September 14, 1805
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September 14, 1805

Course Distance &c. Septr. 14th 1805
S. 20° W.   6 miles over a high 〈hilly〉 mountain Countrey thickley Cov-
ered with pine to the forks 〈passed〉 of the Creek one of
equal Size from the right Side, passed much falling timber
this 〈hi〉 Mountain is covered with Spuce & Pitch pine fir, &
what is called to the Northard Hackmatack & Tamerack,
The Creeks verry stoney and has much fall
S. 60° W. [2]   9 miles over a high mountain Steep & almost inaxcessible
much falling timber which 〈cause the〉 fatigues our men &
horses exceedingly, in Slipping over So great a number of
logs added to the Steep assents and decents of the Mounts.
to the forks of the Creek, the one on our left which we had
passed down falling into one Still larger from the left which
heads in the Snowey Mountains to the S. E. & South, those
two Creeks form a river of 80 yards wide, Containing much
water, verry Stoney and rapid. The Creek we Came Down I
call Glade Creek, the left hand fork the Killed Colt Creek
from our Killing a Colt to eate, abov the mouth of Glade fork,
the Flatheads has a were across to catch sammon [one line
missing, page damaged
S. 70° W   2 miles down the [blank] River to the mouth of a run on the
right Side opposit an Island & camped    turned our horses
on the Island    rained Snowed & hailed the greater part of
the day all wet and Cold
m 17

a Cloudy day in the Valies it rained and hailed, on the top of the mountains Some Snow fell    we Set out early and Crossed a high mount on the right of the Creek for 6 miles to the forks of the Glade Creek [3] [NB: one of the heads of the Koos koos kee ] [4] the right hand fork which falls in 〈from〉 is about the Size of the other, we Crossed to the left Side at the foks, [5] and Crossd a verry high Steep mountain for 9 miles to a large fork from the left [6] which appears to head in the Snow toped mountains Southerley and S. E.    we Crossd. Glade Creek above its mouth, [7] at a place the Tushepaws or Flat head Indians have made 2 wears across to Catch Sammon and have but latterly left the place    I could see no 〈Signs of〉 fish, and the grass entirely eaten out by the horses, we proceeded on 2 miles & Encamped opposit a Small Island [8] at the mouth of a branch on the right side of the river which is at this place 80 yads wide, Swift and Stoney, here we wer compelled to kill a Colt for our men & Selves to eat for the want of meat & we named the South fork Colt killed Creek, and this river we Call Flathead River—[WC: The flat head name is Koos koos ke R ] [9] The Mountains which we passed to day much worst than yesterday the last excessively bad & Thickly Strowed with falling timber & Pine Spruc fur Hackmatak & Tamerack, [10] Steep & Stoney our men and horses much fatigued, The rain [blank]


Saturday 14th Sept. 1805.    we Set out as usal, and ascended a mountain about 4 miles, then descended it down to on the forks of the creek [11] where it ran verry rapid and is full of rocks.    we then assended a verry high mountain about 4 miles further to the top of it and verry step. Came Some distance on the top then descended down about 6 miles    Some places verry Steep.    came down on another fork where the creek [12] is got to be verry large.    the Savages had a place fixed across the River and worked in with willows where they catch a great quantity of Sammon in the Spring, as our guide tells us.    we Crossed the right hand fork where it was very rapid.    we proceed on    passed several old camps.    we followed down the main creek about 4 miles    had nothing to eat but Some portable Soup    we being hungry for meat as the Soup did not Satisfy we killed a fat colt which eat verry well at this time    a little Thunder hail and rain. Saw high Mountains covred with Snow and timber.—


Saturday 14th.    We set out early in a cloudy morning; passed over a large mountain, crossed Stony creek, [13] about 30 yards wide, and then went over another large mountain, on which I saw service-berry bushes hanging full of fruit; but not yet ripe, owing to the coldness of the climate on these mountains: I also saw a number of other shrubs, which bear fruit, but for which I know no names. There are black elder and bore-tree, [14] pitch and spruce pine all growing together on these mountains. Being here unable to find a place to halt at, where our horses could feed, we went on to the junction of Stony creek, with another large creek, which a short distance down becomes a considerable river, and encamped [15] for the night, as it rained and was disagreeable travelling. The two hunters, that had gone back here joined us with Capt. Lewis's horse, but none of the hunters killed any thing except 2 or 3 pheasants; on which, without a miracle it was impossible to feed 30 hungry men and upwards, besides some Indians. So Capt. Lewis gave out some portable soup, [16] which he had along, to be used in cases of necessity. Some of the men did not relish this soup, and agreed to kill a colt; which they immediately did, and set about roasting it; and which appeared to me to be good eating. This day we travelled 17 miles.


Saturday 14th Sept. 1805.    a cloudy morning.    we eat the last of our meat, and Set out as usal.    ascended a mountain covrd. with pine.    abt. 4 miles we descended it down on the Creek at a fork where it ran very rapid and full of rocks.    we then 〈descend〉 ascended a verry high mountain, about 4 miles from the forks of the creek to the top of it    went Some distance on the top then descended it about 6 miles.    Some places verry Steep.    came down at another fork of the Creek where it was considr. larger.    the Natives had a place made across in form of our wires [17] in 2 places, and worked in with willows verry injeanously, for the current verry rapid.    we crossed at the forks and proceeded on down the creek.    passed Several late Indian Encampments.    our 〈Intrepter〉 Guide tells us that the natives catch a great nomber of Sammon along here.    we went down the creek abt. 4 miles and Camped for the night.    Eat a little portable Soup, but the men in jeneral So hungry that we killed a fine Colt which eat verry well, at this time.    we had Several light Showers of rain and a little hail.    Several claps of Thunder.    we came in all [blank] miles this day.    the 2 hunters joined us with Capt. Lewis horse which had been lost.    Saw high mountan. [18] a little to the South of us, which are covred with Snow.    the most of these mountains are covred with pine.    Saw Some tall Strait Siprass, or white ceeder [19] to day.    the Soil indifferent, and verry    broken.    the Countrey all mountaineous.    our hunters found a Stray horse on the road.    a Small Indian horse came to us this evening.

Saturday Septemr 14th    A Cloudy Morning, & we did not set out till we had breakfasted, at which we eat the last of our Meat; we then proceeded on our Journey, and ascended a Mountain which was cover'd with Pine timber, and was about 4 Miles from where it began to ascend to the top; we descended this mountain; & came down to a Creek on a fork of it; at this place the Water run rapid, & it was very full of Rocks.—    We ascended then, another Mountain; which was about 4 Miles from the fork we left to the top of it.—

We continued on our way on the top of this mountain where we had a most delightful prospect of the Hills & Vallies which lay below us, & then descended this Mountain about 6 Miles, which in some places, we found very steep, and came down on another fork of the Creek, which we last left, which was considerable larger, the Natives had here made places across this fork of the Creek, in the form of Weirs to catch fish in, which we found in 2 different parts of this fork, it was worked in with willows very ingeniously & strong, the current running very rapid at where these Weirs were set.—    We crossed below this place at where the Creek forked, and proceeded on down the creek and passed several Indian encampments, which the Natives had lately left.    Our guide informed us, that the Natives catch great Quantities of Salmon at this place, We went down this Creek about 4 Miles & encamped.    the Men here eat a little portable Soup, but still are all very hungry.—    Our officers concluded on having a fine Colt that we had along with us killed, which was done, & hunger made us all think that it eat delecious, We had towards Evening several small Showers of rain, some hail & several severe Claps of thunder, The hunters that went after Captain Lewis's horse & the Colt, joined us in the Evening; they had found the horse only, We saw in the course of this days travel, several Mountains, which were covered with Snow which lay to the South of us.—

The Tops of most of these Mountains are cover'd with pine, & tall white Cedar Trees.    The Soil during this days travell is very indifferent, and the Country broken & very mountaineous.    Our Hunters found a stray horse on the Path, & a small Indian horse came to our Camp in the evening.—    We came about 18 Miles this day.—

1. Opposite this entry in the Elkskin-bound Journal is a sketch map (fig. 6) showing the party's route for about September 13–16, with campsites of those days noted. (back)
2. The course is overwritten another illegible one, and then repeated underneath. (back)
3. Brushy Creek, on the left, and Crooked Fork, on the right, in Idaho County, Idaho. Space, 7; Atlas map 69, 70. (back)
4. Biddle's insertion refers to the captains' name for the Clearwater River; actually the stream is the Lochsa, which the captains considered a fork of the Clearwater. Atlas map 7. (back)
5. Crossing Brushy Creek. Space, 7; Atlas map 70. (back)
6. They called it Colt Killed or Killed Colt Creek; present White Sand Creek. Space, 7; Atlas map 70. (back)
7. Crossing Lochsa River. Space, 7; Atlas map 70. (back)
8. The camp was on the north bank of the Lochsa River, some two miles below the mouth of White Sand (Killed Colt) Creek, near Powell Ranger Station, in Idaho County. In going down into the valley of the Lochsa they had, probably by an error of their guide, deviated from the Lolo Trail, which follows the ridge tops. This would make the journey more difficult and probably about a day longer. Space, 7; Peebles (LT), 5; Cutright (LCPN), 200; Atlas map 70. (back)
9. Again, the Lochsa River at this point and again a later insertion by Clark. "Flathead" apparently refers to the Nez Perces, not the Salish of Montana. The word "Flathead" appears to have been inserted in place of an erased word. (back)
10. The major trees growing a higher elevations here are the ones noted by Clark: lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, and subalpine fir. In the course table Clark uses the term "Pitch pine" for the lodgepole pine, referring to the eastern species with which he was familiar, Pinus rigida Mill. Earlier references to pitch-pine designated different species, but here lodgepole pine is appropriate. The last two named are apparently the same tree, known variously as western, Montana, or mountain, larch, hackmatack, and tamarack, Larix occidentalis Nutt. Hitchcock et al., 1:121; Little (CIH), 34-W. (back)
12. Crooked Fork and Colt Killed Creek (formerly White Sand Creek but now restored to Lewis and Clark's name) merge to form the Lochsa River, Idaho County. The night's camp was on the north bank of the Lochsa, about two miles from where the streams merge and in the area of Powell Ranger Station. (back)
13. Apparently Brushy Creek, Idaho County, Idaho; the captains do not use the name "Stony Creek." (back)
14. The elder is either black elderberry, Sambucus racemosa var. melanocarpa (Gray) McMinn, or blue elderberry, S. cerulea Raf. (formerly S. glauca Nutt.), depending on Gass's location; the black elderberry is at higher elevations. Hitchcock et al., Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest, 4:462–63; Lewis's entries for December 1, 1805, and February 7, 1806. McKeehan may have misread Gass since elder and bore-tree are the same species. Gass's folk name apparently comes from the Native American practice of boring the pith out of elderberry stems and using the hollowed tubes for a variety of purposes. Melvin R. Gilmore, Uses of Plants by the Indians of the Missouri River Region (1919. Reprint. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1977), 63. (back)
15. They reached the Lochsa River and went down it, some two miles below the mouth of Colt Killed Creek (formerly White Sand Creek but now restored to Lewis and Clark's name) and camped near Powell Ranger Station, Idaho County. (back)
16. Lewis purchased this soup in Philadelphia; it may have been kept in the form of dry powder or thick liquid. It was a staple army ration of the time. (back)
17. That is, weirs. (back)
18. They were traveling through the Bitterroot Mountains. (back)
19. The words, "or white ceeder" appear to have been interlined in another hand, perhaps as a correction to Whitehouse's cypress. It is western redcedar, Thuja plicata Donn. (back)