August 20, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 20, 1805


This morning I sent out the two hunters and employed the ballance of the party pretty much as yesterday. I walked down the river about ¾ of a mile and scelected a place near the river bank unperceived by the Indians for a cash, which I set three men to make, and directed the centinel to discharge his gun if he pereceived any of the Indians going down in that direction which was to be the signal for the men at work on the cash to desist and seperate, least these people should discover our deposit and rob us of the baggage we intend leaving here.    by evening the cash was completed unperceived by the Indians, and all our packages made up. the Pack-saddles and harnes is not yet complete.    in this operation we find ourselves at a loss for nails and boards; for the first we substitute throngs of raw hide which answer verry well, and for the last to cut off the blades of our oars and use the plank of some boxes which have heretofore held other articles and put those articles into sacks of raw hide which I have had made for the purpose.    by this means I have obtained as many boards as will make 20 saddles which I supposed will be sufficient for our present exegencies. The Indians with us behave themselves extreemly well; the women have been busily engaged all day making and mending the mockersons of our party. In the evening the hunters returned unsuccessful. Drewyer went in search of his trap which a beaver had taken off last night; he found the beaver dead with the trap to his foot about 2 miles below the place he had set it.    this beaver constituted the whole of the game taken today.    the fur of this animal is as good as I ever saw any, and beleive that they are never out of season on the upper part of the Missouri and it's branches within the Mountains. Goodrich caught several douzen fine trout today. I made up a small assortment of medicines, together with the specemines of plants, minerals, seeds &c. which, I have collected betwen this place and the falls of the Missouri which I shall deposit here.    the robe woarn by the Shoshonees is the same in both sexes and is loosly thrown about their sholders, and the sides at pleasure either hanging loose or drawn together with the hands, sometimes if the weather is cold they confine it with a girdel arround the waist; they are generally about the size of a 2½ point blanket [1] for a grown persons and reach as low as the middle of the leg.    this robe forms a garment in the day and constitutes their only covering at night.    with these people the robe is formed most commonly of the skins of Antelope, Bighorn, or deer, dressed with the hair on, tho' they prefer the buffaloe when they can procure them. I have also observed some robes among them of beaver, moonax, [2] and small wolves.    the summer robes of both sexes are also frequently made of the Elk's skin dressed without the hair. The shirt of the men is really a commodious and decent garment.    it roomy and reaches nearly half way the thye, there is no collar, the apperture being sufficiently large to admit the head and is left square at top, or most frequently, both before and behind terminate in the tails of the animals which they are made and which foald outwards being frequently left entire or somtimes cut into a fring on the edges and ornimented with the quills of the Porcupine. [3]    the sides of the shirt are sewed deeply fringed, and ornamented in a similar manner from the bottom upwards, within six or eight inches of the sleve from whence it is left open as well as the sleve on it's under side to the elbow nearly.    from the elbow the sleve fits the arm tight as low as the wrist and is not ornimented with a fringe as the sides and under parts of the sleve are above the elbow.    the sholder straps are wide and on them is generally displayed the taste of the manufacterer in a variety of figures wrought with the quills of the porcupine of several colours; beads when they have them are also displayed on this part.    the tail of the shirt is left in the form which the fore legs and neck give it with the addition of a slight fringe.    the hair is usually left on the tail, & near the hoofs of the animal; part of the hoof is also retained to the skin and is split into a fring by way of orniment.    these shirts are generally made of deer's Antelope's, Bighorn's, or Elk's skins dressed without the hair.    the Elk skin is less used for this purpose than either of the others.    their only thread used on this or any other occasion is the sinews taken from the back and loins of the deer Elk buffaloe &c. Their legings are most usually formed of the skins of the Antelope dressed without the hair.    in the men they are very long and full each leging being formed of a skin nearly entire.    the legs, tail and neck are also left on these, and the tail woarn upwards; and the neck deeply fringed and ornimented with porcupine qulls drags or trails on the ground behind the heel.    the skin is sewn in such manner as to fit the leg and thye closely; the upper part being left open a sufficient distance to permit the legs of the skin to be dran underneath a girdle both before and behind, and the wide part of the skin to cover the buttock and lap before in such manner that the breechcloth is unnecessary.    they are much more decent in concealing those parts than any nation on the Missouri    the sides of the legings are also deeply fringed and ornimented.    sometimes this part is ornimented with little fassicles of the hair of an enimy whom they have slain in battle. The tippet of the Snake Indians is the most eligant peice of Indian dress I ever saw, the neck or collar of this is formed of a strip of dressed Otter skin with the fur.    it is about four or five inches wide and is cut out of the back of the skin the nose and eyes forming one extremity and the tail the other.    beginning a little behind the ear of the animal at one edge of this collar and proceeding towards the tail, they attatch from one to two hundred and fifty little roles of Ermin skin formed in the following manner. the skin is first dressed with the fur on it and a narrow strip is cut out of the back of the skin reaching from the nose and imbracing the tail.    this is sewed arround a small cord of the silk-grass [4] twisted for the purpose and regularly tapering in such manner as to give it ajust proportion to the tail which is to form the lower extremity of the stran.    thus arranged they are confined at the upper point in little bundles of two—three, or more as the disign may be to make them more full; these are then attatched to the collars as before mentioned, and to conceal the connection of this part which would otherwise have a course appearance they attatch a broad fringe of the Ermin skin to the collar overlaying that part.    little bundles of fine fringe of the same materials is fastened to the extremity of the tails in order to shew their black extremities to greater advantage. the center of the otterskin collar is also ornamented with the shells of the perl oister.    the collar is confined arond the neck and the little roles of Ermin skin about the size of a large quill covers the solders and body nearly to the waist and has the appearance of a short cloak and is really handsome.    these they esteem very highly, and give or dispose of only on important occasions.    the ermin whic is known to the traiders of the N. W. by the name of the white weasel is the genuine ermine, and might no doubt be turned to great advantage by those people if they would encourage the Indians to take them.    they are no doubt extreemly plenty and readily taken, from the number of these tippets which I have seen among these people and the great number of skins employed in the construction of each timppet.    scarcely any of them have employed less than one hundred of these skins in their formation.— [5] This morning Capt. Clark set out at 6 in the morning and soon after arrived near their camp they having removed about 2 miles higher up the river than the camp at which they were when I first visited them.    the chief requested a halt, which was complyed with, and a number of the indians came out from the village and joined them    after smoking a few pipes with them they all proceeded to the village where Capt C. was conducted to a large lodge prepared in the center of the encampment for himself and party.    here they gave him one salmon and some cakes of dryed berries.    he now repeated to them what had been said to them in council at this place which was repeated to the village by the Cheif.    when he had concluded this address he requested a guide to accompany him down the river and an elderly man was pointed out by the Cheif who consented to undertake this task. [6]    this was the old man of whom Cameahwait had spoken as a person well acquainted with the country to the North of this river. Capt. C. [WC?: he had Conversations] [7] encouraged the Indians to come over with their horses and assist me over with the baggage.    he distributed some presents among the Indians.    about half the men of the village turned out to hunt the antelope but were unsuccessfull.    at 3 P. M. Capt. Clark departed, accompanyed by his guide and party except one man [8] whom he left with orders to purchase a horse if possible and overtake him as soon as he could.    he left Charbono and the indian woman to return to my camp with the Indians.    he passed the river about four miles below the Indians, and encamped on a small branch, eight miles distant. [9]    on his way he met a rispectable looking indian who returned and continued with him all night; this indian gave them three salmon. Capt. C. killed a cock of the plains or mountain cock.    it was of a dark brown colour with a long and pointed tail larger than the dunghill fowl and had a fleshey protuberant substance about the base of the upper chap, something like that of the turkey tho' without the snout. [10]

This day I observed time and distance of ☉'s and ☽'s nearest Limbs with Sextant. ☉ East.

  Time   Distance
  h    m      s    
A. M. 8    16      0   53°   35'   30
  "     18    36     "     33    30
  "     21    37     "     31    45
  "     23    12     "     31    30
  "     25    —     "     30    45
  "     27    32     "     29    30
  "     29      5     "     29    —
  "     30    11     "     28    45
  Time   Distance
  h    m      s    
A. M. 8    33    29   53°   27'   45"
  "     34    14     "     27    30
  "     35    31     "     27    —
  "     36    43     "     26    45
  "     37    12     "     26    —
  "     39    20     "     25    15
  "     40    32     "     25    —

Longitude deduced from this observation West of Greenwich [blank]

Latitude N. deduced from the Hor. ∠ of the P. M. Observation of ☉'s center 44° 33' 50.5"

Observed Equal Altitudes with Sextant of the Sun.

  h    m      s     h    m      s    
A. M. 8    45    30   P.M. 3    55    40 } Altitude by Sextant
at the time of observtn.
68° 30' "
  "    47      4     "    57    16
  "    49    40     "    58    50

Observed Meridian Altitude of ☉'s L. L. with Octant by the back observation 70° ' "

Latitude deduced from this observation N. 44° 39' 43"


Set out at half past 6 oClock and proceeded on (met maney parties of Indians) thro' a hilley Countrey to the Camp of the Indians on a branch of the Columbia River, [12] before we entered this Camp a Serimonious hault was requested by the Chief and I Smoked with all that Came around for Several pipes, we then proceeded on to the Camp & I was introduced into the only Lodge they had which was pitched in the Center for my party all the other Lodges made of bushes, after a fiew Indian Seremonies I informed the Indians the object of our journey our good intention towards them my consern for their distressed Situation, what we had done for them in makeing a piece with the Minitarras Mandans Rickara &c. for them—.    and requested them all to take over their horses & assist Capt Leiwis across &c.    also informing them the oject of my journey down the river and requested a 〈pilot〉 guide accompany me, all of which was repeited by the Chief to the whole village.

Those pore people Could only raise a Sammon & a little dried Choke Cherris for us    half the men of the tribe with the Chief turned out to hunt the antilopes, at 3 oClock after giveing a fiew Small articles as presents I set out accompanied by an old man as a 〈pilot〉 Guide (I endevered to procure as much information from thos people as possible without much Suckcess they being but little acquainted or effecting to be So—[)]    I lef one man to purchase a horse and overtake me and proceeded on thro a wide rich bottom on a beaten Roade 8 miles    Crossed the river and encamped on a Small run, this evening passed a number of old lodges, and met a number of men women children & horses, met a man who appeared of Some Consideration who turned back with us, he halted a woman & gave us 3 Small Sammon, this man continued with me all night and partook of what I had which was a little Pork verry Salt. Those Indians are verry attentive to Strangers &c. I left our interpreter & his woman to accompany the Indians to Capt Lewis tomorrow the Day they informed me they would Set out    I killed a Pheasent at the Indian Camp larger than a dungal [dunghill] fowl with feshey protuberances about the head like a turkey. Frost last night


Tuesday 20th August 1805.    a clear cold morning.    a light frost.    two men out a hunting.    the men at Camp all employed dressing Skins &C.    the 2 Indians at our Camp behave verry well and their Squaws mend our mockisons, and make Some &C. and are as friendly as any Savages we have yet Seen.    our hunters returned in the afternooon but had killed nothing.    the game Scarse. G. Drewyer caught a beaver in a trap last night.    it got away and carried the trap 2 miles down the river    he got it in the afternoon it was a verry large beaver.    the Indians eat it.    a nomber of fine Trout caught this day. Capt. Lewis went a Short distance down the River and looked out a place undiscovered from the natives for a carsh or hole to hide Some of our baggage which we can Spare or do without untill our return


Tuesday 20th.    A fine cool frosty morning. We set out early and travelled about 4 miles, to a village of the Indians on the bank of a branch [13] of the Columbia river, about ten yards wide and very rapid. At this place there are about 25 lodges made of willow bushes. They are the poorest and most miserable nation I ever beheld; having scarcely any thing to subsist on, except berries and a few fish, which they contrive by some means, to take. They have a great many fine horses, and nothing more; and on account of these they are much harassed by other nations. They move about in any direction where the berries are most plenty. We had a long talk with them, and they gave us very unfavourable accounts with respect to the rivers. From which we understood that they were not navigable down, and expect to perform the route by land. Here we procured a guide, [14] and left our interpreters [15] to go on with the natives, and assist Captain Lewis and his party to bring on the baggage.

Captain Clarke and our party proceeded down the river with our guide, through a valley about 4 miles wide, of a rich soil, but almost without timber.— There are high mountains on both sides, with some pine trees on them. We went about 8 miles and encamped [16] on a fine spring. One of our men [17] remained behind at the village to buy a horse, and did not join us this evening. Five of the Indians came and stayed with us during the night. They told us that they were sometimes reduced to such want, as to be obliged to eat their horses.


Tuesday 20th August 1805.    a clear cold morning.    a white frost.    two men out hunting.    the men at Camp employed dressing Skins &c.    the 2 Indians who Stay at Camp behave well their women mend & make our moccasons.    these Indians behave as well and are as friendly as any Savages we have yet Seen.    our hunters returned had killed nothing.    one beaver caught which ran off with a Steel trap last night.    we found 2 miles down the river.    a nomber of fish caught to day.    Capt. Lewis looked out a place down the river a Short distance for a carsh or hole to put Some baggage in which we can do without untill our return.

Tuesday August 20th    This morning we had a white frost & Clear, Cool weather, Two of our Men were sent out a hunting, and the Men at Camp employed in dressing of Skins, the two Indian men that were in our Camp behave well, & their Women [crossed out, illegible] employed themselves in making & mending Moccasins for our men.    they are the most friendly Indians that we have yet met with.    Our hunters returned in the afternoon, but had killed nothing.    We caught one beaver in a trap, we set last night.    he had run off with the trap, & we found it 2 Miles down the river, with the beaver fast in it.    The party that went out fishing caught a number of fine fish; which they brought to Camp.    Captain Lewis went down the River a short distance to look out a place to have a Cashe, or hole dug to put in some of the baggage which we intend leaving behind us till we return.

1. Referring to a system for measuring trade blankets by size and weight, used by the Hudson's Bay Company and other traders. The "points" were lines woven in near one corner of the blanket. A 2½ point blanket would be 5 feet 4 inches by 4 feet 3 inches, and weigh 3 1/16 pounds. Hanson (PB). (back)
2. Probably the yellow-bellied marmot, Marmota flaviventris, then new to science. Lewis's word is a variant of a Virginia Algonquian word and of the scientific name for the related woodchuck, Marmota monax. Jefferson used the term in his Notes on the State of Virginia. Cutright (LCPN), 182; Burroughs, 106; Jefferson, 50; Chamberlain, 249. (back)
3. The yellow-haired porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum expiranthum. (back)
4. Both spreading dogbane, Apocynum androsaemifolium L., and an unnamed dogbane, A. medium Greene, are known in this area and could answer for the silk grass. However, hemp dogbane, A. cannabinum L., is the species most often used for textile fibers, but is not recorded or abundant for this region of Montana. Hemp dogbane could have been secured from farther east in Montana. Booth & Wright, 189; Cutright (LCPN), 189 n. 10. Criswell, 78, suggests yucca as a possibility. See Gilmore (UPI), 19. (back)
5. The artist Charles B. J. F. de Saint-Mémin painted Lewis wearing such a garment, probably the one given him by Cameahwait, after the expedition (see illustration in volume 5, p. xii). Cutright (HLCJ), 92 and 92 n. 39; Cutright (LCPP), 42–43. The passages dealing with Shoshone clothing have a vertical line drawn through them, perhaps by Biddle, but not with his customary red ink. (back)
6. This man would guide Clark on his reconnaissance of the Salmon River and conduct the entire party over the Lolo Trail to the Clearwater River country in Idaho, one of the most difficult parts of the entire journey. Although he deserves considerable credit for the success of the expedition, the captains refer to him by name only once in the journals, by the nickname "Old Toby"; see below, May 12, 1806. Rees, 11, gives the name as Tobe, an abbreviation of Tosa-tive koo-be, meaning "furnished white white-man brains," an allusion to his service as the expedition's guide (white white-man is here distinguished from black white-man or negro). According to Rees his real name was Pi-kee queen-ah, "swooping eagle." (back)
7. Clark's interlineation refers to the geographical information he had gathered which Lewis detailed in his entry for August 14, 1805. (back)
8. Cruzatte; see Lewis's entry for August 21, 1805, below. (back)
9. Having crossed to the west side of the Lemhi River, Clark camped in the vicinity of Baker, Lemhi County, Idaho. On Atlas map 67 there is an undated campsite symbol in approximately the right area, though no "small branch" appears near it; the stream may be Withington Creek. Peebles (RW), 7. (back)
10. Perhaps it was Biddle who drew a vertical line through this material about the sage grouse, but not in the usual red ink. (back)
11. Clark's courses for his reconnaissance, August 20–23, are found with his entry of August 25, 1805. (back)
12. The Shoshone camp had probably moved from its previous location to a site about four miles north of Tendoy, Lemhi County, near where Kenney Creek joins the Lemhi River. Appleman (LC), 270–72; Atlas map 67. (back)
13. On the Lemhi River, about four miles north of Tendoy, Lemhi County, Idaho. (back)
14. Toby or Old Toby; see the captains' entries for this day. (back)
16. On the west side of the Lemhi River, in the vicinity of Baker, Lemhi County, apparently on Withington Creek. (back)
17. Cruzatte. (back)