September 5, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 5, 1805


a Cloudy morning    we assembled the Chiefs & warriers and Spoke to them (with much dificuely as what we Said had to pass through Several languajes before it got in to theirs, which is a gugling kind of languaje Spoken much thro the Throught) [1]    we informed them who we were, where we Came from, where bound and for what purpose &c. &c. and requsted to purchase & exchange a fiew horses with them, in the Course of the day I purchased 11 horses & exchanged 7 for which we gave a fiew articles of merchendize.    those people possess ellegant horses.—    we made 4 Chiefs whome we gave meadels & a few Small articles with Tobacco; the women brought us a few berries & roots to eate and the Principal Chief a Dressed Brarow, [2] otter & two Goat & antilope Skins

Those people wore their hair 〈as follows〉 the men Cewed with otter Skin on each Side falling over the Sholrs forward, the women loose promisquisly over ther Sholdrs & face long Shirts which Coms to the anckles & tied with a belt about their waste with a roabe over, the have but fiew ornaments and what they do were are Similar to the Snake Indians, They Call themselves Eoote-lash-Schute [NB: Oat la shoot ] [3] and consist of 450 Lodges in all and divided into Several bands on the heads of the Columbia river & Missouri, Some low down the Columbia River


Thursday 5th Sept. 1805.    a clear cool morning.    the Standing water froze a little.    the Indian dogs are so ravinous that they eat Several pair of the mens Moccasons.    a hard white frost this morning. Several men went out to hunt    our officers purchased Several horses of the natives after Counsiling with them.    they are a band of the Flat head Nation    our officers made four chiefs gave them meddles 2 flags Some other Small presents and told them our business and that we were friends to all the red people &C. which they appeared verry friendly to us.    they have a great stock of horses but have no provision only roots and berrys, at this time but are on their way to the Meddison River or Missourie whire they can kill pleanty of buffalow.    our officers bought 12 horses from them and gave a Small quantity of Marchandize for each horse.    our officers took down Some of their language    found it verry troublesome Speaking to them as all they Say to them has to go through Six languages, [4] and hard to make them understand.    these natives have the Stranges language of any we have ever yet Seen.    they appear to us as though they had an Impedement in their Speech or brogue on their tongue.    we think perhaps that they are the welch Indians, &C.    they are the likelyest and honestest we have seen and are verry friendly to us.    they Swaped to us Some of their good horses and took our worn out horses, and appeared to wish to help us as much as lay in their power.    accommodated us with pack Saddles and chords by our giving them any Small article in return    [towa]rds evening our hunters came in    had kild 1 deer.


Thursday 5th.    This was a fine morning with a great white frost. The Indian dogs are so hungry and ravenous, that they eat 4 or 5 pair of our mockasons last night. We remained here all day, and recruited our horses to 40 and 3 colts; and made 4 or 5 of this nation of Indians chiefs. They are a very friendly people; have plenty of robes and skins for covering, and a large stock of horses, some of which are very good; but they have nothing to eat, but berries, roots and such articles of food. This band is on its way over to the Missouri or Yellow-stone river to hunt buffaloe. They are the whitest Indians I ever saw.


Thursday 5th Sept. 1805.    a clear cold morning.    the Standing water froze a little last night.    we hoisted our large flag this morning.    Several men went out a hunting.    about 10 oClock our officers held a Council with the flat head nation and told them nearly the Same as they told other nations, only told them that we wanted a fiew horses from them, and we would give them Some marchandize in return.    Gave 4 of their principal men meddles made them chiefs gave each of them a Shirt and a nomber of other articles also 2 flags &c.    then told them that we could not Stop long with them and that we were ready to purchase their horses, and that we could not talk with them as much as we wish, for all that we Say has to go through 6 [5] languages before it gits to them and it is hard to make them understand all what we Say.    these Savages has the Strangest language of any we have ever Seen.    they appear to us to have an Empeddiment in their Speech or a brogue or bur on their tongue but they are the likelyest and honestst Savages we have ever yet Seen.    our officers lay out Some marchandize in different piles to trade with the natives for horses.    our officers bought twelve horses and gave a Small quantity of marchandize for each horse.    we Swapped 7 horses which were lame &c.    Gave Some Small articles to boot.    we bought 10 or a Dozen pack Saddles from the natives.    our hunters all came to Camp towards evening.    one of them had killed 2 young deer and one brarow.

Thursday Septemr 5th    This morning was Clear & cold, the water that we had in our small Vessells froze during last night.    Our officers had our large flag hoisted at our camp this morning.—    several of our Men were sent out a hunting.—    About 10 oClock A. M our Officers held a Council with the flat head Indians.    they told them that they had come in Order to make peace between all the red people, who were at Warr with each other; & to instruct them in the way of Trade, and that they would open the Path from their Nation to the white people &ca    they also informed them that they wanted a few horses from them, for which they would give them some Merchandise in return.    They gave 4 of their principal Indians Medals, & gave them Commissions as Chiefs.    they also gave each of them a Shirt, a number of small articles & 2 Flags.    they informed those Chiefs that we should not stay with them but a short time, & that we were ready to purchase some horses from them, and that they would give them some Merchandise for them, and that they were sorry that they could not have as much talk with them as they wished to have, and that all that they told them, had to be Interpreted through six different languages, before either party understood, what was said, and then hard to make them understand what our officers said to them.—    These Indians language is the strangest that any of us ever heard.    they all appear to have impediments in their speeches, and pronounce their words with a kind of brogue or burr on their tongues.    These Indians were the handsomest & most likely Indians, that we have seen yet.—    They behave very kind to our party, and are very honest, not attempting to pilfer the most trifling article from us.—

Our Officers had laid out Merchandise in different piles, in order to trade with the Natives for horses.    They purchased twelve horses from the Indians, for Merchandise, & exchanged 7 more horses that were lame with them, & gave them the difference in Goods.—    they also purchased some pack saddles from them.    Our hunters all came into our Camp towards evening having killed 2 young Deer and a Brarerow which they brought with them.—

1. The language, of the Salishan family, apparently led the captains to reconsider for a time an old legend. Sergeant Ordway says, "we suppose that they are the welch Indians if their is any such from the language." (back)
2. The badger, Taxidea taxus. Burroughs, 72. (back)
3. The Indians may have referred not only to the modern Flatheads but also to linguistically related groups like the Pend d'Oreilles and Kalispells. Clark's name may represent a Flathead term, ul-išú-t, "those down below." (back)
4. Communication would pass through Salishan, Shoshone (from a Shoshone boy among the Flatheads and Sacagawea), Hidatsa (Sacagawea and Charbonneau), French (Charbonneau and a French speaker in the party), and English. (back)
5. This number may have been added to a blank space. There were actually five languages: Salish (for the Flatheads), Shoshone, Hidatsa, French, and English. (back)