Lewis & Clark: Encounters with Indians
with Captain Ray Curtis, M.I.S.
notes by James Richard Fromm, member of the Corp
Sunday July 6, 2003
Monday July 7, 2003
Tuesday July 8, 2003
Wednesday July 9, 2003
Thursday July 10, 2003
J. R. Fromm
We gathered up our gear around 7:00 A.M. and proceeded on in a northerly direction to Tushepaw or Ross' Hole near Sula, ID. Here we had an extensive discussion regarding the Corp of Discoveries encounter at this location with the Flathead Indians. Met the gentleman in the following photograph who had much to say about the history of this region - Ross' Hole.
David Sterling Windsor
|N. 45o 50' 812"|
|W. 113o 58' 382"|
|Elevation: 4449 feet|
This is believed to be the location where Charles M. Russell painted his picture of The Lewis & Clark Corp of Discovery meeting the Flathead Indians.
Comparing the terrain at this location with the background mountains in Russell's painting one can see the outline of the hills in the foreground. Russell did at snow capped mountains beyond those presented in this photograph.
At this location we learned that presenting ones arms crossed with the index finger pointing up means "trading" to the "Flatheads" or "Salish". It was near this location where communication and trading took place. Because of the language barrier five individuals were required: Salish - Shoshoni - French - English.
Site of C.M.Russell Painting Lewis & Clark Meeting the Flathead Indians N. 45o 50' 899" W. 113o 58' 816"
September 04, 1805
a verry cold morning every thing wet and frosed, we detained untill 8 oClock to thaw the covering for the baggage &c. &c. groun covered with Snow, we assended a mountain & took a Divideing ridge which we kept for Several Miles & fell on the head of a Creek which appeared to run the Course we wished to go, I was in front, & Saw Several of the Argalia or Ibex decending the mountain by verry Steep decent takeing the advantage of the oints and best places to the Creek, where our hunter killed a Deer which we made use of and prosued our Course down the Crek to the forks about 5 miles [The party likely ascended Saddle Mountain and came down into the valley between the forks of Camp Creek, MT.] where we met a part of the <Flat head> [Tushepau] nation of 33 Lodges about 80 men 400 Total and at least 500 horses, those people recved us friendly, threw white robes over our Sholders & Smoked in the pipes of peace, we Encamped [Now called Ross, or Ross's Hole, east of modern Sula and likely on Camp Creek near its entrance into the East Fork Bitterroot River.] with them & found them friendly but nothing but berries to eate a part of which they gave us, those are well dressed with Skin Shirts & robes, they Stout & light complected more So than Common for Indians, The Chiefs harangued untill late at night, Smoked our pipe and appeared Satisfied. I was the first white man who ever wer on the waters of this river. [The Bitterroot River, which they at first called Flathead River but which is Clark's River on Atlas map 68. The party will reach East Fork Bitterroot River on September 6 and the Bitterroot itself the next day above the entrance of the West Fork.]
September 04, 1805
...We kept down the valley about 5 miles, and came to the Tussapa band of the Flathead nation of Indians, or a part of them. We found them encamped on the creek and we encamped with them.
September 04, 1805
...our guide and the young Indian who accompanied him eat the verry guts of the deer. Saw fresh Sign of Indians. proceeded on down this valley towards evening we arived at a large encampment of the flat head nation of Indians [Salish Indians] about 40 lodges and I Suppose about 30 persons, and they have between 4 or 5 hundred horses now feeding in the plains [Ross's Hole, near Sula] at our view and they look like tollarable good horess the most of them. they received us in a friendly manner. when our officers went to their lodges they gave them each a white robe of dressed skins, and spread them over their Shoulders and put their arms around our necks instead of Shakeing hands as that is their way they appeared glad to See us. they Smoaked with us, then gave us a pleanty such as they cad to eat, which was only Servis berrys and cheeries pounded and dryed in Small cakes. Some roots of different kinds. our officers told them that we would Speak to them tomorrow and tell th[em] who we were and what our business is and where we are going &C. these natives are well dressed, descent looking Indians. light complectioned. they are dressed in mo Sheep leather Deer & buffalow robes &C. they have the most curious language of any we have Seen before. they talk as though they lisped or have a bur on their tongue. we Suppose that they are the welch Indians if their is any Such from the language. they have leather lodtes to leive in some other Skins among them. they tell us that they or Some of them have Seen bearded men towards the ocean, but they cannot give us any accurate [account] of the ocean but we have 4 mountains to cross to go where they saw white men which was on a river as we suppose the Columbian River. came [blank] miles to day and pitched our Camp [Possibly Camp Creek, Ross's Hole] near the creek on the right of the Indian Lodges. considerable of large pitch pine timber in this valley our hunter killed another Deer this evening.--
September 04, 1805
...Saw fresh Indian Sign. we Eat our deer. our Indian guide and the young Indian who accompanied him Eat the pauch and all the Small guts of the Deer. we then proceeded on down the falley towards evening we arived at a large Encampment of the flat head nation [The Flathead, or Salish Indians] which is a large band of the nation of about 40 lodges. they have between 4 and 500 well looking horses now feeding in this valley or plain in our view. they received us as friends and appeared to be glad to See us. 2 of our men who were a hunting came to their lodges first the natives Spread a white robe over them and put their arms around their necks, as a great token of friendship. then Smoaked with them. when Capt. Lewis and Capt. Clark ari[ved] they Spread white robes over their Shoulders and Smoaked with them. our officers told them that they would speak with them tomorrow and tell them our business and where we are going &c. the natives are light Complectioned decent looking people the most of them well cloathed with Mo. Sheep and other Skins. they have buffalow Robes leather lodges to live in, but have no meat at this time. but gave us abundance of their dryed fruit Such as Servis berrys cherries different kinds of roots all of which eat verry well. they tell us that we can go in 6 days to where white traders come and that they have Seen bearded men who came [from] a river to the North of us 6 days march but we have 4 mountains to cross before we come on that River. our hunters killed another Deer this evening. Came [blank] miles to day and pitched our Camp [In Ross's Hole, possibly on Camp Creak near its entrance into the East Fork Bitterroot River.] on the plain near the Creek on the right of the Indians lodges. conserable of large pitch pine in the valley.
September 04, 1805
...our hunters killed a Deer, & told us that he had seen fresh signs of Indians. We eat our deer, & our Indian guide and a young Indian of the Snake nation that attended him, eat the paunch & small guts of it. We proceeded on down the Valley towards evening, & arrived at a large encampment of the flat head nation of Indians, which were a large band of that nation, They had about 40 lodges, & had between four & five hundred horses feeding in the Valley or plain; which lay in our view. These Indians received us as friends, & appeared to be glad to see us. Two of our Men who hwere a hunting came to their lodges before we had arrived. The Natives <had> sparead a white robe over them, and put their Arms around their necks, as a great token of friendship, then smoaked with them. When Captains Lewis & Clark arrived they spread white Robes over their shoulders and smoaked with them also. Our officers informed them, that they would speak to them tomorrow, and inform them our business & where we were going &ca.--
These Flatt head nation of Indians are a well made, handsome, light colloured sett of people, the most part of them were well cloathed. Their cloathing were made out of mountain Sheep or Ibex skins & other kinds of Skins; all of which were dressed. Their Lodges were made out of dressed buffalo hides, which they live in. they had no meat among them at this time, They gave us abundance of dried fruit, (Serviceberries & cherries) & different kinds of roots, all of which eat very well. They told us, that they can go in 6 days, to where the white traders come, & that they had seen bearded men, on a River to the North of us, & only 6 days march from this place,-- but said we have 4 mountians to cross before we come to them, which lies & is on a River, our Hunters killed one Deer this day, which they brought to our Camp. We came about 10 Miles this day, & pitched our Camp near a Creek on the Plains, on the right of where the Indians lodges stood; and where a Valley, a small distance from us; grew a considerable quantity of large Pitch pine trees.--
September 05, 1805
a Cloudy morning we assembled the Chiefs & warriers and Spoke to them (with much dificuely as what we Said had to pass through Several languajes before it got into theirs, which is a gugling kind of languaje Spoken much thro the Throught) [The language, of the Salishan family, apparently led the captains to reconsider for a time an old legend. Sergeant John Ordway says, "we think perhaps that they are the welch Indians"] we informed them who we were, where we Came from, where bound and for what purpose &c. &c. and requsted to purchase & exchange a fiew horses with them, in the Course of the day I purchased 11 horses & exchanged 7 for which we gave a fiew articles of merchendize. those people possess ellegant horses.-- we made 4 Chiefs whome we gave meadels & a few Small articles with Tobacco; the women brought us a few berries & roots to eate and the Principal Chief a Dressed Brarow, [The Badger, Taxidea taxus.] otter & two Goat & antilope Skins
Those people wore their hair <as follows> the men Cewed with otter Skin on each Side falling over the Sholrs forward, the women loose promisquisly over ther Sholdrs & face long Shirts which Coms to the anckles & tied with a belt about their waste with a roabe over, the have but fiew ornaments and what they do were are Similar to the Snake Indians, They Call themselves Eoote-lash-Schute and consist of 450 Lodges in all and divided into Several bands on the heads of Columbia river & Missouri, Some low down the Columbia River
September 05, 1805
This was a fine morning with a great white frost. The Indian dogs are so hungry and ravenous, that they eat 4 or 5 pair of our mockasons last night. We remained here all day, and recruited our horses to 40 and 3 colts; and made 4 or 5 of this nation of Indian chiefs. They are a very friendly people; have plenty of robes and skins for covering, and a large stock of horses, some of which are very good; but they have nothing to eat but berries, roots and such articles of food. This band is on its way over to the Missouri or Yellowstone river to hunt buffaloe. They are the whitest Indians I ever saw.
September 05, 1805
a clear cool morning. the Standing water froze a little. the Indian dogs are so ravinous that they eat several pair of the mens Moccasons. a hard white frost this morning. Several men went out to hunt our officers purchased Several horses of the antives after Counsiling with them. they are a band of the Flat Head Nation our officers made four chiefs gave them meddles 2 flags Some other Small presents and told them our business and that we were friends to all the red people &C. which they appeared verry friendly to us. they have a great stock of horses but have no provision only roots and berrys, at this time but are on their way to the Meddison River or Missourie whire they can kill pleanty of buffalow. our officers bought 12 horses from them and gave a Small quantity of Marchandize for each horse. our officers took down Some of their language found it verry troublesome Speaking to them as all they Say to them has it go through Six languages, [Communication would pass through Salishan, Shoshone (from a Shoshone boy among the Flatheads and Sacagawea), Hidatsa (Sacagawea and Charbonneau), French (Charbonneau and a French speaker in the party), and English] and hard to make them understand. these natives have the Stranges language of any we have ever yet seen. they appear to us as though they had an Impedement in their Speech or brogue on their tongue. we think perhaps that they are the welch Indians, &C. they are the likelyest and honestest we have seen and are verry friendly to us. they Swaped to us Some of their good horses and took our worn out horses, and appeared to wish to help us as much as lay in their power. accommodated us with pack Saddles and chords by our giving them any Small article in return [towa]rds evening our hunters cam in had kild 1 deer.
September 05, 1805
a clear cold morning. the Standing water froze a little last night. we hoisted our large flag this morning. Several men went out a hunting. about 10 oClock our officers held a Council with the flat head nation and told them nearly the Same as they told other nations, only told them that we wanted a fiew horses from them, and we would give them Some marchandize in return. Gave 4 of their principal men meddles made them chiefs gave each of them a Shirt and a nomber of other articles also 2 flags &c. then told them that we could not Stop long with them and that we were ready to purchase their horses, and that we could not talk with them as much as we wish, for all that we Say has to go through 6 languages [There were actually five languages: Salish (for the Flatheads), Shoshone, Hidatsa, French and English.] before it gits to them and it is hard to make them understand all that we Say. these Savages has the Strangest language of any we have ever Seen. they appear to us to have an Empeddiment in their Speech or a brogue or bur on their tongue but they are the likelyest and honestst Savages we have ever yet Seen. our officers lay out Some marchandize in different piles to trade with the natives for horses. our officers bought twelve horses and gave a Small quantity of marchandize for each horse. we Swapped 7 horses which were lame &c. Gave Some Small articles to boot. we bought 10 or a Dozen pack Saddles from the natives. our hunters all came to Camp towards evening. one of them had killed 2 young deer and one brarow.
September 05, 1805
This morning was Clear & cold, the water that we had in our small Vessells froze during last night. Our officers had our large flag hoisted at our camp this morning.-- several of our Men were sent out a hunting.-- About 10 oClock A. M our Officers held a Council with the flat head Indians. they told them that they had come in Order to make peace between all the red people, who were at Warr with each other; & to instruct them in the way of Trade, and that they would open the Path from their Nation to the white people &ca they also informed them that they wanted a few horses from them, for which they would give some Merchandise in return. They gave 4 of the principal Indians Medals, & gave them Commissions as Chiefs. they also gave each of them a Shirt, a number of small articles & 2 Flags. they informed those Chiefs that we should not stay with them but a short time, & that we were ready to purchase some horses from them, and that they would give them some Merchandise fo them, and that they were sorry that they could not have as much talk with them as they wished to have, and that all that they told them, had to be Interpreted through six different languages, before either party understood, what was said, and then hard to make them understand what our officers said to them.-- These Indians language is the strangest that any of us ever heard. they all appear to have impediments in their speeches, and pronounce their words with a kind of brogue or burr on their tongues. These Indians were the handsomest & most likely Indians, that we have seen yet.-- They behave very kind to our party, and are very honest, not attempting to pilfer the most trifling article from us.--
Our Officers had laid out Merchandise in different piles, in order to trade with the natives for horses. They purchases twelve horses from the Indians, for Merchandise, & exchanged 7 more horses that were lame with them, & gave them the difference in Goods.-- they also purchased some pack saddles from them. Our hunters all came into our Camp towards evening having killed 2 young Deer and a Brarerow which they brought with them.--
The road to the left will take the traveler over a Nez Perce trail to Elk City, Idaho. This route will also take the adventurer to the headwaters of the Selway River. Nearly twenty-five years ago myself and five other souls rafted approximately 60 miles of that river including a frothing run of Wolf Creek Rapids. We portaged our belongings and ran it with empty six man rafts.
Leaving the Conner region at 11:30 A.M. with orders to be at "Traveller's Rest" at 1:30 P.M. we proceeded on to the small community of Darby, MT. Here we visited a few antique shops, found some interesting pieces and partook of a large buffalo burger with bacon at a local establishment.
We left Darby later than expected and was 40 minutes late for the "Traveller's Rest" Rendevous. It helped having the Captain in our party so not much was said of our tardiness. The following photographs scan the area known as "Traveller's Rest". Lolo Creek passes from left to right and is located just beyond the meadow in the timber.
"Traveller's Rest" N. 46o 44' 968" W. 114o 05' 248" Elevation: 3210 feet
The Captains had discussed during their stay at Fort Clatsop the division of the Corp between Traveller's Rest and the junction of the Yellowstone River with the Missouri. The purpose was to explore still unknown regions of the Maria's, to recover canoes and goods stored in caches and to send runners ahead.
The following summary of their plans is taken from the journal entries of both Lewis and Clark for July 1 & 2, 1806. Lewis himself was to go with a small party, including the "2 Invaleeds", Goodrich and McNeal, by the most direct rout to the Great Falls of the Missouri; while three of his men remained here to prepare carriages and the other necessary equipment for transporting the canoes and baggage around the falls, Lewis with the remainder of the party was to make an exploring excursion up Marias River. Clark was to conduct the remainder of the party to the head of Jefferson River, where the canoes had been left the preceding autumn. With these Sergeant Ordway and nine men were to descend the river and join the men left by Lewis at the falls of the Missouri. Clark himself with the ten men remaining was to cross from Three Forks to the nearest point on the Yellowstone. From this location Sergeant Pryor and two men were to travel with the horses by land to the Mandan, and thence to the British post on the Assiniboine with a letter to Hugh Heney, the trader, while Clark, York, Charbonneau, Sacajawea and her child, and five of the men were to descend the Yellowstone in a canoe. At its mouth they were to await the arrival of Captain Lewis, who was to be joined at the mouth of Marias River by Ordway's party and the men left by Lewis at the falls. The following important modifications occurred. Lewis' projected exploration of Marias River was curtailed, partly because he found that stream did not extend as far to the northward as he had supposed and partly because hostile Indians compelled him to beat a retreat to the Missouri. Clark with his detachment descended the Jefferson with Ordway's party before crossing over the Yellowstone and the plan for Pryor's party was defeated through the theft by the Crow Indians of all his horses.
The makeup of the various groups, as best we know, is as follows:
1. Lewis and Party: July 3 - 13, 1806 - Lewis - Gass - Drouillard - J. Fields - R. Fields - Frazier - Goodrich - McNeal - Thompson - Werner - Seaman (dog) - 5 Indians.
2. Ordway and Party: July 13 - 19, 1806 - Ordway - Collins - Colter - Cruzatte - Howard - LePage - Potts - Whitehouse - Willard - Wiser
3. Lewis and Party: July 16 - 28, 1806 - Lewis - Drouillard - J. Fields - R. Fields
4. Lewis and Party July 29 - August 12, 1806 - Lewis - Gass - Ordway - Drouillard - J. Fields - R. Fields - Frazier - Werner - Thompson - Goodrich - McNeal - Collins - Colter - Cruzette - Howard - Lepage - Potts - Whitehouse - Willard - Wiser - Seaman (dog)
5. Clark and Party: July 3 - 13, 1806 - Clark - Ordway - Pryor - Bratton - Charbonneau - Collins - Colter - Cruzatte - Gibson - Hall - Howard - Labische - Lepage - Potts - Shannon - Shields - Whitehouse - Willard - Windsor - Wiser - York - Sacagawea - Baptiste - About 50 horses
6. Clark and Party July 13 - August 12, 1806 - Clark - Pryor - Bratton - Charbonneau - Gibson - Hall - Labische - Shannon - Shields - Windsor - York - Sacagawea - Babtiste - 49 horses - 1 colt
7. Pryor and Party: July 19 - 23, 1806 - Pryor - Shannon - Wiser - Hall. This group was dispatched by Clark to the Mandan Village but returned with a failed mission due to losing their horses. The journals document 2 occasions when there was a division in the parties. In both instances, Serg. Pryor was in charge of the detachments (See July 8, 1806.)
September 09, 1805
Set out at 7 A M. this morning and proceeded down the Flathead river leaving it on our left, the country in the valley of this river is generally a prarie and from five to 6 miles wide ...at 12 we halted on a small branch which falls in to the river on the E. side, where we breakfasted on a scant proportion of meat which we had reserved from the nunt of yesterday added to three geese which one of our hunters killed this morning. two of our hunters have arrived, one of them brought with him a redheaded woodpecker of the large kind common to the U States.[Red-Headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus or the Pileated Woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus.] this is the first of the kind I have seen since I left Illinois. just as we were seting out Drewyer arrived with two deer. we continued our rout down the valley about 4 miles and crossed the river; it is hear a handsome stream about 100 yards wide and affords a considerable quantity of very clear water, the banks are low and it's bed entirely gravel. the stream appears navigable, but from the circumstance of their being no sammon in it I believe that there must be a considerable fall in it below. our guide could not inform us that it continues it's course along the mountains to the N. as far as he knew it and that not very distant from where we then were it formed a junction with a stream nearly as large as itself [The Bitterroot meets the Clark Fork, or Hellgate, River just west of Missoula, Montana.] which took it's rise in the mountains near the Missouri to the East of us and passed through an extensive valley generally open prarie which forms an excellent pass to the Missouri. the point of the Missouri where this Indian pass intersects it, is about 30 miles above the gates of the rocky Mountains, [Near Helena, MT. The Hidatsas told them of this route, but they had not recognized its eastern approaches on the voyage up the Missouri.] or the place where the valley of the Missouri first widens into an extensive plain after entering the rockey Mountains. the guide informed us that a man might pass to the missouri from hence by that rout in four days we continued our rout down the W. side of the river about 5 miles further and encamped on a large creek which falls in on the West as our gude informes that we should leave the river at this place and the weather appearing settled and fair I determined to halt the next day rest our horses and take some scelestial Observations. we called this Creek Travellers rest. [Lewis and Clark's Travellers rest Creek is now Lolo Creek. The camp was where they remained until September 11, in the vicinity of modern Lolo, MT possibly 1 or 2 miles upstream from the Bitterroot River, on the south side of the creek. See Atlas map 69.] it is about 20 yards wide a fine bould clear runing stream the land through which we passed is but indifferent a could white gravley soil. we estimate our journey of this day at 19 M.
at the creek where we dined I took the Meridian Altd. of Sun's U.L. with Sextant fore obstn 98o 1' 30"
Latitude deduced from this Observation 46o 41' 38.9
September 09, 1805
a fair morning Set out early and proceeded on thro a plain as yesterday down the valley Crossed a large Scattering Creek on which Cotton trees grew at 1 1/2 miles, a Small one at 10 miles, both from the right, the main river at 15 miles & Encamped on a large Creek from the left which we call Travelers rest Creek. killed 4 deer & 4 Ducks & 3 prarie fowls. day fair Wind N. W.
[The "Scattering Creek" could be the numerous streams that come into the bitterroot River at this point, including Mill, North Sprong, and Burnt Fork creeks, and several dividing branches of the latter.]
Course Distance &c. Down Clark's river
Septr. 6th 1805
N. 30o W. 5 miles crossing the river [Ross' fork] & a Creek at 1 1/2 m. & thro a vallie to the top of a mountain Covered with pine N. 80o W. 1 1/2 miles down a reveen & Steep hill Sides to the river [Ross' fork] at an old Encampment. a creek left West 1 1/2 miles down the Creek [River], bottoms narrow. N. 35o W 2 miles down the <Creek> River which is 25 yards wide passed a run on each side. 10
Septr. 7th Satturday 1805
N. 40o W. 3 miles down the River aforesaid N. 80o W. 3 miles down the River to a larke Creek on the left. bottoms narrow. N. 45o W. 4 down the river to a Creek [Tin Cup] on the left. bottoms wider, hills on the right is bald, mountians on our left is high and the tops Covered with snow North 4 miles to a [Rock] Creek which runs from the Snow toped mountins, passed one on the left at 1 miles & Several Small runs on the right, and left, on Drean N. 25o E. 8 miles down the River, passed a large [Little Horse] Creek on the left at 2 miles the Vallie thro which we passed about 2 miles wide, lands pore & Stoney The foot of the Snow toped mountinas approach near the river on the left the river 50 yards wide Shallow & Stoney. no fish to be Seen 2 Deer 2 crains & 2 Phesents killed to day. 22
September 8th Sunday
North 11 miles to a small run on the right Side, passed a large Creek at 1 miles one at 4 miles & a Small one at 8 miles, thro' a Call'd Horse Vally N. 12o W 12 through the Said Vallie to a large Creek from the right divided into 4 diffierent Channels, Scattered Creek 23
September 9th Monday
N. 15o W. 15 miles Thro a open vallie to the River, leaveing the road to our right Crossed a Small Creek from the left at 9 miles, and the river which is 100 yards wide, & passed through a pine bottom after crossing <The Creek> Clarks River N. 40o W. 2 miles passing thro' a pine bottom after crossing the river to a large road on the left of the river in an open Vallie N. 10o W. 4 miles Through an open Valle to a large Creek from the left. Caled Travelers rest and Encamped the 9th & 10th 21
9th Septr. Contd.
North 12 Miles to the mouth of a lark fork [Hellgate] which Joins from the right and heads up near the Missouri Some distance below the 3 forks, this River has extinsive Vallies and is a good rout to the Missouri which the Indians say may be traveled in 4 days and is a good rout. The Vallie near the mouth of this fork is about 7 or 8 miles wide leavel & open, but little timber on this fork in Sight. See the Courses [William Clark]
47o 29' 10 4/10" N.
Lower part of the falls is in Latd.
47o 8' 4 5/10" N.
upper part of the rapids latd. is
47o 3' 30" N.
Forks of Jefferson
43 30 43
46 48 28
September 09, 1805
The morning was fair, but cool; and we continued our journey down the river. The soil of the valley is poor and gravelly; and the high snow-topped mountains are still in view on our left: Our course generally north a few degrees west. We halted at noon: on our way the hunters had killed 3 wild geese; so we have plenty of provisions at present. At 2 o'clock we again went forward, and crossed over the Flathead river, about 100 yards wide, and which we called Clarke's river; passed through a close timbered bottom of about two miles, and again came into beautiful plains. The timber on this bottom is pitch pine. We travelled 19 miles and encamped on a large creek, which comes in from the south. Our hunters this day killed 3 deer
|N. 46o 44' 824"|
|W. 114o 10' 376"|
This location played a minor part in the Nez Perce War of 1877. Settlers hearing of the approach of the Nez Perce built a "Fort" at this location to defend the valley as they approached. The Nez Perce simply road their horses around the "Fort" and continued on their flight towards The Big Hole.
Upon leaving this location the Corp of Rediscovery divided temporarily. Most traveled to the Blackfoot River and set up camp approximately 10 miles above the community of "Mill Town - Bonner" while four of us plus the Captain spent time in Missoula visiting the Paxton paintings in the county courthouse. A brochure describing the paintings and their occupants and significance was provided. One such painting purportedly identifies "Sergeant John Colter who discovered Yellowstone Park in 1814". Problem: John Colter was never a Sergeant and he had died on May 7, 1812". Colter did travel through today's Yellowstone Park which is believed to have been during the years of 1807-1809.
Very near downtown Missoula we observed a Motel-Restaurant with a large painted mural in its window stating "Lewis & Clark Camped Here". Near this location was a plaque on a stream bridge stating "Meriweather Lewis and Party Camped Here on July 4, 1806. Neither Lewis nor Clark ever camped there on July 4, 1805 nor any other time and Lewis' first name was spelled incorrectly.
With the completion of our visitations we traversed the trail to the campsite on the Blackfoot River. Here we discussed with great enthusiasm the events of the day and the events of the Corp of Discoveries days as they traveled much the same route. Bedded down at 2:30 A.M.
Friday July 11, 2003
J. R. Fromm
We arose at 7:00 A.M., held a discussion on the coming events of the day and proceeded on at 8:00 A.M. This day we are following Lewis's Party of nine men plus himself: Gass, Drouillard, J.Fields, R.Fields, Werner, Frazer, Thompson, McNeal and Goodrich.
July 03, 1806
All arrangements being now compleated for carrying into effect the several scheemes we had planed for execution on our return, we saddled our horses and set out I took leave of my worthy friend and companion Capt. Clark and the party that accompanyed him. I could not avoid feeling much concern on this occasion although I hoped this seperation was only momentary. ..These people now informed me that the road which they shewed me at no great distance from ur Camp would lead us up the East branch of Clark's river and a river they called Cokahlarishkit or the river of the road to buffaloe [Blackfoot River] and thence to medicine river and the falls of the Missouri where we wished to go. they (Indians) alledged that as the road was a well beaten track we could not now miss our way and as they were affraid of meeting with their enimies the Minnetares they could not think of continuing with us any longer, ... I directed the hunters to ... indeavour to kill some more meat for these people whom I was unwilling to leave without giving them a good supply of provision after their having been so obliging as to conduct us through those tremendious mountains. the musquetoes were so excessively troublesome this evening that we were obliged to kindle large fires for our horses these insects torture them in such manner untill they placed themselves in the smoke of the fires that I realy thought they would become frantic.
July 03, 1806
Set out with ... (50) horses. ... makeing a total of 36 miles today. ... one man Jo: Potts very unwell this evening owing to rideing a hard trotting horse; I give him a pill of Opiom which soon relev[d] him.
July 03, 1806
we got up our horses and boath parties Set out about one time. Capts. Lewis & Clark parted here with their parties & proceed. on I with Capt. Clark up the flat head River. [Clark's party headed south up the Bitterroot River.] we kept up the west Side as it is too high at this time to cross. we are now on our way to the head of the Missourie. we wrode fast & Crossed a number of large creeks in which is beaver dams &C. about noon we halted to dine at a branch [Possibly Kootenai Creek] and bottom of fine feed white clover [Possibly longsalk clover, Trifolium longipes, which Lewis noticed on July 2, 1806] &C. proceeded on the plains partyly covd. with pitch pine timber. saw a number of deer. in the evening we Camped [On Blodgett Creek about three miles north of Hamilton.] at a bottom having made 35 miles in 10 hours this day. one of the hunters killed a deer this evening.
July 03, 1806
We had again a fine morning; collected our horses and set out. Captain Lewis and his party went down Clarke's river, and Captain Clarke with the rest of the party went up it. All the natives accompanied Captain Lewis. We proceeded on down Clarke's river about 12 miles, when we came to the forks; and made three rafts to carry ourselves and baggage over. The river here is about 150 yards wide, and very beautiful. We had to make three trips with our rafts, and in the evening got all over safe; when we moved on up the north branch, which is our way over the falls of the Missouri, and after travelling a mile and an half encamped for the night. Two hunters went out and killed three deer. The musketoes are worse here than I have known them at any place, since we left the old Maha village on the Missouri. This north branch of the river is called by the natives Isquet-co-qual-la, which means, the road to the buffaloe.
Lewis had named this creek "Seaman Creek" in honor of his Newfoundland dog. In the translation of the journals the name Seaman was translated to Scannon and thus the descrepancy made by some historians.
"Seaman Creek" Present "Monture Creek" N. 47o 02' 442" W. 113o 13' 135"
July 07, 1806
We had a wet night, and a cloudy morning. Continued our journey early along the valley, which is very beautiful with a great deal of clover in its plains. Having gone about five miles, we crossed the main branch of the river, which comes in from the north; and up which the road goes about five miles futher and then takes over a hill towards the east. On the top of this hill there are two beautiful ponds, of about three acres in size. We passed over the ridge and struck a small stream, which we at first thought was of the head waters of the Missouri, but found it was not. Here we halted for dinner, and after staying three hours, proceeded on four miles up the branch, when we came to the dividing ridge between the waters of the Missouri and Columbia; passed over the ridge and came to a fine spring the waters of which run into the Missouri [From the headwaters of the Big Blackfoot River, Lewis went to the headwaters of the Medicine River]. We then kept down this stream or branch about a miile; then turned a north course along the side of the dividing ridge for eight miles, passing a number of small streams or branches, and at 9 o'clock at night encamped after coming thirty two miles [Reuben Field wounded a moose near camp the morning of the 7th., agitating Lewis's dog Seaman].
Lewis & Clark Pass N. 47o 08' 512" W. 112o 25' 772" Elevation: 6510 feet
There appears to be a discrepancy between the elevation indicated on the sign and that which I recorded with a Lowrance GPS. Another member of the party recorded a discrepany as well however that finding was 6434 feet. I suspect the 6434 reading is closer to the fact as there was a number 4 scratched into the zero to the right of the 6 on the sign. Someone else had apparently had the same idea as ourselves.
At this location a reading was made of the journal entry for July 27, 1806 when Lewis along with George Drouillard, Joseph Fields and Reuben Fields encountered the Blackfeet Indians much farther to the northeast of this location. They had been in search of the headwaters of the Maria's River.
July 27, 1806
... J. Fields who was on post had carelessly laid his gun down behi[n]d him near where his brother was sleeping, one of the indians ... sliped behind him and took his gun and that of his brother unperceived by him, at the same instant two others advanced and seized the guns of Drewyer and myself. J. Fields seeing this turned about to look for his gun and saw the fellow just runing off with her and his brother's he called to his brother who instantly jumped up and pursued the indian with him whom they overtook at the distance of 50 or 60 paces from the camp s[e]ized their guns and rested them from him and R. Fields as he seized his gun stabed the indian to the heart with his knife the fellow ran about 15 steps and fell dead; of this I did not know untill afterwards, having recovered their guns they ran back instantly to the camp; Drewyer who was awake saw the indian take hold of his gun and instantly jumped up and s[e]ized her and rested her from him but the indian still retained his pouch, his jumping up and crying damn you let go my gun awakened me ... I then drew a pistol from my holster and terning myself about saw the indian making off with my gun I ran at him with my pistol and bid him lay down my gun which he was in the act of doing when the Fieldses returned and drew up their guns to shoot him which I forbid as he did not appear to be about to make any resistance or commit any offensive act, he droped the gun and walked slowly off, I picked her up instantly, Drewyer having about this time recovered his gun and pouch asked me if he might not kill the fellow which I also forbid as the indian did not appear to wish to kill us, as soon as they found us all in possession of our arms they ran and indeavored to drive off all the horses I now hollowed to the men and told them to fire on them if they attempted to drive off our horses, they accordingly pursued the main party who were dr[i]ving the horses up the river and I pursued the man who had taken my gun who with another was driving off a part of the horses which were to the left of the camp. ... being nearly out of breath I could pursue no further, I called to them as I had done several times before that I would shoot them if they did not give me my horse and raised my gun, one of them jumped behind and rock and spoke to the other who turned arround and stoped at the distance of 30 steps from em and I shot him through the belly, he fell to his knees and on his wright elbow from which position he partly raised himself up and fired at me, and turning himself about crawled in behind a rock which was a few feet from him. he overshot me, being bearheaded I felt the wind of his bullet very distinctly. ... we left one of our horses and took four of the best of those of the indian's; while the men were preparing the horses I put four sheilds and two bows and quivers of arrows which had been left on the fire, with sundry other articles; ... I also retook the flagg but left the medal about the neck of the dead man that they might be informed who we were. we took some of their buffaloe meat and set out ascending the bluffs by the same rout we had decended last evening leaving the ballance of nine of their horses which we did not want. ... no time was therefore to be lost and we pushed our horses as hard as they would bear ... we passed a large branch ... which I called battle river. ...we arrived at rose river about 5 miles above where we had passed it as we went out, having traveled by my estimate compared with our former distances and cou[r]ses about 63 ms. ... after refreshing ourselves we again set out by moonlight and traveled leasurely, heavy thunderclouds lowered arround us on every quarter but that from which the moon gave us light. we continued to pass immence herds of buffaloe all night as we had done in the latter part of the day. we traveled untill 2 OCk in the morning having come by my estimate after dark about 20 ms. ... my indian horse carried me very well in short much better than my own would have done and leaves me with but little reason to complain of the robery.
August 11, 1806
...I was in the act of firing on the Elk a second time when a ball struck my left thye about an inch below my hip joint, missing the bone it passed through the left thye and cut the thickness of the bullet across the hinder part of the right thye; the stroke was very severe; I instantly supposed that Cruzatte had shot me in mistake for an Elk as I was dressed in brown leather and he cannot see very well; under this impression I called out to him damn you, you have shot me, and looked towards the place from whence the ball had come, seeing nothing I called Cruzatte several times as loud as I could but received no answer; I was now preswaded that it was an indian that had shot me as the report of the gun did not appear to be more than 40 paces from me and Cruzatte appeared to be out of hearing of me; in this situation not knowing how many indians there might be concealed in the bushes I thought best to make good my retreat to the perogue, calling out as I ran for the first hundred paces as loud as I could to Cruzatte to retreat that there were indians hoping to allarm him in time to make his escape also; I still retained the charge in my gun which I was about to discharge at the moment the ball struck me. when I arrived in sight of the perogue I called the men to their arms to which they flew in an instant, I told them that I was wounded but I hoped not mortally, by an indian I beleived and directed them to follow me that I would return & give them battle and releive Cruzatte if possible who I feared had fallen into their hands; the men followed me as they were bid and I returned about a hundred paces when my wounds became so painfull and my thye so stiff that I could scarcely get on; ... I now got back to the perogue as well as I could and prepared my self with a pistol my rifle and air-gun being determined as a retreat was impracticable to sell my life as deerly as possible. in this state of anxiety and suspense I remained about 20 minutes ... Cruzatte seemed much allarmed and declared if he had shot me it was not his intention, that he had shot an Elk in the willows after he left or seperated from me. ... I do not beleive that the fellow did it intentionally but after finding that he had shot me was anxious to conceal his knowledge of having done so. the ball had lodged in my breeches which I knew to be the ball of the short rifles such as that he had, and there being no person out with me but him and no indians that we could discover I have no doubt in my own mind of his having shot me. ... the pain I experienced excited a high fever and I had a very uncomfortable night. at 4 P.M. we passed an encampment which had been evacuated this morning by Capt. Clark, here I found a note from Capt. C. informing me that he had left a letter for me at the entrance of the Yelow stone river, but that Sergt. Pryor who had passed that place since he left it had taken the letter; ... this I fear puts an end to our prospects of obtaining the Sioux Cheifs to accompany us as we have not now leasure to send and engage Mr. Heney on this service, ...
August 11, 1806
here I found two men from the illinoies Jos. Dixon, and [blank space in MS.] Handcock those men are on a trapping expedition up the River Rochejhone. They inform me that they left the Illinois in the Summer 1804. ... The tetons robed him of the greater part of the goods and wounded this Dixon in the leg with a hard wad. ... Those men further informed me that they met the Boat and party we Sent down from Fort Mandan near the Kanzas river on board of which was a chief of the Ricaras, that he met the Yankton chiefs with Mr. Deurion, McClellen & Several other traders on their way down. that the Mandans and Menitarrais wer at war with the Ricaras and had killed two of the latter. the Assinniboins were also at war with the Mandans &c. and had prohibited the N W. traders from comeing to the Missouri to trade. ... Those dificulties if true will I fear be a bar to our expectations of having the Mandan Minetarra & Ricara chief to acompany us to the U. States. Tho we shall endeaver to bring about a peace between Mandans Mennetarres & Ricaras and provail on some of their Chiefs to accompany us to the U. States.
August 11, 1806
examined and dressed Captain Lewis's wound; and found the ball, which had lodged in his overalls.
At the conclusion of this photograph all members traversed back down the western slope of Lewis & Clark Pass (A pass that William Clark never traversed) to our awaiting vehicles. We agreed to meet in Lincoln, MT for lunch and to discuss our final departure. Like many adventures I've been fortunate to be a part of, it is always difficult to leave those you've learned to admire and befriend.
See You On The Mountain,
J. R. (Jim) Fromm
The punctuation, spelling, syntax, incorrect words and otherwise poor use of words is as they were written in my notebook.