August 18, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 18, 1805


This morning while Capt Clark was busily engaged in preparing for his rout, I exposed some articles to barter with the Indians for horses as I wished a few at this moment to releive the men who were going with Capt Clark from the labour of carrying their baggage and also one to keep here in order to pack the meat to camp which the hunters might kill. I soon obtained three very good horses for which I gave an uniform coat, a pair of legings, a few handkerchiefs, three knives and some other small articles the whole of which did not cost more than about 20$ in the U' States.    the Indians seemed quite as well pleased with their bargin as I was.    the men also purchased one for an old checked shirt a pair of old legings and a knife.    two of those I purchased Capt. C. took on with him. at 10 A. M. Capt. Clark departed with his detatchment and all the Indians except 2 men and 2 women who remained with us. Two of the inferior chiefs were a little displeased at not having received a present equivolent to that given the first Chief.    to releive this difficulty Capt. Clark bestoed a couple of his old coats on them and I promised that if they wer active in assisting me over the mountains with horses that I would give them an additional present; this seemed perfectly to satisfy them and they all set out in a good humour. Capt. Clark encamped this evening near the narrow pass between the hills on Jefferson's river in the Shoshone Cove. [1] his hunters killed one deer which the party with the aid of the Indians readily consumed in the course of the evening.—    after there departure this morning I had all the stores and baggage of every discription opened and aired.    and began the operation of forming the packages in proper parsels for the purpose of transporting them on horseback.    the rain in the evening compelled me to desist from my operations. I had the raw hides put in the water in order to cut them in throngs proper for lashing the packages and forming the necessary geer for pack horses, a business which I fortunately had not to learn on this occasion. Drewyer Killed one deer this evening.    a beaver was also caught by one of the party. I had the net arranged and set this evening to catch some trout which we could see in great abundance at the bottom of the river. This day I completed my thirty first year, and conceived that I had in all human probability now existed about half the period which I am to remain in this Sublunary world. I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little indeed, to further the hapiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now soarly feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended.    but since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash from me the gloomy thought and resolved in future, to redouble my exertions and at least indeavour to promote those two primary objects of human existence, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which nature and fortune have bestoed on me; or in future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself.—


Purchased of the Indians three horses for which we gave a Chiefs Coat Some Handkerchiefs a Shirt Legins & a fiew arrow points &c. I gave two of my coats to two of the under Chiefs who appeared not well Satisfied that the first Chief was dressed so much finer than themselves.    at 10 oClock I Set out accompanied by the Indians except 3 the interpreter and wife, the fore part of the day worm, at 12 oClock it became hasey with a mist of rain wind hard from the S. W. and Cold which increased untill night the rain Seased in about two hours. We proceeded on thro' a wide leavel vallie without wood except willows & Srubs for 15 miles and Encamped at a place the high lands approach within 200 yards in 2 points    the River here only 10 yards wide Several Small Streams branching out on each Side below.    all the Indians proceeded on except the 3 Chiefs & two young men.    my hunters killed two Deer which we eate. The Course from the forks is West 9 miles N. 60° W. 6 miles. The Latd. of the forks agreeable to observations is 43° 30' 43" North—    [EC: actually about 45°]


Sunday 18th August 1805.    a clear morning.    one beaver Caught last night in a trap. Capt. Clark and 11 men got in readiness this morning to go with the natives over the Mountain to See if possable to make canoes for us to descend the Columbian river to the western ocian. Capt. Lewis bought three horses of the natives.    gave a uniform coat and a knife for one and red leggins & a hankerchief & knife for an other.    a fiew arrow points hove in about the Same given for the other    Some of the men bought one to carry their baggage on and gave an ordinary check Shirt a pair of old red leggins and a knife only for a tollarable good pack horse.    about 10 oClock A. m Capt. Clark & 11 men Set out with the natives all except 2 men & 2 of the women Stayed at our Camp.    we put out our baggage & Indian goods to dry and air.    we had Showers of rain this afternoon.    one hunter out who killed one deer.    we got one of the Indians horses to pack it into Camp.—


Sunday 18th.    A fine morning. We bought three horses of the Indians. Captain Clarke and 11 more, with our interpreter and his wife, and all the Indians set out at 11 o'clock to go over to the Columbia.— The Indians went for horses to carry our baggage, and we to search for timber to make canoes for descending the Columbia. We proceeded up the north branch which is the largest and longest branch of Jefferson river, [2] through a handsome valley about 5 [3] miles wide. In this we found a number of springs and small branches, but no timber. There is plenty of grass and clover, and also some flax all along it. The Indians all except 5 went on ahead. We travelled 15 miles and encamped [4] close on the branch which is about 5 yards wide. Here we killed two small deer. The country all around is very mountainous, with some few pine trees on the mountains. At three o'clock this afternoon there was a violent gust of wind, and some rain fell. In about an hour the weather became clear, and very cold, and continued cold all night.


Sunday 18th August 1805.    One beaver caught in a trap l. n. [5]    a clear morning.    Capt. Clark and 11 men got in readiness to Set out with the natives to go over the mountain to the other River, to make canoes &c.    Capt. Lewis bought 4 horses of the natives Gave them, Some he gave a uniform coat a knife & a hankerchief.    others he gave red leggins a knife a hankch. and a fiew arrow points &c.    2 of the men joined and bought a horse to take their baggage on & gave only one brich cloath one old or poo[r] Shirt & one knife, for a good pack horse.    these Indian are verry poor and vallue a little worth a great deal, as they never had Scarsely any kind of a kinife or Tommahawk or any weapons of war or to use.    2 or 3 guns only to be seen among them which we expect they got from Some other nation, who traded with the french or Spanish tradors.    gave their horses &c. for them.    they are tollarably well dressed with Skins Such as antelope and Mountain rams Skins &c.    they have a fiew beeds and ear bobs among them.    they gave Capt. Lewis a kind of an ornament which Spread around the Shoulders    it was made of wezels [6] tales & Some other ornemental afares.    they have little things made of mussell shell which they hang in their ears with their beeds &    about 10 oClock A. m. Capt. Clark 11 men and all the natives but 4[,] 2 women & 2 men which Stayed at our Camp, Set out with their horses & considerable baggage to cross the mountain and Send back the horses for us to pack over all the baggage, which we wish to take over    we put out the Indian goods &c to air & Sort    we had Some Showers of rain this afternoon    the one hunter killed one Deer to day—

Sunday August 18th    We had a clear morning, Captain Clark and 11 of our men got themselves in readiness to set out with some Indians; to go over the mountains to the Columbia River; in order to make Canoes &ca.    Captain Lewis purchased from the Indians that were encamped with us 4 more horses, he gave them for those horses, a Uniform Coat, knives, a handerchief red leggins &ca.    two of the Men also purchased one horse from them to carry their baggage, for which they gave them a breech Cloth, an old Shirt & knife.    These Indians 〈are〉 had the appearance of being very poor, & set a great value, on the most trifling article.    they had no knives, or tomahawks among them; or any War like Instruments (excepting 3 Guns which we expect they had got from some other Indians, that had purchased them from French or Spanish traders, for horses,)    These Indians were tolerable well made Men, have very good countenances, but are darker colour'd, than the Mandan Indians, Their dress was made out of the Skins of Antelopes & mountain Rams or Ibex, they had some Beads & ear bobs among them.    They gave Captain Lewis an ornament, which, they used to wear round their Shoulders, This consisted of Weasels tails sewed together, and ornamented with Muscle Shells &ca—.    About 10 o'Clock A. M. Captain Clark, 11 of our party & all the Indians excepting 4, (two of which were Men) left our camp, & set out with their horses, & a considerable quantity of our baggage, to go across the Mountain; & intend to send back the Horses for us, to pack & bring over the remainder of them.    We put out the Indian goods to air, & to assort them.—    We had some Rain in the afternoon.—    One of our hunters that was out killed a deer, which he brought to our Camp.—

1. Clark's route appears as a dotted line on Atlas map 67. The campsite, labeled "W. C. Camp" on the map, was near Red Butte, about eight miles west of Grant, Beaverhead County, Montana. Peebles (RW), 6. (back)
2. They went up Horse Prairie Creek, not the main branch of Beaverhead (Jefferson to the party) River, but the best for their purposes, into Shoshone Cove, Beaverhead County, Montana. (back)
3. The numeral in McKeehan's edition is nearly illegible, and the interpretation could be debatable. (back)
4. Near Red Butte, some eight miles west of Grant, Beaverhead County. (back)
5. Meaning last night, as in Ordway's journal. (back)
6. Long-tailed weasel, Mustela frenata. Lewis received such a tippet from Cameahwait, chief of the Lemhi Shoshones; it is shown in vol. 5, p. xii. (back)