  [7]    we encamped at the place we intersepted the creek  [8] where we had the pleasure once more to find an abundance of good wood for the purpose of making ourselves comfortable fires, which has not been the case since we left rock fort camp. Drewyer killed a beaver and an otter;  [9] a part of the former we reserved for ourselves and gave the indians the ballance.    these people will not eat the dog but feast heartily on the otter which is vastly inferior in my estimation, they sometimes also eat their horses, this indeed is common to all the indians who possess this annimal in the plains of Columbia; but it is only done when necessity compells them.—    the narrow bottom of this [X: Wallowwallow] [EC: Touchet] creek is very fertile, tho' the plains are poor and sandy. the hills of the creek are generally abrupt and rocky.    there is a good store of timber on this creek at least 20 fold more than on the Columbia river itself.  [10]    it consists of Cottonwood, birch,  [11] the crimson haw,  [12] red-willow, sweetwillow, chokecherry    yellow currants,  [13] goosberry, white-berryed honeysuckle    rose bushes, seven bark, and shoemate.  [14] I observed the corngrass  [15] and rushes  [16] in some parts of the bottom. Reubin Feilds overtook us with my horse.    our stock of horses has now encresed to 23 and most of them excellent young horses, but much the greater portion of them have soar backs.    these indians are cruell horse-masters; they ride hard, and their saddles are so illy constructed that they cannot avoid wounding the backs of their horses; but reguardless of this they ride them when the backs of those poor annimals are in a horrid condition.




[Clark] 
Wednesday April 30th 1806.
 

       This morning we had Some dificuelty in Collecting our horses notwithstanding we had hobbled & Picqueted those we obtained of those people.    we purchased two other horses this morning and 4 dogs.    we exchanged one of our most indeferent horses for a very good one with the Choponnish man who has his family with him.    this man has a doughter now arived at the age of puberty who being in a certain Situation—is not permited to acoiate with the family but Sleeps at a distance from her father's Camp, and when traveling follows at Some distance behind.    in this State I am informed that the female is not permited to eat, nor to touch any article of a culinary nature or manly occupation.    at 10 A. M. we had Collected all our horses except the White horse which Yelleppit the Great Chief had given me.    the whole of the men haveing returned without being able to find this hors. I informed the chief and he mounted Capt Lewis's horse and went in Serch of the horse himself. about half an hour after the Chopunnish man brought my horse.    we deturmined to proceed on with the party leaving one man to bring up Capt L.—s horse when Yelleppit Should return. We took leave of those honest friendly people the Wallah wallahs and departed at 11 A. M. accompanied by our guide and the Chopunnish man and family.    we Continued our rout N. 30° E. 14 ms. through an open leavel Sandy Plain to a bold Creek 10 yards wide.    this stream is a branch of the Wallahwallah river, and takes it's rise in the same range of mountains to the East of the main branch.    deep and has a bold Current.    there are maney large banks of pure Sand which appear to have been drifted up by the wind to the hight of 20 or 30 feet, lying in maney parts of the plains through which we passed to day. This plain as usial is covered with arromatic Shruubs, hurbatious plants and tufts of Short grass. Maney of those plants produce those esculent roots which forms a principal part of the Subsistance of the Nativs.    among others there is one which produce a root Somewhat like the Sweet potato. We encamped at the place we intersepted the Creek where we had the pleasure once more to find a Sufficency of wood for the purpose of makeing ourselves comfortable fires, which has not been the Case Since we left Rock fort Camp below the falls. Drewyer killed a beaver and an otter.    the narrow bottoms of this Creek is fertile.    tho' the plains are pore & Sandy.    the hills of the Creek are general abrupt and rocky.    there is Some timber on this Creek.    it consists of Cotton wood, birch, the Crimson haw, red willow, Sweet willow, Choke Cherry, yellow Current, goose berry, white berried honey suckle, rose bushes, Seven bark, Shoemate &c. &c.    rushes in Some pats of the bottoms.

 

       R. Fields over took us with Capt Lewis's horse    our Stock of horses have now increased to 23 and 〈several〉 most of them excellent young horses, but much the greatest part of them have Sore backs.    those Indians are cruel horse masters; they ride hard and their Saddles illey constructed.    &c. &c.




[Ordway] 
 

       Wednesday 30th of April 1806.    chilley and cold.    the men went out for their horses    an Indian brought a women to Capt. Clark which diseased.    had not the use of hir limbs.    he brought a fine horse and gave Capt. Clark for doctering hir    he gave meddicine and told them how to apply it &C. Capt. Clark gave the Indian a white Shirt which pleased him verry much.    about 11 A. M we got our horses up by the assistance of the Indians and Set out.    proceeded on over Smooth barron Sandy plains    not a tree nor Shrub to be seen except a weed or Shrub like wild hysop  [17] which is common.    the natives use it when dry for fires to cook with &C.    the Indian name of it is cum-cum.  [18]    we came about 16 miles and Camped  [19] on the wala-wal river, which has narrow bottoms partly covred with Small timber    2 or 3 men went out hunting, one of them killed a large beaver and an otter. Several of the horses chokd. by eating Some kind of a weed in this bottom, but they got over it after a while.—




[Gass] 
 

       Wednesday 30th.    This was a cloudy morning, and we stayed here till about 11 o'clock to collect our horses, got two more; and have now altogether twenty-three horses. We then set out from Wal-la-wal-la river and nation; proceeded on about fourteen miles through an extensive plain, when we struck a branch of the Wal-lo-wal-la river, and halted for the night.  [20] We saw no animals or birds of any kind, except two pheasants,  [21] one of which Capt. Clarke killed. The whole of this plain is of a sandy surface and affords but thin grass, with some branches of shrubs which resemble sage or hyssop.  [22] On the south side of this branch the soil is of earth and rich, covered with grass,  [23] and very handsome. We are still accompanied by several of the natives.




 

1. Seclusion of a menstruating woman to avoid contamination was a custom common to many tribes. (Return to text.)

 

2. A double dotted line marks the start of the "rout to Kooskooske," the Clearwater River, on Atlas map 75. (Return to text.)

 

3. Touchet River, in Walla Walla County, Washington, which meets the Walla Walla River near present Touchet; nameless on Atlas map 75. No available maps from the expedition trace the party's route in detail from this point until they reach the Snake River. The dotted line on Atlas map 75 is picked up on Atlas map 73 and follows the party's path where they reach the Snake River on May 4, 1806. (Return to text.)

 

4. The Blue Mountains. (Return to text.)

 

5. The short grass is Sandberg, or western, bluegrass, Poa secunda Presl. It is characteristic of the shrub-steppe vegetation of the Columbia Basin. See also April 26, 1806. Franklin & Dyrness, 213–14; Welsh et al., 769. (Return to text.)

 

6. The most common species with edible roots in this region include wile hyacinth; green-banded mariposa lily, Calochortus macrocarpus Dougl.; big seed lomatium, Lomatium macrocarpum (Nutt.) Coult. & Rose; ternate, or nineleaf, lomatium, L. triternatum (Pursh) Coult. & Rose (formerly Lewis's lomatium, Peucedanum simplex Nutt.); and cous. Franklin & Dyrness, 215; Hitchcock et al., 1:763, 773, 3:558–59, 565–66; Welsh et al., 631, 633; Abrams, 3:266. (Return to text.)

 

7. Cous may be the sweet potato-like plant. Other Lomatium species of the area can also be considered, including big seed lomatium, ternate lomatium, and L. watsonii Coult. & Rose; they were probably used by the Indians similar to cous. Hitchcock et al., 3:568; Cutright (LCPN), 289, 307–8, 410, 413; Pursh, 197; Thwaites (LC), 4:341. (Return to text.)

 

8. On Touchet River, in Walla Walla County, some ten miles south of present Eureka. Atlas map 75. (Return to text.)

 

9. Lutra canadensis. (Return to text.)

 

10. Lewis here notes the riparian forest and common understory woody species of the Walla Walla River in southeastern Washington within the larger dry, shrub-steppe vegetation zone. These riparian forests have been profoundly affected by human activities, especially heavy cattle grazing and the introduction of weedy, exotic species. Franklin & Dyrness, 45, 227–28; Daubenmire (SVW), 7–8, 131. It was apparently Biddle who drew a vertical line through the passage beginning at "the narrow bottom" to nearly "shoemate." (Return to text.)

 

11. The water birch, Betula occidentalis Hook. Apparently this birch has never been documented from western Walla Walla County,but it is known from the eastern portion of the county. Little (MWH), 22-NW; Hitchcock et al., 2:77–78. (Return to text.)

 

12. Probably Columbia hawthorn Crataegus columbiana How. (Return to text.)

 

13. Probably the golden currant as discussed on April 16, 1806. (Return to text.)

 

14. Smooth sumac, Rhus glabra L. Little (MWH), 155-NW; Hitchcock et al., 3:407. (Return to text.)

 

15. Basin wildrye, Elymus cinereus Scribn. & Merrill. Lewis's entry of June 5, 1806, describes the species further. See that entry for a discussion of the corn grass. Franklin & Dyrness, 245–46; Welsh et al., 723. (Return to text.)

 

16. Probably a species of bulrush, or possibly of horsetail, often referred to by Lewis as sand rush. (Return to text.)

 

17. Big sagebrush. (Return to text.)

 

18. A term not used by Lewis or Clark. It is Nez Perce qémqem, "sagebrush."    Haruo Aoki, Nez Perce Dictionary (University of California Publications in Linguistics No. 122. Berkeley, 1994), 1276. (Return to text.)

 

19. The party actually camped on an affluent of the Walla Walla River, the Touchet River, in Walla Walla County, some ten miles south of Eureka. (Return to text.)

 

20. On Touchet River, Walla Walla County, Washington, some ten miles south of Eureka. (Return to text.)

 

21. Probably some species of grouse, which they commonly called pheasants. (Return to text.)

 

22. Besides big sagebrush, characteristic shrubs of the Columbia Basin include rubber rabbitbrush Chrysothamnus nauseosus (Pall.) Britt. var. albicaulis (Nutt.) Rydb., and twisted leaf rabbitbrush, C. viscidiflorus (Hook.) Nutt. (Return to text.)

 

23. The grass is probably Sandberg bluegrass, Poa secunda Presl. (Return to text.)












previous   |   next


Home  |  Search  |  Read the Journals  |  Additional Texts  |  Images  |  Maps  |  Multimedia
About This Project |  FAQ  |  Links  |  Print Editions  |  Copyright  |  Contact Us  |  Site Map