Clark, April 16, 1806
Wednesday April 16th 1806
about 8 oClock this morning I passed the river with the two interpreters, and nine men in order to trade with the nativs for their horses, for which purpose I took with me a good part of our Stock of merchindize. Capt L. Sent out the hunters and Set Several men at work makeing pack Saddles. twelve horses will be Sufficient to trans port our baggage and Some pounded fish with our dried Elk. which we intend takeing with us as a reserved Store for the Plains & rocky mountains. I formed a Camp on the N. Side and Sent Drewyer & Goodrich to the Skillute Village, and Shabono & Frazer down to the Chilluckkitequaw Villages with derections to inform the nativs that I had Crossed the river for the purpose of purchaseing horses, and if they had horses to Sell us to bring them to my Camp. Great numbers of Indians came from both Villages and delayed the greater part of the day without tradeing a Single horse. Drewyer returned with the principal Chief of the Skillutes who was lame and Could not walk. after his arival Some horses were offered for Sale, but they asked nearly half the merchindize I had with me for one horse. this price I could not think of giveing. the Chief informed me if I would go to his town with him, his people would Sell me horses. I therefore Concluded to accompany him to his Village 7 miles distant. we Set out and arrived at the Village at Sunset. after Some Serimony I entered the house of the Chief. I then informed them that I would trade with them for their horses in the morning for which I would give for each horse the articles which I had offered yestered. The Chief Set before me a large platter of Onions which had been Sweeted. I gave a part of those onions to all my party and we all eate of them, in this State the root is very Sweet and the tops tender. the nativs requested the party to dance which they very readily consented and Peter Cruzat played on the Violin and the men danced Several dances & retired to rest in the houses of the 1st and Second Cheif.
this village is moved about 300 yards below the Spot it Stood last fall at the time we passed down. they were all above grown and built in the Same form of those below already discribed. We observed maney stacks of fish remaining untouched on either Side of the river. The Inhabitents of this Village ware the robe of deer Elk Goat &c. and most of the men ware Legins and mockersons and Shirts highly ornimented with Porcupine quills & beeds. the women were the Truss most Commonly. tho Some of them have long Shirts all of those articles they precure from other nations who visit them for the purpose of exchangeing those articles for their pounded fish of which they prepare great quantities. This is the Great Mart of all this Country. ten different tribes who reside on Taptate and Catteract River visit those people for the purpose of purchaseing their fish, and the Indians on the Columbia and Lewis's river quite to the Chopunnish Nation Visit them for the purpose of tradeing horses buffalow robes for beeds, and Such articles as they have not. The Skillutes precure the most of their Cloth knivs axes & beeds from the Indians from the North of them who trade with white people who come into the inlets to the North at no great distance from the Tapteet. their horses of which I saw great numbers, they precure from the Indians who reside on the banks of the Columbia above, and what fiew they take from the To war ne hi ooks or Snake Indians. I smoked with all the principal men of this nation in the house of their great Cheif and lay my Self down on a Mat to Sleep but was prevented by the mice and vermin with which this house abounded and which was very troublesom to me.