The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, April 16, 1806

Lewis, April 16, 1806

Wednesday April 16th 1806. About 8 A.M. Capt. Clark passed the river with the two interpreters, the indian woman and nine men in order to trade with the natives for their horses, for which purpose he took with him a good part of our stock of merchandize. I remained in camp; sent out the hunters very early in the morning, and set Sergts. Gass and Pryor with some others at work to make a parsel of packsaddles. twelve horses will be sufficient to transport our baggage and some pounded fish which we intend taking with us as a reserved store for the rocky mountains. I was visited today by several of the natives, and amused myself in making a collection of the esculent plants in the neighbourhood such as the Indians use, a specemine of which I preserved. I also met with sundry other plants which were strangers to me which I also preserved, among others there is a currant which is now in blume and has yellow blossom something like the yellow currant of the Missouri but is a different speceis. Reubin Feilds returned in the evening and brought with him a large grey squrrel and two others of a kind I had never before seen. they are a size less than the grey squirrel common to the middle atlantic states and of a pided grey and yellowish brown colour, in form it resembles our grey squrrel precisely. I had them skined leaving the head feet and tail to them and placed in the sun to dry. Joseph Feilds brought me a black pheasant which he had killed; this I found on examination to be the large black or dark brown pheasant I had met with on the upper part of the Missouri. it is as large as a well grown fowl the iris of the eye is of a dark yellowish brown, the puple black, the legs are booted to the toes, the tail is composed of 18 black feathers tiped with bluish white, of which the two in the center are reather shorter than the others which are all of the same length. over the eye there is a stripe of a 1/4 of an inch in width uncovered with feathers of a fine orrange yellow. the wide spaces void of feathers on the side of the neck are also of the same colour. I had some parts of this bird preserved. our present station is the last point at which there is a single stick of timber on the river for a great distance and is the commencement of the open plains which extend nearly to the base of the rocky Mts. Labuish returned this evening having killed two deer I sent and had them brought in. this evening Capt. C. informed me by some of the men whom he sent over that that he had obtained no horses as yet of the natives. that they promised to trade with him provided he would remove to their vil-lage. to this he had consented and should proceede to the Skillute village above the long narrows as soon as the men returned whom he had sent to me for some other articles. I dispatched the men on their return to capt. C. immediately with these articles and he set out with his party accompanyed by the natives to their village where he remained all night.- the natives who had spent the day with me seemed very well disposed, they left me at 6 in the evening and returned to their rispective villages. the hunters informed me that they saw some Antelopes, & the tracks of several black bear, but no appearance of any Elk. we were informed by the Indians that the river which falls in on the S. side of the Columbia just above the Eneshur village heads in Mount hood and dose not water the extensive country which we have heretofore calculated on. a great portion of that extensive tract of country to the S. and S. W. of the Columbia and it's S. E. branch, and between the same and the waters of Callifornia must be watered by the Multnomah river.-