The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, May 6, 1806
Clark, May 6, 1806
Tuesday May 6th 1806
This morning the Susband of the Sick woman was as good as his word. he produced us a young horse in tolerable order which we imedeately had killed and butchered. the inhabitents Seemed more accommodating this morning. they Sold us Some bread. we received a Second horse for Medecine & procription to a little girl with the rhumitism whome I had bathed in worm water, and anointed her a little with balsom Capivia. I dressed the woman again this morning who declared that She had rested better last night than She had Since She had been sick. Sore Eyes is an universal Complaint among all the nations which we have Seen on the West Side of the rocky Mountains. I was busily imployed for several hours this morning in administering eye water to a Croud of applicants. we once more obtained a plentiful meal, much to the Comfort of all the party. Capt Lewis exchanged horses with We ark koomt and gave him a small flag with which he was much pleased and gratifyed. the Sorrel which Cap L. obtained is a Strong active well broke horse-. At this place we met with three men of a nation Called the Skeetsso-mish who reside at the falls of a Small river dischargeing itself into the Columbia on its East Side to the South of the enterance of Clarks river. this river they informed us headed in a large lake in the mountains and that the falls below which they reside was at no great distance from the lake. these people are the Same in their dress and appearance with the Chopunnish, tho their language is entirely different. one of them gave me his whip which was a twisted Stick 18 Ins. in length at one end a pice of raw hide Split So as to form two Strings about 20 inches in length as a lash, to the other end a String passed through a hole and fastened at each end for a loope to Slip over the wrist. I gave in return for this whip a fathom of narrow binding. The River here Calld. Clarks river is that which we have heretofore Called Flathead river. Capt. Lewis has thought proper to Call this after myself for this Stream we know no Indhan name and no white man but our Selves was ever on this river. The river which Fiddler call's the great Lake river may possiably be a branch of it, but if So it is but a very inconsiderable branch, and may as probably empty itself into the Columbia above as into Clarks river. the Stream which the party has heretofore Called Clarks river imedeately above the great falls, has it's three principal branches in Mountains Jefferson, Hood and the Northern Side of the S. W. Mountains and is of course a Short river. this river is Called by the Skillutes & Eneshure Nations Towannahhiooks which is also the name they Call those bands of Snake indians who Come on this river every Spring to Catch the Salmon-. The Kooskooske river may be Safely navigated at present all the rocks of the Sholes and rapids are perfectlly Covered; the Current is Strong, the water Clear and Cold. this river is riseing fast-. The timber of this river which consists principally of the long leafed pine which commences about 2 miles below our present encampment on Colters Creek. it was 2 P M. this evening before we could collect our horses. at 3 P M. we Set out accompanied by the brother of the twisted hair and We-ark-koomt. we derected the horse which I had obtained for the purpose of eateing to be led as it was unbroke, in performing this duty a quarrel ensued between Drewyer and Colter-. We Continued our march along the river on its North Side 9 miles to a lodge of 6 families built of Sticks mats and dryed Hay. of the Same form of those heretofore discribed. we passed a Lodge of 3 families at 4 ms. on the river, no provisions of any discription was to be obtained of these people. a little after dark our young horse broke the rope by which he was Confined and made his escape much to the chagrine of all who recollected the keenness of their appetites last evening. the brother of the twisted hair & wearkkoomt with 10 others encamped with us this evening
The nativs have a Considerable Salmon fishery up Colters Creek. this Stream extends itself to the Spurs of the Rocky Mountain and in much the greater part of its Course passes through a well timbered pine Country. it is 25 yds. wide and discharges a large body of water. the banks low and bead formed of pebbles-. had a Small Shower of rain this evening. The Chopunnish about the Mouth of the Kooskooske bury their dead on Stoney hill Sides generally, and as I was informed by an Indian who made Signs that they made a hole in the Grown by takeing away the Stones and earth where they wished to deposit the dead body after which they laid the body which was previously raped in a robe and Secured with Cords. over the body they placed Stones So as to form a Sort of arch on the top of which they put Stones and earth So as to Secure the body from the wolves and birds &c. they Sometimes inclose the grave with a kind of Sepulcher like the roof of a house formed of the canoes of the disceased. they also Sacrifice the favorite horses of the disceased. the bones of many of which we See on and about the graves.