September 26, 1805
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September 26, 1805


Septr. 26th    Set out early and proceeded down the river to the bottom on the S Side opposit the forks & formed a Camp    had ax handled ground &c.    our axes all too Small, Indians caught Sammon & Sold us, 2 Chiefs & thir families came & camped near us, Several men bad, Capt Lewis Sick    I gave Pukes Salts &c. to Several, I am a little unwell. hot day


Set out early and proceeded on down the river to a bottom opposit the forks of the river on the South Side and formed a Camp. [2] Soon after our arrival a raft Came down the N. fork on which was two men, they came too, I had the axes distributed and handled and men apotned. [apportioned] ready to commence building canoes on tomorrow, our axes are Small & badly Calculated to build Canoes of the large Pine, Capt Lewis Still very unwell, Several men taken Sick on the way down, I administered Salts Pils Galip, [3] Tarter emetic &c. I feel unwell this evening, two Chiefs & their families follow us and encamp near us, they have great numbers of horses. This day proved verry hot, we purchase fresh Salmon of the Indians.


Thursday 26th Sept. 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    about 8 oClock we Set out and proceeded on down the River    crossed a creek, [4] then crossed the River at a shole place    the water to the horses belleys.    we proceeded on down the South Side and formed an Encampment opposite the little River which came in on the N. E. Side on a narrow plain thinly covd. with pitch pine timber.    made a pen round the officers lodge to put the baggage in.    a number of the natives come down with us with droves of horses. Some came down the N. E. fork with a Small raft, who had been Some distance a fishing and bring down wood &C. Several of the party Sick with a relax by a Sudden change of diet and water as well as the change of climate also. Several Indians came down in a Small canoe & Camped near us.—


Thursday 26th.    The morning was fine; and at 9 o'clock we left our camp; proceeded down the river about 5 miles to the forks; and pitched our camp in a handsome small bottom opposite the point. A number of the natives came down in small canoes, and encamped close to us, for the purpose of fishing; and while we were encamping we saw a small raft coming down the north fork loaded with fish. There appears to be a kind of sheep in this country, besides the Ibex or mountain sheep, and which have wool on. [5] I saw some of the skins, which the natives had, with wool four inches long, and as fine, white and soft as any I had ever seen. I also saw a buffaloe robe with its wool or fur on as fine and soft as that of beaver. Captain Lewis procured this, which we considered a curiosity, in exchange for another buffaloe robe.

This band of the Flatheads have a great many beads and other articles, which they say they got from white men at the mouth of this river; or where the salt water is. [6] They have a large stock of horses. Their buffaloe robes and other skins they chiefly procure on the Missouri, when they go over to hunt, as there are no buffaloe in this part of the country and a very little other game. The most of the men of this band are at present on a war expedition against some nation to the northwest, that had killed some of their people; as we understood in our imperfect communications with them. We arranged our camp and made preparations for making canoes.


Thursday 26th Sept. 1805.    clear and pleasant.    we got up our horses and Set out about 8 oClock and proceeded on down the River    crossed a creek which came in on the East Side.    then crossed the River at a Shole place, but wide    the water to the horses belleys.    proceeded on down the South Side of the River and Camped opposite the fork which came in on the N. Side.    we formed our Camp in a narrow plain on the bank of the River.    made a pen of pine bushes around the officers lodge, to put all our baggage in.    Some of the natives followed us with droves of horses.    Some came down the N. fork whoe had been up Some distance a fishing.    had with them a Small raft which they came on with all their baggage Sammon &c.    they ran fast on a Shole place about the middle of the River opposite our Camp, and came out to See us.    Some Indians came down from our last nights Camp in a canoe with Sammon &c.    we went about helving our axes and git in readiness to begin the Canoes.    Several of the men Sick with the relax, caused by a Suddin change of diet and water as well as the Climate Changed a little also.

Thursday Septemr 26th    We had a clear pleasant morning, the party went out & brought up our horses, and we set out on our Journey about 8 oClock A. M. and proceeded on down the fork of the River, and crossed a Creek, which came into the fork on the East side, and then crossed the fork at a Shoal place which was wide, where the Water was up to our horses Bellies.    We proceeded on down the South side of the fork of the River, & encamped opposite to where 〈a〉 another fork of the River came in on the North side.    We formed our Camp in a narrow plain, on the bank of the Main fork, and made a Pen of Pine bushes round the Officers lodge, to put the baggage in.    The Natives still continued to follow us, with droves of horses.    Some of the natives also came down the North fork, who had been up some distance a fishing; and had with them a small Canoe with their Baggage, Salmon &ca.    they run fast with their craft on a shoal place, in the middle of the River opposite to our encampment.    They came to the Shore in Order to see us, some of the Indians also came down with a Canoe from the place where we had encamped last night; they brought with them some Salmon, Root bread &ca.    The party employed themselves in making helves for their Axes, and to prepare ev'ry thing necessary for making Canoes.    Several of the Men were unwell with 〈laxes〉 the dysentry, occasioned by a sudden change of diet, & water, change of Climate &ca.

1. The meaning of an asterisk to the side of this dateline is unknown. (back)
2. The "Canoe Camp," at which they remained until October 7, 1805, is about five miles west of Orofino, in Clearwater County, Idaho, on the south bank of the Clearwater and opposite the mouth fo the North Fork Clearwater (Lewis and Clark's Chopunnish River). It is one of the major sites in the Nez Perce National Historical Park. Appleman (LC), 281–82; Peebles (LT), 10; Atlas map 71. (back)
3. Jalap, the powdered root of a Mexican plant, Exogonium jalapa, used as a purgative; the other medicines served a similar purpose. (back)
5. The mountain goat, Oreamnos americanus. (back)
6. The goods had probably been obtained in trade from white seaborne traders by tribes near the mouth of the Columbia and then worked their way inland through intertribal trade. It is certainly not impossible, however, that some Nez Perces had been down to the mouth of the Columbia. (back)