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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Jefferson Peace Medal"
Includes ... Jefferson Peace Medal ... Oregon Historical Society ... Maryhill Museum ...
Image, 2007, Down the trodden path, St. Helens, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Copy, Jefferson Peace Medal, "down the trodden path", St. Helens, Oregon. Image taken February 17, 2007.


Jefferson Peace Medal ...
During the early times of the United States, "Peace Medals" were produced as a way the U.S. Government could express their good and peaceful intentions as early American explorers journeyed among the native tribes.

Several variations of Peace Medals exist, beginning with the George Washington administration. They were still popular in the early 1800s, at the time of President Jefferson's support of the Lewis and Clark journey. Peace medals continued until 1849, with only the image of the President changing.

The "Jefferson Peace Medal" was the first medal to portray a President. The face of the medal had a formal bust of President Jefferson in low relief, along with his name and the date he entered office. The reverse showed clasped hands and bore the motto "Peace and Friendship." The Jefferson medals were hollow as the sides were struck separately on thin planchets of silver and then joined by a silver band (administrations after Jefferson struck their medals out of solid silver).

Three sizes of Jefferson Peace Medals were made, with diameters of 4 inches (105 mm), 3 inches (75 mm), and 2 1/4 inches (55 mm).

Lewis and Clark took along 3 of the large Jefferson medals, 13 of the medium size, 16 small, and 55 of the "Washington Season Medals" (45-mm size, made during the second administration of George Washington, and depicted raising cattle, the sowing of wheat, and a woman using a spinning wheel). They presented the Medals to Native American chiefs along their route. One was presented to Chief Yellepit who lived near today's Walla Walla River and a small Medal was given to Chief Skamokawa who lived near the mouth of the Columbia River.

One large-size Peace Medal is believed to have returned with the men to St. Louis. On May 11, 1806, Lewis noted:

"... at 8 A. M. a cheif of great note among these people arrived from his village or lodge on the S. side of Lewis's River. this is a stout fellow of good countenance about 40 years of age and has lost the left eye. his name is Yoom-park'-kar-tim. to this man we gave a medal of the smal kind. those with the likeness of Mr. Jefferson have all been disposed of except one of the largest size which we reserve for some great Cheif on the Yellow rock river." [Lewis, May 11, 1806]

As the men did not encounter any Indians along the Yellowstone River, historians believe this medal may have returned to St. Louis with the explorers.

A copy of a Jefferson Peace Medal can be seen at St. Helens, Oregon embedded in a tile in their "down the trodden path" walk of Lewis and Clark. Another replica of the medal can be seen at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center museum, in Stevenson, Washington.


Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Reverse, Jefferson Peace Medal replica, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson, Washington. Image taken July 15, 2011.
Image, 2007, Down the trodden path, St. Helens, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Copy, Jefferson Peace Medal, "down the trodden path", St. Helens, Oregon. Image taken February 17, 2007.


"Peace Medals" along the Columbia River

Lewis and Clark made notes in their journals when they presented a Medal. They gave out 23 Medals (possibly 24) along the Columbia River between October 16, 1805, and April 29, 1806.

  • October 16, 1805, one medium and two small medals, given at the junction of the Snake River with the Columbia, today's Sacajawea State Park

    "... We halted above the point on the river Kimooenim to Smoke with the Indians who had collected there in great numbers to view us, here we met our 2 Chiefs who left us two days ago and proceeded on to this place to inform those bands of our approach and friendly intentions towards all nations &c. we also met the 2 men who had passed us Several days ago on hors back, one of them we observed was a man of great influence with those Indians, harranged them; after Smokeing with the Indians who had collected to view us we formed a camp at the point near which place I Saw a fiew pieces of Drift wood after we had our camp fixed and fires made, a Chief came from their Camp which was about ¼ of a mile up the Columbia river at the head of about 200 men Singing and beeting on their drums Stick and keeping time to the musik, they formed a half circle around us and Sung for Some time, we gave them all Smoke, and Spoke to their Chiefs as well as we could by Signs informing them of our friendly disposition to all nations, and our joy in Seeing those of our Children around us, Gave the principal chief a large Medal Shirt and Handkf. a 2nd Chief a Meadel of Small Size, and to the Cheif who came down from the upper villages a Small Medal & Handkerchief. ..." [Clark, October 16, 1805]


  • October 18, 1805, one medal, no size given, presented to a Chief while at camp at the location of today's Sacajawea State Park.

    "... Several Indian Canoes Come down & joind those with us, made a Second Chief by giveing a meadel & wampom I also gave a String of wampom to the old Chief who came down with us and informed the Indians of our views and intentions in a council ..." [Clark, October 18, 1805, first draft]

    "... This morning Cool and fare wind from the S. E. Six of the large Prarie cock killed this morning. Several canoes of Indians Came down and joined those with us, we had a council with those in which we informed of our friendly intentions towards them and all other of our red children; of our wish to make a piece between all of our red Children in this quarter &c. &c. this was conveyed by Signs thro: our 2 Chiefs who accompanied us, and was understood, we made a 2d Chief and gave Strings of wompom to them all in remembrance of what we Said ... " [Clark, October 18, 1805]


  • October 19, 1805, one small medal, to Chief Yellepit, chief of the Walla Walla tribe, while at their camp a Spring Gulch. No size was given in the journal entry for October 19th, however the journal entry of the April 27, 1806, indicates it was a small medal (see entry below). This medal may be the one today in the possession of the Oregon Historical Society (see more below).

    "... The great chief Yel-lep-pet two other chiefs, and a Chief of Band below presented themselves to us verry early this morning. we Smoked with them, enformed them as we had all others above as well as we Could by Signs of our friendly intentions towards our red children Perticular those who opened their ears to our Councils. we gave a Medal, a Handkercheif & a string of Wompom to Yelleppit and a String of wompom to each of the others. ..." [Clark, October 19, 1805]


  • October 24, 1805, one medal, no size given, presented at their camp near Horsethief Butte, Washington, just upstream from The Dalles, Oregon.

    "... I returned through a rockey open countrey infested with pole-cats to the village where I met with Capt. Lewis the two old Chiefs who accompanied us & the party & canoes who had all arrived Safe; the Canoes haveing taken in Some water at the last rapids. here we formed a Camp near the Village, The principal Chief from the nation below with Several of his men visited us, and afforded a favourable oppertunity of bringing about a Piece and good understanding between this chief and his people and the two Chiefs who accompanied us which we have the Satisfaction to Say we have accomplished, as we have every reason to believe and that those two bands or nations are and will be on the most friendly terms with each other. gave this Great Chief a Medal and Some other articles, of which he was much pleased, Peter Crusat played on the violin and the men danced which delighted the nativs, who Shew every civility towards us. we Smoked with those people untill late at night, when every one retired to rest. ..." [Clark, October 24, 1805]


  • October 25, 1805, one small medal, given out while onshore near today's Spearfish Lake.

    "... we passed through a deep bason to the stard Side of 1 mile below which the River narrows and divided by a rock The Curent we found quit jentle, here we met with our two old Chiefs who had been to a village below to Smoke a friendly pipe, and at this place they met the Cheif & party from the village above on his return from hunting all of whome were then crossing over their horses, we landed to Smoke a pipe with this Chief whome we found to be a bold pleasing looking man of about 50 years of age dressd. in a war jacket a cap Legins & mockersons. he gave us Some meat of which he had but little and informed us he in his rout met with a war party of Snake Indians from the great river of the S. E. which falls in a few miles above and had a fight. we gave this Chief a Medal, &c. a parting Smoke with our two faithful friends the Chiefs who accompanied us from the head of the river, (who had purchased a horse each with 2 robes and intended to return on horse back) ..." [Clark, October 25, 1805]


  • October 26, 1805, two small medals, given while at Rock Fort, today a part of The Dalles, Oregon.

    "... in the evening two Chiefs and 15 men came over in a Small Canoe, those two Chiefs proved to be the two Principal chiefs of the tribes above at the falls, and above, who was out hunting at the time we passed their bands; one of those Chiefs made Capt Lewis and my Self each a Small present of Deer meat, and Small Cakes of white bread made of roots. we gave to each Chief a Meadel of the Small Size a red Silk handkerchief, arm band, Knife & a piece of Paint, and acknowledged them as chiefs; as we thought it necessary at this time to treat those people verry friendly & ingratiate our Selves with them, to insure us a kind & friendly reception on our return, we gave Small presents to Several, and half a Deer to them to eate. we had also a fire made for those people to Sit around in the middle of our Camp, and Peter Crusat played on the violin, which pleased those nativs exceedingly. ..." [Clark, October 26, 1805]


  • November 20, 1805, two medals, no size given, presented to two Chinook Chiefs while at Station Camp on the Washington side of the Columbia. One of the Chinook Chiefs was Chief Comcomly and the other historians believe was possibly Chief Shelathwell.

    "... found maney of the Chin nooks with Capt. Lewis of whome there was 2 Cheifs Com com mo ly & Chil-lar-la-wil to whome we gave Medals and to one a flag. ..." [Clark, November 20, 1805]


  • November 21, 1805, one medal, no size given, presented to a visiting chief while at Station Camp.

    "... Several Indians Visit us to day of different nations or Bands Some of the Chiltz Nation who reside on the Sea Coast near Point Lewis, Several of the Clotsops who reside on the opposit Side of the Columbia imediately opposit to us, and a Chief from the Grand rapid to whome we gave a Medal. ..." [Clark, November 21, 1805]


  • December 12, 1805, one small medal to Chief Coboway, who visited the men while they were building Fort Clatsop.

    "... All hands that are well employ'd in Cutting logs and raising our winter Cabins, detached two men to Split boards— Some rain at intervales all last night and to day— The flees were So troublesom last night that I made but a broken nights rest, we find great dificuelty in getting those trouble insects out of our robes and blankets— in the evening two Canoes of Clât Sops Visit us they brought with them Wap pa to, a black Swet root they Call Sha-na toe qua, and a Small Sea Otter Skin, all of which we purchased for a fiew fishing hooks and a Small Sack of Indian tobacco which was given by the Snake Inds. Those Indians appear well disposed we gave a Medal to the principal Chief named Con-ny-au or Com mo-wol and treated those with him with as much attention as we could— I can readily discover that they are Close deelers, & Stickle for a verry little, never close a bargin except they think they have the advantage Value Blue beeds highly, white they also prise but no other Colour do they Value in the least— the Wap pa to they Sell high, this root the purchase at a high price from the nativs above. ..." [Clark, December 12, 1805]


  • December 29, 1805, one small medal to a chief of the Wahkiakum Nation, Chief Skamokawa, who came to visit Fort Clatsop.

    "... this evining a young Chief 4 Men and 2 womin of the War ci a cum Nation arrived, and offered for Sale Dressed Elk Skins and Wap pa to, the Chief made us a preasent of about ½ a bushel of those roots. and we purchased about 1½ bushels of those roots for which we gave Some fiew red beeds Small peaces of brass wire & old Check those roots proved a greatfull addition to our Spoiled Elk, which has become verry disagreeable both to the taste & Smell we gave this Chief a Medal of a Small Size and a piece of red riben to tie around the top of his hat which was of a Singular Construction ..." [Clark, December 29, 1805]


  • January 10, 1806, one medal of the "smallest size" (possibly the Washington Season Medal) to a chief of the Cathlamet Nation who were visiting Fort Clatsop.

    "... I thought it a favourable time to go on to the fort at which place we arrived at 10 oClock P M, found Several inidians of the Cath'-lâh-mâh nation the great Chief Shâh-hâr-wâh cop who reside not far above us on the South Side of the Columbia River, this is the first time I have Seen the Chief, he was hunting when we passed his village on our way to this place, we gave him a medal of the Smallest Size, he presented me with a basquet of Wappato, in return for which I gave him a fish hook of a large Size and Some wire ..." [Clark, January 10, 1805]


  • February 20, 1806, one small medal to Chinook Chief Tahcum (or Taucum, later to be friends with the Astorians) who came to visit Fort Clatsop.

    "... The forenoon we were visited by Tâh-cum a principal chief of the Chinnooks and 25 men of his nation. we had never Seen this Chief before he is a good looking man of about 50 years of age reather larger in Statue than most of his nation; as he came on a friendly visit we gave himself and party something to eate and plyed them plenty fully with Smoke. we gave this chief a small Medal with which he Seamed much pleased. ..." [Clark, February 20, 1806]


  • March 26, 1806, one small medal, presented to a member of the Cathlamet tribe, while at their camp of March 25, 1806, on the western bank of the Columbia River near the mouth of the Clatskanie River.

    "... The wind blew so hard this morning that we delayed untill 8 A. M. we gave a medal of small size to a man by the name of Wal-lal'-le, a principal man among the Cathlahmahs, he appeared very thankfull for the honour conferred on him and presented us a large sturgeon. ..." [Lewis, March 26, 1806]

    "... The wind blew So hard untill 8 A M. that we detained, we gave a Medal to a Man by the name of Wal-lal-le a principal man among the Cath lah mahs, he appeared very thankfull for the honor Confured on him and presented us with a large Sturgion. ..." [Clark, March 26, 1806]


  • March 29, 1806, one small medal, given to the Cathlapotle Chief at the settlement at today's Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

    "... at 3 oClock P. M. we arived at the Quath lah pah tle Village of 14 Houses on main Shore to the N E. Side of a large island. those people in their habits manners Customs and language differ but little from those of the Clatsops and others below. here we exchanged our deer Skins killed yesterday for dogs, and purchased others to the Number of 12 for provisions for the party, as the deer flesh is too poore for the Men to Subsist on and work as hard as is necessary. I also purchased a Sea Otter robe. we purchased wappatoe and Some pashaquar roots. gave a Medal of the Small Size to the principal Chief, and at 5 oClock reembarked and proceeded up on the N E. of an Island to an inlet about 1 mile above the village and encamped on a butifull grassy plac, where the nativs make a portage of their Canoes and Wappato roots to and from a large pond at a Short distance. ..." [Clark, March 29, 1806]


  • April 11, 1806, one small medal, given out at the Cascade Rapids. This medal, a "Washington Season Medal", ended up in the collection at Maryhill Museum (see more below).

    "... a Cheif of the Clah-clal-lahs Tribe informed us that there was two very bad men who had been guilty of those mischevious acts. that it was not the wish of their tribe that any thing should be done which might displese the white people. this Chief had a large fine pipe tomahawk which he informed me he got from a Trader he called Swippeton. I exchanged tomahawks with this Chief, and as he appeared to be a man of consideration among the tribes of this neighbourhood and much conserned for the ingiries offered us, we gave him a Medal of the Small Size which appeard. to please him verry much; and will I hope have a favourable tendincy, in as much as it will attach him to our interest, and he probably will harang his people in our favour, which may prevent any acts of violence being Commited, on either Side. ..." [Clark, April 11, 1806]


  • April 25, 1806, two small medals. Lewis and Clark each write different stories as to when the medals were handed out. Lewis recounts 2 medals were given to the principle chiefs at the large village of "700 souls" (possibly of the Yakima tribe), located on the Washington side of the Columbia a few miles downstream of Willow Creek, Oregon. Captain Clark writes that one small medal was given near the this locality and one medal was given out to a chief at a village (Wallula tribe) four miles further east (approximately five miles west of their camp of the night near Alder Creek).

    "... This morning we collected our horses and set out at 9 A. M. and proceeded on 11 ms. to the Village of the Pish-quit-pahs of 51 mat lodges where we arrived at 2 P. M. purchased five dogs and some wood from them and took dinner.   this village contains about 7 hundred souls.   most of those people were in the plains at a distance from the river as we passed down last fall, they had now therefore the gratification of beholding whitemen for the first time.   while here they flocked arround us in great numbers tho' treated us with much rispect.   we gave two medals of the small size to their two principal Cheifs who were pointed out to us by our Chopunnish fellow traveller and were acknowledged by the nation. ..." [Lewis, April 25, 1806]

    "... This morning we Collected our horses very conveniently and Set out at 9 A M and proceeded on to a village of Pish-quit-pahs of 52 mat Lodges 11 miles this village Contains about 700 Soles here we turned out our horses and bought 5 dogs & some wood and dined here we met with a Chief and gave him a Medal of the Small Size.   we passed a house a little above the place we encamped on the 20th of Octr. 1805. [Roosevelt, Washington] ...    at 4 P. M Set out. ...    we proceeded on about 9 miles through a Country Similar to that of yesterday and encamped below the mouth of a Small Creek [Alder Creek]    we passed at 4 miles a Village of 5 Mat Lodges of the War-war-wa Tribe.   We made a Chief and gave a metal to a Chief of each of those two tribes.   great numbers of the nativs accompanied us to our encampmt. ..." [Clark, April 25, 1806]

    "... a clear cool morning. we got up our horses.   Set out proceeded on verry well over a pleasant plain, about 10 miles and halted at a large village of the pas-qute-pu tribe who are verry numerous and have a great number of good horses.   we bought 5 dogs.   our officers gave 2 meddles to 2 of their princepal men.   Stayed to purchase horses but they do not incline to Sell any. ...    we dined and proced on a number of Indians followed us.   in the evening we Camped at the Commencement of a low Country on this Side. ..." [Ordway, April 25, 1806]


  • April 27, 1806, possibly one large Jefferson medal to Chief Yellepit

    "... while here we were met by the principal Chief of the Wal lah wal lah Nation and Several of his nation. this chief by name Yel lep-pet had visited us on the morning of the 19th of Octr. at our encampment imedeately opposit to us; we gave him at that time a Small medal, and promised him a large one on our return. he appeared much gratified at Seeing us return. he envited us to remain at his village 3 or 4 days and assured us that we Should be furnished with a plenty of Such food as they had themselves, and Some horses to assist us on our journey. ..." [Clark, April 27, 1806]


  • April 29, 1806, two small medals, while camped near the mouth of the Walla Walla River.

    "... This Morning Yelleppit furnished us with 2 Canoes, and We began to transport our baggage over the river; we also Sent a party of the men over to collect our horses. ... by 11 A. M. we had passed the river with our party and baggage but were detained Several hours in consequence of not being able to Collect our horses. our guide now informed us that it was too late in the evening to reach an eligible place to encamp; that we Could not reach any water before night. we therefore thought it best to remain on the Wallah wallah river about a mile from the Columbia untill the morning, accordingly encampd on the river near a fish Wear. ... We gave Small Medals to two inferior Chiefs of this nation, and they each furnished us with a fine horse, in return we gave them Sundery articles among which was one of Capt Lewis's Pistols & Several hundred rounds of Amunition. there are 12 other Lodges of the Wallahwallah Nation on this river a Short distance below our Camp. ..." [Clark, April 29, 1806]


After Lewis and Clark

  • John Kirk Townsend, Fort Clatsop, 1836 ...
  • Oregon Historical Society ...
  • Maryhill Museum ...


John Kirk Townsend, Fort Clatsop, 1836 ...
Naturalist John Kirk Townsend wrote about one of the Jefferson Peace Medals in his journal in 1836. He also wrote about visiting what was left of Fort Clatsop.

"October 14th. --   I walked to-day around the beach to the foot of Young's bay, a distance of about ten miles, to see the remains of the house in which Lewis and Clark's party resided during the winter which they spent here. The logs of which it is composed, are still perfect, but the roof of bark has disappeared, and the whole vicinity is overgrown with thorn and wild currant bushes.

One of Mr. Birnie's children found, a few days since, a large silver medal, which had been brought here by Lewis and Clark, and had probably been presented to some chief, who lost it. On one side was a head, with the name "Th. Jefferson, President of the United States, 1801". On the other, two hands interlocked, surmounted by a pipe and tomahawk; and above the words, "Peace and Friendship". ..."

[John Kirk Townsend, October 14, 1836]



Oregon Historical Society ...
Since 1898 the Oregon Historical Society has been in possession of a silver "Peace Medal", 55-mm size with the likeness of President Jefferson imprinted on it. It is in bad shape, but identifiable.

According to Richard H. Engeman in his 2000 article for the Oregon Historical Quarterly titled "The Jefferson Peace Medal", conflicting reports exists within the Historical Society as to where this medal was found. One report states it was found on the Nez Perce Indian reservation, Idaho, while another report states it was found on an island in the Columbia near Wallula, Washington (possibly Goat Island, now under the waters of Lake Wallula).

On October 19, 1805, while at their camp at Spring Gulch, just downstream from Wallula, Washington and the mouth of the Walla Walla River, Lewis and Clark presented the Chief of the Walla Walla Tribe, Chief Yellepit, with a small medal, with promises of a large medal on their return.

"... The great chief Yel-lep-pet two other chiefs, and a Chief of Band below presented themselves to us verry early this morning. we Smoked with them, enformed them as we had all others above as well as we Could by Signs of our friendly intentions towards our red children Perticular those who opened their ears to our Councils. we gave a Medal, a Handkercheif & a string of Wompom to Yelleppit and a String of wompom to each of the others. ..." [Clark, October 19, 1805]

"... while here we were met by the principal Chief of the Wal lah wal lah Nation and Several of his nation. this chief by name Yel lep-pet had visited us on the morning of the 19th of Octr. at our encampment imedeately opposit to us; we gave him at that time a Small medal, and promised him a large one on our return. he appeared much gratified at Seeing us return. he envited us to remain at his village 3 or 4 days and assured us that we Should be furnished with a plenty of Such food as they had themselves, and Some horses to assist us on our journey. ..." [Clark, April 27, 1806]

Historians have found no record that Lewis and Clark indeed gave Chief Yellepit the large medal, however it is assumed the Captains kept their word.



Maryhill Museum ...
A small size Medal ended up in the possession of Ellen Underwood, wife of the founder of Underwood, Washington. This medal was given by her daugther to the Maryhill Museum.

On April 11, 1806, during Lewis and Clark's return trip, the Captains handed out a "Medal of the Small size" to the Chief of the "Clah-clel-lah" tribe. This medal, one of the "Washington Season medals", ended up at the Maryhill Museum by way of the Chief's grand-daughter, Mary Lane.

From "The Hood River News", Hood River, Or., February 24, 1950 (courtesy "Rootsweb.com"):

"... Mrs. Lane was a colorful figure in this area and was much sought out by historians. The Oregon historian, J. Neilson Barry, who visited with her many times, convinced her to take her mother's heirlooms to the Maryhill museum. ... Among the collection was a necklace with a medal given to her grandmother, Queen Sally Wa-chi-chus by Lewis and Clark in 1806 at the famous council held at Cascade Falls. ..."

From the Lewis and Clark's Journals:

"... a cheif of the Clah-clel-lah tribe informed us that there were two very bad men among the Wah-clel-lahs who had been the principal actors in these seenes of outradge of which we complained, and that it was not the wish of the nation by any means to displease us. ... The Cheif appeared mortified at the conduct of his people, and seemed friendly disposed towards us. as he appeared to be a man of consideration and we had reason to beleive much rispected by the neighbouring tribes we thought it well to bestoe a medal of small size upon him. he appeared much gratifyed with this mark of distinction, and some little attention which we shewed him. ..." [Lewis, April 11, 1806]

"... a Cheif of the Clah-clal-lahs Tribe informed us that there was two very bad men who had been guilty of those mischevious acts. that it was not the wish of their tribe that any thing should be done which might displese the white people. this Chief had a large fine pipe tomahawk which he informed me he got from a Trader he called Swippeton. I exchanged tomahawks with this Chief, and as he appeared to be a man of consideration among the tribes of this neighbourhood and much conserned for the ingiries offered us, we gave him a Medal of the Small Size which appeard. to please him verry much; and will I hope have a favourable tendincy, in as much as it will attach him to our interest, and he probably will harang his people in our favour, which may prevent any acts of violence being Commited, on either Side. ..." [Clark, April 11, 1806]

The fate of the medal given by Lewis and Clark on April 11, 1806, and eventually ending up at the Maryhill Museum is not good.

"... At the recent annual meeting of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation I had the pleasure of chatting with Mike Venso who is doing scholarly research on the Peace Medals. His research indicates that there are 2 large, 4 mid-size, and 5 small Jefferson Peace medals documented. There were 11 known Washington medals, but the two at Maryhill Museum have been reported missing ..." [Mike Carrick, Oregon Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, September 2000 Newsletter, vol.II, no.IV.]

And from a report in the Journal of Northwest Anthropology (Gunselman and Sprague, 2003):

"... Even more difficult than determining just how many medals were carried by Lewis and Clark is determining how many are still extant. In addition to medals in institutional collections, there is the distinct possibility of conservative families retaining them, of unreported finds in the possession of private relic collectors, or even medals held by museums but not well-known or accurately described. There are also medals previously known to have been present in museum collections that are now missing or even blatantly stolen (Maryhill Museum, near Goldendale, WA had two Washington Season medals stolen). ..."


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, April 27, 1806 ...
This morning we were detained untill 9 A M in consequence of the absence of one of Shabono's horses. the horse being at length recovered we Set out and to the distance of 15 miles passed through a Country Similar to that of yesterday. (passed Muscle Shell rapid) [Umatilla Rapids at the location of today's McNary Dam] and at the experation of this distance again approached the river, and are rocky abrupt and 300 feet high [basalts of Wallula Gap].     we assended the hill [on the north and west sides of the Wallula Gap] and marched through a high plain 10 miles where we again returned to the river [Columbia River].     we halted altho we had not reached the Wal-lah-lal-lah village as we had been led to believe by our guide who informed us that the village was that the place we Should next return to the river, ...,     made a Small fire and boiled a Small quantity of our <boiled> jurked meat on which we dined; while here we were met by the principal Chief of the Wal lah wal lah Nation and Several of his nation. this chief by name Yel lep-pet had visited us on the morning of the 19th of Octr. at our encampment imedeately opposit to us [Spring Gulch Creek]; we gave him at that time a Small medal [Jefferson Peace Medal] , and promised him a large one on our return. he appeared much gratified at Seeing us return. he envited us to remain at his village 3 or 4 days and assured us that we Should be furnished with a plenty of Such food as they had themselves, and Some horses to assist us on our journey. after our Scanty repast we Continued our March accompanied by Yelleppit and his party to the Village which we found at the distance of Six miles, Situated on the North Side of the river [near the former Washington town of Yellepit]. about 16 miles below the enterance of Lewis's river [Snake River]. This Chief is a man of much influence not only in his own nation but also among the neignbouring tribes and nations.— the village Consists of 15 large mat Lodges. ...     the Indians informed us that there was a good road Which passed from the Columbia opposit to this Village to the enterance of Kooskooske [Clearwater River] on the S. Side of Lewis's river [Snake River], they also informed us, there were a plenty of Deer and Antilopes on the road with good water and grass. we knew that a road in that direction if the Country would permit it would Shorten the rout at least 80 miles. the Indians also inform us that the County was leavel and the road good, under those circumstances we did not hesitate in pursueing the rout recommended by our guide and Corroberated by Yetleppit and others. we Concluded to pass our horses over early in the morning.— made 31 miles to day—





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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources: Engeman, R.H., 2006, The Jefferson Peace Medal, Oregon Historical Quarterly, Summer 2006, vol.107, no.2; Gunselman, C., and Sprague, R., 2003, A Buried Promise: The Palus Jefferson Peace Medal, IN: Journal of Northwest Anthropology, vol.37, no.1, p.53-88; "Monticello.org" website, 2008; U.S. National Park Service website, 2005, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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November 2011