May 22, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

May 22, 1806


A fine morning we exposed all our baggage to air and dry as well as our store of roots and bread purchased from the natives.    permited Windsor and McNeal to go to the indian village. Sergt. Ordway and Goodrich returned this morning with a good store of roots and bread. about noon 2 indian men came down the river on a raft and continued at our camp about 3 hours and returned to their village.    we sent out Shannon and Colter to hunt towards the mountains.    we sent Sergt. Pryor down to the entrance of Collins Creek to examine the country and look out for a good position for an encampment on the river below that Creek, having determined to remove our camp below that crek if it continues high, as soon as we have completed our canoe, as the country to which we are confined to hunt at present is limited by this creek and river to a very narrow tract, and game have already become scarce.    if we can obtain a good situation below the entrance of this creek it will be much more eligible as the hunting country is more extensive and game more abundant than above. The horse which the indians have given us to kill was driven away yesterday by the natives with a gang of their horses I presume in mistake; being without meat at noon we directed one of the largest of our colts to be killed.    we found the flesh of this animal fat tender and by no means illy flavoured.    we have three others which we mean to reserve for the rocky mountains if we can subsist here without them.    my horse which was castrated the day before yesterday wounded his thigh on the iner side with the rope by which he was confined that evening and is now so much swolen with the wound the castraiting and the collection of vermen that he cannot walk, in short he is the most wretched specticle; I had his wounds clensed of the vermen by washing them well with a strong decoction of the bark of the roots & leaves of elder [1] but think the chances are against his recovery.    at 3 P. M. we observed a large party of Indians on horseback in pursuit of a deer which they ran into the river opposite to our camp; Capt. C. Myself & three of our men shot and killed the deer in the water; the indians pursued it on a raft and caught it.    it is astonishing to see these people ride down those steep hills which they do at full speed.    on our return to camp we found Drewyer the Two Feildses Gibson and Sheilds just arrived with five deer which they had killed at a considerable distance towards the mountains.    they also brought with them two red salmon trout [2] which they had purchased from some indians whom they had met with on their return to camp.—    Two Indians who were just arrived at our camp informed us that these salmon trout remained in this river the greater part of the winter, that they were not good at this season which we readily discovered, they were very meagre. these indians also informed us that there were at this time a great number of salmon at no great distance from hence in Lewis's river which had just arrived and were very fat and fine, they said it would be some yet before they would ascend this river as high as this place.    a party of the natives on the opposite shore informed those with us that a party of the Shoshones had two nights past surrounded a lodge of their nation on the South side of Lewis's river, that the inhabitants having timely discovered the enimy effected their retreat in the course of the night and escaped. Charbono's Child is very ill this evening; he is cuting teeth, and for several days past has had a violent lax, which having suddonly stoped he was attacked with a high fever and his neck and throat are much swolen this evening. [3]    we gave him a doze of creem of tartar and flour of sulpher and applyed a poltice of boiled onions to his neck as warm as he could well bear it. Sergt. Pryor returned late in the evening and informed us that he had been down the river eight miles and that the clifts set in so abruptly to the river he could get no further without returning several miles back and ascending the hills and that he had thought it best to return and ride down tomorrow on the high plain as he believed the mouth of the creek was a considerable distance. Drewyer who has been at the place informs us that it is about 10 ms. and that there is no situation on the river for some distance below this creek which can possibly answer our purposes.—    we dryed our baggage &c perfectly and put it up.—


a fine day    we exposed all our baggage to the Sun to air and dry, also our roots which we have precured of the nativs.    gave promission to Windser & McNeal to go to the Indian Villages. Sergt. Ordway and goodrich returned at 11 A. M. Soon after 2 Indian men Came down on a raft and Continued with us about 3 hours and then returned to their Village. Shannon & Colter went out to day to hunt towards the mountains. Sergt. Pryor went out to hunt down the river, and examine the mouth of Collins Creek, if a good Situation was below that Creek for a Camp.    this Creek which Cannot be passed owing to it's debth & rapidity is a great beariore in our way to the best hunting Country.    it confines us to a narrow scope between this Creek and the river on which we are Camped. If a Situation can be found imedeately below the Creek it will answer us better than our present one as from thence we Can get out to Some distance to hunt, and be convenient also to the fish Should they pass up &c. The horse the Indian's left with us to kill has been drove to their village with a gang of horses which I suppose belonged to another man.    as the greater part of our men have not had any Meat to eate for 2 days, and the roots they Complain of, not being accustiomed to live on them altogether we derected a large Coalt which was given to us by a young man with an elegant mare on the [blank] instant.    this Coalt was fat and was handsom looking meat.    late in the evening we were informed that the horse which Capt L. rode over the rocky mountains which was Cut day before yesterday had his hip out of place Since that time, and Could not walk. Capt. Lewis examined him and thought he Could not recover.    at 3 P. M. we observed a number of Indians in chase of a deer on their horses on the opposit hill Sides. Soon after the deer took the water I Capt L. and 3 men run down on this Side, and killed the deer in the water, the deer floated down and the Indians took it by means of a raft which they had ready. on my return to Camp found Drewyer Jos. & Reuben Fields, Shields and gibson just arrived from the Chass with 5 Deer which they had killed on the high lands toward the mountains.    they also brought with them two Salmon trout which they had purchased of Indians which they Saw on their return to Camp.    at 5 p. M. two young men highly decurated in their way Came to our camp and informed us that the fat fish were in great numbers in Lewis's river.    that those Salmon trout which our hunters brought were pore and Such as were Cought in the Winter in this river and were not the kind which Comes up in the Spring of the year. great number of Indians Come to the opposit bank and inform those on this Side that the Snake Indians had come to a Lodge on Lewis's river at night.    the inhabitents previously discovering them abandened the house. Shabonoes Son a Small child is, dangerously ill.    his jaw and throat is much Swelled.    we apply a poltice of Onions.    after giveing him Some creem of tarter &c.    this day proved to be fine fair which afforded us an oppertunety of drying our baggage which had got a little wet.


Thursday 22nd of May 1806.    a clear cold frosty morning.    the most of the women went out eairly with their horses to dig roots.    the women do the most of the Slavery as those on the Missourie    the men went eairly to a Swet house built a large fire and put in a large quantity of Small Stone and het them red hot then put them in some water in the swet hole which was prepared for that purpose & only a hole big enofe to git in one at a time.    about 12 at on once got in to the hole untill they Sweet then went in the water and bathed themselves.    then in the hole again and bathed themselves in that way for about 2 hours.    they Signed to me that it was to help them of Some disease & Sore eyes, &C. &C. I then returned with a back load of white roots to the Encampment. Several of the party were employed makeing a canoe for convenience of the fishing &C and 4 men were gone a hunting. Sergt Pryor was Sent down to the mouth of Collins creek [4] to See if their is any good place to encamp as all may moove down in our canoe for a better place to fish and hunt if the place will admit &C.    we haveing had no meat of any account for several days we killed a fine colt. Sergt. Pryor returnd without finding the mouth of Collins creek as the clifts were so high he got only 8 miles    five of our hunters returnd    had killed five deer and brought in the meat.    a number of Indians chased a deer down the hills with their horses on South Side of the river    it took the river tho the Inds had wounded it with their arrows. Some of the party Shot in [it?] in the river and the Indians got it.    in the evening we made a fire on the canoe to burn it out.


Thursday 22d.    We had a fine clear morning with some white frost. At three o'clock, five of our hunters [5] came in with five deer; previous to which we had killed a fine colt. In the afternoon we saw a great number of the natives on horseback pursuing a deer on the opposite side of the river. They drove it so hard that it was obliged to take the water, when some of our men [6] went down the bank and shot it, and the natives got on a raft and caught it. These Indians are the most active horsemen I ever saw: they will gallop their horses over precipices, that I should not think of riding over at all.

The frames of their saddles are made of wood nicely jointed, and then covered with raw skins, which when they become dry, bind every part tight, and keep the joints in their places. The saddles rise very high before and behind, in the manner of the saddles of the Spaniards, from whom they no doubt received the form; and also obtained their breed of horses. [7] When the Indians are going to mount they throw their buffaloe robes over the saddles and ride on them, as the saddles would otherwise be too hard.

1. Blue elderberry. Herbal folklore suggested that the bark and roots of the various North American and European species of elderberry had medicinal qualities. In this instance, Lewis used his knowledge of the eastern elderberry's qualitites for the purpose. Moore (MPMW), 73. (back)
2. Probably the steelhead trout again. (back)
3. Jean Baptiste's illness has been variously diagnosed. Coues suspected mumps. Cutright believes it was tonsillitis complicated by an infected cervical lymph gland. Chuinard opts for either an external abscess on the neck or mastoiditis, although the boy does not seem to have suffered later from any of the likely aftereffects of mastoiditis. Coues (HLC), 3:1023 n. 15; Cutright (LCPN), 295–96; Chuinard (OOMD), 370, 372–75. (back)
4. Lolo Creek runs into the Clearwater River below Camp Chopunnish and forms the boundary between Clearwater and Idaho counties, Idaho. (back)
5. According to the captains, Drouillard, the Field brothers, Gibson, and Shields. (back)
6. "Capt. C. Myself & three of our men," says Lewis. (back)
7. Gass is undoubtedly correct, although the idea and form of the saddle must have passed through several tribes before reaching the Nez Perces. The Spanish settlements of New Mexico were the origin point for the horses, and many of the horse-using methods, of the Western tribes. (back)