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Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

May 11, 1806


Sunday May 11th 1806.

The last evening we were much crouded with the indians in our lodge, the whole floor of which was covered with their sleeping carcases.    we arrose early and took breakfast.    at 8 A. M. a cheif of great note among these people arrived from his village or lodge on the S. 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 Yoom-park'-kar-tim. [1]    to this man we gave a medal of the smal 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 Cheif on the Yellow rock river. [2]    we now pretty fully informed ourselves that Tunnachemootoolt, Neeshneparkkeeook, Yoom-parkkartim and Hohâstillpilp were the principal Cheif of the Chopunnish nation and ranked in the order here mentioned; as all those cheifs were present in our lodge we thought it a favourable time to repeat what had been said yesterday and to enter more minutely into the views of our government with rispect to the inhabitants of this western part of the continent, their intention of establishing trading houses for their releif, 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 interpretters were enabled to make ourselves understood by them altho' it had to pass through the French, Minnetare, Shoshone and Chopunnish languages.    the interpretation being tedious it ocupyed 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 shewing them the power of magnetism, the spye glass, compass, watch, air-gun and sundry other articles equally novel and incomprehensible to them.    they informed us that after we had left the Minnetares last spring that three of their people had visited that nation [3] and that they had informed them of us and had told them that we had such things in our possession but that they could not place confidence in the information untill they had now witnessed it themselves.—    A young man, son of a conspicuous cheif among these people who was killed not long since by the Minnetares of Fort de Prarie, [4] brought and presented us a very fine mare and colt.    he said he had opened his ears to our councils and would observe them strictly, and that our words had made his heart glad.    he requested that we would accept this mear and colt which he gave in token of his determination to pursue our advise.—    about 3 P. M. Drewyer arrived with 2 deer which he had killed.    he informed us that the snow still continued to cover the plain. many of the natives apply to us for medical aid which we gave them cheerfully so far as our skill and store of medicine would enable us.    schrofela, [5] ulsers, rheumatism, soar eyes, and the loss of the uce of their limbs are the most common cases among them.    the latter case is not very common but we have seen thee instances of it among the Chopunnish.    it is a very extraordinary complaint.    a Cheif of considerable note at this place has been afflicted with it for three years, [6] he is incapable of moving a single limb but lies like a corps in whatever position he is placed, yet he eats heartily, digests his food perfectly, injoys his understanding, his pulse are good, and has retained his flesh almost perfectly, in short were it not that he appears a little pale from having lain so long in the shade he might well be taken for a man in good health. I suspect that their confinement to a diet of roots may give rise to all those disorders except the rheumatism & soar eyes, and to the latter of these, the state of debility incident to a vegetable diet may measureable contribute.—    The Chopunnish notwithstanding they live in the crouded manner before mentioned are much more clenly in their persons and habitations than any nation we have seen since we left the Ottoes on the river Platte.—    The Twisted hair brought us six of our horses.

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Summary | 1 Annotation
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 interpeters were enabled to make ourselves under stood by them altho' it had to pass through French, Minnetare, Shoshone and Chopunnish languages.    the interpretation being tegious it occupied the greater part of the day, before we had communicated to them what we wished.    they appeared highly pleased.
2020/09/06 00:03