August 22, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 22, 1805


This morning early I sent a couple of men to complete the covering of the cash which could not be done well last night in the dark, they soon accomplished their work and returned.    late last night Drewyer returned with a fawn he had killed and a considerable quantity of Indian plunder.    the anecdote with rispect to the latter is perhaps worthy of relation.    he informed me that while hunting in the Cove yesterday about 12 OCk. he came suddonly upon an Indian Camp, at which there were a young man an Old man a boy and three women, that they seemed but little supprised at seeing him and he rode up to them and dismounted turning horse out to graize.    these people had just finished their repast on some roots, he entered into conversation with them by signs, and after about 20 minutes one of the women spoke to the others of the party and they all went immediately and collected their horses brought them to camp and saddled them    at this moment he thought he would also set out and continue his hunt, and accorgingly walked to catch his horse at some little distance and neglected to take up his gun which, he left at camp.    the Indians perceiving him at the distance of fifty paces immediately mounted their horses, the young man took the gun and the whole of them left their baggage and laid whip to their horses directing their course to the pass of the mountains.    finding himself deprived of his gun he immediately mounted his horse and pursued; after runing them about 10 miles the horses of two of the women nearly gave out and the young fellow with the gun from their frequent crys slackened his pace and being on a very fleet horse road around the women at a little distance    at length Drewer overtook the women and by signs convinced them that he did not wish to hirt them    they then halted and the young fellow approached still nearer, he asked him for his gun but the only part of the answer which he could understand was pah kee which he knew to be the name by which they called their enimies.    watching his opportunity when the fellow was off his guard he suddonly rode along side of him seized his gun and wrest her out of his hands.    the fellow finding Drewyer too strong for him and discovering that he must yeald the gun had pesents of mind to open the pan and cast the priming before he let the gun escape from his hands; [2] now finding himself devested of the gun he turned his horse about and laid whip leaving the women to follow him as well as they could. Drewyer now returned to the place they had left their baggage and brought it with him to my camp.    it consisted of several dressed and undressed skins; a couple of bags wove with the fingers of the bark of the silk-grass containing each about a bushel of dryed service berries some checkerry cakes and about a bushel of roots of three different kinds dryed and prepared for uce which were foalded in as many parchment hides of buffaloe.    some flint and the instrument of bone for manufactureing the flint into arrow points.    some of this flint was as transparent as the common black glass and much of the same colour easily broken, and flaked of[f] much like glass leaving a very sharp edge. [3]    one speceis of the roots [4] were fusiform abot six inches long and about the size of a man's finger at the larger end tapering to a small point.    the radicles larger than in most fusiform roots.    the rind was white and thin.    the body or consistence of the root was white mealy and easily reduced by pounding to a substance resembleing flour which thickens with boiling water something like flour and is agreeably flavored. this rout is frequently eaten by the Indians either green or in it's dryed state without the preparation of boiling.    another speceis [5] was much mutilated but appeared to be fibrous; the parts were brittle, hard of the size of a small quill, cilindric and as white as snow throughout, except some small parts of the hard black rind which they had not seperated in the preperation.    this the Indians with me informed were always boiled for use. I made the exprement, found that they became perfectly soft by boiling, but had a very bitter taste, which was naucious to my pallate, and I transfered them to the Indians who had eat them heartily.    a third speceis [6] were about the size of a nutmeg, and of an irregularly rounded form, something like the smallest of the Jarusolem artichoke, which they also resemble in every other appearance.    they had become very hard by being dryed these I also boiled agreeably to the instruction of the Indians and found them very agreeable.    they resemble the Jerusalem Artichoke very much in their flavor and I thought them preferable, however there is some allowance to be made for the length of time I have now been without vegitable food to which I was always much attatched.    these are certainly the best root I have yet seen in uce among the Indians.    I asked the Indians to shew me the plant of which these roots formed a part but they informed me that neither of them grew near this place. I had set most of the men at work today to dress the deerskin belonging to those who had gone on command with Capt. Clark.    at 11 A. M. Charbono the Indian Woman, Cameahwait and about 50 men with a number of women and children arrived.    they encamped near us.    after they had turned out their horses and arranged their camp I called the Cheifs and warriors together and addressed them a second time; gave them some further presents, particularly the second and third Cheifs who it appeared had agreeably to their promise exerted themselves in my favour.    having no fresh meat and these poor devils half starved I had previously prepared a good meal for them all of boiled corn and beans which I gave them as soon as the council was over and I had distributed the presents.    this was thankfully received by them.    the Chief wished that his nation could live in a country where they could provide such food. I told him that it would not be many years before the whitemen would put it in the power of his nation to live in the country below the mountains where they might cultivate corn beans and squashes. [7]    he appeared much pleased with the information. I gave him a few dryed squashes which we had brought from the Mandans    he had them boiled and declared them to be the best thing he had ever tasted except sugar, a small lump of which it seems his sister Sah-cah-gar Wea had given him.    late in the evening I made the men form a bush drag, and with it in about 2 hours they caught 528 very good fish, most of them large trout.    among them I now for the first time saw ten or a douzen of a whte speceis of trout. [8]    they are of a silvery colour except on the back and head, where they are of a bluish cast.    the scales are much larger than the speckled trout, but in their form position of their fins teeth mouth &c they are precisely like them    they are not generally quite as large but equally well flavored. I distributed much the greater portion of the fish among the Indians. I purchased five good horses of them very reasonably, or at least for about the value of six dollars a peice in merchandize.    the Indians are very orderly and do not croud about our camp nor attempt to disterb any article they see lying about.    they borrow knives kettles &c from the men and always carefully return them. Capt. Clark says, "we set out early and passed a small creek at one mile, [9] also the points of four mountains which were high steep and rocky.    the mountains are so steep that it is almost incredible to mention that horses had passed them.    our road in many places lay over the sharp fragments of rocks which had fallen from the mountains and lay in confused heaps for miles together; yet notwithstanding our horsed traveled barefoot over them as fast as we could and did not detain us.    passed two bold runing streams, and arrived at the entrance of a small river [10] where some Indian families resided.    they had some scaffoalds of fish and burries exposed to dry.    they were not acquainted with the circumstance of any whitemen being in their country and were therefore much allarmed on our approach several of the women and children fled in the woods for shelter.    the guide was behind and the wood thick in which their lodges were situated we came on them before they had he least notice of us.    those who remained offered us every thing they had, which was but little; they offered us collars of elks tusks which their children woar Salmon beries &c.    we eat some of their fish and buries but returned them the other articles they had offered with a present of some small articles which seemed to add much to their pacification.

The guide [11] who had by this time arrived explained to them who we were and our object in visiting them; but still there were some of the women and Children inconsoleable, they continued to cry during our stay, which was about an hour.    a road passes up this river which my guide informed me led over the mountains to the Missouri.    from this place I continued my rout along the steep side of a mountain for about 3 miles and arrived at the river near a small Island on the lower point of which we encamped [12]    in the evening we attempted to gig fish but were unsuccessfull only obtaining one small salmon.    in the course of the day we had passed several women and children geathering burries who were very liberal in bestoing us a part of their collections.    the river is very rapid and shoaly; many rocks lie in various derections scattered throughout it's bed. There are some few small pine scattered through the bottoms, of which I only saw one which appeared as if it would answer for a canoe and that was but small.    the tops of the mountains on the Lard. side are covered with pine and some also scattered on the sides of all the mountains. I saw today a speceis of woodpecker, [13] which fed on the seeds of the pine.    it's beak and tail were white, it's wings were black, and every other part of a dark brown.    it was about the size of a robin—["]


We Set out early passed a Small Creek on the right at 1 mile and the points of four mountains verry Steap high & rockey, the assent of three was So Steap that it is incrediable to describe the rocks in maney places loose & Sliped from those mountains and is a 〈Solid〉 bed of rugid loose white and dark brown loose rock for miles. [14]    the Indian horses pass over those Clifts hills Sids & rocks as fast as a man, the three horses with me do not detain me any on account of those dificuelties, passed two bold rung. Streams on the right and a Small river [EC: Fish Cr. also on its right] at the mouth of Which Several families of Indians were encamped and had Several Scaffolds of fish & buries drying    we allarmed them verry much as they knew nothing of a white man being in their Countrey, and at the time we approached their lodges which was in a thick place of bushes—my guiedes were behind.—    They offered every thing they possessed (which was verry littl) to us, Some run off and hid in the bushes The first offer of theirs were Elks tuskes from around their Childrens necks, Sammon &c.    my guide 〈Soon〉 attempted passifyed those people and they Set before me berres, & fish to eate, I gave a fiew Small articles to those fritened people which added verry much to their pasification but not entirely as Some of the women & Childn. Cried dureing my Stay of an hour at this place, I proceeded on the Side of a verry Steep & rockey mountain for 3 miles and Encamped on the lower pt. of an Island.    we attempted to gig fish without Suckcess.    caught but one Small one.— The last Creek or Small river is on the right Side and "a road passes up it & over to the Missouri" [15]    [NB: to Wisdom ] [NB: From Several of these Streams roads go across to Wisdom river ]    in this day passed Several womin and Children gathering and drying buries of which they were very kind and gave us a part.    the river rapid and Sholey maney Stones Scattered through it in different directions. I Saw to day Bird of the wood pecker kind which fed on Pine burs its Bill and tale white the wings black every other part of a light brown, and about the Size of a robin. Some fiew Pine Scattered in the bottoms & Sides of the Mountains (the Top of the Motn. to the left Covered & inaxcessable) I Saw one which would make a Small Canoe.


Thursday 22nd August 1805.    a white frost and cold as usal.    our hunter [16] returned late last night.    had killed only a faun Deer, and brought in a load of Indian plunder which he took from Some Indians he met with about 6 or 8 miles from this place.    their was only 3 Indians and 3 Squaws    our hunter had turned his horse out to feed.    one of the Indians took his gun and Sprang on his horse and rode off    he rode after him about 20 miles before he got his gun    he then jurked or caught hold of his gun & jurked the pan open lost the primeing    the Indian then let go and ran.    our hunter then returned by their Camp and took all their plunder consisting of Servis berrys dryed different kinds of berrys & cherrys which were dryed for food also roots and a nomber of other kinds of wild fruit dryed. Several Elk Skins which were grained also a nomber of other articles    this morning clear and pleasant.    three men sent to cover the hiden baggage.    the men at Camp engaged dressing their deer Skins, makeing their mockasons, Shirts & overalls [17] &.C.    about 11 oClock A. M. our Intrepter his wife and one tribe of the Snake nation of Indians arived here on horse back about 50 odd in nomber besides women and children.    they have come to trade horses with us. Capt. Lewis Counciled with them made two of their principal men chiefs & gave them meddles, and told them in council that the chief of the 17 great nations of America had sent us to open the road and know their wants, &C. and told them that their great father would Send them goods and Such things as they Stood in need of to defend themselves with and told them also that we wanted in return their beaver and other Skins if they would take care to save them &C. Capt. Lewis traded with them and bought three fine horses and 2 half breed mules for a little Marchandize &C.    they have upwards of fifty good horses here now.    we being out of fresh meat and have but a little pork or flower we joined and made a fish drag of willows and caught 520 fine pan fish.    2 kinds of Trout & a kind resembling Suckers. [18]    we divided them with the Indians, gave them a meal of boiled corn & beans which was a great thing among them    they appear verry kind and friendly    do not offer to steel or pilfer any thing from us.    we trade any usless article which we have no need of for dressed mo[untain] Rams Skins, &C.    they Camp close by us    we lend them any thing they want and they are verry careful to return the Same.    they appear to live in peace with all nations, but if they should war with them any more their great father would send them arms and ammunition to defend themselves with, but wished them to live in peace with all nations &C.—


Thursday 22nd.    The morning was fine, with a great white frost. We began our journey at 7 o'clock; and having travelled about a mile, crossed a branch of the river. Here the mountains come so close on the river, we could not get through the narrows, and had to cross a very high mountain about 3 miles over, and then struck the river again, where there is a small bottom and one lodge of the natives in it, gathering berries, haws [19] and cherries for winter food. We soon had to ascend another large mountain, and had to proceed in the same way until we crossed 4 of them, when we came to a large creek, [20] where there is a small bottom and 3 lodges of Indians. Three of our men having gone through the bottom to hunt, came first upon the lodges which greatly alarmed the unhappy natives, who all fell a weeping and began to run off; but the party coming with the guide relieved them from their fears. They then received us kindly, and gave us berries and fish to eat. We remained with them about two hours and gave them some presents. Those of the natives, who are detached in small parties, appear to live better, and to have a larger supply of provisions, than those who live in large villages. The people of these three lodges have gathered a quantity of sunflower seed, and also of the lambs-quarter, [21] which they pound and mix with service berries, and make of the composition a kind of bread; which appears capable of sustaining life for some time. On this bread and the fish they take out of the river, these people, who appear to be the most wretched of the human species, chiefly subsist. They gave us some dried salmon, and we proceeded down the river; but with a great deal of difficulty: the mountains being so close, steep and rocky. The river here is about 80 yards wide, and a continual rapid, but not deep. We went about 15 miles to day, and encamped [22] on a small island, as there was no other level place near. Game is scarce, and we killed nothing since the 18th but one deer; and our stock of provisions is exhausted.


Thursday 22nd August 1805.    a white frost & cold as usal in the morning.    our hunter [23] returned late last night.    had killed a faun deer, and informed us that he fell among a party of Indians which were troublesome as they took his gun & rode off    he rode after them and got his gun from out of an Indians hand.    their was Several Squaws which had considerable of their kinds of food and Skins.    they went and left it all    he took it and brought it in with him.    a clear pleasant morning    three men wen to finish in hideing the baggage.    the men at Camp employed dressing their deer Skins & makeing their mockasons &c.    I am employed makeing up their leather Shirts & overalls.    about 11 oClock A. m. one tribe of the Snake nation 50 odd in nomber arived here on horse back some women & children.    they have now come over the dividing ridge to trade their horses &c. with us.    Capt. Lewis counciled with them made 2 of them chiefs, and told them that we had come to open the way and try to make peace among the red people, and that they would be Supplyed with goods and necessaries, if they would catch beaver and otter and Save their Skins which the white people were fond of and would trade with them as Soon as times would admit &c.    Capt. Lewis traded with them & bought 3 horses & 2 mules or half mules, for a little marchandize &c.    we being out of fresh meat & have but little Salt meat we joined and made a fish dragg out of willows    tyed bunches of them together and made it long enofe to reach across the River, and Caught with it 520 different kinds of fine pan fish.    we divided them with the natives.    Gave them a mess of boiled corn which they were fond of.    they appear to be verry kind and friendly.    we trade with them for dressed mountn. rams Skins and otter Skins &c.    our Interpeter & wife came over with them & were all Scarse off for provissions    killed nothing but one or 2 mountain Sheep & rabits &c.    they all Camp with us and are peacable, do not attempt to Steel any thing.    borrow nothing but what they return.    they appear to live in fear of other nations who are at war with them, but Capt. Lewis tells them that these other nations promise to let them alone and if they do not, their Great father will Send them arms and amunition to defend themselves with, but rather that they would live in peace &c

Thursday August 22nd    This morning we had a white frost & cold weather, Our hunter returned late last night & had a fawn deer with him, which he had killed.    he informed us that he had met with a party of Indians, which took away his 〈the〉 Gun from him & rode off, & that he had pursued them, & forced his Gun from one of those Indians.    there were several Indian Squaws, with that party of Indians, that he had met, who had a considerable quantity of their kind of food (roots) & some Skins, those squaws ran off whilst he was forcing his Gun from the Indian, & left all, & he took 〈it〉 & brought 〈it〉 them in which him to our Camp.    The morning got pleasant & 3 of our party went and finished hiding the baggage &ca.    The Men left in Camp 〈are〉 were employed dressing of deer Skins & making moccasins & I am employed in making leather Shirts & overalls—    About 11 o'Clock A. M. part of a tribe of the Snake Nation of Indians, fifty odd in number, arrived at our Camp on horse back, they had Women & Children with them, they came across the dividing ridge of Mountain; to trade their-horses with us—    Captain Lewis held a Council with them & made two of them Chiefs.—    Captain Lewis told those Indians that we had come to open the way & try and make peace among the Red people, & that they would be supplied with goods & necessaries, if they would catch beaver & Otter & save their Skins, which he told them the white people were fond of & would traffic with them as soon as times would admit.—    Captain Lewis traded with them & bought 3 horses & 2 Mules for a small Quantity of Merchandise.—    We being out of fresh meat, & having but little Salt meat, we joined with the Indians & made a drag out of willows which was done by tying bunches of them together long enough to reach across the River, and we caught with it 520 different kinds of pan fish, We divided them with the Indians, and gave them a mess of boiled Corn, which they 〈were〉 appear'd to be fond of & They appeared to be very kind & friendly—    We traded with them for mountain Ram (Ibex) skins, which they had dressed & some Otter skins &ca.    Our Indian interpreter & his wife came over with those Indians, they were badly off for provisions, they had killed only 2 Mountain Sheep, or Ibex & some Rabits &ca—    These Indians all encamped with us, & behave peacable, & do not attempt to steal any thing, & borrow nothing but what they return again.—    They appear to be in constant dread of the other Nations Indians, who are constantly at Warr with them.    Captain Lewis told them that the other Indian nations promised to let them alone, and if they did not, that their Great father (meaning the President of the United States) would send them Arms & Ammunition to defend themselves with; but that he would rather that they would live peacable with each other, at which they seemed much pleased.—

1. This entry ends Lewis's notebook Codex F. His entries for August 23–26, 1805, are in the unbound fragment Codex Fb. (back)
2. With a flintlock firearm, the priming powder in the "pan" on the outside of the lock caught the spark struck by the flint striking steel and in exploding set off the main charge inside the barrel. The thief had made it impossible for Drouillard to shoot him until he had reprimed the weapon from his power horn, giving the Indian some time to get away. (back)
3. The stones most commonly used for making arrow points in this area were ignimbrite, chalcedony, and obsidian. Quartzite, jasper, agate, chert, and opalized wood were used to a lesser extent. The transparent flint resembling common black glass was undoubtedly obsidian, perhaps derived from sources in or near present Yellowstone National Park. The other materials were generally found locally. (back)
4. Edible valeriana, Valeriana edulis Nutt. ex T. & G. The fusiform taproot of this species is just as described by Lewis and its edible uses are well known. Booth & Wright, 236; Hitchcock et al., 4:475–76. A vertical line was drawn through this passage to the bottom of the page ending with the words, "I asked the Indians to." Perhaps it was done by Biddle, but not in his usual red ink. (back)
5. The first description of the bitterroot, Lewisia rediviva Pursh, named for Lewis by Pursh from specimens collected on the return trip. Hitchcock notes that the roots become bitter to the taste after early spring. Cutright (LCPN), 188 n. 8, 305; Booth & Wright, 53; Hitchcock et al., 2:235. (back)
6. Possibly western spring beauty, Claytonia lanceolata Pursh, which had fleshy tuberous roots resembling a small Jerusalem artichoke root, Helianthus tuberosus L., found much farther east along the Missouri River. The similarity in root shape and taste noticed by Lewis strongly indicates this closely related, western species of sunflower. Western spring beauty grows in moist meadows of the Lemhi valley. Booth & Wright, 274; Hitchcock et al., 5:232. (back)
7. The triad of foodstuffs of river Indians on the lower Missouri: corn, Zea maise L.; beans, Phaseolus vulgaris L.; and squash, Cucurbita peop L. Gilmore (UPI), 15–16, 66, 84. (back)
8. Perhaps the steelhead trout, Salmo gairdneri, which they refer to elsewhere as the "salmen trout." If so, this would be the first description. See below, October 26, 1805, and March 13, 1806. Burroughs, 263; Cutright (LCPN), 234. Perhaps it was Biddle who drew a vertical line through this material from "late in the evening" to "equally well flavored," but not in the usual red ink. (back)
9. Tower Creek, Lemhi County, Idaho. Peebles (RW), 9; Atlas map 67. (back)
10. North Fork Salmon River, "Fish Creek" on Atlas map 67; the hamlet of North Fork, Lemhi County, is now located at the junction. The two "bold runing streams" would be Fourth of July and Wagonhammer creeks. Peebles (RW), 9. (back)
11. Here in Codex F, p. 153 (the back fly leaf), is Lewis's note "see the first page," with a pointing hand symbol. The entry is completed on the front flyleaf of the codex which Coues numbered p. 154. There the hand symbol is repeated and the words "Continued from the last page." (back)
12. Clark continued down the Salmon, as indicated by the dotted line on Atlas map 67; the map does not show the river's turn to the southwest immediately below the mouth of the North Fork. Clark's route on the Salmon reconnaissance is discussed in J. Wilmer Rigby, "Where the Mountains Came Close to the River," We Proceeded On 16 (February 1990): 25–26. His campsite, a few miles southwest of North Fork, Lemhi County, does not appear on the map, and there is more than one small island indicated. (back)
13. Lewis gives the first description of Clark's nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana [AOU, 491], but he got the description from Clark, whom he quotes. See below, May 28, 1806. Burroughs, 251–52; Holmgren 29, 34. (back)
14. The brown rocks near the river here are principally layered rocks belonging to the Precambrian Belt Group and basalts of the Tertiary Challis Volcanics. The white rocks are sandstones of the Carmen Formation and tuffs or rhyolites of the Challis Volcanics. Fractures or joints in the parent formations allow them to break into fragments of various sizes. These fragments then accumulate at the base of the hills in extensive talus aprons. (back)
15. Clark apparently refers to the trail up the North Fork Salmon and over the Bitterroots, marked by a dotted line on Atlas map 67, which the entire party took a few days later. This trail, he had learned from the Shoshones, connected with trails leading to the Missouri. The one referred to here may have been a trail crossing the Bitterroots by Big Hole Pass, between present Gibbonsville, Lemhi County, Idaho, and Wisdom, Beaverhead County, Montana, leading to the Big Hole River. Allen (PG), 298 n. 23. (back)
16. Drouillard, according to Lewis. (back)
17. Heavy trousers worn for protection over regular clothes. (back)
18. Cutthroat trout and perhaps steelhead trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. The sucker may be the northern sucker, Castostomus castostomus. (back)
19. Columbia hawthorn, Crataegus columbiana How. (back)
20. North Fork Salmon River, the party's Fish Creek; the hamlet of North Fork, Lemhi County, Idaho, is found at the junction today. (back)
21. The sunflower is either common sunflower, Helianthus annuus L., or Nuttall sunflower, H. nuttallii T. & G., while lambsquarter is Chenopodium album L. Lewis provides an extensive discussion of regional ethnobotany for this day, but it differs considerably with Gass. No one but Gass gives this ethnobotanical information on the Shoshone method of making bread. See also Paul Russell Cutright, Lewis and Clark: Pioneering Naturalists (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1969), 188. (back)
22. Clark's party continued down the Salmon and camped a few miles southwest of North Fork, Lemhi County. (back)
23. Drouillard; see Lewis's entry of this day for a detailed description of the stealing and recovery of this gun. (back)