Information on the Chinookan Indians
Recorded by Members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
The following excerpts from the journals of Lewis and Clark and their men present a picture of the Upper Chinookan people as the Anglo-Americans saw them. It should be understood that the Chinookans were people who spoke a similar language, but were not all of one tribal group. Lewis and Clark had contact with several major groups, including the Watlatas (Cascades), Echelut (Wishram-Wasco), Skilloot, Cathlapotles and Wahkiakums. The modern reader must be careful to understand that what these white men saw and recorded was not necessarily correct from the Indian perspective.
The following passages have been freely adapted and excerpted from the original texts, and the spelling has been corrected to make them easier to read. For students wishing to quote these passages, the Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary Moulton and published by the University of Nebraska Press, is the recommended source. For those who wish more in-depth information about Lewis and Clark's relations with various Indian tribes, including background from the Indian perspective, the best book is James P. Ronda's Lewis and Clark among the Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984. The very best way to obtain accurate information from the tribal perspective is to contact tribal councils for individual tribes - in other words, to consult the people themselves.
The Indians in this language group were tied to the Columbia River and its rich salmon fisheries. They lived in rectangular houses made of cedar planks, and when traveling, hunting and fishing used lodges made of woven mats. They made horn carvings on the horns of bighorn sheep and other animals, and also carvings on wood. They were great middlemen in the trade of the Northwest coastal areas. The Chinookan peoples of the lower Columbia and Northwest Coast were master canoe-builders, a skill which helped them immeasurably in coping with their environment. Today many of the Wascos live on the Warm Springs Reservation, while the Wishrams live on the Yakima Reservation in the State of Washington.
Chairperson, Yakima Tribal Council
P.O. Box 151
Toppenish, Washington 98948-0151
October 23rd Wednesday 1805
At this place we were obliged to let the canoes down by strong ropes of elkskin which we had for the purpose. One canoe in passing this place got loose by the cords breaking, and was caught by the Indians below. Great numbers of Indians visit us both from above and below. One of the old Chiefs who had accompanied us from the head of the river informed us that he heard the Indians say that the nation below intended to kill us. We examined all the arms &c. complete the ammunition to 100 rounds. The natives leave us earlier this evening than usual, which gives a shadow of confirmation to the information of our Old Chief. As we are at all times & places on our guard, are under no greater apprehension than is common. I observed on the beach near the Indian lodges two canoes, beautiful, of different shape & size to what we had seen above. Wide in the middle and tapering to each end. On the bow curious figures were cut in the wood &c. Capt. Lewis went up to the lodges to see those canoes and exchanged our smallest canoe for one of them by giving a hatchet & few trinkets to the owner, who informed that he purchased it of a white man below for a horse. These canoes are neater made than any I have ever seen and calculated to ride the waves, and carry immense burdens. They are dug thin and are supported by cross pieces of about 1 inch diameter tied with strong bark through holes in the sides. Our two old Chiefs appeared very uneasy this evening.
October 24th Thursday 1805
The natives of this village received me very kindly, one of whom invited me into his house, which I found to be large and commodious, and the first wooden houses in which Indians have lived since we left those in the vicinity of the Illinois. They are scattered promiscuously on an elevated situation near a mound of about 30 feet above the common level, which mound has some remains of houses and has every appearance of being artificial. Those houses are about the same shape, size and form 20 feet (square) wide and 30 feet long, with one door raised 18 inches above ground, which) they are 29½ inches high & 14 wide, forming in a half circle above. Those houses were sunk into the earth six feet, the roofs of them was supported by a ridge pole resting on three strong pieces of split timber, through one of which the door was cut (on which) that and the walls (which) the top of which was just above ground, supported a certain number of spars which are covered with the bark of the white cedar, or arborvitae; and the whole attached and secured by the fibers of the cedar. The eaves at or near the earth, the gable ends and side walls are secured with split boards which are supported on the inner side with strong pieces of timber under the eaves &c. To keep those pieces erect & the earth from without pressing in the boards, supported by strong posts at the corners, to which those poles were attached to give additional strength. Small openings were left above the ground, for the purpose, as I conjectured, of discharging their arrows at a besieging enemy. Light is admitted through an opening at top which also serves for the smoke to pass through. One half of those houses are appropriated for the storing away dried & pounded fish which is the principal food. The other part next the door is the part occupied by the natives who have beds raised on either side, with a fireplace in the center of this space. Each house appeared to be occupied by about three families; that part which is appropriated for fish was crowded with that article, and a few baskets of berries. On those rocks I saw several large scaffolds on which the Indians dry fish; as this is out of season the poles on which they dry those fish are tied up very securely in large bundles and put upon the scaffolds. I counted 107 (scaffolded) stacks of dried, pounded fish in different places on those rocks, which must have contained 10,000 weight of neat fish. Here we formed a camp near the village. The principal Chief from the nation below, with several of his men, visited us and afforded a favorable opportunity of bringing about a peace and good understanding between this chief and his people and the two Chiefs who accompanied us, which we have the satisfaction to say we have accomplished, as we have every reason to believe and that those two bands or nations are and will be on the most friendly terms with each other. Gave this Great Chief a medal and some other articles, of which he was much pleased. Peter Cruzatte played on the violin and the men danced, which delighted the natives, who show every civility towards us. We smoked with those people until late at night, when everyone retired to rest. [The Indians were Wishram-Wasco Chinookans whom Lewis and Clark called Echelutes, from the term meaning "I am a Wishram[-Wasco] Indian." The Dalles area was a dividing point between Chinookan-language speakers downstream and Shahaptian-language speakers upstream. The two Nez Perce chiefs could no longer serve as interpreters].
Thursday 24th Oct. 1805
We camped a little above at an Indian village which was made half under the surface of the ground and the upper part well formed and covered with white cedar bark. They are very comfortable houses. We bought a number of fat dogs, cranberries and white cakes of root bread.
Thursday October 24th
We halted above this narrow, & encamped for the night at a village inhabited by Indians. These Indians had their houses built in the same form that we build our houses in the United States, with these exceptions, that they were built in the ground, & the roofs were made of white cedar bark, & neatly put on. They had also some of them covered with hewn plank. They appeared to live comfortable, they had mats to lay on made out of flags & several other household utensils. We purchased from them some cakes of white root bread, cranberries, a number of fat dogs, wood to cook with, &c. We saw some timber here which grew a distance back from the river. We conclude that there must have been some white people among these Indians, as they had among them a new copper tea kettle, beads, small pieces of copper & a number of other articles. We saw also a child among them, which was a mixed breed between a white man & Indian woman. The fairness of its skin, & rosy color, convinced us that it must have been the case, and we have no doubt but that white men trade among them.
October 25th Friday 1805
Capt. Lewis and myself walked down to see the place the Indians pointed out as the worst place in passing through the [rapids], which we found difficult of passing without great danger. Great numbers of Indians viewing us from the high rocks under which we had to pass . . . Here we met with our two old Chiefs who had been to a village below to smoke a friendly pipe, and at this place they met the Chief & party from the village above on his return from hunting, all of whom were then crossing over their horses. We landed to smoke a pipe with this Chief, whom we found to be a bold, pleasing looking man of about 50 years of age, dressed in a war jacket, a cap, leggings & moccasins. He gave us some meat of which he had but little and informed us he in his route met with a war party of Snake Indians from the great river of the southeast which falls in a few miles above and had a fight. We gave this Chief a medal, &c. A parting smoke with our two faithful friends the [Nez Perce] Chiefs who accompanied us from the head of the river, (who had purchased a horse each with 2 robes and intended to return on horseback).
October 26th Saturday 1805
A number of Indians came to the opposite side of the river in the forepart of the day and show that they were anxious to cross to us. We did not think proper to cross them in our canoes and did not send for them. In the evening two Chiefs and 15 men came over in a small canoe. Those two Chiefs proved to be the two Principal Chiefs of the tribes above at the falls, and above, who was out hunting at the time. We passed their hands; one of those Chiefs made Capt. Lewis and myself each a small present of deer meat, and small cakes of white bread made of roots. We gave to each Chief a medal of the small size, a red silk handkerchief, arm band, knife & a piece of paint, and acknowledged them as chiefs. As we thought it necessary at this time to treat those people very friendly & ingratiate ourselves with them, to insure us a kind & friendly reception on our return, we gave small presents to several, and half a deer to them to eat. We had also a fire made for those people to sit around in the middle of our camp, and Peter Cruzatte played on the violin, which pleased those natives exceedingly. The two Chiefs and several men determined to delay all night (York danced for the Indians) with us, all the others returned, leaving the horses for those who stayed on the opposite side. The nations in the vicinity of this place is at war with the Snake Indians, who they say are numerous and live on the river.
October 27th Sunday 1805
The two Chiefs & party was joined by seven others from below in two canoes. We gave them to eat & smoke. Several of those from below returned down the river in a bad humor, having got into this pet by being prevented doing as they wished with our articles which was then exposed to dry. We took a vocabulary of the languages of those two chiefs which are very different, notwithstanding they are situated within six miles of each other. Those at the great falls call themselves E-nee-shur and are understood on the river above. Those at the Great Narrows call themselves Eche-lute and is understood below. Many words of those people are the same, and common to all the Flathead bands which we have passed on the river. All have the clucking tone annexed which is predominate above. All the bands flatten the heads of the female children, and many of the male children also. Those two Chiefs leave us this evening and returned to their bands.
Sunday 27th. Part of the natives remained with us; but we cannot find out to what nation they belong. We suppose them to be a band of the Flathead nation, as all their heads are compressed into the same form, though they do not speak exactly the same language, but there is no great difference, and this may be a dialect of the same. This singular and deforming operation is performed in infancy in the following manner. A piece of board is placed against the back of the head extending from the shoulders some distance above it; another shorter piece extends from the eye brows to the top of the first, and they are then bound together with thongs or cords made of skins, so as to press back the forehead, make the head rise at the top, and force it out above the ears.
October 28th Monday 1805
As we were about to set out 3 canoes from above and 2 from below came to view us. In one of those canoes I observed an Indian with round hat, jacket & wore his hair queued. At four miles we landed at a village of 8 houses on the starboard side under some rugged rocks. Those people call themselves Chil-luckit-lequaw, live in houses similar to those described, speak a somewhat different language with many words the same & understand those in their neighborhood. Capt. Lewis took a vocabulary of this language. I entered one of the houses in which I saw a British musket, a cutlass and several brass tea kettles of which they appeared very fond. Saw them boiling fish in baskets with stones. I also saw figures of animals & men cut & painted on boards in one side of the house which they appeared to prize, but for what purpose I will not venture to say. Here we purchased five small dogs, some dried berries, & white bread made of roots. The wind rose and we were obliged to lie by all day at 1 mile below on the larboard side. We had not been long on shore before a canoe came up with a man woman & 2 children, who had a few roots to sell. Soon after many others joined them from above. The wind, which is the cause of our delay, does not retard the motions of those people at all, as their canoes are calculated to ride the highest waves. They are built of white cedar or pine, very light, wide in the middle and tapers at each end, with aperns, and heads of animals carved on the bow, which is generally raised. Those people make great use of canoes, both for transportation and fishing. They also use of bowls & baskets made of grass & splits to hold water and boil their fish & meat. Many of the natives of the last village came down, sat and smoked with us. Wind blew hard, accompanied with rain all the evening.
October 29th Tuesday 1805
Came to on the starboard side at a village of 7 houses built in the same form and materials of those above. Here we found the Chief we had seen at the long narrows named [blank]. We entered his lodge and he gave us to eat pounded fish, bread made of roots, filberts, nuts, & the berries of Sackecomme. We gave to each woman of the lodge a brace of ribbon of which they were much pleased. Each of those houses may be calculated to contain 8 men and 30 souls. They are hospitable and good humored, speak the same language of the inhabitants of the last village. We call this the friendly village. I observed in the lodge of the Chief sundry articles which must have been procured from the white people, such a scarlet & blue cloth, sword jacket & hat. I also observed two wide split boards with images on them cut and painted in imitation of a man. I pointed to this image and asked a man to what use he put them to. He said something; the only word I understood was "good," and then stepped to the image and took out his bow & quiver to show me, and some other of his war implements, from behind it. The Chief then directed his wife to hand him his medicine bag, which he opened and showed us 14 fingers which he said was the fingers of his enemies which he had taken in war, and pointed to the southeast, from which direction I concluded they were Snake Indians. This is the first instance I ever knew of the Indians taking any other trophies of their exploits off the dead bodies of their enemies except the scalp. The Chief painted those fingers with several other articles which was in his bag red and securely put them back, having first made a short harangue which I suppose was bragging of what he had done in war. We purchased 12 dogs and 4 sacks of fish, & some few acid berries. At 4 miles lower we observed a small river falling in with great rapidity on the starboard side below, which is a village of 11 houses. Here we landed to smoke a pipe with the natives and examine the mouth of the river, which I found to be 60 yards wide, rapid and deep. The inhabitants of the village are friendly and cheerful; those people inform us, also those at the last village, that this little river is long and full of falls, no salmon pass up it. It runs from north to northeast. That ten nations live on this river and its waters, on berries, and what game they can kill with their bow & arrows. We purchased 4 dogs and set out (this village is of the same nation of the one we last passed) and proceeded on . . . Capt. Lewis and [I] went into the houses of those people, who appeared somewhat surprised at first. Their houses are built on the same construction of those above, speak the same language and dress in the same way. Robes of the skins of wolves, deer, elk, wildcat, or loucivera & fox. They queue their hair which is divided on each shoulder, and also wear small strips about their necks with the tail hanging down in front. Those people gave us high bush cranberries, bread made of roots, and roots. We purchased three dogs for the party to eat; we smoked with the men, all much pleased with the violin.
October 30th Wednesday 1805
Proceeded along an old Indian path, passed an old village at 1 mile on an elevated situation of this village contained very large houses built in a different form from any I had seen, and latterly abandoned, and the most of the boards put into a pond of water near the village, as I conceived to drown the fleas, which was immensely numerous about the houses. I returned at dark. Capt. Lewis and 5 men had just returned from the village. Capt. Lewis informed me that he found the natives kind, they gave him berries, nuts & fish to eat; but he could get nothing from them in the way of information. The greater part of the inhabitants of this village being absent down the river some distance collecting roots. Capt. Lewis saw one gun and several articles which must have been procured from the white people.
Wednesday October 30th
We saw about half a mile above those falls an Indian village. This village contained about 10 well looking cabins, (which were covered with bark) sunk in the ground, as those we had seen at the falls, which I have already described & were much more comfortable & larger sized. The Indians belonging to this village made signs to us as we passed along by their village, that they thought & supposed that we had rained down from the clouds, and seemed very much surprised at seeing us, they not believing that we could possibly descend the river at that season of the year. A number of our party went to this Indian village, & the Indians treated them in a very friendly manner, & gave them the best they had to eat.
October 31st Thursday 1805
At ½ a mile below the end of the portage passed a house where there had been an old town for ages past. As this house was old, decayed and a place of fleas I did not enter it. About ½ a mile below this house in a very thick part of the woods is 8 vaults which appeared closely covered and highly decorated with ornaments. Those vaults are all nearly the same size and form, 8 feet square, 5 feet high, sloped a little so as to convey off the rain. Made of pine or cedar boards closely connected & securely covered with wide boards, with a door left in the east side which is partially stopped with wide boards curiously engraved. In several of those vaults the dead bodies were wrapped up very securely in skins tied around with cords of grass & bark, laid on a mat, all east & west and some of those vaults had as many as 4 bodies laying on the side of each other. The other vaults containing bones only, some contained bones for the depth of 4 feet. On the tops and on poles attached to those vaults hung brass kettles & frying pans pierced through their bottoms, baskets, bowls of wood, seashells, skins, bits of cloth, hair, bags of trinkets & small pieces of bone &c. and independent of the curious engraving and paintings on the boards which formed the vaults I observed several wooden images cut in the figure of men and set up on the (south) sides of the vaults all round. Some of those so old and worn by time, that they were nearly out of shape. I also observed the remains of vaults rotted entirely into the ground and covered with moss. This must be the burying place for many ages for the inhabitants of those rapids, the vaults are of the most lasting timber, pine & cedar. I cannot say certainly that those natives worship those wooden idols as I have every reason to believe they do not; as they are set up in the most conspicuous parts of their houses, and treated more like ornaments than objects of adoration. At 2 miles lower & 5 below our camp I passed a village of 4 large houses abandoned by the natives, with their doors barred up. I looked into those houses and observed as much property as is usual in the houses of those people, which induced me to conclude that they were at no great distance, either hunting or collecting roots, to add to their winter subsistence. From a short distance below the vaults the mountain which is but low on the starboard side leaves the river, and a level, stony, open bottom succeeds on the said starboard side for a great distance down.
November 1st Friday 1805
The Indians who arrived last evening took their canoes on their shoulders and carried them below the great chute. We set about taking our small canoe and all the baggage by land, 940 yards of bad, slippery and rocky way. The Indians we discovered took their loading the whole length of the portage, 2½ miles, to avoid a second chute which appears very bad to pass, and through which they passed with their empty canoes. Several Indian canoes arrived at the head of the portage. Some of the men accompanied by those from the village came down to smoke with us, they appear to speak the same language with a little different accent. I visited the Indian (lodge) village, found that the construction of the houses is similar to those above described, with this difference only, that they are larger, say from 35 to 50 feet by 30 feet, raised about 5 feet above the earth, and nearly as much below. The doors in the same form and size cut in the wide post which supports one end of the ridgepole and which is carved and painted with different figures & hieroglyphics. Those people gave me to eat nuts, berries & a little dried fish, and sold me a hat of their own taste without a brim, and baskets in which they hold their water. Their beds are raised about 4½ feet, under which they store away their dried fish. Between the part on which they lie and the back wall they store away their roots, berries, nuts and valuable articles on mats, which are spread also around the fireplace which is sunk about one foot lower than the bottom floor of the house. This fireplace is about 8 feet long and six feet wide, secured with a frame. Those houses are calculated for 4, 5 & 6 families, each family having a nice painted ladder to ascend up to their beds. I saw in those houses several wooden images all cut in imitation of men, but differently fashioned and placed in the most conspicuous parts of the houses, probably as an ornament. I cannot learn certainly as to the traffic those Indians carry on below, if white people or the Indians who trade with the whites who are either settled or visit the mouth of this river. I believe mostly with the latter as their knowledge of the white people appears to be very imperfect, and the articles which they appear to trade, mostly i.e. pounded fish, beargrass, and roots, cannot be an object of commerce with foreign merchants. However, they get in return for those articles blue and white beads, copper tea kettles, brass arm bands, some scarlet and blue robes, and a few articles of old clothes. They prefer beads to anything and will part with the last mouthful or articles of clothing they have for a few of those beads. The traffic with Indians still higher up this river is for robes, skins, cha-pel-el bread, beargrass &c., who in their turn traffic with those under the Rocky Mountains for Beargrass, (guarmash) Pachico roots & robes &c. The natives of the waters of the Columbia appear healthy. Some have tumors on different parts of their bodies and sore and weak eyes are common. Many have lost their sight entirely, great numbers with one eye out and frequently the other very weak. This misfortune I must again ascribe to the water &c. They have bad teeth, which is not common with Indians, many have worn their teeth down and some quite into their gums. This I cannot satisfactorily account for; I do ascribe it in some measure to their method of eating their food, roots particularly, which they make use of as they are taken out of the earth, frequently nearly covered with sand. I have not seen any of their long roots offered for sale clear of sand. They are rather below the common size, high cheeks, women small and homely, and have swelled legs and thighs, and their knees remarkably large which I ascribe to the method in which they sit on their hams. Go nearly naked, wearing only a piece of leather tied about their breast which falls down nearly as low as the waist, a small robe about 3 feet square, and a piece of leather tied about their breach. They have all flat heads in this quarter (both men and women). They are dirty in the extreme, both in their person and cooking, wear their hair loose hanging in every direction. They ask high prices for what they sell and say that the white people below give great prices for everything &c. The noses are all pierced and when they are dressed they have a long, tapered piece of white shell or wampum (pushed) put through the nose. Those shells are about 2 inches in length. I observed in many of the villages which I have passed, the heads of the female children in the press for the purpose of compressing their heads in their infancy into a certain form, between two boards. [These Indians, "Wah-clallah Tribe of Shahala Nation," are probably the same people referred to as the Watlatas, an Upper Chinookan-language people, sometimes generally called the Cascades Indians. They were greatly reduced by disease later in the nineteenth century, with most of the survivors joining the Wascoes on the Warm Springs Reservation or the Wishrams on the Yakima Reservation].
November 3rd Sunday 1805
A canoe arrived from the village below the last rapid with a man, his wife and 3 children, and a woman whom had been taken prisoner from the Snake Indians on Clark's River. I sent the Interpreters wife [Sacagawea] who is a Shoshone or Snake Indian of the Missouri, to speak to this squaw. They could not understand each other sufficiently to converse. This family and the Indians we met from below continued with us.
November 4th Monday 1805
On the main larboard shore a short distance below the last island we landed at a village of 25 houses. 24 of those houses were thatched with straw, and covered with bark. The other house is built of boards in the form of those above, except that it is above ground and about 50 feet in length and covered with broad split boards. This village contains about 200 men of the Skil-loot nation. I counted 52 canoes on the bank in front of this village, many of them very large and raised in bow. We recognized the man who overtook us last night. He invited us to a lodge in which he had some part and gave us a roundish root about the size of a small Irish potato which they roasted in the embers until they became soft. This root they call Wapato, which the bulb of the Chinese cultivate in great quantities called the Sa-git tifolia or common arrowhead. It has an agreeable taste and answers very well in place of bread. We purchased about 4 bushels of this root and divided it to our party . . . Soon after several canoes of Indians from the village above came down dressed for the purpose as I supposed of paying us a friendly visit. They had scarlet & blue blankets, sailor's jackets, overalls, shirts and hats independent of their usual dress. The most of them had either war axes, spears or bows sprung with quivers of arrows, muskets or pistols, and tin flasks to hold their powder. Those fellows we found assuming and disagreeable, however we smoked with them and treated them with every attention & friendship. During the time we were at dinner those fellows stole my pipe tomahawk which they were smoking with. I immediately searched every man and the canoes, but could find nothing of my tomahawk. While searching for the tomahawk one of those scoundrels stole a capote of one of our interpreters, which was found stuffed under the root of a tree near the place they sat. We became much displeased with those fellows, which they discovered and moved off on their return home to their village, except 2 canoes which had passed on down. We proceeded on, met a large & a small canoe from below with 12 men. The large canoe was ornamented with images carved in wood, the figures of (man &) a bear in front & a man in stern, painted & fixed very neatly on the (bow & stern) of the canoe, rising to near the height of a man. Two Indians very finely dressed & with hats on was in this canoe. Passed the lower point of the island which is nine miles in length, having passed 2 islands on the starboard side of this large island, three small islands at its lower point. The Indians make signs that a village is situated back of those islands on the larboard side and I believe that a channel is still on the larboard side, as a canoe passed in between the small islands, and made signs that way, probably to traffic with some of the natives living on another channel. The Indians which we have passed of the Skilloot nation in their language from those near & about the long narrows of the Che-luc-it-te-quar or E-chee-lute. Their dress differs but little, except they have more of the articles procured from the white traders. They all have flattened heads, both men and women, live principally on fish and Wapato roots. They also kill some few elk and deer. During the short time I remained in their village they brought in three deer which they had killed with their bow & arrows. They are thievishly inclined as we have experienced.
Monday 4th Nov. 1805.
Towards evening we met several Indians in a handsome canoe which had an image on the bow. One of the Indians could talk & speak some words [in] English such as cursing and blackguard. They had a sturgeon on board and have five muskets on board.
November 5th Tuesday 1805
We met 4 canoes of Indians from below, in which there is 26 Indians. One of those canoes is large, and ornamented with images on the bow & stern. That in the bow the likeness of a bear, and in stern the picture of a man. [The Cathlapotles were an Upper Chinookan-language group living on the Columbia and lower Lewis rivers in Clark County. The Cathlapotle village at the mouth of Lewis River was called Nahpooitle].
November 6th Wednesday 1805
Here the Indians of the 2 lodges we passed today came in their canoes with sundry articles to sell. We purchased of them wapato roots, salmon trout, and I purchased 2 beaver skins for which I gave 5 small fishhooks. We overtook two canoes of Indians going down to trade. One of the Indians spoke a few words of English and said that the principal man who traded with them was Mr. Haley, and that he had a woman in his canoe who Mr. Haley was fond of &c. He showed us a bow of iron and several other things which he said Mr. Haley gave him.
November 7th Thursday 1805
Two canoes of Indians met and returned with us to their village, which is situated on the starboard side behind a cluster of marshy islands, on a narrow channel of the river through which we passed to the Village of 4 Houses. They gave us to eat some fish, and sold us fish, wapato roots, three dogs and 2 otter skins for which we gave fishhooks principally, of which they were very fond. Those people call themselves War-ci-a-cum and speak a language different from the natives above, with whom they trade for the wapato roots, of which they make great use of as food. Their houses differently built, raised entirely above ground, eaves about 5 feet from the ground, supported and covered in the same way of those above, doors about the same size but in the side of the house in one corner, one fire place and that near the opposite end, around which they have their beds raised about 4 feet from the floor, which is of earth. Under their beds they store away baskets of dried fish, berries & wapato. Over the fire they hang the flesh as they take them and which they do not make immediate use. Their canoes are of the same form of those above. The dress of the men differs very little from those above. The women altogether different, their robes are smaller, only covering their shoulders & falling down to near the hip, and sometimes when it is cold a piece of fur curiously plated and connected so as to meet around the body from the arms to the hips (Their petticoats are of the bark of the white cedar). The garment which occupies the waist and thence as low as the knee before and mid leg behind, cannot properly be called a petticoat, in the common acceptation of the word. It is a tissue formed of white cedar bark bruised or broken into small strands, which are interwoven in their center by means of several cords of the same materials which serve as well for a girdle as to hold in place the strands of bark which forms the tissue, and which strands, confined in the middle, hang with their ends pendulous from the waist, the whole being of sufficient thickness when the female stands erect to conceal those parts usually covered from familiar view. But when she stoops or places herself in any other attitudes this battery of Venus is not altogether impervious to the penetrating eye of the amorite. This tissue is sometimes formed of little strings of the silk grass twisted and knotted at their ends &c. Those Indians are low and ill shaped, all flat heads. After delaying at this village one hour and a half we set out, piloted by an Indian dressed in a sailor's dress, to the main channel of the river. [These were the Wahkiakums, a Chinookan group who lived along the Columbia River in Wahkiakum County. Their name means "region downriver"].
Thursday March 27th 1806.
We set out early this morning and were shortly after joined by some of the Skillutes who came alongside in a small canoe for the purpose of trading roots and fish. At 10 A.M. we arrived at two houses of this nation on the starboard side where we halted for breakfast. Here we overtook our hunters, they had killed nothing. The natives appeared extremely hospitable, gave us dried anchovies, sturgeon, wapato, quamash, and a species of small white tuberous roots about 2 inches in length and as thick as a man's finger. These are eaten raw, are crisp, milky, and agreeably flavored. Most of the party were served by the natives with as much as they could eat; they insisted on our remaining all day with them and hunting the elk and deer which they informed us were very abundant in their neighborhood. But as the weather would not permit us to dry our canoes in order to pitch them we declined their friendly invitation, and resumed our voyage at 12 o'clock. The principal village of these Skillutes reside on the lower side of the Cow-e-lis-kee [Cowlitz] River a few miles from its entrance into the Columbia. These people are said to be numerous. In their dress, habits, manners and language they differ but little from the Clatsops, Chinooks &c. They have latterly been at war with [the] Chinooks but peace is said now to be restored between them, but their intercourse is not yet resumed. No Chinooks come above the marshy islands nor do the Skillutes visit the mouth of the Columbia. The Clatsops, Cathlahmahs and Wahkiakums are the carriers between these nations being in alliance with both. Above the Skillutes on this river another nation by the name of the Hul-loo-et-tell reside, who are said also to be numerous. At the distance of 2 miles above the village at which we breakfasted we passed the entrance of this river. We saw several fishing camps of the Skillutes on both sides of the Columbia, and were attended all the evening by parties of the natives in their canoes who visited us for the purpose of trading their fish and roots. We purchased as many as we wished on very moderate terms; they seemed perfectly satisfied with the exchange and behaved themselves in a very orderly manner. Late in the evening we passed our camp of the 5th of November and encamped about 4 1/2 above at the commencement of the bottomland on starboard below Deer Island. We had scarcely landed before we were visited by a large canoe with eight men; from them we obtained a dried fruit which resembled the raspberry and which I believe to be the fruit of the large leafed thorn frequently mentioned. It is rather acid though pleasantly flavored. I preserved a specimen of this fruit. I fear that it has been baked in the process of drying and if so the seed will not vegetate.
Thursday 27th. There was a cloudy wet morning. We embarked early and went about 6 miles, when we came to a small Indian village, where the natives received us very kindly. They belong to the Chilook nation, and differ something in their language from the Chinooks. We got some wapato roots and fish from them and then proceeded on, though it rained very hard.
Friday March 28th 1806.
Since we landed here we were visited by a large canoe with ten natives of the Quathlahpahtle Nation who are numerous and reside about seventeen miles above us on the larboard side of the Columbia, at the entrance of a small river. They do not differ much in their dress from those lower down and speak nearly the same language, it is in fact the same with a small difference of accent.
Friday 28th. At the last village we passed I took notice of a difference in the dress of the females, from that of those below, about the coast and Haley's Bay. Instead of the short petticoat, they have a piece of thin dressed skin tied tight round their loins, with a narrow slip coming up between their thighs.
Saturday March 29th 1806.
On this inlet and island the following nations reside, (viz.) Clan-nah-min-i-namun, Clacks-star, Cath-lah-cum-up, Clah-in-na-ta, Cath-lah-nah-qui-ah, and Cath-lah-cam-mah-tup. The two first reside on the inlet and the others on the bayou and island. We arrived at the village of the Cath [X: Quath]-lah-poh-tle which consists of 14 large wooden houses. Here we arrived at 3 P.M. The language of these people as well as those on the inlet and Wapato Island differs in some measure from the nations on the lower part of the river, though many of their words are the same, and a great many others with the difference only of accent. The form of their houses and dress of the men, manner of living, habits, customs &c as far as we could discover are the same. Their women wear their ornaments, robes and hair as those do below though [NB: Indian women on Wapato Island & in that Valley]. Here their hair is more frequently braided in two tresses and hangs over each ear in front of the body. Instead of the tissue of bark worn by the women below, they wear a kind of leather breechclout about the width of a common pocket handkerchief and rather longer. The two corners of this at one of the narrow ends are confined in front just above the hips; the other end is then brought between the legs, compressed into a narrow folding bundle, is drawn tight and the corners a little spread in front and tucked at the groin over and around the part first confined about the waist. The small robe which does not reach the waist is their usual and only garment commonly worn, beside that just mentioned. When the weather is a little warm this robe is thrown aside and the leather truss or breechclout constitutes the whole of their apparel. This is a much more indecent article than the tissue of bark, and barely covers the mons Venus, into which it is drawn so close that the whole shape is plainly perceived. The floors of most of their houses are on a level with the surface of the earth though some of them are sunk two or 3 feet beneath. The internal arrangement of their houses is the same with those of the nations below. They are also fond of sculpture. Various figures are carved and painted on the pieces which support the center of the roof, about their doors and beds. They had large quantities of dried anchovies strung on small sticks by the gills and others which had been first dried in this manner, were now arranged in large sheets with strings of bark and hung suspended by poles in the roofs of their houses. They had also an abundance of sturgeon and wapato; the latter they take in great quantities from the neighboring ponds, which are numerous and extensive in the river bottoms and islands. The wapato furnishes the principal article of traffic with these people, which they dispose of to the nations below in exchange for beads, cloth and various articles. The natives of the seacoast and lower part of the river will dispose of their most valuable articles to obtain this root. They have a number of large scimitars of iron from 3 to 4 feet long which hang by the heads of their beds; the blade of this weapon is thickest in the center though thin even there. All its edges are sharp and its greatest width, which is about 9 inches from the point, is about 4 inches. The form is thus [Lewis made a drawing here]. This is a formidable weapon. They have heavy bludgeons of wood made in the same form nearly, which I presume they used for the same purpose before they obtained metal. We purchased a considerable quantity of wapato, 12 dogs, and 2 sea otter skins of these people. They were very hospitable and gave us anchovies and wapato to eat. Notwithstanding their hospitality, if it deserves that appellation, they are great beggars, for we had scarcely finished our repast on the wapato and anchovies which they voluntarily set before us before they began to beg. We gave them some small articles as is our custom on those occasions with which they seemed perfectly satisfied. We gave the 1st Chief a small medal, which he soon transferred to his wife. After remaining at this place 2 hours we set out & continued our route between this island, which we now call Cath-lah-poh-tle after the nation, and the larboard shore.
Saturday 29th March 1806.
This village is more decent than any I have seen below. We delayed at this village about 3 hours. Capt. Clark bought a robe which was made of 2 sea otter skins from the principal man who he made a chief. Gave him a medal; he put it on his wife. Capt. Clark gave the chief a blue blanket edged with red & small, also an old flag, which he was satisfied with. We bought several fat dogs and some wapato from the natives. Their women, instead of wearing the straw & bark short petticoats, wear a soft leather breechcloth. All above this side of the mountains are dressed in this way & nothing more to cover the most part of them, but those below on the coast wear the short petticoats. Some among them all have a kind of a fur garment beaver &c. dressed and cut in narrow strips & sewed together &c.
Saturday 29th. The morning was pleasant with some white frost and we proceeded on early; passed some old Indian lodges, and in the afternoon came to a large village, where we were received with great kindness, and got fish and wapato roots to eat. Here we bought some dogs and wapato, and then went on again, about a mile and encamped.
Saturday March 29th
Captain Clark also purchased from these Indians a sea otter skin robe, for which he gave a small piece of blue cloth & part of an old flag. He also purchased from them some dried fish, wapato &c. These Indians are a much decenter looking set of natives than those who reside on or near the seacoast. The women among them wore a soft leather breech cloth, which they draw tight about their breech, & is tied with a belt, & comes up forward in the manner that a breech cloth does, & those on the coast & near it wore a short petticoat made out of straw, the remainder of their bodies being exposed to the weather. Our officers made a chief of one of those Indians, and gave him a medal, which he gave to his wife.
Sunday March 30th 1806.
We got under way very early in the morning, and had not reached the head of the island before we were met by three men of the Clan-nah-minna-mun Nation, one of whom we recognized being the same who had accompanied us yesterday, and who was very pressing in his entreaties that we should visit his nation on the inlet southwest of Wapato Island. At the distance of about 2 miles or at the head of the Quathlahpahtle Island we met a party of the Claxtars and Cathlahcumups in two canoes; soon after we were met by several canoes of the different nations who reside on each side of the river near this place. The 1st of these tribes about 2 miles above us call themselves Clan-nah-quah, the other about a mile above them call themselves Mult-no-mah. From these visitors we purchased a sturgeon and some wapato and pashequa, for which we gave some small fishing hooks. These, like the natives below are great higglers in dealing. At 10 A.M. we set out and had not proceeded far before we came to a landing place of the natives where there were several large canoes drawn out on shore and several natives setting in a canoe apparently waiting our arrival; they joined the fleet and continued with us some miles. We halted a few minutes at this landing and the Indians pointed to a village which was situated about 2 miles from the river behind a pond lying parallel with it on the northeast side nearly opposite to the Clan-nah-quah town. Here they informed us that the Sho-toes resided. Here we were joined by several other canoes of natives from the island. Most of these people accompanied us until 4 in the evening when they all returned; their principal object I believe was merely to indulge their curiosity in looking at us. They appeared very friendly, though most had taken the precaution to bring with them their warlike implements. The natives who inhabit this valley are larger and rather better made than those of the coast. Like those people they are fond of cold, hot, & vapor baths of which they make frequent use both in sickness and in health and at all seasons of the year. They have also a very singular custom among them of bathing themselves all over with urine every morning.
Sunday 30th March 1806.
A number of the savages followed us some distance with their canoes. I must give these savages as well as those on the coast the praise of making the neatest and handsomest, lightest, best formed canoes I ever saw & are the best hands to work them.
Sunday 30th. The natives of this country ought to have the credit of making the finest canoes perhaps in the world, both as to service and beauty; and are no less expert in working them when made.
Monday March 31st 1806
We set out early this morning and proceeded until 8 A.M. when we landed on the north side opposite one large wooden house of the Shdh-ha-la Nation and took breakfast. When we descended the river in November last there were 24 other lodges formed of straw and covered with bark near this house; these lodges are now destroyed and the inhabitants as the Indians inform us have returned to the great rapids of this river which is their permanent residence. The house which remains is inhabited; soon after we landed two canoes came over from this house with 4 men and a woman. They informed us that their relations who were with them last fall usually visit them at that season for the purpose of hunting deer and elk and collecting wapato and that they had lately returned to the rapids, I presume to prepare for the fishing season as the salmon will begin to run shortly. This morning we overtook the man who had visited our camp last night. He had a fine sturgeon in his canoe which he had just taken. These Indians of the rapids frequently visit this valley at every season of the year for the purpose of collecting wapato, which is abundant and appears never to be out of season at any time of the year. At 10 A.M. we resumed our march accompanied by three men in a canoe; one of these fellows appeared to be a man of some note among them. He was dressed in a sailor's jacket which was decorated in his own fashion with five rows of large and small buttons in front and some large buttons on the pocket flaps. They are remarkably fond of large brass buttons. These people speak a different language from those below, though in their dress, habits, manners &c they differ but little from the Quathlahpohtles. Their women wear the truss as those do of all the nations residing from the Quathlahpohtles to the entrance of Lewis's River. They differ in the manner of interring their dead. They lay them horizontally on boards and cover them with mats, in a vault formed with boards like the roof of a house supported by forks and a single pole laid above ground. Horizontally on those forks many bodies are deposited in the same vault. These are frequently laid one on the other, to the height of three or four corpses. They deposit with them various articles of which they die possessed, and most esteem while living. Their canoes are frequently broken up to strengthen the vault. These people have a few words the same with those below, but the air of the language is entirely different, insomuch that it may be justly deemed a different language. Their women wear longer and larger robes generally than those below; these are most commonly made of deerskins dressed with the hair on them.
Tuesday April 1st 1806.
The Indians who encamped near us last evening continued with us until about midday. They informed us that the Quicksand River which we have heretofore deemed so considerable, only extends through the western mountains as far as the southwestern side of Mount Hood where it takes its source. This mountain bears east from this place and is distant about 40 miles. This information was corroborated by that of sundry other Indians who visited us in the course of the day. We were visited by several canoes of natives in the course of the day; most of whom were descending the river with their women and children. They informed us that they resided at the great rapids and that their relations at that place were much straightened at that place for the want of food; that they had consumed their winter store of dried fish and that those of the present season had not yet arrived. I could not learn whether they took the sturgeon but presume if they do it is in but small quantities as they complained much of the scarcity of food among them. They informed us that the nations above them were in the same situation & that they did not expect the salmon to arrive until the full of the next moon which happens on the 2d of May. We did not doubt the veracity of these people who seemed to be on their way with their families and effects in search of subsistence which they find it easy to procure in this fertile valley. I purchased a canoe from an Indian today for which I gave him six fathoms of wampum beads; he seemed satisfied with his bargain and departed in another canoe but shortly after returned and canceled the bargain; took his canoe and returned the beads. This is frequently the case in their method of trading and is deemed fair by them.
Wednesday April 2nd 1806
About this time several canoes of the natives arrived at our camp, among others two from below with eight men of the Shah-ha-la Nation. Those men informed us that they reside on the opposite side of the Columbia near some pine trees which they pointed to in the bottom south of the Diamond Island. They singled out two young men whom they informed us lived at the falls of a large river which discharges itself into the Columbia on its south side some miles below us. We readily prevailed on them to give us a sketch of this river which they drew on a mat with a coal. It appeared that this river which they call Mult-no-mah discharged itself behind the island we call the Image Canoe Island, and as we had left this island to the south both in descending & ascending the river we had never seen it. They informed us that it was a large river and runs a considerable distance to the south between the mountains. I determined to take a small party and return to this river and examine its size and collect as much information of the natives on it or near its entrance into the Columbia of its extent, the country which it waters and the natives who inhabit its banks &c. At 3 P.M. I landed at a large double house of the Ne-er-choki-oo tribe of the Shah-ha-la Nation. At this place we had seen 24 additional straw huts as we passed down last fall and whom as I have before mentioned reside at the great rapids of the Columbia. On the bank at different places I observed small canoes which the women make use of to gather wapato & roots in the marshes. Those canoes are from 10 to 14 feet long and from 18 to 23 inches wide in the widest part, tapering from the center to both ends in this form [drawing] and about 9 inches deep and so light that a woman may with one hand haul them with ease, and they are sufficient to carry a woman and some loading. I think 100 of those canoes were piled up and scattered in different directions about in the woods in the vicinity of this house. The pilot informed me that those canoes were the property of the inhabitants of the grand rapids who used them occasionally to gather roots. I entered one of the rooms of this house and offered several articles to the natives in exchange for wapato. They were sulky and they positively refused to sell any. I had a small piece of portfire match in my pocket, off of which I cut <of> a piece one inch in length & put it into the fire and took out my pocket compass and set myself down on a mat on one side of the fire, and a magnet which was in the top of my inkstand. The portfire caught and burned vehemently, which changed the color of the fire. With the magnet I turned the needle of the compass about very briskly; which astonished and alarmed these natives and they laid several parcels of wapato at my feet, & begged of <that> me to take out the bad fire; to this I consented. At this moment the match being exhausted was of course extinguished and I put up the magnet &c. This measure alarmed them so much that the women and children took shelter in their beds and behind the men. All this time a very old blind man was speaking with great vehemence, apparently imploring his god. I lit my pipe and gave them smoke & gave the women the full amount of the roots which they had put at my feet. They appeared somewhat pacified and I left them and proceeded on. Soon after I arrived at this river an old man passed down of the Clak-a-mos Nation who are numerous and reside on a branch of this river which receives its waters from Mt. Jefferson which is immensely high and discharges itself into this river one day and a half up. This distance I state at 40 miles. This nation inhabits 11 villages, their dress and language is very similar to the Quath-lah-poh-tle and other tribes on Wapato Island.
I proceeded up this river 10 miles from its entrance into the Columbia to a large house on the northeast side and encamped near the house, the fleas being so numerous in the house that we could not sleep in it. This is the house of the Cush-hooks Nation who reside at the falls of this river, which the pilot informs me they make use of when they come down to the valley to gather wapato. He also informs me that a number of other smaller houses are situated on two bayous which make out on the southeast side a little below the house. This house appears to have been latterly abandoned by its inhabitants in which they had left sundry articles such as small canoes, mats, bladders of oil and baskets, bowls & trenchers. And as my pilot informed me was gone up this to the falls to fish which is 2 days or 60 miles up. This house is 30 feet wide & precisely 40 feet long, built in the usual form of broad boards covered with bark.
Wednesday April 2nd
Captain Clark took me & six more of our party, and one Indian as a guide, in order to go down the Columbia River to take a view of that river. We proceeded on in a canoe down the south side of the river about 10 miles & passed an Indian village of 21 houses lying on the same side of the river. This village lay behind an island called Swan's Island, & although we had been on this island on our way in descending the river, none of our party had ever seen <it> this village before. We proceeded on 9 miles further down the river, & halted at a village of Indians. These Indians belonged to a band called the Wyahoots, which are a part of the Flathead Nation. We found in this village a few old Indians of that tribe who gave us a few dried salmon to eat, which were not very good. We proceeded on, on to the mouth of this great river, which the Indians had given our officers an account of. The mouth of this river came in behind an island lying on the south side of Columbia River. We arrived at the mouth of this river about sunset, & went up it about 7 miles, when we encamped at an old Indian lodge. The party <under Captain Clark> resolved upon sleeping in this lodge, but on our entering it, we found the fleas in such great plenty that we were forced to quit it. The great river is called by the natives the Mult-no-mack River; it is 500 yards wide at its mouth, & continues that width as high up as where we ascended it to. The Indian guide that was with us told us that it heads near the headwaters of the California, & that there is a large nation of Indians who reside some distance up that river <&> who live on a south fork of this river & that nation is called the Clark-a-mus Nation <& also another nation> and that 30 towns belong to them. Our guide also informed us that there is another nation of Indians who reside a further distance up that river by the name of the Cal-lap-no-wah Nation, who he said were also very numerous, & that they reside up this river where it is quite small. The guide also mentioned that it is 20 days travel to the falls of this river, which falls is 40 feet <fall> perpendicular into that river & that the tidewater runs up to it, & that the natives have a very large salmon fishery at that place. Our guide also mentioned that he had seen one of the Indians of the Clark-a-mus Nation, & that this Indian was <almost> white, & that he mentioned they had firearms among them. From the above information received from our guide I am of opinion that if any Welch nation of Indians are in existence, it must be <the> those Indians, & not the Flathead Nation, as before mentioned. This I believe from their color, numbers of towns, & firearms among them, which I flatter myself will be confirmed whenever the river Mult-no-mack is fully explored.
Thursday April 3rd 1806.
As the party with me were now but weak and the Indians constantly crowding about our camp, I thought it best to send a few men to dry the meat on the other side of the river; accordingly Sgt. Pryor and two men returned with Joseph Field for that purpose. I observe some of the men among them who wear a girdle around the waist between which and the body in front they confine a small skin of the mink or polecat which in some measure conceals the parts of generation. They also frequently wear a cap formed of the skin of the deer's head with the ears left on it. They have some collars of leather wrought with porcupine quills after the method of the Shoshones.
Thursday April 3rd 1806
The men exerted themselves and we arrived at the Ne er cho ki oo house in which the natives were so illy disposed yesterday at 11 A.M. I entered the house with a view to smoke with those people who consisted of about 8 families. Finding my presence alarmed them so much that the children hid themselves, women got behind their men, and the men hung their heads, I detained but a few minutes and returned on board the canoe. My pilot who continued in the canoe informed me on my return that those people as well as their relations were very illy disposed and bad people. I proceeded on along the south side, met five canoes of the Shah-ha-la Nation from the great rapids with their wives and children descending the Columbia into this fertile valley in pursuit of provisions. My pilot informed me in a low voice that those people were not good, and I did not suffer them to come alongside of my canoe which they appeared anxious to do. Their numbers in those canoes who appeared anxious to come alongside was 21 men and 3 boys. At 3 P.M. we arrived at the residence of our pilot which consists of one long house with seven apartments or rooms in square form, about 30 feet each room opening into a passage which is quite through the house. Those passages are about 4 feet in width and formed of wide boards set on end in the ground and reaching to the roof which serves also as divisions to the rooms. The ground plot is in this form [drawing]; is the passages. 22 &c. is the apartments about 30 feet square. This house is built of bark of the white cedar supported on long stiff poles resting on the ends of broad boards which form the rooms &c. Back of this house I observe the wreck of 5 houses remaining of a very large village, the houses of which had been those we first saw at the long narrows of the E-lute built in the form of the nation with whom those people are connected. I endeavored to obtain from <them> those people of the situation of their nation, if scattered or what had become of the natives who must have peopled this great town. An old man who appeared of some note among them and father to my guide brought forward a woman who was badly marked with the small pox and made signs that they all died with the disorder which marked her face, and which she was very near dying with when a girl. From the age of this woman this destructive disorder I judge must have been about 28 or 30 years past, and about the time the Clatsops inform us that this disorder raged in their towns and destroyed their nation. Those people speak a different language from those below though in their dress, habits and manners &c. They differ but little from the Quathlahpohtles. Their women wear the truss as those do of all the nations residing from the Quathlahpahtle to the entrance of Lewis's River and on the Columbia above for some distance. Those people have some words the same with those below but the air of their language is entirely different, their men are stouter and much better made, and their women wear larger & longer robes than those do below. Those are most commonly made of deer skins dressed with the hair on them. They pay great attention to their aged. Several men and women whom I observed in this village had arrived at a great age, and appeared to be healthy though blind. I prevailed on an old man to draw me a sketch of the Multnomah River and give me the names of the nations residing on it which he readily done (see draft on the other side) and gave me the names of 4 nations who reside on this river, two of them very numerous. The first is Clak-a-mus Nation, reside on a small river which takes its rise in Mount Jefferson and falls into the Multnomah about 40 miles up. This nation is numerous and inhabit 11 towns. The 2d is the Cush-hooks who reside on the northeast side below the falls, the 3rd is the Char-cowah who reside above the falls on the southwest side. Neither of those two are numerous. The fourth nation is the Cal-lar-po-e-wah, which is very numerous & inhabit the country on each side of the Multnomah from its falls as far up as the knowledge of those people extend. They inform me also that a high mountain passes the Multnomah at the falls, and above the country is an open plain of great extent. I purchased 5 dogs of those people for the use of their oil in the plains, and at 4 P.M. left the village and proceeded on to camp where I joined Capt. Lewis. In my absence and soon after I left camp several canoes of men, women and children came to the camp and at one time there was about 37 of those people in camp. Capt. Lewis fired his air gun which astonished them in such a manner that they were orderly and kept at a proper distance during the time they continued with him. As many as 10 canoes arrived at camp in the course of this day. They all seem to give the same account of the scarcity of provisions above. The Indians continue to visit our camp in considerable numbers from above with their families. These poor people appeared half starved. They picked up the bones and little refuse meat which had been thrown away by the party.
Thursday 3rd of April 1806.
The savages who stayed with us last night were of five different nations and had several prisoners among them. These savages tell us that they are going down the river after wapato &c. &c.
Mouth of Quick Sand River
Friday April 4th 1806.
Several parties of the natives visit us today as usual both from above and below; those who came from above were moving with their families, and those from below appeared to be impelled merely by curiosity to see us.
Saturday April 5th 1806.
We were visited today by several parties of the natives as usual; they behaved themselves in a very orderly manner. The Indians who visited us today fancied these [bear] pelts and gave us wapato in exchange for them.
Saturday 5th of April 1806.
Great numbers of savages visited the camp continually since we have lay [in?] at this camp, who were passing down with their families from the country above into the valley of Columbia in search of food. They inform us that the natives above the great falls have no provisions and many are dying with hunger. This information has been so repeatedly given by different parties of Indians that it does not admit of any doubt and is the cause of our delay in this neighborhood for the purpose of procuring as much dried elk meat as will last us through the Columbia plains, in which we do not expect to find anything to kill &c.
Saturday 5th. [The] soil is rich with white cedar timber, which is very much snipped of its bark, the natives making use of it both for food and clothing. A number of the Indians visit us daily; and the females in general have that leather covering round their loins, which is somewhat in the form of a truss.
Monday April 7th 1806
We were visited by several parties of Indians from a village about 12 miles above us of the Sahhalah Nation. One of them was detected in stealing a piece of lead. I sent him off immediately. That the Clakamas Nation as also those at the falls of the Multnomah live principally on fish of which those streams abound and also on roots which they procure on its borders, they also sometimes come down to the Columbia in search of wapato. They build their houses in the same form with those of the Columbian Valley of wide split boards and covered with bark of the white cedar which is the entire length of the one side of the roof and jut over at the eve about 18 inches. At the distance of about 18 inches transverse splinters of dried pine is inserted through the cedar bark in order to keep it smooth and prevent its edge from collapsing by the heat of the sun. In this manner the natives make a very secure, light and lasting roof of this bark, which we have observed in every village in this valley as well as those above. This Indian also informed me the Multnomah above the falls was crowded with rapids and thickly inhabited by Indians of the Callah-po-a-wah Nation. He informed he had himself been a long way up that river &c.
Tuesday April 8th 1806.
Late at night the sentinel detected an old Indian man in attempting to creep into camp in order to pilfer; he alarmed the Indian very much by presenting his gun at him; he gave the fellow a few stripes with a switch and sent him off. This fellow is one of a party of six who laid encamped a few hundred yards below us, they departed soon after this occurrence.
Tuesday April 8th 1806
I observed an Indian woman who visited us yesterday blind of an eye, and a man who was nearly blind of both eyes. The loss of sight I have observed to be more common among all the nations inhabiting this river than among any people I ever observed. They have almost invariably sore eyes at all stages of life. The loss of an eye is very common among them; blindness in persons of middle age is by no means uncommon, and it is almost invariably a concomitant of old age. I know not to what cause to attribute this prevalent deficiency of the eye except it is their exposure to the reflection of the sun on the water to which they are constantly exposed in the occupation of fishing.
Wednesday April 9th 1806.
[C]ontinued our route to the Wah-clel-lah Village which is situated on the north side of the river about a mile below the Beacon Rock; here we halted and took breakfast. John Colter, one of our party, observed the tomahawk in one of the lodges which had been stolen from us on the 4th of November last as we descended this river; the natives attempted to wrest the tomahawk from him but he retained it. They endeavored afterwards to exculpate themselves from the odium of having stolen it, they alleged that they had bought it from the natives below; but their neighbors had several days previously informed us that these people had stolen the tomahawk and then had it at their village. This village appears to be the winter station of the Wah-clel-lahs and Clahclellars. The greater part of the former have lately removed to the falls of the Multnomah, and the latter have established themselves a few miles above on the north side of the river opposite the lower point of Brant Island, being the commencement of the rapids. Here they also take their salmon; they are now in the act of removing, and not only take with them their furniture and effects but also the bark and most of the boards which formed their houses. 14 houses remain entire but are at this time but thinly inhabited, nine others appear to have been lately removed, and the traces of ten or twelve others of ancient date were to be seen in the rear of their present village. They sometimes sink their houses in the earth, and at other times have their floors level with the surface of the earth; they are generally built with boards and covered with cedar bark. Most of them have a division in their houses near the entrance which is at the end or in the event of its being a double house is from the center of a narrow passage. Several families inhabit one apartment. The women of these people pierce the cartilage of the nose in which they wear various ornaments. In other respects they do not differ from those in the neighborhood of the Diamond Island; though most of the women braid their hair, which hangs in two tresses, one hanging over each ear. These people were very unfriendly, and seemed illy disposed had our numbers not deterred them any acts of violence. With some difficulty we obtained five dogs from them and a few wapato. During our halt at this village the grand Chief and two inferior Chiefs of the Chil-luck-kit-te-quaw nation arrived with several men and women of their nation in two large canoes. These people were on their return up the river, having been on a trading voyage to the Columbian valley, and were loaded with wapato, dried anchovies, with some beads &c. which they had received in exchange for dried and pounded salmon, chapellel, beargrass &c. These people had been very kind to us as we descended the river. We therefore smoked with them and treated them with every attention. At four P.M. we arrived at the Clah-clel-lah Village; here we found the natives busily engaged in erecting their new habitations, which appear to be rather of a temporary kind. It is most probable that they only reside here during the salmon season. We purchased two dogs of these people, who like those of the village below were but sulky and illy disposed; they are great rogues and we are obliged to keep them at a proper distance from our baggage.
Thursday April 10th 1806.
On entering one of these lodges, the natives offered us a sheepskin for sale, than which nothing could have been more acceptable except the animal itself. The skin of the head of the sheep with the horns remaining was cased in such manner as to fit the head of a man by whom it was worn and highly prized as an ornament. We obtained this cap in exchange for a knife, and were compelled to give two elkskins in exchange for the skin. This appeared to be the skin of a sheep not fully grown; the horns were about four inches long, cylindrical, smooth, black, erect and pointed; they rise from the middle of the forehead a little above the eyes. They offered us a second skin of a full-grown sheep which was quite as large as that of a common deer. They discovered our anxiety to purchase and in order to extort a great price declared that they prized it too much to dispose of it. In expectation of finding some others of a similar kind for sale among the natives of this neighborhood I would not offer him a greater price than had been given for the other, which he refused. These people informed us that these sheep were found in great abundance on the heights and among the cliffs of the adjacent mountains, and that they had lately killed these two from a herd of 36, at no great distance from their village. We could obtain no provision from those people except four white salmon trout.
Thursday 10th of April 1806.
Capt. Lewis purchased a white mountain sheep skin for which he gave 2 elk hides. We bought a few salmon trout, then we proceeded on. A number of the natives visited us some distance below this place. I saw a large graveyard a little below an ancient village. This is a different manner from any I have seen of burying the dead in tombs about 8 feet square made of wood plank and tight floors made of plank laying in them and the corpses are laying out on the floor wrapped up in some kind of a robe, and all their property is deposited with them such as copper tea kettles, baskets, cockle shells. Canoes are laying by the side of said tombs also. Several images cut in wood one put up at the ends of said tombs &c. One of the Indians stole an axe from us, another told one of our men and he followed him and took it from him and told him that he was bad and he replied that he was &c.
Friday April 11th 1806.
A few men were absolutely necessary at any rate to guard our baggage from the War-clel-lars who crowded about our camp in considerable numbers. These are the greatest thieves and scoundrels we have met with. Many of the natives crowded about the bank of the river where the men were engaged in taking up the canoes. One of them had the insolence to cast stones down the bank at two of the men who happened to be a little detached from the party at the time. On the return of the party in the evening from the head of the rapids they met with many of the natives on the road, who seemed but illy disposed. Two of these fellows met with John Shields, who had delayed some time in purchasing a dog and was a considerable distance behind the party on their return with Capt. Clark. They attempted to take the dog from him and pushed him out of the road. He had nothing to defend himself with except a large knife which he drew with an intention of putting one or both of them to death before they could get themselves in readiness to use their arrows, but discovering his design they declined the combat and instantly fled through the woods. Three of this same tribe of villains, the Wah-clel-lars, stole my dog this evening, and took him towards their village. I was shortly afterwards informed of this transaction by an Indian who spoke the Clatsop language, and sent three men in pursuit of the thieves with orders if they made the least resistance or difficulty in surrendering the dog to fire on them. They overtook these fellows or rather came within sight of them at the distance of about 2 miles; the Indians discovering the party in pursuit of them left the dog and fled. They also stole an ax from us, but scarcely had it in their possession before Thompson detected them and wrested it from them. We ordered the sentinel to keep them out of camp, and informed them by signs that if they made any further attempts to steal our property or insulted our men we should put them to instant death. A chief of the Clah-clel-lah tribe informed us that there were two very bad men among the Wah-clel-lahs who had been the principal actors in these scenes of outrage of which we complained, and that it was not the wish of the nation by any means to displease us. We told him that we hoped it might be the case, but we should certainly be as good as our words if they persisted in their insolence. I am convinced that no other consideration but our number at this moment protects us. The Chief appeared mortified at the conduct of his people, and seemed friendly disposed towards us. As he appeared to be a man of consideration and we had reason to believe much respected by the neighboring tribes, we thought it well to bestow a medal of small size upon him. He appeared much gratified with this mark of distinction, and some little attention which we showed him. He had in his possession a very good pipe tomahawk which he informed us he had received as a present from a trader who visited him last winter over land pointing to the northwest, whom he called Swippeton. He was pleased with the tomahawk of Capt. Clark in consequence of its having a brass bowl and Capt. Clark gratified him by an exchange. As a further proof of his being esteemed by this white trader, he gave us a well baked sailor's biscuit which he also informed us he had received from Swippeton. I hope that the friendly interposition of this chief may prevent our being compelled to use some violence with these people; our men seem well disposed to kill a few of them. We keep ourselves perfectly on our guard. The inhabitants of the Y-eh-huh Village on the north side immediately above the rapids have lately removed to the opposite side of the river, where it appears they usually take their salmon. Like their relations the Wah-Clel-lars they have taken their houses with them. I observe that all the houses lately established have their floors on the surface of the earth, are smaller and of more temporary structure than those which are sunk in the ground. I presume the former are their spring and summer dwellings and the latter those of the fall and winter. These houses are most generally built with boards and covered with bark. Some of an inferior ore more temporary cast are built entirely of cedar bark, which is kept smooth and extended by inserting small splinters of wood through the bark crosswise at the distance of 12 or 14 inches asunder. Several families inhabit the same apartment. Their women as well as those of the 3 villages next below us pierce the cartilage of the nose and insert various ornaments. They very seldom imprint any figures on their skins; a few I observed had one or two longitudinal lines of dots on the front of the leg, reaching from the ankle upwards about mid-leg. Most of their women braid their hair in two tresses as before mentioned. The men usually queue their hair in two parcels, which like the braided tresses of the female hang over each ear in front of the shoulder, and gives an additional width to the head and face so much admired by them. These queues are usually formed with thongs of dressed otterskin crossing each other and not rolled in our manner around the hair. In all other respects I observe no difference in their dress, habits manners &c. From those in the neighborhood of the Diamond Island today we recognized a man of the Elute Nation who reside at the long narrows of the Columbia. He was on his return from a trading voyage to the Columbian Valley with 10 or 12 others of his nation. Many other natives from the villages above were employed in taking their roots &c. over the portage on their return. I observed that the men equally with the women engage in the labor of carrying. They all left their canoes below the rapids and took others above which they had left as they descended. Those which were left below were taken down the river by the persons from whom they had been hired or borrowed. The natives from above behaved themselves in a very orderly manner. The salmon have not yet made their appearance, though the natives are not so much distressed for food as I was induced to believe. I walked down today about ¼ of a mile below our encampment to observe the manner in which these people inter their dead. I found eight sepulchers near the north bank of the river built in the following manner. Four strong forks are first sunk several feet in the ground and rise about six feet high, forming a parallelogram of 8 by 10 feet. The intervals between these upright forks, on which four poles are laid, are filled up with broad erect boards with their lower ends sunk in the ground and their upper ends confined to the horizontal poles. A flat roof is formed of several layers of boards; the floors of these sepulchres are on a level with the surface of the earth. The human bodies are well rolled in dressed skins and lashed securely with cords and laid horizontally on the back with the head to the west. In some of these sepulchres they are laid on each other to the depth of three or four bodies. In one of those sepulchres which was nearly decayed I observed that the human bones filled it perfectly to the height of about three feet. Many articles appear to be sacrificed to the dead, both within and without the sepulchers. Among other articles, I observed a brass teakettle, some scallop shells, parts of several robes of cloth and skins, with sticks for digging roots &c. This appears to be the burying ground of the Wahclellahs, Clahclellahs and Yehhuhs.
Saturday April 12th 1806.
During the day I obtained a vocabulary of the language of the War-clel-lars &c. I found that their numbers were precisely those of the Chinooks but the other parts of their language essentially different. By 5 P.M. we had brought up all our baggage and Capt. Clark joined me from the lower camp with the Clahclellah chief. There is an old village situated about halfway on the portage road; the frame of the houses, which are remarkably large one 160 by 45 feet, remain almost entire. The covering of the houses appears to have been sunk in a pond back of the village. This the chief informed us was the residence occasionally of his tribe. These houses are framed in the usual manner but consist of a double set as if one house had been built within the other. The floors are on a level with the ground. The natives did not crowd about us in such numbers today as yesterday, and behaved themselves much better; no doubt the precautions which they observed us take had a good effect. About 20 of the Y-eh-huhs remained with me the greater part of the day and departed in the evening. They conducted themselves with much propriety and condemned the conduct of their relations towards us. We purchased one sheepskin for which we gave the skin of an elk and one of a deer. This animal was killed by the man who sold us the skin near this place; he informed us that they were abundant among the mountains and usually resorted the rocky parts. The big horned animal is also an inhabitant of these mountains. I saw several robes of their skins among the natives.
Sunday April 13th 1806.
I therefore left Capt. Clark with the two pirogues to proceed up the river on the north side, and with the two canoes and some additional hands passed over the river above the rapids to the Y-eh-huh village in order to purchase one or more canoes. I found the village consisting of 11 houses crowded with inhabitants; it appeared to me that they could have mustered about 60 fighting men then present. They appeared very friendly disposed, and I soon obtained two small canoes from them for which I gave two robes and four elkskins. I also purchased four paddles and three dogs from them with deerskins.
Monday April 14th 1806.
At 1 P.M. we arrived at a large village situated in a narrow bottom on the north side a little above the entrance of Canoe Creek. Their houses are rather detached and extend for several miles. They are about 20 in number. These people call themselves We-ock-sock, Wil-lacum. They differ but little in appearance, dress &c. from those of the rapids. Their men have some leggings and moccasins among them. These are in the style of Chopunnish [Nez Perce]. They have some good horses of which we saw ten or a dozen. These are the first horses we have met with since we left this neighborhood last fall, in short the country below this place will not permit the use of this valuable animal except in the Columbian Valley and there the present inhabitants have no use for them as they reside immediately on the river and the country is too thickly timbered to admit them to run the game with horses if they had them. We halted at this village and dined. Purchased five dogs some roots, shappalell, filberts and dried berries of the inhabitants. Here I observed several habitations entirely underground; they were sunk about 8 feet deep and covered with strong timber and several feet of earth in a conic form. These habitations were evacuated at present. They are about 16 feet in diameter, nearly circular, and are entered through a hole at the top which appears to answer the double purpose of a chimney and a door. From this entrance you descend to the floor by a ladder. The present habitations of these people were on the surface of the ground and do not differ from those of the tribes of the rapids. Their language is the same with that of the Chilluckkittequaws. These people appeared very friendly. Some of them informed us that they had lately returned from a war excursion against the Snake Indians who inhabit the upper part of the Multnomah River to the southeast of them. They call them To-wannah'-hi'-ooks. That they had been fortunate in their expedition and had taken from their enemies most of the horses which we saw in their possession. This village can raise about a hundred fighting men they call themselves Smack-shop]. They do not differ in any respect from the village below. Many of them visited our camp this evening and remained with us until we went to bed. They then left us and retired to their quarters.
Monday 14th of April 1806.
We bought a number of dogs from the natives. They gave us such as they had to eat which was pounded salmon, thistle roots & wild onions & other kinds of roots, all of which they had sweetened & are sweet. They are making shappalel &c. but they had but little to eat at this time but are scattered along the river expecting the salmon soon &c.
Tuesday April 15th 1806
We delayed this morning until after breakfast in order to purchase some horses of the Indians; accordingly we exposed some articles. In exchange the natives were unwilling to barter, we therefore put change for horses up our merchandise and at 8 A.M. we set out. We halted a few minutes at the Sepulchre Rock, and examined the deposits of the dead at that place. These were constructed in the same manner of those already described below the rapids. Some of them were more than half filled with dead bodies. There were thirteen sepulchres on this rock which stands near the center of the river and has a surface of about 2 acres above highwater mark. From hence we returned to the northern shore and continued up it about four miles to another village of the same nation with whom we remained last night. Here we halted and informed the natives of our wish to purchase horses; they produced us several for sale but would not take the articles which we had in exchange for them. They wanted an instrument which the Northwest traders call an eye-dag [war hatchet] which we had not. We procured two dogs of them and departed. A little below the entrance of Cataract River we halted at another village of the same people, at which we were equally unsuccessful in the purchase of horses. We also halted at the two villages of the Chilluckkittequaws a few miles above with no better success.
Wednesday April 16th 1806.
About 8 A.M. Capt. Clark passed the river with the two interpreters, the Indian woman [Sacagawea] and nine men in order to trade with the natives for their horses, for which purpose he took with him a good part of our stock of merchandize. I was visited today by several of the natives, and amused myself in making a collection of the esculent plants in the neighborhood such as the Indians use, a specimen of which I preserved.
Wednesday April 16th 1806
About 8 o'clock this morning I passed the river with the two interpreters, and nine men in order to trade with the natives for their horses, for which purpose I took with me a good part of our stock of merchandise. I formed a camp on the north side and sent Drewyer & Goodrich to the Skillute Village, and Charbonneau & Frazer down to the Chilluckkitequaw Villages with directions to inform the natives that I had crossed the river for the purpose of purchasing horses, and if they had horses to sell us to bring them to my camp. Great numbers of Indians came from both villages and delayed the greater part of the day without trading a single horse. Drewyer returned with the principal Chief of the Skillutes who was lame and could not walk. After his arrival some horses were offered for sale, but they asked nearly half the merchandise I had with me for one horse. This price I could not think of giving. The chief informed me if I would go to his town with him, his people would sell me horses. I therefore concluded to accompany him to his village 7 miles distant. We set out and arrived at the village at sunset. After some ceremony I entered the house of the Chief. I then informed them that I would trade with them for their horses in the morning, for which I would give for each horse the articles which I had offered yesterday. The Chief set before me a large platter of onions which had been sweated. I gave a part of those onions to all my party and we all eat of them. In this state the root is very sweet and the tops tender. The natives requested the party to dance, which they very readily consented, and Pierre Cruzatte played on the violin and the men danced several dances & retired to rest in the houses of the 1st and Second Chief. This village is moved about 300 yards below the spot it stood last fall at the time we passed down. They were all above grown and built in the same form of those below already described. We observed many stacks of fish remaining untouched on either side of the river. The inhabitants of this village wear the robe of deer, elk, goat &c. and <many> most of the men wear leggings and moccasins and shirts highly ornamented with porcupine quills & beads. The women wear the truss most commonly, though some of them have long shirts. All of those articles they procure from other nations who visit them for the purpose of exchanging those articles for their pounded fish, of which they prepare great quantities. This is the great mart of all this country. Ten different tribes who reside on Taptate and Cataract River visit those people for the purpose of purchasing their fish, and the Indians on the Columbia and Lewis's River quite to the Chopunnish Nation visit them for the purpose of trading horses, buffalo robes for beads, and such articles as they have not. The Skillutes procure the most of their cloth, knives, axes & beads from the Indians from the north of them, who trade with white people who come into the inlets to the north at no great distance from the Tapteet. Their horses, of which I saw great numbers, they procure from the Indians who reside on the banks of the Columbia above, and what few they take from the To war ne hi ooks or Snake Indians. I smoked with all the principal men of this nation in the house of their great Chief and lay myself down on a mat to sleep but was prevented by the mice and vermin with which this house abounded and which was very troublesome to me.
Thursday 17th of April 1806
I rose early after bad night's rest, and took my merchandise to a rock which afforded an eligible situation for my purpose, and at a short distance from the houses, and divided the articles of merchandise into parcels of such articles as I thought best calculated to please the Indians, and in each parcel I put as many articles as we could afford to give, and thus exposed them to view, informing the Indians that each parcel was intended for a horse. They tantalized me the greater part of the day, saying that they had sent out for their horses and would trade as soon as they came. Several parcels of merchandise was laid by for which they told me they would bring horses. I made a bargain with the Chief for 2 horses, about an hour after he canceled the bargain and we again bargained for 3 horses which were brought forward. Only one of the 3 could be possibly used, the other two had such intolerable backs as to render them entirely unfit for service. I refused to take two of them, which displeased him and he refused to part with the 3rd. I then packed up the articles and was about setting out for the village above when a man came and sold me two horses, and another man sold me one horse, and several others informed me that they would trade with me if I would continue until their horses could be drove up. This induced me to continue at this village another day. Many of the natives from different villages on the Columbia above offered to trade, but asked such things as we had not and double as much of the articles which I had as we could afford to give. This was a very unfavorable circumstance as my dependence for procuring a sufficiency of horses rested on the success above where I had reasons to believe there were a greater abundance of those animals, and was in hopes of getting them on better terms. Soon after I had dispatched this party the Chief of the Eneshers and 15 or 20 of his people visited me and appeared to be anxious to see the articles I offered for the horses. Several of them agreed to let me have horses if I would add sundry articles to those I offered which I agreed to, and they laid those bundles by and informed me they would deliver me the horses in the morning. I proposed going with them to their town. The Chief informed me that their horses were all in the plains with their women gathering roots. They would send out and bring the horses to this place tomorrow. This intelligence was flattering, though I doubted the sincerity of those people who had several times disappointed me in a similar way. However I determined to continue until tomorrow. In the meantime industriously employed ourselves with the great multitude of Indians of different nations about us trying to purchase horses. Charbonneau purchased a very fine mare for which he gave hurmen, elk's teeth, a belt and some other articles of no great value. No other purchase was made in the course of this day.
Friday April 18th 1806.
Late last evening we were visited by the principal chief of Chiluckkittaquaws and 12 of his nation. They remained with us until 9 o'clock, when they all departed except the Chief and two others who slept at my feet. We loaded our vessels and set out after an early breakfast this morning. We gave the Indians a passage to the north shore on which they reside and pursued our route to the foot of the first rapid at the distance of 4 miles.
Friday 18th April 1806
About 10 A.M. the Indians came down from the Enesher Villages and I expected would take the articles which they had laid by yesterday. But to my astonishment not one would make the exchange today. Two other parcels of good were laid by and the horses promised at 2 P.M. I paid but little attention to this bargain however, suffered the bundles to lie. I dressed the sores of the principal Chief, gave some small things to his children and promised the Chief some medicine for to cure his sores. His wife, who I found to be a sulky bitch, and was somewhat afflicted with pains in her back. This I thought a good opportunity to get her on my side, giving her something for her back. I rubbed a little camphor on her temples and back, and applied warm flannel to her back which she thought had nearly restored her to her former feelings. This I thought a favorable time to trade with the Chief who had more horses than all the nation besides. I accordingly made him an offer which he accepted and sold me two horses. Great numbers of Indians from different directions visited me at this place today. None of them appeared willing to part with their horses, but told me that several were coming from the plains this evening. Among other nations who visit this place for the purpose of trade is the Skad-datts. Those people bantered the Skillutes to play at a singular kind of game. In the course of the day the Skillutes won all their beads, skins, arrows &c. This game was composed of 9 men on a side. They sat down opposite to each other at the distance of about 10 feet. In front of each party a long pole was placed on which they struck with a small stick to the time of their songs. After the bets were made up, which was nearly half an hour after they sat down, two round bones were produced about the size of a man's little finger or something smaller and 2 ¼ inches in length, which they held in their hand, changing it from one hand to the other with great dexterity. 2 men on <each> the same side performed this part, and when they had the bone in the hand they wished, they looked at their adversaries, swinging arms around their shoulders for their adversary [to] guess, which they performed by the motion the hand either to the right or left. If the opposite party guessed the hand of both of the men who had the bone, the bones were given to them. If neither, the bones was retained and nothing counted. If they guessed one and not the other, one bone was delivered up and the party possessing the other bone counted one. And one for every time the adversary misguessed, until they guessed the hand in which the bone was in. In this game each party has 5 sticks, and one side wins all the sticks, once twice or thrice as the game may be set. I observed another game which those people also play and is played by 2 persons with 4 sticks about the size of a man's finger and about 7 inches in length. Two of those sticks are black and the other 2 white and something larger than the black ones. Those sticks they place in different positions, which they perform under a kind of trencher made of bark, round and about 14 inches diameter. This is a very intricate game and I cannot sufficiently understand to describe it. The man who is in possession of the sticks &c. places them in different positions, and the opposite party tells the position of the black sticks by a motion of either or both of his hands &c. This game is counted in the same way as the one before mentioned. All their games are accompanied with songs and time. In my absence several Indians visited Capt. Lewis at his camp. Among others was the great Chief of the Chilluckkltquaw who continued with him until he left Rock Fort Camp. The Chief who had visited Capt. Lewis promised him that he would bring some horses to the basin and trade with him, but he was not as good as his word. Capt. Lewis gave a large kettle for a horse which was offered to him at the basin this evening.
Saturday April 19th 1806
There was great joy with the natives last night in consequence of the arrival of the salmon; one of those fish was caught; this was the harbinger of good news to them. They informed us that these fish would arrive in great quantities in the course of about 5 days. This fish was dressed and being divided into small pieces was given to each child in the village. This custom is founded in a superstitious opinion that it will hasten the arrival of the salmon. With much difficulty we obtained four other horses from the Indians today. We were obliged to dispense with two of our kettles in order to acquire those.
Saturday 19th April 1806.
I entered the largest house of the Enesher's Village in which I found all the inhabitants in bed. They rose and made a light of straw, they having no wood to burn. Many men collected. We smoked and I informed them that I had come to purchase a few horses of them. They promised to sell me some in the morning.
Sunday April 20th 1806.
The Enesher and Skillutes are much better clad than they were last fall. Their men have generally leggings, moccasins and large robes; many of them wear shirts of the same form with those of the Shoshone, Chopunnish &c., highly ornamented with porcupine quills. The dress of their women differs very little from those of the great rapids and above. Their children frequently wear robes of the large gray squirrel skins, those of the men and women are principally deerskins, some wolf, elk, bighorn and buffalo; the latter they procure from the nations who sometimes visit the Missouri. Indeed a considerable proportion of their wearing apparel is purchased from their neighbors to the northwest in exchange for pounded fish copper and beads. At present the principal village of the Eneshur is below the falls on the north side of the river. One other village is above the falls on the south side and another a few miles above on the north side. The first consists of 19, the 2nd of 11, and the 3rd of 5 lodges. Their houses, like those of the Skillutes, have their floors on the surface of the ground, but are formed of sticks and covered with mats and straw. They are large and contain usually several families each. For fuel they use straw, small willows and the southernwood. They use the silk grass in manufacturing their fishing nets and bags, the bear grass and cedar bark are employed in forming a variety of articles. They are poor, dirty, proud, haughty, inhospitable, parsimonious and faithless in every respect, nothing but our numbers I believe prevents their attempting to murder us at this moment. This morning I was informed that the natives had pilfered six tomahawks and a knife from the party in the course of the last night. I spoke to the chief on this subject. He appeared angry with his people and addressed them, but the property was not restored. One horse which I had purchased and paid for yesterday and which could not be found when I ordered the horses into close confinement yesterday I was now informed had been gambled away by the rascal who had sold it to me and had been taken away by a man of another nation. I therefore took the goods back from this fellow. I purchased a gun from the chief for which I gave him 2 elkskins. In the course of the day I obtained two other indifferent horses for which I gave an extravagant price. I found that I should get no more horses and therefore resolved to proceed tomorrow morning with those which I had and to convey the baggage in two small canoes that the horses could not carry. For this purpose I had a load made up for seven horses, the eighth Bratton was compelled to ride as he was yet unable to walk. I bartered my elkskins, old irons and 2 canoes for beads. One of the canoes for which they would give us but little I had cut up for fuel. These people have yet a large quantity of dried fish on hand, yet they will not let us have any but for an exorbitant price. We purchased two dogs and some chapellel from them. I had the horses grazed until evening and then picketed and hobbled within the limits of our camp. I ordered the Indians from our camp this evening and informed them that if I caught them attempting to purloin any article from us I would beat them severely. They went off in rather a bad humor and I directed the party to examine their arms and be on their guard. They stole two spoons from us in the course of the day. The Scaddals, Squan-nan-os, Shan-wah-pums and Shallattas reside to the northwest of these people, depend on hunting deer and elk and trade with these people for their pounded fish.
Sunday 20th of April 1806.
Several of our men went out to hunt their horses but could not find all of them. We expect the Indians loosed their spancel and took them away expecting a reward to get them again. So we hired the Indians to hunt them. Found all except one who the man we bought him of gambled him away with some of another nation & they had taken him away. All the Indians we have seen play a game & risk all the property they have at different games. The game that these savages play is by sitting in a circle & have a small smooth bone in their hands & sing, crossing their hands to fix it in a hidden manner from the other side who guess the hand that has it in, then counts one a stick stuck in the ground for tallies & so on until one side or the other wins the property stacked up. This game is played with activity, and they appear merry & peaceable. Capt. Lewis took the property from the man that gambled away our horse. We sold old robes, elk skins &c. &c. for white beads. These savages have but little pounded salmon in their village as they trade it to several other nations &c. The Indians would not give us anything worth mentioning for our canoes so we split & burnt one of them this evening. We tied up our horses &c. We bought 2 more dogs & some shappalel &c.
Monday April 21st 1806.
I sent several men in search of the horse with orders to return at 10 A.M. with or without the horse, being determined to remain no longer with these villains. They stole another tomahawk from us this morning. I searched many of them but could not find it. I ordered all the spare poles, paddles and the balance of our canoe put on the fire as the morning was cold and also that not a particle should be left for the benefit of the Indians. I detected a fellow in stealing an iron socket of a canoe pole and gave him several severe blows and made the men kick him out of camp. I now informed the Indians that I would shoot the first of them that attempted to steal an article from us, that we were not afraid to fight them, that I had it in my power at that moment to kill them all and set fire to their houses, but it was not my wish to treat them with severity provided they would let my property alone. That I would take their horses if I could find out the persons who had stolen the tomahawks, but that I had rather lose the property altogether than take the horse of an innocent person. The chiefs were present hung their heads and said nothing. At 9 A.M. Windsor returned with the lost horse, the others who were in search of the horse soon after returned also. The Indian who promised to accompany me as far as the Chopunnish country produced me two horses, one of which he politely gave me the liberty of packing. At 1 P.M. I arrived at the Enesher Village where I found Capt. Clark and party; he had not purchased a single horse. He informed me that these people were quite as unfriendly as their neighbors the Skillutes, and that he had subsisted since he left me on a couple of platters of pounded roots and fish which an old man had the politeness to offer him. His party fared much better on dogs which he purchased from those people. The man resided here from whom I had purchased the horse which ran off from me yesterday. I had given him a large kettle and a knife in exchange for that horse, which I informed him should be taken from him unless he produced me the lost horse or one of equal value in his stead. The latter he preferred and produced me a very good horse which I very cheerfully received.