Narratives of Exploration and Adventure

By John Charles Frémont; Allan Nevins | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
From Great Salt Lake to Fort Vancouver*

SEPTEMBER 14, 1843. . . . We crossed the Roseaux, and encamped on the left bank, halting early for the pleasure of enjoying a wholesome and abundant supper, and were pleasantly engaged in protracting our unusual comfort when Tabeau galloped into the camp with news that Mr. Fitzpatrick was encamped close by us with a good supply of provisions-flour, rice, and dried meat, and even a little butter.

Excitement tonight made us all wakeful; and after a breakfast before sunrise the next morning, we were again on the road, and, continuing up the valley, crossed some high points of hills and halted to noon on the same stream, near several lodges of Snake Indians, from whom we purchased about a bushel of serviceberries,1 partially dried. By the gift of a knife I prevailed upon a little boy to show me the kooya plant, which proved to be Valeriana edulis. The root, which constitutes the kooya is large, of a very bright yellow color, with the characteristic odor, but not so fully developed as in the prepared substance. It loves the rich moist soil of river bottoms, which was the locality in which I always afterward found it. It was now entirely out of bloom, according to my observation flowering in the months of May and June.

In the afternoon we entered a long ravine leading to a pass in the dividing ridge between the waters of Bear River and the Snake River, or Lewis' Fork of the Columbia, our way being very much

____________________
*
From Frémont's Report on his second expedition. His party left Great Salt Lake September 12, 1843, moving out on the first stage "by nearly the same route which we had traveled in coming to the lake." Some matter on the country thus retraversed is omitted. The narrative is resumed September 14, with a passage which drives home Frémont's belief that the fertile Salt Lake Valley and Bear River Valley were eminently fitted for settlement. This passage, read and pondered by the leaders of the Mormons, was to have a great impact on American history.

-257-

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