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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For May 10:
Captain Lewis (current)
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At four in the afternoon, we descended the hills to Commearp Creek [Lawyer's Canyon Creek] and arrived at the village of Tunnachemootoolt, the chief at whose lodge we had left the flag last fall. This flag was now displayed on a staff placed at no great distance from the lodge. Underneath the flag, the chief met my friend Captain Clark, who was in front, and conducted him about 80 yards to a place on the bank of the creek where he requested we should encamp. I came up in a few minutes and we collected the chiefs and men of consideration, smoked with them, and stated our situation with respect to provision. The chief spoke to his people, and they produced us about two bushels of the quamash roots, dried, four cakes of the bread of cows, and a dried salmon trout. We thanked them for this store of provision but informed them that, our men not being accustomed to live on roots alone, we feared it would make them sick, to obviate which we proposed exchanging a horse in rather low order for a young horse in tolerable order with a view to kill. The hospitality of the chief revolted at the idea of an exchange. He told us that his young men had a great abundance of young horses, and if we wished to eat them we should be furnished with as many as we wanted. Accordingly, they soon produced us two fat young horses, one of which we killed. The other we informed them we would postpone killing until we had consumed the one already killed.
A principal chief by name Hohastillpilp, arrived with a party of fifty men mounted on elegant horses. He had come on a visit to us from his village, which is situated about six miles distant near the river. We invited this man into our circle and smoked with him. His retinue continued on horseback at a little distance. After we had eaten a few roots, we spoke to them as we had promised, and gave Tunnachemooltoolt and Hohastillpilp each a medal; the former one of the small size with the likeness of Mr. Jefferson, and the latter one of the sowing medals struck in the presidency of Washington. We explained to them the design and the importance of medals in the estimation of the whites as well as the red men who had been taught their value. The chief had a large conic lodge of leather erected for our reception, and a parcel of wood collected and laid at the door; after which he invited Captain Clark and myself to make that lodge our home while we remained with him.
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.