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Undaunted Courage 7 Essay

982 words - 4 pages

As the expedition was traveling down the rivers west of the Rockies, men’s lives were endangered. The water of the river was moving so rapidly that it destroyed their canoes, their supplies and their goods. Old Toby, an Indian guide who traveled with the expedition for pay, was so afraid of the rushing water that he ran away. When he took off he forgot his profit, so the Captains asked a horseman, Twisted Hair from the Nez Perce tribe, to inform Old Toby to come back to be paid. The Nez Perce Indians was the largest and strongest tribe in the Pacific Northwest. They always caught plenty of game and had a huge amount of horses. As the expedition moved from the Rockies to the coast, the waters started to change. The Columbia river contained more rapids and the water of the Great Falls was more violent. The next set of falls they came across was called The Dalles. The Dalles looked bad and had boiling and disastrous water. Resulting in the bad water, the men had to walk by land carrying the important items, while the men who swam carried the heavier and less important items. The Chinook Indians approached the captains and the Corps on their canoes with a supply of deer meat, cakes and bread to give to the men. In return, the men gave medals to the chiefs and trinkets to the other Indians as a form of thank you. After they started off on good terms, the expedition and the Chinook Indians began to get along very well. On the morning of November 7th, after the fog cleared the skies, Clark shouted, “Ocian in view! O! the joy.” (pg. 310). Despite the bad weather, the men rushed to the canoes and paddled enthusiastically in the direction of the Pacific Ocean.
A few days later the expedition was back in misery. Their clothes had gotten all wet from a storm that threw river’s water everywhere, and also destroying their robes and leather. The strong wind turned into a horrible storm that water nearly drowned the men. To add on to their misery was the stealing of their rifles. The men spent the night with five Chinooks and while they were still sleeping, the Indians stole their rifles. The next day the Indians returned them when Lewis and his party gave off threatening gestures. Lewis and his men liked the Clatsops Indians better because they were not known to be thieves. The great hospitality and land of the Clatsops helped the expedition decide where they wanted to stay for the winter. The Clatsops lived on land that was close to plenty of water, shelter, and a lot of food. The expedition also decided to stay there for the winter because they believed that it was a good chance that a “trading vessel” (pg. 315), would arrive and help their supply problems. Life at Fort Clatsop was almost a struggle. the winds were extremely...

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