October 19, 1805
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October 19, 1805


October 19th 〈Thursday〉 Saturday, The Great Chief 2d Chief and a Chief of a band below Came and Smoked with us    we gave a Meadel a String of Wampom & handkerchef to the Great Chief byname Yel-lep-pet [1]    The 2d Chief we gave a String of wampom, his name is [blank] The 3d who lives below a String of Wampom his name I did not learn. The chief requested us to Stay untill 12 we excused our Selves and Set out at 9 oClock

S W. 14 miles to a rock in a Lard. resembling that a hat [2] just below a
rapid at the lower Point of an Island in the Midl: of the river
7 Lodges and opposit the head of one on the Stard. Side 5
Lodges    passed an Island at 8 miles 6 miles long close to
Lard Side    no water on Lard.    a Small one opsd. and at the
lower point    no water Lard.    passed an Isld. in middle at 8
miles on which 5 Indian Lodges, deserted    at the end of
this course a bad rockey 〈rapid〉 place plenty of water    rocks
in the river.—    passed a Stard. point at 4 miles    country a
little lower
S. 80° W.   7 miles to a Point of rocks on the Stard. bend    Passed the Is-
land on Std. Side    at 1 mile passed a verry bad rapid Above
the end of this Course 2 miles in length with Several Small
Islands in it & Banks of Mussle Shels in the rapids.    here
the lower Countrey Commences—    Saw a high mountain
covered with snow West    this we Suppose to be Mt. 〈Hood
St Helens [3] in dist.
S. 70° W. [4] 12 Miles to a    passed 20 Lodge of Indians Scattered allong the
Stard. Side drying fish & Prickley pare (to Burn in winter)
I went on Shore in a Small Canoe a head, landed at the first
5 Lodges, found the Indians much fritened, all got in to
their lodges and I went in found Some hanging down
their heads, Some Crying and others in great agitation, I
took all by the hand, and distributed a few Small articles
which I chanced to have in my Pockets and Smoked with
them which expelled their fears, Soon after the Canoes
landed & we all Smoked and were friendly. I gave a String
of Wampom to the Principal man, we dined on dryed
Salmon & Set out. I am confident that I could have toma-
hawked every Indian here. The Language is the Sam as
those above, those Lodges can turn out 〈250〉 350 men. [5] I
shot a Crain [6] & 2 ducks and opposit to a Lodge on the Stard.
Side, one mile below a rapid.    a Single Mountn. bears S. W.
from the Muscle Shell rapid.
S. W.   3 miles to a few 〈bushes〉 willow Trees on the Lard. Side below
the lower pt. of an Isd. Ld. opposit 24 Lodges of Indians In-
dians fishing.    here we came too and camped, 19 of them
on the Stard. Side & 5 on an Island in the middle of the
river, about 100 Inds. come over    Some brought wood and
we gave Smoke to all which they were pleased at

Columbia River near Mouth of Umatilla River
(not shown), Washington and Oregon, ca. October 19, 1805,
Elkskin-bound Journal
Missouri Historical Society

P. Crusat played on the Violin which pleasd and astonished those reches who are badly Clad, ¾ with robes not half large enough to cover them, they are homeley high Cheeks, and but fiew orniments. I Suped on the Crane which I killed 〈yesterday〉 to day.


The great chief Yel-lep-pet two other chiefs, and a Chief of Band below presented themselves to us verry early this morning.    we Smoked with them, enformed them as we had all others above as well as we Could by Signs [7] of our friendly intentions towards our red children Perticular those who opened their ears to our Councils.    we gave a Medal, a Handkercheif & a string of Wompom to Yelleppit and a String of wompom to each of the others. Yelleppit is a bold handsom Indian, with a dignified countenance about 35 years of age, about 5 feet 8 inches high and well perpotiond.    he requested us to delay untill the Middle of the day, that his people might Come down and See us, we excused our Selves and promised to Stay with him one or 2 days on our return which appeared to Satisfy him; great numbers of Indians Came down in Canoes to view us before we Set out which was not untill 9 oClock A M.    we proceeded on passed a Island, close under the Lard Side about Six miles in length opposit to the lower point of which two Isds. are situated on one of which five Lodges 〈of Indians〉 vacent & Saffolds drying fish    at the upper point of this Island Swift water.    a Short distance below passed two Islands; one near the middle of the river on which is Seven lodges of Indians drying fish, [8] at our approach they hid themselves in their Lodges and not one was to be seen untill we passed, they then Came out in greater numbers than is common in Lodges of their Size, it is probable that, the inhabitants of the 5 Lodges above had in a fright left their lodges and decended to this place to defend them Selves if attackted there being a bad rapid opposit the Island thro which we had to pass prevented our landing on this Island and passifying those people, about four miles below this fritened Island we arrived at the head of a verry bad rapid, [9] we came too on the Lard Side to view the rapid before we would venter to run it, as the Chanel appeared to be close under the oppd. Shore, and it would be necessary to liten our canoe, I deturmined to walk down on the Lard Side, with the 2 Chiefs the interpreter & his woman, and derected the Small canoe to prcede down on the Lard Side to the foot of the rapid which was about 2 miles in length    I Sent on the Indian Chiefs &c. down and I assended a high clift about 200 feet above the water from the top of which is a leavel plain extending up the river and off for a great extent, at this place the Countrey becoms low on each Side of the river, and affords a pros[pect?] of the river and countrey below for great extent both to the right and left; from this place I descovered a high mountain of emence hight covered with Snow, this must be one of the mountains laid down by Vancouver, as Seen from the mouth of the Columbia River, from the Course which it bears which is West I take it to be Mt. St. Helens, destant 〈about 120〉 156 miles    a range of mountains in the Derection crossing, a conacal mountain S. W. toped with Snow    This rapid I observed as I passed opposit to it to be verry bad interseped with high rock and Small rockey Islands, here I observed banks of Muscle Shells banked up in the river in Several places, I Delayed at the foot of the rapid about 2 hours for the Canoes which I could See met with much dificuelty in passing down the rapid on the oposit Side    maney places the men were obliged to get into the water and haul the canoes over Sholes—    while Setting on a rock wateing for Capt Lewis I Shot a Crain which was flying over of the common kind. I observed a great number of Lodges on the opposit Side at Some distance below and Several Indians on the opposit bank passing up to where Capt. Lewis was with the Canoes, others I Saw on a knob nearly opposit to me at which place they delayed but a Short time before they returned to their Lodges as fast as they could run, I was fearfull that those people might not be informed of us, I deturmined to take the little Canoe which was with me and proceed with the three men in it to the Lodges, on my aproach not one person was to be Seen except three men off in the plains, and they Sheared off as I aproached near the Shore, I landed in front of five Lodges which was at no great distance from each other, Saw no person    the enteranc or Dores of the Lodges wer Shut with the Same materials of which they were built a mat, I approached one with a pipe in my hand entered a lodge which was the nearest to me found 32 persons men, women and a few children Setting permiscuesly in the Lodg, 〈Some〉 in the greatest agutation, Some crying and ringing there hands, others hanging their heads. I gave my hand to them all and made Signs of my friendly dispotion and offered the men my pipe to Smok and distributed a fiew Small articles which I had in my pockets,—this measure passified those distressed people verry much, I then Sent one man into each lodge and entered a Second myself the inhabitants of which I found more fritened than those of the first lodge    I destributed Sundrey Small articles amongst them, and Smoked with the men, I then entered the third 4h & fifth Lodge which I found Somewhat passified, the three men Drewer Jo. & R. Fields, haveing useed everey means in their power to convince them of our friendly disposition to them, I then 〈formd〉 Set my Self on a rock and made Signs to the men to come and Smoke with me not one Come out untill the Canoes arrived with 〈Some five Came out of each Lodge and Set by me and Smoked    Capt Lewis at〉 the 2 Chiefs, one of whom spoke aloud, and as was their Custom to all we had passed the Indians came out & Set by me and Smoked    They said we came from the clouds &c &c 〈which the〉 and were not men &c. &c.    this time Capt. Lewis came down with the Canoes rear in which the Indians, as Soon as they Saw the Squar wife of the interperters 〈wife〉 they pointed to her and informed those who continued yet in the Same position I first found them, they imediately all came out and appeared to assume new life, [10] the sight of This Indian woman, wife to one of our interprs. confirmed those people of our friendly intentions, as no woman ever accompanies a war party of Indians in this quarter—    Capt Lewis joined us and we Smoked with those people in the greatest friendship, dureing which time one of our Old Chiefs informed them who we were from whence we Came and where we were going giveing them a friendly account of us, those people do not Speak prosisely the Same language of those above but understand them, I Saw Several Horses and persons on hors back in the plains many of the men womin and children Came up from the Lodges below; all of them appeared pleased to See us, we traded some fiew articles for fish and berries, Dined, and proceeded on passed a Small rapid and 15 Lodges below the five, and Encamped below an Island Close under the Lard Side, [11] nearly opposit to 24 Lodges on an Island near the middle of the river, and the Main Stard Shor    Soon after we landed which was at a fiew willow trees about 100 [X: 5] Indians Came from the different Lodges, and a number of them brought wood which they gave us, we Smoked with all of them, and two of our Party Peter Crusat & Gibson played on the violin which delighted them greatly, we gave to the principal man a String of wompon treated them kindly for which they appeared greatfull, This Tribe [NB: a branch of the nation called Pisch quit pas ] can raise about 350 men    their Dress are Similar to those at the fork except their robes are Smaller and do not reach lower than the waste and ¾ of them have Scercely any robes at all, the women have only a Small pece of a robe which Covers their Sholders neck and reaching down behind to their wastes, with a tite piece of leather about the waste, the brests are large and hang down verry low illy Shaped, high Creeks flattened heads, & have but fiew orniments, they are all employed in fishing and drying fish of which they have great quantites on their Scaffolds, their habits customs &c. I could not lern. I killed a Duck that with the Crain afforded us a good Supper.    the Indians continued all night at our fires

This day we made 36 miles


Saturday 19th Oct. 1805.    a clear cold morning.    the natives brought us Some pounded Sammon.    about 7 oC A M we Set out    proceeded on    passd high clifts of rocks on each Side of the River.    the natives are verry numrous.    our officers gave one [12] a meddle and Some other small articles.    this morning passd. Several Small villages    the Savages all hid themselves in their flag loges untill we passed them.    the Indians are numerous along the River.    the villages near each other and great quantitys of Sammon drying.    we passed over Several rapids which are common in this River.    we discovred a verry high round mountain a long distance down the River which appears to have Snow on the top of it.    we came 36 miles this day and Camped on the South Side    an Indian village on the opposite Shore    a nomber of the natives came over the River in their Small canoes to see us.    when any of these Savages dye they bury them and all their property with them and picket in their grave yard.    even their canoes are put around them.—


Saturday 19th.    The morning was clear and pleasant, with some white frost. A number of the natives came to our camp, and our Commanding Officers presented one of them with a medal and other small articles. At 8 o'clock we proceeded on; passed some islands and bad rapids, but no accident happened. We also passed a great many Indian camps. In the whole country around there are only level plains, except a few hills on some parts of the river. We went 36 miles and halted opposite a large Indian camp; and about thirty-six canoe loads of them came over to see us; some of whom remained all night; but we could not have much conversation with them as we did not understand their language. [13] They are clothed much in the same manner with those at the forks above. The custom prevails among these Indians of burying all the property of the deceased, with the body. Amongst these savages when any of them die, his baskets, bags, clothing, horses and other property are all interred: even his canoe is split into pieces and set up round his grave.


Saturday 19th Oct. 1805.    a clear cold morning.    we took an eairly breakfast.    the Natives came to See us in their canoes.    brought us Some fish which had been roasted and pounded up fine and made up in balls, which eat verry well.    about 7 oC. A m. we Set out and proceeded on down the R.    passed high clifts of rocks on each Side    passd. over Several rockey rapids.    our officers gave one of the Natives we left this morning a meddel.    we passed Several Islands on which was Indian fishing Camps.    the natives all hid themselves in their flag lodges when they Saw us comming.    the Indians are numerous    the camps near each other along the Shores    the River pleasant only at the rapid which are common    we passd. over Several today but no exident hapened.    the Country around level plains except Some hills & clifts along the Shores.    we discovred a high hill or mountn a long distance down the River which appears to have Snow on it    we 〈came〉 went 36 miles this day and Campd opposite a large Indian Camp on the South Side.    a great nomber of the natives come over in their canos to see us.    when any of these natives die they deposite all their property with them.    we Saw one of their grave yards to day, even a canoe was Split in peaces and Set up around the yard Several other art. also.

Saturday October 19th    This morning was clear & cold, We took an early breakfast, the Natives still continuing to visit us, bringing with them some Salmon, which they had roasted & pounded fine & made up into Balls, which eat very well; About 7 oClock A. M. We proceeded on down the Columbia River, We passed by Clifts of rocks, lying on each side of the River, & also rockey rapids.    We passed by several Islands, on which were Indian fishing Camps.    The Natives all hid themselves (on these Islands on seeing us,) in their Flag lodges.    We now begin to find the Indians very numerous, and their Camps lay near each other along the Shores on both sides of the River, We found the day pleasant & the Navigation of the River easy, excepting at the Rapids several of which we passed over this day, without any accident happening.—

The Country as we passed along is level plains, and along some part of the Shores are some hills & Clifts.    We discovered a high hill or mountain laying a long distance down the River which appears to have Snow on it.—    We came 36 Miles this day, & encamped opposite to a large Indian Camp, which lay on the South side of the River.    A number of the Natives came over to see us, & behaved very friendly.—    These Indians have a custom among them, that when any of them die, they deposit all their property with them.—    We saw one of their grave Yards this day, & even to a canoe, that belonged to the deceased person; was split up into pieces, and set up round the grave Yard

1. Evidently Yelleppit was chief of the Walula (or Walla Walla) tribe, although it has been suggested that he was a Cayuse leader named Ollicutt known to fur traders in the area a few years later. Ronda (LCAI), 167, 220–21; Ruby & Brown (CIIT), 22–23; Ross, 137–38; Glover, 350. The term yelépt means "friend, blood brother" in Nez Perce; yalɨ́pt means "trading partner" in Shahaptian. Sometime in the 1890s a Jefferson peace medal, perhaps from the expedition, was discovered on an island (possibly Goat Island) at the mouth of the Walla Walla River; it may be the one given to Yelleppit at this time or on the party's return trip in 1806. It is today a part of the Lewis and Clark items of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland. Cutright (LCIPM), 164; Prucha (IPM), 16–24, 90–95, Strong (SACR), 208. (back)
2. Hat Rock retains its name from Lewis and Clark and sits prominently in Hat Rock State Park, Umatilla County, Oregon. Several miles upstream the party passed today's Washington-Oregon border. (back)
3. Probably not Mt. St. Helens, which would not be visible from their location, but Mt. Adams, east of the main Cascade Range in Yakima County, Washington. Glover, 312 and n. 15. (back)
4. Opposite this course in the Elkskin-bound Journal Clark sketched a map showing the journey from Hat Rock to beyond the Umatilla River (not shown) and the campsite of October 19, 1805. (back)
5. These people were Umatillas, or perhaps Cayuses, living near present Plymouth, Benton County, Washington, opposite the mouth of the Umatilla River, which the captains did not notice on the outbound journey. Ronda (LCAI), 167–68, 285 n. 14; Atlas map 75. (back)
6. A crane "of the Common Kind" in Codex H; probably a sandhill crane. See above, July 21 and 29, 1805, for more description. (back)
7. An indication, perhaps, that the sign language had penetrated this far from the Great Plains. Many Columbia Plateau tribes made buffalo-hunting trips to the plains, where they could have picked up the signs. (back)
8. The six-mile-long island may be later Techumtas Island, while that referred to as having five lodges may be later Sheep Island. Osborne, 131, mentions the island with seven lodges. Atlas map 75; Osborne, Bryan, & Crabtree, 267–306; Ray (NVCB), 150–51. (back)
9. In the area of present McNary Dam. "Muscle Shell rapid" on Atlas map 75. (back)
10. At this point in Codex H (p. 41), in the right margin and at right angles to the text, Clark has written "See description." There is also a large "X" through this passage. (back)
11. Apparently between Irrigon and Boardman, Morrow County, Oregon. Atlas map 75. The island could be Blalock Island, known as amaama'pa ("island") by the Umatillas. Archaeological work performed on Blalock Island in the late 1950s and 1960s has not yet been fully reported. There are several sites in this area of Plymouth, Washington, which are likely candidates for the numerous lodges noted by Clark. Ray (NVCB), 151; Alexander; Galm et al. (back)
12. Yelleppit, chief of the Walula, or Walla Walla, Indians. (back)
13. Probably Umatilla Indians living in the vicinity of Plymouth, Benton County, Washington, but possibly Cayuses. (back)