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From: William H. Ashley Papers, Missouri Historical Society, St Louis, MO.

The Diary of Willam H. Ashley, March 25 - June 27, 1825

Thursday 25 March 1825 we ascended the vallie west and crossed a gap in a mountain bg N & S and at the distance of 3 or 4 miles Entered a beautifull vallie of a sercular form - having seen the sign of many beaver on a small Stream running through it we Encamped on the same for the purpose of Setting some traps which was done by four men - our course to day (about 8 1/2 miles) was W.

Friday 26th March we continued our course W across the vally and camped on The principal fork of the Platt distant about 8 miles where it bears W S W. - clear & cold

Saturday 27th Cloudy cold windy morning we traveled W to day about 12 miles and Encamped on a small Stream coming from the cliffs of the principal river the country here being Entirely destitute of wood our only fuel sage

Sunday 28th Cold and clair. we traveled to day 6 miles N W over high river cliffs. The country was such as to prevent me from continuing my course W The principal branch of the river bg S W & N E distant from this camp about 5 miles The country generally - is becoming very much cut to pieces by ravines or dry hollers some of the vallies are verry fertile but their driness renders them unfit for cultivation - Snow is so common that I have omitted to note its falling at least two days out of Three

Monday 29th Clear & cold the forenoon after noon cloudy with some snow we travelled about 18 miles W N W. over a high level country the head waters of the Platt. we crossed at the distance of ten mile from camp, a creek Bearing N & S south of which crossing a high mountain bore [strikeout: South] N distant about 6 miles. between This mountain and one W the creek appeared to pass we Encamped on a small creek bg N E without wood our fuel Sage water scarce although the remaining snow is dayly melting-

Tuesday 30thwe traveled about 8 miles W over a valley in which are several ponds of water detached mountains Northwardly a few miles - low ridges southwardly - and at the distance of about twenty miles west mountains appearing detached - This would be a difficult Country to travel through at any other time than when the snow was melting as it would be entirely destitute of water is a poor grass country Entirly a bed of sand The only fuel small sage.-

Wednesday 31st traveled about 12 miles West and Encamped on high sand flat in the same valley in which we camped yesterday - the water made by the melting of the snow runs but a short distance and makes numerous ponds all over this country such is its situation that it is impossible to ascertain its decent. mountains on the north in detached heaps bg E & W about 20 miles and from all appearances a regular chain bg N & south about 20 miles now visible on the south or S W. this country is almost destitute of grass the only food for horses wild sage & salt weed which they will not Eat untill they are almost in a State of Starvation from the want of food one of mine were left to day and many so feeble that it is with difficulty they can be got along -

Thursday Apl. 1st we traveled 6 miles west over low flat ground the same valley that we have been in for some days mountains 15 or 20 miles bS N W and southwardly a beautifull vally about 40 miles wide bg S W & N E the decent W W [sic] which I suppose Empty its waters in the ones for which I am in serch-

Friday 2nd Apl. traveled W 10 miles over sand hills and on the borders of ponds made by the melting of snow

Saturday 3rd.traveled about 12 miles West along the border of a ridge of sand which appears to continue for many miles bg E &W - 2 or 3 miles wide

Sunday 4th having found yesterday some grass we moved our camp to day about one mile N where we remained the day for the benefit of our horses - A detached mountain bS W. about 10 miles where I went [interlined: the 5th] for the purpose of taking a view of the adjacint country - while there was discovered & followed by a party of (as I suppose) snake Indians who stole from me 17) Seventeen of my best horses

[Written in margin: remained at this camp 2 days].

monday 6th followed the trail of the Indians about 8 miles West recovered two of the horses which had been so severly traveled as not to be able to proceed farther. The Indians change their course northwardly.

Tuesday 7th proceedd one mile & Encamped followed the Indian trail over high hills in the direction of a mountain clothed with pine bg N 20 or 30 miles - having ascertaind from an arrow found an other appearances that the rogues are Snake Indians returned to camp and prepared to follow them tomorrow

Wednesday 8th Sent 9 men in persuit of the Indians and proceeded with the ballance N about 8 miles over a verry hilley country mountains bg N about 20 miles distant and others S W and W about 50 miles -

Thursday 9th traveled about 3 miles down a ravine N found some grass for the horses. & Encamped Mr. Ham and myself continued down the ravine several miles to Explore the country - but could not ascertain any thing satisfactory relative to the waters of the Shetkedee - we returned to camp late in the afternoon

Friday 10th last night two of my horses were Stolen by Indians they were however so indeferent That I did not attempt to recover them we proceeded West down a small creek about 6 miles & Encamped where we had tolerable good grass for the horses-

Saturday 11th descended the creek as mentioned West [i.e., Northwest] about 5 miles & Encamped the country west becomes more Even mountains Northwardly bg S E & N W and Westwardly N E & S W distant about 10 miles on the north & 20 [30?] on the West I have neglected to note the weather - for some days - the 1, 2 3, 4, 5, & 6th of this month was cold & disagreeable Snow more or less Each day - Snow on the 9th Clear & pleasant this day-

Sunday 12th Clear & cold & traveled North toward a high rugged mountain at 3 miles crossed Creek Running W - at the distance of 7 miles camped on a Creek running S W - 20 feet wide where camped the country high, broken & sandy

monday 13 decended the creek one mile S W and Encamped - Explored the country N to the mountain discovered a Creek on which are willows & some old beaver sign

Tuesday 14th Clear & cool - West 6 miles over a high flat Country Sandy Soil. wind river - mountain as discovered to day by the return of the men who went in persuit of the horses bS N W & S E, distant about 15 miles - camped on a Small creek on which is willows discoverd to day a Creek on which is large timber bg N & S The men who went after the horses followed them to Sweet water & found that they had been taken by a party of Crows, who finally made their Escape with Them -

Wednesday 1st Crossed to the timbered Creek S W about 6 miles decended the same 2 miles & encamped on it Cold disagreeable day the snow fell about 9 inches deep - high sandy country.

Thursday 16thThe snow continues with high winds we remain at this camp to day in consequence of the weather

Friday 17th proceeded down the creek south 8 miles at 4 miles distant another creek formed a junction with this cold snowy day -

Saturday 18th It continued to snow the wind to blow and the weather verry cold. We traveled S W about 8 miles and camped on the Creek we left in the morning & it had joined another - of considerable size and is well timbered with cotton wood bS W. The country has become more hilly and much washed in deep holes The snow discontinued later in the afternoon

Sunday 19th We left the creek which turned South traveled west 6 miles over a broken sandy country & came to the Shetkadee which bS S.E. & N W runs S E - is one hundred yards wide 4 to five feet deep with a rappid current - mountains bS N & westerly about 15 or 20 miles - And a range of mountains at a great distance say 40 or 50 miles southwardly - pleasant weather - game scarce Some fresh sign of beaver on this river and much old sign - timbered with long leaf cotton wood & small willow -

Monday 20th Continue at this camp for the purpose of making canoes to transport the packs down the river - Sent out 9 hunters to procure skins for the boats Late in the afternoon four of them returned without seeing [deleted: or falling] any Buffalloe - The men are and have been fer the last two days without any Thing to eat & they are becoming quite uneasy under the privation Some of the hunters brought in a horse which he found runing at large on the river bottoms - pleasant weather -

Tuesday 21st the 5 men sent to procure Skins arrived early this morning with six. with which we proceeded to make a boat. they also brought meat. the day is fine and our work advances rapidly -

Wednesday 22nd our boat 16 by 7 feet was finished this morning at 9 Ock A M, arrangements made for starting to make our hunt The following are the directions given to Mrs. Ham & Clyman who conduct Each a party, one of six; The other of five men - To wit That I will transport the goods and extra baggage down the river [deleted: at least 40] to some conspicuous point not less than 40 or 50 miles from this place should the rivr not pass will Make choice of the Entrance of some River that may Enter on the West side of the Shetskedee for a deposite should there be any such River, should the mountains through wich the river first passes be a less distance than we immagine, the deposit will be made on or near the river [interlined: a short distance] above the mountain at some suitable place - The place of deposite as aforesaid, will be The place of randavoze for all our parties on or before the 10th July next & that the place may be known - Trees will be pealed standing the most conspicuous near the junction of the rivers [deleted: If at the mouth of a river it] or above the mountain as the case may be-. Should such a point be without timber I will raise a mound of Earth five feet high or Set up rocks the top of which will be made red with vermillion thirty feet distant from the same - and one foot below the serface of the earth a northwst direction will be deposited a letter communicating to the parties any thing that I may deem necessary - Mrs C. & H will Each at a proper time apoint Each a man of their party to take charge of their business should by axident any thing occur to make it necessary.- The men so appointed will be informed of my arrangements, will, with their party proceed accordingly in the most carefull & best manner for my intrst - copies of the foregoing directions were delivered to Messrs Ham Cly. & Fitzpatrick, our boat launched and at 3 ock P. M The parties Started. Clyman with six men to the sources of the Shetskadee Ham [with seven men] - Westerly to a mountanous country That lay in that direction Fitzpatrick with 6 men southwardly & myself with 7 men Embarked on board the boat with all my goods and the extra baggage of the men, we decended the River a short distance and Encamped -

Thursday 23rd our boat answers the desired purpose greatly beyond my expectation it is Easily navigated & Carries as much again as I expected we decended the River to day about 3 [sic] miles 10 miles of which The river ran E. S. E. to a small Creek 30 yds wide 20 S E - high broken country on Each side the bodirs of the river Wooded with Cotton wood & willow

Friday 24th finding the boat inconvenient for hunting and from The bulk of the cargo The men much confined, I stoped to day Killed four buffaloe and made another boat while so Engaged Fitzpatrck & his party arrived supplied themselves with meat and they proceeded on down the river dark, cool, windy day

Saturday 25th we finished and launched our canoe at 9 Ock this morning and proceeded down the river 12 miles its general direction S E but verry croked - high broken country on Each side the bottoms have less timber on them & are becoming smaller - yesterday while attempting to get ahead of a Wounded buffaloe I fell from the side of a clift and brused my side which gives me to day some pain - clear pleasant day -

Sunday 26th I never suffered from bodily pain as much as the last night and until 9 Ock this morning from the bruise I recd - in consequence of my indisposition we did not Start this morning until 11 Ock we decended the river about 20 miles at six miles distant a small creek about 30 feet wide Entered on the E side bg E & W this creek I called City creek from the appearance of the Country about its Junction - from this point the river [interlined: its general course] runs W. S W to this days Encampment meandering through mountains which confine it on both sides the bottoms are verry small on which there is but little timber - Clear pleasant day -

Monday 27th South 2 miles 55 W 65 1 to a handsome river 40 yds wide rapid current Entering on the W side N W & S E here the mountains become much lower and indeed for some distance down the river do not deserve the name of mountains - no large groth of timber on the bottoms which are verry small at 2 miles below the tributary stream we Encamped for the night Considerable appearance of Beaver - Set 18 traps

Thursday 28th we did not travel to day in consequence of my indisposition 4 beaver were taken last night - Sent 2 men with traps down the river on the West side - Cloudy, windy unpleasant day

Wednesday 29th decended the river two miles where Fitzpatck & party were Encamped directed them to Encline towards the mountain bg Southwardly where in all probability he would find a small river running along the mountain continued down the river south about 6 miles & Encamped where I had a part of my property cashed and where my indisposition caused me to remain two days - warm pleasant day -

Deposited in cash a above Randavouze creek

Thursday 30 fine pleasant day but was so sick as not to be able to Enjoy it

Friday May 1st 1825. late in the afternoon the cashed was compleated and my health much better we continued our voyge down the river south about four miles & Encamped pleasant weather - the river bottoms have become much larger and covered with green grass but verry little large timber -

Saturday 2nd May proceeded down the river about 6 miles and & Encamped in a beautiful bottom where I made sigh for the different parties to Randavouze, considerable beaver sign - Caught 7 beaver - I left 3 men to set traps the following night - pleasant weather - , the river is uncomonly crooked but its general course about south -

Sunday 3rd decended the river - about 4 miles & Encamped at the Entrance of a [s]mall creek on the West Side which bs. E & W its 60 feet wide, decends (as I expected when directing Fitzpatrck), along the foot of a high snow covered mountain through which the principal river passes commencing at This place - there is much beaver sign on the small river, beautefull bottoms on which is a considerable small willow (and some distance above) large timber - finding this a much more suitable place for a Randavouze I have made marks indicative of my intention to Randavouze here & in consequence of which have given the [interlined: creek the] name of Randavouze Creek The Mountains around present a variety of senery alltogether exceedingly gloomy they are mostly covered with a verry small groth of pine, some of them in ma[n]y places appear to be Entire rock & which has undergone severe fire the gap through which the river Enters particularly which appears hardly large Enough to contain the Water - Windy unpleasant weather

Monday 4th Continue here to day for the purpose of exploreing the small river and setting some traps thereon for Beaver - last night was exceedingly stormy with some rain & snow -

Tuesday 5th We proceeded down the river which is closely confined between two verry high mountains, about ten miles the river is verry crooked its general course to day S S E, at 7 miles Entered a small creek on the West side about thirty feet wide bg E & W. rappid current bottoms were there with willow burch box Elders &c and from all appearances there are many beaver on its head - These mountains present a most gloomy scene They are Entire rock generally of a redish appearance, they rise to the hight of from 2 to 4000 feet out of their Crevices grows a Species of dwarf pine & Ceder the only timber upon them, they are on the one side or other of the river perpendicular or projecting over - on the othur side so steep & rugged as to prevent the passage of a man over them - the rocks that fall in the river from the walls of the mountan make the passage in some places dangerous - windy unpleasant weather

[Compass Courses - May 5]

Randevouze  Red mou[ntain?]
W 1/2     W 3/4
S 1/2          S 1/2
E 3/4          S E 1
S E 1/2   S W 1/2 to creek bg E & W -
S W 3/4        S 1/2
E 1 1/2   camp 

Wednesday 6th continud our voyge at 1 /2 miles Enters a small creek on the W side the river becomes more confined by the Mountains and the obstructions by rocks in the passage so great as almost to prevent our passage down it - at ten miles there is a fall of 10 or 15 feet in the distance of 150 feet caused by the mountains given away and throughing rock from 20 to 40 feet in diameter Entirely across the river, it is not passable for boats of any description here we performed a portage of 100 yards, reloaded our canoes and proceeded down the river about 2 miles farther & Encamped The afternoon was cold & stormy considerable snow during the night -

[Compass Courses - May 6]

E 3   1/2 mile to creek W 3/4
ENE 1/2                 S 1/2
North                   E 1
S E 1/2                 S E 1/2
E 1/2                   E 1 1/2 falls 1/2
NE 1/2                  S E 3/4 camp & creek 
E 1 1/2

Thursday 7th Cold Stormy Snowy morning we decended the river to day about 25 miles its general course S E The mountain continued verry high & rugged until the last five miles when they then became much lower - the channel of the river is yet confined no low ground or timber we passed several places where it was Extremely dangerous but recd. no Injury except shiping considerable quantities of water & wetting our baggage An Indian road passes along the north bank of the river from [interlined: the appearance of] an Encampment we supposed a party of 100 or more has passed along the road about a month since

[Compass Courses - May 7]

S E 1/2                E 1/2
S 1/2                  S 1/2
S E 1/2                E 3 1/2  Indian road
S S E 1/2              S 1 1/2
S 3/4                  S 3/4
E 1/2                  W 1/2
E S E 3/4              S E 1/2
S 1/2                  E 1/2
E 2 -                  S 1/2
S E 3/4                E 1/2
E 1/2                  S E 1/2
S 1/2                  S 1 -
E 1/2                  S E 1/2 mile
S E 1/2                S 1  -
E 1/2                  E 2 - East
S E 1/2                S 1/2-
                       S W 1 -  

Friday 8th 3 miles Enters a verry small branch on the N side there the mountains withdraw to the distance of an half mile from the river and the bottoms Enlarge in which are small Willows - we decended the river about ten miles E S E & camped on the E bank -

Friday 8th [sic] proceeded down the river about 8 miles south, some large [deleted: timber] cotton wood of the sweet kind blustering weather with some snow & rain -

May 9th at 3 miles the river enters a third [second] mountain [Lodore Canyon] the bottom above which is an Encampment where some thousands of Indians wintered. Their camps were principally in the thick willows & covered with the bark of cedar oposite & Just below the Encampment on the E side of the river above the mountain Enters a small creek 20 [25?] feet wide E & W: has on it willows and some large timber - did not examine it for Beaver - The Channel of the river is more confined by this than the mountain above the walls of the mountain are perpendicular on Each side of the river and from three to 4000 feet high of a reddish colour the channel [interlined: of the river] is much obstructed by rocks which make it exceedingly dangerous to decend in the distance of six miles from the Entrance I had to perform two portages one of 50 the other 250 yards - we Encamped after making about 12 miles S S W - Raw [? wind ?] unpleasant weather

May 10th mended our canoes which had recd considerable injury yesterday and proceeded down the river - at the distance of 2 miles the river becam so verry bad that we were unable to proceed with our canoes loaded we discharged them and performed a portage of half mile which in consequence of the roughness of the side of the mountain along which we were obliged to pass made it extremely difficult and tedious - these may be well called the Rocky mountains for there is nothing but mountains of rocks to be seen partially covered with a dwarf groth of cedar & pines - violent wind with snow & rain

May 11th The portage of yesterday consumed the whole [interlined: of that] day a short distance below this passage is an other of a quarter of a mile the road for the [deleted: men] porters is much more difficult than that of yesterday - we decended the river [interlined: to day] about 4 miles S W and have 5 portages to perform - at many of these places the river is not more than forty or 50 yards wide Roling over rocks with [deleted: tremendous] [interlined: great] violence some of my men are the most skilfull of watermen or I could not have proceeded at all Even with the Empty canoes we are now destitute of provisions and know not when we shall be able to get where we can supply ourselves -

Tuesday 12th may Our boats recd considerable injury yesterday in passing over rocks. they had this morning to undergo some repares which was completed by 11 Ock when we continued our voyge - we did not proceed more than a mile before we had to perform a portage of 150 yds. which were followed by two others in the distance of two miles the last was the most difficult we have had in the distance of about 300 yards the fall is at least 50 feet our boats as well as cargo had to be taken over the rocks out of the water about 100 yards then let down with ropes to the [deleted: lower end of] foot of the fall this portage had to be performed along the side of a mountain wher it was almost impossible for a man to pass without any burthen. This days progress 3 miles was S W - cool clear weather -

Wednesday 13th. may We reloaded our canoes and decended the river about 8 miles where another River Enters on the south side bg. E & W nearly or quite as large as The one of our decension we performed no portages to day but there are Several dangerous Rapids from our camp [deleted: to the entrance of the] Junction of these rivers here is a remarkable bend in the river a point of the mountain runs for a mile not wider than 50 or 100 yd N & S and the river runs immediately round it in the bend on the south side Enters a small creek N & S the mountain at this point changes Colour to a light sand or nankeen colour and gradually declines there are some small [?] bottoms and some sign of beaver - I call This the river Entering on The south side Mary's River on which is some sign of beaver it no dout heads in the N. E. and has many beaver on it - at the second bend to the left is a verry considerable fall The river is remarkably crooked rapid and dangerous general course from the Junction of the rivers S W - we made this day about 25 miles and encamped on the N Bank. where the mountain with draws on that side from the river to the distance of an half mile, there are some Islands and Small bottoms well timbered with thrifty cotton wood of the sweet kind - here is the first fresh buffalloe sign we have seen for some days indeed since we Entered the 2nd mountain great abundance of Elk we saw last night about 100 Buffalloe but could not kill any, they having got the wind of us, we were so Exosted with the fatiegue of portages and the tediousness of our progress that we crossed many dangerous places [deleted: yesterday] This day without examining them previously and others when in the draft there was no possibility of landing - In passing of the most of them we shiped considerable water - but met with no serious injury - fine pleasant day - my men in fine spirits although nothing to Eat -

May 14th Thursday we proceeded Early for the purpose of getting something to Eat which we accomplished after going about 3 miles - I killed a Buffalo [deleted: in consequence of the many dangerous rapids our progress this day was not more than 6 or 7 miles S W the river is very crooked and the mountains continue verry high and Steep we had one portage to perform of about 100 yds where we Encamped for the night. Clear pleasant weather - ] at 4 miles mountains on Each side of the river and the river again confined to a verry narrow Channel here commences a consider[able] Fall which has continued about six miles where we Encamped general course of the River S W - after we had proceeded on these falls about four miles They became more dangerous, and we with difficulty Effected a landing for the purpose of examining them lower down - I with one man performed that duty as far as the mountain would permit - although The fall continued and the waves were verry high I concluded to proceed with the boats believing that should the river become impassable or more dangerous, that we could discover it, and land the boats - but after proceeding about one and a half mil[e]s we discovered at the distance of about 4 or 6oo yards by the motion of the water &c a verry [deleted: considerable] great & dangerous fall and attempt was immediately made to land the large boat (the small one being in the rear a considerable distance and had fortunate[ly] capsised which had detained here untill the information relative to this fall was communicated to the men) but we were already in the draft to land was imposible I discovered from the appearance of the rocks that our only way [interlined: & that doubtfull] to avoid immedeate destruction was to lay the boat straight with the current and pass in the middle of the river I directed the stearsman accordingly my orders were obeyed & the men performed their duty handsomely, but soon after Entering the heavy billows our boat filled with water but did not sink she was in that situation th[r]own against a rock at or near the foot of the falls, and near a large Eddy, to which by the rock she was inclined and Entered, two of the most active men then leaped in the water took the cables and towed her to land Just as from all appearance she was about making her exit and me with her for I cannot swim & my only hope was that the boat would not sink - the cargo recd great injury some articles Entirely lost & others greatly damaged fortunately I had my powder so secured with bear skins that it was but little injured

[Compass Courses]
May 14th

NW 1/2                   W 1/2
W 1/4                    S W 3/4 mountans on both sides
S 1/2                    S1 -
S E 2 mile 2 - Buffaloe  S W 1 -
E 1/2                    W 1/2
S 3/4                    S W 1/4 fall where we filled 

we were detained there drying the cargo untill [interlined: the afternoon of] Friday the 15th when we again proceeded the falls continued but we had no alternative but to decend & with out a knowledge of what was at any considerable distance before us for the walls of the mountain Extended to the edge of the water and them impassable in the distance of three miles we passed several dangerous places where we shiped considerable water and at about 6 miles (when we Encamped for the night. we had a short portage of about 100 yds to perform - fine pleasant weather the mountains declines -

[Compass Courses]
May 15

W 1/2             S W  1 -
S W 1/2           W 1 1/2 portage 100 yds 
W 1 -

Saturday 16th. may - Embarked & proceeded Early the river rapid but not at all dangerous at 3 miles the mountains withdraw from Each side of the river and bottoms of considerable size Well timbered. the river is remarkable crooked general course S W we decended this day about ten miles and Encamped at the Entrance of a bold Stream on the N. Side N W & S E about 40 feet wide its bottoms are timbered with small willow and some large Cotton wood about 3 miles above this Creek Enters another of about [deleted: Equal] [interlined: the same] Size and appearance & on the oposite side about half way between thes two Enters anothr [deleted: on the] South side [deleted: 5 W] N W & S E. - high hills on the south and mountains covered with snow at the distance of 2 or 3 miles on the N -

[Compass Courses]
May 16th

W 1/4                      N 1 1/2
S1/2                       N W 1 1/2
S E 1  - mountain declines W 1/2
S 1 1/2                    S W 1 1/2 river N [interlined: Side] 40 yds
S W 1 - [properly: S E]        wide  bg  N & S
W 1 -                      S S W [properly: 55 E]
N W 1                      1 - river S side 50 yds bg N W & S E
W 2 [properly: S]          S 1 1/2
N W 1                      S W 3 - 

Sunday 17th - we remain at the Entrance of the Creek to day to procure meat having understood from two Frenchmen who we met last night that the country below for a great distance is Entirely destitute of game, These men with 20 or 30 others crossed the Country from Toues 4 of whom decended the river in a canoe but finding it so verry dangerous and destitute of game returnd they give a lamentable account of their voyge - they had to live on the skins of beaver which they had [deleted: with them] caught in this neighbourhood. They also inform me that the Indians generally in this country are [deleted: a] hostile desposed and have killed & robed [deleted: a] 15 or 20 men who were from the neighbourhood of St Louis having procured sufficient meat we on [deleted: the]

monday 18th decended the river about 2 miles where we made a cache and deposited the greater part of my goods - the bottoms are well timbered with Sweet cotton wood & small willow [deleted: the bottoms] they afford good wintering grounds -
[Compass Course]

18th May

W 2 - [properly: 1 S, 2 W]

Cash No. 2

about 2 miles below the 2nd little river Entering on the N side after the 3rd mountain Just below say 1/2 mile of a large Island on the left bank at the foot of a small bare [i.e., bar?] a cotton wood tree 10 inches in diameter - Standing alone is about 50 yds above it and immedeately North of it near the bank of the river are two cluster of Bushes the cashe is about 60 feet from the waters Edge N W of two little prickly bushes say 4 feet

from The cash we decended the river [interlined: on the 19th] about ten miles to the entrance of a smaller river on the N. bank thirty feet wide bg N W & S E, great appearance of Buffalloe & Elk - pleasant weather general course of the river to day West but verry crooked one bend of six miles around is not more than 2-yd. across -

[Compass Courses]
May 19th

West 1  -  cache  S W 1
W N W 2-          W 1
N W 1             W N W 1
S 3/4             N W 1
S E 1-            N 

May 20th Wednesday We descended the river to day about 12 miles general course S W but verry crooked - The bottoms have become large as well as The river, and are Well timbered with Sweet cotton wood The mountains are at the distan[c]e of about 5 miles on Each side the river to which there is a high broken country. [deleted: at and a short distance above] The Cotton wood trees are in these bottoms sufficiently large for canoes, or perogues great appearance of game but none of consequence immediately on the river - This river over flows its bottoms from the place of my Embarcation to this - [deleted: place] - pleasant weather -

[Compass Courses]

S 2               S E 1
W 2 1/2           S W 1/2 Beautifull country
S W 1/2           W 1  -
S 2 -             N W 2 1/2 well timbered on both sides river -
W 2               W 1
S 1               S W 2 

Thursday 21 proceeded about 4 miles to the Entrance of a River about 30 y wide on the north side the Indian name of this River is Tewinty, Bg N & S - about two miles farther to the wintering place of Mess. Provo &c There found a paper directing his hunters who were in the mountains trapping to decend the river 6 miles where they would find Mr. La clare with articles for them. I consequently decended to that place but unfortunately found that they had left their camp - in pursuit of game as there is none in this neighbourhood - having reason to believe that they would not return sooner than 6 or 8 days, I cached [deleted: my] the cargo of my Canoes and [interlined: get 12 miles - ] on Friday May 22nd proceeded down the river in a wood canoe with three of my men & sent the other 3 to procure game by our return - my object is to find Indians of whom I can procure horses and ascertain the true situation of the country described as so verry mountanous and barren - notwithstanding the the unfavourable account given of the Country we had to Enter it without provisions - warm day S W. 6 miles

Saturday 23rd. last Evening one of the men killed a goose which boiled gave us a good supper we decended to day about 12 miles find the Country a barren heap of rocky mountains - could not kill any thing to Eat found a fresh Indian trail and appearance as if they had Camped & hunted in this Neighbourhood for some days

Sunday 24th may followed some of the Indian roads on which they have Just passed and ascertained that a party were ascending the river I directed the men to return with the Canoe as expediceously as possible - and I followed the hillier [?Indian ?] road, but finding it to pass over such rugged ground was compeled to leave it and select the best way to travel to the place where I had appointed to meet the 3 men sent in persuit of game - every diligence were used by all to procure game without success. we were again this day without any thing to eat

Monday 25th. may. left camp Early with a view of reaching our rendavoze to day two men by land and two by water, determin[ed] to shoot beasts or birds of any kind for food if in our power to do so with all our Exertions nothing was killed - late in the afternoon discovered The trail of foot and horsemen who had but a few hours passed and from all appearances had been in serch of me. followed the trail till night without finding the people.

next morning [interlined: Tuesday 26th] about 10 ock [sic] met with one of the party a Snake Indian he met me with great familiarity and Ease as much so as if he had been accustomed to being with white men all his life calling aloud American, I answered in the affirmative he then advanced and extended his hand, and by signs asked many questions to wit how many men were with me. where they were and [deleted: what was] [interlined: the] object of our persuit in this country all of which I gave him to understand by signs - after passing about an hour with me during which time I made Enquiries relative to The Country Westwardly, his knowledge of any white men in the Country &c &c he departed with a view notifying a band of his nation to which he belonged and who were not more than a days march from my camp of my situation, and to Endeavour to induce them to bring and sell me 7 horses of which I informed him I was in want

The Next day Wednesday May 27th I arrived at the place appointed to meet the men sent to kill Buffaloe, as well as The band of Indians & late in the afternoon two Indians arrived to inform me that in consequence of the mountanous situation of the Country that the Lodges would not arrive sooner than three days; and requested that I would wait their arrival that they would supply me with 6 horses, I consented to wait, the Indians remained until the next morning - [interlined: Thursday 28th] and then started to assist & hurry their [deleted: band] tribe [?] during the last two days we have lived on fish we caught with hooks & lines we find them of an excellent kind of a different Speeces to any that I ever before have seen similar in appearance to our pike They have but few scales or bones, those of which we caught were from one to two feet long, the[y] appared quite a curiosity to the Indians - I shewed them how they were caught & gave Each one a hook & line with which they were much pleased - The country below so far as I decended is an Entirely mountains of rock destitute of timber (Except [interlined: in places] on the border of the river) grass or game, although I was notified that game could not be had in it I expected to find as I had Every day in decending the river found [?] geese sufficient for our subsistance, but to my supprise and regret not one was to be seen - The weather is becoming warm and the musketoes troublesome, of the latter - we may expect (from their Early appearance) an abundant supply this summer -

Names of Animals &[c] in Ute Language

mountain sheep
[deleted: wood] Cottonwood
[probably meaning: This, That or It]
do - ower
[probably meaning: Axe]
Buff robe
Nunke [Nimke?]
[probably: Pow-rah, Indian Tobacco]
[possibly: Pan-a-mah-gerinump, Finger Rings]
Friday 29th [written over 28th] May Some of the Indians arrived last Evening with their families others Early this morning. I invited their cheifs & Warriors to smoke informed them That I wanted to purchase 7 horses & shewed them the goods that I would give for them. They expressed satisfaction at the liberal offer made them, but such is the use [?] that the[y] make of their horses and the value the[y] set on them that I with difficulty purchased two - they expressed great friendship for the Americans & their conduct verrify their professions, I was much supprised at the appearance of these people I expected to find them a poor lifeless set of beings, destitute of the means or desposition to defend themselves; alarmed at the sight of a white man but to the contrary, They met me with great familiarity and Ease of manner were clothed in mountain sheep skin & Buffalloe robes superior to any band of Indians in my knowledg west of Council B[l]uffs - have a great number of good horses & about the one half, well armed with English fuseeze others with bows & arrows Tomahawks & a number of them were ornamented with perl & sea shels which they informed me the[y] purchased from Indians who lived on the borders of a great lake, none of them have been to the Pasific nor have they an Idea of its extent farther than 40 or 50 miles - finding that I should not be able to get more horses from these people I made my arrangements to start the next mor[n]ing to a camp of 6 frenchmen about 6 miles distant where I was in hopes to procu[re] more horses accordingly on

Saturday the 30th. may I proceeded to the camp of Frenchmen from whom I purchased three horses - and on Sunday the 1st June I started up the river Euwinty about 24 [i.e., 14?] miles & Encamped for the night where I wated the arrival of one of the french men who proposed to purchase some of the good I had with me. -

June 1st & 2nd was Consumed in preperations for my Journey. I purchased 3 horses more making 5 altogether and on

Tuesday June 3rd. Set out for the river Columbia after traveling about ten miles Encamped for the Night as one of my horses appeared verry sick -

The next morning Wednesday June 4th Started Early - and as we were without meat Sent a hunter forward to hunt traveled about 12 miles & Encamped - the hunter killed an Elk & I wounded another but they being on the opposite of the river neither could be had - our course these two day was W N W the river bottoms are wooded with Willow & Cotton wood the River is about 150 yds Wide rapped current [deleted: but] the navigation Clear of obstructions

June 5th Sent two men forward to hunt - proceeded about Eight miles [interlined: West] & Encamped no game was killed to day, my party begins to feel severly the want of food

Friday June 6th At 3 miles the river forks the differences in the see of the branc[h]es cannot be distinguished, I ascended the south branch - (I neglected to note two forks on the N Side one Enter at the distance of 12 miles from the mouth the other about 20 miles) The nothern branch bg N. E. & S. W the other west about a mile thence north 3 miles west 2 miles where an Indian path ascends a ravine or low place & which we persued - the path branc[h]es at an Encampment we followed the left path about 4 miles when it disappeared we then struck across & got in the one more south [i.e., north?] after traveling about 2 miles Encamped in the pine hIlls where we found some water in the head of a hollow This Country continues almost entirly destitute of game we have not been able to kill any thing the ravine above mentioned bg E & W.

Saturday June 7th Enclined to the north to strike a trail that goes direct to the lake on the head waters of the Columbia - after traveling 6 miles met Mr. Provo and party consisting of 12 men who informed me that Mr. Weber had wintered on the south Waters of the Columbia river & had heard of my being in the Country that he had gone over to green river in serch of me - having made an arrangement with Mr Provo for the transportation of my goods that were Cashed on green river to the Waters of the Columbia returned to the river we left yesterday morning and sent a man with them to raise the cache myself and party remained on this river until his return.

June 8,9 10 11th 12th 13 and until the 14th 2 O'ck was consumed wating the return of Mr. Provo and Endeavouring to kill meat sufficient to last us across the mountains but all our exertions to kill any game proved in vain during the time we caught 3 beaver - & fifteen or twenty fish on the arrival of Mr. Provo the 14th prerperations were made for our departure Early the next morning - Mr. Provo brought all our goods and the next morning 15th. we Set out Early traveled about twenty miles [interlined: W] and Encamped on a small branch of the Euwinty, mountanous country on both sides of our rout - to day two hunters killed Each an Antelope -

next morning June 16th we started Early and traveled 12 miles [interlined: W] to the river Euwinty which here bears N & S thence up the same about Eight miles & Encamped near the head of the river - the Mountain dividing the waters of the Lake River & Green Rivers Runs paralel with the river for these last Eight miles distant about 2 miles therefrom

June 17th [deleted: The sources of this river] we traveled over a beautifull fertile valley last Evening through which runs a great number of small streams of [interlined: spring] water This morning we crossed the mountain bg S W & N E and camped on a branch of the lake river bg E & W after making about 15 miles. The mountain is steep and difficult to ascend covered with quaking asp, Cedar, pine, &c &c our course to day was north.

the next morning June 18th we descended the small river on which we camped about 3 miles thence crossed [northwardly] to another of the same about 2 miles thence across a mountan & to a third river of considerable magnitude - [interlined: about Eight miles] not more than 100 feet wide but deep & verry rappid & difficult to cross this river bg E & W - its vallie fertile, thickly wooded with willow and some large timber, has on it a considerable number of beaver - we saw on the valley seven bear - with which I had like to of got in difficulty

we Encamped on the bank of the River & Early next morning June 19 crossed a beautiful fertile vally about six miles to small river about 60 feet wide deep & rappid current through this valley (as the one on the opposite side of the mountan) runs many beautiful spring branches - all those rivers run into the lake which is about 30 miles W of this rout our course yesterday & to day was North - we decended the river about 6 miles & Encamped on its bank near an Encampment of Eutaw Indians,

the next morning June 20th we continued to decend the river, at 8 miles distant Enters a small stream on the E side bg S E & N W. where we Encamped for dinner, then 3 miles farther down this river & Encamped for the night - our course to day was N W - I killed a mountain sheep & one Antelope. Polite a yellow man, killed an antelope,

finding that Johnson Guardner - & party [deleted: had] of whom we are now in serch had ascended the smalle river where we dined we on the 21 June returned and followed their trail, and after traveling about 8 miles East Encamped on the bank of the Creek - the mountans around us to day are not as lofty & rugged as we have had for many days - Buffalow have been here a few days past in great numbers but [deleted: from the Information of] they are traveling East to a mountain dividing these & the Green River waters -

we remain at this Encampment to day June 22nd to recruit some horses. Mr. Provo who went to the lake to trade with the Euteaw Indians returned last Evening

Early next morning June 23rd we continued up the Creek E N E and after traveling about 8 miles we Encamped for the night The hills are beautifully ornamented with grass and flowers - the former Resembling timothy of the most luxurant groth - the land both in the vallys & Hills are fertile a verry high & rugged mountain covered with Snow bg N E & S W, is about 10 miles south of This Encampment and in all probability is the mountain dividing the waters of [interlined: The] Lake river & Green river -

June 24 ascended the Creek on which we Encamped about 4 miles N E Thence Crossed the country N N E to a River running N - about 100 feet wide rappid current - the valley of which is about two miles wide, the borders of this river clothed with willow bitter cotton wood & Cedar - The Country over which we travelled to day is hilly but not so as to make it difficult to travel over - the grass is very fine and the soil generally rich - a mountain covered with snow bg N E & S W is about 10 miles distant South The weather is cold - about such as we have in the climate of St Louis the latter part of October - last night as well as several nights [deleted: before] preceeding Ice made in buckets of water in our Encampment an half inch Thick Encamped on this River for the night

Wednesday June 25th descended the river [deleted: about Eight miles] E N E 6 miles & N W 2 miles and Encamped for the night. the river here [deleted: bg] [interlined: runs] N W [deleted: and] it is about 40 yds wide, deep & rappid

The next morning Thursday June 26 we crossed the Creek and traveled E N E 6 miles to the ridge dividing the waters of green & Lake rivers thence E down a ravine about 10 miles where we found some water - and Encamped - the country here (and forward of us) has a dry white appearance - high hills and but little food for horses - great numbers of buffaloe have lately been through these hills but are now scarce they have traveled from the lake river over to green river -

Friday June 27th. we continued down the ravine N E about Eight miles where it turned E - has running water in it & small willows on its banks - at [?] 3 miles we Encamped on the bank of the Creek -