May 9, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

May 9, 1806


We sent out several hunters early this morning with instructions to meet us at the lodge of the Twisted hair. Collecting our horses detained us untill 9 A. M. when we charged our packhorses and set out.    our rout lay through a level rich country similar to that of yesterday; [1] at the distance of 6 miles we arrived at the lodge of the twisted hair; this habitation was built in the usual form with sticks mats and dryed hay, and contained 2 firs and about 12 persons.    even at this small habitation there was an appendage of the soletary lodge, the retreat of the tawny damsels when nature causes them to be drive into coventry; [2] here we halted as had been previously concerted, and one man with 2 horses accompayed the twisted hair to the canoe camp, [3] about 4 ms. in quest of the saddles.    the Twisted hair sent two young men in surch of our horses agreeably to his promis. The country along the rocky mountains for several hundred miles in length and about 50 in width is level extreemly fertile and in many parts covered with a tall and open growth of the longleafed pine.    near the watercouses the hills are steep and lofty tho' are covered with a good soil not remarkably stony [4] and possess more timber than the level country.    the bottom lands on the watercourses are reather narrow and confined tho' fertile & seldom inundated.    this country would form an extensive settlement; the climate appears quite as mild as that of similar latitude on the Atlantic coast if not more so and it cannot be otherwise than healthy; it possesses a fine dry pure air.    the grass and many plants are now upwards of knee high. I have no doubt but this tract of country if cultivated would produce in great abundance every article essentially necessary to the comfort and subsistence of civillized man.    to it's present inhabitants nature seems to have dealt with a liberal hand, for she has distributed a great variety of esculent plants over the face of the country which furnish them a plentifull store of provision; these are acquired with but little toil, and when prepared after the method of the natives afford not only a nutricious but an agreeable food.    among other roots those called by them the Quawmash and Cows are esteemed the most agreeable and valuable as they are also the most abundant.    the cows is a knobbed root of an irregularly rounded form not unlike the Gensang [5] in form and consistence.    this root they collect, rub of a thin black rhind which covers it and pounding it expose it in cakes to the sun.    these cakes ate about an inch and ¼ thick and 6 by 18 in width, when dryed they either eat this bread alone without any further preperation, or boil it and make a thick muselage; the latter is most common and much the most agreeable.    the flavor of this root is not very unlike the gensang.—    this root they collect as early as the snows disappear in the spring and continue to collect it untill the quawmash supplys it's place which happens about the latter end of June.    the quawmash is also collected for a few weaks after it first makes it's appearance in the spring, but when the scape [6] appears it is no longer fit for use untill the seed are ripe which happens about the time just mentioned, and then the cows declines.    the latter is also frequently dryed in the sun and pounded afterwards and then used in making soope.—    I observed a few trees of the larch and a few small bushes of the balsam fir near the lodge of the Twisted hair.    at 2 P. M. our hunters joined us Drewyer killed a deer but lost it in the river.    a few pheasants was the produce of the hunt.    we procured a few roots of cows of which we made soope.    late in the evening The Twisted hair and Willard returned; they brought about half of our saddles, and some powder and lead which had been buried at that place.    my saddle was among the number of those which were lost.    about the same time the young men arrived with 21 of our horses.    the greater part of our horses were in fine order.    five of them appeared to have been so much injured by the indians riding them last fall that they had not yet recovered and were in low order.    three others had soar backs.    we had these horses caught and hubbled.    the situation of our camp was a disagreeable one in an open plain; [7] the wind blew violently and was cold.    at seven P. M. it began to rain and hail, at 9 it was succeeded by a heavy shower of snow which continued untill the next morning.—    several indians joined us this evening from the village of the broken arm or Tunnachemootoolt and continued all night. The man who had imposed himself on us as a relation of the twisted hair rejoined us this evening we found him an impertinent proud supercilious fellow and of no kind of rispectability in the nation, we therefore did not indulge his advances towards a very intimate connection. The Cutnose lodged with the twisted hair I beleive they have become good friends again.    several indians slept about us.


The hunters Set out very early agreeable to their derections.    we were detained untill 9 A. M. for our horses which were much Scattered at which time we Collected our horses and Set out and proceeded on through a butifull open rich Country for 6 miles to the Camp of the twisted hair.    this Campment is formed of two Lodges built in the usial form of mats and Straw.    the largest and principal Lodge is Calculated for 2 fires only and Contains about [blank] persons.    the Second lodge is Small & appears to be intended for the Sick women who always retire to a Seperate lodge when they have the [blank]    this Custom is Common to all the nations on this river as well as among all other Indian nations with whom I am acquainted.    at the distance of 2 miles we passd. a lodge of 2 fires on a fork of the road which leads to the 〈lef〉 right Situated on a Small branch which falls into Musquetor Creek.    before 2 P M all our hunters joined us haveing killed only one deer which was lost in the river and a pheasent. Soon after we halted at the lodge of the twisted hair he Set out with two boys and Willard with a pack horse down to the river near the place we made the Canoes for our Saddles and a Cannister of powder and Some lead buried there, also a part of our horses which resorted near that place.    late in the evening they returned with 21 of our horse and about half of our Saddles with the powder and ball. The greater part of the horses were in fine order, tho' five of them had been rode & worsted in Such a manner last fall by the Inds. that they had not recovered and are in very low order, and 3 with Sore backs.    we had all the recovered horses Cought & hobbled.    we precured Some pounded roots of which a Supe was made thick on which we Suped.    the wind blew hard from the S. W. accompanied with rain untill from 7 oClock untill 9 P. M. when it began to Snow and Continued all night. Several Indians Came from the village of the Chief with whome we had left a flag and Continued with us all night.    they slept in the house of the twisted hair and two of them along Side of us.


Friday 9th of May 1806.    we Set out & proced. on about 6 miles to the twisted hairs village where we Camped. [8]    the chief Sent for our horses & pack Saddles    one of our men went for the ammunition we left at canoe Camp [9]    a band of Indians came from another village to See us.    towards evening Willard returnd. with the ammunition and the pack Saddles    the Indians brought up the most of our horses. Some of them in good order.    we caught & hobbled them. Some of them had been rode after Deer &C.    these plains are Smooth Soil rich & filled with commass wild onions and white roots calld. halse [10] & other roots good for food which the natives live on at this Season of the year.    the evening cold rainy & windy.—


Friday 9th.    There was a cloudy morning; and some hunters [11] went out, and we proceeded on for about six miles, when we came to the old chief's lodge, [12] where his family is encamped to gather roots. We are now got into a part of the country where timber is plenty, chiefly pitch pine. [13]

Between the great falls of the Columbia and this place, we saw more horses, than I ever before saw in the same space of country. They are not of the largest size of horses, but very good and active. [14] At noon two of the Indians went to look for our horses, and the old chief with one of our men who knew where some powder and ball was buried, went to bring our packsaddles. In the evening they returned with 21 horses, and about as many packsaddles. Our horses are generally in good order. Our hunters also returned but had killed nothing.

1. Heading southeasterly and crossing into Clearwater County, Idaho, along the divide between the Clearwater River and Little Canyon Creek. The area, but not the route, appears on Atlas map 71. (back)
2. Coventry here meaning exclusion from social contact during the women's menstrual period. (back)
3. The expedition's camp of September–October 1805 where the men built canoes for the downriver trip; see entry of September 26, 1805. It is located opposite Ahsahka, Clearwater County, at the confluence of the North Fork with the main stem of the Clearwater River. Atlas map 71. Major excavations have recently been conducted at this historic Nez Perce village and house pits dating to 3,000 years ago have been investigated. Sappington, Cochran, & Ozbun; Sappington (AIA). Archaeologists tested the area of Canoe Camp in 1988 and the remains of a late prehistoric site were encountered. House pits, net sinkers, and hunting tools were recovered, but no artifacts that could be associated with the expedition were found. Sappington & Wegars. (back)
4. The Columbia River Basalt covers most of the uplands west of the foot of the mountains near the junction of the north and south forks of the Clearwater River. Streams in this area have cut into the basalt layers leaving plateaus of varying sizes in the interstream areas. These plateaus stand as much as 1,800 feet above the nearby stream bottoms in this area. The soil lying upon the basalts commonly is rich but not especially deep, except where the windblown Palouse silt composed of glacial rock-flour and volcanic ash occurs. (back)
5. American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius L., familiar to Lewis from eastern U.S. forests. Bailey, 745. Two red vertical lines run through these passages about ginseng and camas, perhaps Biddle's doing. (back)
6. The peduncle. (back)
7. In Clearwater County, southwest of Orofino; not shown on Atlas map 71. Space places the site at Wheeler Draw, but Peebles finds this location incompatible with the description in the journals. Space, 27; Peebles (RLC), 19–20; Peebles (LT), map. According to a local pioneer, "a truckload of artifacts" were exposed here during development of a spring and Space later found a pestle and other artifacts. Space, 27. Archaeologists have not examined this locale and no site has been recorded here. (back)
8. In Clearwater County, Idaho, southwest of Orofino, but the exact location is disputed. See the captains' entries for this day. (back)
9. The camp of September–October 1805, where the party built canoes for the down-river trip. (back)
10. A word not used by Lewis or Clark; it is probably the plant cous and perhaps a Nez Perce term. See also the term "uppah" at May 29. (back)
11. As usual, Drouillard was one. (back)
12. The party camped here for the night. The site was in Clearwater County, Idaho, southwest of Orofino. It may have been on Wheeler Draw, but see the captains' entries. (back)
13. Probably lodgepole pine; see Gass's entry for September 4, 1805. (back)
14. The Nez Perces and other tribes of the Northwest Plateau became famous for their breeding of the Appaloosa horse. (back)