of the blind men, of the party in the Mayfair mansion,

 people involved | time:2023-12-06 06:51:07

"We soon drew near the camp, and just as we approached it a woman made her way through the crowd toward Sacajawea; recognizing each other, they embraced with the most tender affection. The meeting of these two young women had in it something peculiarly touching, not only from the ardent manner in which their feelings were expressed, but also from the real interest of their situation. They had been companions in childhood; in the war with the Minnetarees they had both been taken prisoners in the same battle; they had shared and softened the rigors of their captivity till one of them had escaped from their enemies with scarce a hope of ever seeing her friend rescued from their hands.

of the blind men, of the party in the Mayfair mansion,

"While Sacajawea was renewing among the women the friendships of former days, Captain Clark went on, and was received by Captain Lewis and the chief, who, after the first embraces and salutations were over, conducted him to a sort of circular tent or shade of willows. Here he was seated on a white robe; and the chief immediately tied in his hair six small shells resembling pearls, an ornament highly valued by these people, who procure them in the course of trade from the seacoast. The moccasins of the whole party were then taken off, and, after much ceremony, the smoking began. After this the conference was to be opened; and, glad of an opportunity of being able to converse more intelligibly, Sacajawea was sent for: she came into the tent, sat down, and was beginning to interpret, when in the person of Cameahwait she recognized her brother. She instantly jumped up, and ran and embraced him, throwing over him her blanket, and weeping profusely: the chief was himself moved, though not in the same degree. After some conversation between them she resumed her seat, and attempted to interpret for us; but her new situation seemed to overpower her, and she was frequently interrupted by her tears. After the council was finished, the unfortunate woman learned that all her family were dead except two brothers, one of whom was absent, and a son of her eldest sister, a small boy, who was immediately adopted by her."

of the blind men, of the party in the Mayfair mansion,

The two parties, Indian and white, now went into a conference, the white chiefs explaining that it would be needful for their Indian friends to collect all their horses and help to transport the goods of the explorers over the Great Divide. The journal says:--

of the blind men, of the party in the Mayfair mansion,

"The speech made a favorable impression. The chief, in reply, thanked us for our expressions of friendship toward himself and his nation, and declared their willingness to render us every service. He lamented that it would be so long before they should be supplied with firearms, but that till then they could subsist as they had heretofore done. He concluded by saying that there were not horses enough here to transport our goods, but that he would return to the village to-morrow, bring all his own horses, and encourage his people to come over with theirs. The conference being ended to our satisfaction, we now inquired of Cameahwait what chiefs were among the party, and he pointed out two of them. We then distributed our presents: to Cameahwait we gave a medal of small size, with the likeness of President Jefferson, and on the reverse a figure of hands clasped with a pipe and tomahawk; to this was added an uniform coat, a shirt, a pair of scarlet leggings, a carrot [or twist] of tobacco, and some small articles. Each of the other chiefs received a small medal struck during the presidency of General Washington, a shirt, handkerchief, leggings, knife, and some tobacco. Medals of the same sort were also presented to two young warriors, who, though not chiefs, were promising youths and very much respected in the tribe. These honorary gifts were followed by presents of paint, moccasins, awls, knives, beads, and looking-glasses. We also gave them all a plentiful meal of Indian corn, of which the hull is taken off by being boiled in lye; as this was the first they had ever tasted, they were very much pleased with it. They had, indeed, abundant sources of surprise in all they saw-- the appearance of the men, their arms, their clothing, the canoes, the strange looks of the negro, and the sagacity of our dog, all in turn shared their admiration, which was raised to astonishment by a shot from the air-gun. This operation was instantly considered `great medicine,' by which they, as well as the other Indians, mean something emanating directly from the Great Spirit, or produced by his invisible and incomprehensible agency. . . .

"After the council was over we consulted as to our future operations. The game did not promise to last here for many days; and this circumstance combined with many others to induce our going on as soon as possible. Our Indian information as to the state of the Columbia was of a very alarming kind; and our first object was, of course, to ascertain the practicability of descending it, of which the Indians discouraged our expectations. It was therefore agreed that Captain Clark should set off in the morning with eleven men, furnished, besides their arms, with tools for making canoes: that he should take Chaboneau and his wife to the camp of the Shoshonees, where he was to leave them, in order to hasten the collection of horses; that he should then lead his men down to the Columbia, and if be found it navigable, and the timber in sufficient quantity, begin to build canoes. As soon as he had decided as to the propriety of proceeding down the Columbia or across the mountains, be was to send back one of the men with information of it to Captain Lewis, who by that time would have brought up the whole party, and the rest of the baggage, as far as the Shoshonee village. Preparations were accordingly made at once to carry out the arrangement. . . . . . . . . .

"In order to relieve the men of Captain Clark's party from the heavy weight of their arms, provisions, and tools, we exposed a few articles to barter for horses, and soon obtained three very good ones, in exchange for which we gave a uniform coat, a pair of leggings, a few handkerchiefs, three knives, and some other small articles, the whole of which did not, in the United States, cost more than twenty dollars; a fourth was purchased by the men for an old checkered shirt, a pair of old leggings, and a knife. The Indians seemed to be quite as well pleased as ourselves at the bargain they had made. We now found that the two inferior chiefs were somewhat displeased at not having received a present equal to that given to the great chief, who appeared in a dress so much finer than their own. To allay their discontent, we bestowed on them two old coats, and promised them if they were active in assisting us across the mountains they should have an additional present. This treatment completely reconciled them, and the whole Indian party, except two men and two women, set out in perfect good humor to return to their home with Captain Clark."

Captain Clark had now left the water-shed of the Missouri behind him, and was pressing on, over a broken, hilly country, to the lands from which issue the tributaries of the Columbia. The Indian village which Captain Lewis had previously visited had been removed two miles up the stream on which it was situated, and was reached by Clark on August 20. The party was very ceremoniously received by Chief Cameahwait, and all hands began to explain to the white men the difficulties of the situation. How to transport the canoes and baggage over the mountains to some navigable stream leading into the Columbia was now the serious problem. The Indian chief and his old men dwelt on the obstacles in the way and argued that it was too late in the season to make the attempt. They even urged the white men to stay with them until another spring, when Indian guides would be furnished them to proceed on their journey westward.

On the twenty-first, Clark passed the junction of two streams, the Salmon and the Lemhi, which is now the site of Salmon City, Idaho. As Captain Lewis was the first white man who had seen these waters, Clark gave to the combined water-course the name of Lewis' River. The mountains here assumed a formidable aspect, and the stream was too narrow, rapid, and rock-bound to admit of navigation. The journal says of Captain Clark:--

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