The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, April 25, 1806
Lewis, April 25, 1806
Friday April 25th 1806. This morning we collected our horses and set out at 9 A.M. and proceeded on 11 ms. to the Village of the Pish-quit-pahs of 51 mat lodges where we arrived at 2 P.M. purchased five dogs and some wood from them and took dinner. this village contains about 7 hundred souls. most of those people were in the plains at a distance from the river as we passed down last fall, they had now therefore the gratification of beholding whitemen for the first time. while here they flocked arround us in great numbers tho treated us with much rispect. we gave two medals of the small size to their two principal Cheifs who were pointed out to us by our Chopunnish fellow traveller and were acknowledged by the nation. we exposed a few old clothes my dirk and Capt. C's swoard to barter for horses but were unsuccessfull these articles constitute at present our principal stock in trade. the Pish-quit-pahs insisted much on our remaining with them all night, but sudry reasons conspired to urge our noncomplyance with their wishes. we passed one house or reather lodge of the Metcowwees about a mile above our encampment of the ____th of October last the Pish-quit-pahs, may be considered hunters as well as fishermen as they spend the fall and winter months in that occupation. they are generally pleasently featured of good statue and well proportioned. both women and men ride extreemly well. their bridle is usually a hair rope tyed with both ends to the under jaw of the horse, and their saddle consists of a pad of dressed skin stuffed with goats hair with wooden stirups. almost all the horses which I have seen in possession of the Indians have soar backs. the Pishquitpah women for the most part dress with short shirts which reach to their knees long legings and mockersons, they also use large robes; some of them weare only the truss and robe they brade their hair as before discribed but the heads of neither male nor female of this tribe are so much flattened as the nations lower down on this river. at 4 P.M. we set out accompanyed by eighteen or twenty of their young men on horseback. we continued our rout about nine miles where finding as many willows as would answer our purposes for fuel we encamped for the evening. the country we passed through was much as that of yesterday. the river hills are about 250 feet high and generally abrupt and craggey in many places faced with a perpendicular and solid rock. this rock is black and hard. leve plains extend themselves from the tops of the river hills to a great distance on either side of the river. the soil is not as fertile as about the falls, tho it produces a low grass on which the horses feed very conveniently. it astonished me to seed the order of their horses at this season of the year when I knew that they had wintered on the dry grass of the plains and at the same time road with greater severity than is common among ourselves. I did not see a single horse which could be deemed poor and many of them were as fat as seals. their horses are generally good. this evining after we had encamped, we traded for two horses with nearly the same articles we had offered at the village; these nags Capt. C. and myself intend riding ourselves; haveing now a sufficiency to transport with ease all our baggage and the packs of the men.- we killed six ducks in the course of the day; one of them was of a speceis which I had never before seen I therefore had the most material parts of it reserved as a specimine, the leggs are yellow and feet webbed as those of the duckandmallard. saw many common lizzards, several rattlesnakes killed by the party, they are the same as those common to the U States. the horned Lizzard is also common.- had the fiddle played at the request of the natives and some of the men danced. we passed five lodges of the Walldh wolldhs at the distance of 4 miles above the Pishquitpahs.