The Journals of Lewis & Clark: May 14, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
May 13, 1806
May 15, 1806

May 14, 1806

Wednesday May 14th 1806. The morning was fair, we arrose early and dispatched a few of our hunters to the opposite side of the river, and employed a part of the men in transporting our baggage to the opposite shore wile others were directed to collect the horses; at 10 A.M. we had taken our baggage over and collected our horses, we then took breakfast, after which we drove our horses into the river which they swam without accedent and all arrived safe on the opposite shore. the river is 150 yds. wide at this place and extreemly rapid. tho it may be safely navigated at this season, as the water covers all the rocks which lie in it's bed to a considerable debth. we followed our horses and again collected them, after which we removed our baggage to a position which we had previously selected for our permanent camp about half a mile below. this was a very eligible spot for defence it had been an ancient habitation of the indians; was sunk about 4 feet in the ground and raised arround it's outer edge about three 1/2 feet with a good wall of eath. the whole was a circle of about 30 feet in diameter. arround this we formed our tents of sticks and grass facing outwards and deposited our baggage within the sunken space under a shelter which we constructed for the purpose. our situation was within 40 paces of the river in an extentsive level bottom thinly timbered with the longleafed pine. here we are in the vicinity of the best hunting grounds from indian information, are convenient to the salmon which we expect daily and have an excellent pasture for our horses. the hills to the E and North of us are high broken and but partially timbered; the soil is rich and affords fine grass. in short as we are compelled to reside a while in this neighbourhood I feel perfectly satisfyed with our position.immediately after we had passed the river Tunnachemootoolt and Hosastillpilp arrived on the south side with a party of a douzen of their young men; they began to sing in token of friendship as is their custom, and we sent the canoe over for them. they left their horses and came over accompanyed by several of their party among whom were the 2 young men who had presented us with two horses in behalf of the nation; one of these was the son of Tunnachemootoolt and the other the son of the Cheif who was killed by the Minnetares of Fort de Prarie last year and the same who had given us the mare and Colt. we received them at our camp and smoked with them; after some hours Hohastillpilp with much cerimony presented me with a very eligant grey gelding which he had brought for that purpose. I gave him in return a handkercheif 200 balls and 4 lbs. of powder. with which he appeared perfectly satisfyed. Collins killed two bear this morning and was sent with two others in quest of the meat; with which they returned in the evening; the mail bear was large and fat the female was of moderate size and reather meagre. we had the fat bear fleaced in order to reserve the oil for the mountains. both these bear were of the speceis common to the upper part of the missouri. they may be called white black grzly brown or red bear for they are found of all those colours. perhaps it would not be unappropriate to designate them the variagated bear. we gave the indians who were about 15 in number half the female bear, with the sholder head and neck of the other. this was a great treat to those poor wretches who scarcely taist meat once a month. they immediately prepared a brisk fire of dry wood on which they threw a parsel of smooth stones from the river, when the fire had birnt down and heated the stones they placed them level and laid on a parsel of pine boughs, on these they laid the flesh of the bear in flitches, placing boughs between each course of meat and then covering it thickly with pine boughs; after this they poared on a small quantity of water and covered the whoe over with earth to the debth of four inches. in this situation they suffered it to remain about 3 hours when they took it out. I taisted of this meat and found it much more tender than that which we had roasted or boiled, but the strong flavor of the pine distroyed it for my pallate. Labuish returned late in the evening and informed us that he had killed a female bear and two large cubbs, he brought with him several large dark brown pheasants which he had also killed. Shannon also returned with a few pheasants and two squirrells. we have found our stone horses so troublesome that we indeavoured to exchange them with the Chopunnish for mears or gelings but they will not exchange altho we offer 2 for one; we came to a resolution to castrate them and began the operation this evening one of the indians present offered his services on this occasion. he cut them without tying the string of the stone as is usual, and assures us that they will do much better in that way; he takes care to scrape the string very clean and to seperate it from all the adhereing veigns before he cuts it. we shall have an opportunity of judging whether this is a method preferable to that commonly practiced as Drewyer has gelded two in the usual way. The indians after their feast took a pipe or two with us and retired to rest much pleased with their repast. these bear are tremendious animals to them; they esteem the act of killing a bear equally great with that of an enimy in the field of action.- I gave the claws of those which Collins killed to Hohastillpilp.

Wednesday 14th of May 1806

a fine day. we had all our horses Collected by 10 a.m. dureing the time we had all our baggage Crossed over the Flat head River which is rapid and about 150 yards wide. after the baggage was over to the North Side we Crossed our horss without much trouble and hobbled them in the bottom after which we moved a Short distance below to a convenient Situation and formed a Camp around a very conveniant Spot for defence where the Indiands had formerly a house under ground and hollow circler Spot of about 30 feet diamieter 4 feet below the Serfce and a Bank of 2 feet above this Situation we Concluded would be Seffiently convenient to hunt the wood lands for bear & Deer and for the Salmon fish which we were told would be here in a fiew days and also a good Situation for our horses. the hills to the E. & N. of us are high broken & but partially timbered; the soil rich and affords fine grass. in Short as we are Compelled to reside a while in this neighbourhood I feel perfectly Satisfied with our position. imediately after we had Crossed the river the Chief Called the broken Arm or Tin nach-e-moo toll another principal Chief Hoh-host'-ill-pitp arived on the opposite Side and began to Sing. we Sent the Canoe over and those Chiefs, the Son of the broken arm and the Sone of a Great Chief who was killed last year by the Big bellies of Sas kas she win river. those two young men were the two whome gave Capt Lewis and my self each a horse with great serimony in behalf of the nation a fiew days ago, and the latter a most elligant mare & colt the morning after we arived at the Village. Hohast ill pilt with much Serimoney presented Capt. Lewis with an elegant Gray horse which he had brought for that purpose. Capt Lewis gave him in return a Handkerchief two hundred balls and four pouds of powder with which he appeared perfictly Satisfyed, and appeared much pleased.

Soon after I had Crossed the river and during the time Cap Lewis was on the opposit Side John Collins whome we had Sent out verry early this morning with Labiech and Shannon on the North Side of the river to hunt, Came in and informed me, that he had killed two Bear at about 5 miles distant on the up lands. one of which was in good order. I imediately depatched Jo. Fields & P. Wiser with him for the flesh. we made Several attempts to exchange our Stalions for Geldings or mars without success we even offered two for one. those horses are troublesom and Cut each other very much and as we Can't exchange them we think it best to Castrate them and began the opperation this evening one of the Indians present offered his Services on this occasion. he Cut them without tying the String of the Stone as is usial. he Craped it very Clean & Seperate it before he Cut it. about Meredian Shannon Came in with two Grows & 2 Squireles Common to this Country. his mockersons worn out obliged to come in early.

Collins returned in the evening with the two bears which he had killed in the morning one of them an old hee was in fine order, the other a female with Cubs was Meagure. we gave the Indians about us 15 in number two Sholders and a ham of the bear to eate which they cooked in the following manner. to wit on a brisk fire of dryed wood they threw a parcel of Small Stones from the river, when the fire had burnt down and heated the Stone, they placed them level and laid on a parsel of pine boughs, on those they laid the flesh of the bear in flitches, placeing boughs between each course of meat and then Covering it thickly with pine boughs; after this they poared on a Small quantity of water, and Covered the whole over with earth to the debth of 4 inches. in this Situation they Suffered it to remain about 3 hours when they took it out fit for use. at 6 oClock P M Labiech returned and informed us that he had killed a female Bear and two Cubs, at a long distance from Camp towards the mountains. he brought in two large dark brown pheasents which he had also killed Shannon also returned also with a few black Pheasents and two squirels which he had killed in the wood land towards Collins Creek. This nation esteem the Killing of one of those tremendeous animals (the Bear) equally great with that of an enemy in the field of action-. we gave the Claws of those bear which Collins had killed to Hohastillpelp.