Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805 - Part Two
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: October 8, 1805 - October 10, 1805

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates October 8, 1805 - October 10, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates October 8, 1805 - October 10, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 8, 1805 - October 10, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: October 8, 1805 - October 10, 1805

October 8, 1805
Tuesday 8. We set out at nine o'clock. At eight and a half miles we passed an island: four and a half miles lower a second island, opposite a small creek on the left side of the river. Five miles lower is another island on the left: a mile and a half below which is a fourth. At a short distance from this is a large creek from the right, to which we gave the name of Colter's creek, from Colter one of the men. We had left this creek about a mile and a half, and were passing the last of fifteen rapids which we had been fortunate enough to escape, when one of the canoes struck, and a hole being made in her side, she immediately filled and sunk. The men, several of whom could not swim, clung to the boat till one of our canoes could be unloaded, and with the assistance of an Indian boat, they were all brought to shore. All the goods were so much wet, that we were obliged to halt for the night, and spread them out to dry. While all this was exhibited, it was necessary to place two sentinels over the merchandise, for we found that the Indians, though kind and disposed to give us every aid during our distress, could not resist the temptation of pilfering some of the small articles. We passed during our route of twenty miles to-day, several encampments of Indians on the islands, and near the rapids, which places are chosen as most convenient for taking salmon. At one of these camps we found our two chiefs, who after promising to descend the river with us, had left us; they however willingly came on board after we had gone through the ceremony of smoking.

October 9, 1805
Wednesday, 9. The morning was as usual, cool; but as the weather both yesterday and to-day was cloudy, our merchandise dried but slowly. The boat, though much injured, was repaired by ten o'clock so as to be perfectly fit for service; but we were obliged to remain during the day till the articles were sufficiently dry to be reloaded: the interval we employed in purchasing fish for the voyage and conversing with the Indians. In the afternoon we were surprised at hearing that our old Shoshone guide and his son had left us, and been seen running up the river several miles above. As he had never given any notice of his intention, nor had even received his pay for guiding us, we could not imagine the cause of his desertion, nor did he ever return to explain his conduct. We requested the chief to send a horseman after him to request that he would return and receive what we owed him. From this however he dissuaded us, and said very frankly, that his nation, the Chopunnish, would take from the old man any presents that he might have on passing their camp.

The Indians came about our camp at night, and were very gay and good-humoured with the men. Among other exhibitions was that of a squaw who appeared to be crazy: she sang in a wild incoherent manner, and would offer to the spectators all the little articles she possessed, scarifying herself in a horrid manner if any one refused her present: she seemed to be an object of pity among the Indians, who suffered her to do as she pleased without interruption.

October 10, 1805
Thursday, 10. A fine morning. We loaded the canoes and set off at seven o'clock. At the distance of two and a half miles we had passed three islands, the last of which is opposite to a small stream on the right. Within the following three and a half miles is another island and a creek on the left, with wide low grounds, containing willow and cottonwood trees, on which were three tents of Indians. Two miles lower is the head of a large island, and six and a half miles further we halted at an encampment of eight lodges on the left, in order to view a rapid before us: we had already passed eight, and some of them difficult; but this was worse than any of them, being a very hazardous ripple strewed with rocks: we here purchased roots and dined with the Indians. Among them was a man from the falls, who says that he saw white people at that place and is very desirous of going down with us; an offer which however we declined. Just above this camp we had passed a tent, near which was an Indian bathing himself in a small pond or hole of water, warmed by throwing in hot stones. After finishing our meal we descended the rapid with no injury, except to one of our boats which ran against a rock, but in the course of an hour was brought off with only a small split in her side. This ripple, from its appearance and difficulty, we named the Rugged rapid. We went on over five other rapids of a less dangerous kind, and at the distance of five miles reached a large fork of the river from the south; and after coming twenty miles, halted below the junction on the right side of the river: our arrival soon attracted the attention of the Indians, who flocked in all directions to see us. In the evening the Indian from the falls, whom we had seen at the Rugged rapid, joined us with his son in a small canoe, and insisted on accompanying us to the falls. Being again reduced to fish and roots we made an experiment to vary our food by purchasing a few dogs, and after having been accustomed to horse-flesh, felt no disrelish to this new dish. The Chopunnish have great numbers of dogs which they employ for domestic purposes, but never eat; and our using the flesh of that animal soon brought us into ridicule as dog-eaters.

The country at the junction of the two rivers is an open plain on all sides, broken towards the left by a distant ridge of highland, thinly covered with timber: this is the only body of timber which the country possesses; for at the forks there is not a tree to be seen, and during almost the whole descent of sixty miles down the Kooskooskee from its forks there are very few. This southern branch is in fact the main stream of Lewis's river on which we encamped when among the Shoshones. The Indians inform us that it is navigable for sixty miles; that not far from its mouth it receives a branch from the south; and a second and larger branch, two days' march up, and nearly parallel to the first Chopunnish villages, we met near the mountains. This branch is called Pawnashte, and is the residence of a chief, who, according to their expression, has more horses than he can count. The river has many rapids, near which are situated many fishing camps; there being ten establishments of this before reaching the first southern branch; one on that stream, five between that and the Pawnashte; one on that river, and two above it; besides many other Indians who reside high up on the more distant waters of this river. All these Indians belong to the Chopunnish nation, and live in tents of an oblong form, covered with flat roofs.

At its mouth Lewis's river is about two hundred and fifty yards wide, and its water is of a greenish blue color. The Kooskooskee, whose waters are clear as crystal, one hundred and fifty yards in width, and after the union the river enlarges to the space of three hundred yards: at the point of the union is an Indian cabin, and in Lewis's river a small island.

The Chopunnish or Pierced-nose nation, who reside on the Kooskooskee and Lewis's rivers, are in person stout, portly, well-looking men: the women are small, with good features, and generally handsome, though the complexion of both sexes is darker than that of the Tushepaws. In dress they resemble that nation, being fond of displaying their ornaments. The buffalo or elk-skin robe decorated with beads, sea-shells, chiefly mother-of-pearl, attached to an otter-skin collar and hung in the hair, which falls in front in two queues; feathers, paints of different kinds, principally white, green, and light blue, all of which they find in their own country: these are the chief ornaments they use. In the winter they wear a short shirt of dressed skins, long painted leggings and moccasins, and a plait of twisted grass round the neck.

The dress of the women is more simple, consisting of a long shirt of argalia or ibex skin, reaching down to the ankles without a girdle: to this are tied little pieces of brass and shells and other small articles; but the head is not at all ornamented. The dress of the female is indeed more modest, and more studiously so than any we have observed, though the other sex is careless of the indelicacy of exposure.

The Chopunnish have very few amusements, for their life is painful and laborious; and all their exertions are necessary to earn even their precarious subsistence. During the summer and autumn they are busily occupied in fishing for salmon, and collecting their winter store of roots. In the winter they hunt the deer on snow shoes over the plains, and towards spring cross the mountains to the Missouri for the purpose of trafficking for buffalo robes. The inconveniences of that comfortless life are increased by frequent encounters with their enemies from the west, who drive them over the mountains with the loss of their horses, and sometimes the lives of many of the nation. Though originally the same people, their dialect varies very perceptibly from that of the Tushepaws: their treatment to us differed much from the kind and disinterested services of the Shoshones: they are indeed selfish and avaricious; they part very reluctantly with every article of food or clothing; and while they expect a recompense for every service however small, do not concern themselves about reciprocating any presents we may give them.

They are generally healthy—the only disorders which we have had occasion to remark being of a scrophulous kind, and for these, as well as for the amusement of those who are in good health, hot and cold bathing is very commonly used.

The soil of these prairies is of a light yellow clay intermixed with small smooth grass: it is barren, and produces little more than a bearded grass about three inches high, and a prickly pear, of which we now found three species: the first is of the broad-leafed kind, common to the Missouri. The second has the leaf of a globular form, and is also frequent on the upper part of the Missouri, particularly after it enters the Rocky mountains. The third is pecular to this country, and is much more inconvenient than the other two: it consists of small thick leaves of a circular form, which grow from the margin of each other as in the broad-leafed pear of the Missouri: these leaves are armed with a greater number of thorns, which are stronger, and appear to be barbed; and as the leaf itself is very slightly attached to the stem, as soon as one thorn touches the moccasin it adheres and brings with it the leaf, which is accompanied by a reenforecement of thorns.

The party proceed in canoes In the passage down they are visited by several Indians, all of whom manifest pacific dispositions--description of the Sokulk tribe--their dress, and manner of building houses--their pacific character--their habits of living--their mode of boiling salmon--vast quantities of salmon amongst the Sokulk--council held with this tribe--the terror and consternation excited by captain Clarke, concerning which an interesting cause is related--some account of the Pisquitpaws--their mode of burying the dead.

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