The Journals of Lewis & Clark: April 16, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
April 15, 1806
April 17, 1806

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.-

April 16th 1806

Crossed the river and Sent Drewyer & Goodrich to the Skil lute village to envite the Indians to trade horses with us, also sent Frazer & Shabono to the Che-luck-kit-ti-quar village for the same purpose a number of Indians came of both nations and delayed the greater part of the day without tradeing a Single horse the Great Chief of the Skillutes also came with Drewyer. he was lame and Could not walk he told me if I would go to his Town his people would trade with me. I Set out late and arrived at Sunset and informd. the natives that in the morning I would trade with them. he gave me onions to eate which had been Sweated. Peter played the violin and the men danced. Saw abt. 100 Stacks of fish. maney nations visit this place for trade. the discription of the houses, their dress habits &c. Smoked &c. I saw great numbers of horses

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.