The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, February 15, 1806

Clark, February 15, 1806

Saturday February 15th 1806

Drewyer and Whitehouse Set out on a hunting excurtion towards the mountains Southwest of us. we have heard our hunters over the Netul fire Several Shot today, but have had no account of them as yet. 3 P.M. Bratten arived from the Saltworks, and informed us that Serjt. Pryor and party were on their way with gibson in a litter. he is verry bad and much reduced with his present indisposition. Wm. Bratten appears much reduced, and is yet verry unwell. he informs that the Cause of Sergt. Pryor's delay was attributiable to the winds which had been so violent for Several days as to render it impossible to get a Canoe up the Creek to the point where it was necessary to pass with Gibson. the S. W. winds are frequently very violent on the coast when we are but little Sensible of them at Fort Clatsop. in Consequence of the lofty and thickly timbered fir country which Surrounds us from that quarter, from the South to the N. East.-. After Dark Sergt. Pryor arrived with Gibson. we are much pleased in findeing him by no means as ill as we had expected. we do not conceive him in danger by any means, tho he has yet a fever and is much reduced. we believe his disorder to have originated in a violent Cold which he contracted in hunting and prosueing Elk and other game through the Swamps and marshes about the salt works. he is nearly free from pain tho a good deel reduced and very languid. we gave him double doses of diluted niter and made him drink plentifully of Sage tea, had his feat bathed in worm water and at 9 P.M. gave him 35 drops of laudanum.

The quadrupeds of this countrey from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocian are first the Domestic Animals, consisting of the Horses and Dogs only; 2ndly the Native Wild Animals, consisting of the White, brown, or Grizly bear (which I believe to be the same family with a mearly accidentail difference in point of Colour) The Black Bear, the Elk, the Common red Deer, the Mule deer, the black tailed fallow Deer, the large brown wolf, the Small wolf of the Plains, the large wolf of the Plains, Panther, the tiger cat, the common red fox, the black fox or fisher, the Silver fox, large red fox of the plains, Small fox of the plains or kit fox, Antelope, Sheep, beaver, Common Otter, Sea Otter, minks, Seals racoons, large Grey Squerrel, Small brown Squirrel, Small grey Squirrel, Ground Squirrel, Sewelel, Braro, rat, mouse, mole, hare, rabbet, and pole Cat or Skunk. all of which Shall be Severally noticed in the order in which they occur as well as Such others as I learn do exist, and which not been here recapitulated.

The Horse is principally Confined to the Nations inhabiting the great Plains of Columbia extending from Latitude 40° to 50° N. and occupying the tract of Countrey lying between the Rocky Mountains and a rang of mountains which pass the Columbia River about the Great Falls or from Longitude 116° to 121° West in this extensive tract of Principally untimbered countrey So far as we have lernt the following nations reside (viz) The Sosone, or Snake Indians inhabiting the South fork or ____ River, the Chopunnish, Sokulk's, Cutssahnims, Chym na pum, Ehelutes, Eneshuh & Chilluckkittequaws. all of whome enjoy the benifit of that docile generous and valueable Animal the Horse, and all of them except the three last have emence numbers of them. their horses appear to be of an excellent race; they are lofty eligantly formed active and durable; in Short maney of them look like the fine English coursers and would make a figure in any country. Some of those horses in pided with large spots of white irrigularly scattered and intermixed with black, brown, Bey or Some other dark colour, but much the larger portion are of a uniform Colour with Stars, snips, and white feet, or in this respect marked much like our best blooded horses in the U, States, which they resemble as well in fleetness and bottom as in form and Colour. the nativs Suffer them to run at large in the plains, the Grass of which furnish them with their only Subsistance, their owners takeing no trouble to lay in a winters Store for them, but they keep fat if not much used on the dry grass of the plains dureing the winter. rain scercely ever falls in those plains and the Grass is Short and but thin. the nativs appear to take no pains in Selecting their male horses from which they bread, in Short those of that discription which I have noticed appear much the most indifferent. whether the horses was originally a native of this Country or not, it is out of my power to determine as we cannot understand the language of the nativs Sufficiently to ask the question. at all events the Country and Climate appears well adapted to this Animal. Horses are Said to be found wild in maney parts of this extensive plain Country-. The Several tribes of Sosones who reside near Mexico on the waters of Clark's river, or particularly one of them called Shd-bo-bo-ah have also a great number of Mules, which among the Inds. I find are much more highly prized than horses. an eligant horse may be purchased of the nativs in this Country for a fiew beeds or other paltry trinkits which in the United States would not cost more than one or two dollars. This abundance and Cheepness of horses will be extremely advantagious to those who may hereafter attempt the fir trade to the East Indies by way of the Columbia and the Pacific Ocian.-. The mules in the possession of the Inds. are principally Stolen from the Spaniards of New Mexico; Such as we have Seen appear to be large with Spanish brands. among the Sosones of the upper part of Lewis's river we Saw Several horses with Spanish brands on them which the nativs informed us Came from the South most probably from the Settlement in New Mexico, on the heads of the North river or waters of the Bay of California.