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

September 22, 1805


Notwithstanding my positive directions to hubble the horses last evening one of the men neglected to comply.    he plead ignorance of the order.    this neglect however detained us untill ½ after eleven OCk at which time we renewed our march, our course being about west.    we had proceeded about two and a half miles when we met Reubin Fields one of oure hunters, [2] whom Capt. Clark had dispatched to meet us with some dryed fish and roots that he had procured from a band of Indians, whose lodges were about eight miles in advance. I ordered the party to halt for the purpose of taking some refreshment. I divided the fish roots and buries, and was happy to find a sufficiency to satisfy compleatly all our appetites. Fields also killed a crow [3]    after refreshing ourselves we proceeded to the village [4] due West 7½ Miles where we arrived at 5 OCk. in the afternoon    our rout was through lands heavily timbered, the larger wood entirely pine.    the country except the last 3 miles was broken and decending    the pleasure I now felt in having tryumphed over the rocky Mountains and decending once more to a level and fertile country where there was every rational hope of finding a comfortable subsistence for myself and party can be more readily conceived than expressed, nor was the flattering prospect of the final success of the expedition less pleasuing.    on our approach to the village which consisted of eighteen lodges most of the women fled to the neighbouring woods on horseback with their children, a circumstance I did not expect as Capt. Clark had previously been with them and informed them of our pacific intentions towards them and also the time at which we should most probably arrive. the men seemed but little concerned, and several of them came to meet us at a short distance from their lodges unarmed.


our first course of yesterday was nearly

N. 80° W.   winding thro a Grassy Pine Country of fine land for 12 miles
S. 70 W.   3 miles down a Steep hill & on a hill Side a Creek to the right
to the river from the left at a rapid
West   2 miles down the 〈West〉 N Side of the River and Encamped, in
the morning proceeded down to the Cheif Lodge on an Is-
land, found 3 men fishing    hot day
miles 17  

a fine morning, I proceed on down the little river to about 1½ a mile & found the Chif in a Canoe Comeing to meet me    I got into his Canoe & Crossed over to his Camp on a Small Island at a rapid    Sent out the hunters leaving one to take care of the baggage, & after eating a part of a Samn. I Set out on my return to meet Capt. Lewis with the Chief & his Son    at 2 miles met Shields with 3 Deer, I took a Small peice & Changed for his horse which was fresh & proced on    this horse threw me 3 times which hurt me Some.    at Dark met Capt Lewis    Encamped at the first Village    men much fatigued & reduced, the Supply which I sent by R Flds. was timely, they all eate hartily of roots & fish, 2 horses lost 1 Days journey back


a verry worm day    the hunters Shild killed 3 Deer this morning. I left them on the Island and Set out with the Chief & his Son on a young horse for the Village at which place I expected to meet Capt Lewis    this young horse in fright threw himself & me 3 times on the Side of a Steep hill & hurt my hip much, Cought a Coalt which we found on the roade & I rode it for Several miles untill we saw the Chiefs horses, he cought one & we arrived at his Village at Sunet, & himself and myself walked up to the 2d Village where I found Capt Lewis & the party Encamped, much fatigued, & hungery, much rejoiced to find something to eate of which They appeared to partake plentifully. I cautioned them of the Consequences of eateing too much &c.

The planes appeared covered with Spectators viewing the White men and the articles which we had, our party weacke and much reduced in flesh as well as Strength, The horse I left hung up they receved at a time they were in great want, and the Supply I Sent by R. Fields proved timely and gave great encouragement to the party with Captn. Lewis.    he lost 3 horses one of which belonged to our guide. Those Indians Stole out of R. F. Shot pouch his knife wipers [5] Compas & Steel, which we Could not precure from them, we attempted to have Some talk with those people but Could not for the want of an Interpreter thro' which we Could Speake, we were Compelled to converse alltogether by Signs—    I got the Twisted hare to draw the river from his Camp down which he did with great cherfullness on a white Elk Skin, from the 1s fork [6] which is a few seven miles below, to the lage fork [7] on which the So So ne or Snake Indians fish, is South 2 Sleeps; to a large river [8] which falls in on the N W. Side and into which The Clarks [9] river empties itself is 5 Sleeps    from the mouth of that river to the falls is 5 Sleeps    at the falls he places Establishments of white people &c. and informs that great numbers of Indians reside on all those foks as well as the main river; one other Indian gave me a like account of the Countrey, Some few drops of rain this evening. I precured maps of the Country & river with the Situation of Indians, To come from Several men of note Seperately which varied verey little.—


Sunday 22nd Sept. 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    and white frost.    we were detained Some time a hunting our horses.    about nine oClock at which time we Set out    assended a Mountain and proceeded on    came on a Small Smooth prarie or plain, [10] and run came through it.    we met Reuben fields who Capt. Clark Sent back to meet us, with a bag of Sammon and excelent root bread [11] which they purchased from a nation of Indians who are Camped on a plain at the foot of the Mount. about 8 or 10 miles distance from this place—    we halted about one hour and a half    eat hearty of the Sammon and bread, and let our horses feed.    then we proceeded on    the two men who had been back to look for the lost horse overtook us    they had found the horse and portmantaus, but had lost the horse they took with them.    we proceeded on over a mountain and descended it down in to a valley [12] which is Smooth and mostly handsome plains. Some groves of handsome tall large pitch pine timber    about 3 miles further we came to a large Indian village of the flat head nation [13]    they appeared very glad to see us    ran meetting us with Some root bread which they gave us to eat.    we Camped [14] by a branch near the village.    the natives gave us dryed Sammon and different kinds of their food. Capt Clark joined us this evening and informed us that the[y] had been on a branch of the Columbia River where he expected it is navagable for canoes and only 15 or 20 miles from this place &C—    these natives have a large quantity of this root bread which they call Commass.    the roots grow in these plains.    they have kills [kilns] engeaniously made where they Sweet these roots and make them Sweet and good to the taste—


Sunday 22nd.    This was a fine warm day. About 9 o'clock we continued our route over a ridge about a west course, upon the top of which there is a handsome small prairie; where we met one of our hunters [15] with a supply of roots, berries, and some fish, which he procured from another band of the Flathead nation of Indians. Captain Clarke and the hunters had arrived on the 20th at the encampment or lodges of these Indians which are in a beautiful prairie, about 8 or 9 miles from this place. The roots they use are made into a kind of bread; which is good and nourishing, and tastes like that sometimes made of pumpkins. We remained here about an hour and then proceeded on again, down the ridge along a very rough way: and in the evening arrived in a fine large valley, [16] clear of these dismal and horrible mountains. Here our two men overtook us; who had found the lost horse and clothing, but on their way to us lost both the horses. The Indians belonging to this band, received us kindly, appeared pleased to see us, and gave us such provisions as they had. We were at a loss for an interpreter, none of our interpreters being able to understand them. Captain Clarke met us here: he had been over at the river, [17] and found the distance 18 miles and a good road from this place. He thinks we will be able to take the water again at the place he had been at; and where he left 5 hunters, [18] as there was some game about the river in that quarter.


Sunday 22nd Sept. 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    a white frost.    we were detained Some time a hunting our horses.    about nine oClock we found all the horses and Set out    ascended a mountain and proceeded on    Came on a Smoth level clear place & a run of water.    met R. Fields who Capt. Clark Sent back to meet us with Some Sammon and other kinds of food which they had purcd. from Some Indians which they found Encamped about 8 miles from this.    we halted and divided out the food and eat it    found it verry good.    we delayed about one hour & a half then proceeded on.    the 2 men who had been back for the lost horse Soon overtook us.    they had found the horse & port mauntaus, and took on the horse with the one they took with them untill last night    then they lost boath of the horses.    they expect that they were Stole by Some of the natives.    So they brought the portmantaus &c. on their backs.    we proceeded on over a mountain and down in a handsome Smoth valley. [19]    ariv at an Indian village in a delightful plain.    large pitch pine around it.    these Savages was verry glad to See us    the men women & children ran meeting us & Seemed rejoiced to See us.    we Camped near village at a Small branch.    the natives gave us Such food as they had to eat, consisting of roots of different kinds which was Sweet and good also red & black haws [20] &c.    the principal roots [21] which they made use off for food are pleanty.    this praries are covred with them they are much like potatoes when cooked, and they have a curious way of cooking them.    th[e]y have places made in form of a Small coal pit, & they heat Stone in the pit.    then put Straw over the Stone, then water to raise a Steem.    then they put on large loves of the pounded potatoes, and 8 or 10 bushels of potatoes on at once    then cover them with wet Straw and Earth.    in that way they Sweet them untill they are cooked, and when they take them out they pound Some of them up fine and make them in loaves and cakes.    they dry the cakes and String them on Strings, in Such a way that they would keep a year & handy to carry, any journey.    Capt. Clark arived here this evening, and informed us that he had been on a branch of the Columbian River where it was navigable for canoes, and    only about 8 & half miles from this place & a good road.    the hunters Stayed at the River to hunt.    one of them had killed 2 Deer at the River.    the natives gave us Some excelent fat Sammon to eat with the root or potatoe bread

Sunday Septemr 22nd    This morning clear & pleasant, with a small white frost.    We were detained by the party, that went out to hunt our horses till about 9 o'Clock A. M. when we set out again on our Journey.    we ascended a mountain, & went on some distance, & came to a smooth level clear place, where there was a clear run of water—.    At this run, we were met with by Robert Fields, (one of the party that had went with Captain Clark,) and who Captain Clark had sent back to meet our party; this Man brought with him some Salmon, & other kinds of food, which they had purchased from some Indians, which they had found encamped about 8 Miles from this place.—    Captain Clarke had dispatched this Man, shortly after their arrival at this Indian Camp, with what Provisions he could carry on his horse, knowing, what great necessity must have attended us, for want of food, & he was a welcome Messenger.—    We halted, & the Provisions were divided out among the party.    We delayed about an hour & a half, and then proceeded on our Journey.    the two Men that had went back for to hunt for the Horse that had strayed from us the 20th instant; overtook us; they had found the horse that they had went after, on the Mountain, which we had passed, and brought him along with them & also the horse that they had took with them some distance, and mentioned that last night, they had lost both of those horses, & they said that they expected that they were stole by the Natives.—    These Men brought the Portmanteus on their backs, to where they overtook us.    We proceeded on, and crossed a Mountain; & descended down into a handsome smooth Valley; where we arrived at an Indian Village; situated on a most delightfull plain, where was large Pitch pine Trees growing all around it—    The Indians belonging to this Village, appeared very glad to see us; the Men, Women & Children ran out to meet us; & seemed rejoiced at our coming.    We encamped near this Village, at a small branch, where the Indians belonging to this Village, brought us such food, as they had, which consisted of Roots of different kinds, which had a sweet taste & was good also Red & black haws & some Salmon.    The principal food that those Indians made us of for food, and which grow in great plenty in the Priaries are roots of an oval form    these Roots are about the size of the middle Sized Potatoes, & when boiled have both in resemblance & taste of them.    The Natives have a curious method of preparing these Roots for food,—    which is in the following manner.—    They dig holes in the earth much in form of what we dig a coal pit.    They then heat a quantity of large stones, which they place in this pit, & cover them with Straw.    They then throw water on those Stones, & raise a great Steam, and then place on the Straw large loaves made out of this root which they pounded up as fine as flour to make the loaves with, which they cover with wet Straw & earth, in this way they sweat this Root, untill it is perfectly fit for eating, they then take it out & pound it again, & make it up in loaves & Cakes,—    and dry them in the Sun; and string them, they then will keep for a long time; & is used by them on their long Journies.—    Captain Clarke arrived here in the Evening; he informed us that he had been on a branch of the Columbia River, and where it was navigable for Canoes, & only about 1½ Miles from this place, & a good Road leading to it.    The hunters staid at the River that were with Captain Clark to hunt,—    & Captain Clark mentioned that one of them had killed 2 Deer, which he found near to the River.—    The Natives gave us at our Camp, some Excellent Salmon, & plenty of those Roots which I have before described, & behaved very friendly to our party.—    These Indians 〈are〉 were a part of the Polot pello or Flat head Nation.—

1. This entry is the last in Codex Fd. The following notation at the end of the journal was probably added in 1810: "(This is a part of Book No. 7 to be refured to and examined after the 9th Septr. 1805—WC[)]". "Book No. 7" refers to Codex G, Clark's notebook covering this time period. The writers of another note, "look forward 4 leaves," is not known. It is upside down to the other writing. (back)
2. At later Crane Meadows. Space, 19; Atlas map 71. (back)
3. Perhaps a subspecies of the crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488], C. b. hesperis, then new to science. Burroughs, 248; Cutright (LCPN), 432. (back)
4. The more easterly of the two Nez Perce villages on Jim Ford Creek, on Weippe Prairie about three miles southeast of present Weippe, Clearwater County, Idaho. Appleman (LC), 283–85; Atlas map 71. (back)
5. Perhaps an oiled cloth or piece of soft leather used for cleaning his weapon. Criswell, 92, suggests a wiping rod, but this seems unlikely to have fit into a shot pouch. The steel mentioned below was probably used with flint to make fire. (back)
6. The North Fork Clearwater, the "Chopunnish" River on Atlas map 71. (back)
7. Probably the Snake River. (back)
8. The Columbia, into which the Clark ForkPend Oreille River combination empties. (back)
9. "Clarks" appears to have been inserted into a blank space, or possibly written in place of an erased word. (back)
11. Bread made from the root of camas, Camassia quamash (Pursh) Greene. (back)
13. Actually, the Nez Perces, whom Clark's party had met on September 20. (back)
14. On Jim Ford Creek, on Weippe Prairie, about three miles southeast of Weippe, Clearwater County. (back)
15. Reubin Field, whom they met at Crane Meadows. (back)
16. They camped at a Nez Perce village on Jim Ford Creek, on Weippe Prairie, about three miles southeast of Weippe, Clearwater County, Idaho. (back)
17. Clark had been to the Clearwater River, Kooskooskee to the party, at a point about a mile above Orofino, Clearwater County. (back)
18. Including Shields. (back)
20. Only Whitehouse noted two varieties of hawthorns. The red is Columbia hawthorn, Crataegus columbiana How., the black is black hawthorn, C. douglassii Lindl. Lewis noticed the latter on the return trip, April 12, 1806. (back)
21. The most important was camas, Camassia quamash (Pursh) Greene. (back)