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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The canoes safely pass several Clearwater River rapids. At the Potlatch River, a canoe hits a rock, turns sideways, and fills with water. With the help of the Nez Perce, the men are rescued and most of the cargo is recovered.

a cloudy morning

William Clark

The day proved warm.

Joseph Whitehouse

Clearwater River below Cherrylane, Idaho

Smooth river reflecting fall colors

The Current of the River has run rapid the most part of the way this day, & in some places we found the River very deep.

Joseph Whitehouse

Clearwater River below Lenore, Idaho

Rapids, high hills, and clouds

We passed by large Clifts of rocks & naked hills lying on both sides of the River.—

Joseph Whitehouse

Clearwater River below Myrtle, Idaho

Cliffs and brown hills reflected in still water

We passed Several Encampments of Indians on the Islands and those near the rapids in which places they took the Salmon

William Clark

Clearwater River island at Cottonwood Creek

Small pine tree on a river island

passed 15 rapids four Islands and a Creek on the Stard Side
the men, Several of which Could not Swim hung on to the Canoe

William Clark

Potlatch River (Colter's Creek) entering the Clearwater River

Small river entering among round river rocks

as we were descending a rocky rapid at the foot of an Island on which were some Indian camps, One of our Canoes struck a rock, and wheeled round, where she again Struck another rock and Cracked the bottom of it, & was near splitting in two; & threw the Man who was steering her overboard, but he with great difficulty got to her again

Joseph Whitehouse

Clearwater River below the Potlatch River

Small rapid in the Clearwater River

This Canoe soon filled with water & hung on the rock in a perilous situation. Some of the Men on board of her, could not swim; & those Men that could, had no chance of saving themselves, the Waves ran so high, and the current was so rapid, that they must have been dashed against Rocks that lay below them a short distance & in all probability must have drownded.

Joseph Whitehouse

Clearwater River above Arrow Beach

Large rapid in a small river

It was very fortunate for those Men, that an Indian who saw their situation from the Island we passed last, came to their assistance with a small Canoe & One of our Canoes went also, & took out some of the loading & landed it safe on the Shore.

Joseph Whitehouse

Island in the Clearwater River opposite the Potlatch River

Rocky island in a choppy river

Our party were all rejoiced at the fortunate escape that the Men made that were in the Canoe, & think that nothing but the Interference of providence was the occasion.

Joseph Whitehouse

Clearwater River sunset

Sun setting on fall-colored trees on the Clearwater River