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[Lewis]†
Monday June 2cd 1806.

†††††† McNeal and york were sent on a trading voyage over the river this morning. †† having exhausted all our merchandize 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 journy, the Rocky Mountain, where hungar and cold in their most rigorous forms assail the waried traveller; not any of us have yet forgotten our sufferings 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 Capt. C. and myself cut off our coats, some eye water and Basilicon 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 3 bushels of roots and some bread having made a successfull voyage, not much less pleasing to us than the return of a good cargo to an East India Merchant.— †† Collins, Sheilds, R & J. Feilds and Shannon set out on a hunting excurtion to the Quawmash grounds on the lower side of Collins's Creek. †† our horses many of them have become so wild that we cannot take them without the assistance of the Indians who are extreemly dextrous in throwing a rope and taking them with a noose about the neck; as we frequently want the use of our horses when we cannot get the assistance of the indians to take them, we had a strong pound formed today in order to take them at pleasure. Drewyer arrived this evening with Neeshneparkkeeook and Hoh‚stillpilp who had accompanyed 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 Cheifs. †† the one which had been stolen we prized most as it was the private property of the late Sergt. Floyd and Capt. C. was desireous 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 tomehawk as they intended to bury it with the disceased owner, but were at length induced to do so for the consideration of a hadkerchief, two strands of beads, which [X: Cap C. Sent by][1] Drewyer gave them and two horses given by the cheifs to be killed agreeably to their custom at the grave of the disceased. The bands of the Chopunnish who reside above the junction of Lewis's river and the Kooskooske bury their dead in the earth and place stones on the grave. †† they also stick little splinters of wood in betwen the interstices of the irregular mass of stone piled on the grave and afterwards cover the whole with a roof of board or split timber. †† the custom of sacreficing horses to the disceased appears to be common to all the nations of the plains of Columbia. †† a wife of Neeshneeparkkeeook died some short time since, himself and hir relations saceficed 28 horses to her. The Indians inform us that there are a plenty of Moos[2] to the S. E. of them on the East branch of Lewis's river which they call Tommanamah R.[3] †† about Noon Sergt. Ordway Frazier and Wizer returned with 17 salmon and some roots of cows; the distance was so great from which they had brought the fish that most of them were nearly spoiled. †† these fish were as fat as any I ever saw; sufficiently so to cook themselves without the addition of grease; those which were sound were extreemly delicious; their flesh is of a fine rose colour with a small admixture of yellow.[4] †† these men set out on the 27th ult. and in stead of finding the fishing shore at the distance of half a days ride as we had been informed, they did not reach the place at which they obtained their fish untill the evening of the 29th having travelled by their estimate near 70 miles. †† the rout they had taken however was not a direct one; the Indians conducted them in the first instance to the East branch of Lewis's river about 20 miles above it's junction with the South branch,[5] a distance of about 50 Ms. where they informed them they might obtain fish; but on their arrival at that place finding that the salmon had not yet arrived or were not taken, they were conducted down that river to a fishery a few miles below the junction of the forks of Lewis's river about 20 ms. further, here with some difficulty and remaining one day they purchased the salmon which they brought with them.[6] †† the first 20 Ms. of their rout was up Comme‚p Creek and through a plain open country, the hills of the creek continued high and broken with some timber near it's borders. the ballance of their rout was though a high broken mountanous country generally well timbered with pine the soil fertile †† in this quarter they met with an abundance of deer and some bighorned animals. †† the East fork of Lewis's river they discribe as one continued rapid about 150 Yds. wide it's banks are in most places solid and perpendicular rocks, which rise to a great hight; it's hills are mountains high. †† on the tops of some of those hills over which they passed, the snow had not entirely disappeared, and the grass was just springing up. †† at the fishery on Lewis's river below the forks there is a very considerable rapid nearly as great from the information of Segt. Ordway as the great falls [NB: rapids][7] of the Columbia the river 200 Yds. wide. †† their common house at this fishery is built of split timber 150 feet long and 35 feet wide flat at top. The general course from hence to the forks of Lewis's river is a little to the West of south about 45 Ms.— †† The men at this season resort their fisheries while the women are employed in collecting roots. †† both forks of Lewis's river above their junction appear to enter a high Mountainous country.— †† my sick horse being much reduced and apearing to be in such an agoni of pain that there was no hope of his recovery I ordered him shot this evening. †† the other horses which we casterated are all nearly recovered, and I have no hesitation in declaring my beleif that the indian method of gelding is preferable to that practiced by ourselves.—




[Clark]†
Monday June 2nd 1806

†††††† McNeal and York were Sent on a tradeing voyage over the river this morning. †† having exhosted all our Merchendize we were 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 journy, the Rocky Mountains, where hungar and Cold in their most regorous form assail the waried traveller; not any of us have yet forgotten our those mountains in September last, I think it probable we never Shall. Our traders McNeal and York are furnished with the buttons which Capt L—. and my Self Cut off of our Coats, Some eye water and Basilicon which we made for that purpose and Some phials of eye water and Some tin boxes which Capt L. had brought from Philadelphia. †† in the evening they returned with about 3 bushels of roots and Some bread haveing made a Suckcessfull voyage, not much less pleasing to us than the return of a good Cargo to an East India merchant.—


†††††† Shields, Collins, Reuben & Joseph Field & Shannon Set out on a hunting excurtion to the quaw mash the lower side of Collins Creek & towards the Mountains.


†††††† Drewyer arived this evening with Neeshneparkkeeook and Hohashillpilp who had accompanied him to the lodge of the person who had our tomahawks. †† he obtained both the tomahawks principally by the influence of the former of those Chiefs. †† the one which had been Stolen we prized most as it was the private property of the late Serjt. Floyd and I was desireous of returning it to his friends. The man who had this tomahawk had purchased it from the man who had Stolen it, and was himself at the moment of their arival just expireing. †† his relations were unwilling to give up the tomahawk as they intended to bury it with the deceased owner, but were at length to do so for the Consideration of a handkerchief, two Strands of beeds, which drewyer gave them and two horses given by the Chiefs to be Killed agreeable to their custom at the grave of the deceased. The custom of Sacrificeing horses to the disceased appears to be Common to all the nations of the plains of the Columbia. †† a Wife of Neeshneeparkkeeook died Some Short time Sence, himself and her relations sacrificed horses to her. The indians inform us that there is a plenty of Moos to the S. E. of them on the East branch of Lewis's river which they Call Tommawamah River. About noon Sergt. Ordway Frazier and Wiser returnd. with 17 Salmon and Some roots of the Cows; the distance was So great from whence they brought the fish, that most of them were nearly Spoiled. †† those fish were at fat as any I ever saw; Sufficiently So to cook themselves without the addition of Grease or butter; those which were Sound were extreemly delicious; their flesh is of a fine rose colour with a Small admixture of yellow. †† these men Set out on the 27th ulto: and in Sted of finding the fishing Shore at the distance of half a days ride as we had been informed, they did not reach the place at which they obtained their fish untill the evening of the 29th haveing traveled near 70 miles. †† the rout they had taken however was not a direct one; the Indians Conducted them in the first instance to the East fork of Lewis's river about 10 miles above it's junction with the South branch, a distance of about 50 miles where they informed them they might obtain fish; but on their arival at that place finding that the Salmon had not arived or were not taken, they were Conducted down that river to a fishery a fiew miles below the junction of the forks of Lewis's River about 20 miles further, here they remained one day and with some dificuelty, they purchased the Salmon which they brought with them. †† the first 20 ms. of their rout was up Comme‚p Creek and through a plain open Country, the hills of the Creek Continued high and broken with Some timber near it's borders, the ballance of heir rout was through a high broken Mountanious Country. †† generally well timbered with pine the soil fertile. †† in this quarter the meet with abundance of deer and Some big-horned Animals. The East fork of Lewis's river they discribe as one Continued rapid of about 150 yards wide, it's banks are in most places Solid and perpindicular rocks, which rise to a great hight; it's hills are mountanious high. †† on the top of Some of those hills over which they passed, the Snow had not entirely disappeared, and the grass was just springing up. †† at the fishery on Lewis's river below the forks there is a very Considerable rapid, nearly as Great from the information of Sergt. Ordway as the Great falls of the Columbia †† the river 200 yards wide. †† their common house at this fishery is built of Split timber 150 feet long and 35 feet in width, flat at top. †† the general Course from here to the forks of Lewis's river is a little to the west of South about 45 ms. The men at this Season resort their fisheries while the womin are employed in collecting roots—. †† both forks above the junction of Lewis's river appear to enter a high Mountainious Country. †† our horses are all recovering & I have no hesitation in declareing that I believe that the Indian Method of guilding preferable to that practised by ourselves.—




[Ordway]†

†††††† Monday 2nd June 1806. †† a fair morning. †† we Set out eairly and turned down the river †† passd 2 more villages †† about 12 oClock we arived at our Camp.[8] †† found the river verry high indeed. Swam the horses across and got across in an Indian canoe as our men informed us that as Some of our men were crossing several days past our large canoe ran against Some trees as they were going to Shore and the canoe upset and Sank emediately. †† the men got Safe to Shore but lost three blankets one blanket cappo and Several articles, they had for trade &C. †† they had killed a horse soon after we went away to eat which the natives gave us for that purpose †† Soon after our hunters killed and brought to Camp 12 Deer. Some of our castrated horses are nearly well and one is Sick and like to dye. So Some of our men went and Shot him &C. †† towards evening the head chief[9] of the cho-pennish nation came to our Camp with George Drewyer and brought and gave up a tommahawk[10] which Capt Clark lost last fall which the chief kept for us.




[Gass]†

†††††† Monday 2nd. †† The morning was cloudy, and six of the men[11] went out to hunt. About noon three men,[12] who had gone over to Lewis's river, about two and half days' journey distant, to get some fish, returned with a few very good salmon, and some roots which they bought at the different villages of the natives, which they passed. One of these men got two Spanish dollars from an Indian for an old razor.[13] They said they got the dollars from about a Snake Indian's neck, they had killed some time ago. There are several dollars among these people which they get in some way. We suppose the Snake Indians, some of whom do not live very far from New Mexico, got them from the Spaniards in that quarter.[14] The Snake Indians also get horses from the Spaniards.— The men had a very disagreeable trip as the roads were mountainous and slippery. They saw a number of deer, and of the ibex or big-horn.




1.†The interlineation is in red ink but does not appear to be Biddle's handwriting. Square brackets begin at "Drewyer arrived" and end after "of the disceased." Written in pencil, the marks may be Coues's work.†(Return to text.)

2.†Moose, Alces alces. Apparently neither of the captains ever saw a moose on the expedition; see Lewis's entry of July 7, 1806. Burroughs, 139–40.†(Return to text.)

3.†Tommanamah is Nez Perce tamŠ∑nma, for the Salmon River.†(Return to text.)

4.†Lewis does not provide enough information for positive identification of this species of salmon.†(Return to text.)

5.†The "East branch of Lewis's river" is the Salmon, while the "South branch" is the Snake River below the mouth of the Salmon.†(Return to text.)

6.†The Ordway party followed a westerly route along Lawyer ("Commeap") Creek to Deer Creek near the Lewis–Nez Perce County line, then south to the Salmon and westerly again to the Snake River near the Oregon-Washington border separating Wallowa and Asotin counties. On their return the party retraced their route to Deer Creek, then followed a trail south of their outbound passage, reaching the Clearwater River near Kooskia, Idaho County, and finally following the Clearwater back to Camp Chopunnish. Peebles (RLC), 21, and 19 fig. 5. Merle Wells of the Idaho Historical Society has been working on a more precise tracing of Ordway's route that differs with Peebles's. A more detailed account of Ordway's route using Well's studies is taken up Ordway's journal.†(Return to text.)

7.†Biddle inserted this word and also probably underlined "falls," both in red.†(Return to text.)

8.†Camp Chopunnish.†(Return to text.)

9.†Actually two chiefs, Cut Nose and Hohots Ilppilp.†(Return to text.)

10.†Actually two, report Lewis and Clark, one of which had been stolen and was Sergeant Floyd's, which Clark hoped to return to the dead soldier's friends.†(Return to text.)

11.†Shields, Collins, the Field brothers, and Shannon went out, according to the captains; no sixth man is mentioned.†(Return to text.)

12.†Ordway with Frazer and Weiser had gone to the Snake River for salmon. For a detailed account of their journey, see Ordway's entries of May 28–June 2, 1806, where the question of their route is examined in the notes.†(Return to text.)

13.†Frazer; see Ordway's entry of May 29.†(Return to text.)

14.†An example of how European goods penetrated to people who had never seen whites. The Spanish coins may have passed through several hands. See James P. Ronda, "Frazer's Razor: The Ethnohistory of a Common Object," We Proceeded On 7 (August 1981): 12–13.†(Return to text.)












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