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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For October 16:
Captain Clark (current)
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A cool morning. Determined to run the rapids. Put our Indian guide in front, our small canoe next, and the other four following each other. The canoes all passed over safe except the rear canoe, which ran fast on a rock at the lower part of the rapids. With the early assistance of the other canoes and the Indians, who were extremely alert, everything was taken out, and the canoe got off without any injury further than the articles with which it was loaded getting all wet. At 14 miles passed a bad rapid, at which place we unloaded and made a portage of 3/4 of a mile, having passed 4 smaller rapids, three islands, and the parts of a house above. I saw Indians and horses on the south side below. Five Indians came up the river in great haste. We smoked with them and gave them a piece of tobacco to smoke with their people, and sent them back. After getting safely over the rapid and having taken dinner, set out and proceeded on seven miles to the junction of this river and the Columbia, which joins from the northwest.
We halted above the point on the river Kimooenim to smoke with the Indians who had collected there in great numbers to view us. Here we met our 2 chiefs who left us two days ago and proceeded on to this place to inform those bands of our approach and friendly intentions toward all nations, &c. We also met the 2 men who had passed us several days ago on horseback; one of them, we observed, was a man of great influence with those Indians - harangued them. After smoking with the Indians who had collected to view us we formed a camp at the point near which place I saw a few pieces of driftwood.
After we had our camp fixed and fires made, a chief came up from this camp, which was about 1/4 of a mile up the Columbia River, at the head of about 200 men singing and beating on their drums and keeping time to the music. They formed a half-circle around us and sang for some time. We gave them all smoke, and spoke to their chief as well as we could by signs, informing them of our friendly disposition to all nations, and our joy in seeing those of our children around us. Gave the principal chief a large medal, shirt, and handkerchief; a second chief a medal of small size, and to the chief who came down from the upper villages a small medal and handkerchief.
Reprinted by permission of the American Studies Programs at the University of Virginia.
The complete text can also be downloaded for printing from their website.