Crossing the Indian Country, 1804 1806
 
What was Known? 1804 Mandan Winter Salish Rescue Nez Perce Refuge Chinook Country Columbia River Two Dead Blackfeet New Indian Experts
 

 
 

Guides on the River

The expedition’s Nez Perce hosts quickly guided them to their riverfront villages. In particular, Twisted Hair took the Americans under his wing. He helped the captains locate a stand of ponderosa pine, and work crews soon began carving the trees into dugout canoes. The Americans worked swiftly, with Patrick Gass noting in his journal that they had adopted “the Indian method of burning out” the interior of the logs.

Twisted Hair and another Nez Perce man traveled with the Americans when they pushed off in their new canoes on October 7. The Nez Perces clearly saw the advantage of linking themselves to these strangers as they entered the territory of the powerful trading tribes downriver.

"Moonlight on the Western Waters," in Lewis and Clark's Journal to the Rocky Mountains in the Years 1804-5-6; as related by Patrick Gass, one of the officers in the expedition, 1847.

Edward S. Curtis. “Nez Perce Dugout Canoe,” from North American Indian Portfolio, 1907-1930.

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