Lewis and Clark Today Logo

On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

After waking up to several inches of snow, the Expedition crosses the plain on a slippery road. They descend below the snow line to Lawyer Creek near present Kamiah, Idaho. Preparations are made to hold a council.

the village of the broken arm as I have heretofore termed it consists of one house only which is 150 feet in length built in the usual form of sticks matts and dry grass. it contains twenty four fires and about double that number of families. from appearances I presume they could raise 100 fighting men.

Meriwether Lewis

Nez Perce village

Long lodge built with poles and skins and mats

Photo by Edward S. Curtis circa 1905 (altered).

the air keen and cold, the snow 8 inches deep on the plain

Meriwether Lewis

a large Lodge of Leather was pitched and Capt. Lewis and my Self was envited into it.

William Clark

Yakama teepee

Historic photo of a teepee in a field

Photo by Edward S. Curtis circa 1910.

at 4 in the afternoon we decended the hills to Commearp Creek and arrived at the Village of Tunnachemootoolt.

Meriwether Lewis

Lawyer Creek

Historic photo of small canyon and creek

Photo courtesy of Nez Perce National Historical Park, NEPE C33855.

after we had eaten a few roots we spoke to them as we had promised; and gave Tinnachemootoolt and Hohâstillpilp each a medal; the former one of the small size with the likeness of Mr. Jefferson and the latter one of the sewing medals struck in the presidency of Washington, we explained to them the desighn and the importance of medals in the estimation of the whites as well as the red men who had been taught their value.

Meriwether Lewis

Washington season medals

Three medals with a man sewing seeds, woman spinning yarn, and a man tending animals

Picture (altered) from Lewis and Clark Across the Divide by Carolyn Gilman. Smithsonian Books, page 101. ©2003 by the Smithsonian Institution with all rights reserved.

we had a fire lighted in this lodge and retired to it accompanyed by the Cheifs and as many of the considerate men as could croud in a circcle within it. here after we had taken a repast on some horsebeef we resumed our council with the indians which together with smoking the pipe occupyed the ballance of the evening.

Meriwether Lewis


Long lodge built with poles and skins and mats

Photo courtesy of Fort Walla Walla Museum.