Lewis and Clark and the Nez Perce
NPS Image, NEPE-HI-1773.
Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark crossed Nez Perce country in the fall of 1805 and again in the spring of 1806. With the exception of their winter encampments, the Corps of Discovery spent more time among the Nez Perce than any other group they encountered in their journey. After some initial apprehension, the Nez Perce embraced the expedition, providing aid during a very trying time and reminded friendly to Lewis and Clark when they returned in 1806. In the aftermath of the expedition's departure, the promises of a productive relationship with the United States government proved to ring hollow. In a generation, the flight of 1877 would tear asunder any notions of lasting peace and friendship.
An interpretive bulletin is available for Lewis and Clark sites in Nez Perce NHP.
Did You Know?
For centuries the Nez Perce used Tolo Lake or Tepalewam as a gathering place. In June, 1877 the Wallowa Nez Perce paused here before their final move to the Reservation. Brooding over past injustices, warriors raided homes on the Salmon River, precipitating events that would trigger the 1877 War.