October 8, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 8, 1805


a cloudy morning    Changes Canoes and buried 2 Lead canisters of Powder 2 foot 4 In. North of a dead toped pine opposit our Camp & opposit the mouth of a run    after repareing leaks in the Caneos Sprung Coming over the rapids yesterday    Set out at 9 oClock

N. W.   1 mile to a riae in the S. bend
South      ¼ thro a verry bad rappid all way
S. 70° W.      ½ to a L. bend    good water
N. W.      ¼ thro a rapid in a Stard. bend
West   2 ½ miles to a Stard. bend    passed a bad rapid at 1 mile
pd. a rapid at 2 miles
South   1 ½ to a L. bend opsd. a bottom of stone
S 70° W.   2 ½ mile to a Stard. bend    passed an Island 〈middle of the
river〉 on the Lard. Side, a rapid at head & foot of Island
end of the Course
S. W.   2 miles to a Lard bend    passed a rapid & Ind camp 3
Lodges & fishing place, Lowr pt. of Isd. at which place
we dined & bought fish    Passed Lower pt. Isd. on Stard.
West   2 ½ miles    passed an Island on which 3 Lodges of Indians
were Encamped opsd. on the Lad Side    a Small Creek
at the Lower pt.    on Std. Side 6 Lodges of Inds.    we
halted and took in our 2 Chiefs and bought fish & roots
Psd. 2 rapids
S W   1 ½ ms. to a bend on Std.    passed a rapid
S. 40 E   1 〈½〉 to a bend on Lard.    psd a rapid
S 60° W.   2 ½ miles to a bend Std Side    passd. an Isd on the Lard.
bad rapid
S. W.   1 ½ miles to a Stard bend    passed an Isd. on Ld. Side a rapid
at upper point and lower pt. Canoe [c]racked, a Creek
falls in on the Stard. Side. [1]
West   1 ½ to the upper pt. of a Island Std. Side

A Cloudy morning    loaded our Canoes which was unloaded last night and Set out at 9 oClock    passed 15 rapids four Islands and a Creek on the Stard Side at 16 miles just below which one canoe in which Serjt. Gass was Stearing and was nearle turning over, She Sprung a leak or Split open on one Side and Bottom filled with water & Sunk on the rapid, the men, Several of which Could not Swim hung on to the Canoe, I had one of the other Canoes unloaded & with the assistance of our Small canoe and one Indians Canoe took out every thing & 〈got〉 toed the empty Canoe on Shore, [2] one man Tompson a little hurt, every thing wet perticularly the greater part of our Small Stock of merchindize, had every thing opened, and two Sentinals put over them to keep off the Indians, who are enclined to theave haveing Stole Several Small articles    those people appeared disposed to give us every assistance in their power dureing our distress—    We passed Several Encampments of Indians on the Islands and those near the rapids in which places they took the Salmon, at one of Those Camps we found our two Chiefs who had promised to accompany us, we took them on board after the Serimony of Smokeing


Tuesday 8th Oct. 1805.    a fair morning.    we delayed here Sometime changing the officers canoes &C.    hid a canister of Powder by a broken top tree.    about 9 oClock we Set out and proceeded on    Saw Some Indians horses on the Side of the hills on Stard. Side.    passed over Several bad rapids    took in Some water by the waves.    passed Some clifts of rocks and barron hills on each Side.    about 12 OClock we halted at Some Indian Camps about 6 lodges of well looking Savages who had Several Small canoes and catch considerable of Sammon.    we bought some from them.    2 dogs also.    we proceeded on a Short distance and halted at Some more Camps at the foot of an Isld. and rapids where we bought Some more Sammon and Some white roots &C.    then proceed on    descended a rockey rapid at the foot of an Island where was Several Indian Camps.    one of the canoes Struck a rock in the middle of the rapid and Swang round and Struck an other rock and cracked hir So that it filled with water.    the waves roared over the rocks and Some of the men could not Swim.    their they Stayed in this doleful Situation untill we unloaded one of the other canoes and went and released them.    2 Indians went in a canoe to their assistance also.    we got the men and the most of the baggage Safe to Shore.    a fiew articles lost    one tommahawk and a fiew light things.    we put the baggage out and Camped [3] on the Stard. Side at high plains.    a number of Savages visited us this evening—    had Come about 18 miles to day


Tuesday 8th.    At 9 o'clock in a fine morning we continued our voyage down the river: passed three islands and several rapids; and at noon stopped at some Indian lodges, of which there are a great many along the river. At 2 we proceeded on again. In the evening, in passing through a rapid, I had my canoe stove, and she sunk. Fortunately the water was not more than waist deep, so our lives and baggage were saved, though the latter was wet. We halted and encamped here to repair the canoe, after coming 18 miles. At this place there are some lodges of the natives on both sides of the river; a number of whom keep about us, and we get some fish from them. Two chiefs [4] of the upper village joined us here, and proposed to go with us, until we should meet with white people; which they say will be at no great distance.


Tuesday 8th Oct. 1805.    a fair day.    we dilayed loading &c.    burryed a canister of powder the Northe Side of a broken toped tree.    about 9 oClock we Set out and proceeded on down the River.    Saw Some Indian horses on the Side of the hills    passed over Several bad rapids.    took Some water in the canoes by the waves dashing over the Sides.    the current rapid the most part of the way some places deep.    passed clifts of rocks and bare hills on each Side.    about 12 oClock we Came to Some Indian Camps, on the South Side.    only 4 or 5 lodges of well looking Indians & Squaws.    they had Several Small canoes, and catch considerable quantitys of Sammon.    we purchased Some from them by giving them a fiew green or blue or red beeds, and tin &c.    the day warm.    Some of the men bought 2 dogs from them.    they have a great many horses feeding along the Shores and have a nomber of Small canoes.    we proceeded on a Short distance further down came to Some more Indian Camps at the foot of an Isl. & rapids.    we halted a Short time, bought Some more Sammon and Some white roots.    then proceeded on    a Short distance further down 2 chiefs came with us.    as we were descending a rockey rapids at the foot of an Island on which was Some Indian Camps, one of the canoes Struck a rock and wheled round then Struck again and cracked the canoe and was near Spliting hir in too.    〈thrung〉 throwed the Stearsman [5] over board, who with difficulty got to the canoe again, but She soon filled with water, and hang on the rocks in a doleful Situation.    Some of the men on board could not Swim, and them that could had no chance for the waves and rocks.    an Indian went in a Small canoe to their assistance.    our little canoe went also and took out Some of the loading, and carried it to Shore.    we unloaded one of the other canoes and went in the rapid and took the loading all out of the canoe which was Stove and got all to Shore below the rapid, and Camped, at dark.    examined found everry thing wet which was in the canoe that was Stove.    Some Small articles lost.    a nomber of the natives visit us this evening.    we have come about 18 miles this day before the Sad axident hapened to us

Tuesday October 8th    We had a fair day, We delayed for to load one of our Canoes & burying a Cannister of powder; which we did on the North side of a broken top Tree, About 9 o'Clock A. M. we set out, & proceeded on with our Canoes down the River on our Voyage; we saw a number of the Indians horses feeding on the side of hills, as we passed along, We also passed over several bad rapids, where our Canoes took in Water, occasion'd by the Waves dashing over the sides of them.—

The Current of the River has run rapid the most part of the way this day, & in some places we found the River very deep.    We passed by large Clifts of rocks & naked hills lying on both sides of the River.—    About 12 oClock A. M. we arrived at some Indian Camps, which lay on the South side of the River, in which we saw some well looking Indian Men & Squaws; there was only 5 lodges at this place, and they had several small Canoes, which were tied to the Shore.    These Indians employ themselves in catching of Salmon and catch considerable quantity of them    They were part of the flatt head Nation.—

We stopped with our Canoes some time, & purchased from these Indians some Salmon for which we gave them round Blue & Green beads, & some small pieces of Tin.    some of our party also purchased from those Indians 2 dogs for trifles—    Those Indians had a number of fine horses, which we saw feeding along the Shore.—    The day proved warm.    We proceeded on but a short distance down the River, and came to another Indian camp; This Camp was situated at the lower end of an Island, where lay some rapids.    We halted here for a short time, & purchased some more Salmon and white bread Roots.—

These Indians were also belonging to the flatt head Nation.—    We proceeded on and went but a short distance, and took in the Indians that set out this morning by land.    we then continued on our Voyage, and as we were descending a rocky rapid at the foot of an Island on which were some Indian camps, One of our Canoes struck a rock, and wheeled round, where she again Struck 〈a〉 another rock and Cracked the bottom of it, & was near splitting in two; & threw the Man who was steering her overboard, but he with great difficulty got to her again—    This Canoe soon filled with water & hung on the rock in a perilous situation.    Some of the Men on board of her, could not swim; & those Men that could, had no chance of saving themselves, the Waves ran so high, and the current was so rapid, that they must have been dashed against Rocks that lay below them a short distance & in all probability must have drownded.—    It was very fortunate for those Men, that an Indian who saw their situation from the Island we passed last, came to their assistance with a small Canoe & One of our Canoes went also, & took out some of the loading & landed it safe on the Shore.—

Our officers had one of the other Canoes unloaded and the Men went, and took out the remainder of the loading from on board that Canoes, which had been stove; and got it all on the Shore below the rapid, They experienced much difficulty in unloading the Canoe in the Rapids, the Current being so very Swift & strong.    We found the whole of the loading got out of that Canoe, wet & we lost some small Articles of the loading.—    Our party were all rejoiced at the fortunate escape that the Men made that were in the Canoe, & think that nothing but the Interference of providence was the occasion.    In the Evening a number of the Natives came to Visit us, & behaved with a great deal of friendship to us all, they continued some time with us & took a friendly leave & departed for their Camps.    These Indians also belonged to the Flatt-head Nation.—    We came about 18 Miles this day before the accident happen'd to the Canoe,—    & encamped where we unloaded the Canoes with the baggage.—

1. "Colters Creek" on Atlas map 72, after John Colter of the party, now Potlatch River in Nez Perce County, Idaho. In 1899 a Jefferson peace medal, perhaps from the expedition, was discovered near the mouth of Potlatch River. It appears that the peace medal, supposedly at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, has been lost for some time. Wheeler, 2:123–24; Cutright (LCIPM), 164–65. (back)
2. They remained at this site until October 10, as indicated on Atlas map 72. It was on the north side in Nez Perce County, below the confluence of the Potlatch and Clearwater rivers, a few miles from present Spalding. The party's camp was near Arrowbeach site which is located a little over half a mile below the mouth of Potlatch River. The site was excavated in the late 1960s, but it is now essentially destroyed. While the site occupation spanned at least the last three thousand years, it was probably a seasonal village during the last fifteen hundred years. Toups; Ames. (back)
3. This camp, where they stayed until October 10, is on the north side of the Clearwater, Nez Perce County, Idaho, below the confluence of the Potlatch and Clearwater rivers, a few miles from Spalding. (back)
5. Perhaps Thompson, who Clark says was "a little hurt." (back)