Lewis and Clark Today Logo

On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Lewis trades Missouri war axes made at Fort Mandan for additional Shoshone horses. With the help of their horses and several Shoshone women, the cargo not previously cached is carried towards the pass that crosses the Rocky mountains.

as it was so late and the Indians had prepared their camp for the night I thought it best to acquiess and determined also to remain. we had traveled only about six miles. after we encamped we had a slight shower of rain. Goodrich who is our principal fisherman caught several fine trout.

Meriwether Lewis

Moonrise over Shoshone Cove

Full moon rising over sagebrush valley

As the Indians who were on their way down the Missouri had a number of spare hoses with them I thought it probable that I could obtain some of them and therefore desired the Cheif to speak to them and inform me whether they would trade. they gave no positive answer but requested to see the goods which I was willing to give in exchange. I now produced some battle axes which I had made at Fort Mandan with which they were much pleased. knives also seemed a great demand among them. I soon purchased three horses and a mule.

Meriwether Lewis

Missouri war axe

Hand-forged axe with a heart-shape cut out

I have seen a few skins among these people which have almost every appearance of the common sheep. they inform me that they finde this animal on the high mountains to the West and S. W. of them. it is about the size of the common sheep, the wool is reather shorter and more intermixed with long hairs particularly on the upper part of the neck.
these skins have been so much woarn that I could not form a just Idea of the animal or it's colour. the Indians however inform me that it is white and that it's horns are lunated comprest twisted and bent backward as those of the common sheep. the texture of the skin appears to be that of the sheep. I am now perfectly convinced that the sheep as well as the Bighorn exist in these mountains

Meriwether Lewis

Mountain goat, Oreamnos americanus

White fur with thick, long hair

a peice of buffaloe's skin with the hair on, is usually put underneath the saddle; and very seldom any covering on the saddle. stirrups when used are made of wood and covered with leather.

Meriwether Lewis

Buffalo skin and Indian saddle

Buffalo robe on top of an Indian saddle

nothing to eate but Choke Cherries & red haws which act indifferent ways So as to make us Sick, dew verry heavy, my beding wet

William Clark

Columbia hawthorn, Crataegus columbiana

Red hawthorne berries