August 29, 1805
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August 29, 1805


a Cold morning Some frost.    the Wind from the South, I left our baggage in possession of 2 men and proceeded on up to join Capt Lewis at the upper Village of Snake Indians [1] where I arrived at 1 oClock found him much engaged in Counceling and attempting to purchase a fiew more horses. I Spoke to the Indians on various Subjects endeavoring to impress on theire minds the advantaje it would be to them for to Sell us horses and expedite the our journey the nearest and best way possibly that we might return as Soon as possible and winter with them at Some place where there was plenty of buffalow,—    our 〈object〉 wish is to get a horse for each man to Carry our baggage and for Some of the men to ride occasionally, The horses are handsom and much acustomed to be changed as to their Parsture; we cannot Calculate on their carrying large loads & feed on the Grass which we may Calculate on finding in the Mountain Thro which we may expect to pass on our rout    made Some Selestial observations, the Lard. of this Part the Columbia River is [blank] North. Longtd. [blank] W

I purchased a horse for which I gave my Pistol 100 Balls Powder & a Knife.    our hunters Killed 2 Deer near their Camp to day.    2 yesterday & 3 The Day before, this meet was a great treat to me as I had eate none for 8 days past


Thursday 29th August 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    about 8 oClock A. M. a nomber of Indians arived here who had been gone along time from the nation    one of them got Sculped by some Indians in the prarie or plain    he did not know what nation they belonged to. Some of their relations cryed when they came in the village. Capt. Lewis bought two more horses.    about 11 oClock A. M. Capt Clark and party arived here except 2 men who Stayed to take care of the baggage which they left.    they informed us that the mountains were amazeing high and rough.    almost impossable to pass over them.    they had a guide with them.    they came uppon one or 2 lodges in a valley between the mots.    they started to run but the guide Spoke to them and they Stood and gave them Some cherries and Servis berrys which they were gethering.    they lived 4 or 5 days on Such berrys.    killed but one Deer while they were out.    they find that the mountains are So bad that we can not follow the river by land and the river So rapid and full of rocks that it is impossable for crafts to pass down.    neither is their any game    they got some Salmon from the natives which they caught in the River with their bone & horn gigs, but had suffered considerable with hunger.    the natives tells us that we cannot find the ocean the course we want to go for their old men has been a Season or more on that course to find it but could not.    and that their was troublesome tribes of Indians [2] to pass.    that they had no horses and if they could git hold of any they would eat them as they lived on roots &C their being no game the country So rough and mountaineous.    we are not like to purchase any more horses here as the natives tell us that they must keep Some horses unless they could git arms and ammunition in return So that they may be able to defend themselves.    but we told them that we could not Spare any guns if we Should git no more horses. So we put up the goods, as we have now 27 horses and intend to Set out on our journey tomorrow and go around or between the mountains and strike the columbia River below if possable.    our hunters returned towards evening    had caught & giged 6 fine Sammon and killed one Deer.


Thursday 29th.    There was a severe white frost this morning. Captain Clarke and all the men except myself and another, who remained to keep camp and prepare packsaddles, went up to Captain Lewis's camp. While I lay here to day, one of the natives shewed me their method of producing fire, which is somewhat curious. They have two sticks ready for the operation, one about 9 and the other 18 inches long: the short stick they lay down flat and rub the end of the other upon it in a perpendicular direction for a few minutes; and the friction raises a kind of dust, which in a short time takes fire. These people make willow basket so close and to such perfection as to hold water, for which purpose they make use of them. They make much use of the sunflower and lambs-quarter seed, as before mentioned; which with berries and wild cherries pounded together, compose the only bread they have any knowledge of, or in use. The fish they take in this river are of excellent kinds, especially the salmon, the roes of which when dried and pounded make the best of soup.


Thursday 29th August 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    about 8 oClock A. m. a nomber of Indians arived here from the East Side of the Mountain.    they belonged to this nation but had been gone a long time and one of the warries had been Sculped by Some war party in the plain.    a nomber of their relation cryed aloud when they arived in the village.    Capt. Lewis bought 2 more horses.    about 11 oClock A. m. Capt. Clark & party except 2 who Stayed to take care of the baggage arived here.    they informed us the Mountains are amazeing high and rough So that it is impossable to follow the River down for the Steep clifts &c. and the River So rapid and full of rocks that it is impossable to go down with crafts, and no game of any kind.    they killed nothing but one Deer, while they were gone.    they lived Several days on Servis berrys and cherries &c.    they passed a lodge of Indians in a Small valley in the mountn. gethering cherries & Servisses.    they Started to run but our men having a guide of their nation with them, he Spoke to them and they were easy.    these Savages had nothing to give our men but Some of their berries.    they got Some Salmon from the natives who Stayed on the River, but Suffered a great deal with hunger.    the Natives tells us that we cannot find the ocean by going a west course for Some of them who are old men has been on that a Season or more to find the ocean but could not find it, and that their was troublesome tribes of Indians to pass.    that they had no horses but would rob and Steal all they could and eat them as they had nothing as it were to eat.    the country verry mountaineous and no game.    these natives do not incline to Sell any more horses without guns in return as they say they must have one or the other for defence, as they could jump on their horses & ride off and carry their children &c.    we told them they could not Spare any guns if we Should git no more horses    So we put up the goods & make ready to Set out tomorrow on our way round the or between the mountains and Strike Columbian River below if possable.    our hunters came in had caught 6 fish and killed one Deer.

Thursday August 29th    We had a clear pleasant morning.    About 8 o'Clock A. M. a number of Indians arrived at our Camp, who had come from the east side of the mountains, and were part of the Snake Nation of Indians; they had been absent from the Nation a long time, and had one of their warriors killed & scalped by some Warr party of Indians, that they met with in the plains.    On the arrival of this party of Indians, the relations of the deceased warrior, that had been killed & scalped set up a terrible Yelling, which was followed by most of the Indians in the Village.    Captain Lewis purchased 2 more horses from the Natives for Merchandise this day.—    About 11 o'Clock A. M. Captain Clark & all the Men that was with him, (excepting 2 Men that was left with their baggage) arrived at our Camp; they informed us that the mountains which they crossed 〈are〉 were amazing high & rough; and that they thought it an impossibility, to go down the Columbia, from the place they were at, from the number of steep Clifts & Rocks, and that the Columbia River, was very rapid & full of rocks, and that it was dangerous for Canoes to descend that River.—    They mentioned that Game of all kinds was very scarce, & that they had killed nothing whilst they were gone but One deer,—    and that they had lived several days on service berries & Cherries.—    They also informed us that they had passed a lodge of Indians which was in a Valley; which lay in between the Mountains.—    These Indians they said were a Band of the snake Nation also, they found these Indians before they came to their lodges, gathering cherries & service berries.—    On these Indians seeing Captain Clarkes men, they 〈had〉 started to run from them, but our men having a guide of their own nation with them, he spoke to the Indians, and they came to our people and were easy.—    These Indians had no kind of food with them but service berries, some of which they gave to our people.—    They mentioned that they had met with some of the same tribe of Indians on the Columbia River, from whom they got some Salmon, but that they had suffered very much; on account of hunger.—    The Indians at our Camp told us, that we should not find the Western Ocean, by going a West course, and some of the Old Men among them, told us, that they had been that course, a whole Season and could not find it.—    They also informed us, that we should if we went that course, 〈we should〉 find some troublesome bad tribes of Indians, which we should have to pass, and that they had no horses, but that they would steal all the horses they could, and kill & eat them; that those Indians had nothing to eat & that the country where they resided, was very mountaneous, and that there was no game to be found there, The Indians that we are now among do not incline to sell us any more of their horses, without getting Guns & amunition in return.    as they say, they must have either horses or Guns for their defence, As they told us, that on the approach of their enemies, that they could get on their horses & carry off their Wives & Children & make their escapes.—

Our officers told them, that they could not part with any of their Guns, if they should get no more horses.—    The whole of our party were employed in packing up the Indian Goods & baggage in order to get ready to start tomorrow, on our way to go round, or between the Mountains, in order to find the Columbia River, a distance below where Captain Clark & his party had been; if possible.—    Our hunters came in to our Camp and had caught 6 Salmon & killed One deer, which they brought to our Camp

1. The village site four miles north of present Tendoy, Lemhi County, Idaho. Atlas map 67. (back)
2. Probably a description of the Tukudika, or Sheepeater, Indians, referred to by Lewis as the Broken Moccasin Indians; see Lewis's entry of August 14, 1805. (back)