Lewis, January 27, 1806
Tuesday January 27th 1806. This morning Collins set out for the Salt works. in the evening Shannon returned and reported that himself and party had killed ten Elk. he left Labuche and R. fields with the Elk. two of those Elk he informed us were at the distance of nine miles from this place near the top of a mountain, that the rout by which they mus be brought was at least four miles by land through a country almost inaccessible from the fallen timber, brush and sink-holes, which were now disgused by the snow; we therefore concluded to relinquish those two Elk for the present, and ordered every man who could be speared from the fort to go early in the morning in surch of the other eight.
Goodrich has recovered from the Louis veneri which he contracted from an amorous contact with a Chinnook damsel. I cured him as I did Gibson last winter by the uce of murcury. I cannot learn that the Indians have any simples which are sovereign specifics in the cure of this disease; and indeed I doubt very much wheter any of them have any means of effecting a perfect cure. when once this disorder is contracted by them it continues with them during life; but always ends in decipitude, death, or premature old age; tho from the uce of certain simples together with their diet, they support this disorder with but little inconvenience for many years, and even enjoy a tolerable share of health; particularly so among the Chippeways who I believe to be better skilled in the uce of those simples than any nation of Savages in North America. The Chippeways use a decoction of the root of the Lobelia, and that of a species of sumac common to the Atlantic states and to this country near and on the Western side of the Rocky Mountains. this is the smallest species of the sumac, readily distinguished by it's winged rib, or common footstalk, which supports it's oppositely pinnate leaves. these decoctions are drank freely and without limitation. the same decoctions are used in cases of the gonnaerea and are effecatious and sovereign. notwithstanding that this disorder dose exist among the Indians on the Columbia yet it is witnessed in but few individuals, at least the males who are always sufficiently exposed to the observations or inspection of the phisician. in my whole rout down this river I did not see more than two or three with the gonnaerea and about double that number with the pox.
The beary which the natives call solme is the production of a plant about the size and much the shape of that common to the atlantic states which produces the berry commonly called Solloman's seal berry. this berry also is attatched to the top of the stem in the same manner; and is of a globelar form, consisting of a thin soft pellecle which encloses a soft pulp inveloping from three to four seeds, white, firm, smothe, and in the form of a third or quarter of a globe, and large in proportion to the fruit or about the size of the seed of the common small grape. this berry when grown and unripe is not speckled as that of the Solomon's seal berry is; this last has only one globular smoth white firm seed in each berry.the Solme grows in the woodlands among the moss and is an annual plant to all appearance.