The Journals of Lewis & Clark: August 18, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
August 17, 1805
August 19, 1805

August 18, 1805

Sunday August 18th 1805.

This morning while Capt Clark was busily engaged in preparing for his rout, I exposed some articles to barter with the Indians for horses as I wished a few at this moment to releive the men who were going with Capt Clark from the labour of carrying their baggage and also one to keep here in order to pack the meat to camp which the hunters might kill. I soon obtained three very good horses for which I gave an uniform coat, a pair of legings, a few handkerchiefs, three knives and some other small articles the whole of which did not cost more than about 20$ in the U States. the Indians seemed quite as well pleased with their bargin as I was. the men also purchased one for an old checked shirt a pair of old legings and a knife. two of those I purchased Capt. C. took on with him. at 10 A.M. Capt. Clark departed with his detatchment and all the Indians except 2 men and 2 women who remained with us. Two of the inferior chiefs were a little displeased at not having received a present equivolent to that given the first Chief. to releive this difficulty Capt. Clark bestoed a couple of his old coats on them and I promised that if they wer active in assisting me over the mountains with horses that I would give them an additional present; this seemed perfectly to satisfy them and they all set out in a good humour. Capt. Clark encamped this evening near the narrow pass between the hills on Jefferson's river in the Shoshone Cove. his hunters killed one deer which the party with the aid of the Indians readily consumed in the course of the evening.- after there departure this morning I had all the stores and baggage of every discription opened and aired. and began the operation of forming the packages in proper parsels for the purpose of transporting them on horseback. the rain in the evening compelled me to desist from my operations. I had the raw hides put in the water in order to cut them in throngs proper for lashing the packages and forming the necessary geer for pack horses, a business which I fortunately had not to learn on this occasion. Drewyer Killed one deer this evening. a beaver was also caught by one of the party. I had the net arranged and set this evening to catch some trout which we could see in great abundance at the bottom of the river. This day I completed my thirty first year, and conceived that I had in all human probability now existed about half the period which I am to remain in this Sublunary world. I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little indeed, to further the hapiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now soarly feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended. but since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash from me the gloomy thought and resolved in future, to redouble my exertions and at least indeavour to promote those two primary objects of human existence, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which nature and fortune have bestoed on me; or in future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself.

August 18th Sunday 1805

Purchased of the Indians three horses for which we gave a Chiefs Coat Some Handkerchiefs a Shirt Legins & a fiew arrow points &c. I gave two of my coats to two of the under Chiefs who appeared not well Satisfied that the first Chief was dressed so much finer than themselves. at 10 oClock I Set out accompanied by the Indians except 3 the interpreter and wife, the fore part of the day worm, at 12 oClock it became hasey with a mist of rain wind hard from the S. W. and Cold which increased untill night the rain Seased in about two hours. We proceeded on thro a wide leavel vallie without wood except willows & Srubs for 15 miles and Encamped at a place the high lands approach within 200 yards in 2 points the River here only 10 yards wide Several Small Streams branching out on each Side below. all the Indians proceeded on except the 3 Chiefs & two young men. my hunters killed two Deer which we eate. The Course from the forks is West 9 miles N. 60° W. 6 miles. The Laid. of the forks agreeable to observations is 43° 30' 43" North-