The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, April 17, 1806

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Clark, April 17, 1806

Thursday 17th of April 1806

I rose early after bad nights rest, and took my merchindize to a rock which afforded an elegable Situation for my purpose, and at a Short distance from the houses, and divided the articles of merchindize into parsels of Such articles as I thought best Calculated to pleas 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 tanterlised 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 merchindize was laid by for which they told me they would bring horses. I made a bargin with the Chief for 2 horses, about an hour after he canseled the bargin and we again bargained for 3 horses which were brought foward, 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 untill their horses could be drove up. this induced me to Continue at this Village another day. Maney of the nativs 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 unfavourable circumstance as my dependance for precureing a Sufficiency of horses rested on the Suckcess 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. I purchased 3 dogs for the party with me to eate and Some Chap-pa-lell for my Self. before precureing the 3 horses I dispatched Crusat, Willard & McNeal and Peter Wiser to Capt Lewis at the Rock fort Camp with a note informing him of my ill Suckcess in precureing horses, and advised him to proceed on to this place as Soon as possible. that I would in the mean time proceed on to the Enesher Nation above the Great falls and try to purchase Some horses of that people. Soon after I had dispatched this party the Chief of the Enesher's 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 agreeed to let me have horses if I would add Sundery articles to those I offered which I agreeed to, and they lay'd 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 womin gathering roots. they would Send out and bring the horses to this place tomorrow. this entiligence was flattering, tho I doubted the Sincerity of those people who had Several times disapointed me in a Similar way. however I deturmined to Continue untill tomorrow. in the mean time industously employd. our Selves with the great multitude of indians of differant Nations about us trying to purchase horses. Shabono purchased a verry fine Mare for which he gave Hurmen, Elks Teeth, a belt and Some other articles of no great value. no other purchase was made in the Course of this day. in the evening I recved a note from Capt L- by Shannon informing me that he Should Set out early on tomorrow morning and Should proceed up to the bason 2 miles below the Skillute Village. and adviseing me to give double the prices which we had first agreed on for each horse. I observe at every house Scooping Nets with which they take the Salmon.

I was envited into the house of the 2nd Chief where Concluded to Sleep. this man was pore nothing to eat but dried fish, and no wood to burn. altho the night was Cold they Could not rase as much wood as would make a fire