Lost in the Mountains
In the Weippe Prairie
Guides on the River
In the Wieppe Prairie
William Clark began distributing presents almost as soon as he stumbled onto Weippe Prairie. His Nez Perce hosts responded by feeding their guests. Soon a male chief invited them to his lodge, later taking him to the camp of Twisted Hair. Clark’s host drew him a map of the river system leading to the Pacific.
A Nez Perce story recorded a century after the explorers’ first visit adds a different perspective to this story of hospitality and diplomacy. In the early twentieth century, Wotollen, a grandson of one of the chiefs who played host to Clark, explained that when the Americans suddenly arrived, a woman named Watkuweis had urged her leaders not to hurt them. The story of her effort appears here.
Click here to read Wotollen's story.