Audio & Video


Excerpts from The Salish People and the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Excerpts from The Salish People and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (University of Nebraska Press, 2005) by the Salish-Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee and Elders Cultural Advisory Council, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Read by Germaine White:

"This book is written / because we respect our ancestors / and the people here today / and the generations yet to come."
Second Excerpt
"On September 4th, 1805, a large band of Salish people was encamped at one of the traditional places in the upper Bitterroot Valley …"
Third Excerpt
"Lewis and Clark now figure prominently at the beginning of nearly every U.S. history textbook. Even today, the word 'discovery' pervades most Lewis and Clark materials, and it animates the tourist packages shuttling visitors to every point along the expedition’s route…"
Fourth Excerpt
"This span of time is so immense that it forces us to reconsider how small a portion of the history we know today…"
Fifth Excerpt
"This is what I am telling. Then when I thought about it, I think it's about three hundred or four hundred snows ago, and even beyond that time, is what I am telling you about…"
Sixth Excerpt
"From that time on, it became known that the white people had laws…"
Seventh Excerpt
"As Mitch Smallsalmon told us: Of course, long ago the Indian people lived all over here and were happy …"
Eighth Excerpt
"In Part I, we saw that in 1805, when Lewis and Clark make their way to the homeland of the Salish and Pend d’Oreille people, they entered into an ancient, and richly developed, cultural world…"
Ninth Excerpt
"In later years, the Salish and many other tribes would belatedly discover the real purpose of the expedition—the assertion of dominion over Indian lands and Indian peoples, and the commercial exploitation of Indian resources…"
Tenth Excerpt
"As we can see, both tribal elders and non-Indian storytellers reflect the confusion of these interactions…"
Eleventh Excerpt
"In the years that followed the Lewis and Clark expedition, the world of the Salish was nearly obliterated but it was not wiped out…"

Excerpts from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Excerpts from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Moulton (University of Nebraska Press). Read by poet William Kloefkorn:

August 30, 1803 entry by Meriwether Lewis
"…Mr. Blaze Cenas being unacquainted with the management of the gun suffered her to discharge herself accedentaly the ball passed through the hat of a woman about 40 yards distanc cuting her temple…shee fell instantly and the blood gusing from her temple…"
August 20, 1804 entry by William Clark
"…he was buried with the Honors of War much lamented…This Man at all times gave us proofs of his firmness and Determined resolution to doe Service to his Countrey and honor to himself…"
September 17, 1804 entry by Meriwether Lewis
"…this senery already rich pleasing and beatiful, was still farther hightened by immence herds of Buffaloe deer Elk and Antelopes which we saw in every direction feeding on the hills and plains…"
May 26, 1805 entry by Meriwether Lewis
"…on arriving to the summit one of the highest points in the neighbourhood I thought myself well repaid for any labour; as from this point I beheld the Rocky Mountains for the first time …"
May 29, 1805 entry by Meriwether Lewis (part 1)
"…[the buffalo] then alarmed ran up the bank in full speed directly towards the fires, and was within 18 inches of the heads of some of the men who lay sleeping …"
May 29, 1805 entry by Meriwether Lewis (part 2)
"in this manner the Indians of the Missouri distroy vast herds of buffaloe at a stroke; for this purpose one of the most active and fleet young men is scelected …"
May 31, 1805 entry by Meriwether Lewis
"…in short their labour is incredibly painfull and great, yet those faithfull fellows bear it without a murmur."
June 2, 1805 entry by Meriwether Lewis
"…I walked onshore most of the day with some of the hunters for that purpose and killed 6 Elk 2 buffale 2 Mule deer and a bear…"
June 3, 1805 entry by Meriwether Lewis
"This morning early we passed over and formed a camp on the point formed by the junction of the two large rivers…"
June 14, 1805 entry by Meriwether Lewis (part 1)
"hearing a tremendious roaring above me I continued my rout across the point of a hill a few hundred yards further and was again presented by one of the most beatifull objects in nature …"
June 14, 1805 entry by Meriwether Lewis (part 2)
"…having entirely forgotton to reload my rifle, a large white, or reather brown bear, had perceived and crept on me within 20 steps before I discovered him …"
June 20, 1805 entry by William Clark
"…we all believe that we are about to enter on the most perilous and dificuelt part of our Voyage, yet I See no one repineing …"
August 12, 1805 entry by Meriwether Lewis
"…two miles below McNeal had exultingly stood with a foot on each side of this little rivulet and thanked his god that he had lived to bestride the mighty & heretofore deemed endless Missouri…"
December 25, 1805 entry by William Clark
"…we would have Spent this day the nativity of Christ in feasting, had we any thing either to raise our Sperits or even gratify our appetites, our Diner concisted of pore Elk, So much Spoiled that we eate it thro' mear necessity, Some Spoiled pounded fish and a fiew roots…"
March 23, 1806 entry by William Clark
"…from the 7th of Decr. 1805 to this day and have lived as well as we had any right to expect, and we can Say that we were never one day without 3 meals of Some kind a day either pore Elk meat or roots…"
July 18, 1806 entry by William Clark
"…Gibson in attempting to mount his horse after Shooting a deer this evening fell and on a Snag and sent it nearly [two] inches into the Muskeler part of his thy…"


Following are excerpts of an interview with editor Gary E. Moulton.

A narrated segment introducing Moulton and the journal project
"Gary Moulton recently published The Definitive Journals of Lewis and Clark. Moulton's 13 volume collection is the result of a painstaking twenty year process…"
A description of the process of editing the journals
"…what I did was work with original materials, mostly on microfilm and some printed materials the holding depositories sent me or loaned me.…"
Comments on the writing styles of Lewis and Clark
"…Lewis, when he wrote, was a more engaging writer. He had a literary flare, and that's probably one reason Jefferson chose Lewis.…"
Moulton discusses the enlisted men's journals
"We have journals from four other enlisted men…"
Why the story of the expedition still captivates people
"…public is fascinated partly because they have had some great literature and some good documentary film come out…"
How the journal editing project came to the University of Nebraska
"…the project to edit the journals of the expedition, came to the state of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska because Nebraskans had interest…"
Why Moulton is personally involved in the commemoration of the expedition
"…I have a public responsibility to do this, as well as just someone who's interested in Lewis and Clark, I think that it's important for someone like myself to carry the torch…"
Why people are so excited about the bicentennial of the expedition
"…simply a good story it appeals to people because of its success. Lewis and Clark did the job set before them…"

Interview courtesy of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of University Communications.