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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For May 11:
Captain Lewis (current)
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At 8 A.M. a chief of great note among these people arrived from his village or lodge on the south side of Lewis's River. This is a stout fellow of good countenance, about 40 years of age, and has lost the left eye. His name is Yoomparkkartim. To this man we gave a medal of the small kind. Those with the likeness of Mr. Jefferson have all been disposed of except one of the largest size, which we reserve for some great chief on the Yellow Rock River.
We now pretty fully informed ourselves that Tunnachemootoolt, Neeshneparkkeook, Yoomparkkartirn, and Hohastillpilp were the principal chiefs of the Chopunnish nation and rank in the order here mentioned. As all those chiefs were present in our lodge, we thought it a favorable time to repeat what had been said yesterday and to enter more minutely into the views of our government with respect to the inhabitants of this western part of the continent; their intention of establishing trading houses for their relief; their wish to restore peace and harmony among the natives; the strength, power, and wealth of our nation, &c. To this end we drew a map of the country, with a coal on a mat in their way, and, by the assistance of the Snake boy and our interpreters, were enabled to make ourselves understood by them, although it had to pass through the French, Minnetaree, Shoshone, and Chopunnish languages. The interpretation being tedious, it occupied nearly half the day before we had communicated to them what we wished. They appeared highly pleased. After this council was over we amused ourselves with showing them the power of magnetism, the spyglass, compass, watch, air gun, and sundry other articles equally novel and incomprehensible to them.
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.