All bold print, italics and underlining is placed there by the author. The purpose of this article is to correct what this author considers a grievous breach of error on the part of numerous "Revisionist Historians". Hopefully it speaks for itself.
"our old guide Toby" or "tobe our Snake Indn.
James Richard Fromm, Author
Toby or Tobe: Never referred to by any journal writer in the Corp of Discovery as "Old Toby", "Old Tobe", Old Tobey" or "Tobey". During the 105 days they spent in Idaho Captains Meriwether Lewis & William Clark, Sergeants John Ordway & Patrick Gass and Private Joseph Whitehouse made some form of a reference to their "Shoshonee guide" on approximately seventy-eight (78) occasions.
I find it incredulous that numerous "authors" have propagated the misconception that any member of the Corp of Discovery ever referred to the "Shoshonee Indian Guide" as "Old Toby", "Old Tobe", "Old Tobey" or "Tobey". This demonstrates how false information can spread like a virus by non-inquisitive "historians" and change even the course of history. So, who is responsible in the written record for turning this virus loose?
The following provides the written record as noted in the journals. Read it for yourself and discover what historians should have known regarding the Corps "old guide Toby" or "tobe our Snake Indn. Guide"
The name "Toby" was witten only once. That was on May 12, 1806 in the journal of Captain Meriwether Lewis, "we now have six horses only as our old guide Toby and his son each took a horse of ours when they returned last fall."
The name "tobe" was written only once. On May 4, 1806 the journal of Sergeant John Ordway reports, "Soon met one of the chiefs of the flat head or Chopennish tribe who we left our horses with & who went down to the narrows with us last fall. he tells us that tobe our Snake Indn. guide took 2 of our best horses away with him when he left us."
The historical record, according to Gary E. Moulton, regarding "Toby" or "tobe" begins on August 20, 1805 as reported by Lewis. Lewis added it to his entry for this day upon the return of Clark and his men from their exploration of the Salmon River, "This morning Capt. Clark set out at 6 in the morning and soon after arrived near their camp they having removed about 2 miles higher up the river than the camp at which they were when I first visited them. the chief requested a halt, which was complyed with, and a number of the indians came out from the village and joined them after smoking a few pipes with them they all proceeded to the village where Capt C. was conducted to a large lodge prepared in the center of the encampment for himself and party. here they gave him one salmon and some cakes of dryed berries. he now repeated to them what had been said to them in council at this place which was repeated to the village by the Cheif. when he had concluded this address he requested a guide to accompany him down the river and an elderly man was pointed out by the Cheif who consented to undertake this task. this was the old man of whom Cameahwait had spoken as a person well acquainted with the country to the North of this river. . . .at 3 P.M. Capt. Clark departed, accompanyed by his guide and party except one man whom he left with orders to purchase a horse if possible and overtake him as soon as he could."
Clarks journal for this day says, "I informed the Indians the object of our journey our good intentions towards them my consern for their distressed Situation, what we had done for them in makeing a piece with the Minitarras Mandans Rickara &c. for them--. and requested them all to take over their horses & assist Capt Leiwis across &c. also informing them the oject of my journey down the river and requested a guide to accompany me, all of which was repeited by the Chief to the whole village. . . .at 3 oClock after giveing a fiew Small articles as presents I set out accompanied by an old man as a Guide."
As part of Clarks detachment was Sergeant Patrick Gass who noted, "We had a long talk with them, and they gave us very unfavourable accounts with respect to the rivers. From which we understood that they were not navigable down, and expect to perform the rout by land. Here we procured a guide, and left our interpreters to go on with the natives, and assist Captain Lewis and his party to bring on the baggage."
"Captain Clarke and our party proceeded down the river with our guide, through a valley about 4 miles wide, of a rich soil, but almost without timber."
An addendum to Captain Lewiss journal for August 21, 1805 reports, "The Guide apeared to be a very friendly intelligent old man, Capt. C. is much pleased with him."
Gass reports, "About 7 oclock in the morning we continued our journey down the valley, and came to a few lodges of Indians where our guide lives. We remained here about two hours, during which time a number of Indians passed us, going to fish."
Lewis adds to his entry for August 22, 1805 regarding Clarks progress, "we set out early and passed a small creek at one mile, also the points of four mountains which were high steep and rocky. the mountains are so steep that it is almost incredible to mention that horses had passed them. our road in many places lay over the sharp fragments of rocks which had fallen from the mountains and lay in confused heaps for miles together; yet notwithstanding our horses traveled barefoot over them as fast as we cold and did not detain us. passed two bold runing streams, and arrived at the entrance of a small river where some Indian families resided. they had some scaffoalds of fish and burries exposed to dry. they were not acquainted with the circumstance of any whitemen being in their country and were therefore much allarmed on our approach several of the women and children fled in the woods for shelter. the guide was behind and the wood thick in which their lodges were situated we came on them before they had the least notice of us. those who remained offered us every thing they had, which was but little; they offered us collars of elks tusks which their children woar Salmon beries &c. we eat some of their fish and buries but returned them the other articles they had offered with a present of some small articles which seemed to add much to their pacification."
"The guide who had by this time arrived explained to them who we were and our object in visiting them; but still there were some of the women and Children inconsoleable, they continued to cry during our stay, which was about an hour. a road passes up this river which my guide informed me led over the mountains to the Missouri."
Clarks report for this day says, "we allarmed them verry much as they knew nothing of a white man being in their Countrey, and at the time we approached their lodges which was in a thick place of bushes--my guiedes were behind.-- They offered every thing they possessed (which was verry little) to us, Some run off and hid in the bushes The first offer of theirs were Elks tuskes from around their Childrens necks, Sammon &c. my guide attempted passifying those people and they Set before me berres, & fish to eate, I gave a fiew Small articles to those fritened people which added verry much to their pasification but not entirely as Some of the women & Childn. Cried dureing my Stay"
Gass also reports, "Three of our men having gone through the bottom to hunt, came first upon the lodges which greatly alarmed the unhappy natives, who all fell a weeping and began to run off; but the party coming up with the guide relieved them from their fears."
For his August 23, 1805 addendum Captain Lewis writes regarding Clark, "he therefore determined to leave the horses and the majority of the party here and with his guide and three men to continue his rout down the river still further, in order more fully to satisfy himself as to it's practicability. . . .a plain indian road led up this creek which the guide informed him led to a large river that ran to the North, and was frequented by another nation who occasionally visited this river for the purpose of taking fish. . . .the river directed it's course immediately to this stupendous mountain at the bace of which the gude informe him those difficulties of which himself and nation had spoken, commenced. that after the river reached this mountain it continued its rout to the North for many miles between high and perpendicular rocks, roling foaming and beating against innumberable rocks which crouded its channel; that then it penetrated the mountain through a narrow gap leaving a perpendicular rock on either side as high as the top of the mountain which he beheld. that the river here making a bend they could not see through the mountain, and as it was impossible to decend the river or clamber over that vast mountain covered with eternal snow, neither himself nor any of his nation had ever been lower in this direction, than in view of the place at which the river entered his mountain; that if Capt. C. wished him to do so, he would conduct him to that place, where he thought they could probably arrive by the next evening. Capt. C. being now perfictly satisfyed as to the impractability of this rout either by land or water, informed the old man, that he was convinced of the varacity of his assertions and would now return to the village from whence they had set out where he expected to meet myself and party."
Clarks own report for this day states, "I deturmined to delay the party here and with my guide and three men proceed on down to examine if the river continued bad or was practiable. . . .This river is about 100 yards wide and can be forded but in a few places. below my guide and maney other Indians tell me that the Mountains Close and is a perpendicular Clift on each Side, and Continues for a great distance and that the water runs with great violence from one rock to the other on each Side foaming & roreing thro rocks in every direction, So as to render the passage of any thing impossible. . . .assended a Spur of the Mountain from which place my guide Shew me the river for about 20 miles lower & pointed out the dificulty we returned to the last Creek & camped about one hour after dark."
"There my guide Shewed me a road from the N Which Came into the one I was in which he Said went to large river which run to the north on which was a nation he called Tushapass, he made a map of it"
Gass reports, "we halted on a small flatt and breakfasted on some fish the natives had given us. Captain Clarke, our guide, and three men then went on."
On August 24, 1805 Clark sends John Colter with a letter to Captain Lewis "informing him of the prospects before us and information recved of my guide which I thought favourable &c. & Stating two plans one of which for us to pursue. . . .The plan I stated to Capt. Lewis if he agrees with me we shall adopt is. to procure as many horses (one for each man) if possible and to hire my present guide who I sent on to him to interegate thro the Intptr. and proceed on by land to Some navagable part of the Columbia River, or to the Ocean"
That same day Gass writes, "Our guide speaks of a way to sea, by going up the south fork of this river, getting on to the mountains that way, and then turning to the south west again. Captain Clarke therefore wrote a letter to Captain Lewis, and dispatched a man on horseback to meet him"
For the following day August 25, 1805 Lewis reports the progress of Clark saying, "some little time after they halted a party of Indians passed by on their way down the river, consisting of a man a woman and several boys; from these people the guide obtained 2 salmon which together with some small fish they caught and a beaver which Shannon killed furnished them with a plentifull supper."
Clark makes a similar report for this day, "my guide got two Sammon from this party after Dark Shannon came in with a beaver which the Party suped on Sumptiously"
Also, Patrick Gass includes in his journal, "We soon caught as many small fish as made, with two salmon our guide got from some Indians, a comfortable supper."
Lewis for the 26th of August, 1805 writes, "I found Colter here who had just arrived with a letter from Capt. Clark in which Capt. C. had given me an account of his perigrination and the description of the river and country as before detailed from this view of the subject I found it a folly to think of attemping to decend this river in canoes and therefore determined to commence the purchase of horses in the morning from the indians in order to carry into execution the design we had formed of passing the rocky Mountains. I now informed Cameahwait of my intended expedition overland to the great river which lay in the plains beyond the mountains and told him that I wished to purchase 20 horses of himself and his people to convey our baggage. he observed that the Minnetares had stolen a great number of their horses this spring but hoped his people would spear me the number I wished. I also asked a guide, he observed that he had no doubt but the old man who was with Capt. C. would accompany us if we wished him and that he was better informed of the country than any of them."
Clark still with his party exploring the Salmon River reports, "our horses missing Sent out my guide and four men to hunt them, which detained me untill 9 oClock a.m."
Gass reports regarding this same subject that, "The man, who had gone for the horses, having returned without finding them, 4 or 5 more went out, and our guide immediately found them."
There is no mention of matters concerning "Toby" or "Tobe" until August 29, 1805 when Private Joseph Whitehouse reports what Captain Clarks party had learned while descending the Salmon River and reflecting on the incident of August 22nd. Whitehouse, and on occasion others, was in the habit of writing two drafts of his journals each day. The first would be his field notes while the second was a revised draft. First Draft - "they informed us the Mountains are amazeing high and rough So that it is impossable to follow the River down for the Steep clifts &c. and the River So rapid and full of rocks that it is impossable to go down with crafts, and no game of any kind. they killed nothing but one Deer, while they were gone. they lived Several days on Servis berrys and cherries &c. they passed a lodge of Indians in a Small valley in the mountn. gethering cherries & Servisses. they Started to run but our men having a guide of their nation with them, he Spoke to them and they were easy" - Second Draft - "On these Indians seeing Captain Clarkes men, they started to run from them, but our men having a guide of their own nation with them, he spoke to the Indians, and they came to our people and were easy."
Having returned from explorations of the Salmon River William Clark reports on August 30, 1805 with respect to the progress in preparing for the next leg of their journey, "we Purchased pack Cords Made Saddles & Set out on our rout down the river by land guided by my old guide and one other who joined him, the old gudes 3 Sons followed him"
Sergeant John Ordway reports, "the guide who has engaged with us to go on to the ocean tells us that their is 2 ways to go, but the one bearing South of the Ri: is plains and a desert country without game or water. but the road to the North of the River is rough and mountaineous but Sd. he could take us in 10 days to a large fork of the River which came in on the South Side where the River would be navigable or in about 15 days we could go to where the tide came up and Salt water. So we concluded to go that road."
Whitehouse also writes, - First Draft - "the guide which we engaged to go with us tells us that we could go a road which would be Smooth & leads to the Southward but we would be 2 days without water and no game on that road. but he could Show us a hilley rough roud over the mountains to the north of the River which would take us in 15 days to Salt water, or in 10 days to a large fork of the River, where it would be navagable. So we concluded to go that roud" - Second Draft - "The Indian guide, which our officers had engaged to go with us, from the Indians we are among; informed us, that we could go a Road which would be smooth & which went to the Southward, but that we should be two days, without water, & that there was no game to be met with on that Route,-- but that he would show us a hilly rough road, which went over the mountains, to the North of the Columbia River, which would take us in 15 days to Salt water, or in 10 days to a large fork of the Columbia River; which would be navigable for Canoes.-- Our Officers concluded to take the last mentioned Road"
On the road the following day August 31, 1805 Clark notes, "Six Indians followed us four of them the Sons of our guide"
Gass reports, "Our old guide after consulting with the rest of the Indians, thought it was better to go along the north side of the Columbia, then on the south side"
Again on September 2, 1805 Gass writes, "A son of our guide joined us to day and is going on. We went 13 miles and encamped; but some of the men did not come up till late at night."
Whitehouse writes in his journal that, - First Draft - "our guide tells us that we will git on a plain tomorrow" - Second Draft - "we are informed by our guide, that we have still further to go, before we get to the plains, which he say will be tomorrow"
Perhaps the first instance of "Toby" or "tobe" becoming confused was on September 3, 1805 when Patrick Gass writes, "This was not the creek our guide wished to have come upon; and to add to our misfortunes we had a cold evening with rain"
The following day September 4, 1805 after the party has killed a deer John Ordway reports, "our guide and the young Indian who accompanied him eat the verry guts of the deer."
Referring to this same occasion Joseph Whitehouse notes in his - First Draft - "our Indian guide and the young Indian who accompanied him Eat the pauch and all the Small guts of the Deer." - Second Draft - "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."
Patrick Gass reports this day that they, "crossed a large mountain and hit on the creek and small valley, which were wished for by our guide."
On September 9, 1805 Meriwether Lewis was inquiring about the course of the river (Bitterroot) they had been following, "our guide could not inform us where this river discharged itself into the columbia river, he informed us that it continues its 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 which took its 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, 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"
On September 10, 1805 Private John Colter, while out hunting, came upon three Nez Perce Indians and invited them to camp. Upon their arrival the party attempted to converse with them having some difficulty. Lewis reports, "our guide could not speake the language of these people but soon engaged them in conversation by signs or jesticulation, the common language of all the Aborigines of North America, it is one understood by all of them and appears to be sufficiently copious to convey with a degree of certainty the outlines of what they wish to communicate."
Whitehouse this day notes in his journal the discussion of the previous day regarding the Clark Fork River - First Draft - "our guide tells us that these waters runs into Mackinzees River as near as they can give an account, but he is not acquainted that way. So we go the road he knows." - Second Draft - "We learnt from our Interpreters & Guide, that those Indians belonged to a Nation of Indians called the Flatt head Nation. . . .Our guide, informed us, that these Waters, run into Mackenzies River, as near as he can guess, or give information, but says that he is not acquainted with that Road or path, Our officers concluded on going the Road that our Interpreter is best acquainted with."
The next day September 11, 1805 Clark, in reference to the discussion two days previous, makes note of a large fork which "comes in from the right and heads up against the waters of the Missouri below the Three forks, this river has extensive Vallies of open leavel land. . . .our Guide tels us a fine large roade passes up this river to the Missouri"
On September 13, 1805 while visiting Lolo Hot Springs Clark writes that, "Capt Lewis and one of our guides lost their horses. . . .as Several roads led from these Springs in different derections, my Guide took a wrong road and took us out of our rout 3 miles through intolerable rout". This is the second recorded entry of "Toby" becoming confused.
Gass also makes a note in his journal regarding this incident, "There are so many paths leading to and from this spring, that our guide took a wrong one for a mile or two, and we had bad travelling across till we got into the road again."
On September 14, 1805 after crossing Lolo Pass and descending to the Lochsa River Ordway reports, "the Savages had a place fixed across the River and worked in with willows where they catch a great quantity of Sammon in the Spring, as our guide tells us."
Whitehouse also notes - First Draft - "our Guide tells us that the natives catch a great nomber of Sammon along here." - Second Draft - "Our guide informed us, that the Natives catch great Quantities of Salmon at this place"
Lewis records for September 19, 1805, "Set out this morning a little after sun rise and continued our rout about the same course of yesterday or S. 20 W. for 6 miles when the ridge terminated and we to our inexpressable joy discovered a large tract of Prairie country lying to the S. W. and widening as it appeared to extend to the W. through that plain the Indian informed us that the Columbia river, in which we were in surch run. this plain appeared to be about 60 Miles distant, but our guide assured us that we should reach its borders tomorrow"
Clark reports on September 27, 1805 in his - Second Draft - "our Shoshonee Indian Guide employed himself makeing flint points for his arrows"
On October 7, 1805 Whitehouse writes, - First Draft - "the 2 Indians we came over the mount. with us continues on with us, and a chief & one more Indian ." - Second Draft - "About 3 oClock P.M. we set out on our way to descend the River, & the 2 Indians of the Snake Nation, that came to Pilot us across the Mountains, agreed to continue with us."
Clark writes on October 9, 1805, - First Draft - "our 2 Snake Indian guides left us without our knowledge" - Second Draft - "at Dark we were informed that our old guide & his son had left us and had been Seen running up the river Several miles above, we Could not account for the Cause of his leaveing us at this time, without receiving his pay for the Services he had rendered us, or letting us know anything of his intentions. . . .We requested the Chief to Send a horseman after our old guide to come back and recive his pay &c. which he advised us not to do as his nation would take his things from him before he passed their camps"
Having this day capsized a canoe, with considerable damage, Gass speculates as to the reason for "Toby's" or "tobes" departure, "Here our old Snake guide deserted and took his son with him. I suspect he was afraid of being cast away passing the rapids."
On October 10, 1805 John Ordway reports, "the two guides who came with us from the Snake nation left us yesterday, and we expect they have returned back again."
Also Joseph Whitehouse writes, - First Draft - "our 2 Indians who came with us from the Snake nation left us yesterday." - Second Draft - "the two Indians that accompanied us from the Snake Nation of Indians left us, in order to return home"
We have no further record of "Toby" or "tobe" nor his sons until the Corp of Discovery has made their return to Nez Perce country in May of 1806. In fact, we have no evidence of a name attributed to either of the Shoshoni Indian Guides until their return to Idaho. They had left their horses with Twisted Hair and are in the process of gathering them in for their trip back over the Bitterroot mountains.
On May 4, 1805 John Ordway makes the following entry in his journal, "Soon met one of the chiefs of the flat head or Chopennish tribe who we left our horses with & who went down to the narrows with us last fall. he tells us that tobe our Snake Indn. guide took 2 of our best horses away with him when he left us."
On May 12, 1806 Meriwether Lewis writes, "this evening three other of our original stock of horses were produced, they were in fine order as well as those received yesterday. we have now six horses out only, as our old guide Toby and his son each took a horse of ours when they returned last fall."
Coues, Elliott, The History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Copyright 1893. - In reference to the May 12, 1806 entry of Lewis regarding "our old guide Toby" Coues writes as a footnote to that statement: "We have now six horses out only, as our old guide Toby and his son each took a horse of ours when they returned last spring," Lewis K 126. Here is a name that does not occur in the text, and which I did not know of till I found it here in the codex. Now "Toby" must be entered on the historical roll.
Coues, Elliott, The History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Copyright 1893. - In reference to May 31, 1806 Lewis writes: "In the course of the day the natives brought us another one of our original stock of horses, of which we have now recovered all except two; these, we are informed, were taken by our Shoshonee guide [Toby, and his son] when he [they] returned home." Brackets and content are the work of Coues.
Thwaites, Reuben Gold, Original Journals of The Lewis and Clark Expedition, Copyright 1905. - The only reference of "Toby" in Thwaites work is also May 12, 1806 when he quotes Lewis writing, "We have now six horses out only, as our old guide Toby and his son each took a horse of ours when they returned last fall."
Thwaites, Reuben Gold, Original Journals of The Lewis and Clark Expedition, Copyright 1905. - In reference to May 31, 1806 Thwaites writes, "The Indians brought us another of our original Stock of horses; there are only two absent now of those horses; and these the indians inform us that our shoshone guide rode back when he returned."
Coues claims Lewis referred to "Toby" as having returned in the spring, while Thwaites claims Lewis referred to "Toby" having returned in the fall.
Neither Coues nor Thwaites referred to "our old guide Toby" as "Old Toby" or "Tobe"
DeVoto, Bernard, The Journals of Lewis and Clark, Copyright 1953.
Page 232 - Preceding the September 2, 1805 entry DeVoto writes, "The party moved down the small Lemhi River to the main fork of the Salmon River and about ten miles down that to the mouth of Tower Creek, some fifteen miles above the mouth of the North Fork of the Salmon. It turned up the precipitous canyon of the North Fork, heading northeast toward the (Bitterroot) valley where it would find the trail by which, as both captains had been told, the Nez Perces crossed the mountains to the buffalo plains. Some of the Shoshones accompanied the party for a while but by September 1 all had turned back except "Toby," the old man who had been hired as a guide, and his son. They had been able to buy 29 horses, for packing and, as Clark added, to "Eate if necessary."
Page 244 - In reference to October 9, 1805 DeVoto writes, "at "Dark we were informed that our old guide13 & his son had left us and had been Seen running up the river Several miles above" [For the footnote DeVoto writes: "Toby" the Shoshone.]
Page 372 - For May 5, 1806 DeVoto, in a footnote, makes reference to an entry by Sergeant Patrick Gass when he writes, "Gass: "The old chief who is now with us says that the Snake Guide who deserted us last fall stole and took two of our horses with him." So Toby, who left without collecting his wages, received at least some compensation from the United States."
These three entries of DeVoto are the only reference to Toby in his work. DeVoto never used the term "Old Toby" neither did Coues nor Thwaites. Not one of the three ever quoted any member of the Corp of Discovery as using the term "Old Toby".
Clarke, Charles G., The Men of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Copyright 1970.
Page 194 - In reference to August 23, 1805 Clarke writes, "This guide, whom we call "Tobey," drew maps in the sand and by his evident familiarity with the country, Capt. Clark was convinced that the trail to the north which the guide had indicated, is more practical."
Here we have the first instance of an author or "historian" attributing the erroneous use of the name "Tobey" to a member of the Corp of Discovery.
Page 197 - For September 1, 1805 Clarke writes, "We proceeded on over high, rugged hills in a north direction. We gigged some salmon and killed a deer. All the Indians left us except old Toby and one son. A great abundance of service and choke berries are growing here. Yorks feet became so sore he had to ride. Some of the men were sent to by salmon from the Indians and they returned with 25 pounds."
We now have the first instance of an author or "historian" attributing the erroneous use of the name "old Toby" to a member of the Corp of Discovery.
Page 199 - For September 9, 1805 Clarke writes, "Old Tobey cold not inform us where this river discharges itself into the Columbia."
Page 208 - For October 7, 1805 Clarke writes, "Tobey and his son, who came over the mountains with us, continue with our party.
For the third time Charles G. Clarke propagates a falsehood by falsely quoting a member of the Corp of Discovery.
Page 265 - For May 4, 1806 Clarke writes, "The chief, Tetoharsky, tells us that Tobey, our former Nez Perce guide, took two of our best horses away with him when he left us last fall."
Here we have the fourth instance of Charles G. Clarke attributing false references to members of the Corp of Discovery. This appears to begin the stampede in the erroneous use of this terminology.
Ronda, James P., Lewis and Clark among the Indians, Copyright 1984. - Ronda makes approximately eleven (11) references to "Old Toby" in this work. Pages 151 (1) - 153 (1) - 154 (1) - 156 (2) - 157 (1) - 160 (1) - 162 (4).
[This is Ronda's first instance of the erroneous term of "Old Toby" being used. He also suggests this was the guides name at the time of their meeting even though no record of tobey or Toby is recorded until May 4 and May 12, 1806. No record whatever of the Corp of discovery ever referring to him as "Old Toby".]
[This is Ronda's sixth misuse of the name Old Toby. Here we have the single instance where Ronda gives credence to the idea by some that Toby got the Corp of Discovery lost. No member of the Corp of Discovery ever used the term lost in describing guiding abilities of Toby.]
False history is now escalating on a greater scale. Is there to be a correction?
Ambrose, Stephen E., Undaunted Courage, Copyright 1996. - Ambrose makes approximately nineteen (19) references to "Old Toby" in his work. Pages 289 (1) - 290 (1) - 292 (6) - 293 (3) - 295 (1) - 298 (1) - 302 (3) - 375 (1) - 414 (1) - 474 (1).
[Ambrose is in error! The captains never called him "Old Toby".]
[This is the first mention by Ambrose of Toby becoming lost. However, no member of the expedition ever accused Toby of becoming lost. It is the nineth incidence by Ambrose of the misuse of the name Old Toby.]
[Ambrose misuses the name Old Toby a tenth time. Could it be Toby knew where he was going since the party was in need of food?]
[Ambrose misuses the name Old Toby an eleventh time. It is assumed Ambrose used as his basis for suggesting Toby becoming lost was this quotation by Captain William Clark, "we found the proper road which assends a high mountain road excessively bad. Take the wrong road"]
[Ambrose misuses the name Old Toby a thirteenth time. Could it be that Toby never got the Corp of Discovery lost? Could it be he understood the need for provisions? Could it be that this understanding lead him to take the party to an area he knew was frequented for the purpose of catching fish? Could the required use of sign language played a factor in this possible misconception?]
[Ambrose misuses the name Old Toby a seventeenth time. Considering the Corp of Discovery had an entire month to rest and gather provisions and trade for superior horses might this not explain the need not to decend to the fishing weirs to gather further provisions. After all, it was at the smoking place that their Nez Perce guides explained to the Captains how the Indians would do that very thing when traveling between the hunting grounds of Montana and their home in Idaho.]
Noted writers have now obscured the facts and given credence to fiction.
Moulton, Gary E., The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Volumes 1-13, Copyright 1988, University of Nebraska Press.
Dr. Moulton, as far as this observer can discover, did not attribute to any member of the Corp of Discovery the use of the term "Old Toby" nor "Old Tobey". However, Dr. Moulton, in this observers opinion, utilized the term "Old Toby" in his editorializing of the journals to the extent that it propagated the fictional use to an even greater height.
Here in Idaho we now have well intentioned organizations building monuments to "Old Toby" rather than the Corp of Discoveries Old Shoshonee Indian Guide, Toby. Using the term "Old Toby" is reminiscent of references of our slave days when we might refer to the black gentlemen on the plantation as "Old Toby". There was little respect offered then and the same appears apparent with respect to Native Americans, who should be indignant regarding its use. Perhaps an entire dialogue should be conducted regarding the possible attitudes of the members of the Corp of Discovery regarding Black Americans and how it may have contributed to their attitude regarding Native Americans. How did their attitude contribute to the current propagation by students of the Corp of Discovery? Do we have any responsibility to correct errors within our ability to do so? This author would simply wish to be given the facts of events in history and not have history created. Thats my editorial comment. Now kill the messenger!