The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, August 17, 1805
Clark, August 17, 1805
August 17th Satturday 1805
a fair Cold morning wind S. W. the Thermometer at 42 a. 0 at Sunrise, We Set out at 7 oClock and proceeded on to the forks I had not proceeded on one mile before I saw at a distance Several Indians on horsback Comeing towards me, The Intertrepeter & Squar who were before me at Some distance danced for the joyful Sight, and She made signs to me that they were her nation, as I aproached nearer them descovered one of Capt Lewis party With them dressed in their Dress; the met me with great Signs of joy, as the Canoes were proceeding on nearly opposit me I turned those people & joined Capt Lewis who had Camped with 16 of those Snake Indians at the forks 2 miles in advance. those Indians Sung all the way to their Camp where the others had provd. a cind of Shade of Willows Stuck up in a Circle the Three Chiefs with Capt. Lewis met me with great cordialliaty embraced and took a Seat on a white robe, the Main Chief imedeately tied to my hair Six Small pieces of Shells resembling perl which is highly Valued by those people and is prcured from the nations resideing near the Sea Coast. we then Smoked in their fassion without Shoes and without much cerimoney and form.
Capt Lewis informed me he found those people on the Columbia River about 40 miles from the forks at that place there was a large camp of them, he had purswaded those with him to Come and See that what he said was the truth, they had been under great apprehension all the way, for fear of their being deceived. The Great Chief of this nation proved to be the brother of the Woman with us and is a man of Influence Sence & easey & reserved manners, appears to possess a great deel of Cincerity. The Canoes arrived & unloaded- every thing appeared to asstonish those people. the appearance of the men, their arms, the Canoes, the Clothing my black Servent. & the Segassity of Capt Lewis's Dog. we Spoke a fiew words to them in the evening respecting our rout intentions our want of horses &c. & gave them a fiew presents & medals- we made a number of inquires of those people about the Columbia River the Countrey game &c. The account they gave us was verry unfavourable, that the River abounded in emence falls, one perticularly much higher than the falls of the Missouri & at the place the mountains Closed So Close that it was impracticable to pass, & that the ridge Continued on each Side of perpendicular Clifts inpenetratable, and that no Deer Elk or any game was to be found in that Countrey, aded to that they informed us that there was no timber on the river Sufficiently large to make Small Canoes, This information (if true is alarming) I deturmined to go in advance and examine the Countrey, See if those dificueltes presented themselves in the gloomey picture in which they painted them, and if the river was practiable and I could find timber to build Canoes, those Ideas & plan appeard to be agreeable to Capt Lewis's Ideas on this point, and I selected 11 men, directed them to pack up their baggage Complete themselves with amunition, take each an ax and Such tools as will be Soutable to build Canoes, and be ready to Set out at 10 oClock tomorrow morning. Those people greatly pleased our hunters killed three Deer & an antilope which was eaten in a Short time the Indians being so harrassed & compelled to move about in those rugid mountains that they are half Starved liveing at this time on berries & roots which they geather in the plains. Those people are not begerley but generous, only one has asked me for anything and he for powder.
This nation Call themselves Cho-shop-ne the Chief is name Too-et-te-con'l Black Gun is his war name Ka-me-ah-wah- or Come & Smoke. this Chief gave me the following name and pipe Ka-me-ah-wah.